Best Portable Fish Finder: A Complete Review and Buying Guide 2018
Table Of Contents
- 1 Best Portable Fish Finder Complete Review
- 1.1 Introduction
- 1.2 Top 5 Best Portable Fish Finders
- 1.2.1 Deeper Smart Fishfinder 3.0
- 1.2.2 HawkEye FishTrax Portable
- 1.2.3 Venterior Portable Fish Finder
- 1.2.4 Signstek FF-003 Portable Fish Finder
- 1.2.5 iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder
- 1.3 Conclusion
- 2 Best Portable Fish Finder Complete Buying Guide
Best Portable Fish Finder Complete Review
Weekends spent fishing with your family or friends is a weekend spent well. It is an excellent way to relax and get rid of the tiredness of the whole week where you can forget about your daily problems and struggles. However, it is a known fact that going back home after a long fishing day without even catching a single fish is simply impossible. To make sure that you do not face this, it is extremely important to have the best fishing equipment.
Portable fish finders are a great accessory for any angler, whether you’re a novice or a pro. Some are very basic while others are surprisingly robust in the features they offer, so there’s definitely a portable fish finder for every angler out there.
Top 5 Best Portable Fish Finders
|Deeper Smart||HawkEye FishTrax Portable||Venterior Portable||Signstek FF-003||iBobber Wireless|
|Screen||-||Dot Matrix Display||LCD Display||2.4” TFT LCD Sunlight Display||-|
|Sonar||Dual Beam||Dual Beam||Single Beam||Single Beam||Single Beam|
|Depth||130 Feet||200 Feet||100 M||100 Feet||135 Feet|
|Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon|
Deeper Smart Fishfinder 3.0
The Deeper Smart Sonar has built-in wireless capabilities and can be synched with all of your Bluetooth compatible devices, making it a highly versatile fish finder for fishermen on the go.
iOS and Android Compatible
With iOS and Android compatibility built-in, you can synch the Deeper Smart Sonar with all of your favorite mobile devices like your smartphone and tablets.
Perhaps one of the coolest features the Deeper Smart Sonar offers is its ability to provide a number of detailed readings that enable you to get the data you need in an instant. You get water contouring, water depth, water temp, underwater structures and vegetation, and, of course, you can easily tag fish, a highlight feature.
The Deeper Smart Sonar can be used in both saltwater and freshwater, and its temperature range is -4 degrees Fahrenheit to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Thanks to its endurance and versatility, this is a portable fish finder that can be used for a variety of fish finding purposes, whether you’re ice fishing, kayak fishing, or shore fishing.
Working on a dual sonar beam (290kHz [15 degrees]/90kHz [55 degrees]), the Deeper Smart Sonar can mark bodies as small as 3 inches at depths down to 130ft. Additionally, it also features adjustable sensitivity so you can tailor the device to better suit your specific needs.
What to like:
- Wireless Bluetooth technology
- iOS and Android compatible—great for smartphones and tablets
- Fish tagging; mark fish as small as 3 inches down to 130ft
- Multiple detailed reading modes: water depth, water temperature, underwater structures, underwater vegetation
- Water contouring readings
- Robust temperature range: -4 degrees Fahrenheit to 104 degrees Fahrenheit
- Suitable for saltwater and freshwater, including ice fishing
- Dual sonar beam: (290kHz [15 degrees]/90kHz [55 degrees])
- Adjustable sensitivity
- Rechargeable battery (included)
- 2-3-month battery charge cycle
What to consider:
- Some people have had trouble synching the Bluetooth after a connection has been lost. This is a minor issue as a second attempt usually solves the problem. As an aside, always remember that range and line of sight are important with Bluetooth, and you have to have both for Bluetooth to properly synch with your devices.
HawkEye FishTrax Portable
VirtuView Dot Matrix Display
The VirtuView Dot Matrix Display brings a classic visual touch to the modern technology of portable fish finders.
Water Depth Detection
The HawkEye Fish Trax can accurately detect water depth to give you the info you need to find the fish you’re targeting.
Fish Depth Detection
The fish depth detection feature lets you know whether or not you’re on the right track.
Dual Frequency FishTrax Intelligent Sonar
FishTrax’s dual frequency sonar optimizes the sonar experience to give you the most accurate water stats and fish finding information. Multilevel depth ranges and auto-zoom tracking maximize the sonar’s utility. You can also adjust the frequency to fit your needs.
Ideal for New Anglers
FishTrax is explicitly designed to meet the needs of the novice angler or the fisherman who is new to using fish finders by providing you all the necessary information you need to know to get a handle on how to effectively use fish finders to get your target catch. These very user-friendly features allow you to learn on the go as you become an expert at fish finding.
What to like:
- Ultraportable at 1.1lbs
- Can be mounted
- VirtuView Dot Matrix Display is retro yet informative
- Water depth detection
- Fish detection
- FishTrax intelligent dual frequency sonar
- 10 adjustable levels
- Designed for beginners
What to consider:
- Very basic and simplified both visually and in terms of capabilities, but at the same time is no muss and no fuss, as well as being newbie friendly, so it really comes down to your preferences and needs on whether this is a pro or a con.
Venterior Portable Fish Finder
The Venterior Portable Fish Finder displays approximate fish location and is equipped with a fish alert to let you know if your target is nearby.
Surface and Structure Detection
The Venterior model also gives you info about the structures and vegetation below the water’s surface so you can make plans accordingly.
The depth range is 1m to 100m, making it a solid choice for lake, sea or ice fishing.
The Venterior Portable Fish Finder offers the user 5 various depth adjustment presets for ease of use.
What to like:
- 1-year warranty
- Fish detection, approximate location
- Surface, structure and vegetation detection
- Depth range of 1m to 100m
- Adjustable with 5 presets
- Very user-friendly
What to consider:
- The screen isn’t waterproof—only the transmitter is. While it would be nice if the screen was waterproof as well as the transmitter, only the transmitter really needs to be in the water anyway, but it’s still a bit annoying.
Signstek FF-003 Portable Fish Finder
The Signstek Portable Fish Finder is unique in the world of small portable fish finders in that it has a built-in TFT LCD Sunlight display. That means it’s optimized to deal with the harsh sunlight that can sometimes annoy fish finder users, allowing you to view your screen with ease. The high-quality pictures come in crisp and clear.
The personal sonar technology on the FF-003 allows you to view contours and fish of various sizes at varying depths with reliable precision. Better still, it can read water temperature, so you can further ascertain where your target is. Additionally, the sonar is adjustable for various levels for better accuracy.
Operating the Signstek FF-003 is a piece of cake. All you do is turn it on and cast it into the water; the fish finder does the rest.
What to like:
- TFT LCD color display
- View bottom contours
- View big and small fish
- Detect water temperature
- Adjust settings for improved performance
- Easy to use
What to consider:
- It’s not mountable, but this isn’t much of an issue since most people in the market of portable fish finders don’t care about that.
iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder
Patented Sonar Fish Finder Technology
The iBobber has its own patented fish finder sonar technology that can detect fish down to depths of 135ft.
The iBobber’s two snap swivel connections allow for extra versatility; you can use the iBobber as a bobber (like the name says) or as a portable fish finder, and switching out is easy.
The iBobber is rechargeable battery-powered and runs an average 10 hours of battery life.
The iBobber synchs with the iOS or Android device of your choice and comes with its free app to further enhance your fish finding experience.
What to like:
- Reliable fish finding down to 135ft
- Can be used as a bobber or portable fish finder
- Rechargeable battery included
- 10+ battery life
- Synchs with iOS and Android devices
- Comes with free iOS or Android app
What to consider:
- Some have had Bluetooth connectivity issues, but the iBobber company is reportedly super-helpful when it comes to troubleshooting.
While it was a tough call to make considering the fine portable fish finder offerings in this roundup, the ultimate winner has to be the Deeper Smart Sonar. When you combined its range of versatility, depth and robust functionality, it’s a clear leader of the pack.
Best Portable Fish Finder Complete Buying Guide
How to Choose a Portable Fish Finder
Even though there are a lot of things that you should look into when you are buying a portable fish finder, there are certain features that are very important to consider to get the best quality fish finder. Some of these features are mentioned below with some advice that is going to be helpful in your fish finder hunt.
A conventional sonar is a standout amongst the most critical parts of a quality gadget. This gadget is useless without a quality sonar. Before picking a product for yourself, make it a point to look at the available frequencies of that particular gadget. The frequencies are principally separated into three classifications – single, dual, and multiple.
Higher frequencies work best in shallow water, while the low-frequency transducers are for use in deep water by experts.
Another important factor that makes a fish finder so good in quality is its power. The unit of power is watts (W). The principle of power that is applied here is that the higher the watts are, the better you would be able to get your reading.
Power affects the speed of the reading. It would take a considerably longer time to get the data when the wattage is lower as compared to a higher wattage fish finder. The reason for power being so important for readings is that the frequencies received are translated by the transducer. If the power is low, it means that the waves are going to be read slowly, so blurred readings would be received.
Even though all this is very important, it should be kept in mind that power also depends on how deep you are. Shallow waters require a lot less power as compared to deep waters.
Keep in mind that at 50 kHz, for every 100 watts of power, your transducer can indicate readings up to 400 feet. At 200 kHz, for every 100 watts of power, your transducer can indicate readings up to 100 feet.
3. Screen Resolution
The more the pixels, the better your finder’s quality is. This is the most basic principle that you have to remember when you are out to buy a portable fish finder. As there are going to be a lot of details on a display, it is better to have as high-quality a screen as you can get in your budget. Keep in mind that it wouldn’t be advisable to buy a finder whose resolution drops below 240 x 160 pixels. This is the minimum, and even this would have a passable result.
4. Black and White or Color?
Between color and black and white screens, there isn’t much competition. Even though black and white screens are available, most users prefer a colored display. It’s a lot easier to see all the details on a color display even if the sun is shining brightly or the sky is filled with dark clouds.
What You Need to Keep in Mind
Even though you know all about the features that a good fish finder should have, there are a few points that you have to keep in mind before going out to buy a quality portable fish finder. Not everyone has the same need or money to buy the best fish finder. Sometimes, you have to compromise. If you keep these points in mind, there isn’t a chance of you getting a fish finder that is not what you need.
The first thing you have to remember is that you aren’t going to be replacing the finder every few months or years. Instead, your intention is to buy a fish finder that would work for a very long time. Look for all the features that you would want, list them down and see which finder has most or all of these features. Try not to compromise on the features for a few dollars. You should make a budget prior to shopping so that you can see how far you can stretch your buying limit for a quality fish finder.
No matter how much you need the best of the best fish finder, your money doesn’t grow on trees. Hence, for those folks who might face a constraint in their budget, you should first list down what are the absolutely necessary features that you cannot work without. For the rest, try to find a portable fish finder that can be upgraded in the future so that when an upgrade is available and you have the money, you can go and upgrade it.
Even if all these shiny displays and high-frequency transducers are appealing, ask yourself if you need them. What is the type of water you fish in? Shallow water and deep water have different sets of requirements. If you are not an expert, you do not need a shiny, top-notch portable fish finder at all. Rather, you can work with a high-quality portable fish finder with mediocre features. There is no need for you to spend extra bucks on extremely powerful fish finders.