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Best fish finder for kayak #13458973 03/03/20 06:20 PM
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bbankhead2 Offline OP
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Just wondering what peoples opinions/reviews are on different portable fish finders. Have seen a few that you cast out and reel back in and a few that attach to the kayak. Was wondering which would be better for mapping the layout of a lake or river while on the kayak. If using one that you can troll behind the kayak (cast out), do you have to worry about going to fast and water going over the top of it and loosing connection or inaccuracy?

Re: Best fish finder for kayak [Re: bbankhead2] #13459001 03/03/20 06:40 PM
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Mike@972 Online Content
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To the best of my knowledge, the castable fish finders do not have mapping.

If you are seeking an inexpensive fish finder, the Garmen Striker 4 is a solid option. You can catch it on sale for under $100... it's easy on the battery and reliable. It will give you basic maps, depth, temp and will target larger fish (and bait balls). https://www.amazon.com/Garmin-Striker-Transducer-Fishfinder-Traditional/dp/B017NI17HQ

You can use Marine Goop to glue the transducer to the inside of the hull... just make sure that there are no air bubbles in the goop.

Re: Best fish finder for kayak [Re: bbankhead2] #13459095 03/03/20 08:00 PM
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Jerry713 Offline
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I don't have any experience with portable units. I do prefer Raymarine, Garmin or Hummingbird over Lowrance. I have seen reviews on a couple of the castable ones and their not accurate on water temp and showing fish.

The Navionics app is good on some lakes and not good on others in terms of showing contours. If it is a good bass fishing lake the Navionics app tends to be more accurate.


You get out of it what you put into it!
Re: Best fish finder for kayak [Re: bbankhead2] #13459666 03/04/20 12:52 PM
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Brad R Offline
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Mike, I think the portable "ball" types, the best one anyway, does map. I saw a guy show how he trolls one around to get a decent map.

Jerry, the videos I have seen indicate these portable ball types do well with water temps, structures and bottom contours but most videos I have seen indicate they don't bother setting them for identifying fish, no bueno there.

I've never had a fish finder, sort of thinking about getting one. The portables? Big advantage no hefty batteries; the fixed units, have their own screens and don't require a smart phone. Hmm???

Brad

Re: Best fish finder for kayak [Re: bbankhead2] #13459786 03/04/20 02:24 PM
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bbankhead2 Offline OP
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Brad, that is where I am at. The "ball" types seem like a nice option due to the true portable style that they are and do not require a heavy battery and extra cables to connect it. I would guess that most people have their phones on them while on the kayak already. I have seen some videos of the "ball" types that have trouble while trolling due to going to fast or water too choppy and causing signal loss when water goes over the ball. I don't need a crazy expensive unit, just one that will give me a good idea of the contour of the lake or river bed.

Re: Best fish finder for kayak [Re: bbankhead2] #13459797 03/04/20 02:30 PM
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bbankhead2 Offline OP
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@Mike, what do you power your Garmin Striker 4 with? How long does it last on the battery you use?

Re: Best fish finder for kayak [Re: bbankhead2] #13460031 03/04/20 04:46 PM
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Mike@972 Online Content
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Originally Posted by bbankhead2
@Mike, what do you power your Garmin Striker 4 with? How long does it last on the battery you use?


I no longer have the Striker, I recently sold it along with my old PA... I now have a Lowrance 3 in 1 in the new kayak.

Saying this, I used my Striker for 3 years with absolutely no issues. I used a 9ah DiaMec. I think the Striker 4 uses less than .5ah, this means that the battery would get you 18+ hours of use. I charged the battery after every outing and it never died on me.

Here is a link to a 9ah battery... the battery and charger will cost you $33.98. You will need to make a waterproof box for it (you can find several youtube videos on how to do this) https://www.amazon.com/Mighty-Max-B...th+charger&qid=1583339614&sr=8-9

This 10ah Lithium battery is much smaller and has waterproof connections... However, it's $137 eeks https://www.mariner-sails.com/hobie-lithium-pro-power-kit-12v-10ah.html

Budget permitting, I would go with the Lithium. They are much smaller and will last longer.

Good luck with your search. The searching/researching is part of the fun!

Re: Best fish finder for kayak [Re: bbankhead2] #13461125 03/05/20 02:59 PM
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Second the lithium! Weight in a kayak is huge. Even 5 lbs can make a difference. Noqua makes a 4.4 AH lithium battery that would work for a Striker sized fish finder for $80.

https://www.thegpsstore.com/Nocqua-44Ah-Pro-Power-Kit-for-Electronic-Devices-P4955.aspx


You get out of it what you put into it!
Re: Best fish finder for kayak [Re: Jerry713] #13461272 03/05/20 04:35 PM
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Mike@972 Online Content
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Originally Posted by Jerry713
Second the lithium! Weight in a kayak is huge. Even 5 lbs can make a difference. Noqua makes a 4.4 AH lithium battery that would work for a Striker sized fish finder for $80.

https://www.thegpsstore.com/Nocqua-44Ah-Pro-Power-Kit-for-Electronic-Devices-P4955.aspx


Good find Jerry, I didn't know that they made them that small.

For $50 difference, I would personally get the 10ah (again, budget permitting). This will support an upgrade to a large unit one day and will not leave you dead in the water if you forget to charge it.

The Lithium batteries have certainly come a long way in the past few years. They are getting smaller and smaller and the price is coming down.

Re: Best fish finder for kayak [Re: bbankhead2] #13464184 03/08/20 03:11 PM
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I have the FPV lithium battery and it’s been great. Waterproof, 17ah and doesn’t weigh much. I got some 3M Velcro and it works great. I have the Lowrance Hook 5 and I wish I had gotten the 7. It has down scan, which is nice. It works for me, and I’m happy with it, but there are better units available.


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Re: Best fish finder for kayak [Re: bbankhead2] #13468647 03/12/20 01:58 PM
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Best fish finder for kayak? That would be the paddler who keeps their head up and observant of surroundings. The electronic versions are certainly useless in a shallow river environment where I prefer to spend my time. I bought one in the early 2010s when drought conditions, a stagnant Brazos, and protection from boaters by tree stumps pushed me to the lake. Spent hours pulling sunglasses on and off trying to see the blasted thing with no measurable added success in catching fish. I was entertained for a time seeing bottom features but I think it mostly just caused me to miss the easy catches (white bass feeding at the surface and time not actually putting bait in the water trying to figure out what the screen was telling me). It now sits in a box with retired reels and the like. Hoping to reach the 100 post limit before I die so I can sell it on TFF.

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