Release the Kraken


Garmin’s trolling motor is a game-changer for anglers.

By Gregg Mansfield

Long before Garmin released its Force Kraken to the public, charter captain Eric Davis was testing the product and providing feedback to the electronics manufacturer.

Davis felt the Force Kraken was a game-changer in terms of technology and ease of catching fish.

“If you are following a fish or around fish, you are quiet,” said Davis while piloting the Pathfinder 2400 Open. “These things are so quiet that you can get very close to fish. It’s mucho beneficial for the angler.”

Davis believes what separates the Force Kraken from other trolling motors on the market is the technology packed into it. The trolling motor uses GPS and an altitude and heading reference system (AHRS) to hold precise boat positions over rock piles or shoals.

Img 7249w
Charter captain Eric Davis demonstrates how the remote works on the new trolling motor.

When wirelessly integrated with Garmin chartplotters, anglers can create patterns and tracks for the trolling motor to follow while fishing. For Davis, one of the best features is the wireless remote to help navigate anywhere in the boat.

Davis while in the bow of the Pathfinder pointed the remote toward a rock bank and the boat followed his cue. The remote allows the angler to use a virtual anchor lock and autopilot functionality. The trolling motor can also be controlled through a Garmin smartwatch.

Select Kraken models include a built-in GT56UHD all-in-one transducer with Ultra High-Definition ClearVü and SideVü scanning sonar along with CHIRP traditional sonar for image clarity of structure and fish below and to the sides of the boat. Additional Garmin transducers can be added. 

Anglers can install forward-facing sonar, like LiveScope, on a pivot-style trolling motor by routing the transducer cable inside the trolling motor shaft thanks to Kraken’s new LiveScope cable management system. With the Kraken LiveScope Mounting Bracket, any LiveScope transducer can be installed and operated in all three modes—forward, down and perspective.

Img 7252w

Kraken’s brushless motor uses a high-efficiency propeller to produce 100 pounds of thrust on a 36-volt system, or 80 pounds on a 24-volt system. While other trolling motors claim a higher pound-thrust, Garmin used international standards, which are more rigid.

“It is the most powerful motor on the market today,” Davis said. “I’ve used a lot of trolling motors and there’s no doubt in my mind the (Kraken) is the most powerful I’ve used.”

Davis has three batteries on his boat to run the Force Kraken trolling motor and the system will warn when the battery levels are low.

“I’ve never run it down. You would have to be using it a lot for that to happen,” Davis said. “It will give you a warning and as you go down in voltage, it gives you more and more of a warning.”

Garmin’s Kraken is offered in white in 63-, 75- and 90-inch shaft lengths, or black in 63- and 75-inch lengths. Both black Kraken models are sold with a GT56UHD transducer.

The Kraken, which debuted in late 2023, retails for between $3,700 and $4,300, depending on the model. 

Garmin Marine,