How to choose the best depth finder for Kayaks?

Kayak fishing has become increasingly popular. People find fishing interesting as it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Kayak fishing provides a whole new experience, it can be more fun if you have a good depth finder.

A depth finder is also known as a fish finder. Getting the perfect depth finder for a kayak at a fair price can be quite difficult. During the 1990s, the first fish finders hit the market. Since then, they’ve continued to improve obtaining an amazing range of valuable features that enable anglers all over the world to boost their catching performance, become more experienced, and enhance their overall fishing experience.

Features of a depth finder

Depth or fish finders might look simple to use. People think that a fish finder will help them to locate the position of fish but it is much more complicated than that. There is technicality behind the fish finder. Sonar technology is used to decide what entities are present in your environment. Depending on the distances the sound waves migrate, they will decide if this material is a specific fish, algae or, a submerged object.

Fishfinders have a slew of other features; some are often equipped with sufficient databases to track down unique organisms. As a result, whether you’re searching for fish that are thinner, plumper, 5-inch long, 10-inch long, fast swimmers, or weak swimmers, the fish finder will provide all of the details. It can be used to decide whether or not the organism in front of it meets the standards.

Factors to look for in a depth finder for Kayaks

There are certain factors that must be considered before choosing a depth finder for kayaks.

Water depth

If you want to go deep-sea fishing, you’ll need this feature. A large proportion of anglers opt for shallower depths that are normal along most waterfronts, and a side-imaging device is more than adequate for this.

If you prefer deep-water fishing, however, you may need to consider investing in a down-imaging device. It will offer you a more balanced perspective on what’s beneath.

Space and mounting type

To get the maximum advantage of a fish finder, you need to set yourself in a comfortable position, pick your pedals, store the gear, and begin positioning the fish finder across the front of the kayak in different positions. This will help to decide which location would be most convenient while providing a great view of the path. Another important thing to consider is the size and specifications of the fish finder in relation to the size and available space in the kayak.

There are several mounting styles to choose from. To begin, you must first mount it to the hull, which can be accomplished by thoroughly cleaning the specified area and applying silicone. In other situations, DIY activities involving foam and pool noodles perform better.

The next choice is to install them in the scrubber gaps, which is easy since it is already assembled and needs little effort. Since the main purpose of scrubber holes is water drainage, it is important to bear in mind that it can undermine the water drainage mechanism of the kayak if somehow the kayak fills with water.


Fishfinder with already installed GPS elevates the fishing experience. You can not only explore new sites but also enables you to establish new routes by pinning the newly discovered locations. Kayaking will carry you to far places, so you don’t have to be concerned about getting lost. However, not all fish finder has pre-installed GPS, and its availability will significantly increase the price of the depth finder.


The transducer is the most important element of any fish finder. This small system employs sonar technology to detect and distinguish items and creatures in its close surroundings. It may be consisting of a specific device with broader beams or a combination of several transducers.

Types of Sonar

There are many variants of sonar technology. The conventional sonar and the 3D sonar are the two most important types of fish finders.

The 3D sonar, as the name implies, provides a clear view of the waters under you. Since everything is clearly visible, the possibility of landing on the targeted item is high. As compared to the conventional sonar, it comes with a narrower beam and lower coverage. With that being said, you should be confined to shallow water and focus on one place at a time.

Conventional sonar produces a blurry image but it is a more improvised one in terms of beam coverage. Hence, with this one, you are capable of reaching deep into the water and cover larger areas.

Type of frequency

Fishfinders usually have a frequency range of 50, 83, 192, and 200 kHz. Higher frequencies would be more beneficial if you choose kayaking in shallow waters, and lower frequencies would be more beneficial if you tend to go deep water kayaking. There are four distinct categories of frequencies, each of which is appropriate for different situations.

  • High frequencies tend to store a lot of knowledge in their waves, which is why they’re better tailored to shallow waters. However, they won’t be able to transmit any useful knowledge about the deep waters.
  • Low frequencies are completely opposite to high frequencies and tend to reach deep into the water. They are unable to do so as they do not hold the necessary amount of data required to get a clear image.
  • Dual frequencies overcome the problem of the above-mentioned frequencies as they contain the considerable information require to get a clear image from both shallow and deep water. The efficiency is also based on how the transducer is set up and mounted.
  • CHIRP or Compressed High-Intensity Radar Pulse outperforms all types of frequencies. It switches between various frequencies using prolonged pings in an attempt to create an excellent picture regardless of the situation.


The display is the product of every factor mentioned above. For the better performance of a depth finder, it is important that all the factors should be visible to you. That is why one should be extremely careful while selecting the depth finder for kayaks.

Screen size

You might be tempted to choose the maximum display available, but that may not be the best option. The measurements of the fish finder and available space on the kayak should be considered prior to choosing the display.

Usually, a 4 to 5-inch display size is recommended for larger kayaks. Whereas, a 3 to 4-inch display is reasonable for smaller kayaks.


The sharpness and brightness of the picture you’ll get are assessed by the resolution, which is calculated in pixels. The fish finders usually come with a 640 x 640-pixel resolution. You might go for lower resolutions for a lower price but stay away from anything less than 240 x 160, as they would be meaningless.

There are a variety of depth finders available on the market but not all fulfill the above-mentioned requirements. You have to do some homework before heading out to select the depth finder. There is no need to purchase extra accessories, only a mounting kit will do the job. If you are investing in an expensive one then make sure that it must include the accessories.



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