8 Best Fish Finders for Kayak Fishing [Buying Guide 2020]

Kayaking is an exhilarating hobby. On its own, it offers a refreshing reprieve out on the water away from all the chaos. For the fishing enthusiast, it also offers the opportunity to take home a good catch that you can enjoy with friends or family at the end of the day.

best fish finders for kayak

As any fisherman would know, casual or otherwise, fishing is not just a game of chance. The right tools can mean the difference between coming back with a bucketload or coming back with a few measly fish that would have fared better in an aquarium.

A fish finder is a fisherman’s eyes underwater. It scans and detects sea life and their movement patterns so fishermen can plan their move for the best chance of success.

However, not all fish finders are made equal, and very few are made specifically for kayaking. We reviewed some of the best fish finders for kayak fishing on the market that you can buy today.

Quick Overview – 8 Best Fish Finders for Kayak

Comparison of Top 8 Best Kayak Fish Finders 2020

PreviewProductKey FeaturesPrice


  • Display: 3.5-Inch
  • Maximum Depth: 1,600 feet
  • Transmit Power: 200 W (RMS)
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  • Display: 2.55 Inch
  • Maximum Depth: 260 ft
  • Connection type: Wi-Fi
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  • Warranty: 2 Year
  • Weight: 1.6 Pounds
  • Batteries: Lithium ion
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  • Display: HD color
  • Weight: 10.2 Ounces
  • Max Depth: 240 feet
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  • Display: 2-Inch LCD
  • Warranty: 12 Month
  • Maximum Depth: 328 ft
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  • Display: LCD display
  • Max Depth: 100m
  • Warranty: 2 Year
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  • Down-Imaging: Yes
  • Built-In: GPS Mapping
  • Card Slot: Micro SD
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  • Display: 7-inch
  • Resolution: 1000TVL
  • Battery Life: 9-12H Working
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Best Fish Finders for Kayak Reviews in 2020

Searching for a good fish finder for kayak fishing can be complicated, especially when some of the best detectors don’t advertise themselves as such.

We sifted through dozens of alternatives at all price ranges to pick out the best depth finder for a kayak. Here are the results:

1. Garmin Striker 4 – Best Fish Finder for Kayak Bass Fishing

Garmin Striker 4 takes the top spot on our list not because it is the most expensive option but because it offers a great balance of features, performance, and price. With plenty of advanced features, the Striker 4 offers great value for money.

Garmin Striker 4 fish finder

Product Highlights

Garmin collects the most valued features from some of its most celebrated devices and brings them to the compact and affordable Striker 4.

This device uses CHIRP sonar for better efficiency in a recording. CHIRP uses a range of frequencies rather than a single frequency to capture more data.

Striker 4 also features ClearVu sonar scanning, which is the company’s take on traditional 2D scanning.

ClearVu technology scans wider and farther to capture more information from the surroundings. This information is communicated through imagery that highlights underwater objects and marine life.

The included transducer scans at two variable frequencies. The lower frequency of 77 kHz scans a wider area, so users can get acquainted with the surroundings they are working with. This mode captures much less detail than high-frequency scanning.

When scanning at the higher frequency of 200 kHz, the transducer generates a narrower pulse that covers a smaller area.

This type of scanning captures more detail over a small area and is ideal for distinguishing between different types of fish to identify that perfect sea bass.

All the rich information the transducer collects would be useless without an effective medium to communicate it.

This comes in the form of a bright 3.5-inch touchscreen. The screen can display the results of the scans separately or side by side to deliver more information.

Garmin only equips its fish finders with basic navigational capabilities, and the Striker 4 is no different.

However, it does boast a sensitive GPS capable of accurately identifying your location within seconds. It also allows users to save waypoints and hotspots for future trips.

Pros

✅ CHIRP and ClearVu sonar scanning

✅ Good value for money

✅ Accurate GPS system

✅ Variable frequency scanning

✅ Good deep scanning performance

Cons

❌ Small display

Our Thoughts

The Garmin Striker 4 is the ultimate companion on your casual or professional fishing trip. With its intelligent sonar scanning, it can easily distinguish between different fish. For sea bass lovers, this is the best bass fishing fish finder you can hope to get at this price.

Also Read: Best Fish Finders for the Money in 2020 [Pro Buying Guide]

2. Deeper PRO+ – Best Castable Kayak Fish Finder

Deeper is a relatively new player in the fish finder market, but the power of its offerings is such that it has quickly earned itself a spot amongst the great.

Anyone who knows anything about fish finders and depth detectors is probably familiar with the wealth of smart devices Deeper has to offer.

Deeper PRO+

Product Highlights

Deeper PRO+ is among the company’s more expensive offerings while still being relatively affordable in comparison to other products in the market.

It pairs up with any smart device connected to its own wireless network and delivers a wealth of information for a variety of fishing situations.

This device lets you see more of the underwater environment. As soon as you cast it, it will give you temperature and depth readings.

Once it goes a bit deeper, it will return readings on humps, depressions, underwater structures, vegetation, and sea life.

Like most of Deeper’s fish finders, the PRO+ has an impressive operational distance. The device can retain its connection to your smart device to a maximum distance of 330 ft. It can also carry out sonar detection to a maximum depth of 260 ft.

The PRO+ is a portable device and as far as portable devices go, it has the best depth scanning that we have seen.

It can detect not only depth but also other information such as the nature of the seabed, detecting whether it is soft or gravelly.

The castable fish finder has dual-beam sonar scanning capability. The 90 kHz scanning frequency covers a wide area, recording basic information about the surroundings.

This gives users an initial sense of the type of area they are working with and the fish density.

Once users have selected an area with high activity, they can switch to the high-frequency 290 kHz scanning.

It covers a smaller area but captures greater detail about the underwater environment, such as the size and distance of fish, thickness of vegetation, and other underwater structures.

Pros

✅ Stylish form factor

✅ Long-distance operation

✅ Dual-beam scanning

✅ Smart app compatibility

✅ Integrated GPS

Cons

❌ A bit heavy

Our Thoughts

Deeper redefines budget fishing with the PRO+. This compact spherical device packs as many features as devices that are twice as expensive.

Casual fishing enthusiasts will find it to be the best kayak fish finder GPS device in this price range.

Recommended: Top 7 Best Side Imaging Fish Finders in 2020 [#2 is Amazing]

3. Vexilar SP200 T-Box – Best Bass Fishing Fish Finder on a Budget

It’s hard to classify the Vexilar SP200 T-Box as either a portable or a fixed fish finder. This low-profile device probably is both.

At first glance, the T-Box doesn’t look anything like a conventional fish finder, but it works just as well as some of the more expensive detectors that are twice its size.

Vexilar SP200 fish finder

Product Highlights

Despite being a fish finder with one of the smallest form factors we have seen, the T-Box isn’t a portable device in the truest sense. For it to function, it must be installed on your vessel and connected to a 12V power supply.

However, due to its minimalistic design, it is perfect for installation on kayaks and small boats. As long as you can arrange for a 12V battery to be connected on your vessel, you won’t need any other fish finder for your trip.

T-Box offers the functionality of a fixed fish finder at the price of a portable detector. Interestingly, it’s smaller than both.

The transducer collects depth, sonar, and other data and delivers it through its own Wi-Fi network directly to your phone or tablet.

Once installed on your boat, the T-Box is pretty much out of the way. You won’t even notice it’s there until you whip out your phone and open up the app to activate the transducer.

Doing away with a display has allowed Vexilar to pack powerful detection components and still maintain a low price.

The transducer emits dual sonar beams of 200 kHz at 20 and 40 degrees to scan a wide area underneath the vessel.

Results are accurate, and there is a good distinction between fish sizes. T-Box can detect to a maximum depth of 240 ft.

Whether it’s the bait you threw in a few feet below your kayak or the school of fish several feet deeper, the transducer accurately captures and transmits this data to your smart device.

If you have a spare tablet laying around, it can become the perfect display to view all this information on.

Pros

✅ Affordable

✅ Good value for money

✅ Small form factor

✅ Good sonar detection capability

✅ Multiple mounting options

Cons

❌ Requires a 12V power source

Our Thoughts

If you were to purchase a fish finder with similar capabilities, you could expect to spend a couple of hundred dollars.

You could always look for the best deals on fish finders, but the T-Box is the same price all year round. At its current price, it is certainly a bargain.

4. HawkEye Fishtrax 1C – Best Value Fish Finder for Kayak Fishing

A bit pricier than our previous two recommendations but still sitting snugly in the inexpensive range is the Fishtrax 1C from HawkEye.

This is a stylish device with an impressive color display and some other features you won’t normally find on similar devices.

HawkEye Fishtrax

Product Highlights

The first thing that sticks out about the Fishtrax 1C is its HD color TFTN display. HawkEye calls it VirtuView and despite its small size, it delivers a lot of functionality.

We did not find the display to be lacking in any lighting condition, which is one of the first things we look at in fish finders.

The Fishtrax 1C makes full use of its bright color display. The display switches between three modes: data, fish finder, and digital flasher. The flasher mode delivers a real-time view of the device’s sonar echoes, while the fish finder reveals much of what is going on underneath the vessel.

The fish finder comes with a castable dual-beam transducer that can operate at two sonar frequencies.

The 200 kHz frequency is best for scanning in shallow water. This mode captures more detail but covers less distance.

The 83 kHz frequency mode is best suited for deep-sea scanning. In this mode, the device can scan to a maximum depth of 240 ft.

The availability of two frequencies for scanning makes this a versatile offering for a number of fishing conditions.

Fishtrax 1C also comes with an extensive number of adjustability options. This means that users can adjust its detection settings to suit almost any kind of fishing platform or technique.

The scanning sensitivity can be adjusted between a hundred levels, and the depth range also has multiple settings.

The transducer that it comes with is also among the most versatile we have seen. It can be mounted in a variety of fashions on the vessel or on the trolling motor.

If you are into some bass fishing by the shore, the transducer can also be cast out.

Pros

✅ HD color display

✅ Dual-beam sonar detection

✅ Extensive adjustment options

✅ FishID and FishArc view

✅ Digital flasher and fish alarms

Cons

❌ Floater kit for shore fishing needs to be purchased separately

Our Thoughts

Only a handful of cheaper devices impress us with their capabilities, and the Fishtrax 1C is one of them. Its portable design, smart detection, and FishID capability make it the best fish finder for kayak bass fishing as well as other species.

5. Lucky FFC1108-1 – Best Cheap Fish Finder for Kayak Fishing

Another cost-effective fish finder, the portable FFC1108-1 comes from Lucky. Lucky is a relatively new manufacturer in the fish finder business, but its products have quickly generated a wide appeal.

This is due to their impressive sonar detection capabilities and an attractive price.

LUCKY Handheld

Product Highlights

Lucky markets this portable and effective fish finder as a versatile detector for numerous fishing conditions.

The FFC1108-1 detects and records a number of details about the surroundings, including water depth, the density of fish, vegetation, and other underwater structures.

All the information the device’s transducer collects is delivered through a colored LED display.

The display comes with blue LED backlighting, which works to keep it visible in all kinds of lighting conditions, including broad daylight.

On the surface, users might not find anything exciting about the FFC1108-1. However, it has a number of advantages that more expensive devices don’t.

For one, it runs on AAA batteries, so it doesn’t require an onboard power source. It does not require a recharge either.

Its small form factor and cordless operation make it perfectly suitable for kayak fishing and for situations when setting up a bigger fish finder isn’t an option.

The castable transducer can reach a maximum distance of 25 ft, so it is just as useful for shore fishing.

We talked about the device’s versatility, so it is important to go over its effectiveness with ice fishing. The FFC1108-1 will serve users just as well during the winter months as it does when the weather is warm. It can even be used to determine the best spot to drill a hole on the frozen lake.

The FFC1108-1 sits toward the extreme lower end of the pricing spectrum. It is refreshing to observe that this low price does not come at the cost of accuracy.

Yes, it is a great device for beginners due to its simplicity and portable design, but it will also satisfy the professional user.

Pros

✅ Inexpensive

✅ Accurate detection

✅ Suitable for ice fishing

✅ Multiple scanning modes

✅ Long battery life

Cons

❌ Accuracy is affected when moving

Our Thoughts

The FFC1108-1 from Lucky is probably the best cheap fish finder for kayak fishing we have come across. New users will find it to be a simple alternative to some more complicated devices that come at a higher price tag. It won’t leave professional users disappointed either.

6. Venterior VT-FF001 – Best Budget Fish Finder for Beginners

Venterior is one of the many brands you will encounter when you are looking for a portable fish finder for a casual fishing trip.

This is due to the low price of Venterior’s detection devices. It promises reliable results at a price that will attract many users.

Venterior VT-FF001 fish finder

Product Highlights

The VT-FF001 is a basic sonar sensor and depth finder. The included transducer determines the depth of the water and approximates the location of the fish.

This recording includes their depth and distance from your vessel. All this information is displayed on the LCD screen.

The device uses a black-and-white display. At first glance, the display looks basic and unimpressive.

However, it shows its capabilities when you are out fishing on a bright day. Assisted by LED backlighting, the display is bright enough to be visible in broad daylight.

The transducer emits sonar waves at a uniform frequency of 200 kHz. This does a good job of detecting fish at very close distances to the transducer as well as those at considerable depths.

The transducer can read and record up to a maximum depth of 328 ft.

The fish finder can be operated on different detection settings according to your requirements.

These include a battery saver mode, a backlight mode for low-light conditions, a fish alarm mode, and a unit of measure mode. The fish alarm mode alerts the user when it detects schools of fish.

The switchable detection modes can also be used to filter out smaller fish from being detected. This is a useful option for users who want to focus their efforts on a healthier catch.

Users can also view the recordings in the measurement unit they are most comfortable with, such as feet or meters.

The VT-FF001 is designed for situations where portability is imperative. It works great for kayak and small-boat fishing, but it can also be used for shore and ice fishing thanks to the castable transducer.

Users can cast the transducer to a maximum distance of 25 ft.

Pros

✅ Inexpensive

✅ Several detection options

✅ Bright LED-backlit display

✅ Castable transducer

✅ Sufficient detection depth

Cons

❌ Struggles with accuracy on moving vessels

Our Thoughts

For casual fishermen or those just getting into the hobby, the Venterior VT-FF001 will prove to be a good fishing assistant.

It is also small enough to be used by kayakers and comes with sufficient water resistance on the main unit to not break down after its first rodeo.

7. Humminbird Helix 5 DI 409620-1 – Best Kayak Fish Finder GPS

Helix 5 is Humminbird’s most popular fish finder lineup. The Helix 5 DI comes with down imaging capabilities.

This allows users to scan directly under the boat for underwater structures and sea life. It also records a much larger area than traditional scanning.

Humminbird 409620 fish finder

Product Highlights

The Helix 5 DI ships with a CHIRP DualBeam PLUS sonar transducer. It generates a maximum power output of 4000W for powerful scanning and detection.

The dual-beam transducer emits two sonar beams simultaneously at different frequencies.

The frequency of the emitted sonar waves can be adjusted according to narrow or wide scanning. At 455 kHz, the transducer operates at a frequency range of 420-520 kHz.

This scanning mode emits wide pulses, scanning a larger area with less detail.

When operating at a higher frequency of 800 kHz, the transducer works between the frequency range of 790-850 kHz.

In this mode, the device emits narrower pulses, scanning a smaller area with more clarity and distinction between objects.

Since this device has DualBeam PLUS, the PLUS denotes an additional feature that is absent from some variants.

The transducer can emit both frequency waves at the same time to scan a wide and narrow range. These images are then combined into a single image for greater detail.

The Helix 5 DI also features Humminbird’s SwitchFire viewing. It gives users more control over how they want to view the results. Users can switch between two viewing modes, Clear and Max.

A clear mode is best for initial scanning to get an idea of the surroundings and identify hotspots of activity.

On the other hand, Max mode delivers a lot more information. It displays underwater structures, debris, vegetation, wildlife, and other details that help fishermen achieve the perfect catch.

A large crisp display and a variety of scanning and navigational features will keep users occupied. Helix 5 DI has a lot to offer to both casual and professional users.

With plenty of preloaded maps to keep fishing enthusiasts engaged, it ensures that there is never a dull moment on your fishing trip.

Pros

✅ Simple user interface

✅ HD display

✅ CHIRP DualBeam PLUS sonar

✅ SwitchFire viewing mode

✅ Durable build

Cons

❌ Does not include side imaging

Our Thoughts

Humminbird simplifies fishing with the Helix 5 DI. Any fish finder on the market will do a decent enough job to get you some catch, but the Helix 5 DI ensures you can achieve a healthier catch you can be proud of with less effort.

8. Anysun Fishing Video Camera – Best Portable Camera Fish Finder

This unconventional fish finder from Anysun employs an extendable waterproof camera for detection.

The camera is attached to an HD screen that displays the underwater environment in real-time. Anysun fish finder is an unconventional take on fish detection, and it works.

Anysun Underwater Fish Finder

Product Highlights

Anysun uses a small camera attached to a 15m military-grade cable. The cable is covered in thick PU skin, which is crafted out of bulletproof wires. 2.25mm in diameter, the cable is made to withstand repeated immersion in water as well as general wear and tear.

The camera itself is capable of night vision and is surrounded by a strip of LED lights.

The lights brighten up the dark underwater environment, and night vision enhances the picture for a clear view. The design of the camera along with the lights acts as bait to attract bigger fish.

Anysun has also paid considerable attention to the display. Included as part of the fish finder setup is a 7-inch HD TFT display.

It delivers the video stream with great clarity. The screen is bright enough to be visible in daylight.

In order to enhance the visibility of the screen in bright conditions, Anysun incorporates a sun visor as part of the screen’s design.

The screen is water-resistant in order to withstand splashes. It’s also cold-resistant so it can be used for ice fishing during the colder months.

What really impacts the picture quality is the 700TVL digital video cable and the color CCD. The 700TVL cable delivers a clearer image than some other conventional camera fish finder setups.

A high pixel density of 800 x 480 pixels also helps improve clarity and sharpness.

Despite what the setup may look like, the Anysun fish finder is a portable device. It runs on a high-capacity 4500 mAh lithium-ion battery.

When fully charged, the battery delivers continuous playback of eight to ten hours.

Pros

✅ 700TVL HD camera

✅ Night vision and LED lights

✅ Cold and water resistance

✅ IP68 waterproofing rating

✅ HD display with detachable sun visor

Cons

❌ No recording functionality

Our Thoughts

If you are not a big scan of sonar detection and like your fish detectors to capture real-time video streams, the Anysun fish finder is the device for you.

It comes at a low cost and generates impressive video playback so you can make out the underwater surroundings with considerable ease.

How to Find the Best Depth Finder for a Kayak

Now that we have gone over some of the best fish finders for kayak fishing, we hope you have a better idea of what to look for in a good portable fish finder.

Do keep in mind that this list is not extensive, and there are several other devices that might serve you just as well.

In order to pick out the best depth finder for a kayak, you must have a clear knowledge of the important elements that make up a good fish finder.

When you are aware of the various features that fish finders come with, you will be in a better position to determine whether those features fulfill your particular needs or if you will be better served by a different feature set.

best kayak fish finders

Available Space

A kayak is a small boat, so it has very limited space on it for additional items. Most fish finders don’t come with a specialized kit that will let you set them up on a kayak.

Therefore, it is important to search for fish finders that come with the relevant kit.

It can be tempting to buy a fish finder with a huge screen, but if you intend to use it solely for kayak fishing, assess the space available on your kayak.

If there is sufficient mounting space on board for a big display unit, go ahead with the purchase. If not, choose a portable option.

Portability

Choosing the right fish finder for kayak fishing is tricky. You are working with limited space and limited mounting options.

Also, the nature of kayaking is such that you often have to make split-second decisions. In such instances, you can’t be tied down by a cumbersome device that is difficult to manage.

Ideally, you want a lightweight and portable device with relevant mounting options.

If there is sufficient space on your kayak, opt for a mounted display. If there isn’t, consider a detector with a castable transducer.

In recent years, we have seen the emergence of some very promising smart fish finders. Such devices come in two forms.

Either the sonar receiver can be mounted permanently to your boat and it will link wirelessly to your smart device, or it can come as a castable unit with the same functionality.

Transducer Mounting Options

All fish finders that you will use comprise two components, the transducer, and the display.

Depending on the type of fish finder you are purchasing, you might get both these components or just the transducer.

Fish finders that comprise of only the transducer normally connect to smart devices to make use of their display.

Transducer

If you are considering a fish finder with a mounted transducer, you will have to consider the mounting options it comes with and the mounting options available on your kayak.

If you are unable to mount the transducer correctly, it will produce inaccurate results. Following are the mounting options that transducers support.

Transom Mounting

Transom mount is the most common way of attaching the transducer on any boat. The transducer attaches at the back of your kayak so that it is partially submerged in water.

Considering that kayaking is often done in shallow waters, attaching a transducer like this to your kayak will make it vulnerable to damage by rocks and other external elements.

Through the Hull

For installation on kayaks, this is the preferred mode of attachment. If you observe the hull of your kayak, you will see a flat spot you can attach your transducer to. You will, however, need to make a DIY installation to secure the transducer to the hull.

Using some silicone and marine goop, secure the transducer to the hull. Be sure to remove any bubbles from the installation, or they may affect the accuracy of the readings.

Press the transducer against the goop by applying duct tape and leave the setup to dry for a day before you take the boat out on the water.

Detection Frequencies

Sonar detection is all about the frequencies the sonar beams are emitted at. Different transducers come with different emission capabilities.

Some transducers can only emit waves at a single frequency, while others can emit them on dual and even multiple frequencies.

The frequency of the sonar waves determines the type of scanning that takes place. Some frequencies will return detailed results, while some will fail to do so.

Others will scan a large area and reveal more of the underwater environment. The following are some of the most common frequencies transducers emit.

Garmin Striker 4 Sonar Frequency Explained |Tutorial

Low Frequencies of Less Than 50 kHz

Low frequencies work best for deep water scanning. They can travel greater distances than higher frequencies and can, therefore, reach the seabed and bring back useful information. Low-frequency deep scanning works best on CHIRP sonar.

The wave pulses bring back richer information and make better distinctions between marine life, vegetation, and other structures.

Medium Frequency Range of 80-160 kHz

Most single-frequency fish finders will have a frequency within this range. These frequencies are employed for regular scanning, where wide or deep scanning isn’t a requirement.

In terms of sonar imaging, these frequencies produce images with medium detail. They can neither travel too deep nor spread too wide. However, they are sufficient for most regular scanning needs.

High Frequencies of 160 kHz or Above

Higher frequency scanning is used to produce the clearest images of the underwater environment. However, they cannot travel long distances.

For this reason, they are not suited for deep-sea scanning. In shallow waters, high frequencies return the best results with clear distinctions between all underwater life and objects.

Fish Finder Display

All the data collected by the transducer will be displayed on the fish finder’s main display unit.

Depending on the type of fish finder you are using, this could be an included screen, an integrated screen, or the screen of your smart device.

display of fish finder

If you are using a portable detector that connects to your phone or tablet, you will probably have the best picture quality to make sense of all the information.

However, if the fish finder comes with a screen of its own, whether integrated or as a separate unit, you will have to assess its quality.

Ensure that the screen is bright enough to be visible even in direct sunlight. Some screens look beautiful unless you try to use them in bright conditions and find out that you can’t see a thing. A high color density and LED backlighting help with visibility.

The pixel density or the resolution of the display also determines how well it is able to deliver sharp pictures and information.

Regardless of the size of the display, the low pixel density will leave the images looking blurred and the text incomprehensible.

For screens smaller than 5 inches, the lowest resolution you should settle for is 240 x 160 pixels.

Ideally, the resolution for any display larger than 4 inches should be above 640 x 640 pixels. However, do note that devices become more expensive as they go up in resolution.

Navigational Capabilities

When you are searching for a fish finder for kayak fishing, you are probably looking at something that is portable and has a minimalistic form factor.

The issue with many portable devices is that they lack some additional features that you would normally find on larger devices.

Navigational

One such feature that goes neglected on smaller devices is a GPS system. This is a choice manufacturers make to keep the price of the device low.

It also allows them to make smaller devices that aren’t too heavy or take up a lot of space.

With technology so rapidly advancing, we now see a number of portable and affordable fish finders that come with an integrated GPS system.

Such devices are few and not many of them are reliable, but there are some very powerful options that you can get your hands on at very attractive prices.

A GPS system on a portable fish finder may not include the extensive capabilities of its more advanced counterparts.

Users might not be able to use the onboard GPS system for navigation, but it does have its benefits.

For instance, the GPS system will allow you to detect your current location and mark it as a waypoint.

This and similar features are useful if you come across a particular spot that is good for fishing and you want to come back to it later.

Now that all smartphones come with GPS by default, you might think that a GPS-enabled fish finder will not be of much use.

However, on longer fishing trips, it helps to have a detector with GPS capabilities so that you can conserve your phone’s battery for more important tasks.

Power Input & Output

Another important consideration when selecting a fish finder is the amount of power the unit requires to function and the power it outputs when generating sonar beams.

For kayak owners, this consideration becomes all the more important as they face certain limitations other fishermen don’t.

Kayaks are small vessels that neither have the space nor the additional weight capacity for heavier fish finding setups.

The best depth finder for a kayak will be one that balances power input and output so that detection accuracy is not affected.

Most kayak owners prefer handheld fish finders with castable transducers as such devices require minimal power to operate.

They often run on changeable AAA batteries, which are easy to stock up on. These detectors are lightweight as well, so they don’t add too much weight to your kayak.

However, not every manufacturer can make this setup work, and many devices fail to generate satisfactory results with limited power.

When considering portable fish finders, read consumer reviews and expert feedback on the device’s capabilities and performance before making a decision.

Best Fish Finders for Kayak FAQs

Are fish finders accurate?

✅ A fish finder will only be as accurate as the hardware and software used to manufacture it. There are plenty of fish finders on the market that will detect a fly and call it a fish. These often fall at the bottom end of the pricing spectrum and tempt buyers with their low prices.

When buying a fish finder, it is advisable to spend a few more dollars on a fish finder with a track record of accurate results. Plenty of reviews online will reveal great gems that are affordable yet highly accurate.

Also, consider the reliability of the manufacturer. There are several popular manufacturers that make affordable hardware that is almost 100% accurate.

✅ Are all fish finders waterproof?

Fish finders often consist of two main components: the primary display and the transducer. The transducer, which generates the sonar waves for detection, needs to be submerged in water and is waterproof. However, the other half of the gadget isn’t.

The display unit of the fish finder is often made of durable materials that make it weather- and water-resistant. The device isn’t waterproof, but it will hold its own against splashes of water, which are inevitable when you are on the boat. Always consider the water resistance rating of the device you are going to purchase and the reliability of the manufacturer.

✅ Is there a special fish finder for kayak fishing?

Fish finders are generally made to be all-purpose for most types of fishing. However, some are better suited for certain types of fishing than others. For instance, if you are sitting by the shore, you can’t use a fish finder that needs to be attached to a boat.

Similarly, there are certain types of fish finders that are more suited for kayak fishing. When kayak fishing, you need to retain full control of the boat and keep extra weight to a minimum. For this purpose, you would ideally need a fish finder that is portable and lightweight. You will also need to determine that its small form factor does not come at the price of accuracy and performance.

Conclusion

All our recommendations have proven their capability out on the water. They are some of the best fish finders for kayak fishing that we have tested, and we are confident that any of them will serve you well. Do consider your particular requirements before picking any one of them.

The best depth finder for a kayak doesn’t necessarily need to be a heavy-duty device that costs a few hundred dollars.

You will be better served by a device that is small and lightweight so that it fits easily on your kayak. All our recommendations are fairly affordable yet pack a lot of potentials.

The Garmin Striker 4 portable fish finder is among the best we have tested. Garmin achieves a great compromise between price and functionality.

It delivers a device that feels more expensive than it is and performs just as well as costlier alternatives.

New fishermen will find it to be a good companion for their foray into fishing, and professional users will not be disappointed with its capabilities.

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