Choosing The Correct Propeller for Your Boat

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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

Pete Bowman

Pete, one of the most revered and popular anglers in the nation, has a tremendous love for the game… the fishing game. Pete’s vast knowledge of angling and ability to articulate it to audiences worldwide has endeared him to his fans who still see Pete as just “ONE OF THE BOYS”. Pete is also an accomplished and published outdoor writer and photographer as well as a sought-after speaker. In 2012 another of Pete’s ultimate fishing career highlights occurred when he was inducted into the Canadian Angler Hall Of Fame, something he never thought would happen. A Canadian fishing icon.

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