Fishing For A Fish Finder? Check Our Top 8
Fishing doesn’t come with guaranteed results (or it would be called ‘catching’ rather than fishing), but you’re likely to have more success if you use a fish finder to locate your targets.
Fish finders employ sonar ‘pings’ to survey the underwater area around your kayak, dinghy, fizz boat, launch or yacht. They don’t just find fish; they also reveal underwater features – structures, reefs, rocks and weed. The more you know about a fishing location, the better. As they say, information is power.
1. Lowrance Elite TI 9
Lowrance is an excellent brand and the Elite series is much-loved for its ability to find fish using Active Imaging 3-in-1 Sonar (CHIRP/SideScan/DownScan). It’s both user-friendly and high-tech; a great combination of attributes in anybody’s book. You’ll enjoy the high-resolution 9-inch SolarMax LED touchscreen, which makes it easy to select and see the view, map or chart you need. It also has a built-in GPS antenna and Lowrance navigation technology. What’s more, Wi-Fi lets you grab data from your best bud’s Lowrance unit without the need for a cable.
2. Garmin GPSMAP 10
Garmin is a brand you’ll find on fishing charter boats, as well as vessels belonging to passionate amateur fishermen. This Wi-Fi equipped model has integrated GPS and a high-definition LED screen that’s easy to read in any light. To find fish, it uses CHIRP DownVu and SideVu to present an accurate picture of what’s down below. Being able to choose a single view, split-screen view or four-panel view ensures you get the data set you need. This model comes with the depth maps, topography maps and nautical charts you need too.
3. Humminbird Helix 7
Right now, the Helix 7 is the flagship fish finder from Humminbird. It has a 7-inch colour WVGA display that’s optimised for good viewing, although you will find it a little harder to see in bright sun. Like most good finders, the Helix will show you a single, split or multiple pane view. This unit utilises 2D pulse sonar SwitchFire technology that’s good at differentiating between the bottom, structures and fish.
4. Lowrance Hook2 7
The Hook2 is the model to get if the Lowrance Elite 9 is beyond your budget. You’ll still enjoy the benefits of a SolarMAX display, which makes it easy to see the screen from any angle, but you might need to zoom in for more detail. The Hook2’s TripleShot 3-in-1 sonar has wide-angle, High CHIRP coverage, SideScan and DownScan Imaging™ for top-quality performance. It’s Wi-Fi equipped, comes with preloaded maps and it lets you share data with other Lowrance units.
5. Raymarine Dragonfly 7 Pro
Raymarine is a name that’s trusted by boaties throughout the world, and their fish finders are earning some great reviews. The Dragonfly isn’t their most advanced model, but it delivers excellent value for money. It has a 7-inch all-weather, backlit LED screen that’s big enough to display multiple views with Raymarine’s vertical layering format. As well as a good selection of preloaded maps, the Dragonfly gives you the ability to save data to a MicroSD card. Also, the onboard software combines Navionics and NAG charts. But maybe the best thing about this unit is how it shares data with the Wi-Fish App on your smartphone.
6. Raymarine Dragonfly 5 Pro
With this pocket rocket, you’re getting all the CHIRP, sonar and Wi-Fi features of the bigger Dragonfly 7 Pro, but in a more compact package. The screen’s smaller of course, so you can only have a side-by-side view in addition to single pane mode, but you’re still getting great colour viewing in almost any level of light – there’s even an anti-fog coating. For kayaks and small boats, this fish finder is the bee’s knees.
7. Humminbird Helix 5 G2
If fishing’s just one of your hobbies, not a total obsession, the Humminbird Helix 5 will get the fish finding job done. It doesn’t promise all the bells and whistles, but it’s way better than a base level model. The Helix 5 packs a Dual-Beam CHIRP PLUS sonar, a 5-inch HD WVGA display that’s viewable in any light conditions, and it comes pre-loaded with Anima maps and internal GPS for accurate navigation and waypoint saving.
8. Lowrance Hook2 5
This unit is loved by recreational fishermen who don’t want to over-capitalise on equipment. It shares many features with the bigger Hook2 7-inch and 9-inch models, but the screen isn’t large enough for the 4-way split mode. You’re limited to either a single pane or two vertical panes. The LCD screen is easy to read in all light conditions. Like its big brothers, the Hook2 5 uses a single TripleShot transducer that includes DownVu, SideVu and a CHIRP sonar. In the value-for-money stakes, this finder is a winner.