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BEST KAYAK FISH FINDER: INTRO
Kayak fish finders are useful tools that have become extremely advanced over the past several years. There are several different types and brands, and finding the Best Kayak Fish Finder can be overwhelming. Many of these advanced pieces of technology can be used for purposes other than finding fish, which makes them even more important. Finding the Best Kayak Fish Finder will depend on your personal needs, and there are several factors that can influence your optimal choice. These factors include budget, the type of kayak you use, and where you kayak fish (river, lake, ocean).
If you are unfamiliar with this technology, I suggest reading my Kayak Fish Finder Ultimate Guide.
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All of the recommendations and suggestions included on this website are my unbiased opinions. I have come to these conclusions based on years of being involved and obsessed with everything related to kayak fishing. I do not give any brands or companies preferential treatment, and all of the products start on a level playing field. I display these recommendations and reviews to help people make the correct choices and avoid wasting money. I make it my top priority to earn the trust of the members and readers of KFC. Once I earn this trust, I make sure to maintain it. If you have any questions about how I recommend or review products, please send me a message.
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I do not believe that there is one Best Fish Finder that optimally fits everyone’s needs. As a result, I have listed a few options of high quality fish finders below. These fish finders have different features and price points. I list the important details for each product, and this includes appearance, primary features, specs and links to purchase. Hopefully, you can find your personal Best Fish Finder below. I have organized these products by price with the least expensive items on top.
- Portable Fish Finder (VT-FF001)
- Fish Finder with Portable Kit
- Deeper Smart Fish Finder 3.0
- Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+ (GPS & WiFi)
Best Portable Fish Finder
If you are looking for a standard device without extra features and listed at a low price, this is the Best Kayak Fish Finder for you. I am actually amazed that a functioning kayak fish finder that includes a transducer (sonar device) can be purchased at such a reasonable price. This fish finder is powered by 4 AAA batteries (not included). Other than that, it comes with everything that you need for a basic kayak fish finder. It does not include a GPS, but it does include a depth finder. The biggest negative is that it is easy for the display to be damaged by water.
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I was skeptical before trying out this device, but it worked very well. The transducer (sensor) can be attached to my kayak, but I decided to just let it float along side my kayak with the included flotation device. Oddly, the display used the metric system and measured distance in meters. I wasn’t able to tell the difference between big fish and small fish, but it was fairly accurate at detecting fish. As expected, it was not very good at detecting fish when I was paddling, but it did great as I was floating and moving with the current.
Pros: Price, Fairly Accurate, Depth Finder, Fish Alarm
Cons: Distance Measured in Meters, Display not Waterproof, No Rechargeable Battery, No GPS
Fish Finder with Portable Kit
If you are looking for the most popular fish finder for kayak fishing, this is it. Many people consider this the Best Kayak Fish Finder for the price. The Garmin Striker 4 is a solid fish finder that uses CHIRP sonar technology. It has been the leader in consumer fish finders for several years. This package includes a portable carrying case, rechargeable battery with AC charger, and a tilt/swivel mount. The rechargeable battery is excellent and will last through 2-4 days of solid fishing. You can also purchase additional batteries as backups. It also has a built in flasher that is useful for vertical jigging or ice fishing. There are newer models that have a few additional features, but they are much more expensive and not worth the price. I use this particular model every time I go out in my Kayak Fishing Pedal Kayak – it works great! Never heard of a pedal kayak? We’ve written a thorough review about the Best Pedal Kayak on the KFC blog – check it out!
Wow! There is a huge leap forward in features between this Garmin fish finder and the Venterior mentioned above. The CHIRP sonar is much more accurate and provides greater detail than traditional sonar. The extra items included in the Portable Kit are completely necessary for kayak fishing. The mount and display are both extremely high quality. The keypad operation is much more intuitive than the Venterior, but the sheer number of features make it complex. It was hard for me to learn how to access and use all of the features even after reading the manual. Fortunately, I discovered several YouTube guides that helped immensely. The inclusion of GPS is a game-changer. I use it all of the time to set waypoints to locate my favorite spots.
Pros: Accurate, Reliable, Rechargeable Battery, Mount, Long Battery Life, GPS
Cons: Learning Curve (may take time to master), Better Transducer Requires Upgrade
Deeper Smart Fish Finder 3.0
If you are looking for a more “trendy” brand of fish finder that contains the latest technology, you should check out Deeper. They currently sell three primary models of fish finders, and this is the base model.
The other 2 models are more expensive, but they have additional features like WiFi and GPS. One of the biggest differences with this fish finder (and brand in general) is that it works in conjunction with your smart phone or tablet. Your phone will actually serve as the screen for the Deeper Fish Finder, it does not come with a screen of its own. Don’t worry, you won’t need cell phone service where you are fishing.
This model connects via bluetooth and is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. You can actually attach the Deeper device to your fishing pole and cast it like a regular lure. It also has an optional mount that can be purchased separately to attach it to your kayak. It does have a rechargeable battery with stated 6 hour battery life, but I’ve used it 10 hours continuously without problems. A complete recharge takes 2 hours.
I was worried that this was going to be one of those flashy new products that doesn’t meet its primary objective of fish finding, but I was pleasantly surprised. The Deeper device is about the size of a tennis ball and weighs less than 1/4 pound. I practiced casting it from shore, and it was extremely easy.
Once I was in my kayak, I decided to test the Deeper flexible arm mount (purchased separately). The arm mount is poorly designed, and the arm that holds the Deeper is too rigid or short. As a result, the sonar ball did not stay in the water with even the smallest wave. I ended up tying it to the side of my kayak with ~ 2 feet of fishing line which worked absolutely perfectly. I brought my small tablet, and the increased display size was fantastic. This fish finder has so many awesome features, and it has the clearest picture. I had a great time using this fish finder, and I highly recommend purchasing it.
Pros: Dual Frequency Sonar, Works Well in Tight Areas, Sleek Design, Detailed Sonar
Cons: Price, Requires Phone/tablet, Flexible Arm Mount Not Included
Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+ (GPS & WiFi)
This Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+ is the newer and more advanced version of the Deeper Smart Fish Finder listed above. The biggest improvement is the inclusion of GPS and WiFi. This model is able to transmit more information because it utilizes WiFi rather than bluetooth. It also connects up to 330 feet, which is the longest distance on the market. The Deeper PRO+ actually transmits its own WiFi signal, so you do not need to have cell phone service to use it. You connect to this device just like you connect to a wireless router at your home or local coffee house.
This is the Best Kayak Fish Finder in my opinion, and I highly recommend this product. If you can afford it, you should definitely try it out. This is one of the greatest pieces of technology that I have used in the past couple of years. There are certain pieces of technology that create a drastic impact on their category or niche (ex. Nest Thermostat, Amazon Echo, and SimpliSafe). This product totally changes kayak fishing and fishing in general.
I had an great experience with the Deeper Fish Finder 3.0, and this model is even better! I loved having the ability to mark waypoints via GPS like I did with the Garmin. This product is much more flexible and easier to use than the Garmin. It is important to remember that this device only transmits a signal when it is charging or in the water. This helps it maintain battery life. Speaking of battery, I had to monitor my phone battery as well.
This model drained my phone battery significantly faster than the Deeper Fish Finder 3.0, and this is primarily attributed to the use of WiFi. Make sure your phone and the Deeper are both fully charged prior to your kayak fishing trip. I purchased a waterproof cover for my smart phone, and I attached it to my fishing pole with the Deeper Smartphone Mount. It took me a while to trust the mount, but it was very secure. I was able to use the Deeper app to catch several large catfish, and I marked the coordinates for future visits. This is my personal Best Fish Finder, and I plan on keeping it for a long time.
Pros: Accuracy, Reliability, WiFi, GPS, Signal Strength, Features, Battery Life, Flexibility
Cons: Requires Phone/tablet, Flexible Arm Mount Not Included, Fairly Expensive (Although Quality is Worth It!)
BEST KAYAK FISH FINDER: CONCLUSION
The first step to find the Best Kayak Fish Finder is to determine your budget and particular needs. These advanced pieces of technology can completely change your kayak fishing experience. It is important to take the time and complete the research to ensure that it impacts your fishing excursions in a 100% positive way.
I hope that the information included in this post has helped you discover your Best Kayak Fish Finder. If you need further help or have any questions, please contact me or post a comment below. Looking for the best kayak trolley for your fishing kayak? Check out the Top 3 Kayak Trolleys for Kayak Fishing! Do you want to find out how a fish finder finds the fish? Find out here, its super interesting!
Want to exercise your competitive streak? Look into the world of competitive kayak fishing!
Do you have any tips or suggestions to find the Best Kayak Fish Finder? What brand/model do you own? Please share your knowledge and experience with the KFC Community by leaving a comment below. Thanks for helping this website to become an even more valuable resource! Oh, and be sure to let us know if you decided to check out the Best Foot Pedal Kayak – it and the fish finder always seem to go well together!