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Kayak fishing is one of the oldest outdoor fun activities. It is thus no surprise there has been a recent surge in its popularity among anglers.
A kayak fish finder is a device usually used during kayak fishing to determine the location of fish underwater. Kayak fish finders work by sending high-frequency signals and then detect them as they reflect. The reflected signal maps out the underwater world.
It helps you to know the underwater world. It helps to determine the depth of the water body, locate fish sources and determine the structures beneath the water surfaces.
To ease the frustration that you’ll encounter when trying to look for the best Kayak fish finder (there are a plethora of them), here is a detailed review of the best currently on the market.
10 Best Rated Kayak Fish Finders of 2020
Garmin Striker 4 Fish Finder
Finding fish has never been more comfortable with The Garmin striker 4. It is a small but powerful fish finder for your kayak that comes with a myriad of features. It comes in two sizes; the more compact 3.5” display and a larger 7” color display.
Both come with a high sensitivity GPS. The GPS with the use of the provided waypoint map helps the users to set ways points and navigate routes.
Equipped with intuitive, keypad-style controls, which is user-friendly and convenient to use.
The Garmin Striker comes with an integrated CHIRP enabled transducer which enables you to find fish quickly by sending continuous real-time information.
The most impressive feature is the CLEARVU scanning which gives you a clear view of the fish and structures beneath the water surface.
It also comes with a portable kit which includes a sealed rechargeable battery, a charger, and a built-in transducer cable management.
- Comes in displays of various sizes
- User-friendly interface
- Easy to use
- Sonar depth; 1700ft and 750 feet in freshwater and saltwater
- The flasher can malfunction
Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro Fish Finder
Easily one of the best kayak fish finders available, the Dragonfly-4 Pro comes with built-in GPS compatible with Narvonic charts and maps. It utilizes traditional CHIRP sonar and broad spectrum CHIRP Down Vision sonar.
The combination of these two gives the best possible optimized images for any given conditions up to depths of 600ft.
It features a 4.3″ HD LED-backlit all-weather display with anti-fog binding. This full-color display produces highly detailed images. The screen is mounted on a ball-and-socket tilt-swivel mount which makes it easy to adjust the display.
A temperature sensor is included in the transducer for better tracking of fish movements. The unit is also WIFI ready. Thanks to the Raymarine WI-Fish app, you can connect to your smartphone or tablet device. This app enables you to stream live sonar data via your Android or iOS device and also lets you connect with family and friends.
Also, it comes with a MicroSD card slot for data transfer.
- Robustly designed
- Sunlight readability display
- Easy to install
- Relatively pricey
Deeper Smart Sonar Kayak Fish Finder
Ideal for tech-savvy fishers, the deeper smart sonar fish finder is the perfect fish finder for those who want a portable and wireless option. This fish finder works with Android and Apple iOS devices using Bluetooth.
It employs dual beam frequency sonar technology; 290 kHz (15degree) and 90 kHz (55degee) which enables double area coverage. The wide beam provides wide searches and the narrow beam provides high accuracy scans for everything beneath the water surface.
This dual beam functionality thus provides a clear image of the entire fishing area. This is the most impressive feature of the deeper smart fish finder that makes it worth it.
- Works where other fish finders can’t
- Has GPS
- Battery life of 4-5.5hrs
Lowrance Hook-4X HDI Fish Finder
This is arguably one of the most durable high-quality fish finders currently suitable for kayak fishing. It spots a 4-inch LCD which creates a large viewing angle under all weather conditions. This screen supports three display views, i.e., split screen, zoom and traditional views.
The display size allows one to monitor three sets of data at a time. A trackback function is also included to enable one scroll back to view locations they have already passed. This ensures one doesn’t have to circle back for better views of points of interest.
It uses a combination of CHIRP sonar and down scan imaging to give a clear image of what is beneath the kayak. An impressive feature about this compact device is the advanced signal processing function (ASP). ASP the reduces the time you need to spend adjusting the settings on your finder to locate fish hence provides more time to concentrate on fishing.
It has both 83/200 kHz and 455/800 kHz transducers which further enhance image processing.
- HD LCD with a wide viewing angle
- IPX7 water resistance rating
- Trackback function
- Lacks GPS
Humminbird Fishing’ Buddy Max Fish Finder
When it comes to kayak fishing, no brand does it better that Humminbird. This fish finder is perfect for those who want an ultra-portable option without having to rely on wireless connectivity
The fish in’ buddy has a 3.5-inch LCD which can either have an 8-level grayscale in black and white or 256 TFT in color options display.
The display is attached to a transducer through a 24 to 40-inch retractable telescoping pole for secure storage. The pole has a clamp which is used to mount the finder easily and quickly.
The unit boasts of Dual-beam sonar and down-imaging sonar technology operating at a frequency of 200/455 kHz which provides crystal clear images.
When using the down-imaging function, it can scan up to depths of 320-600ft. Apart from having an exceptionally long battery life (30hrs), the Humminbird also displays the cruising speed.
- Easy to use
- Long battery life
- Sunlight readability
- Lacks GPS capability
Garmin Echo 300c Dual-beam Fish Finder
Another fish finder designed to make kayak fishing exciting and straightforward if the Garmin echo 300c dual-beam fish finder. It has inbuilt features that make fishing a worry-free exciting experience.
It boasts of a 3.5-inch 256 color 640×480 resolution display. This display offers a large viewing angle ranging from 60 degrees to 120 degrees.
An included Garmin HD-ID functionality ensures you have a view of the underwater world up to a depth of 1500ft in fresh water. It utilizes a powerful dual-beam transducer that is quick and easy to install.
Another prominent feature is the smooth scaling technology which allows you to navigate the turbulent and still waters even as the depth keeps changing.
- Quick and easy to install
- Dual beam sonar technology
- Lacks GPS
Signstek FF-003 Fish Finder
The Signstek FF-003 fish finder is undoubtedly one of the best handheld fish finders made for professional anglers and amateur fishers. It is a low-priced option if you are looking for something reliable.
It has an IPX4 water resistance rating, a 2.8-inch full-color display and ease of use for both pros and beginners nothing can go wrong when using this fish finder.
Also, it has an LED front light which enables sunlight readability. The unit comes with a sonar sensor operating at a frequency of 83/200 kHz to locate fish beneath your kayak.
It supports 100 different levels of sensitivity for 2-240ft depth range to make the most accurate readings. The multi-level depth range also helps to know the depth of water hence determine where fish are located.
Another fantastic feature is its ability to be operated in temperatures ranging from -20-70 degrees because of the built-in of the water temperature indicator.
- High accuracy
- Sunlight readability
- Lacks GPS
Hawkeye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder
Its convenience, reliability, and efficiency make it a popular choice among anglers. The Hawkeye Fishtrax 1C fish finder comes with a troll-able, floatable and boat mountable 83/200 kHz, transducer which make it light and small.
Dual frequency sonar technology is employed to provide highly detailed images. Fish alarms are also installed in the unit so that as you fish more fish schools are located.
It has 100 different levels of sensitivity and an auto-zoom bottom tracking feature which improves the accuracy of readings depending on depth. The sensitivity settings enable a maximum scanning depth of 240ft.
The Fishtrax 1C comes in three versions that include an HD color Virtual View display and two that feature black and white displays. A flasher which provides vertical jigging when using live bait is also provided.
- Easy to install
- Battery life of 10-15hrs
IBobbler Castable Wireless Bluetooth Fish Finder
The Castable wireless Bluetooth fish finder is similar to the deeper smart pro fish finder as it also works with smart devices using a free application for Android and iOS devices.
Sonar technology is employed that helps in identifying fish in both shallow and deep water. The sonar technology offers an excellent image regarding the fishing area with accurate readings up to a depth of 135ft.
An LED beacon is provided which helps in locating it after casting especially during foggy weather.
It boasts of the latest GPS technology which provides real-time location data. Apart from mapping contours, you can also create your customized map of favorite fishing locations using GPS spot tagging functionality.
It comes with a rechargeable battery, having an average battery life of 10hrs per charge cycle. A light indicator is provided to give information on battery levels.
Reel sonar digital fish scale and multi-tool pliers are included in the packaging to help in weighing the size of your catch.
- Contour mapping
- Map customization
- Average battery life
Fish Hunter Directional 3D Wireless Fish Finder
The last unit on our list is the Fish Hunter Directional 3D Wireless fish finder. This fish finder comes with five tri-frequency transducers available at 381 kHz, 475 kHz, and 675 kHz to provide more area coverage during fishing.
Seamless mobile integration is achieved using a complementary Fish Hunter app compatible with Android and iOS devices.
Perhaps the most impressive features are; the 3D View which allows you to view lifelike images of the underwater world and the unique mapping capabilities. Mapping is done using bathymetric technology that enables you to determine depth and map contours.
The combination of these two produces surrounding images that clear. It supports directional casting for optimal depth and angle viewing during fishing.
With military-grade sonar technology, it can scan up to a depth of 120ft, and the wireless connectivity casting range is about 80-150ft.
- Has 3D View
- Uses bathymetric mapping
- No GPS
Best Kayak Fish Finder Buying Guide
Before starting the search for which kayak fish finder to buy that suits your needs, it is usually essential to take the following factors into consideration
It is vital to consider the energy that would be required to run the fish finder efficiently. If you want a portable transducer, you should select one with an average and above battery life.
Transducer and Sonar Frequency
Kayak fish finders can either have single, dual or multiple frequency transducers. Higher frequencies are ideal for shallow waters and deeper depths lower frequencies.
Down and side imaging should also be a consideration. Side imaging helps in fishing in shallow waters while down imaging is suitable for deep water kayaking.
Since kayak fish finders come with small displays, higher resolution displays are ideal for better clarity of images.
If you like fishing in areas with open waters, a GPS equipped fish finder comes in handy as it helps you in tracking your location as well as many fishing spots.
Another factor to consider when selecting a fish finder is the size of your kayak. Usually smaller kayaks would best serve you with portable or handheld fish finders. Another vital factor to consider is the water resistance rating and how easy it is to use.
Out of all fish finders we have listed our recommendation has to be the Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro. This fish finder is packed with the latest marine electronics technology and unmatched features that give it an edge over all the others. An alternative is the Deeper Smart Sonar Fish Finder.
If you are running on a budget, the Garmin Striker 4 is the one for you.
Every angler wants the best experience when it comes to kayak fishing. With the many fish finders available we believe that the fish finders above will offer the best experience. You don’t need to spend all the time out in the water only to get out without a catch. Up your game by getting yourself the best Kayak fish finder.