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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Need fish finder advice! #14494310 10/03/22 02:07 AM
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Water Judge Offline OP
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Long time angler, just got into kayaking within the last couple years. I'm looking into getting a fish finder, and appreciate any advice. I'm in a Pelican Maxim 100x Angler, and spend most of my time on the Trinity. Looking for something that's easy to install, and that'll get the job done without breaking the bank. Thanks in advance!!


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~Henry David Thoreau
Re: Need fish finder advice! [Re: Water Judge] #14494354 10/03/22 05:46 AM
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lconn4 Online Content
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Lowrance, Garmin, and Humminbird all make smaller units that will work great for a kayak... I'd highly recommend you get one with GPS. I use a Lowrance Elite 4 that I've had for years.. still works great, downscan, regular sonar, and gps.. I use it on four different kayaks so I've never permanently mounted it.. just keep it in my lap, close enough that the smaller screen is easier to see. Don't believe Lowrance makes them any more but should be able to find something in a 5 inch for a little more. I think I paid just under $300, 5 or 6 years ago. Mounted transducer on arm made from small pvc through hole in side of mount below.

https://www.amazon.com/Scotty-241L-...3f8d247&pd_rd_i=B001M4HT2K&psc=1

Would probably use the transducer arm below with it, if I had to do it again but I was in a hurry and made something to get me on the water that day.

https://www.amazon.com/Scotty-Trans...;hvtargid=pla-4584276296594605&psc=1


Last edited by lconn4; 10/03/22 05:52 AM.

A good rule of angling philosophy is not to interfere with another fisherman's ways of being happy, unless you want to be hated.
Zane Grey, Tales of Fishes, 1919

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Re: Need fish finder advice! [Re: Water Judge] #14496202 10/05/22 02:36 AM
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Mike@972 Online Content
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Lconn made some really good suggestions.

If you are looking for something simple and inexpensive, you cannot go wrong with a Garmin Striker 4 (or Striker 4 Plus). I used one for several years, it does the basics (depth, structure, water temp, waypoints, etc) really well. It does not have maps, but you don't need maps if you are fishing the Trinity.

It's $119 now, but if you are patient, you can sometimes catch them for $99.

It does not have side scan or down scan, so you can simply Marine Goop the transducer to the inside of the hull. If you do this, just make sure that there are no bubbles in the Marine Goop.

https://www.amazon.com/Garmin-Striker-Transducer-Fishfinder-Traditional/dp/B017NI17HQ/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=garmin+striker+4&qid=1664937472&qu=eyJxc2MiOiIzLjEyIiwicXNhIjoiMy4wMCIsInFzcCI6IjIuNzIifQ%3D%3D&sprefix=Garmin+Str%2Caps%2C136&sr=8-3&ufe=app_do%3Aamzn1.fos.f5122f16-c3e8-4386-bf32-63e904010ad0




Re: Need fish finder advice! [Re: Water Judge] #14496449 10/05/22 01:33 PM
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CCTX Online Content
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Agree with the above recommendations. As long as your fish finder doesn't have side imaging, I'd just mount it inside the hull with GOOP.

As long as you don't get a unit with Side Imaging, shooting through the Pelican 100x hull would be no problem, even with Down Imaging.
The convenience of not having a cumbersome transducer arm outweighs the 5-10% image degradation you might get shooting through an HDPE hull with down imaging.

Many kayaks with built in transducer wells incorporate a transducer shield that goes under the transducer--it's made of HDPE.


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Re: Need fish finder advice! [Re: Water Judge] #14496540 10/05/22 02:37 PM
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CCTX... good point about using Goop on a Down Imaging transducer. I never considered this application, but your assessment makes complete sense.

Water Judge... If you go the Marine Goop route, I suggest making a dam around the transducer so you can flood the area about 3/4" to 1" deep before placing the transducer in place. A dam will help you get a good amount of Goop down and you can visually inspect for bubbles before placing the transducer in the Goop. Whatever the case, you need to make sure that the entire bottom area of the transducer (and at least halfway up the sides) are 100% covered in Goop. If there are any voids or bubbles, it will affect the performance of the transducer.

If you are mounting inside of a "V", all you need to do is dam in front and behind the transducer. If you are mounting to a flat bottom, you can cut a rectangle a little larger than the transducer inside of a piece of foam. I also suggest lightly sanding the area and the bottom of the transducer with 60 or 80 grit sandpaper before Gooping.

Re: Need fish finder advice! [Re: Water Judge] #14496558 10/05/22 02:48 PM
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Go to Big Lots/Dollar Tree and purchase either a kneeling pad or a thick soled pair of flip flops to use as the transducer well.



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Re: Need fish finder advice! [Re: Water Judge] #14496685 10/05/22 04:32 PM
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water works ok in a pinch to flood the well but I've used ultrasound gel. Get it off amazon cheap, squirt a little in the well and set in transducer. Facilitates signal transmission very well,stays put, and wipes up clean
I wouldn't glue the transducer down directly to the hull, several issues with that method.
Make your holder out of closed cell foam about 2-3" tall and cut out a hole so the transduce fits tighly. Glue it down with Marine goop after prepping. Now you gota well that will hold the gel and transducer firm. You can also remove the transducer with ease

Last edited by Snottynose; 10/05/22 04:38 PM.
Re: Need fish finder advice! [Re: Water Judge] #14496696 10/05/22 04:45 PM
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Mike@972 Online Content
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Snottynose... the Marine Goop is a semi-permanent solution that will not harm the kayak or transducer. I don't suggest this approach if you plan to swap it routinely (as lconn does), but it's a great solution for a semi-permanent application. Meaning, if you want to take it out after a year or two or three, it can be done with a little bit of prying and scraping.

Re: Need fish finder advice! [Re: Water Judge] #14496760 10/05/22 06:02 PM
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I've done both ways in the past.The "wet" mount seemed to show more features better than the glued method. All my current kayaks have molded in areas in the hul for the transducer to be externally mounted and that is by far the best solution. Having accurate surface temp is a very good thing for freshwater fishing. When I ran the internal transducer mount, the temp reading was very slow. My solution was using a waterproof digital thermometer on a string. Turn it on and drop it overboard then pull it up and read quickly. Warm water in cooler weather is the go to spot for cold blooded fish

Re: Need fish finder advice! [Re: Water Judge] #14497596 10/06/22 04:07 PM
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100% agree that an external transducer mount is better. However, absent this built-in feature and absent moving the fish finder between kayaks, my vote is still for Marine Gooping to the inside of the hull because its a "one and done" solution. I'm sure the signal is degraded a bit, but in my opinion, this doesn't matter for a simple sonar-based unit.

As to water temp... surface water temperature and temperature readings from a foot or two down will always be different regardless of the transducer application. When I had a boat, my skimmer transducer and trolling motor transducer almost always had a 1 to 3-degree difference. This is because my trolling motor was about 18" deep.

In my opinion, water temp is "relative". Meaning, I don't look for a specific surface temp until I start catching fish. Rather, (in addition to water depth, contours and structure), I look for surface water temps that are warmer or cooler (depending upon the season) than the surrounding waters. If a hull-mounted transducer is off by a degree or two, I still get the relative reading that I am looking for. From here, I can do my best to stay within this relative surface temp.

Just my two cents... and its probably not even worth this smile

Re: Need fish finder advice! [Re: Water Judge] #14497630 10/06/22 04:37 PM
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CCTX Online Content
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Agree with all the above.
My current kayak has a transducer well and transducer shield.
My other kayak is an inflatable with a transducer arm (cumbersome at times, especially around thick vegetation)
My first kayak, I had one 2D transducer GOOPed in the hull and a second DI transducer initially in a water well, that I then converted to GOOPed out of convenience.

I did not notice any significant difference between water well and GOOPed with the DI transducer, except for the increased convenience.


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