A fish finder is a device that determines the depth and location of underwater objects. A fish finder can be used to detect schools of fish, submerged reefs, weed beds, and other natural or man-made objects that are underwater. It can also be used to map out an area for fishing. This article will go over some of the best kayak fish finders on the market today in 2021 so you’ll know which one is right for your needs.
Some people may not realize it but most modern smartphones have a built-in GPS chip and a compass which allows them to function as an accurate (and cost-efficient) portable GPS navigator when paired with downloadable mapping software like Google Map or Waze app). But while these
Technology in fishing has been developing for a while now. Fishermen are using different types of electronics and accessories to make their fishing journey more comfortable and effective. Different fishing brands are trying to attract fishermen by inventing and developing various kinds of techs based on various boat sizes and fishing methods.
Among those technologies, Fish Finder is one of the most fascinating inventions. Fish Finder was invented in the 90s. Since then this technology has been developed by adding impressive features to improve the fishing experience.
Since Kayak fishing is getting popular in recent times, we are going to discuss Fish Finders which would be most suitable to use on a Kayak.
What is a Kayak Fish Finder?
Kayak fish finder is a type of fish finder that is designed for kayaking and canoeing. It runs off the boat battery so you do not have to worry about running out of power while fishing, and it has a widescreen providing visibility in choppy waters. It’s also waterproof (something to look for if you’re in an area that sees heavy rain).
You may think a fish finder’s only job is to find fish. It is not. By using the latest technologies You’ll be able to use your fish finder for a lot of things. Their different sonar technology will help you determine different objects around you. You’ll be able to differentiate between a fish and other underwater objects. Not only that, a fish finder can even determine an area by using mapping technology.
Choosing a Kayak Fish Finder
You can’t use all types of fish finder on a Kayak. A Kayak does not have lots of spaces for you to explore. You have to use a fish finder that will give you the ability to use different features without taking up many spaces. Let us find out what important things you should consider before buying a fish finder for your Kayak-
If you are one of those Kayak users who don’t go fishing in the big rivers or sea, You don’t probably need a fish finder with lots of technology. Just finding fish should be a top priority in that case. You won’t need GPS on small rivers or lakes. Get a fish finder with a side-scan feature that can identify fish underwater.
Choose a fish finder with DI and SI sonar technology if you are going to fish on structures like humps or reefs. These technologies will help you to keep your Kayak on track and identify solid objects. If you are going to fish with your Kayak on the sea, choosing a fish finder with good GPS technology would be your best option.
Average Mounting Space
When You’re paddling or casting your Kayak, You would not want your fish finder blocking your view. That would be irritating. Depending on Your kayak’s size choose a fish finder with an average to small display size.
A 5inch display size should be ideal. Keep that in mind that you can read the details on display comfortably. After making space for all the mounts, ram, battery, and cables make sure you have enough space on your Kayak to keep your rod, reels, and tackles.
This is one of the most important things to consider before choosing a fish finder for your Kayak. You might want to choose a brand that matches your Kayak’s design to make the installation faster. All top fish finder manufacturers favor certain kayak designs to install their devices quickly.
You might wanna choose a fish finder that is easily portable and waterproof. A kayak is a small boat. So, it is possible to accidentally drop something on the water. That’s why a waterproof fishfinder would be a great choice.
Best Fish Finders for Kayak
Choosing a fish finder brand for a Kayak can be stressful. Depending on Kayak size and features here are some good quality fish finders you can choose for your Kayak-
1. Garmin Striker 4 Review
If you are a casual fisherman who likes fishing in shallow areas Garmin Striker 4 could be a great investment. Garmin usually provides good features for casual regular fishers as well as casual fishers. Striker 4 is not different too.
Display Garmin Striker 4
Garmin Striker 4’s 3.5inch display can be seen as small compared to other fish finders but it is one of the reasons why Kayak users love this model. Despite having a small display You can use split-screen mode. Its waterproof display has a very good backlight to help you read in any kind of brightness.
Sonar and Transducer Garmin Striker 4
Garmin Striker 4 comes with CHIRP sonar technology. The CHIRP transducer and ClearVu scanning sonar technology are responsible for almost crystal clear underwater images. Striker 4 can reach an excellent depth, 1600ft in freshwater and 750ft in saltwater. For its 77/200 kHz, You will be able to receive clear images.
Garmin Striker 4 has a built-in GPS module that can record more than 5000 waypoints. You’ll be able to record details of your favorite lakes, rivers, etc. Although it does not have Chartplotter, you can navigate your Kayak with ease.
Unboxing Garmin Striker 4
After buying Garmin Striker 4 you’ll find
- Garmin Striker 4,
- Dual Beam Transducer,
- Power Cable,
- Trolling mounts,
- A swivel mount,
- And a user manual.
Accessories and Set up of Garmin Striker 4
For setting up Garmin Striker 4 on your Kayak, You’ll need few accessories. For making a strong base you’ll need a ‘RAM-one-inch rail mount ball’. You can slide it into your Kayak’s track. On top of that install ‘RAM light-duty accessory mount’. Attach Garmin Striker 4 on your mount. That way you can use the fish finder freely and comfortably.
Advantages of Garmin Striker 4
- It has CHIRP sonar.
- Built-in GPS.
- East to mount on Kayak due to its small display.
- Easy to set up and control.
Disadvantages Garmin Striker 4
- Very few networking options.
- Hard to carry it around.
2. Deeper PRO plus Review
Deeper pro plus is a castable fish finder. It is easily portable too because of its spherical shape. Because of its shape and castability, it is highly liked by fishers.
Display of Deeper PRO plus
Deeper PRO plus is a wireless fish finder that operates using wifi. You can link it with a smartphone or iOS. The data gathered by the fish finder will appear on the display through the fish pro app. Its incredible transmission power covers a very good distance and sharp images.
Sonar of Deeper PRO plus
Deeper smart sonar has revolutionized the fish finder market. It can go deep up to 260ft. It is wireless so that you can attach it to your rod and use it without much of a hassle. This sonar can scan 15 times a second.
This fish finder comes with a GPS, a map, a fishing log. You can store all your navigation information and use them later when needed.
Unboxing of Deeper PRO plus
After opening the box you’ll find the sonar, a manual on how to set up your pro plus. You’ll also get two attachment bolts, a carry pouch, and a charging cable. There are also few accessories.
Setting Up Deeper PRO plus
First, you need to attach it with your rod using an attachment bolt. Then screw your deeper sonar onto your deeper flexible arm. Now you have to cast your sonar. It will automatically switch on. Make sure your sonar is within 10 meters when you’re connecting to your android or iOS device. After connecting you can start using your Deeper pro plus fish finder.
Advantages of Deeper PRO plus
- It is wireless. Can be connected using wifi.
- It is a castable sonar.
- Has GPS mode available.
Disadvantages of Deeper PRO plus
- It is heavy (100g) for a portable fish finder.
- Has a very short battery life.
3. Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 74Cv Review
Garmin ECHOMAP’s Chartplotter will give you a clear view of fish because of its ClearVU sonar. This is one of the most unique fish finders you’ll find in the market. What makes this fish finder great for kayaks is because it is easy to use.
Display Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 74Cv
The bright screen of this fish finder makes viewing easier for users on a bright day. Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 74Cv has a 7inch touchscreen display which is pretty big for understand the detailing from a good enough distance. It has few shortcut keys you can assign to use some features quickly with one touch. This fish finder has IPX7 water-resistant which is excellent for a fish finder.
Sonar and Transducer of Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 74Cv
Sonar is probably the most important feature for a fish finder. A fish finder’s quality largely depends on it. Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 74cv has ClearVU and LakeVU sonar which gives a crystal clear view of fish and has pre-recorded maps respectively. Garmin’s GT24UHD-™ transducer has great features. You’ll have NMEA 2000 including and other networks to engage lots of modes and features.
The GPS technology of Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 74cv is excellent. The ECHOMAP comes with preloaded maps. You’ll also have depth contours, tidal stations, and basic charts. GPS is fast and responsive. The movement of the screen is fluid because of its refresh rate.
Unboxing Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 74Cv
After opening the box, You’ll get ECHOMAP UHD 74cv, a Display cover, Rubber gasket, Base assembly, GT24UHD-TM ClearVü transducer with attached 20′ cable, and lots of accessories.
Set up Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 74Cv on Kayak
For setting up your fish finder to your kayak, You’ll need a few accessories. You can use the base assembly that comes with your ECHOMAP and make a strong base. Then you’ll need a mount where you can attach your ECHOMAP 74cv. Make sure to attach your device close to you so that you can control it with ease and also it doesn’t get in the way of your natural movement.
Advantages of Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 74Cv
- Fast and responsive GPS.
- Big display which shows more details with clear images.
- Great sonar capabilities.
- Wireless connectivity
- Can create your personalized fishing map
Disadvantages of Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 74Cv
- Shows inaccuracy in charting sometimes.
- Sometimes shows a problem of shutting down for no reason.
4. Humminbird Helix 7 Review
Humminbird Helix 7 is one of the most popular fish finders for using in Kayak. It has great sonar technology and features that come with an affordable price range.
Display of Humminbird Helix 7
Humminbird Helix 7 comes with a 7inch 16-bit color display with LED backlighting to make images clearer to see. It has an 800×480 pixels display and you can choose your favorite color out of 256 options. The brightness of the display is excellent. You can use it in bright daylight with ease. The bonded glass keeps the display safe from water and other objects.
Sonar and Transducers of Humminbird Helix 7
Helix 7 comes with Switchfire sonar and CHIRP sonar. With Switchfire sonar you can get more details or remove extra details by just pushing a button. CHIRP transducer is the reason behind having an excellent underwater view. Helix 7 comes with mega imaging technology.
While normal side/down imaging use kilohertz, Mega side/down imaging goes up to megahertz in terms of balancing distance and clear view. By getting a more clear view, you’ll be able to find fish more easily. Helix 7’s transducers fit kayak better than lots of options out there in the market.
Humminbird Helix 7 comes with traditional GPS technology. The GPS of this fish finder does not provide anything out of the ordinary. You can create more than 45 routes and 4500 waypoints. The navigation is not helix 7’s best suit but it works as it should. Helix 7 is compatible with Navionics that provide more incredible map options for you to use.
Unboxing of Humminbird Helix 7
The box contains a 7inch display monitor, warranty and instruction manuals, a gimbal bracket for the head unit, transducer hardware, a low q chirp transducer, and a power cord.
Setting up Humminbird Helix 7
You can mount the Humminbird transducer mounting plate in the tap screws of your kayak. You can run the transducer wire through the connectors and connect it to the battery box. Then comes the setting of the display unit. You can put the head unit on a rail blazer camera mount on the side plate of the kayak. Then put the display on it and connect it with the transducer cable.
Advantages of Humminbird Helix 7
- Can reach excellent depth.
- Have split-screen mode.
- CHIRP sonar is available.
- Mega side/down imaging.
- Easy to use.
Disadvantages of Humminbird Helix 7
- Have mechanical control unit instead of a touchscreen.
- Comparably costly.
5. LUCKY Portable Fish Finder Review
Seeing a small display you might have thought this is just here for its portable option but does not have many features. It is not only portable but comes with great features.
Display of Lucky Portable Fish Finder
This is the most unique feature of this fish finder. It has a very small screen of 2.4 inches and comes with a TFT-colored LCD screen. This display has a good backlight to help you see in the bright sunlight and night. The color screen can detect and display lots of information. Can detect and display underwater contours that have great water depth.
Sonar and Transducers of Lucky Portable Fish Finder
It comes with a wireless sonar transducer and a fish attractive lamp that is suited for fishing in the dark and detects fish more easily. Its transparent replacement cover can sensor objects in the dark.
This fish finder has a large operating range. It can detect up to 60m around the area and 45m in depth.
Unboxing of Lucky Portable Fish Finder
After opening the box, You’ll get a sonar, your 2.4-inch display, an instruction manual, a neck strap to keep your unit secured, a USB power cable, and two different kinds of chargers.
Set up of Lucky Portable Fish Finder
Setting up a Lucky portable fish finder is quite easy. You can attach the display with the neck strap to easily hold it. You just have to power on the display and it will wirelessly connect with your sonar. You can mount your display with accessories or can use it by holding it.
Other unique features of Lucky Portable Fish Finder
The lucky fish finder has great battery life. It can be used from 4 hours up to 10 hours and the battery is rechargeable. This fish finder is waterproof and incredible to fish at night because of the two light beams.
Advantages of Lucky Portable Fish Finder
- Night fishing has never been easier.
- Lightweight, easy to carry around.
- Suitable for beginners.
- It is waterproof.
Disadvantages of Lucky Portable Fish Finder
- Controlling is hard because it has no touchscreen mode.
- Sometimes shows wrong info.
6. RICANK Portable Fish Finder Review
Portable fish finders are becoming quite popular especially to Kayak users. Kayak does not have a lot of spaces like a normal boat. You don’t have lots of spaces to fit a big fish finder. Among lots of fish finders in the market, the RICANK Portable fish finder stands out a lot for its features and effectiveness.
Display of RICANK Portable Fish Finder
The display of RICANK fish finder is easier to read than any other fish finder out there. Although it does not have a colorful screen option, it has everything you would need to detect fish.
It can detect fish and point out how deep the pack of fish is.
Excellent depth of RICANK Portable Fish Finder
This device has an excellent depth range. It can read and detect anything from 3ft to almost 328ft without any disturbance. Its portable detect range is 45-degree cone underwater.
Battery saving mode of RICANK Portable Fish Finder
RICANK fish finder has a unique battery-saving mode. Normally you can use the battery for five hours straight. But if you turn on the battery-saving mode, it will last much longer.
Unboxing of RICANK Portable Fish Finder
The package of RICANK portable fish finder comes with a small black and white display, a sonar sensor (transducer), a removable transducer float (this yellow float will help you spot it easily after casting), a neck strap, transducer side-scan adapter, stainless bolt and wing, and a user manual to help you set up the fish finder.
Advantages of RICANK Portable Fish Finder
- Easy to carry around.
- Ease to read display.
- Long battery life.
Disadvantages RICANK Portable Fish Finder
- No touchscreen option.
- No GPS is available.
7. Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 TripleShot Review
As a professional fisher, you would want to have a fish finder that has multiple sonars to help you find fish with a great display to help you read all the details you need with comfort. Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 might provide you that.
Display of Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 TripleShot
This device comes with a 7-inch colored display. It has an 800×400 pixels display with a strong base that brings you a crystal clear view of underwater. Makes it suitable for Kayak users. You can read everything on the screen with comfort thanks to its Solarmax nature.
Sonar and Transducers of Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 TripleShot
Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 TripleShot comes with CHIRP sonar and Tripleshot transducer as the name suggests. The CHIRP sonar technology will give you both side-scan and down-scan imaging. It can read up to 300ft on both sides. Not only it this sonar can identify fish but also distinguish between other structures.
This device has a super-sensitive internal GPS. This works like a normal GPS but has a unique feature. It will update your position several times in a minute to give you an accurate coordinate. This unit has 4000 US lakes pre-installed to make your fishing experience much comfortable. The only shortcoming of Hook Reveal 7 Tripleshot is probably its average detailing of pre-loaded maps.
What makes this kayak fish finder more attractive to Kayak users is its resistance to water. You can use it from your kayak without having to worry about water splashes.
Unboxing Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 TripleShot
Along with a 7-inch display, you’ll get a Tripleshot transducer, a mounting bracket, a metal bracket to hold the transducer, and some instruction manuals.
Advantages Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 TripleShot
- Comes with a Tripleshot transducer.
- CHIRP sonar.
- Large display.
- It has pre-loaded maps included.
Disadvantages of Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 TripleShot
- Less detailing on pre-loaded maps compared to other fish finders with a similar feature.
- Lacks Networking feature.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do I really need a fish finder?
To find fish quickly with detailed information You’ll need a fish finder. Fish finders will not only help you find fish but also help you to distinguish between fish and other structures underwater.
How does a fish finder work?
A fish finder works with the help of sonar tech. A sonar device sends sound waves underwater, When these waves hit an object they are reflected back to the surface and show the detailed image of that object on the display.
How do you mount a fish finder to a kayak?
You’ll need mounting accessories to mount a fish finder on Kayak. For example, You’ll need a strong base for your fish finder to hold on to your kayak track and then set up the fish finder there.
Where do you mount a fish finder on a kayak?
You’ll want the fish finder within your operating range and in front of you. So it’s best to mount a fish finder on the side track of your kayak.
Are portable fish finders any good?
A portable fish finder is small and easy to operate. You won’t need extra space to mount it. You can attach it to your fishing rod and use it.
Can you use 2 fish finders at the same time?
You can use two fish finders at the same time if they have a noise rejection system built in. Otherwise, there is a risk of interference.
Which fish finder has the best down imaging?
There are lots of fish finder out there with down imaging technology in the market. Among them, Garmin Echomap has the best down imaging technology available.
Which is better Lowrance or Humminbird?
In terms of performance Humminbird is slightly better than Lowrance but Lowrance is more budget-friendly.
Which is better down imaging or side imaging?
If you are into shallow are side imaging will help you more to catch fish than down imaging. But if you like to fish vertically down-imaging is a better choice.
Why Invest in a Kayaking Fish Finder?
You’re going to use Your kayak alone for most of the day. It might get boring if you can’t find any fish for a while. A fish finder will help you to find fish and make your day more interesting and productive.
Are fish finders waterproof?
Most of the fish finders have built-in resistance from the water. But if you worry about rainfall or splashes, you can add accessories to be safe.
Kayak fishing is a kind of fishing where you can relax and fish for a long time and areas where big boats can not enter. A kayak does not contain lots of space. So after installing everything you need for fishing sometimes you probably won’t have enough space to install a big fish finder. That’s why It is highly recommended that you use a portable and easy-to-operate fish finder for your kayak fishing journey.
And among these 7 best kayak fish finders we recommend you Garmin Striker 4.