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The 10 Best Fish Finders  Sep 2018

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1
Best Fish Finders - iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder for iOS Review ReelSonar
9 . 8
2
Best Fish Finders - Humminbird 410050-1 Fishin' Buddy MAX Fishfinder Review Humminbird
9 . 5
3
Best Fish Finders - Humminbird 410160-1 PIRANHAMAX 4.3 DI Fish finder Review Humminbird
9 . 2
4
Best Fish Finders - Lowrance 000-14012-001 Fish Finders Review Lowrance
8 . 9
5
Best Fish Finders - Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4 Bbuilt-in GPS Fish Finder Review Garmin
8 . 7
6
Best Fish Finders - Deeper PRO Smart Portable Sonar - Wireless Wi-Fi Review Deeper
8 . 2
7
Best Fish Finders - Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+ - GPS Portable Wireless Review Deeper
8 . 0
8
Best Fish Finders - The Amazing Quality HawkEye Portable Fish Finder w/WeedID® Review Hawkeye
7 . 7
9
Best Fish Finders - HawkEye FT1P Portable Fish Finder Review Hawkeye
7 . 5
10
Best Fish Finders - Fish Finder GPS Combo Depth Finder Sonar Marine Review
7 . 2

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Your Guide To Buying a Fish Finder

By Yehudah Posnick

    A fish finder employs sound waves to make a map of underwater objects and the ocean or lake floor. It employs sonar—sound navigation and ranging, just the way radar (=radio detection and ranging) maps out the location of aircraft using radio waves. The principle is like this: The fish finder sends out pulses of sound. If the sound wave hits an object (hopefully a fish), it will bounce off. The fish finder then detects that reflected, incoming echo. By knowing the speed of sound in water, it can tell you the distance to that object. There is a trade-off between the resolution of the image and the depth of the object. For example, high-pitched sound waves will give high resolution of the objects in the water, but don't penetrate deeply. Low-pitched sound waves penetrate deeply into the water, but give less detail in the image. And nowadays there is a big variety in the features that different companies have put in their fish finders. Here is a guide to some of the best fish finders on the market.

    • Down Imaging Fish finders: These send a signal downward, so that you receive an image of what is directly underneath your boat. These are best in shallow waters (up to 100 feet deep).

    • Side Imaging Fish finders—This is a more sophisticated version. These send the sound waves to one or both sides of the boat. You adjust the angle at which the fish finder sends its signal. This may come with a flexible arm mount that helps you adjust the placement of the fish finder. This way you don't have to be directly above a fish in order to “see” it. But the signal is less clear as you go further away from the boat.

    • CHIRP Fish finders: CHIRP is an acronym for Compressed High-Intensity Radar Pulse. This sends out a range of sound waves, each with a different frequency (pitch). It provides a more accurate mapping of the objects in the water. 

    • Recharging the batteries: If you are using a portable fish finder, you'll want to make sure the batteries will last a long time. Some units say that the fully charged batteries will last up to 8 hours of fishing.

    • Number of features: Even though you pay more for more features, sometimes it comes at the additional price that it's too complicated to use! Make sure that there is adequate support and written instructions for using the device and getting the most for your money.

    • Download and update software: Your fish finder may require particular software to run properly (or at all). Make sure to register the product, and download and install the necessary software, as well as keep it updated, so as to eliminate any “bugs” in the fish finder's performance.

    • Attaching the transducer: The electric eye of your fish finder is called the transducer: it converts the incoming sound signal into an image. If you're using a fixed fish finder, it will take a while to find the right place to mount the transducer. You'll want to take a mounting board and attach it to the transom of your boat with silicon adhesive. The fish finder transducer should then be attached to that mounting board. You might have to change the location and angle of the mounting board several times before you get proper images. It's easier to move the board around and re-glue it, than to have to drill holes to attach the transducer in different places.

    • Fish finder/Chart plotter You might go with your boat into deep water in the ocean—so you might need something to help you get back home. There are fish finders that come together with a chart plotter. The chart plotter tells you your boat's location and course, using GPS, visually depicting depth of the water and contours of the land. But if you fish mainly on rivers, lakes and ponds, this is probably not necessary.

    • Portable vs. Fixed Fish Finders:​

      • Portable fish finders are small units that can be moved from one boat to another. Or you can use it when fishing through ice or on shore. They usually send the images to your mobile phone.

      • The fixed fish finders are mounted on your boat (you can detach it so that it doesn't get damaged or stolen), but it's a hassle to take it to another boat.

    • Display or mobile phone app: Some fishfinders come with their own display. But some companies have developed software so that you can view the images on your mobile device.

    Deeper—Is a company based in Vilnius, Lithuania. They try to merge cutting-edge sonar technology with their creative ideas for use in improving fishing techniques. They have products for recreational and professional fishermen.

    FishHunter – is a manufacturer of a fish finder that works with a mobile phone app. The company in based in Toronto, Canada. They are a member of the American Sportfishing Association and the International Game Fish Association. They have instruments for shore, boat, kayak, and ice fishing.

    Humminbird-- Is a brand of fish finder manufactured by Techsonic Industries. Originally when the company started in 1971, they went under the name Fulton Electronics, and changed the name to Techsonic Industries in 1977. Their facilities are located in Eufaula, Alabama. They use a number of technologies to make depth sounders, marine radios and GPS systems for fishermen.

    Lowrance-- is a manufacturer of marine electronics since 1957, when they marketed the first consumer sonar device. Their headquarters are presently located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They are owned by Navico, Inc., which is the largest marine electronics company.