The advent of fish finder has really changed the way we fish: we can get more fish within a short time by knowing the location fish, the number of fish’s size, and other useful information like water depth and temperature. Therefore, it is worthwhile to get the best fish finder for the money. More and more fishermen these days consider the fish finder as a necessary fishing device. But it can be intimidating to buy the right because of the increasing number of models and features available. Take the following guide to sort out what to look for in buying the right fish finder:
The power (described in Watts) is closely related to a fish finder’s efficiency. The higher the output power, the more effective the device is and the deeper it can penetrate. High output is desired because fishermen can get more information on the screen in better details. On the hand, lower power output will affect the reading pace and show less information.
But high output power is not always necessary: when you fish in shallow water, you only need a device with average power only. Of course, for deep water fishing, it is best to spend more for a powerful fish finder.
2. Pixel and Screen Size
- Pixel is similar to power in one aspect: the more the better. You get a fish finder of high pixel count and you can see
clearer, sharper pictures on the screen.
- The minimum pixel count is 240V x 160H pixels but it is worth spending more for better resolutions. These days, you will find fish finders with high definition screens (HD screen) that allow much better reading of data; in fact you can have almost life-like pictures.
- It is important to know that the pixels counts are related to the screen size so make sure you choose the suitable screen size too.
In terms of color, these days you can still find fish finders with back-and-white display screens. While they are still better than nothing, it is highly recommended that you choose color display screen for easer reading.
- This is an important component of the fish finder, which sends the sonar signal into the water and then picks up the bounced-back sound waves to be translated into pictures.
- We need to pay attention to the cone angle (or the width of the beam from the sound beam) it provides. The beam will widen as the sounds travel deeper.
- A wide cone angle means wide coverage of what is underneath the water surface but the strength/sensitivity is also reduced. As a result, it is not suitable when you need to scan under deep water.
- On the other high, narrow angles allows very deep penetration with clearer view.
For a start, you can settle with corn angle of 20 degrees. To get the best of both worlds, opt for the dual-beam transducer, which can adapt to different depths and target resolutions.
Another feature that affects how many details you can see on the screen is frequency; in fact it is often considered in the choice of transducer. If you mostly fish in deep water, choose a device with low transducer (about 50 kHz). On the contrary, higher frequencies are suitable for shallow water.
There are different options with single, single, and multiple frequencies for your selection.
5. Side Scan Technology
This is an advanced feature that allows you to study things underwater with much ease. Instead of only able to see things scanned by the downward beams, you can now even see things to the side of the board with very clear and high-resolution pictures. There are unbelievable details presented for your view (even rock piles). While it is a luxury feature, the combination of down scan and side can it truly revolutionizes your finishing experience.
6.Portable or Fixed Unit
In buying a fish finder, consider if you want a portable unit or one that needs to be mounted to the boat. Obviously, for those who do not own a boat and have to lease one for fishing, a portable fish finder is the better choice. It can be mounted to the boat ease and is very affordable; however it is less consistent than the fixed unit and is also insecure at its spot due to the use of suction cup. A fixed unit offers better result and is preferred by boat owners.
This is a very handy feature to have even if you do not fish very far from home. A fish finder with GPS feature allows you to create your customized maps (with waypoints) and save data of trolling routes. That way, you do not have to waste your time in finding hot fishing spots again and again in your future visits.
Of course, the GPS is also useful from safety point of view. You will be able to find your way home in case you let lost. Take note that it can almost double your cost of a regular fish finder.
Now that you know what main features are available for fish finder, you should select the ones that are necessary for you. Just ask yourself what you want the device to do for you and also consider the type of fishing or where you fish most often. While certain advanced features are nice, you do not have to pocket more money if you rarely need them.
Robert the founder of www.outdoortricks.net, he has passion with outdoor activities, especially with fishing.