Last Updated on March 10, 2022
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Like kayaks, Jon boats are designed for small water fishing, such as ponds and creeks, but unlike kayaks, they weren’t intended to be paddled. That’s why a trolling motor is essential for fishing from a Jon boat.
This article will help you choose the best trolling motor for a Jon boat. There are several high-quality trolling motors, but the best Jon boat trolling motor overall is the Minn Kota Traxxis.
And the Haswing Cayman is the best foot-control trolling motor for Jon boats for the money.
Before we get into the reviews, you should know I grew up fishing out of a Jon boat. I love how close you are to the water and the sounds of nature all around you. Just because it’s a small boat doesn’t mean you won’t catch big fish!
Alright, I’m finished reminiscing. Let’s get going!
Comparison Table – Best Jon Boat Trolling Motors
|Minn Kota Traxxis|
Best For 12ft Jon Boat
|Minn Kota Endura C2|
Best Foot Control
Best Transom Mount
|Newport Vessels X Series|
Best For 14ft Jon Boat
|Newport Vessels NV-Series|
- Comparison Table – Best Jon Boat Trolling Motors
- Our Favorite Trolling Motors For a Jon Boat
- Factors To Consider Before Purchasing A Jon Boat Trolling Motor
- You’ll Also Need
- Final Thoughts
Our Favorite Trolling Motors For a Jon Boat
Minn Kota Traxxis
BEST ELECTRIC TROLLING MOTOR FOR JON BOAT
- 36″ or 42″ Shaft
- 55 lbs of thrust
- Adjustable tiller handle
- One-handed stow
- Digital Maximizer = longer run time
- Adjustable tiller handle = more comfortable
- Indestructible composite shaft
- Prone to overheating when ran at full speed for too long
- Customer service is iffy
Why We Chose It
Minn Kota has been a staple in the trolling motor market for decades. Their products are trusted by professional anglers and weekend anglers across the globe. The Traxxis is time-tested and has proven itself again and again.
The Traxxis offers 55lbs of thrust with 12v, so you won’t have to lug around multiple deep cycle batteries to get the power you need to propel your Jon boat. The Digital Maximizer ensures your battery lasts as long as it possibly can by only drawing the exact amount of energy the motor needs at the moment.
If you’re fishing in a small Jon boat, you’re likely fishing areas that have rocks and stumps, so the indestructible composite shaft will be one less thing you have to worry about while in the sketchy fishing holes.
I like the one-handed stow feature offered by this Minn Kota Motor because that makes it easier to stow and deploy. Work smarter, not harder!
If you’ve run a tiller handle trolling motor for very long, you know they can put you in an uncomfortable position. That’s why I love when trolling motors come with adjustable and extendable tiller handles because you can find a more comfortable place to operate the trolling motor.
I recommend the Minn Kota Traxxis to anyone who owns a Jon boat because it offers all the essential features you need without breaking the bank. That’s why I rated it as the best electric trolling motor for a Jon boat overall.
Minn Kota Endura C2
BEST TROLLING MOTOR FOR 12FT JON BOAT
- 34lbs of thrust
- 36″ shaft
- Five/three-speed hand-control
- Battery meter
- Indestructible composite shaft
- Limited features
- Limited thrust
Why We Chose It
Minn Kota has led the trolling motor market for decades, and it was only recently that they were overtaken by the Lowrance Ghost and Garmin Force for the top trolling motor. Despite this slight setback, Minn Kota has many loyal customers who love its products, including the Endura C2.
The Endura C2 is very budget-friendly, so you don’t have to worry so much about running it aground or hitting submerged structures, especially with the virtually indestructible composite shaft. It’s lightweight and runs off of a 12-volt battery so that you will save room and weight in your 12′ Jon boat.
The 34lbs of thrust isn’t ideal, but it will push you plenty fast in a small Jon boat. With the five forward speeds and three reverse speeds, you’re sure to find the perfect fishing speed.
For the price, it’s tough to be the Minn Kota Endura C2. I wouldn’t hesitate to put it on a 12 foot Jon boat because you don’t need many features while fishing from a Jon boat. So why pay for features you’re not going to use?
BEST FOOT CONTROL TROLLING MOTOR FOR JON BOAT
- 48-inch shaft
- 55 pounds of thrust
- Variable speed
- Multpile control options
- Quick-release bracket
- Spot-lock (with GPS model)
- Saltwater and freshwater compatible
- Loud (will spook fish if you get too close)
- Less than ideal customer service
Why We Chose It
Haswing trolling motors are relatively budget-friendly. There are two different models of the Haswing Cayman. The Cayman is a bow mount trolling motor with multiple control options, and the Cayman GPS is the same, except it uses the Helmsman app on your phone or tablet for GPS anchoring.
I love having options, especially multiple options to control a trolling motor. Often these options come at a much higher price, but with the Cayman and Cayman GPS, Haswing has developed features that compare to Minn Kota’s i-Pilot but at a lower price.
So you can use a remote control or foot control to maneuver your Jon boat trolling motor instead of a tiller handle.
At a less high price, there are a few drawbacks. Haswing’s customer service is less than helpful on average, and the cheaper parts tend to break or wear out, so you’ll inevitably have to deal with their customer service.
The motor is louder than most trolling motors, which means you’ll spook more fish with it than you will other more expensive motors.
Despite the negatives, the Haswing Cayman offers only the features you need while fishing from a Jon boat, and that’s why I named it the best foot-control trolling motor for a Jon boat. Haswing has other trolling motors worth checking out if you’re on a budget. I wrote a full review of all their products in my Haswing Trolling Motors article.
Newport Vessels X Series
BEST TRANSOM MOUNT TROLLING MOTOR
- 36″ Fiberglass shaft
- 55lb thrust
- Eight speeds: Five forward speeds and three reverse speeds
- Saltwater and freshwater
- Telescoping handle
- 10 LED battery meter
- 30-degree adjustable motor head
- Efficient and powerful
- Excellent customer service
- Louder than Minn Kota
- Cheaper quality parts
Why We Chose It
Newport Vessels is relatively a newcomer to the trolling motor market. They also manufacture inflatable boats that most trolling motors are designed to fit. Despite being made for inflatable boats, their transom mount trolling motors, such as the X Series, work well when mounted to a Jon boat.
The Newport Vessels X Series has 55lbs of thrust at 12-volts, so you won’t have to worry about having enough power. You won’t have to guess how much time you have left on your battery because the 10 LED battery indicator will tell you with a glance.
The five forward speeds give you the ability to find the speed you need to push against the wind or current, and the three reverse speeds will back you out of an area as slowly or quickly as you need. The telescoping handle and adjustable head unit keep you comfortable while operating the trolling motor so you can relax and fish.
The Newport Vessels X Series is for any Jon boat owner needing a transom mount trolling motor. I love that if you have any problems with your Newport Vessels products, their customer service gets you taken care of as quickly and hassle-free as possible. It’s great that they stand behind their products.
Newport Vessels NV-Series
BEST TROLLING MOTOR FOR 14FT JON BOAT
- 12v or 24-volt
- 36lbs, 46lbs, 55lbs, 62lbs, and 86lbs of thrust
- 30″ or 36″ shaft
- Eight speeds
- Multiple power options
- Multiple shaft lengths
- Great customer service
- Telescoping tiller handle
- Freshwater and saltwater compatible
- Shaft length might be short for some boats
- The head unit doesn’t adjust
- The 86lbs of thrust requires two 12v marine batteries.
Why We Chose It
Newport Vessels offers many excellent trolling motors for small boats and kayaks, which you can check out in my Newport Vessels Trolling Motor Review. Their customer service is above average for the industry, so you can rest assured their warranty means something if you encounter problems.
The NV-Series trolling motor was designed for Newport Vessels inflatable boats, but that doesn’t mean they won’t work on a 14′ Jon boat because Jon boats and inflatable boats have many commonalities. Such as the ability to haul more weight than kayaks or other small boats, so you have room for multiple batteries which means more power.
This trolling motor model gives you plenty of options so you can choose which best suits your needs, and with a 14′ Jon boat, that often means you need more thrust. 82lbs of thrust is more than enough to efficiently move your boat against the wind and current in any conditions that are safe to be in with a small boat.
The minor flaw of the NV-Series is that the head unit isn’t adjustable so it won’t be as comfortable as the X-series. That shouldn’t stop you if you need the power to propel a 14′ or larger Jon boat. I highly recommend the Newport Vessels NV-Series to anyone with a 14′ Jon boat.
Factors To Consider Before Purchasing A Jon Boat Trolling Motor
Jon boats aren’t designed like bass boats because they’re meant to be used differently. This means you’ll have different needs than someone using a trolling motor mounted to a larger boat. The following are a few reminders on what matters when buying a trolling motor for a Jon boat.
What Size Trolling Motor For A Jon Boat?
The ideal Jon boat trolling motor size is a 42″ shaft and 55lb thrust. Jon boats are relatively light, so it doesn’t take much power to move them across the water, and you don’t want a long shaft that ends up getting in the way.
The weight of the trolling motor won’t matter too much because Jon boats have a decent weight capacity. However, the weight will add up on you, especially if you’re using Lead-Acid Deep Cycle Batteries.
Also, keep in mind the more weight that’s in the boat, the more your trolling motor must work to move the boat. So keeping down the total weight in the boat is very important.
The shaft length is significant for two reasons. It would be best if you had a shaft long enough to fully submerge the lower unit so you could get the maximum amount of power and be as silent as possible. If the shaft is too short, you’ll hear the propeller splashing, and so will the fish.
The other reason is if you get a shaft that’s too long, it will get in the way of your fishing and be less comfortable to operate. I would rather have a shaft that’s too long than not long enough, so err on the side of caution.
Thrust is the measurement of power the motor will exert in the water to propel you forward or backward. The more thrust a motor has, the faster the boat will go; however, the motor will use more power from the battery and shorten the battery life.
12-volts usually offer a maximum of 55lbs of thrust. You will likely have to go to a 24-volt system to get more thrust. This means you’ll need another battery, which adds weight and takes up space.
Ideally, it would be best to choose a thrust that doesn’t drain your battery after a day of fishing, and that’s why I like the 55lb thrust range. There’s enough power to move you in nearly every condition, but a decent trolling motor shouldn’t deplete your battery life after a few hours of fishing.
I love fishing from Jon boats because they are simple, and I believe the Jon boat trolling motor should be simple. So I don’t think you need the latest and greatest trolling motors, as you’ll find in my Lowrance Ghost vs. Garmin Force Review.
However, it would help if you still strived to get your money’s worth and buy the best trolling motor for the price. I look for a trolling motor with an adjustable head unit, battery meter (though that’s not a deal-breaker), forwards and reverse, and enough thrust to get me where I want to go without killing my battery life.
All the other features are a bonus!
You’ll Also Need
Before you can head out on the water and enjoy a day of fishing, there are a few other items that you should purchase to make your day more enjoyable and keep your trolling motor properly functioning.
Trolling Motor Battery
Your electric trolling motor needs a source of power, and that’s where a deep cycle or marine battery is helpful. They are designed to be charged and drained just like your trolling motor will do. Trolling motor batteries come in various sizes and power ranges, so find the one that best fits your needs. That might be a 50Ah 12v or a 100Ah 24v.
To dive deeper into this topic, give my best trolling motor battery article a read.
A circuit breaker will protect your trolling motor from power surges. Instead of replacing your trolling motor, you will only have to press a button or flip a switch. A 50 amp circuit breaker or fuse is what most manufacturers will recommend.
A battery box will protect your battery from the sun and water splashing onto it. It’s not a must-have, but I would rather have one than not. Some Jon boats will have a built-in battery box, so you might not need it.
Jon Boat Trolling Motor Bracket
You might need a Jon boat trolling motor bracket if your transom is flimsy or too thick for the mounting bracket on the trolling motor. They’re relatively inexpensive and convenient if you happen to need them!
Tiller Handle Extension
Sometimes the tiller handle on the trolling motor doesn’t extend far enough out. That’s when the tiller handle extension is a lifesaver. While any extension is better than none, I prefer a U-joint for added comfort during operation.
Battery cables are another item you may or may not need. It depends on how far apart your trolling motor and trolling motor battery are from each other. Measure the distance between the two spots to ensure the factory cables will work if they don’t, then order some battery cables.
The addition of a trolling motor to your Jon boat will change the way you fish. Purchasing the best trolling motor for a Jon boat, AKA the Minn Kota Traxxis, means you’ll be ahead of the game. However, if you need a trolling motor with a lot of power to push a large Jon boat, then the Newport Vessels NV-Series is the one you need.
Convinced I didn’t list the best Jon boat trolling motor? Let me know below in the comments!