Aliexpress Trolling Motor Review
I ordered an Aliexpress trolling motor for $113 with shipping on July 12th, just shy of 6 weeks later it arrived at my door. This was to be expected plus it was right in the middle of Covid-19, so the fact it even showed up we'll call that a win.
The packaging wasn't bad, they used what I assume was an entire roll of tape on the box. There was thick foam surrounding the motor inside and it arrived undamaged.
I was also impressed that when I emailed the seller asking about timing I got a pretty quick response. It's important to remember these people are on the other side of the world so day and night are flip-flopped so at the earliest it usually takes about a day to hear anything back.
Opening the box the prop and parts to install it are in a separate little bag. The steering handle is actually recessed in the trolling motor head, you pull a little pin on the bottom and it pops right out, I guess it's spring loaded. This is actually a nice little feature for easy storage. The battery alligator clips are already installed so it's pretty much ready to go right out of the box.
The motor is ridiculously light. Maybe it's because I already own a 55lb thrust minn kota V2 Bow mount that feels like it weighs 100lbs. I can literally lift this thing up with a pinky finger. This makes it fantastic as a backup on an aluminum jon boat, kayak or canoe. My plan is to actually shorten the shaft and keep it in the storage compartment of a waverunner as a way to get back to shore should the engine suddenly take a dump on me (happened to me before and sucked).
There are two switches, one is forward and reverse the other is high and low speed. I don't know why H and L represent forward and reverse but they do on this trolling motor. The handle doesn't have a throttle like most trolling motors, it's just for steering.
It's not the greatest quality but what do you expect out of an Aliexpress trolling motor?
There are some things about this motor that I really wasn't impressed with. The glue that connects the actual motor to the shaft is sloppy, hopefully it's not meant to keep water out because there are some spots where there are holes in the glue. Easy enough fix with just a quick dab of silicone, but again, not super impressive.
The other thing is the "hardware" all the little pieces that hold everything together are plastic, it actually makes it feel more like a child's toy then a trolling motor, but I guess for something so light and only 18lb thrust you don't need anything more than plastic components? Again, I suppose a quick trip to the hardware store for some replacement bolts could be an easy enough solution.
The propeller is also extremely small, but I'm going off of comairing it to a 55lb minn kota, but it just looks like this little fan blade or something. It is stronger than I was expecting when I tried to bend it, but it's hard to imagine this pushing a 220lb boat as it mentions in the product listing. I wouldn't expect any real speed out of this thing on the water. If you're just looking for something to take over paddling here and there It's not a bad option, but don't expect much more.
The mounting bracket is probably the most impressing part of the motor. It looks to be made out of heavy duty plastic, I imagine it's probably the same bracket they use on the larger motors up to their 50lb thrust so this seems like overkill for this little guy, but better then it being junk.
I don't know that this motor is really anything to write home about. Though it's hard to beat $100 for a new trolling motor, and I really think this makes for a great plan B on the water due to how light and small it is. But you have to figure if you have a large fishing kayak loaded with gear that could be 125lbs then add your body weight you could easily be over 300lbs and this motor isn't really rated for more than 220lbs. There are videos on youtube showing guys in kayaks getting pushed around, so it'll work, it'll just move a little on the slow side. If that doesn't bother you then this could be a great option.
I think the light weight and small blade could also make it a great option for us snakehead fishermen. If you're in a lighter kayak in shallow water along the lily pads looking for the snakeheads you don't need a rocket of a trolling motor, this is quiet and enough to move you along easy enough, so in that case I think this is actually a great option.
If you want something a little better built with some more power I'd recommend stepping up to the Minn Kota C2 it'll end up costing you about $70 more then this little aliexpress trolling motor, but you get what you pay for. You can find the Minn Kota on Amazon HERE.
So would I recommend this motor? I think I would, it just depends on the application. if you have a light canoe or light kayak without much gear it should be a good option. If you're just looking for something other then a paddle to move you around shallow lily pads without fighting a current it should be a great option. If you just want it on the boat as a backup plan should something go wrong it's light and small so it's easy to stow away. If you have a larger boat, or a heavy kayak you may want to step up to the Minn Kota.