Trolling Plate Vs Kicker: Discusstion You Were Looking For

Trolling plate refers to an attachment fixed to the boat’s motor. Its main function is to help in stabilizing the boat and ensure its movements on the waters are stabilized. This plate helps in reducing output to ensure one has a comfortable ride. 

Kickers help in protecting the outboard motor together with the boat from damage whenever one is maneuvering in waters with debris or shallow waters. They are very ideal whenever one runs into timber, unseen stumps or a sandbar. 

In this article, we will be looking at how the trolling plate vs kicker works, their benefits, people who should use them and their differences. 

Overview of Trolling Plate

How it works

Trolling plate is bolted to outdrive or outboard cavitation place with the angler simply throttling back and pulling the ripcord to help in releasing the plate. 

The springs will drop the plate to down position and lock into place thereby diverting props thrust. This will in turn make it possible for the anglers to get to reduced trolling speeds of up to 1 mile in an hour as they maintain steering control. 

The angler will pull the ripcord again to help in unlocking the plate and thereafter throttles up when it is time to head out. Prop thrust will push the plate back into up position where it will lock. When in the up position, the plate will offer little drag and life benefits of the hydrofoil. 

Benefits of Using Trolling Plate Side

Helps in stopping the boat 

The trolling plate will always lock into place when it’s properly seated helping in halting the boat. When you want to proceed with speed, you just release the trolling plate by pulling on the cord. 

Stabilizing the boat 

Trolling plates come with fins which busy appendages are moving back and forth ensuring the boat is stable. 

Minimizes Accidents 

Trolling plates are able to redirect the boat from any underwater barrier or to slow it down, reducing impact. This in turn minimizes accidents. 

Who are Ideal Buyers?

Anglers and boating lovers are the most ideal people who should purchase trolling plates. The trolling plates will help them reduce accidents, ensure their boats are stable and help them be in control of their boats. 

Overview of Kicker

How it works

Kicker is usually attached to one side of the boat and hinged to the outside post which the outboard motor is attached to. The Kicker works with both hydraulic and manual plates. This will allow the person using the boat to have complete control of the motor’s height in shallow waters. Kickers can work with both the bolt on and clamp on motors of up to 150 HP. 

Benefits of Using Kicker

Here are some of the benefits that comes with using the Kicker 

Personal Safety 

Whenever you are maneuvering waters with debris or shallow waters, hitting an object can throw unsuspecting people overboard. Use of kickers will help in reducing the force of the impact. 

Reduces Boat and Engine Damage 

The Kicker will help in moving the boat engine out of the way ensuring there is less or no damage to the engine. It will also help in preventing any form of collision to the boat. 

Prevents Outboard Motor Kick up 

There is always a safety mechanism in place that helps in preventing the motor from harming the boater in case the boat struck an object. 

Who are Ideal Buyers?

Anglers, hunters and boating enthusiasts can all benefit from kickers. Kickers help in mitigating damage to the boat and allowing one to reach places they might not be able to reach with the standard outboard motor. 

Trolling Plate Vs Kicker

Here are some of the main differences between the Trolling Plate and the Kicker 


Kickers are known to be far much better when it comes to controlling. With kickers, the boater will be able to keep hours to offer the big motor and the trolling speed will be in their control.  

With trolling plates, if you forget to lift the trolling plate and throttle up, there are possibilities of serious damage. 

Fuel Consumption 

Kickers are known to be very economical in terms of fuel consumption. They will help you save a lot on fuel purchases. 

Trolling plates use more energy hence more fuel consumption when compared to the kickers. 


Kickers are a bit costly when compared to the trolling plates. However, after the initial painful purchase, they do have qualities that make them cost-effective.  

Trolling plates are quite affordable. However, on a long-term basis, one risks spending a lot, especially on maintenance and repair. 


Can you use a trolling plate with hydrofoil?

It is possible to use a trolling plate with a hydrofoil. The hydrofoil can be bolted to help increase lift. This will ensure the angler enjoys the benefits that come with both the trolling plate and the hydrofoil. 

Do I need a kicker motor to troll?

Not at all! However, it will be less enticing to any prospective purchaser hurting the resale value. In case you do not have plans on selling it, then there is never a problem with the trolling hours. 

How do you control a kicker motor?

There is an outboard steering motor which makes it possible for one to control the kicker motor.  There is a universal pivot ball joint assembly which allows for a fast attachment or detachment and offers the unrestricted movement of the engines ensuring one comfortably steers the kicker motor. 

What is a good size kicker motor?

The high thrust models range from 9.9hp which is the size of the horsepower that the majority of the boaters prefer when using a kicker. Anything below that size will be a standard non-high thrust model. 

Final Thoughts

Both the trolling plate and Kicker are tools that will help you enjoy your boating experience. With these two installed, you will not have to focus so much on what is underneath the water and you will be in a position of avoiding accidents. 

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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