The size of the area you’re scanning will be affected by the angle of the cone. A wide beam cone scans between 40°-60°, meaning you’ll be covering a large area. A narrow cone will scan between 10°-20°. So make sure you’re aware of whether your fish finder is using a wide or narrow cone when you’re looking at the data on your screen. The Deeper PRO and PRO+ have wide and narrow beam scanning (55° and 15°), the Deeper START has a medium/wide beam (40°). One other point to remember about how you sonar works is that it is constantly sending and receiving data, which means your display will be continually scrolling. The current scanning data will be on the right – the further left on the screen, the older the data.

Choosing the perfect fish finder for your requirement is hard with many features such as imaging, power and more. The main purpose of a fish finder is to catch more fish with the screen displaying the fish and underwater structure and physical objects. Other information such as water temperature and depth are common on the majority of devices with many high end fish finders providing much more.


Your fishfinder needs to accomplish two objectives: find the fish and help you record where they like to hide at your favorite fishing spot. In both respects, Garmin’s Striker 7SV definitely delivers the goods and then some. This superior scanning sonar gives one of the most complete images available of what is in the water around you and how deep the fish are hiding in real time with near-photographic detail. In terms of an easy to use interface, this model uses dedicated navigation and function buttons to provide reliable responses for more intuitive operation even by novice users.
We’re only slightly kidding when we say that one of the simplest ways to pick a transducer is to decide just how big of a hole you want to drill in your boat. Fishfinders intended for the small-boat, freshwater angler often come with a transducer, usually a transom-mount type. But many transducers are purchased separately and need to be installed through the hull.

Unless you know where fish are lurking, casting out anywhere on the water doesn’t necessarily guarantee a bite. Finding where the hot spots are will help you save time and money while fishing. That’s where fishfinders come in. An essential part of any modern angler’s arsenal, a fishfinder makes catching more fish easier.  Fishfinders help you pinpoint the honey hole using SONAR so you can see where the fish are and at what depth they are hiding. No more wasting time, tackle or line on deserted spots in the water. From standalone units, fishfinder/GPS combos, networked or multi-function displays, West Marine offers a wide array of fishfinders from the top brands on the market today. Keep reading for tips on finding the right system for your boat.

Overall, if you want to get the best fish finder, then our top pick has to be either the Humminbird Helix 7 or the Garmin Striker 7SV. We love the large screens and comprehensive functions that you get with both devices, as well as the rugged dependability. If you want to save money, though, the Garmin Striker 4cv will be your next best bet as it comes with high-performance results, even with a smaller screen.

The sound wave spreads as it gets further from the transducer. The wider the cone, the larger the coverage area, but the as the cone angle spreads, sensitivity diminishes. A 20-degree cone is considered a versatile angle for fishers who frequent different water depths. More advanced devices come with double and triple beams, ideal for scanning deep water depths.

When it comes to fish finders and fishing GPS technology, the HELIX 5 delivers some of the best in functionality and creating a seamless user experience for fishing pros and hobbyists. This unit uses precise broadband CHIRP, a Reflex interface, imaging sonar and the power to chart and create maps using Auto Chart Live. The HELIX 5 has taken what is already a premier fish finder tool, and taken it to new heights in terms of features and creating an even better user interface. The display looks rich and clear, and is powered with 4,000 watts of PTP power output.
Detection range (depth) of a fish finder depends upon the frequency used for ultrasound transmission. In principle, the higher the frequency of ultrasound, the shorter the propagation range can be. The wavelength of high frequency ultrasound is short, and its directivity angle is narrow, which enables detailed searches, but it attenuates significantly while travelling through water. Low frequency ultrasound is characterised by its long wavelength, wider directivity angle and high level of tolerance toward underwater attenuation, hence enabling wide-area-searches in deeper water. To summarize, you can choose low frequency if you are searching in deep water and high frequency if you are conducting a detailed search in shallow water. Further, when using low frequency ultrasound, you may be able to conduct more precise deep-water searches by adding an optional Power Adapter, which amplifies the transmitter power to a few kilowatts. Please note, however, that when using the Power Adapter, a dedicated transducer capable of handling higher transmitter power will be needed.
Portable fish finders are the better choice for those who lease their boat. Also if you ice fish or “fly-in” fish, a portable unit would be more suitable for you. They usually come with their own carrying case and battery power supply. Most of the fish locators come with the transom mount for installation. The portable units come with the transducer already attached to the transom with the use of a suction cup.
A GPS is a must have for many fishers and having it in one unit with a fish detector is economical, space saving and convenient. Having the addition of a GPS gives you many benefits. It will give you the ability to mark hot fishing spots and easily return to them in the future, as you can mark the spot on the GPS and then track your way back to it later. These spots are called waypoints and on most units you will be able to mark hundreds or even thousands of them.
Harpoons are spears which have a barb at the end. Their use was widespread in palaeolithic times.[11] Cosquer cave in Southern France contains cave art over 16,000 years old, including drawings of seals which appear to have been harpooned. Tridents are spears which have three prongs at the business end. They are also called leisters or gigs. They feature widely in early mythology and history.

Although this unit lacks some of the features found in similar units from different manufacturers, it counterbalances with powerful sonar, using CHIRP for both down view and classic imaging. Additionally, it also comes with Wi-Fi connectivity, and you can benefit from a larger view if linked to a bigger tablet. It's a unit with a tremendous quality and price ratio, with a rating of four and five stars.

It is without a doubt that Lowrance has once again raised the bar for current technology. With their newly refined interface, their loyal customers will find the flow of operation to be much smoother than ever before. Don’t let the simple user operation fool you; Lowrance has built a technologically advanced unit with all the features you would expect.


NO INSTALLATION REQUIRED: That got your attention, didn't it? If you're on a budget, and don't want any sort of permanent installation mods to your boat, the Humminbird Smartcast series may be your answer. You simply cast the green transducer to the spot where you want to investigate, and the signal comes back to the wrist module (RF30) or the traditional display model (RF15). This series doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, but for my kind of fishing/paddlecraft, it may be a great solution.
If you’ve used a fish finder before, then you might be wondering why it’s necessary to get one with a GPS. To be perfectly honest, if you are someone who likes to fish in your local area and either casts from the shore or the back of a small boat, then GPS capability may not be something that’s worthwhile. However, for any fisherman who likes to go searching for the best catch, having GPS installed on your finder can make a world of difference. Here are some of the best reasons to get the  best GPS combo fish locator.
The size of the area you’re scanning will be affected by the angle of the cone. A wide beam cone scans between 40°-60°, meaning you’ll be covering a large area. A narrow cone will scan between 10°-20°. So make sure you’re aware of whether your fish finder is using a wide or narrow cone when you’re looking at the data on your screen. The Deeper PRO and PRO+ have wide and narrow beam scanning (55° and 15°), the Deeper START has a medium/wide beam (40°). One other point to remember about how you sonar works is that it is constantly sending and receiving data, which means your display will be continually scrolling. The current scanning data will be on the right – the further left on the screen, the older the data.
Overall, if you want to get the best fish finder, then our top pick has to be either the Humminbird Helix 7 or the Garmin Striker 7SV. We love the large screens and comprehensive functions that you get with both devices, as well as the rugged dependability. If you want to save money, though, the Garmin Striker 4cv will be your next best bet as it comes with high-performance results, even with a smaller screen.
A fish finder is a sonar instrument that is designed for the specific purpose of detecting fish underwater. It does so by detecting reflected impulses of sounds energy. All the electronic impulses that are reflected off fish are converted into information that is then display in graphic rendition on the screen of the fish finder. In addition to locating fish, these units also measure the depth of the water, locating underwater debris, and bottom structure. The image on the screen of the fish finder can represent just one fish in the form of a small icon or with a series of arches.
Our Depth Sounders are designed to mount flush in the dash of your boat. Our friendly user interface, automatic range & sensitivity and proprietary algorithms produce precise readings at speeds in excess of 60 MPH. Say goodbye to the days of not knowing the depth while running your boat on plane. Our Hand Held Depth Finders takes portable sonar systems to a whole new level. Get precise readings on the go with just a press of a button.
CHIRP fishfinders transmit less peak power than a conventional fishfinder, but their wide-band, frequency modulated pulses (130-210kHz, for example) can be very long in duration and put 10-50 times more energy into the water. Using digital pattern matching and signal processing, CHIRP devices achieve unprecedented resolution and target detection. Your ability to resolve individual fish, or separate fish from bottom structure, is now a matter of inches, instead of several feet with traditional fishfinders. See individual fish in groups, instead of a single mass.

For those who want the ultimate in fish finding technology, we have the Lowrance HDS-9 as a top rated fish finder. Not only do you get a large screen, but it’s touch activated for even more convenience. It’s so wide that you can chart two maps at once, and it’s all high-definition which allows you to create 3D models of the bottom of any lake or river in real time. Overall, this is as good as it gets.


Explore our collection of new fly-fishing gear and equipment. We carefully plan our designs and research every detail so you can maximize your fishing time and enjoy the best fishing gear money can buy. Discover the latest in a variety of fishing gear, including fly rods, fishing packs, waders, boats, wading boots, fly reels, and other gear. Let us help prepare you for your next fishing adventure—our selection of fishing gear has been engineered and tested by industry professionals to bring you only the best fishing products; shop with confidence knowing you're choosing from the best fly-fishing gear on the market.
Offering popular premium features at a more affordable price than any display in its category, Elite Ti2 gives anglers a level of powerful fishfinding and navigation functionality usually reserved for more expensive fishfinder/chartplotters. From Active Imaging™ support , FishReveal™ and built-in Genesis Live onscreen mapping to features that make your life easier on the water, like an easy-to-use touchscreen, wireless networking, smartphone notifications and trolling motor/Power Pole® integration – Elite Ti2 was designed to help you have an easier time finding fish.
There are a lot of good reasons to make sure your fish finder has GPS built into it, with the biggest being improving your fishing techniques and mapping all the data you could want as a fisherman. Each of these options have some great benefits to them, so pick the one that is in the right price range for you! A good rule of thumb is the more you pay, the better mapping options you are going to get, so please remember this if that is an important feature for you!
Big baits catch big fish, but this presents a problem for the ice angler. Hunting behemoth pike and muskies requires large, lively baits that do not play nice with tip-ups. Suckers and live trout are strong enough to trip the flag of almost any tip-up, causing you to waste time resetting lines after false alarms. Attaching a planer board clip to your tip-up to hold your main line will prevent even an 18-inch sucker from triggering a false flag. The added pressure of the clip, which can be adjusted, has enough tension to hold suckers and trout but still allow predators to pull the line free and run. The flag will trip when it matters, but the bait won’t have the strength to trip it by itself. Just snap the clip to the line guide of the tip-up under the spool. This will allow the planer board clip to hang freely under the water. Simply clip in the main line after setting the bait.
Networked system: Fully networked systems are available from all the major suppliers, and usually will support a huge range of data sources including radar, raster and vector GPS charts, video, and SiriusXM satellite radio. Many allow Bluetooth/WiFi, and you can control them from your iPhone or Android smartphone. Your fishfinder, often an external “black box” module, is just one of these sources of data. Multiple-display network systems are great for medium-sized or large vessels. Capabilities get more amazing every year.

The most common mistake anglers make when reading their fish finder is thinking that a long arch means a big fish. This is not the case. On your sonar display, you should think of length as representing time. For example, imagine you keep your fish finder stationary in the water (in other words you are not reeling or trolling it). If there is a fish underneath that is also stationary, what will you see on your fish finder display? You will see one continuous line. That doesn’t mean there’s a blue whale stranded in the pond you’re fishing. It means there is a stationary fish under your fish finder, and it might be a very small one.

Standalone fishfinder: If you just want to see what’s below, dedicated fishfinders give the biggest display and the most performance for the least cost. If you have a small boat that you use for fishing small inland lakes or are on a limited budget, a standalone fishfinder is for you. Conversely, if your pilothouse has room for multiple displays, or if you just bought a new GPS, get a serious big-screen fishfinder. You can usually add a GPS sensor later to many units, turning them into chartplotter combos.
Lower frequency transducers, with longer waves and fewer waves per second, show less detail (larger fish) but carry more energy and penetrate to greater depths. One sound wave at 50kHz is slightly larger than 1", so a 50kHz sound wave will only detect fish if their air bladders are large, slightly longer than an inch. Lower frequency won’t provide as clear of a picture but will operate effectively in the depths of the ocean or Lake Michigan.
The image to the right shows a school of white bass aggressively feeding on a school of threadfin shad. Note the school of baitfish near the bottom. When threatened, baitfish form a tightly packed school, as the individuals seek safety in the center of the school. This typically looks like an irregularly shaped ball or thumbprint on the fishfinder screen. When no predators are nearby, a school of baitfish frequently appears as a thin horizontal line across the screen, at the depth where the temperature and oxygen levels are optimal. The nearly-vertical lines near the right edge of the screen show the path of fishing lures falling to the bottom.
The swivel sinker is similar to the plain one, except that instead of loops, there are swivels on each end to attach the line. This is a decided improvement, as it prevents the line from twisting and tangling. In trolling, swivel sinkers are indispensable. The slide sinker, for bottom fishing, is a leaden tube which allows the line to slip through it, when the fish bites. This is an excellent arrangement, as the angler can feel the smallest bite, whereas in the other case the fish must first move the sinker before the angler feels him.
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