Collection: Minn Kota

In 1934, O.G. Schmidt invented the first gear-driven electric trolling motor in Fargo, North Dakota. The idea took off with anglers looking for more boat control, and Schmidt named his growing company for the land he called home. In the heart of fishing country, on the MINNesota-North DaKOTA border, Minn Kota was born.

Today, we still proudly design, service and manufacture motors from our headquarters in Mankato, Minnesota. For more than 85 years, we’ve employed real American anglers to build the best fishing gear on the water. Because here, every motor matters.

Everyone wants to be first on the water. And all of our innovations have been – from the first antique trolling motor ever to the first one that could talk to a fish finder. See how we’ve changed fishing for more than 85 years. 

Minn Kota

Every Motor Matters | Minn Kota

All you need to know about Minn Kota products

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Thrust and Speed?

Thrust is simply a static measurement of pushing or pulling power, and higher thrust does not necessarily mean greater speed.Speed is a factor of prop pitch and motor R.P.M.Given motor R.P.M. under load, and Minn Kota’s 4" prop pitch, the approximate speed that a motor will push/pull a small boat can be calculated.

The formula for this is:

The prop pitch in inches, times motor RPM, times 85%, (factor for prop slippage), yields calculated inches per minute. This value divided by 12 equals calculated feet per minute. The feet per minute times 60 equals calculated feet per hour. The feet per hour divided by 5280, ( number of feet in a mile), equals the calculated miles per hour.

((4 x 1540 x .85) / 12) x (60 / 5280) = M.P.H.

For more information, download our Runtime, Speed, and Horsepower Formulas Chart or visit our Rigging Guides page.

Bow-Mounted vs Transom Mounted

Why use a Bow-Mounted Motor

Boats do not tend to go in a straight line. Because of this, it is much easier to pull a boat than to push a boat. It is also easier to move the bow of the boat sideways compared to moving the transom. Therefore, a bow-mounted electric trolling motor allows for much greater boat control and positioning. If quick-response boat control and positioning is what you are looking for, a Minn Kota bow-mount electric trolling motor is a must.

Why use a Transom Mounted Motor

Transom mount motors mount to the back of the boat with a clamp-on bracket and feature hand/tiller control. They are ideal for smaller boats, dinghies and canoes. They are also great for general positioning and standard trolling.

Selecting the right Trolling Motor

Selecting the right motor for your boat is important. The wrong motor may not have enough power or have too much power, the shaft could be to short, or you may not get all of the features you are looking for. The Trolling Motor Selection Guide above will walk you through the available features for trolling motors and then recommend the best motor(s) based on your choices. It will also give you the information you need for the motor and recommended accessories for the best boating experience. 

Selecting the Correct Shaft Length

Choosing the correct shaft length for your trolling motor is important so that the angler's electric motor does not cavitate, creating fish-spooking noise. The rule of thumb is to have the top of the lower unit or foot of the motor covered by at least 12" of water. In general, shaft length selection is more critical with bow-mount motors versus transom-mount motors. Most boat transoms are similar in their distance to the water, and Minn Kota’s standard transom shaft lengths should be adequate. With bow-mounted motors, there is much greater variation in shaft length requirements.

Measuring for your Correct Shaft Length

Measure from the mounting surface of the transom or bow where the motor will be mounted to the top of the water and add 20" to get the recommended minimum shaft length. If you will be fishing in rough water, add an additional 5" to the measurement. If you will be steering a hand-controlled motor while standing, add an additional 12" to the measurement. Use this measurement or the tables below to find the appropriate trolling motor shaft length. For more information, visit our Trolling Motor Selection & Boat Size Guide and Rigging Guides pages.

Freshwater vs Saltwater Trolling Motors

Freshwater Motors

Designed for all kinds of freshwater boats, our motors offer the most intuitive controls, advanced technologies and unparalleled durability in fishing. Using any of our freshwater Minn Kota motors in saltwater may dramatically reduce the life of the motor and voids the manufacturer's warranty.

Saltwater Motors

We designed a special line of motors for use in salt or brackish water. The Minn Kota Riptide trolling motors have a number of "saltwater-engineered" enhancements, including stainless steel hardware, sealed electrical connections and an advanced painting process for improved corrosion protection. To extend the life of your Minn Kota Riptide saltwater trolling motor, thoroughly rinse the motor with freshwater after every use in saltwater and store indoors. Never leave the motor submerged in saltwater when the boat is moored.