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You’ve found your way here because you want to add a motor to your kayak. Awesome! It will take your kayak fishing experience to a whole new level. But, you’re really here because you’ve also found a ton of information and it’s overwhelming. You’re asking yourself, “what size of battery do I need to run an electric motor,” “how long will the battery last,” and “what voltage is correct!?”
We are going to focus specifically on lithium batteries. Lithium batteries pack more power in a smaller space and are lighter than acid-based batteries. Obviously, this is important in a kayak because space and weight capacities are always at a premium.
Let’s break down some basics:
Why Lithium-ion Batteries?
Lithium-ion batteries are widely used in fishing kayaks due to their high energy density and long lifespan. Again, their high density and longer lifespan are packed into a smaller amount of space and are much lighter compared to acid batteries. With limited space in a kayak, having a more efficient battery that takes up less room is really important.
Understanding the basic principles of these batteries and the meaning of certain terms is crucial for making informed decisions when purchasing or using a lithium battery. One such term is "Ah."
What Does Ah Stand For & What Does It Mean?
An ampere-hour (Ah) is a unit of electrical charge. It is defined as the amount of electric charge that flows through a circuit in one hour with a current of one ampere. In plain terms, it is a measure of the capacity of a battery to store and deliver electric energy. The more ampere-hours a battery has, the more energy it can store and the longer it can provide power to a device before it needs to be recharged.
When it comes to lithium-ion batteries, Ah is used to specify the capacity of the battery. The capacity is the amount of energy that a battery can store and deliver to a device. A higher Ah value means the battery has a larger capacity, so it can provide power to a device for a longer period of time before it needs to be recharged.
How Long Will My Battery Last?
It's important to note that the actual capacity of a lithium-ion battery can be affected by various factors such as temperature, age, and discharge rate. A high discharge rate means that a large amount of current is drawn from the battery in a short period of time, which reduces its capacity. Conversely, a low discharge rate means that a small amount of current is drawn from the battery over a long period of time, which can preserve its capacity. Again, in plain terms, the faster you throttle your electric motor, the faster you drain the battery and factors like a windy day with big waves will drain your battery more quickly as well.
That was a lot of information to take in. Don’t feel bad if you still find yourself wondering, “OK, but what battery do I actually need!?” Amped Outdoors put together a really useful visual guide for their batteries using an Old Town AutoPilot 120 on a lake on a calm day. Like mentioned above, actual results will vary for everyone depending on weather conditions and other factors.
Other Factors to Consider
Another thing to consider before purchasing your battery is making sure the battery is compatible with the motor or electronics in your kayak. Specifically, check:
Can I Run My Fish Finder on the Same Battery?
Technically the answer to this question is yes, but we don't recommend it. You may experience interference on your fish finder if you run both your motor and your fish finder off of the same battery. However, fish finders and smaller electronics require much less of a power draw, so you can purchase a much smaller Ah battery to power your additional electronics.
At Eco Fishing Shop, we carefully choose batteries that work best with kayak fishing accessories and motors. In the end, it comes down to finding the best match for your needs. If you plan on participating in long weekends or tournaments, opting for the bigger 100Ah batteries will allow you to fish a weekend tournament without the need to recharge your battery. If you are more of a casual angler looking to get out once a weekend and won’t be pushing your motor to its max, a smaller 54Ah or 60Ah would provide more than enough power.
Lithium Batteries to Pair With Your Kayak Motor
Dakota Lithium 12V 7Ah
Dakota Lithium 12V 10Ah
Amped Outdoors 12V 15Ah
Dakota Lithium 12V 18Ah
Dakota Lithium 12V 23Ah
Amped Outdoors 12v 60Ah
Dakota Lithium Deep Cycle 12V 54Ah
Dakota Lithium DL + 12V 60Ah
Amped Outdoors 12V 100Ah
Dakota Lithium 12v Deep Cycle 100Ah
Dakota Lithium DL + 12v 135Ah
Dakota Lithium 12v 200Ah
If you didn't see what you are looking for or if you need batteries with different voltages other than 12V, check out our full lineup of Amped Outdoors and Dakota Lithium batteries here.
If you find yourself overwhelmed or still unsure which kayak, motor, or battery is best for you, check out some of our additional resources. A great place to start is by joining our public community, The Kayak Anglers Resource, where you can ask questions of members who have real experience. Or, check out our YouTube channels for reviews and how-tos: Eco Fishing Shop and Kayak Anglers Resource.
Learn from other kayak anglers who were in your shoes and asking some of the same questions. Here are some of their discussions you may find useful to jump in on:
Browse all of our blogs and Buyer's Guides to most of our brands below. To check out our full range of the best fishing kayaks and accessories we have to offer, available to you via free and fast shipping, click HERE. We are happy to help and answer any questions. Click the chat button, give us a call or ask your questions in the public community, we will be there to answer no matter how you communicate!