Are you looking for the best kayak fish finder?

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A Fish finder is a device that is specifically designed to help you fish. Fishing is a task that requires a lot of patience and skill. Professional fishermen may know about the best spots to fish but you cannot say the same for an amateur. A good fish finder is not just for amateurs. It is designed for anybody who likes fishing.
In this article we are going to talk about exactly, what a kayak fish finder is. We will try to break down everything that you need to consider while buying a kayak fish finder. We will also try to answer the most important questions that are asked regarding the fish finders. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

What Is A Fish Finder?

So, first of all, what exactly is a fish finder? A fish finder is basically a device that allows a kayaker to locate fish that are underneath the kayak. A fish finder works on the technology of SONAR (Sound Navigation and Ranging) system that detects the pulses of sound and movement of fish in the water. Even if you are just a casual angler, finding the best kayak fish finder is an important process.

Fish finders come with a screen that can be either be LCD or a CRT type. This screen enables you to see where the fish are in the water. They provide you a location that is best suitable for fishing, thus, preventing you from casting into empty water.

Finders were first used in the early 90s. Since then the technology has been improved tremendously. Nowadays, fish finders are equipped with systems like GPS, electronic compasses and even radars. Thus, making them the best kayak fish finder ever.

Why do you Need A Fish Finder for your kayak?

If you go fishing in your kayak then investing in a fish finder can be a very smart decision. A fish finder will help you in a lot of ways, we explore some of them below
To Locate a bait: When you suspend your bait in the water, chances are that it might not land at your desired spot. A fish finder locates the bait and helps put it where it needs to be.

Fishing at an new spot:

If you are fishing in a new spot, a fish finder will be of great help in predicting the presence of fish at that particular spot. The fish finder also tells you the depth of the water where the fish are. This valuable information can dramtically increase your odds of catching good fish.
Saves time and energy: Knowing the depth of water and the structure helps you save your time and energy.

By actually knowing where the fish are just by looking at the fish finder screen, you might have a very productive fishing trip. You will get to know the water better, thus, enabling you to navigate through it to where you want to be. The best kayak fish finder enables you to locate fish, way before the fish leave that spot.

How Does A Fish Finder Works?

A fish finder comprises of two important parts. A transducer and a display. These two parts are connected to a transmitter and receiver. All these parts work together and help you in making your fishing trip a productive one.

Transducer: A transducer is like an ear to your fish finder.

Display: A display that might be an LED or CRT, acts as your third eye that observes things under the water.


Transducer works on SONAR technology which enable the fish finder to recognize objects in the water by transmitting electrical signals. It determines the distance and depth, with the help of the electrical signal. This electrical signal is passed through the water with the help of a transmitter.
When an a fish is located underneath, the signals hit the fish and bounce back to the display unit. The signal can observe the shape, size and altitude of the fish it hits. This data is then visualized graphically on the screen
The accuracy in the signal interpretation, varies depending on which fish finder you choose, this is why its so important to invest in the best kayak fish finder.
The depth of the fish is measured by calculating the time taken by the electrical signal to bounce back to the display unit after hitting the fish. Following are some types of transducers.

=High frequency Transducers
=Low frequency Transducers

High Frequency Transducers:

High frequency transducers have shorter wavelengths and greater wave cycle per second. This means that you can see more details like visualizing smaller fish. But with these transducers you have only shallow to intermediate depth capacity. High frequency provides a better and smooth picture of what’s happening under the water but does not cover greater depth.

Low Frequency Transducers:

Low frequency transducers have greater wavelengths but fewer waves per second. This is the reason they show less detail. They typically use wider beams which help you find bigger objects. However, these waves carry more energy and cover greater depths. Low frequency will not get you a clear and detailed picture but will work productively in depths.


The Display can be a key component when looking for the best kayak fish finder. It displays all the information that includes, water depths, water temperature, speed over water, bottom structure and presence of fish etc.

There is an important feature in display known as sensitivity. By changing the sensitivity, you can adjust the power of your device. Lesser sensitivity means less attributes of image to be displayed.

There are fish finders with different displays available on the market. These displays vary in resolutions and colors. Displays can be colored, gray or black and white. Better resolutions obviously mean better quality of image which can be very useful.

Do You Need A Kayak Fish Finder?

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Well, for answering this question you need to ask yourself a couple of questions:

Where are you fishing?
What are you fishing?
Where are you fishing?

Assume, you are going to fish. Are you going to fish up North or you are going to fish south? What kind of waters are you going to fish in? Are you going to fish in rivers or are going to fish in lakes?

While fishing in smaller lakes with shallow water, you don’t necessarily need a fish finder. But if you are going to fish in bigger lakes or rivers, that have deeper and clearer water, then it is going to be very beneficial for you to have a fish finder. Because you will be able to see what depth fish are at.

What are you fishing?

If you are looking to catch fish that are located in shallow waters then you might not need a fish finder at all. But for the fish that reside deep in the water, you definitely need to get yourself a fish finder. Some of the shallow water fish do also roam 15 to 20 feet below water.

For instance, brass is found in small lakes and also in large lakes. Finding them is easier in smaller lakes, where water is shallow but finding them in larger lakes becomes a headache sometimes. So, having a fish finder gives you an edge. It will save you time and energy, plus will direct you to best spot, where you can find the desired fish.

How to choose the best kayak fish finder?

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Before choosing the best kayak fish finder for yourself there are some thing or features you need to keep in mind. Following are the list of features to look for in kayak finder before making a purchase.

-Screen Resolution
-Cone angles


When buying a kayak fish finder, frequencies are an important factor to keep in mind. The frequency ranges from 50, to 200 KHz. This divides frequencies into two categories. Number one is high frequency and number two is low frequency. For shallow water high frequency transducers are used. Whereas, for deep waters low frequency transducers are used. The detailing of image on the display is directly related to the frequency. Higher frequency will produce a clearer and more detailed image. The reason behind this is that more sonar signals travel through the water thus more signal bounce back and produce a detailed image. The high frequency transducers are able to detect rocks present in the water bed.


Another important factor to keep in mind is the power of your fish finder. The power is measured in the wattage. The more power your device has the clearer and quicker image it will produce. The sonar speed depends on power. If the power given by the device is slow, sonar will move slowly and not keep you up to date.

Screen Resolution:

Pixels play an important role in determining the clarity and detailing of the image. A pixel is basically a dot on the screen. More pixels mean more clarity and crisper image. For instance, 720*720 pixels mean there are 720 dots present in the horizontal direction and 720 dots in the vertical direction. Fish finders with big screens have more pixels and are mostly used by professionals.


These days, good color screens and displays are very important. The best kayak fish finder comes with color screens, which provide brilliant images. After all, in this day and age, you do not want to use a black and white display anymore.


There are different models of best kayak fish finders, which can work perfectly in different depths. Some can work up to the depths of 200 feet, while there are some fish finders, which can work perfectly up to the depths of more than 1000 feet. But you have to pay more for these ones, and you very unluckily to need them if you are kayak fishing. So, depending upon your needs and keeping your budget mind, you can make an informed choice.


Transducers are the main component of a fish finder. It is the source by which sonar waves are produced. Transducers emit the sonar waves that hit the objects and bounce back to it holding the data. This data is then interpreted and the related images and information about distance is produced on the display.

Cone Angle:

Transducers have cone angle, which is an important factor that decides the width of the sonar beam to be transmitted in the water. Wider beams cover more area. However, wider beams produce blurry images because the sonar waves get spread on a wider area.

While buying a device for yourself, never settle for a plain fish finder. Always look out for combos. A GPS combo with a fish finder is absolutely a great idea. GPS not only helps you to save and load different maps on your fish finder but also direct you to the perfect fishing spot. You can explore unknown waters plus you can save the maps of waters you have already explored. You can look out for other options like an SD card slot. This will help you to upgrade the database of your fish finder.

Mounting Options:

Out of the box, best kayak fish finder come with a mount. You can attach a fish finder on your kayak deck by using stainless steel bolts. You can also go with marine trifold rivets or try to attach it using well nuts. It totally depends on you. The advantage of using a mount is that you can attach the fish finder on the mount before setting off on your fishing trip and focus on paddling your kayak without worrying too much about holding the fish finder. Once you are done, you can simply remove the fish finder and leave the mounting base on the hull. You can also detach the mounting base while packing, but we suggest to keep it on so you do not have to set it up again for future fishing trips.
If your kayak has a side railing, a fish finder can also be attached there. Mounting the fish finder in such fashion will allow you to easily remove the fish finder head unit at the end of your session.

A standard best kayak fish finder mount, allows flexibility to a certain extent, in positioning the fish finder screen. But there are different mounts available in the market, which give you more leverage in positioning your fish finder. You can position the fish finder to your liking and get the best possible view.

Power- Fish Finder Battery:

A fish finder needs to have a 12V power source. There are a lot of products available on the market to power a fish finder. So, you can have a look around and decide the best for yourself. You may ask, how long does a battery last on one charge? Well, a 12V battery provides you with enough power for a 1-2 fishing session. When the battery runs down, you can recharge it by using a 12V trickle charger.

One thing that you should try to do is to keep the battery dry. For this purpose, you can place the battery inside a waterproof battery bag.

Fish Finder Transducer Installation:

We talked about the transducer earlier in the article. Now we will discuss its installation. So, let’s get to it. There are three main ways to install your transducer i.e. in the hull, on a transducer arm over the kayak’s side and lastly through a scupper hole.

In Hull:

The most common type of transducer installation is by gluing it inside the kayak against the hull. This form of installation is quite popular within the kayak fishing community.  A transducer is fixed or attached to a levelled segment of the hull, inside the bow hatch, using a contact adhesive. There are different kinds of contact adhesive available on the market.
While installing a transducer, make sure that there are no air bubbles present in the glue. If there are air bubbles between the hull and the transducer, it will cause the reflection of the sonar signal. Due to which, black lines will be displayed on the fish finder screen. But do not you get too worried about it. There is a simply fix. All you have got to do is remove the transducer and the contact adhesive from the kayak. Once you have taken the transducer off, clean the glue off of it and re-glue it in its place, making sure that there arent any bubbles in the new fixing . This step requires a lot of patience and practice. So, do give yourself some trial runs and the move on to the real installation.

Once you have installed the transducer, the next step is to connect the wire and connector plug of the transducer to the fish finder main head unit. In order to do this, you have to pass the wire and the connector through a drilled hole in the kayaks hull. Also, you need to make sure this cable routing is waterproof. This can be done using a cable gland. There are many different cable glands available on the market. You can decide which one fits your needs.
To avoid and save your fish finder electrical plugs and connector from corrosion, applying small petroleum jelly or anti-corrosion block, is a great idea.
This type of transducer installation process can be used in any kayak, where there is an access to the inside of hull.


Now, let’s us discuss the second method of installing the transducer. In this method, the transducer is fixed underneath the kayak. It is either against a scupper hole or inside a molded transducer scupper, which is purposely built for this kind of installation. Now, the cable comes up to the fish finder unit head through the scupper hole. There is a whole variety of kayak scupper hole transducer mounting systems.
The biggest advantage of this kind of installation is that the transducer is completely submerged in the water. This is great because, submersion of transducer will guarantee optimum sonar signal return, which will result in a clearer picture of the bottom structure and fish.


Let’s us now talk about the last method i.e. Arm-mounted method. In this method, a transducer is mounted on the end of an arm that goes over the kayak and into the water. This method like the through-scupper method, allows you to submerge your transducer completely in the water. Doing so, will give you maximum sonar signal return sensitivity. This will result in clearer definition of bottom structure and fish.

There are many products, that help your transducer to be arm-mounted. You can look into different products and buy the one, which fits your needs.


In this article we, tried to discuss different things related to a best kayak fish finder. From what is a best kayak fish finder to why you need it. We also talked about transducers, mounting techniques and much more. I hope this article was helpful for you. If it helped you learn even a thing or two, we believe, our job is done. We wish you the best in finding the best kayak fish finder for yourself.

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