Fishing

Best Portable Fish Finder 2018 – Must Have Gear When Fishing

Do you go out fishing for fun or for money?

Regardless of the case, you need to have the right tools in order to catch the fish. If you have been fishing for a while, you already know how hard locating the perfect fishing spot can be. As a matter of fact most beginners find this exercise time consuming and boring, especially if they do not have the right gear. However, finding the perfect fishing spot for your expedition does not have to be that hard or time consuming for that matter.

Wireless Fish Finder In A Mobile App

Owing to advancements in sonar and GPS technology, it is now possible to accurate locate schools of fish quickly and more efficiently. While fish finders have been in use for several decades now, the modern portable fish finders have re-defined underwater monitoring. In addition to their portability, these gadgets are comparatively affordable, yet very effective.

If you are looking for the best portable fish finder, here are five of the best you should consider today:

 

5 Best Portable Fish Finder

ImageProductPrice
Garmin Striker 4
Deeper Portable
Humminbird 409670-1
Docooler Sensor Fishing
Deeper Smart Finder

#1. Garmin Striker 4 Built-in GPS Fish Finder – Best CHIRP transducer Portable Fish Finder


The Garmin Striker 4 Fish finder has borrowed a lot from its legendary predecessor, the STRIKER fish finder series. Just like its predecessor, the Striker 4 allows you to easily mark the fishing spots you love, hence be able to come back to the same spots in future. You will definitely fall for the Smooth Scaling graphics offered by the 3.5’’, 5’’ or the 7’’ screen variants offered by the manufacturer for this gadget. In addition to these, the Garmin Striker 4 is packed with a horde of impressive features.

Waypoint Map

Featuring an accurate GPS, fish finders in the Striker series allow you to easily mark waypoints on a map. By so doing, you can easily read your position, in relation to the points you have marked on your waypoint map at any time. This makes it easier for beginners as well as experienced fishers to navigate to such places as docks, brush piles and stumps with ease.

CHIRP Transducer

One of the things we found to be appealing about this portable fish finder is a powerful and clear transducer. The Striker 4 portable fish finder features a 77/200 kHz Garmin CHIRP transducer. This transducer is renowned for offering an exceptional level of clarity and displaying more details on your fish finder screen. As compared to the traditional 77/200 kHz transducers, the CHIRP transducer used in this unit will give you all the details you need, including the type of fish ad structure.

Rather than sending a single frequency, the CHIRP transducer transmits a continuous sweep of low to high frequencies. The transducer then interprets each of the frequencies as they return to give you all the details you need about the fishing ground. This being the case, the sonar technology used in this unit can help you achieve better target separation.

What We Liked About This Product

  • Features a user friendly interface with dedicated buttons, making it comparatively easy to use.
  • Equipped with CLEARVÜ SCANNING SONAR technology detailed information of what is below the water surface.
  • Comes with a built in Flasher that allows you to view your data in a flasher format.
  • Features a Waypoint Map that you can use to mark, view and navigate to various places on the fishing grounds.
  • The fish finder is available in several display options of 3.5’’, 5’’ and 7’’ display screens.

 

>> Final ThoughtsCustomer Reviews

The Garmin Striker 4 Fish combines the power of a CHIRP transducer, effective CLEARVÜ SCANNING SONAR technology, Smooth Scaling graphics display and an interactive keyboard operation to give a unique underwater monitoring tool. Buy the Striker 4 Portable fish finder and save yourself time and money.


#2. Deeper PRO+ Portable Wireless Fish Finder – The Most Powerful Castable Sonar


If you are looking for the best portable fish finder, you need to get one that offers the best of everything, such as the Deeper PRO+ fish finder. To begin with, this wireless fish finder offers the best casting distance, as compared to other castable sonar technologies today. Still wondering why this unit is a great buy?

Powerful Deeper PRO+ Sonar

Believe it or not, the deeper PRO+ sonar used on this portable fish finder is simply the best castable sonar in the industry today. Although this sonar technology is designed to scan wider and deeper, it is actually the integrated GPS system that sets the unit apart from its competitors. With such capabilities, you can comfortably scan your fishing waters from the shore. Even so, the gadget delivers detailed data regarding the fishing spot you are scanning.

Multi Purpose Deeper App

In addition to its remarkable scanning abilities, the Deeper PRO+ features a Wi-Fi connection. This allows you to send a considerable amount of data to other gadgets, such as your Smartphone or tablet. Once you have shared the data, you can then use the innovative Deeper App on your phone to convert the data into a format that is easy understand for beginners as well as experienced anglers.

What We Liked About This Product

  • Offers the best connection range for portable sonar fish finders today
  • The fish finder is suited for all types of fishing, including shore, boat, bank, river, ice and float tube fishing.
  • Offers detailed information about the waters below instantaneously
  • Features Wi-Fi connection, allowing you to share data between gadgets without the need for cellular data
  • It is the only portable fish finder in the market offering GPS-enabled onshore bathymetric mapping capabilities today.

 

>> Final ThoughtsCustomer Reviews

If you are looking for precision, ease of use, detailed information and the ability to share data among your gadgets, you should invest in the Deeper PRO+ portable fish finder today.


#3. Humminbird 409670-1 PiranhaMax 197C– The Best Fish Finder for Beginners


Just like the other products in the PiranhaMAX Series, the PiranhaMax 197C boasts of superior feature. However, the new Piranha ax 197C has much more to offer; the device features an easy to use interface, down imaging for enhanced display clarity, fish alarms and Fish ID+. Here are some of the aspects you will love about this portable fish finder:

Powerful Sonar and Transducer

The new Piranha ax 197C device is equipped with one of the most effective sonar technology and transducer. As a matter of fact, the gadget features Dual Beam sonar that can cover a conical area of 28° at frequencies of 200/455 kHz. The sonar in this device is designed to offer high bottom definition. In this regard, it applies a narrower, 16-degree beam. To identify and display fish location, the transducer uses a wider 28-degree beam, whenever the Fish ID+ feature of the portable fish finder is activated.

Innovative Fish ID+ and Alarm Features

This portable fish finder is actually designed to give you clear and precise data. As such, it is equipped with the helpful Fish ID+ features. This feature will interpret sonar returns and display a fish icon on the display whenever a certain set of requirements is met. As such, you can easily tell when a target is spotted with this device. This feature, coupled with fish alarm that goes off whenever a target is spotted, makes this device ideal for novice fishers.

What We Liked About This Product

  • The colored display allows you to see what is below the water with exceptional clarity, thanks to the 240H X 320V display pixel matrix offered by the fish finder.
  • Features dual sonar for enhanced accuracy
  • Features an easy to use interface, making it ideal for beginners
  • Equipped with depth an d fish alarms as well as a Fish ID+ feature, that allows the device to interpret sonar returns for you
  • Features a clear 3.5″ display and a PTP power output of 1600 watts

 

>> Final ThoughtsCustomer Reviews

Are you a beginner in the fishing industry and do not want to go through the trouble of having to interpret transducer feedback? Get a portable fish finder that interprets the data for you. With the PiranhaMax 197C, you just have to wait for the fish alarm to know when a target is spotted.


#4. Docooler Portable 3.5″ LCD Fish Finder Outdoor Sensor Fishing – The Best Fish Finder Under $150


With easy to use controls and a clear, easy to read 3.5’’ display, the Docooler portable fish finder is designed for beginners as well as experienced fishers. Although the device is relatively affordable, it still packs an array of performance features.

Clear Display

This fish finder features a 3.5-inch display, comparatively small, but does the work. The LCD display on this device boasts of 320 x 240 pixels and auto zoom tracking. This is mainly why it displays images of exceptional clarity.  This makes it easier for professionals as well as beginners to track schools of fish.

Sensitive Transducer

The Docooler 3.5’’ portable fish finder offers about 100 levels of sensitivity. Actually, it is one of the few devices that can read depths of up to 984 ft, within this price range today. With 100 watts RMS power, the fish finder can deliver a maximum output of 800 watts. Another aspect that sets this gadget apart from its competitors is the dual beam sonar frequency it uses. Additionally, it features an anti-interference feature. This allows it to bypass the effect of grass under water.

What We Liked About This Product

  • Equipped with sunlight readable, 3.5″ TFT V320XH240, 8 bit display screen for exceptional image clarity.
  • Allows you to select your preferred depth reading units, you can use either meters or feet
  • Features a duel beam, 20 KHz /83 KHz sonar frequency for enhanced accuracy of collected data
  • Features an Anti-interference features, which further makes the collected data clearer

 

>> Final ThoughtsCustomer Reviews

Owing to its ease of use, compact design and a powerful transducer, the Docooler portable fish finder is a great choice for beginners. If you are a professional fisher looking for an affordable fish finder option, this gadget will also come in handy.


#5. Deeper Smart Portable Fish Finder – Best for Portability


The Deeper Smart, castable echo sounder, wireless fish finder may be the only thing you are missing to make your fishing expedition more productive. This may be attributed to the wide range of capable features the device offers.

Impressive Sonar Features

The Deeper Smart 3.0 fish finder is a really capable unit, thanks to its powerful sonar technology and transducer. The manufacturer has equipped the unit with a dual fish finder and a powerful transducer. In this regard, the unit can scan depths of between 1.5 feet and 130 feet. Additionally, the unit may be used on salty as well as fresh water fishing grounds, which makes it versatile. The fish finder is designed to give you accurate data, such as water temperature, depth, underwater structures as well as presence and structure of fish.

Compact Design

Portability is another aspect that makes this fish finder impressive. As a matter of fact, the device is small enough to fit in a tackle box. Additionally, it comes with a neoprene pouch that allows you to safely carry the device on your belt. The device, measure about 2.5 inches in diameter and weighs about 3.5 ounces.

What We Liked About This Product

  • The device is equipped with Bluetooth for wireless connection to Android and iOS devices
  • Offers simultaneous sonar readings of fish targeting and bottom contour, along with such aspects as temperature, depth, underwater vegetation and structures.
  • The device may be used in a temperature range of between 4°F and 104°F and may be used in fresh as well as salty waters.
  • The device is highly portable, Smart and offers wireless connection to other devices

 

>> Final ThoughtsCustomer Reviews

The Deeper Smart fish finder packs an array of effective features. This makes it ideal for all types of fishing, including ice, shore, bank, boat, river, Kayak and float tube fishing.


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:

  • Standalone Fish Finders

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.

  • Networked 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.

Conclusion

As you have seen throughout this guide, buying a good portable fish finder requires much more than just throwing your money at the first one you find appealing. To get the best unit, there are numerous factors that you need to consider, some of which have been discussed above. In case you do not have the time to compare the various units in the market, you can choose one from the ones reviewed in this guide; they are simply the best portable fish finders today.

Resources:

About the author

Nik Paterson

Hello, Welcome to my second home, here in this OutLifeGear blog I spend a lot of my free time writing tips, outdoor guides and product selection guides. I am an outdoor person and know how much it is crucial to be prepared for the outlife adventures. So this is where you will find all my sharings.
>> Happy OutLife

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