What to Look for in Your Lithium Trolling Battery
The first thing you want to keep in mind is the requirements of your trolling
motor. Trolling motors typically have three voltages: 12v, 24v, or 36v. You will
either need a battery with the same voltage or multiple batteries that can be
linked to meet the motor’s voltage requirement.
If you use two batteries, ensure they are both new – never mix old and new
batteries, and never mix different kinds of batteries when linking them into a
You’ll also want to keep in mind the max amp-draw of your motor. It should
always be less than the max amp-draw of your battery (also referred to as
continuous discharge rate). Essentially, your engine has a maximum amount of
power that it can demand from a battery, and a battery can only deliver a
certain amount of power at a time. If your battery can’t provide enough power
because its max amp draw is too low, you won’t get the power you need to run
your trolling motor at full strength.
Once you know the requirements for your trolling motor, you can narrow your
search with primary consideration given to weight, price, and amp-hours.
Amp-hours (Ah) determine the total use your battery can get out of one
charge, though the specific hours and minutes you get depend on the amp-draw of
For example, if you have a 100 Ah battery and your motor has an amp-draw of
25 amps, you will get about four hours of continuous use at top speed.
Generally, if you plan to spend all day fishing, you should have a battery with
double the capacity of your motor’s max draw.
So, if your motor draws 25 amps, you should have a 50 Ah battery. If you are
more of a half-day motorist, then a battery with the same amp hours as your
motor’s max amp draw should be fine.
Weight isn’t going to be too divergent when it comes to lithium batteries, as
they are generally much lighter than other batteries. You’ll never be too
encumbered, regardless of the brand. Still, some models are more lightweight,
and you might be willing to pay more to take on that lighter load.
Cost is always the deciding factor when looking at batteries and can be
prohibiting for many purchasers. Lithium batteries are expensive compared to
other options. As always, however, the higher the quality, the higher the cost.
Factors like increased voltage and amp-hours or decreased weight can up the
price of a lithium battery.
The Best Trolling Battery Brings the Best Fishing
These factors of amp-hours, weight, and cost are likely to be your most
significant considerations when choosing your lithium trolling battery. The last
thing to keep in mind, however, is warranty and lifetime battery life which can
vary drastically depending on the brand.
Determining your budget and comparing that to your needs on the water is
vital to selecting the best trolling battery for you. Once you decide both, the
right trolling battery isn’t far out of reach.
Marine Battery Types for Trolling Motors
The first thing you’ll notice when selecting batteries is how many options
are available and what the benefits and drawbacks of each might be. The Three
most common marine batteries you’ll find are Flooded Lead Acid (sometimes called
wet-cell), AGM or absorbed glass mat, and Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4).
In one way or another, all batteries use a chemical reaction to create
electrical energy. The oldest and most common example of this is the flooded
lead-acid battery. As the name implies, lead plates are housed within this
battery and are submerged in acid (sometimes called electrolyte).
These batteries are easily the most common -and least expensive- of all the
battery options. They are easily found in big-box retailers and the less
expensive options can readily be found for around $100 or less.
AGM (Absorbed Glass-Mat)
In recent years the comparative cost of AGM batteries has come down quite a
bit, but they will still end up costing as much as twice what a flooded
lead-acid battery of the same group size will. The defining feature of AGM
batteries is that they are completely sealed and instead of liquid acid, the
electrolyte used in AGM batteries is “absorbed” into mats that contact the
plates within. This makes them comparatively easier to transport without the
risk of spills.From a weight perspective, AGM batteries are roughly on par with
flooded lead-acid options, if not slightly heavier.
AGM Batteries are commonly called “maintenance-free” batteries as their
sealed nature prevents the need to maintain the acid level within them. They
also tend to last slightly longer than Flooded Lead-Acid batteries if properly
maintained because of the lower likelihood of falling victim to sulfation. AGM
batteries, however, have the potential to be more permanently affected after
being drained completely than lead-acid batteries.
Lithium Iron Phsosphate / Lithium Ion / LiFePO4
If you’ve been in the market for new trolling motor batteries recently you
may have noticed some changes to what’s available in the market. Lithium Iron
Phosphate (LiFePO4) marine batteries are becoming a more common option for
powering trolling motors, fish finders, and other accessories. You can learn
more about lithium marine battery and their advantages in our recent blog.
Lithium marine batteries are by far the most expensive option of the three
common battery types, but as more and more manufacturers introduce Lithium
options the price of these battery types will continue to fall.
If you plan to keep your boat and trolling motor system long-term, Lithium
could prove to be a smart investment. With some manufacturers offering up to
10-year warranties the total cost of ownership may come out to be a wash vs.
re-buying flooded batteries in the same time period.
While still out of the price range of most budget-conscious anglers, Lithium
boat batteries’ main advantage is a significant reduction in weight from the
other battery types, which can help make your boat more nimble, get out of the
hole quicker, and modestly increase top-end speed. These battery types are also
known for their ability to output higher voltage levels over long periods of
time and have the potential to last several years longer than traditional