So What Are We Looking For In The Best FishFinders for 2020?
FishFinders are among the most useful instruments for anglers, and if you’re serious about fishing, then you need one. But what features do the best fishfinder have that you should be looking for?
Consider the following key factors:
It’s one of the underrated features of a fish finder but one of the most critical. It’s the one that sends and receives signals from the water.
Transducers come in many sizes and types, but to narrow down your choices, you can focus on two criteria: where you plan to place them and their frequency.
The best way to mount a transducer is through the center of the hull, so it comes in contact with water. If you don’t have sufficient space, however, you can consider a transom mount.
When it comes to frequency, many transducers these days can operate on multiple frequencies. This way, you can cover multiple depths and obtain a variety of details.
This refers to the resolution you see on the screen. You should be able to tell the differences between the objects that appear. Are you looking at a structure, a fish, or the seafloor?
Like the pixels in your mobile phone or computer, the higher the vertical resolution, the more specific the details can get.
3. Cone Angle and Scanning
A cone angle is the “spread” of the signal once it hits the water. The other way to explain it is coverage. Depending on the angle, you may miss objects that are part of the so-called dead zone.
Scanning, meanwhile, refers to the direction in which the fishfinder determines its environment. It can be sideways or down, and each has its pros and cons.
For instance, a down-only scanning will provide plenty of information such as fish in the deeper parts of the water. The downside is it may not detect those that pass through underneath the boat.
Other helpful features include:
- Global positioning system (GPS), which provides you with direction
- Quality and size of the screen
- Portability or mobility
- Purchase price
With the above features in mind, here are our picks for the Top Fish Finders in 2020.
Top 10 Fishfinders for 2020:
1. Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5″ GPS Fishfinder with CHIRP Traditional Transducer
Product Link: Garmin Striker 4
This is a portable fish finder that comes with a 3.5-inch screen. It includes useful features such as a waypoint map, which lets you mark docks and ramps. Its CHIRP transducer broadcasts multiple frequencies while the system interprets their results individually.
- Excellent portability
- Simple and easy-to-use intuitive interface
- Easy-to-understand information
- Requires a power supply source, which makes it less ideal in kayaking
- Higher-performance transducer upgrades sold separately
- Doesn’t come with scanning features
2. LUCKY Handheld Fish Finder Portable Fishing Kayak Fishfinder Fish Depth Finder Fishing Gear with Sonar Transducer and LCD Display
Product Link: Lucky Handheld Portable Fishfinder
This portable fish finder provides multiple options for use, including mounting through the hull or via a holder. Its cone angle is 45 degrees, which means it covers a wider range. It can detect depths of up to 147 feet. It works in different fishing environments from ice to shore.
- Simple and easy to use, so it’s perfect for beginners
- Tends to be accurate in detecting structures
- Portable and versatile
- Very small screen size
- No GPS and other advanced features
- Sometimes fishing accuracy is a hit or miss
3. Lowrance HOOK2 7 – 7-inch Fish Finder with SplitShot Transducer and US/Canada Navionics+ Map Card
Product Link: Lowrance Hook 2 7 – 7 inch fishfinder
One of the best fish finders for small boats, it features many pre-loaded high-detail maps. It has a 7-inch screen, which shows multiple pieces of information in one go. It also comes with auto-tuning SONAR, WIFI, and several options for setup. The transducer can perform down scanning and arch views.
- Flexible mounting options such as transom and through-hull
- Hundreds of pre-loaded high-detail maps
- Down scanning capability
- Expensive price
- Challenging to mount
- Difficult calibrations
4. Raymarine Element 7 HV with HV-100 Transducer
Product Link: Raymarine Element 7 HV
This design comes with a 7-inch display, although you can choose other screen sizes. It features HyperVision CHIRP technology to provide SONAR data in high resolution. The 3D SONAR offers more detailed images of the structures. It runs on a quad-core processor and instant redraws the chart.
- Clear viewing even during daylight, making it fitting for an outdoor lifestyle
- Accurate and high-resolution images
- Fast processing of information
- Expensive price
- Doesn’t support other SONAR frequencies
- No built-in chart base
5. Lowrance HOOK2 5X – 5-inch Fish Finder with SplitShot Transducer and GPS Plotter
Product Link: Lowrance Hook2 5X -5 inch Fishfinder
This 5-inch fishfinder comes equipped with a CHIRP SONAR technology that has a wider beam coverage than other Lowrance products. You can mount it on transom, as well as inside and through-hull. It also provides a down-scan capability and views of the fish arch. It features a GPS plotter where you can add waypoints and other location information.
- Twice the beam coverage than the other fishfinders
- Autotuning SONAR
- Customizable GPS maps
- Problems with durability and setup
- Sometimes intermittent operation
- No option for depth line
6. Humminbird 410150-1 PiranhaMAX 4 Fish Finder
Product Link: Humminbird PirabhaMAX 4 Fishfinder
At 4.3 inches, the screen of this fish finder is bigger than other Humminbird products. It operates on 300 watts RMS power. It can reach a depth of 320 feet at 445 kHz. The maximum depth it can reach is 600 feet at 200 kHz.
- Bigger screen size than other Humminbird fishfinders
- Dual-beam options
- No GPS
- More ideal for temporary mounting
- Basic than other fishfinders
7. Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder, Handheld Fishfinder Fish Depth Finder with Sonar Sensor Transducer and LCD Display
Product Link: Venterior VT Portable Fishfinder
This portable fish finder can work in different fishing environments such as ice, lake, and sea. The round transducer includes a cable that spans 25 feet. It can detect a water depth between 3 feet and 328 feet. It also features five sensitivity options, battery-saving mode, and a fish alarm.
- More information on surroundings such as sand, rocks, and other structures
- Wide range of detected water depth
- Can’t detect bait or motionless fish
- Doesn’t work well in fast-moving boats
- Cold temperatures affect the reading
8. Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+ Fish Finder
Product Link: Deeper Pro + Smart Fish Finder
One of the castable fish finders, Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+ is ideal for shore fishing. It comes with a built-in WIFI and GPS to create maps. It can scan down up to 260 feet and can be casted up to 330 feet. It offers a dual-beam frequency with a beam angle of 15 degrees.
- Equipped with WIFI
- More focused detail of the deep waters due to the narrow cone angle
- Heavy for casting
- Can be less accurate
- Problems with app integration
9. ReelSonar I Bobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder
Product Link: ReelSonar Wireless Bluetooth Fishfinder
A castable fish finder, this product from ReelSonar is designed to identify work with Bluetooth, as well as iOS and Android apps. It allows for GPS tagging, interactive mapping, and contour mapping. It can perform a SONAR reading up to 135 feet.
- Castable and very portable
- Fish and strike alarms
- Interactive mapping
- Less accurate than others in detecting fish
- Issues with app integration
- Consumes battery fast
10. Garmin Striker 4 with Portable Kit
Product Link: Garmin Striker 4
Garmin Striker 4 is a bundle with a portable case, which is great for different types of boats. It comes with a CHIRP technology that you can upgrade. The SONAR transducer can scan at up to 200 kHz frequency. The screen measures 3.5 inches with easy-to-use and dedicated buttons. It features GPS and customizable waypoint maps.
- Easy to install and move to different boats
- Long battery life
- Customizable waypoint maps and CHIRP technology
- Although portable feels bulky
- Issues with flasher
- Doesn’t come with an ice transducer
Best Sonar Technology For The Top 10 Fishfinders
The Top 10 FishFinders for 2020 can make your fishing experience so much more enjoyable. Sonar technology has advanced so much and today you have so many choices.
There may be thousands of fish in the sea, but do you know where to find them? Nothing spells disaster more than wasting hours waiting for the fish that never come. None of us wants to go home empty-handed.
If there’s any consolation, FishFinders have made it very easy for us to locate fish. Technology has made it more convenient and easier for you to catch some fish. Also known as a sounder, a fishfinder is a marine instrument that can do multiple things such as:
- measure the depth of the waters
- locate and determine the structures where the fish may be hiding
- identify the movement of the fish
It can do this by focusing on the principle called SONAR (sound navigation ranging). The concept of SONAR is not new. In fact, you can trace it back to ancient times. After all, it’s the same method used by species such as whales and bats.
SONAR maximizes the power of an echo or the bouncing of sound energy. For example, when a whale moves in the bottom of the ocean, it creates noise. This sound then hits its environments, including objects. These may include the ships above or the marine species at the bottom.
The echo then allows the whales to not only identify their distance from their environment but also determine the shapes and even movements of these objects.
The Best Fish Finders for 2020 Conclusion
Fishing requires patience, dedication, and passion. But it doesn’t have to waste your time. Make things easy with your choice of any of the Top 10 Best FishFinders for 2020.
Many of these are well known, reputable brands, so you know these products are proven. Plus, they feature many amenities from wide-coverage beam angles to down scanning and GPS.
So which of these receives our recommendation for the best FishFinder for 2020? If we were to choose, it’s a tie between the Garmin Striker 4 and the Lowrance HOOK2. They have some of the most comprehensive features, not to mention they are portable.
In the end, it depends on your specific needs and wants, as well as what your budget, and goals are.