Most trolling motors come with propellers but you may want to try different options. Some people like to have different propellers for different needs. For instance, many use a different propeller than normal when they know they will be fishing in an area with a lot of weeds.
If you want to change the propeller on your trolling motor, it’s not difficult. However, you’ll want to make sure that you do it correctly.
That way, you’ll get maximal functionality out of your trolling motor prop replacement and you won’t have to worry about damaging either the motor or the propeller. Fortunately, it’s easy to change the propeller out on most trolling motors.
Here’s what you need to know to choose the best new propeller for your trolling motor and to effectively change your trolling motor propeller.
Table of Contents
- Why Would I Want to Do a Trolling Motor Prop Replacement?
- Are Trolling Motor Propellers Universal?
- Where Should I Buy a New Propeller for My Trolling Motor?
- Will a MotorGuide Propeller Fit a Minn Kota Trolling Motor?
- How to Remove a Propeller From a Trolling Motor
- How to Install a New Propeller On a Trolling Motor
Why Would I Want to Do a Trolling Motor Prop Replacement?
There are a few good reasons why anglers choose to replace the propellers on their trolling motors. They include:
- Your trolling motor propeller suffered damage and you need a new one so that the motor will continue working. If your propeller gets cracked or broken because it hits rocks or suffers another accident, replace it soon to get back out on the water.
- You want a propeller that will cut through weeds. Most stock trolling motor propellers will get tangled in weeds, but you can buy options that will cut through them instead. You may want to use a weed prop all the time or you can simply put it on when you need it.
- You want to switch from a 2-blade to a 3-blade propeller or vice versa. Some people prefer 2 blades while others like 3. If your motor doesn’t come with a propeller you like, you can change it up anytime.
- You like to have options. Some anglers like very specific propellers in very specific conditions. They might have one prop that they use in wind, for instance, and another that they prefer when the current is strong.
The process for doing a trolling motor prop replacement is the same no matter your reasons for doing it.
Are Trolling Motor Propellers Universal?
This question is more complex than it may seem at first glance. Many trolling motor propellers are marketed as “universal”. However, if you read the listings in more depth, you find that they are actually only compatible with certain brands of trolling motor.
Most of the listings for these propellers include several measurements. You will need to look at your own trolling motor and make your own measurements to see if the so-called “universal” propeller will fit.
Some trolling motor manufacturers are working toward standard measurements so that you can use a variety of propellers with their products. Others want you to buy propellers directly from them, so they maintain their propeller measurements different from other makers.
That said, there are a couple of good “universal” trolling motor propellers out there. The Annurssy Two-bladed Propeller is a great option for many boats. It also comes with many of the tools and parts that you will need to install it properly.
If you’re looking for a three-blade propeller, the U-BCOO Motor Prop is a great option, as long as you have a trolling motor with at least 55 lbs. of thrust. It also comes with most of the pieces you will need to have to install it.
If you’re not sure whether this propeller is right for you, the company asks you to send them the make and model of your motor and they will let you know if it will fit. Note that this propeller may be appropriate for some small outboard motors, too.
Where Should I Buy a New Propeller for My Trolling Motor?
You can find trolling motor propellers in many places. If you’re not sure what to buy, you can always take your trolling motor to your local outdoors or boating store and consult with the experts there. That way, you’ll be sure your new propeller will fit.
However, it’s a lot easier to buy a new propeller online and most retailers will allow you to return your trolling motor propeller if it doesn’t work for you. You can buy from outdoor stores, fishing stores or even from Amazon.
Will a MotorGuide Propeller Fit a Minn Kota Trolling Motor?
MotorGuide propellers are not compatible with Minn Kota trolling motors and vice versa. MotorGuide has a 3.5” hub while the smallest hub on a Minn Kota is 3.625”. Thus, the propellers made by one brand will not fit on hubs made by the other.
Some people report being able to alter these propellers in various ways so that they will work with other brands of trolling motors. However, these reports are not consistent or reliable. Some people claim success while others say that the propellers still do not work.
Unless you want to risk ruining a propeller, do not try to modify it unless you are a marine professional. Instead, find a universal propeller or buy one designed for the trolling motor you own.
How to Remove a Propeller From a Trolling Motor
Note that these instructions are generic, meant for use with any trolling motor and any propeller. You will want to look in your owner’s manual to make sure that there is nothing specific that you need to know or to do for your particular trolling motor or propeller.
You can follow along in the video below, or you can follow the written instructions here. The video was made using one particular trolling motor, but the process will be similar no matter the make or model of your motor.
Here’s how you remove the current propeller from your trolling motor.
- Turn your trolling motor off. Disconnect it from any power sources. You may want to remove it from the boat entirely so you can lay it on its side. This makes replacing the propeller easier.
- Make sure you are not doing this over the water. If you accidentally drop a bolt or another part into the water, it will sink and you will be left without a propeller until you can buy a replacement piece.
- Find a socket or a wrench that is the correct size for the bolt that connects your trolling motor to the shaft. A socket will work better than a wrench but both will get the job done.
- If the socket or the wrench does not remove the bolt, it means that the pin inside is broken. Most trolling motors also have a slot so you can use a screwdriver to remove the bolt in this case. Hold the shaft with the screwdriver and remove the nut with a wrench.
- Hold the propeller itself in place with one hand and use your wrench or socket to loosen the bolt.
- When it is loose, remove the lock nut and the washer from the pin that holds the trolling motor propeller in place.
- Slide the propeller itself off the pin.
- If the propeller resists sliding, do not force it. This can break the pin or the shaft, which means that you have to do even more replacement work.
- To help the propeller slide, you can grease the shaft with any sort of grease. Make sure that you don’t grease it too much because you’ll need to remove the grease after you get the propeller off.
- Use pliers to remove the pin. Keep it somewhere where you can easily access it again.
- Clean off your trolling motor pin and shaft. This may be as easy as unwrapping weeds that have gotten wound around it. However, you may need to take a cloth and wipe the shaft down or pliers to pull off dried-up vegetation.
- If you had to grease the shaft to remove the motor, use a grease remover to get it off. You can use many products designed for grease removal in your kitchen for this purpose.
- Replace the pin. You will need this to hold your replacement propeller in place. If the pin slides out easily, it may be broken or there may be some other problem with the trolling motor.
- Clean the old propeller. Even if you don’t plan to use it again, it’s a good idea to keep it around as a backup as long as it is undamaged. Make sure it is as clean as possible.
- Store the old propeller in a safe place, where you can find it if you need it again.
Here’s a video so you can see the process for yourself.
How to Install a New Propeller On a Trolling Motor
Now it’s time to install your brand new trolling motor propeller. Once again, these instructions are generic. You should read in your owner’s manual or on the packaging for the propeller to see if there are specific instructions you need to follow to install it correctly.
Here’s how to perform a trolling motor prop replacement.
- Remove your new propeller from its packaging and make sure that it is in good condition. If it was damaged in shipping or parts that are supposed to be included are missing, now is the time to get in touch with the retailer for a replacement.
- Keep track of any parts that come with your new propeller. You may not need bolts, washers, and screws that come with it, but you never know. Even if you don’t use them, store them so that you have them as backups later.
- If you have not done so already, make sure that the power on your trolling motor is disconnected. That way, no one can accidentally turn the motor on while you are working on the propeller.
- Make sure that your new trolling motor prop lines up properly with the pin and the shaft on your trolling motor. It should fit exactly onto these without any extra space or excess motion.
- Slide your new trolling motor propeller into place. Make sure that you have the correct side out. You may need to spin the propeller on the shaft to get it to slide back until it hits the pin.
- Never force your new trolling motor propeller into place. If it will not slide or it does not seem to intersect with the motor properly, take it off and try to seat it again. If it still isn’t working, you may need a different propeller or a new shaft.
- Make sure that the hub of the propeller matches the diameter of the trolling motor. Otherwise, your new propeller will not spin properly.
- Put the washer back on the shaft.
- Screw the nut back onto the shaft on top of the washer. Hold the propeller in place while you’re doing this so that it does not spin. This allows the nut to screw on as tightly as possible.
- Use a socket or wrench to fully tighten the nut. You want to get the nut snug on the propeller without tightening it too far. This could inhibit the spin of the propeller and damage the prop, the motor, and the nut itself.
- Test the trolling motor propeller before you put the motor back on your boat. Reconnect the motor to power, then hit the switch and make sure the prop spins. Don’t run it for more than a second or two, though, because you don’t want to damage your trolling motor.
If you prefer to watch this being done on the video, here’s the link again. Fast forward to about the 3:00 mark to watch him install a new trolling motor propeller.
Now that you know how to change the propeller on your trolling motor, you should be able to do so quickly and efficiently. Trolling motor prop replacement allows you to use your trolling motor in even more situations.
Once you change your trolling motor propeller, take your boat out for a spin. Make sure that your new propeller is working the way you need it to and have a great time fishing!