There is nothing more important to a fisherman than to have a depth finder to find out the depths of the water and if it is safe for navigation by checking on the objects in the water and other information at the bottom like foliage and rockiness.
In this article, you will have the opportunity to navigate on the different depth finder brands in the market today and choose which among them could best suit your navigational needs.
Even if you are not currently looking for one, this article could make you wary with trends in fishing and navigational safety.
Best Depth Finder Review
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Depth Finder Review
- 1.1 Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4 Bbuilt-in GPS Fish Finder
- 1.2 HawkEye Depth Trax 1B
- 1.3 Venterior Portable Fish Finder, Water Depth & Temperature Fish Finder with Wired Sonar Sensor Transducer and LCD Display
- 1.4 Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X Sonar, W/ 83/200 XDCR
- 1.5 Humminbird 409590-1 HELIX 5 Fish Finder
- 2 Depth Finder Buying Guide
- 3 Conclusion
One of the top brands among all depth finder and fish finder brands is Garmin 010-01550-00 Fish Finder. This is the most preferred among all depth finder brands. It is not only because it is affordable, but also it provides added value relative to its cost as it is packed has a range of features and show results quickly.
It can be recommended as one of the best GPS fishfinder for the money. This easy-to-use 3.5 inch color fish finder includes a built-in, high sensitivity GPS CHIRP Fishfinder with GPS to help its owner find fish, return to docks, hot spots and ramps earlier detected.
This depth finder is handy to use with its keypad that measures 3.6” x 5.9” x 1.6” (91.6 x 150.8 x 42.8 cm), and a display measuring 1.9” x 2.9” (4.9 x 7.3 cm); 3.5” diag, (8.7 cm). In both functions, it can be used as active sonar by combining its hydrophone and projector.
The Garmin 010-01550-00 Fish Finder has a built in CHIRP (77/200) sonar transducer, has the capability to convert acoustic energy into electrical energy (200 W RMS)/(1,600 W peak-to-peak) while it is also used as a receiver to detect sound.
The device can be mounted on the boat can be compatible with other upgraded transducers like GT8 and GT15. On the other hand those are sold separately from its original built-in CHIRP transducer. Its other features such as graphics, provides its user with uninterrupted imagery when switching deep range scales and also includes a tilt or swivel mount, a trolling motor mounting hardware and cable to ensure easy set up and convenient use.
To find the most reliable depth finer, the HawkEye D100D Depth Sounder can be a good choice. It is able to provide accurate depth findings from 2.5 to 200 feet while running their boats on speeds over 60 miles per hour. This can be mounted or glued in hull in your boats which can be very useful.
When you head out on the water or any runabouts or junctions so you will be able to know the depth before you can maneuver your boat as it is equipped with a 3 staged early warning system. Packed with a Dual Depth Alarm, the device sends off warning weather you are on to go about shallow or deep waters.
With an EasyTouch User interface and a Marine grade plug with play connectors, the HawkEye D100D helps you obtain precise findings, whether in meters or feet with its Keel-Offset function. It has a SoftGlow Backlight that also enables you to recognize reading without glare on its display that measures 1.65” wide and 0.85” high.
Equipped with an Adaptive Software Program that device provides more accurate readings than any other depth finder. The device comes along with a Keel Offset Adjusts Depth Readings for Vessel Draft, interchangeable face plates and trim rings, and marine grade plug and play connectors.
The size of the device measures 6” x 4” x 2” (LWH) and weighs 2 pounds. What’s more; the HawkEye D100D owner gains access to online technical support anytime which is incorporated to its 2 –year warranty service, making it as one of the best fish finder in the industry.
Venterior Portable Fish Finder, Water Depth & Temperature Fish Finder with Wired Sonar Sensor Transducer and LCD Display
One of the best fish finders for the money is the Venterior Portable Fish Finder, Water Depth & Temperature Fish Finder with Wired Sonar Sensor Transducer and LCD Display. The device boasts of its Led-backlit 3” colored display that can be viewed clearly even in full sunlight and also in wide angles. It has a broadband sounder can help you detect and identify your targets.
The bottom contours and hardness, structure details, and sense the changes in water temperature; i.e., thermo clines especially during summer especially with its dual frequency 83 or 200 kHz operation that can really help you make the most of what you can view under the boat.
While being an ideal choice for showing large fish arches and areas for fishing, its 83 kHz sonar operation provides 60 degrees of conical coverage. It also has an advanced signal processing (ASP) that minimizes the need to make adjustments for picture clarity as the pages button on its face can allow you to switch between the sonar frequency views.
A 200 kHz operation can provide a 20 Deg conical for separating fish targets and can serve as a decoy for doing the drop-shooting techniques. Its other features include track and alarm options; a zoom; power button controls, a patented skimmer transducer and built-in water temperature sensor that can reach up to 75 mph.
You can also find adjustment functions on the device; for viewing, disconnecting and storing. Venterior Portable Fish Finder is supported by Lowrance advantage service program.
Lowrance 000-12635-001 is also one of the recommended top rated fish finders in the market today. Like the previous brand being presented, this depth finder is equipped with a broadband sounder that can easily recognize fish targets and everything else at the bottom. Its settings can be adjusted at any angle in order to provide a clearer detail of the structure and bottom below.
If you are in search of a depth finder that is easy to use, then Lowrance 000-12635-001 is really a good choice. It is very easy to mount and comes with a transducer that is easy to mount and remove with any type of boat.
This item has a Led-backlit 3” display with a 320 x 240 color resolution which allows a clear view in wide angles, even in full sunlight. It is one of the best inexpensive fish finders as it comes with almost the same functions and accuracy as compared to those brands that costs within the same cost range or even higher.
With its dual-frequency 83 or 200 kHz operation it allows its user to see more of the view beneath the boat, providing up to 60 degrees of conical coverage ideal that is perfect for showcasing large fish arches and other large areas below.
The product measures 3.8 x 1.9 x 6.5 inches and weigh only 2 pounds. With these specs and features, the product is a good choice as one of the best cheap fish finders, most customers gave it five stars.
This fish finder can be one of the inexpensive fish finders, but definitely has the same basic features that are contained in the other models I have listed. It includes XNT 9 20 T transducer with 200/83 kHz to cover 20 and 60 degrees of the scene at the bottom. Backed by a dual beam PLUS sonar of 400 watts PTP power.
Humminbird 409590-1 is another fish finder that is also easy to install using a Humminbird 5 Sonar fish finder system. The Dual Beam Plus Sonar gives a much wider view of the bottom and structure definition with a single beam and a second, wider beam at 60 degrees. It displays where the fish is located in the narrow beam as solid and fish in the wider beam as an outline.
With the DualBeam PLUS Sonar, it provides information from the bottom-looking beam and the fish finding beam separately or overlaid onto a single screen.
The DualBeam PLUS Sonar is a Humminbird exclusive feature which gives more information both from the fish-finding beam at the same time greater depth and wide coverage capability.
The Humminbird 409590-1 fish finder has a large 5” WGA display which is easy to operate and provides precise temperature findings. It is great for bow mounts and measures 8.5 x 6 x 4 inches and weighs heavier than the other top rated fish finders at 10.1 pounds.
Its dual beam sonar allows its user to explore shallow and deep waters more efficiently and sets warnings or alerts for any changes in temperature to provide a great fishing experience.
Depth Finder Buying Guide
Also known as a sounder, a depth finder or fish finder is an essential tool for fishing and exploring the waters. It pays however, to take note of several important things as reminders prior to buying a depth finder or fish finder. Primarily, you must know why you need a depth or fish finder and what its main components are; i.e., its monitor and its transducer.
The transducer is a device that is dipped into the water, usually mounted on the transom of the boat. The head unit where its monitor is located sends an electoral impulse to the transducer which converts it into sound waves released unto the water. This sound wave helps locate any piece of structure or fish and resounded to the head unit as an echo through the transducer.
There is nothing more important to know how it works so you will be able to determine which among its components are the important considerations in choosing a fish finder. Basically, it is important to note that having the right transducer helps your fish finder to work more effectively.
- Frequencies – Transducers can either be classified as dual, single or multiple. Transducers have frequencies that come in 50, 83, 192, or at 200 kHz.
Dual frequency transducers come with both 20 and 60-degree cones.
Higher frequencies are used in shallow waters. And those known as low kHz transducers are used for deep waters. The higher the frequency the more it shows up more details on the screen as there are more sonar waves that are sent and received by the device.
There are also transducers that are capable of providing large or multiple frequencies. It could reach of up to 400+ kHz that converts to more detailed images and provides more options. That is to switch from broader to general, narrower or to more detailed views of the bottom.
- Power – Before you make a purchase, consider also power of the fish finder, which is gauged in terms of wattage (W). The greater is the wattage, the faster your unit can generate and display its findings, while the deeper the readings.
A low wattage slows down the results; in this case it is only appropriate for shallow waters with the fish finder dependent on the sonar waves it receives from the transducer. With lesser power, the slower will be the sonar waves and the fuzzier will be the reading. The same works the other way around with greater overall power.
If you intend to go explore shallow waters, what you need is less power. If you want to use your fish finder in deep waters, then what is required is to purchase one that has higher wattage.
A 50 kHz frequency for every 100 watts of power can emit readings of up to 400 feet.
With a 200 kHz for every 100 watts of power, readings can be up to 100 feet deep.
For midrange or dual frequency fish finders, readings appear in a split screen manner with a 50/200 or 85/200 frequency.Screen Resolution
- Screen Resolution – Also, examine the screen resolution specifications of the depth/fish finder that you want to buy. This means checking on the amount of pixels that can appear on the screen. If a screen specification is at 640 x 640 pixels, this means having 640 pixels or dots in each row and 640 dots vertically. This means that with more pixels, the more you can expect a more detailed view.
It is also advised to invest in a higher resolution screen for sharper and crisper images. The screen resolution and screen size are also important to determine how vivid the images will be on your fish finder.
If your budget only allows less expensive units, then you expect to have smaller screens although they are often used for backups or secondary fish finders. With backups along with the main unit, you can obtain a clearer picture for your choice of fish finder.
- Colored versus Black and White Screens – Although black and white screens are still around, having colored screen would allow greater detail while displaying millions of colors as compared to only 265 shades of gray. You get a better view of what is actually going on below as they are able to show clearer images even in bright light, at the same they become more vivid in dark and cloudy weather.
However, if your budget will not allow a colored screen, a black and white screen will be good enough for your fish finder.
- Transducers – Transducers are the important components of fish finders as they are responsible for sending and picking sonar signals. Also, these are sending those back to the main unit before it can be converted into a picture into the fish finder.
Most fish finder units are accompanied with a transom mounts transducer; which is the easiest way to mount a fish finder. A thru hull transducer goes along well with more advanced vessels.
- Cone Angles & Beams – Check on the cone angle of your transducer. The cone angle is the width of a beam when sent from the bottom of the boat to the water and looks like an inverted ice cream cone. As the transducer goes deeper and further, the cone angles become wider and while its sensitivity decreases.
For anglers that fish in different depths, choose fish finders that have transducer cones in 20 degrees. However, there are other transducers that come in 9 degrees to more than 60 degrees.
Standard transducers have single beams, but in more advanced units they can have dual, triple, and so on; depending on the coverage that you want.
Cheaper models require transducer upgrades while those that costs higher have standard accessories that goes with their price.
- Transducer Material – The materials that are used in making the fish finder units is also another aspect that has to be looked into by fish finder buyers. Most of them are however come with plastic transom mount transducers that are good for casual or sport fishing and compatible with all kinds of boats with the exception of pontoons.
For an in-hull or thru-hull transducer, they are apt for steel and aluminum hulls, while bronze housings suits fiberglass and wood hulls.
As safety reminder always ensure that they are installed correctly. Also, do not install a transducer with metal housing.
While the market offers a wide selection of depth or fish finders today, it is best to first know your need. As customers, we all have different fishing inclinations and situations, lifestyles, social status, which is a significant consideration in looking for a fish finder. Know what is the best fish finder by looking in the reviews and get your preferred one.
With different features and product specifications, we are offered different options and without first obtaining information on them. The best way is to go over product manuals and reviews to avoid mistakes in choosing the right fish finder that would suit your requirements.
Last update on 2020-09-22 at 19:07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. More info.