We tested 5 products and found Garmin Striker Plus 4 with Dual-Beam transducer to be the best fish finder.
After using many fish finders over the years, it was great to have the chance to compile these reviews. We went through and tested each of these fish finders to find the best for the majority of anglers.
The Garmin Striker makes fish finding a breeze in a small unit and won’t get in the way. It packs in features like many larger offerings from other fish finder brands but does so far cheaper. It is easy to use and a plus for any kayak angler.
If you want to see how it compares against its closest rivals, you can check these fish finder reviews to see where it wins and lose out against other fish finders. (Find the Best Fish Finder For Kayak)
- Garmin Striker Plus 4 with Dual-Beam transducer: Best kayak fish finder that is a perfect size and has the capability for small water vessels.
- Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish finder: Superior imaging from this multi sonar scan fish finder
- Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 Fish Finder 7 Inch Screen with Transducer and C-MAP Preloaded Map Options: With a multi-split screen, you can see where you are and what’s beneath you on this superior imaging fish finder.
- Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar – GPS Portable Wireless Wi-Fi Fish Finder for Shore and Ice Fishing: With this castable fish finder, you don’t need to stick to see what’s beneath your kayak
- Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 72sv with GT56UHD-TM Transducer: Costly, but the best down of all down and side imaging fish finders for depth and exact location of the fish.
5 Best Fish Finders
1. Garmin Striker Plus 4 with Dual-Beam transducer – Best Overall Fish Finder
The Garmin Striker Plus 4 comes with a built-in flasher, and you can display all sonar data in the classic flasher format. The Striker 4 is a perfect fish finder for ice fishing or vertical jigging when on the water in your kayak.
This fish finder tops many fishing finder reviews despite the 4.3-inch display screen. You have the advantage of a dual-beam transducer and Garmin Chirp traditional sonar for crystal-clear images and remarkable target separation.
You can see fish images at depths of up to 1,600 feet in freshwater and 750 feet in saltwater.
The kayak fish finders keyed GUI on the front keeps it easy with dedicated control keys.
You can use the waypoint chart to view, mark, and navigate to several on-water and shoreline locations as you find them, and use the built-in GPS capabilities to navigate back or create your personalized fishing maps covering 2 million acres.
- Waterproof to IPX7 standards
- Bright, Sunlight-readable 4.3” screen display with intuitive user interface
- Rugged design for any fishing environment.
- Frequencies supported: Traditional: 50/77/83/200 kHz, Transmit power: 200 W (RMS)
- Quickdraw Contours mapping software creates HD fishing maps
- Crystal-clear sonar images deliver remarkable target separation in shallow and deep water
With a guide price of just under $140, the Garmin Striker cheap fish finder is perfect for anyone looking for a budget price tag or who wants a small and easy-to-carry device to cover many types of fishing. The Striker 4 is easily one of the best fish finders for the money.
2. Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish finder – Best Fish Finder with Side Imaging
The Hummingbird 2D sonar technology is more than just two-dimensional. It has CHIRP Dual Beam plus sonar so you can see fish clearly when fishing coastal waters or freshwater lakes.
It also performs equally well when ice fishing. The SwitchFire lets you choose how much information you receive in clear mode or max mode, which uses high-frequency sound waves.
With impressive fishfinder side imaging, you can have a successful fishing trip time after time.
- Clear and easy to read 5-Inch Color WVGA Display
- Full CHIRP Dual Beam plus Sonar similar to the
- Humminbird Helix 7 Chirp fish finder.
- Power Output RMS: 500 Watts. Power Draw: 615 mA
- It comes with internal GPS charts and built-in anima cartography
- Sealed micro SD card slot to load optional maps or save personal waypoints
With a guide price of just under $335, the Hummingbird joins the ranks of high-quality fish finders. It offers dual beam sonar, and the fish finder operates in almost any condition.
It climbs up any angler’s budget, yet you get some of the best marine electronics for these types of fish finders for your money. You’ll even get built-in Humminbird Basemap and AutoChart Live in the best side imaging fishfinder there is.
3. Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 Fish Finder 7 Inch Screen with Transducer and C-MAP Preloaded Map Options – Best for X
The Lowrance HOOK2 is a user-friendly fishfinder GPS combination unit. It offers a TripleShot Transducer, phone-like menus, and auto-tuning sonar system. The transducer offers easy setup and can be mounted in the hull, on the transom, scupper holes, and on your trolling motor if needed.
The HOOK2 is a great value, and the fish finder, unlike traditional fish finders, has a wide-angle CHIRP sonar to deliver twice the coverage. It has 4,000 US lakes, each with 1′ contours that are pre-installed for quick navigation. You’ll adjust fewer settings and spend longer fishing.
- FishReveal combines target separation of Lowrance CHIRP sonar and the high-resolution DownScan images to make fish light up your display.
- High-detail maps of 4,000 US inland lakes.
- You can create custom contour maps in more detail over any map or GPS plotter using Genesis Live.
- The Tripleshot Transducer is perfect for anglers who want all sonar from one transducer. TripleShot offers wide-angle high CHIRP sonar and high-resolution fish-holding structure images using SideScan and DownScan Imaging.
- The Autotuning Sonar means you can fish longer without messing with the easy-to-use buttons.
- 7-inch display for clear four-way split easily to read screen data even in direct sunlight.
With a guide price of just under $650, you get one of the best fish finders reviewed. It offers one of the best fish finder transducers for clear images not seen on many devices in this price range.
All this can be seen in daylight thanks to the HOOK Reveal’s SolarMAX display. If you are a serious angler who needs more than your traditional fish finder, you’ll find the Hook among the best deep-water fish finders out there.
4. Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar – GPS Portable Wireless Wi-Fi Fish Finder for Shore and Ice Fishing – Best Portable Fish finder
The Deeper Pro Wireless fish finder model is paving the way for compact and best portable fish finders.
The Deeper Pro eliminates the need for a boat with a fixed transducer, allowing all anglers to use sonar to target fish. While winding in, scan the riverbed, and the sonar data will be sent to your phone via Wi-Fi.
While among the least expensive fish finders here, there are still many features packed into the orb. All data passed back to your smartphone app. The battery lasts up to 6 hours on one charge, and you can launch the castable fish finder up to around 300ft from your position.
- Wi-Fi range of 330 ft
- Small and portable at 2.5″ diameter and a weight of 3.5 oz.
- Compatible with most smartphones using iOS and Android
- Rechargeable 3.7v Lithium Polymer battery
- Built-in GPS to mark waypoints
- Suitable for kayak, ice fishing, or fishing from the shore.
- Dual-beam scanning for deeper or wider imaging of fish arches.
With a guide price of just under $200, you’ll find this suitable for any angler who wants portable fish finders they can take from boat to boat or from boat to ice.
If you ever wonder are fish finders waterproof, then this great fish finder shows a fish finder can be fully waterproof if it meets your fishing style. You also get down imaging up to 260ft, and finders using your phone are changing the fish finder market for features and affordability.
5. Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 72sv with GT56UHD-TM Transducer – Best Fish Finder under 1000
The ECHOMAP UHD 72sv includes features not seen on any low-quality fish finder. All controlled with touchscreen technology with keyed-assist among many other features.
The GT56UHD-TM Transducer on the ECHOMAP UHD provides sophisticated fishing technology.
For crisp and transparent images at varying depths, it includes Garmin CHIRP traditional sonar and Ultra High-Definition ClearVü scanning sonar and SideVü scanning sonar to deliver a 20% greater range.
The premium fish finder supports Panoptix all-seeing sonar, including Panoptix LiveScope sonar.
- It offers a clear sunlight-readable 7” split-screen with a touchscreen and keys for quick assistance.
- The transducer provides Garmin CHIRP traditional sonar and UHD ClearVü scanning sonar.
- Vivid colors make scanning sonar easy to distinguish targets and structure
- Preloaded with worldwide Basemap and compatible with the optional BlueChart G3 coastal charts and LakeVü G3 inland maps
- Full sonar, mapping, and user data you can share to other ECHOMAP Plus, ECHOMAP UHD, and ECHOMAP Ultra units
- It uses a quick-release bail mount for fast, easy mobility
- Compatible with the Force trolling motor offering complete motor control to route via waypoints and follow tracks to catch fish.
With a rough price tag of just under $1000, this offers one of the best Chirp fish finders there is. The fish finder features are way above other offerings, yet you pay for them. If you are a serious angler who needs the best, you will find this at the top of the best fish finder models you can choose with 4-way fish finder screens.
Best Fish Finder Buying guide
When looking for a great kayak fish finder, there’s more to consider than whether it has imaging sonar or a high-definition display. Unfortunately, most fish finders will be designed to be installed on larger powerboats. (Find the Best Trolling Motor For Kayak)
Kayak-specific designs are few and far between. As a result, the best systems for your yak are compact and portable. A large chunk of them requires 12V power, and you’ll need to consider where you can put them unless you use the bobber types of fish finders.
Here are some of the things you need to consider when purchasing your next fish finder to help catch more fish.
Will the Fish Finder Fit?
When purchasing a fish finder, the first move is to determine where you can install it. Put your yak on the water and start paddling. Act as if you’re fishing and check if the fish finder obstructs your view. Experiment with different strokes to be certain you don’t collide with your mount.
Can You Still Cast?
Begin fishing and pay attention if you can cast without interference. Even when water is clear, the fish finder needs to be placed low because of low-hanging vegetation. It may require a mounting arm, or you use the center console where fitting makes sense.
Battery and Cables
If you’ve figured out where to put your fishing kayak fish finder, you’ll need to figure out where to run the battery and transducer cables. It’s important to keep them dry, as well as any fitting plates, and to secure cables in place.
It may be a viable option here, as some fish finders are compact but pose a risk of dropping into the water. Permanent designs can provide a safer option, but they will be exposed to the elements and damaged or stolen during transport.
Fish finders use sonar to locate fish. Dual frequencies are used in lower-cost models, while CHIRP, or Compressed High-Intensity Radiated Pulse, is used in higher-end models.
- Low frequencies penetrate water, allowing the fish finder to see deeper, but it can lack the fine detail required to locate schooling fish.
- High frequencies provide more precision for pinpointing fish, but they struggle to move through the water. They can’t tell you anything about the water’s bottom, particularly if it’s deep. Dual frequencies enable your fish finder to carry out both readings simultaneously.
The transducer beam angle isn’t as important as you might have been led to believe. Fish are seen suspended in the water column at wider angles, while fish near the bottom is narrower.
Longer pings are used in CHIRP technology across many frequencies. CHIRP systems outperform dual-frequency systems in terms of accuracy and data transmission to the fish finder.
A fish finder transducer transforms electrical energy into sonar waves and the other way around.
It is the width of the sound wave that your boat emits into the water. The bigger the covered area, the wider the cone. The lower the amplitude projected back to the transducer, the further the sound wave goes down. Image distortions result from a lack of precision.
Frequencies and transducers won’t work properly without your cone angle. Many consumers consider the cone angle to be the most important aspect when shopping for a depth finder transducer. The frequency of a depth finder is also linked to its cone angle.
The cone angle is the width of the beam sent out and down through the bottom of your fishing boat. The cone angle is named after the shape of this feature, which is narrow at the top and gradually widens as it delves deeper into the water, much like a cone.
The transducer beam angle is another name for this element. Your sonar signals would provide a larger field of view with a wider angle.
The frequency of the sound wave produced by the transducer is referred to as this. The wider the cone angle, the higher the frequency. Higher frequencies are best for shallow waters, and lower frequencies are better for deep waters.
The way you mount a transducer makes a big difference in your fishing experience. You may put them together in a variety of ways.
- Hull mounting has been around since the dawn of kayak fishing. Cut a sponge to fit the transducer and position it at the bottom of your kayak’s hull. It loses a little of signal, but not much.
- Transom mounting: This is where you connect an arm to your kayak using a mount. The transducer will be completely immersed in water, as it should be. However, if you run into
- rocks or stumps, it will be destroyed.
Scuppers for common transducers: Kayaks come with scuppers for common transducers. If your kayak has this capability, look for fish finders that will suit you. These are frequently used as optional extras with a higher price tag.
A fish finder should have suitable depth finders for the areas you’ll be fishing. Manufacturers offer a max depth.
Your fish finder’s display is a key feature in how well it works for you. Pay special attention to the display size, color, contrast, and detail. These will determine how well you can read the returning down imaging sonar signals and identify fish.
One of the most important things to consider is how many pixels your display has. The more pixels, the clearer, and smoother your image will be, allowing for easy deciphering.
Most people think it’s worth shelling out the extra cash for a color display if the budget allows it as well. This permits your images to “pop” and makes them easier to view under the sun’s bright rays.
Larger screen size also increases your ease of reading! The right display for you all comes down to your preferences. Some you can even read for fish finding without taking off your fishing sunglasses.
Anglers benefit greatly from GPS, charts, and waypoints. Finding your way back home or to good fishing spots in unfamiliar waters can be a worthwhile addition. Using your fish finder to map structure and cover is a great way to return to where fish school and feed.
You want a fish finder that is battery-friendly. While many people don’t use standard batteries, you’ll need a decent rechargeable 12V battery before going out on the lake.
Scanning & Imaging Methods
Side-imaging fish finder allows scanning wider areas and seeing schools in detail. Yet, the side-scan sonar won’t produce effective imaging in deep waters.
This is where a down-imaging sonar comes in and uses a single transducer emitting a powerful sound wave and is better for monitoring deep water rather than a wide cone angle to find fish.
When using a fish finder on an open boat, water resistance is a major consideration. Check the product’s specifications for JIS or IPX scores. A system with an IPX rating of 4 is water-resistant, but that won’t be enough if you’re on a kayak.
In testing, it was a delight to use these fish finders with GPS units to see which came out as the overall best option.
While great down imaging can make or break the decision, it can be easily overwhelmed by features and thus cost. For years, Garmin fish finders have built on the top of their other devices, and again, they came out on top here.
The Garmin Striker Plus 4 with Dual-Beam transducer again tops the charts as the right fish finder for many average anglers. It is portable and can be used in many fishing situations. While it has a small screen compared to many alternatives, it is easy to read no matter what data you display. (Find the Best Beginner Fly Fishing Kit)
You can even use the device in split-screen for your waypoints and scanning at the same time. The Garmin Striker must be the best affordable fish finder for use in kayaks or when doing some ice fishing.