Choosing The Correct Propeller

So now you’ve got that new fishing rig all decked out with the latest and greatest fishing gear and electronics. You drop that baby into the water, touch her in gear, throttle down, and all of a sudden your rig is nose in the air, ploughing water ever-so painstakingly slow!

Well, you probably looked at prepping everything except one of the most important things: your motor’s propeller.

Choosing the right prop for your boat is not just an “Oh, that’ll work” decision. There are lots of criteria to consider.

Do you want top-end speed to get to that tournament hotspot first?

Do you want a quick hole-shot to scoot you out of a weed-choked bay?

Do you want a great mid-range running prop that saves you lots of gas money on that long trek?

Or how about the absolute best trolling prop while speeding for muskie or barely moving for Walleye?

There are so many things to consider.


The propeller has what’s called a hub (the inner circular piece that everything’s attached to) surrounded by blades. The blades are twisted so they push water toward the rear as they rotate. This pushing is what propels the boat forward through the water.

Props sizes are defined by two numbers expressing diameter and pitch.


Diameter is the overall size of the blade as measured from the tips. A large diameter propeller can push more water than a small diameter propeller.

Pitch is the distance the propeller will move the boat after one revolution. A low-pitched propeller creates more power because of higher RPMs, but the boat will move slower. A high-pitched prop allows the boat to move faster by travelling a farther distance with each rotation.

Confused yet? Me too. And that’s why Mercury has come up with a brilliant idea wherein you input your type of boat, the size of your motor and your needs as far as performance is concerned, and Merc will figure things out for you. It really is a dream come true to make this part of your fishing life much easier.

Click here to go to Mercury’s Prop Selector page

One Reply to “Choosing The Correct Propeller”

  1. Boat propellers, “screws” as we called them in the Navy, are as you all know, the life blood of any watercraft. Take a hit there from an unnoticed shoal or submerged log torpedo and you are dead in the water.

    Even a slight nick in one of the blades will unbalance the “screw” and ruin the bearings and gears in your outboard or inboard motor. Be aware of over powering you motor and becoming too complacent with it’s performance. Discarded fishing line and other such material are another hazard to keep in mind. These are a bearing and “O” ring killers for sure.

    Common sense and the fore mentioned idea from Mercury will keep you out of trouble and “in balance” with nature. So “pitch” away!

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