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Do Trolling Motors Have Reverse?

Do Trolling Motors Have Reverse?

So you’re thinking about buying a trolling motor for your boat.

Maybe you’ve never owned one before, and you’re wondering what kind of features they have.

Specifically, do trolling motors typically have a reverse function? And if so, what are some of the best trolling motors that can go in reverse?

Keep reading.

In this article, we’ll take a look at whether trolling motors can go in reverse and discuss some good options if you’re looking for a trolling motor with a reverse function.

What is a Trolling Motor?

Watersnake Saltwater Trolling Motor, Transom or Kayak Mount

Before we dive into the main topic at hand, we should start by talking about what a trolling motor is in the first place.

A trolling motor is a device that is used for pushing or pulling a boat through the water.

Some boats have trolling motors built-in, but most trolling motors are bought separate from the boat and mounted on either the bow or the transom.

Trolling motors usually have a top speed of 4 to 5 miles per hour.

Depending on the type and style of trolling motor, they can be mounted on kayaks, canoes, jon boats, inflatable boats, paddle boats, and many other types of small boat. Trolling motors make it easy to travel through the water without having to paddle.

Trolling motors may have various hand or foot controls, and some are much more complex than others. This leads us back to the main point of this article:

Do Electric Trolling Motors Have Reverse?

Most small trolling motors that you mount to the bow or transom of a boat are powered by a rechargeable battery. These types of trolling motors are known as electric trolling motors.

Many electric trolling motors do have a reverse function as part of the hand or foot controls.

Bow mount trolling motors are less likely than transom mount motors to have a reverse function. This is because bow mounts are typically able to turn 180 degrees quite quickly, which eliminates the need to go in reverse.

Transom mounts could technically turn 180 degrees, but because of their placement on the transom, the motor’s propellers would hit the bottom of the boat when making this turn.

A bow mount trolling motor A transom mount trolling motor
A bow mount trolling motor (More products) A transom mount trolling motor (More products)

That is why most transom mount motors can go in reverse–the backward motion keeps the propellers behind the boat rather than allowing them to move underneath it.

The ability to go in reverse may also have something to do with the type of controls on the trolling motor.

Most hand controlled trolling motors will have a reverse function, while most foot controlled motors will not.

If you want a trolling motor that can go in reverse, your best bet is to choose a hand-controlled transom mount motor. However, keep in mind that going in reverse is not an essential function of a trolling motor.

If your boat would be better suited to a bow mounted trolling motor, or you’d prefer a motor with foot controls, it’s okay to choose a trolling motor that doesn’t go in reverse.

What Are the Best Trolling Motors that Have Reverse?

Though you don’t need to have a reverse function on your trolling motor, some people still prefer to have it.

Being able to go in reverse is a convenient option if you find yourself in a tight spot or don’t have room to turn 180 degrees.

So what are some of the best trolling motors that can go in reverse? Let’s take a look at a few popular choices.

1. Minn Kota Endura trolling motor

Minn Kota Endura C2 30 Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor (30" Shaft)
  • Lever Lock Bracket: This solid 10-position bracket features a quick-release lever lock and reinforced composite material that resists flexing, warping, and UV damage
  • Telescoping Tiller: Get easy, comfortable, intuitive operation of your trolling motor with the six-inch telescoping tiller

Last update on 2024-07-21 at 22:47 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This Minn Kota trolling motor is well-known among boating enthusiasts and fishers. It is a transom mount trolling motor that offers 8 different speed settings.

Five of the speeds are for moving forward. The different speed settings allow you to choose the exact speed you want to go at any given time, while also allowing you to conserve energy and prolong your battery life.

The other three speeds are for going in reverse. You can decide how fast you need to troll backwards in various situations, which again will help your battery to last longer.

2. Newport Vessels NV-Series trolling motor

Newport NV-Series 46lb Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted Electric Trolling Motor with LED Battery...
  • Efficient power: 46lb Thrust - this 12v electric trolling motor provides excellent power and efficiency for any boater. The high quality build allows the motor to run all day long without overheating,...
  • Features: This motor features a 30 inch shaft, a 5 LED battery meter, a 6 inch telescoping tiller handle, and 3 blade propeller. The mount angle, height, and direction can all be adjusted and locked...

Last update on 2024-07-22 at 01:27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This trolling motor comes from another well-known and dependable brand. Like the Minn Kota above, it is a transom mount trolling motor.

Its top speed is 3.5 miles per hour, but the exact speed will likely vary depending on the type and size of boat you use it on. This trolling motor also contains 8 different speed settings–5 for going forward and 3 for going in reverse.

The adjustable 30-inch shaft length of this trolling motor, along with the various speed settings, make it an ideal choice for many different types of boats and water conditions. It also comes with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.

3. Watersnake ASP trolling motor

Watersnake T18 ASP - 18 Pound Thrust 12v Electric Saltwater Trolling Motor with Transom Mount
  • PORTABLE - Watersnake Saltwater Electric Outboard Motor is the ultimate in lightweight portability, weighing only 4.85lbs (2.2kg). Watersnake’s simple design keeps the weight down while delivering...
  • COMPATIBLE - It is the ideal trolling motor to use on kayaks, canoes, small dinghies, and inflatable boats. Please note: Battery not included.

Last update on 2024-07-22 at 01:27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This trolling motor is great for small boats such as kayaks, dinghies, and small inflatable boats. It is lightweight, making it easily portable if you want to move it from one boat to another.

This is a hand-controlled transom motor that is able to go in reverse. It doesn’t offer as many speed settings as some other trolling motors, but it does include high and low speed settings as well as an easy-to-use forward and reverse switch.

If you need to back your small boat out of a corner or away from an obstacle in the water, simply flip the switch to go reverse. This trolling motor may be small, but it is great for handling tight spots and rough waters.


Not all trolling motors can go in reverse, and that’s okay. Most bow mount trolling motors can’t go in reverse but can turn 180 degrees.

On the other hand, most transom mount trolling motors need to go in reverse to avoid damaging the propellers by attempting to turn.

Which type of trolling motor is right for you? It may depend partly on the type of boat you have, but mostly, it’s up to you. You can choose whatever trolling motor best fits your budget and preferences.

If you want a trolling motor that can go in reverse, why not check out the options discussed above?

Happy boating!