Can You Add A Foot Pedal To A Trolling Motor: Convert Your Trolling Motor To Foot Control

Can you add a foot pedal to a trolling motor
Can you add a foot pedal to a trolling motor?

If you have a hand-controlled trolling motor, you know how challenging it’s to control the boat and fish simultaneously. Also, to maintain the boat using hand control motors, you need to keep standing and move around the boat frequently, which is pretty tiring.

And when you face these problems, you may wonder can you add a foot pedal to a trolling motor? Fortunately, it’s possible. Foot-controlled trolling motors are flexible to mount anywhere, convenient, and more accurate than hand controllers. 

In the following discussion, we’ll share with you what types of foot pedals are available and how you can convert your trolling motor into foot control easily. So let’s get into the details!

Can You Add A Foot Pedal To A Trolling Motor?

Yes, you can add a foot pedal, and the easiest way to convert to foot-controlled from hand-controlled is by adding a trolling motor foot switch. There are many benefits of using a foot pedal.

With a foot switch, you can easily interrupt your trolling motor power without needing to move frequently from your seat to reach the handle. When you use a hand-controlled trolling motor, you need to focus on controlling it, which distracts you from fishing and makes it challenging to fish alone.

But the foot pedal makes fishing alone easier and won’t distract your focus from fishing. Also, you can move around in the water without standing all the time. Foot pedals are easy to control, even when you’re sitting on the seat. 

However, you should ensure that the foot switch you’re choosing is compatible with your trolling motor. In fact, some trolling motor manufacturers have their own foot pedals that need to be installed with the motor if you want to convert it.

Here are some additional tips for installing a foot pedal trolling motor:

  • Make sure the foot pedal is compatible with your trolling motor.
  • Follow the instructions carefully when installing the foot pedal.
  • Test the foot pedal to make sure it is working correctly.

Variations Of Foot Pedal For Trolling Motor

There’re 3 variations for trolling motor foot pedal available in the market. These are:

  1. Conventional Foot Steer: These foot switches contain the pedal on the mounted trolling motor with a cable. But this cable is still, so you may find it a little uncomfortable while moving on the boat.
  2. Electric Steer Foot Switch: This type of foot switch comes with a lengthy electric cable. This cable is attached between the engine and the foot switch. These foot switches are convenient to use since you can set them in any suitable steering position.
  3. Wireless Foot Switch: These pedals are cable-free and can be placed anywhere in the boat. If you don’t like handling cables, wireless pedals are ideal for you.

How To Convert Manual Trolling Motor To Foot Control?

The process of converting a manual trolling motor to foot control can be different depending on the brand and compatible trolling motor. But the general steps of installation are pretty similar for most of the foot pedals.

Here are the general steps on how to set up a trolling motor with foot control:

  • First, you need to find the power cable that controls the trolling motor. The colors of the two wires are most likely red and black. 
  • Now select the place where you want to set your foot switch.
  • Cut one of the wires to adjust the length and to reach the place where you’ve placed the foot switch. However, it doesn’t matter whether you cut the red one or the black one; there’s no specific rule that you have to cut the negative (black) wire.
  • Attach the foot switch between the wires that you just cut. The connection will transfer a large amp load, so ensure that connections are watertight and secured.
  • You can use solder or crimp to connect the wires together. Now cover the connection in a shrink tube or wrap it using electric tape.
  • The final step is to store the wires safely behind the gunnel so that it doesn’t come in contact with water and bother you while moving. 

Note: If it seems that you can’t do it by yourself, kindly contact a professional electrician or someone who knows how to do it.

How To Operate Trolling Motor Using Foot Pedal?

In the above discussion, we shared the types of foot pedals and how to convert trolling motor to foot control. Now let’s learn how to operate a trolling motor after converting it into a foot control motor.

How to operate trolling motor forward using foot pedal:

  • Sit on the seat that’s closest to the foot control of the trolling motor.
  • Now choose the speed that you want to use on the trolling motor. Most trolling motors come with speed numbers ranging from 1 to 5 or 1 to 10. The lowest number is the slowest speed and the highest is the fastest.
  • Press on the Momentary or Constant control switch on the foot control located near the sides or ends. When you press one of these control switches, your trolling motor will start, and the boat will start to move forward. However, some models only have the Constant control switch.

Note: “Momentary” switch is used for running the motor for a short time. And the “Constant” is used for running the motor continuously till you snap it off. 

How to operate the trolling motor left and right using the foot pedal:

  • Press the Toe Down located on the front side of the foot control to turn right. And to turn left, press on the Heel Down on the rear side of the foot control. This setting can vary depending on the construction system of the manufacturer.
  • If you release the foot control, it’ll start going forward again.

Advanced Features For Foot Controlled Trolling Motor

When you go to the market or want to purchase foot control for trolling motor, you should look for some advanced features. Here are some advanced features that your foot control should have:

  • Digital screen to readout the settings quickly
  • More than 5-speed control for convenience
  • Separate button for controlling the speed
  • Easy to pedal foot control for less straining on the leg and a comfortable long day on the water
  • Control button for operating the boat. It would be better if the pedal supports both the “Constant” and “Momentary” control options.


  • Are Minn Kota foot pedals interchangeable?

No, Minn Kota foot pedals aren’t interchangeable. Some models of foot pedals are manufactured with functions that only can be used with specific models, and Minn Kota is one of them.

  • How do you adjust a trolling motor foot pedal?

To adjust the trolling motor foot pedal, you have to first remove the top of the trolling motor. Then unscrew the keeper and lift out the gear. Now move the foot pedal to your comfortable position and put the gear back in its place. 

  • How do you install a trolling motor foot control tray?

If you want to install a trolling motor foot control tray, you need to get the measurement of the tray first. Now cut through the boat where you want to place the control tray following the measurement. Once you’re done cutting, place the tray and screw it to fix it.

  • What Minn Kota Have Advanced AutoPilot?

The AutoPilot system of Minn Kota trolling motors offers advanced features that help you head in the right direction and steer your boat automatically. Some models of Minn Kota, such as Ulterra, Ultrex, PowerDrive, and Terrova, feature advanced AutoPilot systems. 

Final Thoughts

From the above discussion, you got the answer regarding, whether can you add a foot pedal to a trolling motor, available types of foot control, and how to set the control to your trolling motor.

While purchasing a foot pedal, you must ensure that it’s compatible with your trolling motor, doesn’t take much space in your boat, operation type, and has a number of speed controls. The more advanced these factors are, the better the foot pedal is.

If you find this article helpful, kindly share this guide with your fisher friends or someone who might need it. Enjoy fishing!

Anthony Jones
Anthony Jones

Anthony is an expert in fishing and trolling motor equipment, based in Austin. In his free time, he can often be found out on the water, perfecting his fishing techniques and testing out the latest gear.

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