7 best fish finder for kayak

The 7 Best Fish Finder for Kayak

Fishing from a kayak is getting very popular. People fall in love with it after fishing for the first time. A high-performing fish finder can make kayaking more enjoyable for you.

However, finding the best fish finder for kayak at a reasonable cost can be challenging.

The following article contains the buyer’s guide and detailed reviews of the best fish finders in the market. This article will simplify the process for you to avoid making common mistakes when purchasing the fish finder for your boat.

Reviews of the 7 Best Fish Finder for Kayak:

The following reviews will help you learn about the best fish finders available.

1. Garmin Striker 4 DV

Sale
Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5' GPS Fishfinder with Chirp Traditional Transducer
8,334 Reviews
Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5" GPS Fishfinder with Chirp Traditional Transducer
  • Clear Vu scanning Sonar shows you more of what is in the water around your boat; This high frequency sonar gives near photographic images with detailed representations of objects, structure and fish

Garmin is popular for its GPS systems. The Garmin Striker 4 DV also has a GPS. This high-sensitivity GPS will help you locate your favorite fishing spot.

The speed can be viewed on the display screen. You can use the map to locate places such as docks and stumps. You can easily view your data with the flasher.

It also lets you share the data with other STRIKERS.

The screen size is small. So, it proves to be the best for kayak fishers.

Furthermore, Garmin Striker 4DV features a CHIRP sonar technology that helps by creating arches with greater target separation.

This model has a reasonable price that suits many customers.

Read our full review of Garmin Striker 4 here

Pros

Cons

– It comes with CHIRP sonar technology
– The GPS helps in wayfinding
– This Garmin Striker works well in a depth of 1750 ft under freshwater and 830 feet in saltwater
– The size of the screen may be small for some people

2. Lucky portable fishing sonar

RICANK Portable Fish Finder, Handheld Fish Depth Finder Contour Readout Fishfinder Ice Kayak Shore Boat Fishing Fish Detector Device with Sonar Sensor Transducer and LCD Display Gear Fish Depth Finder
648 Reviews
RICANK Portable Fish Finder, Handheld Fish Depth Finder Contour Readout Fishfinder Ice Kayak Shore Boat Fishing Fish Detector Device with Sonar Sensor Transducer and LCD Display Gear Fish Depth Finder
  • 【Fishes and Contour Readout】The fish finder portable detects and displays water depth, approximate fish location, fish size, short & tall weeds, sand & rocks on bottom.

The Lucky fish finder will ensure that your fishing adventure is fruitful and you don’t return empty-handed. It helps you by detecting the depth of the water, the approximate location of the fish, as well as any rocks and sand on the bottom of the water body.

The depth is shown in meters or feet. The range of its detection is up to a hundred meters.

The design is simple and lightweight Furthermore, you can even hang this fish finder around your neck.

This portable fish finder works best for many fishing types, including shore, kayak, lake, etc.

It also features many sensitivity options and an alarm for the fish. You can also configure your settings to the battery saving and backlight mode.

The company also offers a 1-year warranty. So, if anything goes wrong, you will get a quick replacement without worrying.

Pros

Cons

– It has CHIRP sonar technology
– Lightweight and easily portable
– Works for many fishing environments
– 12 months warranty
– The settings are automatic Easy setup
– No cons

3. HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder

Sale
HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder with HD Color Virtuview Display, Black/Red, 2' H x 1.6' W Screen Size
317 Reviews
HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder with HD Color Virtuview Display, Black/Red, 2" H x 1.6" W Screen Size
  • FishTrax intelligent sonar delivers precise fish finder readings up to 240 feet

HawkEye Fishtrax 1C is the most powerful fish finder in the family. It features a colored HD screen that displays all the details you will need. Also, the screen can be used as a flasher for winter fishing.

This fish finder has many settings that you can configure. This will give you good accuracy.

It has three modes: SONAR, data mode, and ice flasher mode. You can view things like the temperature, depth of water, and voltage of the fish finder on the screen. You can also set the depth range automatically.

Moreover, this model is lightweight and easily portable. The battery is powerful and has an excellent backup time.

Pros

Cons

– It comes with sonar technology
– It is lightweight and portable
– It has a screen that offers many colors
– The screen can be used as a flasher
– The settings are automatic
– Easy setup
– The screen is small

4. Lowrance Mark 4 Combo Base

Lowrance HOOK2 5 - 5-inch Fish Finder with SplitShot Transducer and US Inland Lake Maps Installed (Renewed)
27 Reviews
Lowrance HOOK2 5 - 5-inch Fish Finder with SplitShot Transducer and US Inland Lake Maps Installed (Renewed)
  • EASIEST TO USE: The Lowrance HOOK2 5 Fish Finder features auto-tuning sonar and phone-like menus giving you more time to spend fishing and less time dealing with settings.

If you want a fish finder at an all-rounder fish finder at a reasonable price, Lowrance Mark 4 Combo Base is what you are looking for. Whether a beginner or an experienced angler, this model is the best for a small fishing boat.

The best thing about the Lowrance Mark 4 Combo Base is that it is easy and convenient to operate. It is lightweight and compact. So, it will fit in your hand easily and help you navigate around the water to find fish.

The LCD screen is large and easy to use. You can go through the various options and select them easily. The screen is grayscale. Some people might not appreciate that, but it helps reduce glare due to a bright screen. Also, the gray screen is easy to see in bright sunlight.

It also features an in-built GPS that will help you to mark your favorite spots and plot your routes. The navigation system provides accurate and up-to-date information.

In the past, people used to get lost while fishing. This fish finder will not only find your fish but also help you find your way back.

This fish finder is suitable for both freshwater and deep-sea fishing. It is a powerful and accurate device that will ensure you never return empty-handed from your fishing adventure.

See our full review of Lowrance Mark 4 here

Pros

Cons

– Reasonable price It also has a GPS
– The settings are automatic
– Easy to use
– You can save up to 3000 fishing spots
– One-handed operation Lightweight
– Some people might not like the grey screen.

5. Lowrance Hook 4x

Sale
HOOK2 4X - 4-inch Fish Finder with Bullet Skimmer Transducer
2,576 Reviews
HOOK2 4X - 4-inch Fish Finder with Bullet Skimmer Transducer
  • EASY TO USE: The Lowrance HOOK2 4x Fish Finder features auto-tuning sonar and phone-like menus giving you more time to spend fishing and less time dealing with settings.

Fishing kayak and canoe becomes easier with Lowrance Hook 4x. It is a smart piece of equipment you must have. It is ideal for small fishing boats or kayaks.

Because of its auto-tuning sonar and menus, it is easier to use than others. The settings are easily configurable. It has some automatic settings that will adapt to any situation. So, if you don’t understand what settings to use, you can leave it to HOOK 4x. It is also easy to set up.

Lowrance Hook 4x also offers good SHIRP sonar and provides excellent coverage, approximately double that of other fish finders.

It also comes with a fish finder and GPS. This will let you mark and navigate your favorite fishing spots.

It features a transducer that gives you two-dimensional views.

Pros

Cons

– It comes with CHIRP sonar technology
– It also has a GPS
– The settings are automatic
– Easy setup
– The screen can be small for some users

6. Raymarine Dragonfly 7 Pro

Next on our list is the Raymarine Dragonfly 7 Pro. We have gone through many customers’ reviews on Amazon. Most of them have given this fish finder an excellent rating. It has several notable features that make it one of the best fish finders in the market. So, let’s talk about each of the features one by one.

If you are a beginner in kayak fishing, Raymarine Dragonfly 7 Pro will prove to be a good choice for you. Even if you are an angler with little experience, this fish finder will help to take your skills to the next level. Investing your money in it is like getting good luck with catching fish.

It comes with a built-in GPS circuit. So you can easily utilize location services. If you want, you can mark your favorite fishing spots and come back to them later. Including an accurate GPS also helps you share the precise location with other fish finders.

Apart from that, this fish finder includes CHIRP technology too. It is manufactured to give high-quality images that will make you a better fisher.

The company has also included a temperature sensor in the transducer. This will help you keep an eye on the fish’s movements.

The display is colored so you can easily few it in sunlight. Also, the interface is simple and easy for beginners to use. It also features Wi-Fi connectivity to share images on your smartphone.

Another notable feature of the Dragonfly Pro 7 comes with a microSD card slot. This is a unique feature as many other fish finders in the same league don’t offer it.

Some customers didn’t like that this fish finder was a little more expensive than some other options. However, the number of features and functions it offers make up for the price. Overall, it will make for a good long-term investment you won’t regret.

 We have collected a list of some pros and cons. They will help you in making the final choice.

You can check out our full review of Raymarine Dragonfly 7 pro

Pros

Cons

– Micro-SD card
– Wi-Fi
– SONAR optimization
– Colored display
– 72-channel GPS circuit
– CHIRP
– Easy-to-use interface
– DownVision Imaging
– A little expensive as compared to other options  

7. Humminbird Fishin Buddy MAX Fishfinder

Humminbird 410060-1 Fishin' Buddy MAX DI Fishfinder
160 Reviews

Humminbird is a popular brand in the market. Everyone has heard about its excellent quality. So, we have included Humminbird Fishin Buddy MAX Fishfinder on our list. It is one of the best kayak fish finders that many fishers use, whether they are beginners or expert anglers.

It has a portable clamp that holds the transducer and displays unit. Many customers appreciated that this fish finder is easy to mount on the kayak. You can clamp it on the boat instead of wasting your time with wires.

The screen is about 3.5 inches long. This is a good balance between screen size and visibility. However, some people still complain that they find this screen size to be small. It is a full-colored display. You will find it easy to read even in bright sunlight.

Like many other fish finders in the market, Humminbird Fishin Buddy MAX Fishfinder features CHIRP technology too. However, you will still see a difference in the quality of CHIRP technology. 

This is because it has down-imaging features instead of a dual-beam sonar. So, you can see the image down to 600 feet. This feature makes it quite easy and quick to catch fish.

It has a short warranty of one year. Even this warranty is a limited one.

It has three types of alarms in the unit. The first one is the Fish Alarm. It will update you about the presence of the fish when the target detects it.

Secondly, the Depth Alarm will signal you when the depth is lower or higher than the selected value. Therefore, you can adjust the depth whenever it is not according to your desired level.

This fish finder also gives an alarm sound for the battery. You can adjust the settings according to your preference for the battery percentage. You will hear a ding when the battery goes below or equal to that level.

This is essential as you can charge the fish finder before the battery runs out.

Some customers complained that this fish finder doesn’t come with a temperature sensor. So, if this feature is important to you, you can opt for another fish finder.

Overall, the functions are impressive. It does lack a few features, but customers are happy with its functionality. We have gone through different customer reviews to collect a concise list of pros and cons.

Pros

Cons

– It comes with CHIRP sonar technology
– It also has a GPS
– 5 levels of brightness for the display
– Comes with a micro-SD card slot
– Reasonable cost as compared to some other fish finders
– The screen can be small for some users
– Doesn’t have a temperature sensor
– 1-year limited warranty 

Benefits of Fish Finders for Kayaks

7 best fish finder for kayak

First, let’s discuss why you should buy a fish finder. It is an effective tool that comes in handy when you are fishing. It allows you to see the fish and know where it is.

A fish finder works using Sonar technology. Sonar stands for Sound Navigation and Ranging. This is not just a concept from your high school physics textbook. It serves as a great tool for finding fish.

It sends sound waves of different frequencies that echo back and help you locate the fish underwater. You will be able to see a graphic representation of everything that is underneath your boat.

The fishing finder does more than find fish for you. You can see all the weeds, debris, rocks, and sand under the boat. You can also view the precise depth on the screen.

In short, the best fish finder can be a great gear for kayaking. If you are a big guy, you may want to look at our hand-picked kayaks for you or our list with the 10 best fishing kayaks under $1000.

Buying Guide

What Features should you Consider when Choosing the Best Fish Finder for Kayak?

You will find many brands of fish finders that boast different specs and numbers. It is easy to get confused with the sheer amount of information. You may even end up buying the wrong fish finder.

The following is a list of the features you must remember before buying the best fish finder. The correct fish finder will surprise you with its performance. This is a great way to catch a lot of fish.

Related article: More cool upgrades for the kayak

Portable or Permanent Fish Finder

You will find both portable and permanent fish finders on the market.

The permanent fish finders can be fixed on large boats. For a kayak, a portable fish finder can be a great option. A portable fish finder will let you enjoy many types of fishing.

Moreover, it is the best option for rental boats. It is lightweight, so you can easily move it on the boat.

Screen Size

Screen size is another important feature when choosing the best fish finder for the kayak.

A rule of thumb is to buy the biggest screen size that aligns with your budget. With a bigger screen, you can see more information at one time. You should choose a smaller screen because kayaks are small and low to the water.

Screen Quality

Also, keep an eye on the quality of the screen. The pixels of the screen determine its quality.

A pixel can be thought of as a single dot on the screen. So, the more pixels you have, your screen will be more detailed.

Ensure you are not sacrificing quality in getting a larger screen size. When choosing a cheaper fish finder, look for one with a good screen resolution.

Related article: The 10 most important kayak fishing tips

Grayscale versus Colored Displays

This is another essential feature to consider when choosing the best fish finder for a kayak.

Colored displays have taken over black-and-white displays. However, with a fish finder, a grayscale display works just as well. Furthermore, a black-and-white display is cheaper than a colored display.

While a color display looks better, it provides the same functionality as a black-and-white display.

Glare from the sun

When purchasing the best fish finder, it is essential to keep the real conditions when fishing. The glare from the sun makes it hard to read the fish finder screen.

You can use some LCD films that can combat glare. You can even invest in glare-resistant screens.

GPS

GPS, or Global Positioning System, is the most important feature when you go out kayak fishing. A GPS device can help trace your route and save your favorite fishing spots. Moreover, GPS is more essential for kayak fishing than for shoreline fishing.

Transducers

A transducer is a very essential part of the fish finder.

Transducers serve as the senders and receivers for the sonar waves. The sonar waves that bounce off different objects are detected by the transducer. The signals from the transducer are then processed. The output of these signals is a graphical representation on your fish finder’s screen.

Power

If you have the budget, you should always consider high-watt fish finders. These will help in giving quicker readings. A low-power fish finder sends waves very slowly and isn’t as reliable for deep-water fishing.

However, if you intend to fish only in shallow water, you will do well with a low-power fish finder as well.

Water Resistance

A good fish finder should be water-proof. Otherwise, the water splashes will ruin it. Therefore, you need to make sure that the brand you purchase offers a good level of water resistance.

Number of Frequencies

Most transducers work well with dual frequencies. A higher frequency will give a clear and detailed picture of your display screen. The higher the transducer frequency, the more sonar pulses it will send out.

For example, some fish finders can get up to 400,000 Hz while using different frequencies.

Price

Often, people think that price is the most important aspect of fish finders. Choosing the fish finder by the price alone is a big mistake.

A fish finder is an essential tool that fishers in the past could only dream of having. So, you must ensure you don’t compromise on essential features for a cheap price.

The display specs, GPS, sonar, and wattage are vital factors you must consider before making the final decision. Otherwise, you will regret buying the wrong fish finder.

Final Thoughts:

Most kayakers do not know what specs and features to look for when purchasing a fish finder. We hope this article will help you find the best fish finders for a kayak.

When you are here, please also check the following:

Updated: October 28, 2022