What Is The Best Kayak Fish Finder 2020? Top Models Compared!
You may have wanted to go fishing, got all your gear packed, got up early, and went out. You spent the whole day at your favorite fishing spot, waiting for a nibble. While you swat the bugs away from you, the day starts to grow long. You wonder why the fish aren’t biting today. If you had the best kayak fish finder, you would be going home with a big catch. Instead, you tread back empty handed.
If you’re a person that loves mixing things up, you would appreciate for a kayak fish finder. Not only can you find where the fishes are hiding, but you can also get an idea of what’s under the waves.
Using the right fish finder allows you to track your movements, and stay away from dangerous rocks. Finding the best kayak fish finder doesn’t have to feel like finding a needle in a haystack. In fact, you can use this ultimate guide & review to find the right kayak fish finder for you.
Deeper Smart Portable 3.0 (Editor's Choice)
Garmin Striker 4 with Portable Kit
3.5", 5", 7"
iBobber Smart Fish Finder (Editor's Choice)
Humminbird 561 DI Fishfinder
Signstek FF 03 Portable
Lowrance Hook-4X Sonar
Fish Hunter Military Grade
Best Kayak Fish Finder Reviews
1. Deeper Smart Portable 3.0 Kayak Fishfinder
Connect with Smartphone’s and Tablets
The Deeper Smart Portable 3.0 connects with your Smartphone or tablet to give you the information you need. It is compatible with iOS and Android systems, allowing you to focus your fishing location. It connects via Bluetooth and includes a rechargeable battery.
Fish from Anywhere
No matter if you’re fishing in the kayak, on the shore, or off a dock, this finder works in just about any location. It can reach places other fish finders can’t, allowing you to improve your game. It’s ideal for anyone out on a kayak in the middle of the lake.
Dual Beam Frequencies
The Deeper 3.0 runs on dual beam frequencies, allowing you to tap into deep and shallow waters. It can run at 290kHz and 90kHz to help you find out where the fish are hiding. It can read depths up to 130 feet, allowing you to pick and choose what type of fish you want to catch.
The Deeper Smart Portable 3.0 has a free app you can use. It includes a fish activity calendar to let you know when they’re peaking. You can plan for the weather with the app. The diary allows you to keep notes. You can see where you are on the maps. You can share your catches with the sharing functions to social media.
- Compatible with Smartphone’s and tablets
- Bluetooth capable
- Rechargeable battery
- Versatile design
- Dual beam frequency
- Works in shallow and deep waters
2. Garmin Striker 4 with Portable Kit
Let’s have a look at the Garmin Striker 4 and everything that it has to offer for your upcoming fishing excursions. You will really enjoy the user-friendly nature of this device. It is extremely easy to install and use.
This device comes in two different sizes including a more compact 3.5 inch display, and a larger 7 inch display. This model uses a sophisticated waypoint map so that you can simply mark, view, and navigate any of the locations that you enjoy and would like to return to.
This fish finder has a touch key interface that let’s you easily punch in any and all of your essential features. This small model is also enabled with CHIRP sonar that sends out a continuous wave of frequencies in order to give your crisper fish arches and more accurate information for what is going on underneath the water.
- Equipped with CHIRP sonar for better locating surrounding fish and mapping out the floor beneath you
- This unit comes in either a 3.5 inch or a 7 inch display
- User-friendly push button display
- Integrated waypoint map that let you mark your favorite areas and key locations that you want to return
- Constant frequencies emitted to give you a better feedback on fish in the surrounding area
- Comes with a travel pack storage case
- The suction cup on this model does not work very well
- The flasher does not work that well
3. iBobber Smart FishFinder
The iBobber Smart Fish Finder has a patented sonar fish identification technology to give you an idea of what you’re looking at. You won’t have to guess the water temperature to figure out where your favorite fish is hiding. It’s the best way to make sure you’re using the proper bait to reel in the fish you want.
The rechargeable battery allows you to have a full battery when it’s running low. You won’t lose out on any fish when you can pop the fishfinder onto the charger and keep it alive. The charge status indicator light lets you know when your battery is running low, and need to plug it in.
The fish locator provides accurate readings down to a depth of 135 feet down. You won’t have to put too much guesswork into determining where the fish are located. It’s ideal for those that don’t want to put too much effort in trying to determine where a fish is hiding.
The built-in GPS guarantees you won’t get lost when you’re out on the water. You can tag your favorite spots, and interact with the map. There is a Trip Log to help you stay on top of your fishing spots. You can note the date, time, water temperature, conditions, type of fishing, etc.
- Bluetooth compatible
- Contour mapping
- Fish indicators
- Trip Log
- Social media sharing
- Rechargeable battery
4. Humminbird 561 DI FishFinder
The 561DI uses a grayscale display to show you where the fish are hiding. The fish finder has 16 levels of grayscale, allowing you to pick out the fish from other objects. The five-inch display is large enough to see everything in the water. It has 320 x 320-pixel resolution.
The built-in transducer allows you to take the whole fish finder in the kayak. You don’t need to install it onto your kayak. The fish finder has down imaging up to 350 feet down. The down imaging produces images straight under the kayak to give you an idea of how deep the water is.
When you’re out in a kayak, you may encounter rough waters. The SwitchFire feature adapts automatically to keep reading when you go through calm waters into rough waters. It’s ideal for those that want to take their fishing to a spot where they need to cross rapids.
Dual Beam Frequency
The 561DI uses a dual beam frequency to give you the most information about what’s under the water. The two sonar beams allow you to use the finder for greater versatility. No matter where you want to fish, you can count on the fish finder to give you the most accurate information.
- Grayscale LCD
- Five-inch screen
- SwitchFire feature
- Dual beam frequency
- 320 x 320 pixels
- 500-watt RMS
- 4000-watt peak to peak
5. Signstek FF 003 Portable
Bright, Colorful Display
The Signstek FF003 has a beautiful and bright display. It features over 500 different colors to give you the most information. It is easy to read in direct sunlight, allowing you to find the fish quick and easy. The white LED front light is ideal for taking the fish finder out when it gets dark.
The FF003 has 100 different levels of sensitivity for different types of fishing. You can use it in shallow and deep water to locate the fish. The multi-level depth range lets you know how deep the water is. No matter if you’re in shallow or deep water, you can determine where the fish are located.
Bottom Contour Indicator
The FF003 has a bottom contour indicator to help you locate cracks and other objects laying on the floor. It features a water temperature gauge to let you know if you’re in the hot or cold zone. You can adjust your fishing tactics to locate the fish you want to catch.
The device is easy to operate and program for your fishing needs. You just turn the power on and put in your location. It works from your kayak or the shore, allowing you to track down where the fish are hiding. You can use the fish finder no matter where you go.
- 512 colors
- Sunlight readable display
- 100 levels of sensitivity
- Water temperature gauge
- Accurate to 1/10th precision
- Bottom contour indicator
6. Lowrance Hook-4X Sonar
Let’s take a look at the Lowrance Hook-4X and what it has to offer. This model comes with a bright, high-resolution 4 inch color display, so that everything on your screen is really easy to see clearly. This compact fish finder model uses a combination of Downscan Imaging plus CHIRP sonar to give you the clearest view possible beneath your boat and into the water that surrounds you.
It uses Downscan overlay technology to cleverly overlay your downscan imaging onto your CHIRP sonar, so that you get as transparent view possible of the water. This sleek fish finder uses Advanced Signal Processing, which makes it significantly easier to use than some models.
ASP dramatically the reduces the amount of time that you need to spend manually adjusting the settings on your finder, to see fish. You can use the track back system on this model to go back and review previously recorded sonar history, so you can go over your fish targets, pinpoint locations, and structures.
- Uses CHIRP sonar to accurately find fish underneath your boat
- Uses a combination of CHIRP sonar and downscan imaging overlay to give you the best possible view of fish and the water/terrain around you
- This model uses an advanced signal processing system so that you don’t have to keep manually adjusting it to be able to see fish
- Track back system that allows you to go over previously recorded data on your fish finder so that you can revisit your favorite locations and fish targets
- This system looks awesome and offers a lot, but it isn’t actually that easy to navigate the display or the software
- The manual that comes with this fish finder is really difficult to understand also
- Will not read the speed of your boat or kayak
7. FishHunter Military Grade Portable
The FishHunter Military Grade is Bluetooth compatible, allowing you to sync it with your Smartphone or tablet. It can reach casting ranges up to 80 feet. You can rely on the information coming back to from the fish finder. It’s ideal for anyone that don’t want a complicated fish finder.
Depth Range up to 100 Feet
The depth range of this fish finder is 100 feet down. It does work for ice fishing, reaching depths up to 60 feet. For a track jig, this fish finder works up to 30 feet. You can get an excellent idea of where the fish are under the surface. It’s ideal for those wanting to locate the fish in any area.
Has Everything You Need
The fish finder has a full charging station, mini USB cable, the manual, and a carrying bag. When the battery starts to run low, you can plug it in and let it recharge for a few minutes. Since you’ll have everything you need for an excellent fishing experience, it will be that much better.
Get Detailed Information
The fish finder uses military grade equipment to deliver the best information straight to your Smartphone or tablet. You can get details on the fish you’re looking for, and what type of bait you should use. It’s ideal for those who are serious about taking home the biggest fish in the pond.
- Bluetooth compatible
- Military-grade equipment
- Reaches depths up to 100 feet
- Charging station
- Mini USB cable
- Carrying bag
- Upload photos to social media
How to Choose the Right Kayak Fish Finder
You need a fish finder that works well when you’re out on the water. You should be able to read the screen easily. You should consider the amount of wattage the fish finder uses to decide. Fishfinders with low wattage power don’t put out easy to read information and can become a burden. When you’re out in a kayak, and you don’t know the depth, the readings can be slow. It’s ideal if you’re in shallow water, but doesn’t do you any good when you’re in the middle of open water. Typically, a fish locator should run faster to keep up with the water.
If you get a fish finder with a display that’s difficult to read, it won’t help you. The screen resolution is measured in pixels. Just like your TV at home, the more pixels it displays, the better the display quality. The screen resolution and size of the screen will determine if the fish finder is right for you. If you’re looking for the right fish finder for kayak fishing, there are screen resolutions with 640 x 640 pixels. The least you should consider is 240 x 160 pixels. It makes a huge difference when you can tell the difference between a rock and a fish.
The transducer is important parts of a fish finder. It emits sonar waves into the water. The sonar signals bounce off objects in the water and come back to the transducer. There are different types of transducers available, with some of them better than others. For a kayak, you want a transducer that is easy to install inside the kayak. If your kayak is fiberglass, the fish finder would be a bronze transducer. It will fit perfectly in the kayak, and give you the correct readings.
Along with the transducer, the cone angle is important to finding the best kayak fish finder on the market. The cone angles typically come in varying degrees, from 9-60 degrees. 20-degree cones are ideal for fishing in all depths of water, allowing you to change from depth to depth quickly. One thing to keep in mind is that the higher degree of the finder, the more area it covers. While this is ideal for fishing in large water bodies, the sensitivity will go down the higher the angle. You should consider where you’re going to fish the most, and prepare the best you can.
The frequency of the fish finder allows you to tune into the depths under the surface. They operate in dual, single, or multiple frequencies, and they all have their benefits. Fishfinders come in frequencies of 50, 83, 192, and 200 kHz. When you’re trying to find the portable fish finder, you want to consider where you’re fishing. Higher frequencies are ideal for shallow waters, while deeper depths operate better on lower frequencies. You can map out where you’re going to fish and get an idea of how the deep the water is before you decide which to get.
Advantages of the Kayak Fish Finder
Determine Fish Location
Under the surface of the water, fish have plenty of hiding spaces. When you can locate where the fish are hiding, you can zero in on their location. It’s an easier way to find fish than keep your line out in the water.
Determine the depth of the Water
One problem with fishing without a fish finder is that you don’t know how far down the water goes. Fish can be near the top or the bottom, but you don’t know the difference when you don’t have a fish finder. Determining the depth will give you an idea of what you’ll find in the water.
Get the Temperature of the Water
Knowing the temperature of the water is good for any fisherman. You can find out where the hot and cold zones are, which helps you locate fish. There are certain species of fish that prefer colder temperatures to hot, and vice versa. Knowing the water temperature allows you to locate what you want to catch.
They’re not too Expensive
While the misconception is that fish finders are expensive, this isn’t such the case. You can find some of the fish finders under $200, but there are some that cost thousands. Determining how you’re going to use the fish finder will go a long way to find the right fish finder for you.
What is a Good Price for a Kayak Fish Finder on the Market?
Determining what features, you want, and how powerful you want it, a fish finder can be expensive. It doesn’t have to be that way, though, as you can find the fish finder for a good price. If you’re looking for a good price for a good fish finder, you can expect to spend between $200 and $500. Things like the display, transducer, and cone angle can all add up. You won’t have to spend the thousands of dollars for a fish finder, but you should consider what features you need. They won’t break the bank, but you should consider what quality you want, and determine the price.
Fish finders are ideal for any fishing lover, and they can help tremendously. They allow you to place your favorite fishing spots down on the map so that you can come back later. Fishing without a fish finder is doing a disservice to yourself. If you want to stay in the game and get the biggest fish you can find you need a fish finder. They are inexpensive and provide crucial information about your fishing spots.
If you’re looking for the best kayak fish finder, the Deeper Smart Portable 3.0 is highly recommended. It does everything you want a fish finder to do and includes a rechargeable battery. You can sync it up with your smartphone or table to get the information directly to your hands. You won’t be disappointed when you’re using this fish finder and showing your catch off to your friends on Facebook.
[updated January 2019]
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