A depth finder test is always interesting for the angler. If fishing is also an excellent hobby that can be relaxing and fulfilling, then stress can arise if no fish wants to bite. Of course, this is often because you eject the rod where there are no fish at the moment.
Therefore, a depth finder is a device that can help the angler find the fish and spend successful day fishing. There is a whole range of different devices from different manufacturers available today.
Not all devices are, of course, the same or equally powerful. That’s why best depth finders can provide a comparison of the individual strengths and weaknesses of the devices. If you want to buy a fish finder, you should, therefore, consider the experience and reviews of other customers get to know.
What is a Depth Finder?
- What is a Depth Finder?
- Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Depth Finder
- Which transmit power should you pay attention to?
- What influence does the frequency range have?
- Emitting and Receiving Sound Waves
- Fixed Frequency
- DownScan Imaging
- Side Scan Imaging
- Fish alarm
- Determination of The Thermocline
- Quality of The Display
- 15 ° to 25 ° Narrow Opening Angle at The Transmission Cone
- Best Depth Finders Reviews
A depth finder consists of a screen and a giver. Ultrasonic waves are directed into the water via the transmitter, which moves towards the bottom of the water at a speed of 1.5 km per second. There they are reflected from every obstacle that they encounter and guided back to the giver. Even fish are such an obstacle.
The reflected ultrasonic waves, which are picked up by the encoder, can be transformed into the device into electrical signals that can show information on the screen. This information can now be displayed on the screen in both graphic and alphanumeric form.
The information provided includes the depth of the water, the nature of the ground, and the irregularities encountered in the water. From this information, only conclusions can be drawn on the presence of fish.
A depth finder is a fairly complex device whose application is intended to be practiced. You can even look for a video tutorial on the internet that will teach you the basics of using the fish finder. This makes it a little easier to get started with the device. But it’s worth the effort. If you buy a good device, you can clearly increase your fishing results.
Anyone looking for complete equipment when fishing today should not miss a fish finder. Once you know how to handle the device, the application is fascinating and, so to speak, gives the angler eyes underwater. However, you should opt for a high-quality device that can provide you with reliable information.
Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Depth Finder
If you want to buy a depth finder, there are several aspects to consider. In-depth finder comparison you can find a lot of information about the technical equipment of individual devices. Therefore it is important to know which technical features a good device should have.
Which transmit power should you pay attention to?
How high the transmission power of the fish finder, you can see in the wattage. The devices with the most watts indeed provide the best transmission power. With a higher wattage, a larger amount of information can be displayed.
Fishfinders that are on the market today can have a wattage of between 500 and 4000 watts. Devices with high wattage are usually more expensive. However, the Fishfinder test winners usually have high wattages, which enable a high transmission power. This guarantees that the information cannot be falsified by high salt content in seawater or suspended particles.
What influence does the frequency range have?
A good fish finder should have a frequency range of 50 and 200 kHz. If a high frequency is selected, the sound waves are shorter. For this reason, details on display can be seen much clearer. However, these short sound waves do not reach a great depth.
If you are looking for fish in deep waters or want to explore the nature of the ground, you need low frequencies that are longer and therefore can penetrate deeper into the water.
In order to be able to exploit the advantages of both frequency ranges, a device is recommended which operates both at 50 kHz and 200 kHz. In addition, some particularly high-quality devices also have additional frequencies and can additionally be set to 83, 455, and 800 kHz.
It is also recommended to use a device that allows you to select the frequency individually. So you can react better to certain conditions in the water, as with a device in which different frequencies are used simultaneously.
Emitting and Receiving Sound Waves
Different methods can be used with different depth finder models when it comes to sending and receiving the sound waves. Before deciding on a particular model, you should first get acquainted with these procedures so that you can choose the depth finder that suits your needs.
The simplest and cheapest fishfinders work with a fixed frequency. In each case, individual sound waves are transmitted on one frequency and received again. The information available on display is correspondingly low. That’s why most anglers today opt for different technology.
CHIRP, or Compressed High-Intensity Radiated Pulse, is a method that works simultaneously on multiple frequencies. High and low frequencies can be sent together. This creates a larger information width. You can get detailed information about the conditions in shallow water on the display and at the same time explore greater depths. The information provided is very precise and enables targeted fishing.
Depending on the manufacturer of the fish finder, DownScan Imaging is also called ClearVü or DownImaging. These are devices that operate in a very high-frequency range from 455 to 800 kHz. Such a depth finder is well suited for shallow waters where the lower low frequencies are not needed. One advantage is that you can get information about the water directly under the boat.
Side Scan Imaging
While in other systems, the sound waves are emitted only downwards, the side scan imaging method also sends the sound waves to the right and left. Therefore, these devices are capable of a very accurate location of fish, whereby individual fish can be detected as well as swarms. SideVü is another name for a fish turner using this technology.
On the water, relax in the boat. In addition to fishing, you can read or even take a nap. So if you do not want to keep your eyes fixed on the fishfinder’s display, you can buy a device with a fish alarm, which will take over the watch while you devote yourself to other things.
As soon as the fishfinder perceives something underwater, an alarm sounds, which draws your attention. Unfortunately, there is also a disadvantage. The sensitive donor can react to other things, such as plant parts, plastic bags, or similar foreign bodies. They, too, can trigger an alarm.
Determination of The Thermocline
Modern devices also have the ability to perform a temperature measurement in the water. A thermocline is a temperature in the water below which it is too cold for most fish. If you can now determine the depth of this layer with the help of the fish finder, you know how deep the bait has to be lowered.
Quality of The Display
Last but not least, you should also check the quality of the display before buying a fish finder. If clear images are delivered, it is much easier to interpret the displayed information correctly. Especially if you are working with a depth finder for the first time, having a good display can make the task a lot easier.
The display size can also play a role. A large display is usually easier to read. But you should remember that you want to save space on a small boat and a small display can, therefore, be more practical. Also, a small display consumes less power than a larger version.
Note the pixel number of the display when buying. The higher the pixel number, the higher the resolution and you can read the information better. A resolution of 800 x 480 has proven to be a good value and can be found on numerous devices.
The display must be as rich in contrast as possible. When traveling on the water in bright sunshine, it’s hard to read a display with low contrast. The exact information captured by the giver will only be useful to you if you can read it on a detailed display.
15 ° to 25 ° Narrow Opening Angle at The Transmission Cone
An opening angle between 15 ° to 25 ° is necessary to really be able to recognize the structure of the ground correctly. This will help you to recognize soil pits in which certain species of fish like to stay.
When buying such a device, you should get as much information as possible and make the decision in peace. The depth finder comparison can help you with this. It’s all about finding a device that adapts to your needs. Many features offered today may not be important to you. However, they increase the price and also make the operation of the device more complicated.
Best Depth Finders Reviews
Below the top five depth finders have been identified in order to make your work easier and choose the best one that suits you.
Garmin Striker Plus 4
Garmin comes as a company in the field of navigation and GPS receiver. No wonder then that Garmin only with the increasing use of the GPS in the field of fishfinder here became the big players among the manufacturers. The special feature of the Garmin devices is the very good link with the GPS and, consequently, the ability to map your test results. Garmin offers equipment in all price ranges, for both beginners and advanced.
It is very simple to set up and utilize the Garmin Striker 4. This product comes in different screen sizes 3.5, 5, and 7 inches. This product helps in viewing the accumulated information in the classic fisher structure through the flasher, which is in-built; which is needed for ice fishing.
It also has a way-point map that is utilized in looking, highlighting, and navigating locations. There is a feature of a way-point map. A chirp system is used for the sonar system.
- It gives near-photographic images and accurate depiction of objects, fishes and strictures
- This product is quite simple to use because of the simple interface design
- The screen easily gets damaged because of the water that enters into the space between the screen and outer glass.
Lowrance FishHunter PRO
This is one of the best manufacturers on the market. The company is considered the inventor of the fishfinder as it is known today and has dominated the market for more than 50 years. Ripened from a small family business to a global brand, the American company has consistently innovated to improve the quality of fish finders across all sectors. No wonder then that for beginners as well as for advanced users the right model can be found.
This product offers two views; raw views and fish view. Dual-beam sonar of 475 kHz and 675 kHz is utilized. The transducer it makes use of is a high-quality Tri Frequency. This functions on different frequencies ranging between 381 kHz, 475 kHz, and 675 kHz, thus making it realistic to read shallow and deep water.
- It functions as an ice fishing flasher too
- It is built to last in cold climatic conditions.
- It has an alarm for fish detection and captures in your sonar net
- It has a long-lasting battery, can stay up to 10hours.
- The Bathymetric mapping feature makes it easy to track location.
- The Wi-Fi Casting range feature makes it easier to connect than Bluetooth casting
- The availability of Split-screen and full screen makes it possible to view at the depth and temperature with your mobile device.
- It is quite heavy
- It needs to be charged for up to four hours before the first usage
- The connection can reduce at intervals during usage
- When the finder is hit by sunlight, the screen glares
Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+ Portable GPS/Wireless Fish Finder
Outstanding artistry and absolute innovation are the trademarks of the manufacturer Deeper. Because unlike normal fish finders, you do not use a device that you hold in your hand, nor one that is attached to the boat. You throw the donor with the bait and get an accurate picture of where your bait went into the water. This will be sent directly to your smartphone. Regular updates of Deeper software are leading to even better and more accurate results – especially for amateur anglers with a penchant for technical finesse – a very good catch.
This product gives you the opportunity to look at the feedback from the sonar directly on your smartphone. It functions in areas that lack cellular services due to the fact that it uses an independent Wi-Fi connection. This brand can also last for up to 7 hours due to the rechargeable lithium-polymer battery with 2-hour charge time that comes with the product.
- It works well with any mobile device operating from iOS 8.0 and Android 4.0
- It allows you to download applications that can be used to as map, scanner, etc.
- It has wider connectivity range due to the usage of a Wi-Fi connection range
- It scans quickly
- You can use the water column under the hole due to the presence of an ice fishing flasher.
- It works perfectly for all fishing modes
- It functions in both salt and freshwater
- It can be switched in between three colors
- You can review all your scans and map with the history mode feature
- When sonar is being used in a close-by location, it leads to interruption of usage
- It can lead to the destruction of the phone as a result of close proximity to water
- It functions inaptly when in rough water
Humminbird HELIX 5 SI/GPS Combo
Humminbird is also an American brand. This company developed its first depth finder back in 1971 and has been working hard to develop the equipment ever since. Humminbird is one of the most popular depth finder brands in America today. With this brand, you will find a wide range of different equipment, which offers a perfect model for every need and every body of water. Humminbird offers just the right device for the beginner as well as the professional.
- It functions effectively in both salt and freshwater
- This product is designed with a GPS feature
- The screen of this product can be split
- It is fast to setup
- it has over 200 colors
- It resists dust
- The MicroSD card slot is present
- It’s long-lasting
- A big disadvantage of this product is that the inability to attach to another Humminbird unit
- 800 kHz for Side and Down Imaging is absent
- This item lacks an NMEA 2000 port
- Only a MicroSD card slot is present, thus limiting the amount of swap card that can be used at a go.
iBobber launches a state-of-the-art fish finder, which stands out for its handy format and is suitable for mobile use. The encoder is ejected with the bait, and the signal is transmitted via Bluetooth to a smartphone. So, the latest technology is teaming up to enable you to determine on the shore if fish stocks are available. iBobber is also characterized by a very low weight and excellent measurement results. The equipment is offered at a low price, so every angler should try to improve his results when fishing with a fish finder.
This depth finder uses an existing mobile device. Your phone or tablet can be used as a controller for the equipment. By so doing, this reduces cost on fishing. It identifies a fish depending on the size. This depth finder classifies fish it discovers into two classifications; fish under 15 inches and fish over 15 inches. It also scans deeply. The depth is close to 140 feet. The transducer module of this depth finder functions with a 118 kHz
It functions effectively in either saltwater or freshwater. It has two Snap swivel connections to use a bobber or remote as a fishfinder
- It is cost-friendly
- It is very portable
- It comes with a built-in led beacon
- It possesses fish and shark alarms
- It comes with a lunar calendar that serves as an information powerhouse as it provides data on temperature, rain, wind speed, etc.
- It can use both your phone and tablet as a controller and display panel
- The risk of losing one’s phone to water
Buying a depth finder is a complex task, especially if you want to buy such a device for the first time. Therefore, it is important to study test results and read customer reviews.
However, you should consider another point as well. Technology is making rapid progress today, and even with the fish finders, new improvements are coming to market with every model. Therefore, it is advisable to always look for the latest models if you want to get a current depth finder.
If you choose the right depth finder, you will get a perfect device to find the best places to fish. The depth finder comparison can provide you with information about the best fishing devices on the market. Provided, however, is that you have a little patience evaluation the information that the depth finder provides. It is believed that with this review, you will broaden your horizon about fishing and after a few tries; you will be able to improve your fishing results with the fish finder significantly.
Finally, based on our review, the Garmin Striker Plus 4 is our best depth finder due to the fact that it has different screen sizes, and its scanning depth, while the Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+ is the best budget friendly that gives value for money with its modern technological features and size.