Let's face it, that old mud motor from two years ago isn't cuttin' it any longer.
Of course, it takes power to get a boat to the birds. For every rig on the market, there's the right motor for it. Today's mud motors are more reliable and powerful than ever. They push boats across dense mats of vegetation and boot-sucking mud and skim over water a regular outboard could never cross.
Getting there isn't always half the fun, but with the right rig, you can rest easy knowing you'll get to the ducks. Here are eight of the best mud motor choices for 2016.
Mayhem Mud Motors | $TBD
Big or small, Mayhem has an affordable longtail motor just for your boat, including engines from 6.5-hp to 35-hp. They all come with a sealed bearing system and use a Briggs & Stratton Vanguard electric start motor, which comes with a 3-year guarantee. The cavitation plate is interchangeable and the motor is covered with a zinc powder coat finish.
Mud Buddy HDR | $6,645
Backing up got you down? The new HDR (Hyper Drive Reverse) 25-hp uses an electric shift to go from forward, neutral and reverse with the flick of a switch. Even better, it's packed with add-ons not found on many other mud motors like a stainless steel skeg, stainless drive tube and a Mercury power trim. It's now available in Optifade camo, too.
Go-Devil | $4,095 (27-hp)
Warren Coco brought mud motors to the duck hunting world nearly four decades ago. The company's reputation for quality has kept them at the top of the industry since. Available in 6.5-hp up to a 37-hp model, G-D longtails come with electric starts, bronze bushings, a carbon steel frame and stainless props as standard features.
Backwater Swomp Lite 23 | $3,350
Mud motors are heavy, but the duck men at Backwater managed to shave a few pounds off the SWOMP Lite 23-hp longtail. Weighing 160 pounds, it's one of the lightest mud motors in its class. It comes with a stainless exhaust, stainless/weedless prop, an electric start and backup recoil.
Backwater Performance Systems
Modern mud motors are reliable machines, but there's always more you can add on to soup-up that big block. BPS sells repair parts and upgrades for Briggs & Stratton engines, including carburetor kits, mufflers, EFI systems and more. Make your motor run better and cleaner, or bring it back to life.
BPS also sells a host of accessories like new props, boat blinds and even bowfishing gear. Because duck season has to end sometime.
Pro Drive 37 | $6,670
Built to push a boat through mud as thick as Cajun gumbo, P-D's 37-hp surface-drive is as reliable as it is powerful. It's built with a Vanguard Big Block V-Twin and features a digital CDI ignition, stainless muffler, high-capacity fuel pump and a 20/50 amp alternator. It also comes with hydraulic trim, stainless prop, instant forward and neutral, and optional auto-reverse.
Freedom Motors | $10,450 (40-hp)
Freedom couples the durability and versatility of a mud motor with the power and reliability of an outboard. Available in 40- and 60-hp, they have a closed-loop cooling system, allowing the motor to run in shallow water and mud. They also feature a custom jack plate and a free-float and reverse locking system.
Boss Drives 4400 | $8,145
Yeah, it's a beast. At 44-hp, it's one of the largest manufacturer-made mud motors out there. It not only hauls butt, it's loaded with features like a hydraulic trim, stainless prop, rapid-shift forward, neutral and reverse and twin trim controls. The drive train uses gears instead of belts and it is remote hydraulic steer capable. Bossdrives.com