10 Best Kayak Fish Finders

If you've been kayak fishing, you probably want to accomplish your biggest catch, don't you? Well, the kayak fish finders are what you need to equip yourself with.

Though kayak fishing is considerably an age-old sport, there are several ways you could uplift the traditional methods and waste no time to mark the biggest catching haul in your fishing life.

What fishfinders do is that they help you locate the fish underwater. They detect the reflected pulses of sound energy and provides you enough information in locating the schools of fish. It's all about utilizing technology for an effective kayak fishing experience.

There are several options available to choose from. From marine radar to compass and the latest GPS navigation, fish finders come with a different degree of specification and pricing.

Worry no more as we present you a well-researched guide about the best fish finders you need to get yourself.

Best Kayak Fish Finders (Top 10)​

Why is a kayak fish finder necessary?

The odds are you won't fish anything or you won't be able to locate where exactly the school of fish is if you make guess.

That's why you need a fish finder. With technology, you can fish efficiently and you don't need to wait all day long to find that favorite fishing spot of yours.

With fish finders that are best designed for kayaks, you get to see the structure underwater and locate where the fishes are. You get to analyze the contour, the water conditions, temperature and several other details. 

​Things to consider

Well, it took me years before I decided to get one for myself because I was confused if fish finders worked as great as it's expected to. 

I did not know what design or specifications I need to choose from and the availability of different models of fish finders got me confused.

​I started doing my own research, sought advice from several anglers and tested a lot of fish finders for myself.

Here are few things you need to keep in mind when you decide to get a fish finder for your kayak.​

Display​

Kayak fishing is way different than fishing in small boats. You've very less space to accommodate and you need to consider the loading capacity as well. 

​The display or the console is what gives you the visualization of what's happening underwater. It's basically the most important unit. 

While large displays are good as they visualize over a large portion of water, anything larger than 5-6 inches would make it difficult to mount it. Plus, they are heavy too. ​

As kayaks are not so wide, I prefer display sizes that are less than 5 inches. I generally go with the 4-inch models.

Another display feature you need to consider in buying a perfect fish finder is the screen resolution. The better and clear picture you get, the easy it gets to differentiate echoes, and other parameters.

Screen resolutions lesser than 240 X 160 pixels are what I'd completely avoid because the display is unclear. Though they are cheap, it gets really difficult to analyze the parameters. I generally prefer the highest resolution fish finders that have 640 X 480 pixels.

Fish finders also come in color and black and white models. If you are tight on budget, the grayscale display models are fine but with a color display, the viewing becomes easier even under bright light. 

Power​ and batteries

You'll have to setup the power source all by yourself. You pack the marine battery in a waterproof box and power the transducer and display. To avoid the hassle, get a portable fish finder as it comes in a package that is ready to mount already. 

If you plan to go with a regular power source, wattage is what you need to consider. The better the wattage, the better the overall performance. High wattage power sources will make the overall process faster and effective in displaying and reading. 

100-watt batteries are cheap, but they are suited only for shallow water fishing. I generally prefer to go with the 600-watt source because it's light and works really well. 

If you are a serious angler, you better go with the 1000-watt batteries. ​

I also look for power sources that accommodate replaceable batteries. I prefer taking an additional battery in case the first one runs out of power. 

Transducers​

Transducer is the backbone of the fish finder. It sends sound waves to locate the terrain inside water. 

Basically, it operates in the sonar principle where the sound waves are generated and passed inside water. These waves reflect back and a picture is developed which is then displayed on the screen.

More the frequency of the transducer better is the display. Fishfinders come in different frequencies: 50, 83, 192 and 200 kHz. There are also expensive models that come with dual or multiple frequencies and you get to see the 3D images on the display with them. 

Cone angle is also an important feature of the transducer in fish finders. With a bigger degree of the cone, the perspective of the underwater layout increases. It covers a significant portion of the water just below the surface. However, unlike narrow cones, these can not penetrate deep into the water and find the composition of the bottom.

Portable or fixed?

Portable fish finders are easy to use. They are entirely self-contained and are the better choice considering their easiness to use. 

They have already designed battery power supplies and come with a carrying case. It also has a transducer that is already attached to the transom.

If  you ice fish or “fly-in” fish, they are perfect because they are comparatively small and as the name suggests they are portable. 

Fixed fish finders are still the most used models by several kayakers. They are large but less expensive and generally come with additional features of chartplotters, map and backtrack GPS.

Top 10 Best Kayak Fish Finders

There are varieties of kayak fish finders that you can find depending on your requirement, specification and budget. You might not know what's the right fit for you.

Well, I've already used and hand-tested about 50 fish finders in ten years of my professional kayak fishing experience.

To make it easy for you to select, I've reviewed the ten best fish finders you can currently purchase for an amazing kayak fishing experience. 

1. Deeper Smart Portable- Best Kayak Fish Finder

Fish Hunter Military Grade Portable fish finder for kayaks.

The Deep Smart fish finder is​ a portable wireless sonar device, designed for amateurs and professionals alike. 

It helps out to find the location of fish, it's depth, the water temperature, bottom contour and the structure of the underwater.​

Using Deeper requires no additional devices or screens to read from. It works on both iOS and Android devices and is suitable for oceans, lakes, and rivers, saltwater or fresh. 

It's light weight, portable, extremely versatile and has a high accuracy sonar making it one of the best fish finders in different water conditions where many others can't be used. 

It can be operated in depths from just 1.5 ft to 130 ft. below the surface of the water, both fresh and salt. It's also perfect for ice-fishing. 

One reason why I love Deeper the most is because it's very easy to install in kayaks. Screw deeper to the flexible arm mount and attach it to the kayak with a clamp, it's so easy. ​

It comes with a lithium rechargeable battery that can be full-charged in less than two hours and lasts for four hours under continuous use. Also, the presence of Bluetooth connection enables low battery consumption, making it last longer.

It also features dual beam sonar with 55 and 15-degree cone, making it operate at two different frequencies, 90 kHz, and 290 kHz respectively. 

Using deeper has helped me to fish better and smarter and it's what I used to make one of my biggest catch ever.

Features I like​

  • Light-weight and easy to carry (weighs only 100 grams). 
  • Can be used with Android and iOS smartphones. 
  • Uses Bluetooth to transmit information (better power performance). 
  • High accuracy sonar shots and crystal clear display.
  • Good for both day and night fishing, shallow or deep water. 

2. FishHunter Pro Portable Fish Finder

FishHunter Pro Fish Finder for Kayaks.

Hands down, FishHunter Pro is the world's fastest wireless fish finder that works with Andriod and iOS devices.

It is an upgraded and the latest version, much better than the Fish Hunter Military Grade Portable, one of the company's most popular fish finders. 

It is also the only Tri-frequency sonar device that can be cast or trolled on kayaks for an amazing fishing experience. The feature to toggle between 381 kHz, 475 kHz and 675 kHz ensures a very high resolution. 

It allows the users to toggle two different views: raw view and the fish view, in real time. The user interface and display is amazing while anglers can also create a sonar "ping" as a notification when fishes are on the range underwater.

It runs with Wi-Fi connectivity making it 4-times faster than bluetooth connectivity and syncs so quick that you don't need to wait any moment to start.

The power backup it provides is great and lasts for about 10 hours if used regularly. On standby mode, the power lasts for about 500 hours or more, something that I've not seen with any other fish finders at the price of it. 

What I particularly love about this fish finder is that it also serves the purpose of a fish attractor, making kayak fishing experience in the morning as well as at night a great success. 

It can be used in water depth starting at 4 ft. to 150 ft. while it's also super light, weighing 155 grams only.​

Keeping detailed information about the location, types of fish and the catch is super easy making it a perfect upgrade to any of its previous versions. ​It's surely a bang for the buck.

Features I like​

  • Weighs 155 grams and portable to carry and use.
  • Supports 7000+ iOS and Android devices.
  • Uses Wi-Fi without data or internet connection, providing 4X better performance than Bluetooth.
  • The only tri-frequency sonar that works blazing fast.

3. Raymarine DragonFly-4 Pro Fish Finder

Raymarine Dragon Fly Pro

One of the newest Raymarine sonar models launched in 2015 is the Raymarine DragonFly-4 Pro fish finder.

If you want eyes below water while still sitting in your kayak and looking for a bigger haul, this is what you need to get right away. It's one of the most affordable fish finders with an amazing improvement in design, display and functions.

It can be used in any weather condition and guarantees no fog, plus it's waterproof as well. It has a 4.3-inch LCD screen display with 480 X 272 pixels that ensure high-definition images.

This device is well equipped with the latest sonar technology, the CHIRP and runs on dual channel, 50/200 kHz and 83/200 kHz while also providing wide conical-shaped beam pulses to create clear images of what lies beneath the water surface. 

It also displays images of the bedrock up to 600 ft., something that most fish finders aren't able to.

The screen might feel a bit small, but it keeps you covered as it can be integrated with Wi-Fi mobile application with any smartphone or tablet. ​

The Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro is GPS enabled which makes it possible for anglers to never lose track of their favorite fishing spot. It allows to mark a total of 10,000 track points, 150 routes and 3,000 waypoints and you never have to think of losing your path again. 

I generally prefer to use a separate battery to avoid interference but the one it comes with is just fine. When I talked to several anglers about this device, most of them considered it as highly desirable and why not? 

It is wealthy of features and is inexpensive for the technology that it incorporates. ​

Features I like​

  • No internal fogging, appealing sharp display with wide viewing angles.
  • Comes with a MicroSD card to save sonar screen shots. 
  • Suitable for any weather conditions and waterproof.
  • CHIRP DownVision sonar to target fish quickly. 
  • GPS-enabled for high-speed tracking. 

4. Humminbird 409800-1 Helix 7 DI Fish Finder

Humminbird 409800-1 Helix 7 DI

​The Humminbird 7 DI fish finder is poised to give you eyes underneath your kayak. It features a 7-in display that has 800 X 400 pixels to provide you vivid color with perfect images to maximize your fishing opportunity.

​It's an upgrade over the traditional 2D fish finders with Down Imaging which makes it one of the best fishing gear to have.

On top of that, it works on 455 kHz frequency and can be operated in both fresh and saltwater up to the depth of 600 feet. 

It also has built-in maps of the US coastlines, a feature that I particularly love. The quick-release gimbal mount is what makes it easy to adjust and remove. 

The capability to detect spatial changes as the kayaks or small boats move forward produces great images of the underwater terrain. Also, the detection of contour changes makes fishing so easy with an amazing display in its 1500 nit bright screen.

The only downside I feel it has is, it does not come with a in-built GPS.​

Features I like​

  • ​Down imaging sonar, perfect for fishing and navigation.
  • 400X800, 7-in screen resolution with 1500 nit brightness.
  • Blazing fast, clear and precise picture. 
  • Suitable for fresh and saltwater fishing.
  • Good angle adjustments.

5. Furuno LS6100 Waterproof Fish Finder

Humminbird 409800-1 Helix 7 DI

​The Furuno LS6100 model comes with a 6-in LCD display with 240x320 pixels, five different color palettes and ten different backlight adjustment levels suitable for both bright and dim light.

Furuno labels the product featured with A-scope which is something that detects exactly what under the water surface. It's precise, accurate and displays both horizontal and vertical image which makes fishing much easier.​

One amazing feature that it has is it's also one of the best fish finders for small boats as it reads data well below 3000 ft. deep. 

It also comes with an optional GPS antenna with 12 waypoints storage. Similarly, the speed and sensory details are so easily adjustable that you've got everything covered.​

It's powered by a 300-watt power source and operates in two different frequencies: 50 kHz and 200 kHz. ​

This model weighs about 4.4 pounds but is extremely easy to carry and mount on the kayak. Further, the excellent performance that it has makes it no less when compared to expensive fish finders available today. 

Comparatively, it has provided me unparalleled fish finding experience as my biggest catch was when I was using the Furuno. The remarkable monochrome silver bright display is my favorite feature it has.

Features I like​

  • 6-in monochrome LCD bright display.
  • Perfect for day as well as night fishing experience. 
  • Mini navigator to store 12 waypoints.
  • Good power backup. 
  • Extremely fast and operable even up to the depth of 3000 ft.

6. Signstek FF-003 Portable Fish finder

Signstek FF-003 Portable kayak fish finder.

One of the best fish finders that is inexpensive, yet suitable for both beginners and professionals is the Signstek FF-003 portable. 

It comes with a 2.8-in LCD display with 512 colors and features a screen resolution of 240x160 pixels. ​

Operable from 2 ft. to 240 ft. depth, it has a white LED front lighting and works in two different sonar frequencies, 200 kHz and 83 kHz. 

What I particularly love about this is that it's operable in extreme weather conditions as well. It's waterproof and has a high power backup supplied by 4 "AAA" batteries. ​

If you need two handles to paddle, this device can be a little difficult to operate or it's absolutely good to be used. It works great both under full sunlight or in dark. 

It's small size, low weight and no requirements of other power sources makes it a space saver for any kayak.

Features I like​

  • Small in size, weighs 1.4 pounds.
  • No additional requirement of batteries. 
  • Operable in both day and night. 
  • Great screen display.
  • Nice accuracy up to the depth of 240 feet. 

7. Lowrance Elite 4 HDI Fish Finder

Lowrance Elite 4 HDI kayak fish finder.

The Elite 4 HDI depth finder by Lowrance comes with the best sized screen display. It's a 4.3" screen perfect for kayaks of any size. 

The presence of hybrid dual imaging and down scan imaging is what gives an accurate picture of the underwater terrain, making it one of the most advanced fish finders today. ​

The super-bright LED backlit color display makes it operable in any light conditions while the GPS antenna that it has, supports high-definition mapping. 

It offers a great deal as an affordable gear as it comes with an inbuilt detailed US map featuring 3,000 lakes, rivers and coastal contours below 1,000 ft.

The Insight Genesis feature also enables an easy creation of map from the sonar data recorded by this device. It's also well equipped with advanced signal processing which reduces the need to manually adjust different settings for data about the underwater. 

The all-in-one thumb operation feature is what I particularly love while the multi-window feature is something that I use most of the time because of easy navigation and selection of different views as necessary. 

Features I like​

  • High definition 4.3" display with 480x272 pixels.
  • Great accuracy both for day and night fishing. 
  • Comes with inbuilt maps of several coasts, rivers and lakes. 
  • Excellent 2D and DownScan capability. 
  • Affordable and extremely durable.

8. Signstek FF-011 Wireless Fish Finder

Signstek FF-011 Wireless

The Signestek FF-001 fish finder is a fair price for quality product and is perfect especially for beginners. 

It's simple design to locate the depth and position of fish is what makes it one of the best fishing gear. It comes with 5 sensitivity levels which can be adjusted easily to get the best display of the underwater contour. 

It's operable and works best under the depth of 100 ft. and the sonar level it has is accurate and well-balanced to avoid jitters on screen. 

The pre-loaded fish alarm is highly sensitive and the transducer it has covers a wide range at 90 degree angle underneath the water. The screen resolution of 128x64 is what I particularly don't like because the images become somewhat unclear when zoomed-in.

It's powered by 4000 watts and has an amazing backup which makes it really effective for long use. It can be used both as portable or fixed fish finder and is easy to mount and operate. 

Features I like​

  • 1/10 precision when used under 100-ft. 
  • Auto-zoom and bottom tracking.
  • Good sensitivity and high accuracy. 
  • Good power backup. 
  • Cheap and durable, perfect for beginners.

9. NorCross HawkEye F33P Fish Finder

NorCross HawkEye F33P fish finder.

A portable fish finder that fits in the palm, the NorCross HawkEye is an ideal device for fishing expeditions. 

Though the depth reading is limited to below 100 feet, it's extremely precise and accurate that is sure to help you come up with amazing fish finding stories. 

With 45-degree sonar beam angles that it features, it can be used by mounting, floating or in trolling conditions as well. 

One thing that I particularly love about it is that it uses algorithmic programming to display the results. This avoids false reading which makes it possible for kayakers to know what kind of fish is actually closing in. 

It has an amazing power backup lasting for about 20 hours with just four "AAA" batteries. I's small size and portability is what makes it a versatile device and I love carrying it all the time.

Comparatively, the price pays for its features and why should not it? The sonar sensors are amazing and can be used in the shoreline, bridge, kayaks or boats wherever required. Plus, it's quick reading feature gives instant depth readings, fish,weed and contour details ​

I highly recommend NorCross for someone who's looking to find a fish finder with great accuracy at a reasonable price. It's also extremely durable and the screen, in particular, is easy to see in direct sunlight. 

Features I like​

  • Accurate display, perfect for use in direct sunlight.
  • Light, portable and fits on palm. 
  • Good for both fresh and saltwater.
  • Good power backup that lasts for about 20 hours. 
  • Inexpensive and durable.

10. iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Fish Finder

iBobber Wireless Bluetooth

​The iBobbler castable bluetooth fish finder is an inexpensive fish finder generally suitable for beginner kayakers.

It comes with a sonar strength that can detect the underwater terrain up to 135 ft. deep and can detect two fish sizes, big and small. 

One good benefit of having this model is that it has an amazing backup of about 8 hours when used continuously. This is particularly because it operates with bluetooth supporting contour mapping up to 100 ft. away. 

This is one of the products that I generally recommend for beginners because it comes well under $100 and has a lot of features that'll give you ideas about how kayak fishing can be done properly with the use of technology. ​

The GPS tags feature allows saving hotspots, waypoints, and routes while it also measures the temperature and weather. 

It does not function so well when trolling and the signals distort but in case your kayak is not chopping the water, it's perfect to use.

It's super light and weighs only 12 ounces while syncs with iOS and Android devices quickly that allow you to see high-quality pictures and share it on social media when required.

Features I like​

  • Cheap and inexpensive, perfect for beginner.
  • GPS enabled to mark hotspots.
  • Good power backup, lasts for about 7 hours when full-charged.
  • Light, easy to carry and castable. 
  • Operates really well in saltwater.

The Verdict

Selecting a fish finder among several different models, versions and prices available can be tough, but the ones that I've listed above are some of the best high-quality products perfect for an amazing kayak fishing experience.

​For me, the FishHunter Pro is the best fish finder when I'm kayaking. It's particularly because it's the world's fastest wireless fish finder and has an amazing tri-frequency sonar that gives a great visualization of the underwater terrain. It's also affordable and extremely durable.

Whatever product you choose from this list, your kayak fishing experience is surely going to grow by folds and you surely won't have to return home disappointed.

Write us about your kayak fishing experience when using a fish finder in the comments below!

James Moore
 

Hey, I’m the founder of Fishing Kayaks Guide. As a professional angler for over 10 years now, I love to hear and share experience and knowledge about kayak fishing and get connected to all of you people who are enthusiastic to hit the water.

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