Best Kayak Fish Finders – The Top Models in 2018 Reviewed!

With the growing interest in kayaks, they’ve become a standard feature in every water enthusiast household. With this growing kayak interest comes a rise in the need for kayak accessories, especially for anglers.

Fishing enthusiasts not interested in the fancy bass boats and other fishing vessels are turning to the kayak. With the current interest in fishing kayaks comes the desire for new technologies for ramping up the fisherman’s skill level.

Fishing kayaks have fishing equipment attachments and gear storage, while advancements in fish locators bring sonar technology to the kayaker.

Top 9 Kayak Fish Finders in 2018

Image

Product Name

Maximum Depth

Display Size

Price

Lowrance Hook 7X Sonar Fish Finder

500 FT

7 - Inch

Humminbird Helix 5, CHIRP Di GPS G2

350 FT (DI) & 600 FT (2D)

5 - Inch

Raymarine Dragonfly 4PRO Sonar/GPS Fish Finder

900 FT

4 - Inch

Signstek FF-003 Portable Fish Finder for Kayak

240 FT

2.4 -Inch

Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+ Fish Finder

260 FT

Wi-Fi Device

FishHunter Portable Kayak Fish Finder

100 Ft

Wi-Fi Device

HawkEye FT1PXC Fishtrax Kayak Fish Finder

240 FT

2 - Inch

Humminbird 410060-4 Fishin’ Buddy Max DI Fish Finder

350 FT

3.5 - Inch

NorCross HawkEye F33P Kayak Fish Finder

100 FT

2 - Inch

A fishing kayak alone doesn’t make a successful fishing trip. Adding fish finder technology to your kayak gives you an edge to locating and hauling in the big catch. Using a sonar device might make all the difference in having a successful kayak fishing trip.

When looking for the best kayak fish finder for kayak fishing, you need a good understanding of features and capabilities. With our best kayak fish finder guide, we’ll explore the best available options for kayak anglers.

We’ve done in-depth research and put it together in a detailed guide of the top nine kayak fish finders.

The Best Kayak Fish Finder

1. Lowrance Hook 7X Sonar Fish Finder

Our top pick for the best kayak fish finder GPS is the Lowrance Hook 7X Sonar. The Hook has a technologically advanced CHIRP sonar and DownScan Imaging, perfect for all the die-hard anglers. Combining these two features give the best view of the waters below your kayak.

CHIRP sonar sends multiple frequencies together for clearer images and less clutter. Add to these image features the 7-inch view screen in high-resolution and you get clearer photo-like targeted fish imaging. The TrackBack gives you a recorded sonar history for review.

There are less manual setting adjustments with the Hook 7X’s Advanced Signal Processing or ASP. A page selector menu adds convenience and quick feature access with the one-thumb operation. The added multi-window display gives you a choice of pre-set layouts including a view with three panels.

Pros

  • A clear, clutter-free image with the CHIRP sonar.
  • Clear and photo-like bottom and structure images with DownScan technology.
  • ​CHIRP and DownScan Imaging combined through the DownScan Overlay.
  • ​Various options for mounting.
  • ​The Large 7-inch display gives ample data viewing area.
  • ​The display has a multi-window view.
  • ​Page selector style menu.

Cons

  • Not an easy DIY mount on smaller kayaks and may need professional installation.

2. Humminbird Helix 5, CHIRP Di GPS G2

The Humminbird Helix 5, CHIRP Di GPS G2 comes in as number two on our list for best portable fish finder for kayaks. The Humminbird Helix 5 offers some of the best features normally found on higher priced fish finders.

A 5-inch display screen usable in landscape orientation and downside imaging are just a couple of the amazing features. The device has an ultra-bright display in high resolution at 800 x 480 pixels. The TFT screen with 256 colors, makes tracking fish under water super easy.​

A 5-inch display screen usable in landscape orientation and downside imaging are just a couple of the amazing features. The device has an ultra-bright display in high resolution at 800 x 480 pixels. The TFT screen with 256 colors, makes tracking fish under water super easy.

Compared to other small kayak fish finders, the Humminbird has a built-in display with great positioning accuracy. The Down Imaging Sonar with High-frequency sound waves, create amazing images of what’s below your kayak.

Pre-loaded UniMap Plotting and Cartography software give you options not found in other finders. Save fishing waypoints with the UniMap advanced Cartography. 3D charts of U.S. coastlines, lakes and rivers adds efficiency to your fishing trips.

The Humminbird Helix 5 fish finder gives you a better, brighter and sharper display. And with the innovative transducer and software, you get an enhanced fishing experience.

Pros

  • Mounts with Gimbal or In-Dash
  • 5-Inch Color TFT Display and control buttons located on fish finder face
  • ​Dual Beam Plus gives excellent below water detail
  • ​Water penetration up to 1,500 feet and 200 kHz sonar
  • ​UniMap Base Maps and compatible with LakeMaster Chart and AutoChart
  • ​Internal GPS Receiver.
  • ​Runs the dual frequency signals simultaneously.
  • Includes transducer and Micro SD card slot.

Cons

  • Has a slightly weak image acquisition.

3. Raymarine Dragonfly 4PRO Sonar/GPS Fish Finder

The Dragonfly 4PRO is one of Raymarine's latest additions with DownVision and CHIRP technology. Launched early 2015, the Dragonfly 4Pro includes charts and GPS and is a top CHIRP unit at an affordable price. 

The 4PRO is a best portable fish finder for kayak fishing with its depth capability, accuracy, and clear sonar imaging. Other useful features include the 4.3-inch HD display with a backlit display for direct sunlight viewing.​

You get sharp, clear imaging with vivid color, wide view angle, and internal anti-fog. CHIRP DownVision gives the photo-like sonar images while a second CHIRP sonar channel targets the fish.

The wi-fi capability, lets you connect the 4PRO through the Raymarine Wi-Fish mobile. The Wi-Fish provides sonar data through live streaming to your smart phone for sharing with others.

Raymarine offers multifunctional displays through various bundles with different features, transducers, and map packages. Check the various 4Pro model packages when choosing your Raymarine Dragonfly Fish Finder.

Pros

  • 4.3-inch sharp, vivid full-color display.
  • DownVision delivers photo-like underwater images.
  • ​Dual-channel sonar and second conventional CHIRP sonar channel.
  • ​GPS feature includes 3D maps of U.S. coastlines, rivers, and lakes.
  • MicroSD memory card.
  • Built-in Wi-Fi.
  • ​Free Wi-Fish mobile app for live streaming data to a mobile phone.
  • ​Compact design for easy mounting on small boats and kayaks.
  • Comes at a good value for the price.

Cons

  • The 4.3-inch display is on the small side for using the split-screen.
  • No built-in sonar recording in unit, only with Wi-Fish streaming.
  • Booting up takes some time.
  • No NMEA connectors or route functions.
  • The Dragonfly 4PRO has a bigger learning curve than our other best kayak fish finder reviews.

4. Signstek FF-003 Portable Fish Finder for Kayak

With its small compact size, the Signsteck FF-003 rates as a best portable fish finder for kayaks. The FF003 is popular among anglers, and while it’s small, the FF-003 gives an amazing performance on the water.

The compact portable size makes the FF-003 easy to use while fishing. The 2.8-inch screen is small, but its 512-color display and white LED front light for sunlight readability, covers the slack. The simple to use operating system lets you power it on and cast out the sonar sensor. You quickly get a reading of the water bottom.​

A good fish finder for newbies and experienced alike, the Signstek FF-003 Portable Fish Finder offers good performance at a low price. The FF-003’s sleek and compact design makes it perfect for small boats and kayaks where space is limited.

When space and money are slim, this Signstek Fish Finder offers portability without breaking the bank.

Pros

  • Best portable fish finder for kayaks with its small compact size.
  • Depth indicator picks up small and large fish.
  • ​An audible depth and fish alarm.
  • ​Reads depth up to 240 feet.
  • ​Displays bottom contour and water temperature.
  • ​Sunlight readable V240*H160 color display.
  • ​Comes with a menu in multiple languages.
  • ​Easy to use features.
  • Extra-long battery life.
  • Has good features at a low price point.

Cons

  • Some issues with mounting the fish finder.
  • No GPS.
  • Sensitivity level is difficult to program.
  • Readings not as accurate as other finders, picking up vegetation and rocks.

5. Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+

Groundbreaking technology comes in a small package with the Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+. This smart sonar fish finder uses integrated GPS and a Wi-Fi connection with large sized data transmission and fantastic range. The GPS integration turns your smart phone into a professional mapping device with real-time bathymetric maps for pinpoint accuracy.

The small casting smartphone fish finder offers multi-style fishing from a boat, kayak, the shore, or on the ice. Just the sonar ability from shore fishing makes the Pro+ a worthwhile investment. This smartphone fish finder gives shore anglers fishing precision usually only available from a boat. Seeing where the fish are from shore and the incredible 260-foot depth range, helps level out the playing field.

The Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+ includes the mounting bracket for your kayak and smartphone app for viewing data. Using the Pro+ is easy. Connect the unit to your line, cast and read the feedback on a tablet or smartphone.

Pros

  • GPS enabled mapping.
  • Great data transmission and casting range.
  • Connect to different devices.
  • Cloud data storage.
  • Clear, high-quality image display.
  • Bathymetric mapping.
  • Bluetooth casting range up to 130 feet.
  • Additional features include fishing notes and weather forecast.
  • Battery holds a long-lasting charge.
  • Top notch customer support.

Cons

  • Short battery life, needing new ones every six months.
  • Wi-Fi is unstable. Must turn off mobile data when using.

6. FishHunter Portable Kayak Fish Finder

Another in the line of casting fish finders, the FishHunter Portable Kayak Fish Finder goes where you go. Whether you’re fishing from the bank, in a kayak, or on the ice, the FishHunter Portable goes along.

Working over a Wi-Fi connection, the FishHunter Portable transmits fish data to any 4.0 Android device, iPhone, or iPad. A free FishHunter app lets you measure the water temperature and track fish through a reliable Android or iOS connection.​

FishHunter features include a fish database, GPS spot mapping, moon forecasting maps, planning tools, and a log-book for catches. The raw data view has a traditional sounder display instead of fish icons only.

The Bluetooth FishHunter Fish Finder runs on military-grade transducer technology for accurately locating fish 120-feet down. With three depth settings, you get versatile fishing capabilities. A Bluetooth range up to 80-feet delivers uninterrupted operation outside of cell tower range.

Shock resistant and waterproof, the plastic rubber FishHunter construction is compact and environmentally friendly. The baseball sized fish finder weighs 4-ounces and has one point for attachment. With no installation, kayakers enjoy the ease of carrying the FishHunter in the tackle box or a pocket.

Pros

  • Portability makes it perfect for kayak anglers.
  • Internal 3.6-Volt battery last six to nine hours.
  • 100 feet of Bluetooth depth range.
  • ​Up to 80 feet of Bluetooth casting range.
  • ​Up to 60 feet of ice fishing depth.
  • ​GPS navigation, mapping, and tracking.
  • Detailed recorded information.
  • Mini USB cable.
  • Included charging station.
  • Car or boat charger.
  • User’s manual.
  • Included carrying bag.

Cons

  • The fish database does not include marine.
  • Pricey for the limited features.

7. HawkEye FT1PXC Fishtrax Kayak Fish Finder

When looking for the best portable fish finder for kayaks, it’s difficult finding one that lives up to your expectations. Normally things like convenience, efficiency, and reliability come at a premium cost. However, the Hawkey FT1PXC Fishtrax Fish Finder has some great features at a reasonable price.

The Fishtrax Fish Finder features start with HD full-color and an adjustment of 100 levels. There’s bottom tracking with auto-zoom for an enhanced target view that works well in most water types. The Fishtrax also includes a Digital Flasher Portrayal for Ice-Mode fishing.​

A little larger than a smaller size smartphone, the Fishtrax by Hawkeye is small enough to fit in your hand. Four AAA batteries power the Fishtrax, giving it a maximum 30 hours of fishing time. The AAA batteries eliminate the need for 12V marine batteries found on large fish finders.

Even though the FishTrax has a portable compact size, it’s packed with full-size fish finder features. All FishTrax models have full featured transducers, giving them the ability for transom mount, shore fishing or trolling. The separate transducer and added accessories make the FishTrax mountable to most platforms, and you have a maximum depth of 120-feet.

Two different frequencies for deep water and shallow water give the FishTrax a better-quality picture. The fish finder displays readings in shallow water of 1.5-feet to deep water of 240-feet. For kayak fishing, this is ample depth leeway. The only drawback is the FishTrax is not recommended for saltwater.

Like large fish finders, the FishTrax has adjustable SONAR sensitivities, with different presets. The lower sensitivity setting removes water clutter, giving you a clearer bottom picture, showing large game fish and other objects. The higher sensitivity setting of the FishTrax gives greater detail, but the clutter is worse.

This fish finder shows you different fish sizes through screen icons. When you turn the icons off, you get sonar echoes for determining fish size.

Pros

  • VirtuView full-color HD display.
  • FishTrax Intelligent Sonar with Dual-Frequency.
  • Digital flasher portrayal for ice fishing mode.
  • Water depth detection.
  • Fish depth detection.
  • Portable and lightweight for carrying anywhere capability.
  • Boat mounting options.
  • Good value for included features.

Cons

  • Actual battery life only 4-5 hours.
  • Screen refresh very slow.
  • Big lag with sensitivity switching before getting good readings.

8. Humminbird 410060-1 Fishin’ Buddy Max DI Fish Finder

Compact and light weight, the Humminbird Fishin’ Buddy makes the perfect finder for those anglers always on the move. The 4.22 x 2.72 x 5.76-inch size and 6.6-pound weight make this a best portable fish finder for kayaks.

An included ergonomic tilt-swivel mounting gives the Fishin’ Buddy portability, letting you take it nearly anywhere on any water body. It easily attaches to the 24-inch telescopic pole included in the package. The transducer tube has extendable capabilities letting you lengthen it to 40-feet or retract to 24-feet for easy storage. An included clamp and ring adds support to the unit when connected to the pole.​

The Fishin’ Buddy is waterproof in fresh water. Use the 410060-1 offshore or onshore with its easy to move features. The LCD TFT screen is 3-inches wide for easy viewing and operation while its 256 colors give a clearer picture.

The Selective Fish ID shows fish symbols on suspended targets. The symbols mean fish are shown as small icons instead of sonar arches, and each icon has its depth beside it. Unfortunately, the Selective Fish ID does not have the greatest accuracy. Other targets like vegetation, debris, and other submerged items may show as fish icons. However, if you understand the raw sonar view, this is a great function on the Fishin’ Buddy fish finder.

Three alarms, depth alarm, fish alarm, and battery alarm, come standard on the 410060-1 Fishin’ Buddy Max. The fish alarm has three fish sizes, large, medium, and small, letting you choose one or all for alarm sound. When the battery voltage falls to less or equal to the menu setting the battery alarm sounds. With the depth alarm, it sounds when the depth falls to less or equal to its selected value.

The Fishin’ Buddy has two other functions included for accurate fish finding. The WhiteLine function highlights strongest sonar signals in white for a distinctive picture of the bottom contour. The Structure ID shows the weak signals and light-colored pixels while strong signals come in darker.

Hummingbird Fishin’ Buddy Max with its DualBeam sonar and Down Imaging gives the kayak angler on and offshore capabilities.

Pros

  • Down Imaging and DualBeam sonar for 2400-watt PTP power output.
  • 25-degree, extra-wide sonar beam angle and a depth capacity up to 350-feet.
  • ​Special alarms include depth, fish, and battery.
  • ​Accuracy with the Selective Fish ID, WhiteLine function, and Structure ID.
  • ​Includes ergonomic clamp, multi directional mount, and extendable transducer tube.
  • ​Easy setup and use.
  • ​Place sonar in the water from a boat, bridge, or the shoreline.
  • ​Waterproof in freshwater.
  • ​Zero degrees Fahrenheit operation.
  • ​Includes a floatable and mountable sensor, or use when trolling.
  • Color display and backlight for eyestrain prevention.
  • ​LCD display protector helps eliminate condensation inside.
  • ​Four AAA batteries give continuous use up to 20 hours.
  • A small lightweight and compact fish finder at a very affordable price.

Cons

  • Reports of unit jumping and wobbling on its support ring at high boat speeds.
  • Does not include a unit cover.
  • Does not have any options for upgrading.

9. NorCross HawkEye F33P Kayak Fish Finder

The NorCross HawkEye is compact and portable for going with you in a tackle box, gear bag or pocket.

One of the most affordable finders on our list, the HawkEye comes with some good features for the price point. The included features give you easy operation and efficiency for taking your fishing experience to the next level. This little gem gives you options for mounting, floating, or trolling.​

An extra-wide beam angle of 25-degrees, gives accurate depth, bottom structure, and fish readings to 100-feet. Side scanning sonar sensor, depth scale, WeedID, and integrated fish identification help you find the fish. Add to this the four sensitivity settings and 2-stage fish alarm and chances for a successful fishing trip improve.

Take the HawkEye into any extreme weather conditions with its wide range of operational temperatures. The F33P makes a perfect ice fishing companion with its zero degrees Fahrenheit reading capabilities.

The Hawkey F33P’s simple operating functions and reliable features make this the perfect low cost best portable fish finder for kayaks.

Pros

  • Compact size fits in tackle box or pocket.
  • Minimized false fish readings with adaptive software.
  • ​The F33P works well with good accuracy in calm waters.
  • ​Depth readings up to 200-feet.
  • ​Has selections for depth and fish identification.
  • ​Alert to hiding fish with audible 2-stage fish alarm.
  • ​See weed height with WeedID®.
  • Reads through kayak, boat hull, or ice with Shoot-Thru sonar technology.
  • ​The SoftGlow™ Backlight gives easy viewing under all light conditions.
  • ​Side scanner allows detection through ice, weeds, docks, and other structures.
  • Excellent battery life with auto power off and save mode.

Cons

  • Low on features.
  • If using in choppy or swift water, fish readings lose their accuracy.
  • ​Not waterproof.
  • Doesn’t distinguish fish size with same readout for small minnow size as larger fish.

Our Final Review for Best Kayak Fish Finder

When choosing the best kayak fish finder, you have many different options, and the features and functions vary by manufacturer.

But, all of the fish finders we reviewed are top-quality devices, perfect for using with your kayak. The fish finders in our review can go with you on your fishing kayak, helping you multiply your fish yield.

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