If you are so fed up with having to wait hours for the bites when fishing with your kayak, a fish finder is what you will need. And this article will provide a buying guide helping you to choose among the best fish finders for kayaks.
As a rule of thumb, all fish finders have the same working mechanism. However, depending on your fishing habit, budget, and expectation, the option can vary accordingly.
So here is the list of 3 best fish finders for kayaks that will help you land your big catch. But first, let’s go through the features and criteria that make a good fish finder.
- 1 How to choose the best kayak fish finders
- 2 Top 3 best fish finders for kayaks
- 2.1 Garmin Striker 4
- 2.2 Lowrance Mark-4 HDI Combo
- 2.3 Raymarine Dragonfly 4 PRO
- 3 The bottom line
How to choose the best kayak fish finders
Size is the most important criteria when it comes to choosing a fish finder. And as a kayak normally comes with compact design, you cannot choose those which are too big to fit in.
Thus, you may not want any fish finder with the display larger than 6 inches. With a portable size of the finder, you should also expect it to be lightweight.
Some fish finders are specifically designed for freshwater. Some others are for saltwater. A good fish finder should be one that gives you enough flexibility in the fishing areas of your favorite.
Notice its power of sonar and frequencies the finder operate between. The higher the frequency is, the shallower you can reach to find the fishes.
Some finders have dual frequencies, which allows for a wide range better-locating ability.
The finder should be equipped with a transducer. It can either be attached to the trolling motor, stuck to the bottom part of the transom or mounted through the hull.
Before buying the fish finder, it is crucial to google your kayak’s compatibility to makes the transducer can perfect fit the scupper holes.
Your fish finder should provide images with enough sharpness for you to recognize whether the fishes are clustering in. Specifically, it should not have the resolution below 240 x 160 pixels.
The display should also be user-friendly to save your time and effort while fishing on your kayak. Waterproof screen, smartphone integration, and counteracting sun glare are some typical examples.
Some fish finders can tell you more than just the locations where the fishes are hiding. High-quality fish finders can identify underwater hazards, land structure, water temperature, and even the plants and grasses underwater.
Also, if you are fishing in a big lake, a fish finder with GPS is a better choice than non-GPS ones. You can easily mark your favorite spots and navigate within the lake’s area.
Top 3 best fish finders for kayaks
If you want something compact, lightweight, and affordable, the Garmin Striker 4 fish finder is then an excellent choice. This Garmin finder is small yet powerful. It is easy to transport and mount to your kayak.
The Garmin Striker 4 has a rugged design with a user-friendly interface. The display provides crisp images and the built-in GPS work smoothly to help you navigate around.
Clear scanning sonar
The high-frequency sonar gives you clear scanning of the objects, structure, and fish. It thus shows you more of what around and underneath your kayak.
Ease of use
It is very easy to install and operate. The keypad with dedicated buttons makes it effortless to manipulate the features.
The Garmin Striker 4 provides sonar data in classic flasher format. It is thus ideal for vertical jigging and ice fishing.
Its transducer gives you a good clarity of the fish and structure. The CHIRP technology sends a continuous sweep of frequencies and interprets it so that you will have a wide range of information in need for the big catch.
There are many reviews saying about the short-term use of the Garmin Striker 4. It seems to need more care and maintenance work than other counterparts.
Limited power source
This finder only connects to a 12-volt power supply. You will need a power source when using it on your kayak.
Lowrance Mark-4 HDI Combo
The Lowrance Mark-4 HDI Combo can function as both a plotter and a fish finder. It utilizes a transom mount transducer and combines a broadband sounder.
The display is stunning with Down Scan imaging technology, giving you sharp images of the target location underneath your kayak.
What you may like the most about this finder is its multitasking ability. The Mark-4 HDI Combo offers multiple page layouts with three-panel views, giving you more information about your catches.
It seems to have everything in one unit. If you want many features packed in a reasonable price, there you have it.
The GPS works great without the need for an external antenna. The analytics on water temperature, depth, and boat speed are also of high quality.
These features include quick-release easy-to-use menu controls for faster, tilt and swivel bracket, and one-hand operation. For beginners, Lowrance Mark-4 HDI Combo is worth considering.
Small screen fogged up easily
One minus point of the Lowrance Mark-4 HDI Combo is its screen size. In the winter, it does not display as clearly as it should, taking you more time to read the screen.
If the price is not one of your concern, Raymarine Dragonfly 4PRO is definitely for you. This fishfinder comes with a premium quality, which goes parallelly with its price.
The transducer is one of the features that make this finder worth buying. Its sensor ability is excellent, giving you the great accuracy of water temperature and structure.
Being one of the pioneers in the industry, this Raymarine comes with built-in WIFI. You can easily transfer the data to a bigger screen on your smartphone or tablet.
High-definition LED-backlit display
All these three best fish finders for kayaks, the Raymarine Dragonfly 4PRO provides the best quality of images and scanning. The wide-spectrum CHIRP DownVision leverages the image quality to the next standard.
Fish Targeting CHIRP Sonar
This high-tech feature makes it easier than ever to locate your catches. Even in the deep water area, this Dragonfly 4PRO can perform the detecting tasks impressively.
This fish finder is specially designed for lakes in US and Canada. It covers more than 20,000 lakes and generates up-to-date bathymetric charts.
The waypoint sometimes does not perform as well as you may expect. However, the overall navigation is still excellent.
Overall, different fish finders will have different pros and cons. It is ideal to consider your need and want to make a reasonable buying decision.
Having a fish finder is necessary. It saves your time and effort in fishing. And it gives you better results than keeping the guesswork when fishing on your kayaks.
This list of top 3 best fish finders for kayaks hopefully provides you with useful information to help you make your decision easier. May all the catches be ever in your favor.