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Best Fish Finder for Kayak 2019 • 5 Fish Finders for Kayak Reviews

Kayaks are a wonderful thing, especially when you're an angler with a best fish finder for kayak fishing. The only problem with kayak fishing is the size and weight of the vessel. We have to consider the supplies we are carrying including rods and a finder because they will all add to the weight we are carrying, not to mention finding a spot where gear will go.

Fish Finder for Kayak Leaderboard 2019

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  Ray Marine Electronics E70320 ReelSonar Wireless Bluetooth Deeper PRO Smart HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Venterior Portable Sonar
Rating 9.95
very good
very good
Amazon rating
4.4 out of 5 stars
7 customer reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
1157 customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
122 customer reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
75 customer reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
124 customer reviews
Brand Ray Marine Electronics ReelSonar Deeper HawkEye Venterior
Product Dimensions

13.8 x 13.8 x 13.8 inches

2 x 2 x 1 inches

2.6 x 2.6 x 2.6 inches

6 x 3 x 2 inches

10.6 x 6.7 x 2.4 inches

Item Weight

2 pounds

1.6 pounds

3.52 pounds

10.2 pounds

1.08 pounds

Display Type

LED Display


3 color displays

HD Color


Display size

7 inches

Mobile inches

Mobile inches


4.6 inches









Red & White




Maximum Depth


135 ft.

330 ft.

240 ft.

25 ft.

Audible alarms






Frequencies supported






Battery Included?







365 days

365 days


730 days

730 days

  • Navionics charts
  • micro SD card
  • automatic sonar optimization
  • no adjustment required
  • marine electronics
  • 10+ hrs battery life
  • Bluetooth Smart sync
  • raw sonar and fish tagging views
  • GPS spot tagging
  • fish and strike alarms
  • fish finder for kayak
  • castable sonar
  • best scanning depth
  • rechargeable battery
  • salt water operation
  • display show all features
  • scout fishing area
  • lightweight
  • readings quickly
  • easy to use
  • detect and display water depth
  • round transducer
  • various features settings
  • waterproof transmitter
  • sonar sensor
Price Value
Where to buy
Large selection of Fish Finders for Kayak at affordable prices on
Wide range of top brands Secure Payment & Buyer Protection Free delivery from 29 Euro upwards Show Fish Finder for Kayak bestsellers on & save!

The only problem with kayak fishing is the size and weight of the vessel. We have to consider the supplies we are carrying including rods and a finder because they will all add to the weight we are carrying, not to mention finding a spot where gear will go. Our kayak has to be maneuverable while we are paddling, and no objects should be in the way, including our finder. With the finder comes the transducer, and we will need to mount it in a good place, as well as have our display in an easy, visible spot while we are paddling.

Fish Finder for Kayak With Gps or Not

the Garmin Striker finders have CHIRP scanning sonar capability as well as CHIRP scanning.If we are familiar with a fishing spot and go there all of the time, we may not need plotter functions or a GPS for our finder. As a matter of fact, some folks use smartphones to get to a spot. Also, if money is an issue, getting a finder without GPS will save a lot of money. But if we want to really know where the fish are hiding out and map them out before casting out our line, a GPS is the way to go. For those of us who like angling over logs, rocks, brush and other structure, a finder/GPS allows us to keep on top of the structure and find our way home should we drift about.

Many finders come with GPS capabilities in order to plot our location on maps and navigate easily. They also provide water temperatures and travel speed.

How Does a Fish Finder for Kayak Work?

Fish finders send out sonar signals via a transducer. When the signal locates something under water, an estimate of the object's size is taken by the sonar wave. It also indicates the depth of the object which could be fish, logs, rocks or the bottom. The wave then goes back to the unit resembling an echo and the unit receives the information creating an image so that we can see on the display screen what is in the water beneath us.

The sound wave is returned to the device like an echo, and the information is fed into the apparatus. The information which is fed back to the instrument is used to create an image of what is going on in the water beneath you. This image is then displayed live on your screen for you interpret. The finders that have more than one frequency give better views. A higher frequency gives a narrower cone angle and excellent details. Those with a lower frequency have greater depth but sensitivity is limited to a longer range.

A transducer for a fish finder for kayaks is usually mounted to the hull of the trolling motor or hull. It sends out strong sonar signals that mirror back what we can see on the finder's display screen. Like radar sonar waves, they strike objects and the waterbed bouncing back to the transducer which sends them to the transmitter that measures the waves and sends them to the finder. If this sounds complicated, read the manual that came with the unit. It takes some time to get used to interpreting the display screen's information, but once we learn fishing and catching will come easy.

How well a transducer works is determined by the crystals, which are a lead zirconate titanate or polarized barium titanate ring or disk with a silver coat. These elements create and detect vibrations and the bigger they are the louder they are. As a matter of fact, when factors like receiver quality and output power stay the same, if we double the crystal's diameter, we will see the same effect as if we quadrupled the fish finder's output power.

The choice of the transducer's mounting mechanism also has an effect on how well the fish finder for kayaks performs. Before mounting a transducer inside the hull, the area needs to be prepared and cleaned to get rid of dust particles that could cause image disturbances on the finder's display screen. After cleaning, apply silicon and stick the transducer to it. Make sure there are no air bubbles when applying. After the silicon has set, the transducer is fixed and ready to go.

There are mounting variations when mounting the transducer of a fish finder for kayaks. We can make a frame or well out of foam or plastic and place the unit in it offering support. We can also purchase a transducer mounting kit that includes what we need for sticking, mounting and cleaning.

in 2016, deeper smart sonar pro was honored with an innovation award for best wireless handsetTransducers transmit the pulse and the deeper it travels, the wider area it covers. It creates cone shaped patterns with stronger sounds along the axis that lesse as we move away from the center. More of the underwater can be seen with a wide-angle cone but depth capability is hindered because the transmitter's power is spread out. The narrow cone angle doesn't show us as much underwater but penetrates deeper than a wide cone. It concentrates power into a much smaller area.

A high 192-200 KHz transducer can either have a wide or narrow cone angle. It should be used for freshwater applications. The narrow cone angle works well with saltwater applications and is usually in the 30 to 45 degree range.

A transducer is more sensitive in its specified cone angle, and we can also witness echoes outside the cone, but they are not as strong. The most effective cone angle is within the specific cone that we can see displayed. If the transducer cone shows a suspended fish, but the sensitivity is not high enough to see, we have an effective cone angle that is narrow and displays a shallow bottom with targets. If we turn up the sensitivity the effective cone angle will be increased allowing us to see targets that are farther out.

The display size for a fish finder for kayaks is an important consideration because any screen bigger than five or six inches will just get in our way. It will also be heavy and harder to mount. For instance, if we try installing a ram mount on the side of the kayak to hold the display, we are adding five to ten pounds of weight. We should look for a finder with a display of six inches or less.

When installing a fish finder for kayaks, we will need a power source. A marine battery in a waterproof box will do. We attach wires from the battery to the display and the transducer. We can choose to go with a portable finder that has a battery pack that is waterproof and built into the case. This will run on storage batteries.

Advantages, Applications, Pros and Cons of Fish Finders for Kayaks

The Raymarine Dragonfly 4 Pro GPS Combo has a four inch color display and is well suited for a kayak. It is easy to use with three buttons and the compressed high intensity radiated pulse (CHIRP) technology gives us fantastic lifelike images with a traditional sonar and a 3D sonar up to 1000 feet. The built in charts and GPS tell us where we are and will connect with wifi to our phone streaming live sonar data. The screen is all weather viewable no matter what the conditions. The only con appears to be limited mounting options. It sells for approximately $300.

The Hummingbird Helix 5 has a high resolution display containing an 800 x 400 pixel resolution and 256 color screen. The internal display is built in allowing for better positioning. The Chart plotting and UniMap cartography are preloaded and the 3D chars of lakes and rivers is a big help. The cons are the image acquisition is a bit weak and the price is somewhat steep for what we get. It sells for about $325.

The FishHunter Military Grade Fish Finder for kayaks 3.0 is worth noting because of its depth and signal range. The more depth and range, the more fish we'll catch! The range is 80 feet and sends signals of fish up to 100 feet. It's great for ice fishing, allowing us to receive signals for 30 feet deep. Using sonar technology integrated with the GPS, it gives details about the best fishing spots. The only negative reviews are we need an account and an Internet connection. It is priced at approximately $100.

The Garmin STRIKER 5cv with transducer has ClearVu technology and a waypoint map with GPS. The sonar view is customized with clear images of fish and structure. The design is sturdy and rugged to handle a marine environment with high performance. The built in flasher allows us to observe bottom conditions, the weighted bait and the depth of the fish. The GPS lets us precisely locate our position. It is waterproof, compact and easy to use with a rich interfaced dedicated button and a built in flasher. Negative pointed out are the cable connector pins are too short, and the manual is not very clear on instructions. It sells for approximately $175.

The Hawkeye FishTrax I is a portable finder equipped with modern technology using wide, easy beam angle for accurate readings. It operates in below zero temperatures and uses algorithm programming. In addition to the depth scale, there is a fish alarm to tell us where to head. Its design fits into our palm, so it fits in a pocket, tackle box or gear bag. Its dox matrix display minimizes eye strain, and the LCD protector The Hawkeye FishTrax I is a portable finder equipped with modern technology using wide, easy beam angle for accurate readings. It operates in below zero temperatures and uses algorithm programming. In addition to the depth scale, there is a fish alarm to tell us where to head. Its design fits into our palm, so it fits in a pocket, tackle box or gear bag. Its dox matrix display minimizes eye strain, and the LCD protector removes condensation. Negative reviews include the dot matrix display and the low technology quality. It's priced at $80 on Amazon.

Deeper Portable Wireless Wi-Fi Fish Finder for Kayaks is versatile and compatible with smartphones and tablets. It switches from wide to narrow beam scanning frequency and uses a narrow beam for bottom water and fish. For a vast search area, the wide beam is applied. It is lightweight and 2.5 inches in diameter. It has a clear range and works from a height of 1.5 to 330 feet below surface and perfectly measures water temperature. The cons are there are sometimes connective problems, no Bluetooth option and it's a bit pricey. It sells for approximately $120.

The Garmin EchoMap 44cv is powerful and compact and easily fits in a kayak. It is equipped with GPS and sonar. It's easy to install with cables that plug into the mount, not the unit. It has a high contrast color display with preloaded BlueChart® g2 maps and keyboard control. It also has a built in 500W HP-ID sonar. The only problem noted on review was connection problems. It sells for about $250.

There are new applications that take portable fish finders for kayaks to a new level. They include waterproof units, so we can attach them to our boat or fishing line. They will send data back to our tablet or smartphone. Since our phone has a built in GPS and with the help of the Internet, we can get information of where the fish are and view other angler's data and experiences as well.

A fish finder with depth is helpful when we aren't familiar with the area, plus we can see how deep the bottom is, check for obstacles and when we are entering into shallow waters.

A finder with suction cup mounts allows for easy kayak attachment and a GPS combo will give us spot plot options on a map so we can so back and forth to active fishing spots.

A finder with side imaging show us what is on the side of our kayak and what's is under it. They are used with a transducer that has two sonar beams on either side of our boat. Two beams at a right angle aim check out the sides rather than downwards.

The sonar type shows us a great deal more than a traditional finder because it sweeps a greater distance with a more detailed image of what is around us. The best side imaging finders with sonar give us higher visibility of the fish allowing us to catch more!


There is more to a fish finder than just locating fish. There are tools within the finder that have to be tested to make sure it performs well and helps anglers to find more fish as effectively as possible.

Since finders are basically sonar driven, testers need to make sure that the sonar works to increase an angler's odds for catching fish. They will cruise around a body of water to see how well the unit performs in locating where schools of fish hang out or to find where the baiting fish are. They check to see the sonar performance in weeds and brush where bass is often found. They also scout ledges where trout may be located. They study what and where structures underwater are and maybe housing fish.

Testers study underwater charts of areas for fishing and then with an overall picture will see how well the finder interprets the information to locate the best fishing spots. They will fish underwater structures, examining different angles with the finder, making sure that with a single pass the image shown reveals the area's potential for fish. They look for signs that the sonar picks up on the structures with the highest points like the edge of weed beds or reef that hold the largest fish.

They test structure because fish love it and that's why testers look for structure first and the finder needs to efficiently find it. A good fish finder for kayaks will help an angler at mapping structures underwater, and once experienced, the angler will be able to use a fish finder adequately.

Screen Testing

The display screen is tested to see how information is seen and to make sure it's easy to interpret and read the data. They look at sonar waves and how they are released by the transducer. The review rate of waves and speed returning to the transducer and how raw data is converted into data that is visual to fish found based on where they show on the finder. Testing the depth is vital because it allows us to understand how deep the water is below us and what kinds of fish are there. The testers make sure the depth is accurate and clear. The speed sensor is also reviewed to indicate how fast our kayak is moving, and the distinct color for echo return to the transducer is study, as is the density.

Sonar Display Testing

keep your fish finder for kayaks in tip top shapeTo test a sonar finder, which is more or less a higher performance unit, the ability of the sonar to search in the kayak in every direction is tested, both vertically and horizontally. The difference between sonar and a finder is the sonar's ability to search not just under the kayak but also around it as well. They check the lines extending down from the exact position of the kayak to see how the boat is navigating and to check for the exactness of the sonar's navigational tracking. They also review the capabilities of the sonars red and green rings that represent the seabed search to see the angles of the beam angle or tilt and how they appear on the display. Testers also look at the vertical views of water underneath the kayak to see if the views are suitable for spotting and identifying schools of fish. For example, there should be a sonar cross sectional view, with a park in the center pointing out our boat's location, and the sonar should send ultrasonic waves via the transducer under the boat. We should see a school of fish a short distance from the boat and a few feet from the surface.

If the sonar has dual frequency it should receive and transmit ultrasonic waves using two frequencies at the same time making identifying schools of fish much easier. For instance, there should be a figure showing how the sonar is displaying information, while the left side of the screen reflects returning echoes from ultrasonic waves that are low frequency. The right side should display the high frequency echoes returning. The position of the kayak should be marked at the image's center. The testers will set the search radius at 200m to make sure the echoes that are returning fill each screen to check that the ultrasonic wave's high frequency has a long range that is long and effective. Testers will also check the sonar's standard configurations of the main display. They are the transducer, hull unit, and the mechanism that moves the transducer's fish finder for kayaks down and up.


If the finder has a technology called Fish-ID, testers will see how raw data is converted into a user friendly interface. They'll examine how fish appear and the size of fish that are detected. They check the accuracy of the Fish ID, as they are known to be somewhat inaccurate mistaking rocks for fish, etc.

On an Arch Fish Finder, reviewers will look at the arches and lines that the transducer is receiving. They will check the sonar waves that are reflected off from moving targets and read as an arch that represents fish.

fish finders for kayak send out sonar signals via a transducerIf we go online and review websites that are dedicated to fish finders for kayaks, we will find a wealth of information on what experts recommend with reviews of models and new technology that has been introduced over the last few years. Those who test finders to so in order to help us select the best finder at the best price and fit our fishing style. Now is a great time to explore the thrill of kayak fishing and there are many options in quality finders to choose from including quality five and seven inch models perfect for kayaks and easy on our wallets.

Kayak fishing has exploded in popularity in the last five years. If you are looking to get into kayak fishing, now is a great time. There has never been as many awesome options and quality fish finders for kayaks. There are several really good five and seven inch models that have quality screens and are very easy on our budget.

What to Pay Attention to When Buying

Having a quality fish finder for kayak can make our fishing experience very productive, so we obviously want to know what to look for when searching for the right one.

First and foremost, there are some myths to watch out for when buying a finder. Number one is that more power is better. True, the power of a fish finder decides what the sonar signal strength is that is projected into water as watts. The higher the watts the stronger the signal and the deeper the water depth. Also true, the more power the finder has, the more expensive it is. The truth is the power needed to produce fish is based totally on the water we are fishing in. If we're fishing inland lakes, a 200 watt finder RMS should be more than enough. When in coastal and nearshore waters, we may want power of 400 watts. Offshore heavy duty 100 watts should only be needed if we make long trips offshore. Matching our needs is about finding the best unit rather than going for the biggest finder out there. As a matter of fact, if the finder has too much power for the water's depth, the signal will probably be distorted on reading the screen.

there are mounting variations when mounting the transducer of a fish finder for kayaksThe second myth is we don't need a finder GPS Combo. Not true because a combo is very beneficial and will give us complete contentment with the unit we select. We should stretch the budget a bit to gain the combo's capability to plot charts with depth finding. By combining the finder with a GPS, we also save on space in our kayak.

Myth number three is the bigger the screen the better. We should not go with a screen that gives us limited view but not so large that it takes up valuable space and tears into our budget. A diagonal measurement from one corner to the other is how screen sizes are measured. A good size for a kayak usually is in the five to seven inch range.

The fourth myth is CHIRP technology is a “have to have it”. Compressed high intensity radar pulse (CHIRP) is new and does have attractive pluses. CHIRP sends a sonar that sweeps signals moving through a range of frequencies rather than sending a dual or single frequency like most finders. In order words, instead of 200Hz signals being transmitted, a CHIRP will send signals that move from 75 to 130 kHz, resulting in more accurate and detailed mapping of contours and structure on the bottom. With that said, dual or standard sonar is quite adequate for 90 percent of all kayak fishing. It's been used forever and is known to be effective. So, the answer is CHIRP although nice is not necessary.

Number five myth is side imaging versus down. Sonar frequencies that are projected on a finder's screen result in images that are bounced off the water's floor and sent straight to the transducer. These signals are processed by algorithms producing a visual on the screen. Transducers once projected these frequencies below the kayak with a cone shape, and if we saw a fish arc on the screen, it was right under us. But side image scanning cover a broader range with imaging extending to the sides of the kayak, giving a wider view of the bottom. This is fine for shallow water, but in deeper water, the signal does not give a clear picture of what's below. So, in reality, for crisp, clear images of fish and structure in deeper water, down imaging is the best.

The best and final advice regarding fish finders for kayaks is if we have it in our budget, we should go with a combo imaging finder that is side and down. Devices with this technology let us go back and forth between the two. But, if we have to settle a down scan unit will do.

One more thing to pay attention to that is NOT a myth is ice fishing finders. It's worth noting that ice fishing needs a special finder type to be the most affecting in catching under ice fish. Since we are vertically working our bait, we need to see the fish under it and as it drops through the water column. We will need a flasher display in order to do this because mechanical flashers frequently break down and need repairs. Units that are portable and about five inches now come with a flashier option, and we can do a screen that is split to see 2D sonar allowing us to see what bait and fish are under the ice hole.

Information on Leading Manufacturers

  • 1. Garmin Ltd.
  • 2. Deeper, UAB
  • 3. Lowrance
  • 4. NorCross Marine Products
  • 5. Hummingbird Scientific
  • 6. Raymarine
Garmin Ltd. is a multinational American technology founded in 1989 in Kansas, MO. The Garmin Striker finders have CHIRP scanning sonar capability as well as CHIRP scanning.
Deeper, UAB, a Lithuanian company develops, produces and designs electronic devises for outdoor and sports activities. Its products are marketed in 50 plus countries. Its smart wireless anglers sonar was the first product to revolutionize the finder industry. In 2016, Deeper Smart Sonar Pro was honored with an Innovation Award for best wireless handset.
Lowrance 60 years of fishing technology and a history of refining applications and electronic equipment. Their fish finding technology include CHIRP sonar for downward and to the side imaging, accurate and built in GPS and C Map charts. Touch screen technology with data allowing for easy configurations on high resolution backlit display. Also offers NMEA 2000 Bluetooth networking and Wifi for software upgrades and downloads.
NorCross Marine Products manufactures, engineers and designs products under HawkEye and NorChill name brands. The HawkEye sonar finders include digital depth sounders and OEM solutions. Their products are backed with superb technical support and award winning warranties.
Hummingbird Scientific was created by Techsonic Industries in 1971. During the past five decades, Hummingbird has manufactured depth and sonar finders including LakeMaster cartography, full oat control and radar integration and marine GPS. The company is based in Eufaula, AL.
Raymarine took over Raytheon's Recreational Marine Division in a management buy-out in 2001. Their BiseVision, RealVision 3D and DownVision sonar fish Raymarine offers sonar models that find fish and structure simultaneously with brilliant clarity. Their latest technology includes CHIRP DownVision sonar with Wi-Fish.

Internet Versus Retail Trade

Many of us like to see what we are purchasing, but with the Internet, it's so easy to shop online especially when it comes to shopping for fish finders for kayaks. Sure it is nice to literally see what we are buying but running from store to store can be exhausting and confusing. Then there's dealing with push salespeople who probably know less about finders than we do.

online shopping only requires us to the first search for a kayak fish finderBuying online is an important part of most of our lives. We rely on the Internet to buy just about everything including kayak finders. We can shop right from our home, learn everything there is to know about finders, read reviews, check prices and look for the best deals. Most fishing equipment sites even offer a questions and answer section. Many offer an online chat feature as well. Businesses embrace sales online because there is less overhead expense and it's more convenient for the business and their customers.

Shopping on the Internet is much like going to a store without the hassle. We can find what we need often with better sales than those offered in a shop. Online shopping only requires us to the first search for a kayak fish finder. We can either look for companies that sell them or search for the brand we are interested in.

Many retail websites selling finders will have descriptions, prices, specifications and pictures of the finders they sell. There are sites like Yahoo and Amazon that allow individuals and small businesses to display their finders or build an online fishing equipment store for a fee. eBay and Bidz have auction formats where we can id on finders and hope we have the highest bid. Most websites have customer service center that is virtual and we can email, chat or call to speak with a customer representative to answer any questions we might have.

Once we know what finder we want to purchase, we go to the website's checkout option and choose payment and shipment options. Payment options usually include credit cards, electronic checks or Paypal.

To review the benefits of shopping online we know:

  • It's convenient to shop from home.
  • We will save money on gas and parking and better sales.
  • There is a greater variety of kayak finder choices online.
  • There is absolutely no pressure.
  • It easy to compare finders rather than roaming from shop to shop to compare prices.

We would be remiss if we did not mention some of the disadvantages of shopping online. They include the risk of identity theft or the seller or vendor accepts are payment but doesn't send the item or send a defective item. Also, if an incorrect item is sent, it could be a hassle to return it.

In general, the advantages of online shopping do outnumber the disadvantages, and there are ways to protect ourselves. Here are a few tips:

  • Don't give out our Social Security Number unless we've researched the company.
  • Know the company we are buying from.
  • Read shipping policies on the website to know their return policies.
  • We should make sure that our computer is equipped with an anti-phishing and antivirus program to protect from websites that look solid, but are in fact just set up to collect our personal information for activities that are illegal.
In conclusion, buying a fish finder online can be rewarding and convenient, but we have to protect ourselves. Remember, if a deal looks too good to be real, it probably is not. If we don't feel secure about a website, get off it and go somewhere else. Again, we need to make sure that our computer is well protected before taking part in any transaction where sensitive information is revealed.

Websites We Can Trust

Here are a few websites that are tried and true and have lots of kayak fish finders to choose from: offers Hummingbird, Lawrence and Gamin finders. The site offers live chat and customer support as well as order tracking, return policies and shipping information. fish finder for kayaks offers free shipping on orders over $25. Has detailed information on our orders, account, shipping policies, returns and replacements, help and Amazon assistant.

Walmart sells a variety of brand name finders including Lawrence, Gamin and Hummingbird. Their customer service is extensive offering information on sales, returns, product recall, shipping and feedback. They also have an informational help center.

You can land amazing deals on eBay when looking for kayak finders.

History of Fish Finder

kayaks are a wonderful thing, especially when you're an angler with a fish finder for kayak fishingThe owners of a marine electric company were the first to develop a device to detect fish. The Furuno brothers from the small port in Nagasaki, Japan developed the new technology. It happened one day when a fisherman spoke to the brothers bragging that he knew where the fish were and could guess its quantity. He told the brothers that when air bubbles rose to the surface, it meant there were fish schools. This inspired the brothers because they knew that sound waves reflect when they hit air bubbles. They figured they could use this to find fish. This was the trigger for the development of finders. Using scrap materials and running many tests, the brothers created a prototype. With improvements, the results were tested on various vessels and resulted in amazing catches proving the invention was valid. Fishermen were delighted, and the brothers were deemed “Gods of sardines”.

It has been over 70 years since the first finders were introduced and dramatically changed the way anglers fished into a modern technical operation. The finder was marketed in 1948 by the Furuno brothers as a pen like recorder that used special paper to record objects detected under water. The device contained a search range selector, a sensitivity adjustment and a power switch.

Cleaning and Protecting

To keep our fish finder for kayaks in tip top shape, it needs love and cares once in a while so here are some tips to clean and protect our finder.

  1. Use a microfiber cloth and a lemon cleaner
    A micro cloth will not scratch the screen and a mild, lemon cleaner will help remove mineral build up on the screen. Apply the cleaner to the screen using the cloth and let stand for a few minutes. Wipe the screen in a circular motion then rinse out cloth and apply cool water to the screen with the cloth.
  2. Dry with soft cloth
    If we choose to use a spray cleaner and cloth, we need to use a mild, anti-abrasive spray detergent and a soft cloth. Spray a couple of squirts, spread over the screen with soft cloths and gently rub in a circular motion. Next, mix a bit of vinegar with water and apply to screen with a soft paper dryer making sure to cover the edges of the screen.
  3. Dry with microfiber cloth or soft paper towel
    To clean the encasement for the finder, use a mild cleaner mixed with water and vinegar, with a soft microfiber cloth, gently wiping the entire unit.

Protecting Finder Battery and Transducer

Kayaks can be tossed about on water. We need a steady battery for power that is uninterrupted. The best way to do this is to keep it in a watertight bag. We can also use a gel over the terminals to ward off water and keep the battery safe. Keep transducer cables dry and cool for a longer life and better performance.

How to Mount and Install

Before mounting any finder units and transducers, it's important to read the instruction manual to gain information from the manufacturer for installing fish finders for kayaks. We'll find information on how to mount the transducer, install cables, etc.

To mount the transducer, flip the kayak over and look for the area that's the flattest on the hull where the transducer will be mounted on the hull's inside ear or next to the scupper holes. This is the strongest area of the hull and gives the least flex so we can easily reach it. With an emery cloth, we need to sand hull in order to roughen the area where the transducer is going. We can then wipe the area dry. Next, we will use marine goop to cover the transducer's bottom make sure there are no air bubbles in the goop. After doing this, place the transducer on the goop area and press down moving it from side to side until it is resting against the hull. Let it dry by placing a weight on it. Make sure the transducer is level or it will shift and move.

the choice of the transducer's mounting mechanism also has an effect on how well the fish finder for kayaks performsBefore mounting the finder, install rod holders first and then select an area for the finder. The holes we drill should only be big enough to fit plugs through. Next, we need to make a grommet with a rubber stopper by cutting the stopper in half and cutting two 1/8 inch deep grooves all the way around at about 1/8 inches apart. We then make a trough in the stopper and drill two to here holes in the stopper. We want to use a drill bit that is a bit bigger than the cable. We now have a grommet that we can pull cables through from the deck into the grommet. Using more goop, we can mount the battery box by cutting a pool noodle in half and wrapping it around the battery box and gluing. Place the battery in the box using the goop making sure the pool noodle is secure and let dry for 24 hours. Next, drill a hole in the box to put the cables through. With an emery cloth roughen up the area where the box with battery will go and use goop to glue the box to the hull. Again, let this dry overnight, checking every once and a while to make sure the battery box is not shifting or sliding. The following day we can put a fuse that is watertight and two female connectors to the wires. Tuck the cables and secure using zip ties, anchoring zip tie attachments and rubbing alcohol.

Questions and Answers

Which is better, the HawkEye Portable finder or the Hummingbird Wrist Wireless Smartcast?

Which is better, the HawkEye Portable finder or the Hummingbird Wrist Wireless Smartcast?

Since they are priced just about the same, comparing the two the Hummingbird is probably the best buy. It has a 75 foot range of operation compared to the HawkEye 35 foot cable. The Hummingbird allows the use of two sonar sensor remotes and an automatic shout off on the sensor. Compared to the HawkEye's 45 degree sonar beam, the Hummingbird has a 90 degree beam. The Hummingbird has a 2450 battery and may come with one installed as well as an extra battery.

What is the difference between narrow and wide cones?

What is the difference between narrow and wide cones?

A transducer with a narrow cone of 200 kHz focuses on deep structures and detects small details but scans smaller water amounts. A wide cone of 50 kHz tends to lump stumps, rocks and fish together but scans more water.

How can we tell what's on a display screen?

How can we tell what's on a display screen?

Anything that is denser than water gives an echo. You may not see fish, but that doesn't mean they are not there. A good angler will recognize trees, brush, weeds and rocks which are great places for fish to hang out. We must develop skills to recognize the differences in order to land one.

What's better Flasher of LCD?

What's better Flasher of LCD?

LCDs are easier to interpret because information scrolls across a screen. A flasher without LCD is similar but takes a few soundings, does some filtering and averaging before it hits the screen.

Why are pixels important?

Why are pixels important?

The more pixels per inch, the greater the resolution. Columns and rows of pixels give details, so the more pixels the more details and better information.

Deciding on a fish finder for kayaks. Should it be HawkEye Fishtrax 1c Color or Garmin Striker 4 DV?

Deciding on a fish finder for kayaks. Should it be HawkEye Fishtrax 1c Color or Garmin Striker 4 DV?

No question, go with the Garmin. There GPS is top notch as do their finders. Or look for a Lowrance 4 series. their ram mounting systems are the best.

Why should we have a kayak fish finder on our kayak?

Why should we have a kayak fish finder on our kayak?

Finders not only mark fishing spots, they find bait, underwater structures and allow us to map our way back to the site where we launched.

(An iBobber is a Bluetooth Smart sonar castable fish finder that synchronizes with our Android or iPhone.) Yes, it's possible to tow the iBobber. However, the sonar display will likely drag a few seconds behind our paddling speed even if it’s slow. We can use the start-stop approach by paddling a few feet than stopping for a bit to refresh the sonar display.

If we press the iBobber sonar screen two or more times, we see what seems to be a temperature screen. What is it?

If we press the iBobber sonar screen two or more times, we see what seems to be a temperature screen. What is it?

It is not a temperature screen. It is a sonar display that is basic and quite raw. It's been added to the interface to attract the more experienced anglers and those who are looking for displays that are found on more expensive mounted finders. It’s actually not a temperature screen but a basic raw sonar display.

What electronic marine companies have paired up with kayak companies?

What electronic marine companies have paired up with kayak companies?

Electronic companies building small display units like Lowrane, Hummingbird and Raymarine have joined forces with companies like Old Town, Hobie, Wlderness Systems, Jackson and Ocean to create solutions for transducers and kits for kayaks.

Advanced Tips

To become a true pro at angling there are many instructional videos on using fish finders in kayaks. They are very inspirational and informative. We have some additional tips that will hopefully do the same!
  • If we are finding a lot of activity at a repeated depth, make a note of the spot and the depth, and note what type of fish are found at this depth. If these are the fish we've been searching for, note the areas with the same coverage and perhaps we will find more. Fish that are similar tend to hang out in the same territorial bodies of water. So, do not give up.
  • For more effective fishing use sonar in conjunction with the chart plotter. The markings on the screen will you will see the same effect as if you quadrupled the fish finder's output powermake much more sense as to where we are. If we have a combo finder, use the split screen for chart plotter and finder.
  • Get used to zooming in on the bottom water to learn more about the space we are fishing over and determine the type of bottom. A bottom that is hard will appear as a thin line at the bottom of the screen, and a soft bottom will show as a thick bottom reading.
  • Use your finder to practice finding fish in schools and what their depth is. Avoid fish that are huddled in groups or hugging the bottom as they are often unproductive and inactive and unlikely to bite.
  • Keep in mind that charts move from right to left based on a timescale. If we are not moving or anchored, the chart will still scan an area and move left to right across the screen. This means it's scanning the same spot over and over again and can get very confusing when are trying to discern what we are seeing on the screen.


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