If you’re a fan of fishing, you’ll want to up your game, by purchasing a brand new fish finder. Although some of these machines work well, each is different. They come with a variety of different features and with different price tags. So, how does one ensure that they buy the best fish finder?
Truthfully, the process isn’t so easy, because there are so many complexities and characteristics to consider. At the same time, your personal preferences, needs and budget will ultimately have a major impact on your overall choice.
When it comes down to it, you should remember that one size certainly doesn’t fit all, when it comes these products. Different environments, lifestyles, poles and other factors all play a role in determining the right finder for your individualized needs.
With this in mind, it is imperative to sit down and figure out exactly what you need, before you attempt to move forward. By building this solid foundation, you’ll be able to ensure that the decision is made easier and that the right decision is made! Below, you will be able to find information and reviews that will be able to help you make the right choice.
Best Fish Finder Reviews
Deeper Smart Portable Fish Finder
Although some anglers might not be so tech savvy, this particular fish finder is excellent for those that are! This very innovative wireless sonar is equipped with a variety of amazing applications, which can be accessed from your smart phone. For instance, you can check out the weather and the helpful fish activity calendar. This device is equipped with a rechargeable battery, which lasts up to four hours for your convenience.
Although it might not as effective as some of the others, it can be placed in tight locations, such as shores, docks and even used for ice fishing. Once you get the hang of the technology, it’ll help you discover fish quickly, by using your mobile phone.
- Dual Beam Technology
- Sonar Capability up to 130 FT Depth
- Temperature Tracker
- Totally Portable
Lowrance 000-11448-001 Elite-3X Fish Finder
If you’re looking for an affordable finder, which offers a color LCD display, you’ll want to consider this Lowrance fish locator. The 3.5” color LCD screen is easily readable. In all likelihood, you won’t even need to read the instructions to figure out the screen’s terminology and layout.
At approximately 3 pounds, the product is very lightweight and easily portable. It comes with a convenient and easy to install base that will fit just about anywhere. Mounting the base on your boat can be done within a matter of minutes. It is vital to note that this product is only capable of scanning 800 feet below the water’s surface.
Since it operates on the 83 and 200 frequencies, it is typically best suited for shallow water and freshwater fishing. The 83 is capable of offering a wider beam angle, which will allow you to find fish in all directions. Of course, you can switch between these effortlessly.
Although the screen is a little on the small side, this helps to cut back energy usage. At the same time, the screen clearly displays the battery’s remaining life, which is very beneficial and convenient. As long as you understand that the product is cheaper and has some limitations, it is definitely worth the overall cost.
- Broadband Sonar for 10 time the sensitivity
- Semi-Portable for Your Convenience
- 800 Ft of depth
- Included transducer
iBobber Castable Bluetooth Smart Fishfinder
The iBobber is a high-tech fish finder that works in conjunction with your iPhone! Although the device is only capable of scanning to depths of 135 feet, it is equipped with some other awesome features that make up for the lack of depth.
The mobile application comes with a lunar calendar weather feature, which allows you to check out the weather, temperature and wind! You can also use this device to set up GPS hotspots. This is awesome for being able to return to a good fishing location at a later time. The iBobber is capable of providing you with 8 hours of usage, before a recharge is needed.
- GPS Technology for Tagging Hot Spots
- Rechargeable 8 Hours Battery
- Very Portable
- 135 Depth with Sonar Technology
Garmin Echo 551dv Worldwide with Transducer
It is vital that you review the specifications of any fishfinder, before you actually make a final purchase. The Garmin Echo 551dv Worldwide with Transducer is one of the best fishfinders on the market today. It is capable of reaching depthsfrom shallow water down to 2,300 feet maximum, which is profound, when compared to other brands.
The 551dv is a high tech finder, since it is capable of scanning waters with a 500 watt RMS power. The Garmin HD-ID™ is very sensitive and is will also help you find “hot spots” in a matter of seconds. The simple to install mounting system is of superior quality and can be adjusted very easily, during the installation process.
The mounting bracket, cables, and motor clamp is included in the package deal, so you will not need to purchase any extra hardware. Avoid coiling the wire, when hooking power up to the transom transducer and display, because this can cause an interference in the signal.
The 5-inch high-resolution VGA color screen will display the water temperature and speed, voltage, and odometer reading. You can also adjust the finder, so that you can see the display screen from anywhere in your boat, because the substructure is designed with a swivel base.
- 4-pin all-in-one 77/200 kHz HD-ID
- Sonar Imaging and Garmin Smooth Scaling
- Garmin DownVu
- Very Portable
Complete Guide to Buying a Fish Finder
There is no doubt that fishing has changed dramatically over the past few years and much of this has to do with the development of fish finding technology. With the right tool, you’ll be able to check the depth of a specific location, locate fish, check the temperature, and even examine the speed of the water flow.
Some are even equipped with GPS technology, which makes it possible to add waypoints and create your own fishing haven. As these products have gotten more efficient and helpful, they’ve gotten a little more difficult to buy. Below, you’ll be able to find exactly what to look for, when purchasing one of these products.
How They Work
In order to get a better understanding of these products and how they work, it is vital to understand marine sonar. Each of these products works with two individual components. The unit is responsible for displaying the results of a scan, while the transducer is responsible for making the scan. Suffice to say, the transducer sends out a sound wave, which travels directly to the bottom, until it reaches the surface.
Once it reaches the bottom, the sound travels back to the transducer, which directs the information to the unit. After the information has been received, the unit goes to work interpreting it, before displaying it on the screen. Depending on your locator, the screen will display a variety of different information. Each will show fish under your boat, as well as vegetation.
Power or Wattage
When you begin looking for a sonar unit, you will quickly notice that each has a wattage rating. This figure basically allows you to determine the overall power of the transmitter. Although more power is always better, it will also increase the price. Higher wattage is capable of ensuring better and quicker performance. Units with less power will take longer to provide you with an accurate readout.
In order to make sure that you’ll be able to benefit from your unit, it is vital to choose one that has at least 800 watts of power. For even better performance, serious anglers should opt for 3000 or more Watts of power! Remember that higher watts will allow you to fish, within much deeper waters.
To make sure that you’ll be able to read the screen clearly, it is vital to select a screen, which has a good number of pixels. Purchasing a unit, which has very low pixels, will result in a choppy display that is difficult to discern. Although you should determine how much you’re willing to spend, it is vital to choose a unit, which displays at least 240×240 pixels on the screen.
Of course, a bigger budget will allow you to choose a much better display. You should also determine, whether or not you’ll be satisfied with a black and white screen. You’ll need to make some personal decisions in this regard.
The frequency is very important and should be one of your main focal points, when searching for a high-quality fishfinder. It is vital that you know the basics of the term, before you go out there and purchase any brand. Transducers are equipped with a single, dual, or multiple frequencies. To break these down for you, the single frequency is only capable of pointing a single beam directly down below the boat.
These transducers are suitable for lakes and rivers that have less than a 200” depth and available in frequencies ranging from 192-200 kHz. The dual frequency is exactly that, because it has dual (two) frequencies, which are normally a 50 kHz and 200 kHz.
The 50 kHz is capable of scanning around the sides of the boat, because it has a wider cone angle, while the 200 kHz will again only show the areas below the boat. The 50 kHz is more powerful and will penetrate depths greater than 200”.
It is vital to make sure that your fish finding unit is going to be able to enhance your game. With this in mind, you should consider, whether or not you need temperature, speed and distance readouts. Truthfully, this will come down to your particular style of fishing. If you’re totally into trolling, you will be able to enhance your creel count with speed and distance information. For drift fishing, speed is essential.
Remember that some species of fish are very peculiar and will only take bait, if it is traveling at a specific speed! Temperature is actually beneficial regardless. By knowing the temperature, you will have a much easier time locating the specific type of fish that you want to catch! Although this will come down to your personal preferences, it is a good idea to get a unit that is capable of providing you with temperature information.
Portable of Fixed?
Each buyer will have the option of choosing between a portable or fixed unit. Obviously, the portable unit offers the convenience of being very transportable, while the fixed models are a little more difficult to move. Again, this decision will be based on your particular situation.
Those that own their very own boat should definitely opt for the fixed unit, since they’ll make life tremendously easier. On the other hand, if you’re renting a boat, you’ll want the portable model. At the same time, ice fishers and anyone, who has access to a fly-in retreat, will want to stick with a portable unit. It will give them the advantage of moving the unit easily, once they’re ready to go home!
If you’re looking to splurge and want even more convenience, you should consider purchasing a unit with GPS capabilities. These units are capable of pinpointing your exact location regardless of where you are on the water. You can also use the GPS technology to create waypoints, which will make it easier to get back to shore. GPS can certainly increase the price of the product, but it also offers many awesome features.
When searching for a replacement for your old finder, it is vital that you take the time to do a bit of research on the new products that are available on today’s market. Keep in mind, while you are shopping for the best fish finder, what your specific needs entail.
If you are a deep-water fisherman, then you will definitely want to purchase a dual frequency transducer, but if you are not, a single frequency will suffice your needs. A fish finder will definitely make your fishing experience a whole lot more enjoyable. For additional tips on how to set up your fish finder, check out our guide here!