Selecting the Right Transom Mount Motor

 
These motors clamp directly to the transom of the boat and are almost always controlled by hand while sitting.

There are numerous transom mount choices available today, but three are particularly popular and well suited for bass freshwater fishing - The Endura and Traxxis motors from Minn Kota, and the VariMax motors from MotorGuide.


Weʼll discuss each one individually as well as compare them against each other before recommending which motors are best suited for specific needs.

Minn Kota Endura

Minn Kota Endura

Minn Kota’s Endura motors are some the most popular and well known motors available.

While they don’t offer much in terms of bells or whistles, they are well-built motors available at affordable prices. Starting at around $125, Endura is one of the most affordable trolling motors you can buy.

Endura comes in five different thrust options, ranging from 30lbs to 55lbs. This should be enough power for boats 10’ to 18’ long weighing up to 2,500 lbs.

For more information on appropriate thrust ranges, please see our article on trolling motor selection.

The fixed speed motor is one of the reasons Endura is so affordable. While not nearly as convenient or as efficient, fixed speed motors usually cost $50 to $100 less than a comparable variable speed model.

If you’re trying to get the most trolling motor for the money, a fixed speed motor offers the best bang-for-the-buck.

Also included is a telescoping handle, two year warranty and a lifetime warranty on Minn Kota Endura’s composite shaft.

 

Minn Kota Traxxis

MinnKota Traxxis

 

 

The Traxxis line is a step above the Endura line in nearly all areas. Available thrust options of 45 lbs to 80 lbs can propel boats 16’ to 21’ long and up to 4,000lbs!

The Minn Kota Traxxis 80, with 80 lbs of thrust, is the most powerful transom mount model across all three lines discussed.

Offering both fixed and variable speed models, the Minn Kota Traxxis line is appropriate for both those who want the most in flexible speed control and those who need to save money with a fixed speed motor.

Another aspect where Traxxis really differentiates itself is with unique features. Unlike the very simple Endura line, Traxxis offers a number of unique additions.

  • Built with convenience in mind, one-hand stow lets you stow the motor with a single hand, and without needing to mess around with clamps or switches. 
  • The built-in battery life indicator is very useful in helping budget your trolling motor usage. 
  • A tilting handle makes it easier to operate the motor if standing. 

Similar to Endura, the Traxxis line has a Two Year warranty and a lifetime warranty on its composite shaft.

 

MotorGuide VariMax

 

MotorGuide VariMax

 

The VariMax series is made by MotorGuide and offers the most trolling motor and features for the dollar.

The VariMax line falls between the Endura and Traxxis motors in terms of both thrust and price.

With available thrust options of 40 lbs to 75 lbs, VariMax motors are suitable for boats 15ʼ to 20ʼ long and weighing up to 3750 lbs.

One of the most impressive aspects of the VariMax line is that even the most basic $200 40 lbs thrust model features a variable speed motor.

Considering the cheapest variable speed motor available in the Traxxis line costs more than $300, VariMax is an impressive value if you want the battery life benefits and convenience of a variable speed trolling motor.

VariMax also has a built-in battery life indicator as well as a digital speed and direction indicator. Similar to Endura, VariMax offers a basic extending handle but not the tilting flexibility available with the Traxxis line.

The one place VariMax falls short is in the warranty.

Both Minn Kota models offer a two year warranty and a composite shaft that is guaranteed for life.

The VariMax MotorGuide motor has only a one year warranty and no guarantee on its aluminum shaft.

 

The Final Verdict

So which transom mount trolling motor is best for you? That really depends on what features are most important to you, your boat size and your budget. We break down the pros and cons of each motor, and who each motor is ideally fit for below:

 

Minn Kota Endura

MinnKota Endura Pro and Con

IDEAL FIT: Endura is the perfect choice for someone with a canoe or small boat that needs a very basic, reliable trolling motor with a good warranty.

 

Minn Kota Traxxis

MinnKota Traxxis Pro and Con

IDEAL FIT: Traxxis is ideal for medium to large boat owners that donʼt mind paying a premium for easy stowing, an extended warranty and a composite shaft guaranteed for life.

 

MotorGuide VariMax

MotorGuide Varimax Pro and Con

IDEAL FIT: VariMax is a great choice for fishermen with medium sized boats looking for a variable speed motor at the best possible price.

 

 

 


 

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