If the question ‘can you use a freshwater trolling motor in saltwater’ hangs in your head, look no further. Making the adroit use of a trolling motor can certainly help you in your hunt for catching certain types of fish. However, using the right one for the right conditions is imperative.
With their ability to allow you to move at slow consistent speeds across the water, trolling motors give your bait or lure the right action while operating quietly to ensure that you don’t scare the fish away. On that note, it’s important to keep your trolling motor in optimum conditions.
You can use a freshwater trolling motor in saltwater but it’s not recommended. There’s a significant difference between freshwater and saltwater trolling motors and these differences make it tricky to use the two interchangeably.
This guide hopes to give you a quick overview of all you need to know.
Is It Possible to Use a Freshwater Trolling Motor in Saltwater?
There are significant differences between saltwater and freshwater trolling motors, which makes it obvious that these can’t really be used interchangeably.
So, if someone ever asks you if you can use a freshwater trolling motor in saltwater, you understand exactly why you should ideally say no.
Difference Between Freshwater and Saltwater Trolling Motors
As their names suggest, freshwater and saltwater trolling motors are made to cater to certain external conditions.
The main difference between freshwater and saltwater trolling motors is that, unlike freshwater bodies, saltwater bodies have a high salt content that can harm any trolling motor that doesn’t have the ability to manage it.
Saltwater trolling motors come with a layer of protection against the corrosion that accompanies use in salt water. Freshwater, with its absence of salt, operates easily without such protective layers.
Saltwater engineered alterations on a trolling motor firstly include the general use of stainless-steel hardware, along with sealed electrical connections and advanced painting techniques. These measures allow effective protection against corrosion.
Another difference between the two comes with the presence of a sacrificial anode present on saltwater trolling motors which are extremely effective when it comes to protecting the motor from rust.
Keep in mind that even though you can use a freshwater trolling motor in salty water conditions, it’s crucial that you make sure to wash the motor thoroughly before and after using it.
What Happens to a Freshwater Trolling Motor If You Use It in Saltwater?
The main issue is the development of rust due to the high salt content in the water.
Rust and deposits of salt can settle on battery terminals, blocking the supply of power and messing with the appliance’s performance. Removing this rust is a tedious process and is irreversible in more severe cases.
Ways to Protect Your Freshwater Trolling Motor After Using It in Saltwater
Considering how 71% of the earth is covered in salt water, it’s entirely possible for there to be a need of using your freshwater trolling motor in saltwater.
In such cases, there are some ways to make sure you don’t cause too much damage to the freshwater trolling motor.
Grease It Down
Firstly, keep in mind that it’s advisable to thoroughly coat all the exposed parts of your trolling motor in clear grease. This grease forms a protective layer between the appliance and the water, preventing it from the brunt of harm.
Give It a Good Wipe-Down
Moreover, it’s always a good idea to make the effort to thoroughly wipe down your trolling motor after use, preferably after giving it a good rinse with fresh water. This applies to saltwater trolling motors as well as even they aren’t immune to the effects of salt in the long term.
Avoid Exposing It to the Salty Water for Too Long
In addition to this, you should take care that your freshwater trolling motor doesn’t stay submerged in saltwater for longer than necessary.
Prolonged exposure to salty conditions can cause serious damage to a freshwater trolling motor, even if you give it a good rub down after the expedition. A new freshwater trolling motor can easily corrode in prolonged salty water conditions within a year.
Keeping these precautions in mind will surely help you protect your fishing companion and only then can you use a freshwater trolling motor.
Choosing the Right Trolling Motor
Those who love to fish can’t undervalue the role of using a trolling motor.
Since trolling motors help you reach your desired fishing spot with a minimum amount of noise, they can determine the number of fish that you catch. This is because motors that are too loud can easily frighten away the fish underwater.
You need to look at yourself and gauge your specific requirements. Saltwater is usually a larger expanse of water body, thus you may need GPS and other tracking devices that can help you locate and reach specific fishing spots.
Thus, it’s primarily important to consider the features necessary to your trip before deciding on a particular trolling motor.
The rational thing to do is consider how well suited a particular trolling motor is to your planned fishing trip.
Fishing trolling motors are used to find the ideal position for your boat over a body of water, to ensure you get the best chance of making a terrific catch.
The crucial difference between a freshwater trolling motor and saltwater trolling motor is the material used, where the latter is built to withstand high salt exposure.
Though both trolling motors can be used interchangeably as their functions are the same, to increase their life it’s important to give them the right care by cleaning them regularly.