Portable Fish Finder Buying Advice – What to Consider
If you are an angler, you can attest to the fact that searching for fish in the water manually is not easy. Even with the bait to attract the fish to your line, you will still need to know the best place to throw your lines. This is where a fish finder comes in; these gadgets will locate and show you the location of fish in the water. This will definitely make your fishing expedition easier, don’t you think? As compared to the fixed models, portable fish finders are more popular. This is because the portable models can be moved between fishing vessels with ease.
While this is the case, you must be aware that not all the available portable fish finders are good. Therefore, you need to exercise a certain level of caution when shopping for the right unit. With so many portable fish finder makes and models in the market today, choosing the best one is not an easy task. Throughout this guide, you will learn the various things you should consider while shopping for the best portable fish finder.
1. The Type of Portable Fish Finder
There are anglers who fish for fun and those who do it for a living. Depending on your purpose for fishing and experience level, you need to choose a portable fish finder that is appropriate. The various fish finders available today may be categorized into three main groups, as described below:
This is the simplest of fish finders today. Units within this category are a great choice for a hobbyist fisher. These units may also be used by a beginner who would like to observe what is below his or her boat. Although these are the simplest fish finders, you can still find models that are of high performance and precision. If you are looking for a tool that can help you catch more fish with ease, but are short on budget, you should consider buying the best Standalone fish finders.
Owing to advancements in GPS, wireless and sonar technologies, modern networked fish finders offer high ranges. As such, these tools can present you with a lot of information, regarding the waters below, whenever you go out fishing. As such, these gadgets tare ideal monitoring all aspects of any fishing spot you are sailing on, including the types of fish in the waters and relative depth of the fish from the surface.
The more advanced fish finders within this category, and the more expensive ones for that matter, can give you such valuable information as the temperature of the water. As the name suggests, the networked fish finders may be connected with other gadgets, such as Smartphone, and can connect to the internet. This technology allows fishermen to share vital information regarding different fishing grounds.
- Chart Plotter and Fish Finder Combo
If you are regularly on fishing expeditions for the financial gain, it is advisable to buy a fish finder and chart plotter combo. Actually, you should consider getting one of these before expanding your fishing opportunities to high seas. Basically, gadgets within this category are a combination of GPS and a mid to high range fish finder. The GPS comes in these gadgets comes in handy whenever you are fishing in storms, the system will navigate you regardless of the water condition. Fish finders within this category may be installed in a single ‘black box’ setup or on a dual-screen setup. You can also expand the range and functionality of these gadgets by adding transducers, which are often included with the purchase of such units.
2. Fish Finder Display
The display is one of the most important parts of any portable fish finder today. Unlike other screens today, the horizontal and vertical screen sizes are important when it comes to portable fish finder screens. For instance, a taller screen on your finder will allow you to monitor greater depths. With regards to the horizontal dimension of the screen, displayed items remain on the screen longer in larger portable fish finder screens.
Again, you also need to consider the pixels per square inch offered by the screen on your preferred fish finder model. Basically, the more the pixels offered by the screen, the more the information the screen can display at any given time. Therefore, screens with more pixels per square inch can display additional information, such as the fish wandering close to the bottom, air bladders within schools of fish and distinguish individual fish from each other, when they are floating too close to each other. As such, your preferred finder screen should not only be bigger; it should also be sharp.
Finally, you will also need to put the vertical dimension of the screen into consideration. You probably are aware that this is the dimension that is used to express the size of most display screens today. In this regard, it is advisable to for a bigger and wider screen. Such a screen can display more information at any given time. Additionally, wide fish finder screens have split screen support; which allows you to monitor multiple types of elements.
3. Transducer Capabilities
The transducer–a part that is submerged into the water and one that gives a portable fish finder its tracking capabilities–is the other important part of these gadgets. For your unit to be capable of scanning wider angles and greater depths, it needs to have a good transducer. To ensure that you have settled for the best transducer possible, here are some of the aspects you should consider:
- Frequency – This refers to the frequency range the fish finder can operate at, which may be dual frequency, single frequency, multiple frequency or broadband CHIRP. The best suited frequency will depend on the type of waters you fish. For instance, the higher frequencies are bets for shallow waters.
- Watts – The power of a portable fish finder is expressed in watts RMS (root mean squared). Basically, the more powerful the transducer on the device is, the more clearly you will be able to see objects on the screen, especially if you are sailing on dirty or murky waters.