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Selecting the right deep cycle battery is important to have a longer life and better performance. If you are searching for the best deep cycle battery for your favorite trolling boat, you are just at the right place.
When we are referring to the best deep cycle batteries, we mean the cell should have a high discharge rate for the longest-running time, compact, lightweight, less maintenance and good service warranty. The best battery may cost a bit more but saves money in the long run.
This article aims to help you choose the best deep cycle battery for trolling motors with essential guidelines to buy one. So, let’s begin!!
Take a look on our top picked best deep cycle batteries for trolling motor:
- Vmaxtanks VMAXSLR125 AGM SLA: Best overall
- Mighty Max Battery for Solar Wind DEEP Cycle
- VMAX MR137-120 AGM Sealed Marine AGM Battery
- Universal Power Group 12V 100Ah Replacement Battery
- Mighty Max Deep Cycle AGM Solar Battery
What Is A Deep Cycle Battery?
Most people can’t distinguish the deep cycle battery from the regular one. While all batteries store energy, the way of delivering the power is different, and that’s where deep cycle battery is different from the regular type.
A deep cycle battery is a lead-acid cell designed to produce steady power output over a long period using most of its capacity. It runs reliably up to 80% of its discharge and requires to be recharged to complete the cycle. The level of discharge is the reason why it is known as “deep cycle”, whereas the regular batteries only provide short bursts of energy before they require to be recharged again. They usually discharge a tiny percentage of 2 to 5% every single time they’re used.
A deep cycle battery is rated with the number of completed cycles, the amount of power it produces steadily and depth of discharge. The deep cycle cells are of various types, but the sealed or ‘maintenance free’ ones are most commonly used for trolling motors.
Best Deep Cycle Batteries For Trolling Motors: Our Honest Review
1. Best overall: Vmaxtanks VMAXSLR125 AGM SLA Rechargeable Deep Cycle Battery
The Vmaxtanks Vmax SLR125 is a premium AGM deep cycle battery with massive storage capacity. It is compatible to be used with PV solar panels smart chargers, wind turbines or inverters. The heavy-duty cell comes with 125 amp-hour of power group 31 on 12-volt and a reserve capacity of 260 minutes that make it stand out.
The Vmax SLR125 has military-grade custom made plates that ensure its high performance and longer life span. Hence, it offers its float service life span of 8 to 10 years on average. The battery should last more than three hours at full speed on most of the trolling ships.
The Vmax cell is designed for 99% recombination capabilities with no dangerous fumes or gases. As an AGM sealed cell, the Vmax SLR125 is maintenance-free and allows you to store on any mounting position. Moreover, Vmax claims that it can withstand the impact of any vibrations and shocks.
The SLR125 is made in the USA and comes with a heavyweight of 75 pounds that isn’t easy to move with. However, it comes with a large carry handle to make the carrying process convenient. It comes with one year of service warranty.
Summary: The Vmaxtanks Vmax SLR125 is the best deep cycle battery for trolling motors with great power and storage backup. The durable and maintenance-free battery is simply the top of the class. However, the cell is expensive, but the quality is worth enough. Once you purchase it, you won’t mind buying it in the coming days.
- Massive amp-hour and storage capacity
- Military-grade plates to ensure long life
- 8-10 years of service life in float mode
- 99% recombination compatibility
- Carrying handle isn’t durable enough
2. Best sealed lead acid: Mighty Max Battery for Solar Wind DEEP Cycle
The Mighty Max deep cycle battery is a 12V, 100 amp-hour, group 30H Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) rechargeable maintenance-free battery. It is widely known as one of the best in the business with a heavy-duty, calcium-alloy grid that provides extra-ordinary performance and service life in both float and cyclic applications.
The Mighty Max is capable of storing more energy with its 100 AH power cell. The rechargeable spill proof cell has a characteristic of high discharge rate. It charges faster while discharges slowly, that allows you to enjoy fishing for a long time.
Being designed in AGM technology, the battery is maintenance-free and requires no water to add. The advanced design technology works for zero adding of fluids compared to other flooded wet cell batteries. Furthermore, it can be operated in a wide range of temperatures and can be mounted in any position. It also resists shock and vibration effectively.
Summary: The ML100 is a factory activated SLA/AGM battery with no maintenance, high discharge rate, broad temperature compatibility. If you go fishing for an extended period, the best lead-acid deep cycle battery for trolling motor should be in your deck.
- Can hold charge for a long time
- Wide temperature range
- Doesn’t require fluids to add
- Performance declines with time
3. Best for Minn Kota Trolling Motor: VMAX MR137-120 AGM Sealed Marine AGM Battery
If you are searching for the best deep cycle battery for your minn kota trolling motor, then the VMAX MR137 is the exact cell that you need. VMAX is well known for producing reliable and rugged batteries for your favourite vehicle’s engine. The MR137 no exception strives to generate high performance, far exceeding those of other Pb-Ca plates used in similar looking products.
The VMAX MR137 comes with 12 volts 120Ah cell with a reserve capacity of 230 minutes. The heavy-duty cell excels with its life span of 8-10 years on floating mode.
VMAX tanks use an electrolyte suspension system consisting AGM of a high absorbency that totally absorbs and contains the electrolyte. As the AGM completely absorbs the electrolyte, the VMAX is claimed as “non-spillable and non-hazardous”.
The heavy duty lead tin alloys deliver an extended margin of performance and service life in both float and cyclic applications, even after repeated over discharges. Also, you don’t need to check specific gravity of the electrolyte or add water to VMAX tanks during float service life which simply means maintenance-free operation.
Summary: The VMAX MR137 is reliable and durable, which make this perfect for any minn kota trolling motor. Even though the battery is well-known for its long-life performance, its capability to recover after repeated deep discharges is what makes them the favourite choice for any application.
- 8-10 years of float service life
- AGM completely absorbs the electrolyte
- Resistant to shock and vibrations
4. Best Marine: Universal Power Group 12V 100Ah Replacement Battery
The Universal Power Group has brought a standard marine cell that puts out 100Ah of power on 12 volts. It provides enough amount of charge to the trolling motor to move around the lake for long time. If you are in search of a battery for low to medium speed trolling, the UB121000 should meet your need.
The UB121000 is designed with AGM technology that eliminates the need for additional water during its life cycle. It also can be mounted in any position like others as well. The cell doesn’t come with any fumes, gases or leaks and also maintenance free to keep you rest assured.
The Universal battery is weighted almost 64 pounds that may not attract everyone, but the acid-proof body for durability and resistance to shock and vibrations place it in many people’s shortlist. It also contains a one-year warranty.
Summary: The Universal Power battery should last minimum of four days of regular use before you recharge it. The AGM maintenance free, spill proof cell makes your job easier. If you own a small or medium trolling boat, the battery can serve you the best.
- Compatible to be mounted in any position
- Maintenance-free, split proof
- The edges comply with waterproofing standards
- Heavyweight than average cells
- Isn’t suitable for larger boats
5. Best Budget: Mighty Max Deep Cycle AGM Solar Battery
The Mighty Max comes with a compact, lightweight and affordable battery to power up your trolling motors. The AGM cell ensures no toxic fumes reach out of it in its lifetime. The low-cost battery with comparatively low capacity is an excellent choice for small trolling boats.
The ML35 is a 12 volts 35Ah SLA rechargeable battery which is entirely maintenance-free. A single cell can back small boats up to an hour or so. For longer duration, you need to use two batteries simultaneously.
The ML35 also excels with its high discharge rate and broad operating temperature compatibilities. It can also be mounted in any position without worry and resistant to any vibrations.
Summary: The Mighty Max ML35 is the ultimate compact cell that is suitable for small boats. The most significant thing of the cell is ensuring high performance with hardly any maintenance at a very reasonable price. If you want the best deep cycle trolling motor battery for the money, no other cell beats the ML35.
- Compact and lightweight design
- AGM technology offers longevity and durability
- Less powerful compared to other options
Buying guide for the best deep cycle battery for trolling motor
When it comes to selecting a deep cycle battery, it may appear a simple and straightforward process, but sadly it isn’t if you want the best one within your budget. There are few things you should know before buying a deep cycle battery for effective purchase. No worries, in this article, we bring some of the factors that will help you while choosing.
There are two types of deep cycle batteries used for trolling motors: lead-acid wet cell and absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries.
Lead-acid cell batteries: are a widespread and affordable option. They contain a mixture of liquid electrolyte that should be appropriately measured and maintained for proper functioning. The batteries perform best for backup power applications and grid energy storage.
However, the downside of this type is the necessity of periodic maintenance and inspection as they contain free liquid. They are also prone to be affected by any shock or vibration.
AGM batteries: on the other hand, are completely sealed. So, they don’t require any maintenance and are expected to last longer than regular flooded batteries. AGM are less affected by sulfation and have a low self-discharge rate. They are an expensive option but perform better than flooded batteries.
It would be best if you took care whether the battery over or undercharging as that may affect their performance.
The size depends on the size of your trolling motor. It’s also important to know what group size fits your boat the best. Without the exact size, you may find yourself stuck in the middle of the water.
The thumb rule is with the increasing length of the boat, larger group size is required to produce higher amp-hour capacity. For a good run-time on smaller boats, you may like one of 24 group size with the ability of 70-85 amp-hour at 12 volts. You need a group 27 with 85-110 amp-hour capacity at 12 volts for better run-time on bass boats. For the best run-time on large ships, you need a group 31 with 95-125 amp-hour capacity at 12 volts.
Weight should not be a concern for you when purchasing a deep cycle battery. Most people prefer it to be lightweight for easy installation and removal procedure. However, more weight enables more lead in the core that indicates longer run-time. Longer run-time means you can use it without charging for extending period that improves its lifespan.
Reserve Capacity (RC)
Reserve capacity is the time in minutes that indicates how long a completely charged battery can discharge a 25 amp load continuously at 80˚ before it drops to 10.5 volts. The value provides information about how long it is going to last for your boat. So, the reserve capacity is also an essential factor to consider while buying.
Cold-cranking amps (CCA) and marine cranking amps (MCA) are two common power measurements of the trolling ships. CCA indicates the number of amps the battery can deliver at 0˚F maintaining minimum voltage (7.2v) for 30 seconds.
MCA is quite similar to CCA, except the measured temperature is 32˚F instead of 0˚F. You should check the cranking requirements of your boats before buying one. We recommend having a battery that exceeds the required power of the engine.
Longevity and Warranty
The manufacturers measure the lifetime by discharging the full charged battery at 80˚F until its voltage drops to 10.5 volts. It is recharged then, and the same process is repeated until it can no longer hold half of its rated capacity.
This time measurement is known as life cycle that shows the number of discharges cycles a battery delivers during its lifespan. This is one of the factors that help you choosing one from several options.
Also, the deep cycle battery should have a considerable amount of warranty period. Ultimately, you need to make sure it comes with maintenance backup for long.
How to Maintain Your Deep Cycle Battery
The batteries of trolling motor are designed and engineered precisely, but with little care and maintenance, their performance boosts up. Almost all of the deep cycle batteries mentioned in our list require less maintenance, but few hacks ensure their longevity and durability.
- Charge the new deep cycle batteries fully before using them for the first time. It improves their capacity and lifetime. Most of them are charged at least once before they come to you, but you never know whether they’re given full charge or not. You can use the NOCO GENIUS5, 5-Amp Fully-Automatic Smart Charger to charge your battery as it is the best deep cycle battery charger for trolling motor you will find around.
- Stick to a specific type, either AGM or wet cell as different types require specific charging voltages. If you use different types together, there’s a high possibility of over or undercharge.
- New deep cycle batteries need to be cycled for numerous times before they reach their full capacity.
- Don’t mix new batteries with old ones. Deep cycle batteries in a series work together to generate power. If one of them is replaced with a new one, its capability is highly weakened by the old ones. Even the old ones may wear out faster.
- Ensure your charging system can deliver adequate amperage to charge them efficiently. Change the charge voltages based on temperature to reduce charging time and increase the life span.
- Keep the batteries clean, dry and cool always. Also, clean them regularly with a paste of baking soda and water to remove corrosion.
- Pour distilled water to wet lead-acid batteries when storing them for winter. Always keep them charged for maximizing their capacity. While using for the first time after winter, make sure they are fully charged.
- Follow terminal connectors regularly to avoid any conductivity loss.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I use a car battery for trolling motor?
Deep cycle trolling batteries are designed to provide steady power over a long period. They basically drain slower, allowing you to use them for a longer period. Regular car batteries technically, can be used for trolling motor, but you shouldn’t do that anytime. Because the ones used for cars are not deep cycle and therefore, they’re not going to power the motorboat for long. They are designed to produce high amp in a short time and then recharge quickly.
What size battery for trolling motor do I need?
The size is significant for trolling motors. It largely depends on the length of your boat and how long you go for exploring on the lake. Usually, for a medium-size ship, we recommend having a 12 volts battery capable of producing at least 100Ah rating.
Are AGM batteries worth the price over wet cell?
AGM batteries are expensive than wet cell ones. But they deliver high performance than later. They are maintenance-free and last longer than wet cells. Eventually, you need to go through less hassle using AGM in the long run. However, you want to spend less, with low maintenance and decent performance, wet cell deep cycle batteries should be worthy of every single bit.
Should I use a 12v or 24v battery for trolling motor?
If you need more power from the motor, then you may choose a 24 volts deep cycle battery. The Optima OPT8016-103 is the best deep cycle battery for 24v trolling motor that is capable of providing powerful bursts and improves run-time.
Selecting the right trolling motor batteries are so crucial for spending hassle-free weekends. In this article, we covered the best trolling motor battery for kayak, minn kota and other types of boats that you love fishing with. We discussed the strength and weakness of all products to give you better vision.
We hope the article would help you choose the best deep cycle battery for trolling motor. Also, don’t forget to check the buying guide where you will find the necessary things to look while buying the best deep cycle battery for you.