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Best Kayak Fish Finder

Last Updated: January 24, 2020
Nancy Reagan
Product Review by Nancy Reagan

Just as it has done with hundreds of activities that we once considered traditional or straightforward, technology has completely revolutionized the world of fishing. In this case, the technology in question takes the form of fish finders.

While some fishermen remain adamant in their refusal to use fish finders and other advanced equipment, others embrace it in the search to find an edge over the competition.

If you are going to invest in a fish finder, there’s a lot that you need to know.

Below we’ve compiled a round-up review and short guide with all the information that you may need to find the best kayak fish finder.

Our Reviews

1

Humminbird Helix Fish Finder

The Humminbird Helix comes in several different models, but it’s clear that each is aimed towards kayak fishermen.

This compact fish finder is loaded with so many features that you might be overwhelmed by them. It also comes in at a slightly lower price point for those looking for a value buy.

The Humminbird Helix uses 2D sonar to give you one of the clearest pictures in the world of fish finders. It also has side imaging and down imaging, which are two unique viewpoints that give you a leg up on competition–and the fish. The amount of detail that the Humminbird Helix provides has been called “unprecedented.”

The Helix is an excellent option for kayak fishermen because of its compact size and range of features that make it a very versatile machine. The 5-inch display is perfect for the kayak, and you can easily take it with, store it, mount it, and use it.

If you are a kayak user who likes adventure, this might be an even better option for you due to the variety of environments that the Helix can thrive in and provide imaging for. CHIRP (Compressed High-Intensity Radar Pulse) technology is on full display in the Helix, matching the technological capabilities of almost any other fish finder.

Pros

  • Good price
  • Multiple features
  • SwitchFire features let you control your display and set it according to your personal preferences
  • Dual Beam technology lets you control the amount of detail in the image and allows you to combine two images into one
  • Integrated GPS Navigation

Cons

  • Some defective models
  • Requires SD card to save locations
2

Deeper Pro Plus Fish Finder

The Deeper Pro Plus is one of the more affordable fish finders in our list. This is due to the decreased amount of inbuilt features this model comes with. While the Deeper Pro Plus doesn’t have all of the features that some of the higher end fish finders have, it is every bit as practical.

The Deeper Pro Plus is a compact fish finder that has everything that the casual fisherman needs to have a successful catch. What it lacks in high-tech imaging, it makes up for in versatility, stealth, and durability.

This is the perfect fish finder for those who enjoy fishing from small boats, kayaks, or from shore. You can easily cast out the Pro Plus to reach difficult areas.

It can scan parts of the water that other fish finders might not be able to reach. It’s this versatility and mobility that makes it a highly appealing option for those who primarily fish from shore or a kayak.

Like many other fish finders, the Deeper Pro Plus can connect to your phone via WiFi, and you can view the data on your mobile device.

Pros

  • Multi-tool and a smartphone mount
  • The Deeper Pro Plus casts out up to 330 feet and can scan up to 260 feet
  • Compact design
  • Perfect fish finder for kayaks
  • It’s mobile, easy to use, and syncs to your mobile phone for a compact experience

Cons

  • Only mobile compatibility, no display included
3

Raymarine Dragonfly Pro 7 Fish Finder

The Dragonfly fish finder by Raymarine is one of the more versatile fish finders on the market. In addition to the variety of features that the Dragonfly offers, it also comes in 3 different sizes, meaning anyone from pro boat fisherman to casual kayakers can use a version of the Dragonfly effectively.

The Dragonfly has some of the most advanced imaging technology available in fish finders today. While the features of the machine are impressive, they don’t come without the price tag. The Dragonfly is not the most affordable option by any means, but it’s certainly one of the more advanced fish finders out there.

If you’re a professional fisherman, the Dragonfly might be another viable option amongst the many fish finders already available on the market today. If you consider yourself more of a casual fisherman or hobbyist, then the Dragonfly fish finder may not be for you.

You should also note that the Dragonfly comes in a few different models, each one is different in size and/or price point. That means that there is some flexibility here if you’re still unsure.

Pros

  • Available in 3 different sizes
  • Superior imaging technology
  • Flexible mounting options
  • Compatible with Wi-Fish app
  • CHIRP DownVision can see up to 600ft deep, making it a viable option for those who prefer deeper fishing

Cons

  • Price could be better
4

Lowrance HOOK2 Fish Finder

The HOOK2 by Lowrance could be considered the Cadillac of fish finders. It is the most expensive fish finder on our list, and the features and quality of this product certainly reflect that.

Since you can expect to invest a significant amount of money in this high-end fish finder, it may be best suited for those who fish professionally or participate in fishing competitions. You might also find this to be a suitable fish finder if you are willing to invest a significant amount of money in your casual hobby of fishing.

Unlike many high-tech fish finders, the HOOk2 is quite easy to set up and use. It reports back high-quality and sophisticated data to the user, without being too intimidating for the user to operate.

Whether you enjoy fishing in deep water, structures, or shallow water, the HOOK2 should suit your needs just fine. Its crystal-clear imaging technology gives you a clear picture of what’s in the water and helps you to fine-tune and optimize your strategies. The built-in mapping and GPS features are the icing on the cake with this premium machine.

Lowrance is a very reputable manufacturer of high-end fish finders, and you can find the HOOK2 in several different models that they produce. No matter your needs though, you should be able to find a Lowrance HOOK fish finder that fits them well.

The price of this finder is proportional to the quality, so if you are looking for a more budget-friendly option, this might not be the finder for you.

Pros

  • Simple and easy interface
  • Easy to set-up
  • You can set it to DownScan, SideScan, or CHIRP
  • Pre-loaded with map data of over 4,000 lakes & rivers to help you navigate like a pro
  • Premium build quality
  • SD slot for loading additional map data or map extensions

Cons

  • Price could be more competitive
5

Garmin Striker 4

Last on our list and also our budget pick is the Garmin Striker 4 fish finder. If you’re on a tight budget, this fish finder may be the ideal solution, this is an excellent choice for the casual fishermen that want a fish finder that does the basics very well, but also at a great price.

The interface of the Garmin Striker 4 is very easy to use, and you’ll have no trouble configuring it to all your preferences and understanding the readings to find those fish! The display screen may be small, but for those wanting to fish out of a kayak, it’s more than acceptable.

The Garmen Striker 4 is one of the most affordable fish finders out there, but a lot of the features are remarkably similar to those of the more expensive fish finders on the market. For instance, the Garmen Striker 4 utilizes CHIRP Sonar technology, which is the same sonar used in more expensive models like the HOOK2.

Although, some of the features are slightly limited. The Garmen Striker 4 does include GPS navigation, but it’s a much more basic mapping experience than higher end fish finders, and the imaging is less clear. Still, kayak fishermen can find a lot of value in this compact and simple fish finder.

Pros

  • Super accurate
  • Easy to set-up
  • Good size for portability
  • Can store up to 5000 waypoints
  • Displays temperature, speed, and depth
  • Trusted brand
  • Easy-to-use interface

Cons

  • Imaging not as clear as some other fish finders
  • No latitude and longitude info

Best Kayak Fish Finders: A Brief Guide

With this guide we will explore everything from what exactly fish finders are, to what they’re used for, and also some of the factors that we kept in mind when reviewing our top picks.

What Are Fish Finders?

Fish finders are becoming a more commonly used piece of equipment within today’s fishing community, and as their name implies, they are useful in helping to locate many different varieties of fish underwater.

Fish finders can show you an image that indicates the location of fish by detecting the reflection of pulses of energy. They also show you changes in depth, reefs and holes under the water where fish love to hide. In this way, fish finders work similarly to sonar technology or echolocation.

Fish finders are used by both casuals and professional fishermen worldwide, although professional fishermen might be more inclined to invest more in a fish finder.

Fish Finders can be a useful and excellent tool for many fishermen, but not every angler elects to use one.

Are There Different Kinds of Fish Finders?

Yes, there are several different kinds of fish finders, you can find fish finders for kayaks, boats, and most other vessels. There are also different kinds of fish finders for different types of fishing, such as deep sea, freshwater, structure fishing, and several others.

Not every fish finder is going to be a good fit for every angler, which is why you should do your due diligence when shopping for them.

Will I Catch More Fish With a Fish Finder?

Although fish finders are designed to help you locate and catch the fish you want more easily and at a higher rate, it’s hard to say whether or not you will catch more fish when using a fish finder.

There are many variables, location, how experienced a fisherman you are, weather, and the equipment you use are just a few examples.

If you combine your knowledge of fishing and some quality equipment, that is usually a recipe for increased success while fishing. No single thing is going to turn you into the greatest fisherman of all time, but a fish finder never hurts.

Should I Use a Fish Finder?

The great thing about cutting edge fish finders is that they have them for almost every style of fishing and skill level to suit your exact needs.

So, regardless of if you are a casual fisherman that goes once a week or a pro that goes every day, a fish finder is definitely a valuable tool to add to your arsenal.

Fishing Style

As is the case with all of the fishing equipment that you select, the fish finder that you use is going to vary based on your fishing style or goals.

This is going to include shallow fishing, deep water fishing, structure fishing, and any other strategy that you can think of.

It’s vital that you have the right equipment for your selected strategy, and fish finders are no different.

Some fish finders are better for a specific type of fishing, while others are good all-around.

Affordability & Practicality

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you actually do need to put a bit of thought into this one.

For a professional fisherman that fishes for prize money, it will be more justified to spend a higher amount of money on a quality fish finder that suits his/her needs more precisely.

Conversely, a casual fisherman may find that a more affordable option works fine for them as they do not fish competitively.

Two questions to ask yourself when determining the ideal price range:

  • Is this an investment? If it is
  • What are the ideal returns on this investment?

Brand

We all have our own preferences and preferred brands, within the fishing community dependable equipment is often the difference between success and failure.

However, as technology evolves, different brands of equipment rise and fall as they move to keep up with new developments.

That’s why it’s important to keep an open mind and not become too fixated on a single brand while also using your prior knowledge of shopping experiences to your advantage.

The products that we reviewed come from a range of brands. They were chosen carefully to offer you a great selection from reputable equipment manufacturers.

Recap

Taking all things into consideration, the Deeper Pro Plus tops our list as the best fish finder for kayak fishermen.

It is compact, versatile, and perfect for travel. It can also be used on a regular boat and from shore, making it a solution that transcends all styles of fishing.

For the modest price point, it offers a plethora of features and outstanding functionality.

The Pro Plus conveniently connects to your smartphone so that you can easily see the data on the go. It also comes with a smartphone mounter, multi-tool, and a night cover for the unit itself.

Taking cost, quality, reputation, and versatility into account, the Deeper Pro Plus is the best kayak fish finder for the average fisherman.

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