Whether you’re fishing in freshwater lakes or at sea, the art of keeping quiet before reeling up a huge Blue Marlin never goes to waste. That said, your fishing boat has to cork it up before the roaring motor scares away a rare Pacific Snook.
It brings us to our today’s topic- what is a heavy-duty trolling motor battery and what to look for before breaking our banks for it.
After a rigorous search and some hands-on experience, we have found the best 12V trolling motor battery for dedicated offshore anglers like you!
Trolling motors can make any sailboat navigate as quietly as possible- allowing you to have a clear shot at shy, nearshore crustaceans as well as prized saltwater games at sea!
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Top 5 Best 12V Trolling Motor Battery
Considering the three-digit price tag of trolling motor batteries, you have to be extra careful before choosing one for your fishing boat. Help yourself to our top five picks below and see how they worked for us!
Universal Power Group 12V 100Ah Deep Cycle VRLA Battery
Trolling motors are the most convenient way to propel your boat in shallow waters. Considering the voltage regulations and reserve capacity of this premium ‘deep cycle’ marine battery, it’s safe to say that you’re up for a fun fishing time this weekend!
For starters, you can use this VRLA battery not only for a trolling motor but also for your home solar power system. Now, powering up the solar system will take six to eight of these lead-acid batteries.
If the price just made your jaw drop, let us tell you- once maintained properly, these marine batteries can last up to six years and more!
It’s because deep cycle batteries easily hold up to frequent charging and discharging. That said, this Universal Power Group one is a way better option for offshore angling than the loud one sitting on your trolling motor.
Besides, having a dependable lead acid battery makes all the difference when you’re cruising further from the shoreline.
Another reason why we love this 100AH battery is that its continuous power deliverance was extremely reliable. Unlike a cranking battery that drains power by the minute, we found this AGM battery to have the lowest self-discharge.
Additionally, its minimal internal resistance amounts to a longer service life, which is absolutely great.
Weighing nearly 64 pounds, this Universal Power Group battery meets you halfway in the whole lightweight vs. jumbo size battery conundrum. In fact, it’s a real upgrade from any former lead-acid battery type you might have used!
After all, even an average AGM battery lasts twice as long as your old, flooded battery!
Last but not least, this 100AH spill-proof battery requires zero maintenance from your end, eliminating the tedious job of refilling battery fluid every four weeks. For the price, this is as good a trolling battery can get!
- Doesn’t require refilling the battery fluid
- An extra-long shelf life without sulfating the lead plates
- Delivers a better performance than floated batteries
- Satisfactory amp-hours for long-time trolling
- The battery might short a lead cell and struggle with discharging
VMAX MR137-120 AGM Sealed Marine AGM Battery
A rechargeable battery, especially of the AGM battery type, is the gateway to fishing confidently in both freshwater and saltwater! With a super-fast charging time and great efficiency, VMAX MR137-120 is a high-end AGM deep cycle battery you ought to try!
If you’re looking forward to taking your angling game to the next level, you might not need to upgrade your boats and baits at all. You’ll be surprised to see what a huge difference a trolling motor makes in your day to day fishing adventures.
And speaking of trolling motors, the VMAX Charge Tank is our new favorite choice of battery to power up our motors fast. Diving deep into the deets- this brilliant battery sports a life span that goes up to a whole decade.
In these projected ten years of service, there would hardly be an occasion where you need to take a good look inside. Truth be told, this deep cycle AGM battery doesn’t need any maintenance at all.
Although this statement applies strictly to a proper way of using the battery, VMAX Charge Tank still puts up with everyday rough use. However, if you overcharge it, an AGM battery will bite the dust no matter how expensive it was to begin with.
Moving on, we needed two of these 100AH batteries to run our 24-foot sailboat motor. We didn’t notice any power drop with this one, and it sure strides ahead of VMAX MR127 in terms of durability and power supply.
Considering we’re at sea every week for sailing, fishing, and recreation, we have a bittersweet experience with trolling motor batteries. But this brand has upped its game, and the specs of the mighty MR137 battery are far more satisfying than the previous VMAX MR127.
Our speculations were proved to be true once we tested this 100AH glass mat battery out with a load tester and multimeter.
We were smart enough to charge this battery with a 10-amp, 7-stage charger from the very first time. But some of our friends tried to power it up with a 15-amp charger, and the results weren’t pretty! After serious power draining and failures, they finally switched to the right charger for glass mat AGM batteries.
- Heavy-duty lead grids for a long cycle every time
- Non-spillable design with superior resistance to vibrations
- Holds up nicely against frequent discharging
- Multi-purpose use includes trolling, setting up solar power, and etc
- Ideal battery size for alternative float and cyclic applications
- Using a 15-amp charger can damage the battery
Optima OPT 8016 103 D34M BlueTop
Featuring high cranking powers and a generous reserve capacity, Optima BlueTop is one of the greatest trolling motor batteries we ever got to try. What’s new with the light-case Bluetop is its innovative SpiralCell technology.
This exceptional 12-volt lead-acid battery comprises two 99.99-percent pure lead plates coated by lead oxide. While the basic configuration of deep cycle marine batteries remains somewhat the same, we honestly didn’t expect its cutting-edge SpiralCell technology.
Its spiral-wound lead cells provide an extreme level of power- rendering crazy high cranking amps that fit the needs of RVs and big sailboats.
Unlike the dark-case BlueTop battery that serves as a dedicated starting motor, the Optima Batteries 8016 103 gives you the best of both worlds. That’s right; this 55AH deep cycle battery serves as a starting and a cycling battery at the same time.
You may use it for fishing in shallow saltwater and a wide range of marine applications that require sky-high cranking amps.
Speaking of which, we couldn’t help but add the Optima BlueTop to our list for its 870A marine cranking amps. When it comes to starting a trolling motor in cold weather, you need a real maintenance-free battery with a much higher level of cold cranking ampere (CCA).
The lower the numbers are on your battery, the harder it will be for the battery to get the boat moving.
Well, it’s not something you’ll experience with the outstanding Optima Batteries 8016 103. Not only is it 15 times more immune to vibration, but it also has enough reserve to consistently drive the motor for two whole hours.
Additionally, we liked the fact that Optima batteries offer a value bundle of the battery with a maintainer and charger.
You can also buy a single dual-purpose battery or a pack of one starting battery and one cycling battery at a reasonable price. In short, Optima Batteries 8016 is a top-notch 55AH deep cycle battery you can get for the price.
- A high reserve capacity and maintenance-free performance
- Compact size battery with decent vibration resistance
- One of the best Optima batteries for its dual-purpose feature
- Durable wet cell battery with 12V 10 amp-hours rating
- Not a 100 amp-hour maintenance-free battery
Mighty Max Battery 12V 100AH Battery
A 12V 100AH trolling motor battery by Mighty Max is all you need to catch the deep-sea fish and nearshore crustaceans for long hours of the day. This is by far one of the coolest lead-acid batteries under 200 dollars for its excellent amperage and compact size.
It uses a robust calcium-alloy grid for extended service life. Be it a float or a cyclic application, there’s hardly a ground Mighty Max left uncovered! It makes an incredible engine starter for trolling motors, motorcycles, solar power systems, and many more!
Moreover, its valve-regulated construction calls for applause.
After all, a VRLA 100AH deep cycle AGM battery puts any floating lead-acid battery to shame. The perks of having a 12-volt deep cycle battery are that you get an insane lifespan out of it. We’re talking about two to three times longer of a lifespan than that of traditional batteries.
Moving on, this Mighty Max battery is compact enough to fit inside any battery box comfortably. What’s more, it offers plenty of versatility in terms of applications.
We even used this 12V 100AH battery on our travel trailer. All we had to do was thread the holes to accept ⅜ bolts for hooking eyelet cables to the battery post. Similarly, we also had a great experience with Mighty Max that one time a hurricane hit our area.
Four pairs of 100W solar panels, 50A charge controllers, and two pairs of the Mighty Max battery on a parallel connection supported the entire household for a whole week!
However, some users did report a weak terminal on these batteries. But we faced no problem of this sort. They were probably torquing it too tight!
- Excellent vibration resistance and one of the best trolling motor battery options
- A 12V 100AH battery is ideal for a high-voltage motor
- Can be mounted in any position
- An extra-long service life
- The terminals can feel a bit weak
WindyNation 100AH 12 Volt AGM Deep Cycle Battery
This is another brilliant wet cell 100AH battery under two hundred bucks, which is regarded as the best trolling motor battery out there. WindyNation was a fairly new brand to us, but after putting their deep cycle battery to test, we regretted not finding out about it earlier than we did!
For starters, this 12-volt wet cell battery is made of pure lead plates that charge up fast and provide a consistent source of power to your trolling motor. While low-quality batteries will use recycled lead plates to cut down the cost, WindyNation uses brand-new lead in their wet cell batteries, which we liked.
No wonder why its float life maxes out at a satisfying span of ten to twelve years- an attribute that is exclusive to the best trolling motor batteries. For a heavy-duty, 12 volt battery like this, we expected nothing less of what it offers.
What we didn’t expect was to get this cool battery at this price range. It can be a reliable choice for setting up solar equipment at your home. And the best part? It can be mounted in any position!
This sealed lead acid battery arrives charged at approximately 13 volts. Connect it to your charge controller and get ready to maneuver your sailboat to your favorite part of the ocean! The box includes terminal bolts with washers, a carry handle, and finally, well-insulated terminal boots to top it all off.
Additionally, we appreciated the fact that WindyNation offers positive and negative terminal protectors with this deep cycle marine battery. In fact, it makes this 100AH battery a lot safer for use.
The ones that we purchased for our trolling motor are still going strong. We’d be lying if we said its kV level after two months did not surprise us. Surprisingly though, it stayed the same like from the very first day.
Although, it would be a bit of a stretch if you call it one of the best maintenance-free batteries. You have to use a compatible charger if you want this type of battery to last. Avoid cases of overcharging too, because lead sulfation is no joke.
- Suitable for repetitive, deep discharging on a regular basis
- High amp-hours are great for a trolling battery
- Sealed lead-acid marine battery with a compact size
- A 12V 100AH, rechargeable battery with consistent voltage
- Comes with a trolling battery strap
- Some users reported that it gives misleading results on a multimeter
What to Look for Before Buying
Trolling motors, however small and lightweight they are, move your fishing boat with agility and precision. And when it comes to powering up the trolling motors, you need a trolling motor battery that keeps you well-supported at sea.
We will be discussing five key areas where trolling motor batteries mostly differ. This way, you can realize the desired battery attributes for your boat and start looking for the best 12v trolling motor battery.
# Cold Cranking Amps
If you’ve gone through trolling motor batteries on the Internet for long enough, you surely came across the CCA ratings by now. Cold-cranking amps denote a battery’s performance in starting the trolling motor in cold temperatures.
Batteries with high CCA ratings work flawlessly in winter. The more a battery that generates cold-cranking amps, the more efficiently it starts your marine vehicle in the winter season.
# Battery Size
You will find plenty of trolling motor wiring tutorials on YouTube, and once the battery arrives, you simply can’t wait to mount it atop the stern. While that’s great and all, the problem arises when your battery is too big to sit inside the battery box. And a strict installation guide only adds fire to the flame.
For example, you don’t have the option to install a gel cell battery upside-down. The orientation of the battery placement should be versatile so that you can place the product at a convenient location. Most AGM batteries have no restrictions in terms of how you place the battery.
On a similar note, a weighty battery is not something you can entirely strike off because it denotes a higher lead-acid content for cycling motors more efficiently.
You might have noticed that most glass mat batteries weigh somewhere between 60 to 70 pounds. However, battery size doesn’t matter as much in household solar applications as it does for anglers.
# Voltage & Amperage
Batteries with high voltage are evidently more powerful, and they meet the needs of a high-torque motor. You can’t expect the motor to run at full capacity if you use a low-voltage battery with it. Similarly, high voltage batteries perform well in high resistance.
An easy trick to know when a cell within your 100AH trolling motor battery is dead is to check the voltage level after fully recharging the battery. If it struggles to cross 10.5V or does not cross at all, you have at least one dead cell.
See, this is why having a great trolling motor battery is more of a necessity than a mere option. Because after a certain amount of time, batteries become sulfated, accidentally overcharged, or mishandled. If you have a low voltage battery, you cannot expect a decent product life that gives your money’s worth.
And finally, the higher the voltage is, the fewer amps your battery needs to propel the motor. It amounts to a long cycle and consistent performance of the battery. Anything less than a 12-volt wet cell battery is not up for the challenges at sea, let alone cruising along the shoreline with comfort.
# Trolling Motor Battery Types
Getting new gear for your fishing boat never gets old, especially when it gets you closer to catching a swordfish for the first time!
A 100AH trolling motor battery is what you need, and you may choose a marine deep cycle battery, a gel cell and absorbed glass mat battery, or a sealed lead acid battery for the job. Let’s learn about these different types of trolling motor batteries right away!
# AGM Battery
Absorbed glass mat or AGM batteries are advanced types of wet cell, lead-acid batteries. They usually have a minimum amount of internal resistance, which allows them to recharge quickly.
Due to their sandwich construction, AGM batteries are extremely resistant to vibration. Their spill-proof design is no less than a blessing for cycling trolling motors at turbulent water bodies.
Moving on, the fact that they have high cold cranking amps allow AGM batteries to start effortlessly in cold temperatures.
Finally, AGM batteries offer a remarkable life that topples that of any other trolling motor battery. They can be deep-cycled without an issue and have a lower voltage drop over time compared to a flooded trolling motor battery.
# Gel Cell
These batteries are also of the lead-acid type; except this time, the electrolytes are now in a gel form. Moreover, they have a microporous separator that reduces negative electrode depolarization and sulphation at the same time.
It also prevents any chemical growth in between the two opposite plates- eliminating chances of short circuits entirely.
Their valve designs are more advanced than AGM batteries. Additionally, gel batteries have the longest shelf life and a ground-breaking deep cycle performance—no wonder why they are the most expensive kind of trolling motor batteries!
# AGM vs. Gel Battery
Both AGM and gel batteries are wonderful choices to keep trolling motors up and running. Although, when it comes to a better lifespan and standby time, gel cells easily beat a VRLA AGM for cycling motors.
The main problem with gel cell batteries is that they are expensive, and if you’re not a serious fan of offshore angling, running down your bank balance for batteries is not worth it.
However, you’d be making a big mistake if you thought AGM batteries are half bad. Come on, let’s not allow the gel cells to gaslight our true heroes- absorbed glass mat batteries! AGM batteries are maintenance-free and can be installed in any orientation.
Face up or face down- the installation hardly matters because the batteries are completely sealed, to begin with! The generated oxygen and hydrogen within the trolling motor battery recombine and turn to water.
As a result, the battery is able to retain the total amount of electrolytes without losing them to corrosion. What’s more, you don’t need to refill battery fluids ever again. AGM batteries are so user-friendly that the best trolling motor battery on our list is an AGM deep cycle battery.
# Deep Cycle
You can discharge a deep cycle marine battery and charge it often without experiencing critical voltage drops. They are meant to have thick plates and have a generous life span compared to regular batteries. Not all batteries can be deep-cycled.
This is why these batteries are used in specific areas such as a standby solar power system, several marine applications, RVs, and so on.
# Dual Purpose vs. Deep Cycle Trolling Motor Battery
We’re all familiar with a deep cycle marine battery by now. But did you know that it’s wise to use two different batteries for starting and trolling the motor? Just when you thought gearing up your fishing boat couldn’t get any more expensive, the news of two batteries can surely blow a fuse.
However, there is a smart alternative, and it goes by the “dual-purpose” name. So, what’s the key difference between a dual-purpose battery and a deep cycle battery? Let’s find out!
A deep cycle trolling battery is for when the engine has already started. It’s the job of a cranking battery to bring the engine back to life when you hit the ignition switch. A cranking battery sends a quick power burst to the engine- turning it on for vehicle navigation.
On the other hand, wet cell batteries that go 100 amp-hour keep the engine on until you turn it off. It doesn’t require the same amount of power to run the motor like it did while starting it.
A dual-purpose 12-volt battery, as you can already guess, is one of the most convenient forms of marine batteries. They can start and run the engine- eliminating the requirement of a second motor altogether.
So, dual-purpose products are fit for both cranking and cycling the motor. The Optima 8016 103 D34M BlueTop is a dual-purpose trolling motor battery that we liked using in various water bodies across the country.
Meeting halfway is a compromise that dual-purpose batteries sometimes pay heavily for. Often, these products struggle to discharge completely and provide you with a shorter lifespan compared to a dedicated cranking or deep-cycling motor.
In fact, on some occasions, these batteries displayed overheating- a dangerous aspect when you’re out in the open water. For cruising near the shoreline or shallow waters, you can obviously rely on a dual-purpose battery. But we cannot say the same for offshore angling.
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Frequently Asked Questions
a. What does a deep cycle marine battery amp hour rating mean?
Amp-hours give you a distinct understanding of a marine battery’s performance. Moderate to high-end trolling batteries are rated at 100 amp hours, and you will find a specific 100 amp-hour rating chart with all battery products for easy comparison. Reserve capacity and amp-hours are closely related to each other.
b. Why are AGM Deep Cycle batteries best for Trolling Motors?
These deep cycle batteries are the best trolling motor batteries because they can fully discharge and recharge without striking a blow to the cycle performance. Moreover, their vibration resistance and maintenance-free design make them suitable for harsh conditions.
c. Do I need a deep cycle battery?
An AGM deep cycle battery is the most suitable type of battery for trolling motors. Deep cycle batteries do not overheat like regular ones, nor do they require water refilling from time to time. Additionally, their sealed construction allows you to install the battery in more than one way.
d. What kind of charger do I need for AGM trolling motor batteries?
AGM trolling motor batteries require a special kind of charger that can provide a constant level of voltage. The consequent flow of electricity is essential for this, and a 7-stage smart charger would be the right pick for this one.
e. How many amps do trolling motors draw?
It depends on the weight of the trolling motor. However, the battery type also has a role to play. There are no specific ratings of amps for all the motors, but depending on the weight, we can give you a brief overview.
A trolling motor weighing 70 pounds will draw a maximum of 42 amps, while a motor of 80 lbs can draw 56 amps at max.
f. How long does an average trolling motor battery support a fishing boat?
On average, a trolling motor battery, if not overpowered- should be able to support a regular fishing boat for at least 6 to 8 hours. That is if you use that motor for slow drifts only.
Propelling the boat at full throttle will take up more battery power. It is a dire problem if you use the same battery for starting and cycling the motor.
g. What are some effective trolling motor battery maintenance tips?
Trolling motor batteries aren’t the hardest to maintain. All you have to do is not overcharge or undercharge it. Because either of them could have negative impacts on both its longevity and shelf life, also, don’t let the batteries develop lead sulfation. Check their performance routinely with a multimeter.
h. Are lead-acid marine batteries better than AGM for trolling motors?
Lead-acid marine batteries take a good lot of maintenance and can be an issue if not used properly. Relatively, AGM batteries are maintenance-free- all you have to do is start using them, and you’ll notice the difference straight away.
Starting off with the fact that you can stop purchasing battery fluids, an AGM deep cycle battery gives you a convenient option for powering up a trolling motor.
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Offshore angling is one of the most rewarding forms of recreation, especially when you can’t resist the thrill of chasing deep-sea games. And it’s safe to say that- with the right trolling motor battery, your fishing boat can really go that extra mile!
From the five trolling batteries we rounded up today, the Optima 8016 103 D34M BlueTop is worth mentioning for its convenient, dual-purpose design and terrific performance on shallow water bodies!
You can use the OPT8016 for cranking the motor as well as cycling it to reach the faraway fishing spots. Its 120-minute reserve capacity toppled that of many dedicated cranking motors! The Mighty Max battery also offered a brilliant runtime for the price and size.
But when true, extra-long service life and consistent voltage is in question, we have to pick the VMAX Charge Tank as the best 12V trolling motor battery available right now!
This 12V 100AH battery sports a generous float life and a smart suspension system for its electrolytes.
However, if the price doesn’t seem agreeable to you, you can try out the one from Universal Power Group- our second favorite and budget-friendly trolling motor battery. Its spill-proof, maintenance-free design was truly impressive!