Choosing the Right Kayak Fish Finder for Your Needs
Now that you have seen ten of the very best kayak fish finders, it is time to learn how to narrow down the options and choose the one right for you. This often boils down to just a few simple factors.
- Transducer style
- Sonar Types
Yet, before you start to use any of that information, you have to ask yourself about your fishing style and actual needs. Because you are reading this guide, it is likely that you already know just what a kayak fish finder can do and that you actually need one for your fishing adventures.
As to budget, it is fair to say that almost any of the top kayak fish finders recommended here are also fairly priced for almost any budget. The hand-held models are apt to be the least expensive, but you will have to shop around according to your budget.
The next thing you need to then consider are the factors above.
Related: Best Fishing Backpack
Know about Portability, Size and Transducer Style
In the reviews, we noted when a model was “portable” (i.e. hand-held) or easily dismounted as well as having a transducer that was transom mounted or attached to a floater.
The transom is where the two sides of the hull meet at the stern of the kayak. Some of the models we have reviewed have transducers that are mounted here using included gear or kits. Some can be passed through the kayak’s scupper hole safely, and some use floats that send information to the device or even a smartphone.
Some displays are not mounted but look and feel more like a walkie talkie or smartphone. Others do use a simple ball and pivot or other mount, and we offered that information when available. It’s up to you to determine how you wish to mount both the transducer and the display, but it is important to give some thought about portability and overall size.
Some devices also need a large, external battery. However, our list of top kayak fish finders skipped those options as they eliminated the actual portability of the units. Instead, we selected from those that have rechargeable batteries or are designed to be far more portable.
Yet, when we talk about portability, we also have to talk about overall size and the waterproof nature of a device. The larger the display component, the more space you need to use that type of kayak fish finder. Additionally, you may find that you jeopardize the unit by exposing it to water, and so a cover or waterproofing is important.
Know about Transducers v. Sonar
As noted, the transducer is what generates all of the data displayed on the display, and it might float or be mounted to the kayak in some way. It often includes the sonar devices that send waves into the water and react when those waves encounter something.
You can find transducers that feature one or more kinds of sonar, and each of the reviews tried to explain the different varieties you can choose from. As you might recall, sonar penetrates to a diversity of depths, and you will want to choose based on the depths of the waters you intend to use a kayak fish finder.
You’ll see options for 2D, 3D, side scans and more. While it may not always be beneficial to use the more detailed or 3D sonars, when you are fishing from a kayak, you are less likely to be fishing at great depths and so the 3D models or more advanced sonars may really pay off.
Do You Need GPS?
If you are like millions of others, you probably wonder how you navigated the world without the GPS in modern phones and cars. The same is often said of GPS in a kayak fish finder that helps you easily navigate new water, tag areas with landmarks or issues, or great fishing, and so on.
Live maps and navigation support are invaluable if you get turned around, and so we do suggest you opt for models with this feature.
It is not extremely difficult to recognize the features you need from a kayak fish finder and the features you can live without. We’ve run the gamut from the incredibly basic and simple portables to the more feature-rich and larger models. Any of them will outperform the other options from previous years, but you will need to make your choice based exclusively on your type of water, fishing, budget and needs. The good news is that you have a great variety from which to choose.