Portable fish finders are generally more affordable than larger, more feature-rich models, making them a good choice for anglers who are on a limited budget.
Here is a quick look at the list of best portable fish finders:
- Deeper PRO+ Castable and Portable Wi-Fi Fish Finder
- Garmin Striker Cast
- iBobber ReelSonar Wireless Bluetooth Smartphone Fish Finder – Best Under $100
- Lucky Handheld Fish Finder
- Venterior Handheld Fish Finder With Wireless Sonar
- Lowrance FishHunter PRO
- Garmin Striker 4 With Portable Kit
- 1 Best Portable Fish Finders – Review
- 1.1 1. Deeper PRO+ Castable and Portable Wi-Fi Fish Finder With GPS for Kayaks, onshore, and Ice Fishing
- 1.2 2. Garmin Striker Cast
- 1.3 3. iBobber ReelSonar Wireless Bluetooth Smartphone Fish Finder – Best Under $100
- 1.4 4. Lucky Handheld Fish Finder
- 1.5 5. Venterior Handheld Fish Finder With Wireless Sonar
- 1.6 6. Lowrance FishHunter PRO – Connecting to iOS and Android Devices Through Wi-Fi
- 1.7 7. Garmin Striker 4 With Portable Kit
- 2 Types of Portable Fish Finders
- 3 Factors to consider when buying a Portable fish finder
Best Portable Fish Finders – Review
1. Deeper PRO+ Castable and Portable Wi-Fi Fish Finder With GPS for Kayaks, onshore, and Ice Fishing
Deeper Pro+ is our top rated portable fish finder because of its good connectivity, range, features, and simplicity of usage. You can use it for all types of fishing: onshore, offshore, and on ice.
The castable sonar device has a range of 330 feet and connects to the smartphone using Wi-Fi.
The Wi-Fi connection provides ten times quicker data transfer than a Bluetooth fish finder. Its 330-foot casting range provides a substantial advantage for scanning hard-to-reach areas such as shelves and drop-offs.
Deeper Pro+ has a dual frequency sonar beam that can scan at 290 kHz and 90 kHz. You will get sharp images of the bottom when scanning at 290 kHz in shallow water. 90 kHz frequency can be used to scan deep water upto 260 feet.
The sonar images are great to identify bottom transitions, bait balls, weeds, and much more. You can save these fishing spots on your smartphone with the built-in GPS feature.
Additionally, Deeper Pro+ can be used to create bathymetric maps. The maps are instantly downloaded to your mobile device and synchronized with Deeper’s cloud server.
- Fast data transfer between castable sonar and smartphone
- No installation required on boat or kayak
- Buit-in GPS with high accuracy
- Good casting range of 330 feet
- See the water temperature, bottom layout, fish depth, structure, weeds, and everything on the smartphone
- Long battery life of 6 hours
- Rechargeable batteries
- Auto power off feature when not in use to save battery life
- No down imaging or side imaging
2. Garmin Striker Cast
Garmin striker cast streams and displays sonar data on the Garmin app, making it easy for the angler to view and interpret the information. The setup process is straightforward to get the device up and running quickly.
The transducer is designed to be attached to a fishing line and cast into the water, and can transmit sonar data wirelessly to a connected device up to a distance of 200 feet. This allows the angler to reach deeper and more remote areas, potentially increasing the chances of finding and targeting specific species of fish. The fish and underwater structures details are displayed with crisp detail on the smartphone.
Garmin striker cast can work in both freshwater and saltwater environments, as well as for ice fishing, making it a versatile choice for anglers who fish in a variety of conditions.
In addition, the Garmin Striker Cast can be used to check water temperature, providing additional information that can be useful for targeting specific species of fish.
The device includes a built-in GPS system that allows the angler to create custom Quickdraw fishing maps with 1′ contours. Its a valuable feature to track the location and mark areas of interest for future reference. Maps also help anglers to visualize and navigate the fishing area and plan their fishing strategy.
- Compact and lightweight design: The Striker Cast is small and lightweight, making it easy to carry and use on the go.
- Waterproof: The device has an IPX7 waterproof rating, making it resistant to water and suitable for use in a variety of fishing environments.
- Long battery life: The Striker Cast has a battery life of up to 10 hours, allowing for extended use on a single charge.
- Mapping and GPS capabilities: The device includes a built-in GPS system and supports Quickdraw Contours, allowing the angler to create custom fishing maps and track their location.
- Versatile sonar features: The Striker Cast includes traditional sonar capabilities and can display fish and underwater structures in crisp detail.
- No side imaging or down imaging
3. iBobber ReelSonar Wireless Bluetooth Smartphone Fish Finder – Best Under $100
iBobber portable fish finder is a good low-cost solution for occasional fishing. It has a lot of functions and is a practical choice if you’re on a tight budget or just want to check out a fish finder before investing in a high-end model.
iBobber uses a castable sonar that connects to smartphone through Bluetooth. The connectivity has a range of 100 feet which is considerably less than Deeper Pro+.
It can scan to a depth of 135 feet which is good enough for bank fishing and shallow lakes. Like other fish finders, it can display water temperature, depth, fish, structures, and bottom.
But, the sonar results are not accurate. Anything submerged in water could be tagged as fish. You cannot identify the hard or soft bottom.
This is expected from a cheap fish finder. It can be best used to check water temperature and depth and speculate if a fish is at a particular location.
The battery life is a big positive for iBobber fish finder. It offers over 10 hours of battery life and includes a rechargeable battery.
4. Lucky Handheld Fish Finder
If you don’t want to connect your phone to a fish finder, you can go with the Lucky handheld Fish Finder. It is small in size and can even fit in your pocket.
Like other portable fish finders, it has rechargeable batteries lasting about 12 hours.
The fish finder comes with a handheld unit and a wired castable transducer. The wire is 26 feet long and is attached between the handheld unit and the transducer. The transducer can scan to a depth of 300 feet. You can use your hand or a fishing rod to cast the transducer.
This is another cheap option if your budget is strictly below $100 and don’t want to use a smartphone fish finder.
Don’t expect outstanding results from this unit. It can display water temperature, depth, and raw sonar data. Lucky’s auto fish detection system is flawed, it’s better to use the raw sonar data instead.
The handheld unit is not waterproof. Avoid using it in the rain or dropping it in the water.
5. Venterior Handheld Fish Finder With Wireless Sonar
Venterior is a rechargeable and castable fish finder with a colored screen handheld unit. It is appropriate for fishing from a kayak or boat, casting from the shore, or ice fishing. You can read the depth, temperature, and bottom contour of lakes.
It can scan up to 131 feet under water. The handheld unit can stay within 250 feet of the castable sonar and maintain the signal.
The fish finder comes with a two-year warranty. In addition, the sonar device and handheld unit have rechargeable batteries with 6-8 hour battery life.
The sonar results might be difficult to analyze on the small screen of the handheld unit. Plus, the handheld unit is not waterproof and will get faulty when used in rain.
A smartphone fish finder is a better option than the handheld one. Because the price range is nearly identical, consider purchasing this only if you have limitations using your smartphone while fishing.
6. Lowrance FishHunter PRO – Connecting to iOS and Android Devices Through Wi-Fi
For the Lowrance FishHunter Pro, you can connect the device to your phone. It supports Android and iOS devices, so it’s compatible with most modern smartphones.
It uses a Wi-Fi connection with a range of 150 feet, though you don’t need to use an internet connection or data to connect your phone to it. The fish finer comes with a rechargeable battery. It also has a carrying case to transport it as needed.
Once you connect the fish finder to your phone, it offers three views for you to use.
- The Fish View uses images of fish to tell you when you have some in range.
- A Raw View shows you the exact soundwaves for people who prefer precise information.
- An Ice Fishing Finder mode alerts you when fish are under your fish finder.
The fish finder includes 10 hours of battery life for people who love to fish for long periods. However, if you want a simple option you can quickly connect to your phone, you can’t go wrong with the FishHunter Pro.
7. Garmin Striker 4 With Portable Kit
Garmin Striker 4 with a portable kit is perfect for kayaks, canoes, johnboats, or ice fishing. The portable kit comes in a form of a carrying case that includes
- Sealed rechargeable battery with a smart charger
- Built-in transducer cable management with storage
- Suction cup transducer mount
- Foam float
The portable kit keeps the battery, transducer, and display in a single box. You can mount the transducer on the boat temporarily using the in-hull mount or the RAM mount swing arm.
Striker 4 uses a chirping noise to reach a farther range and detect fish near you. The display unit will also let you make a waypoint map to find your way back to another location.
Types of Portable Fish Finders
There are several types of portable fish finders, designed to be lightweight and portable, and can be used in various fishing environments. Here are a few examples:
Handheld Fish Finders
These are small, portable devices that are designed to be held in the hand. It features a compact display unit and transducer that work together to provide valuable information on the location, size, and depth of fish in the immediate area.
The simplicity of handheld fish finders makes them a popular choice for beginners. With no need to connect a separate device to the transducer, these fish finders are easy to use and can be carried anywhere.
Castable Fish Finders
These are portable fish finders that can be attached to a fishing line and cast into the water. They use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi technology to transmit data to a smartphone or other device, allowing the user to view structures, locations, and depths of fish. Here are some of the benefits of using a castable fish finder:
- Real-time data: Castable fish finders transmit data to the connected device in real-time, allowing the angler to view detailed information on the location, depth of fish and waterbed, and underwater structures.
- Mapping and GPS: Some castable fish finders include mapping and GPS capabilities, which can be accessed through the connected device. This allows the angler to view a map of the fishing area and track its location, as well as mark locations of interest for future reference.
- Longer casting range: Because they can be attached to a fishing line and cast into the water, castable fish finders have a longer range than some other types of portable fish finders. This can be especially useful for reaching deeper or more remote areas.
- Increased accuracy: By using stronger sonar technology to detect underwater structures and activity, castable fish finders can provide more accurate information on the location and size of fish than some other methods.
- Easy to use: Castable fish finders are designed to be easy to use and convenient for anglers. When connected to a smartphone, it provides a user-friendly interface that allows the angler to access all features with just a few taps on the screen.
Fish Finders With Portable Kits
A fish finder with a portable kit comes with a set of accessories or components that are designed to be portable and convenient for use in a variety of fishing environments. These kits may include items such as a carrying case, extra batteries, a portable display unit, and/or a transducer that can be placed on a boat or kayak.
The specific components included in a portable kit will vary depending on the model and manufacturer, but the overall goal is to provide the angler with a convenient and easy-to-use package that can be taken on the go.
Fish finders with portable kits are often popular with anglers who enjoy fishing in a variety of locations i.e. ice fishing, bank fishing, or in deep water. It has the convenience of having all the necessary components in a single, easy-to-transport package.
Factors to consider when buying a Portable fish finder
Portable fish finders can range in price from under $100 to several hundred dollars, depending on the features and capabilities. Determine your budget and look for a fish finder that meets your needs within your price range.
Consider your specific fishing goals and what you hope to use the fish finder for. Do you need a basic model with basic features, or are you looking for something more advanced with mapping and GPS capabilities?
Type of Fishing
Consider the type of fishing you will be doing and choose a fish finder that is appropriate for your needs. For example, if you will be fishing in shallow water, a compact handheld fish finder may be sufficient. If you are planning to fish in deeper waters or in a variety of environments, you may want a more versatile model like a floating or castable fish finder.
Display and user interface
Pay attention to the size and clarity of the display, as well as the overall user interface. A fish finder with a large, easy-to-read display and a user-friendly interface will be easier to use and more convenient.