Most people who enjoy fishing aren’t rich. Let’s face it; fishing can be an expensive activity. After you buy every size of rod and reel, you probably spend a ton of money on all the trick flies, spinners, jigs, plugs, and lures you must have. You also need the best portable fish finder if you use small boats or Kayaks.
In this case, you need to get out on the water and find those fish. Most people start with a float tube and then work their way up to a kayak or a small boat when they can afford them. Many of us have a kayak and a small boat. The kayak works better in some locations while the boat works better in others. You start shopping around for a fish finder for your boat and realize that it would be nice to use it in the kayak as well.
Table of Contents
- Features of Best Portable Fish Finder
- Comparison of 10 Best Portable Fish Finders in 2021
- Top 12 Best Portable Fish Finder Reviews in 2021
- 1. Venterior Portable Fish Finder Best for Fishing
- 2. Deeper Compact Round Wireless Fish Finder
- 3. LUCKY Handheld Portable Fishing Kayak Fishfinder
- 4. HawkEye FishTrax 1X Portable Fish Finder
- 5. FishHunter Directional Portable Fish Finder
- 6. Lowrance Elite-3X Fishfinder with Transducer
- 7. Humminbird XPT 9 20 T Portable Transducer
- 8. RICANK Portable Fish Finder
- 9. Phiradar Color Fish Finder for Small Boats
- 10. Garmin Fishfinder ECHOMAP Plus 43cv
- 11. JoyLog Portable and Wireless Fish Finder
- 12. LUCKY Waterproof Portable Fish Finder
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Relevant Resources
Features of Best Portable Fish Finder
The main feature to look at when shopping for a fish finder is the display. What size is the screen? Is it black & white or color? How many pixels? Is it backlit to see well at night? These are all questions you should keep in mind. The larger the screen and the more pixels, the better.
Remember that a portable fish finder should be portable. Factors to look at here are weight, size, transducer, and if it includes a carrying case. Obviously, lighter is easier to carry, and smaller takes up less room.
Try to figure out how the transducer attaches to the craft and how easily you can move it to another boat. A carrying case makes it nice to transfer the entire system together, or for storage.
What is going to power your fishfinder? Boats generally have large 12-volt batteries, but most kayaks do not. Some fish finders have internal batteries. Some need to be wired into your 12-volt system. Others might require you to add a battery to your boat or kayak to power the fish finder.
This is a major consideration for fish finder buyers. Any portable fish finder should be easy to move. For something to be considered the best portable fish finder, an internal rechargeable battery is ideal.
All buying decisions involve price to some degree. Figure out how much you are willing to spend on your fish finder before you begin shopping. As you shop, figure out which fish finders have the features you want and meet your price range.
As always, buy the unit with the most features for the smallest amount of money. Always keep in mind the manufacturer’s warranty and reputation. Additionally, look for brands that you are familiar with, or have been around for a while.
Comparison of 10 Best Portable Fish Finders in 2021
|Venterior Portable Fish Finder||Check Price|
|Deeper Start Fish Finder||Check Price|
|LUCKY Handheld Fish Finder||Check Price|
|HawkEye FishTrax 1X Fish Finder||Check Price|
|FishHunter Portable Fish Finder||Check Price|
|Lowrance Elite-3X Fishfinder||Check Price|
|Humminbird Portable Transducer||Check Price|
|RICANK Portable Fish Finder||Check Price|
|Phiradar Boat Fish Finder||Check Price|
|Garmin Fishfinder||Check Price|
Top 12 Best Portable Fish Finder Reviews in 2021
1. Venterior Portable Fish Finder Best for Fishing
The black & white display is backlit by an LED light for dark and low-light conditions, and this fish finder reads fish and bottom features up to 328 feet down. Four AAA batteries supply the power for this system. The total weight is 1.1 pounds.
This is a great fish finder for simplicity, portability, and price. The verdict for this portable LCD display with LED back-lighting Depth and Fish Finder goes out in the 50/50. It is considered to be a much better one for knowing the depth of the water rather than spotting out the fish.
- Backlit display
- Reads bottom features up to 328 ft. down
- Only needs 4 AAA batteries
- Weighs just over a pound
- The display is a little small
2. Deeper Compact Round Wireless Fish Finder
Moreover, customers who have bought this have reported that it is durable and does not rust or corrode even when used in salty water however you will have to ensure that you rinse it after every use.
Lastly, it comes with unique Bluetooth operable remote control that is operated by 2 AA batteries sadly it does not have a carrying case. Utilizes smart technology with Wi-Fi connectivity. No mobile data or internet required. The START generates its own Wi-Fi signal, anytime, anywhere.
- Good for casting up to 200-300 ft. out
- Durable unit
- Bluetooth operated remote control
- Utilizes smart technology
- Does not come with a carrying case
3. LUCKY Handheld Portable Fishing Kayak Fishfinder
This compact fishfinder fits into your grip like an extension of your hand. It comes with a multifunctional fish finder kit that includes backlight mode, battery save mode as well as 5 modes of sensitivity.
For the small size, this fish finder kit has quite a formidable depth reach! From 1 to 100 meters, it can show you all the fish you can hope to catch and then some. This tool has a fish and fish school alarm, so it’s impossible for you to miss an opportunity to make that big catch.
Normally these fish finders for kayaks can continue working for 4-5 hours with brand new batteries. If you select battery saving mode, the portable fish finder will keep working for more time. This fish finder for small and unpowered crafts like kayaks and floats is designed to be near-omnipotent, and that’s why it has some of the best portable fish finders reviews.
- Comes with 5 sensitivity modes
- Very deep detecting range for its size
- Runs for quite long
- Equipped with efficient fish alarm
- Quite compact
- Not waterproof
4. HawkEye FishTrax 1X Portable Fish Finder
This best portable fish finder consists of a handheld display and a transducer that communicate with each other wirelessly. Both parts of the fish finder are waterproof and float, so you don’t have to worry about dropping them in the water.
The transducer here is a 90-degree cone angle good for about 150 feet of depth. The power required for the MadBite system is provided by batteries. The transducer has a button-style battery and a spare that should be good for around 30 hours apiece.
The handheld display has an internal rechargeable battery that is good for around 12 hours. Well, this is a very nice wireless fishfinder system. I love the nice long battery life and the waterproof feature. This is a nice portable unit.
- Waterproof and floatable transducer and display
- It detects down to 150 ft. depth
- The transducer’s battery lasts for 30 hours
- Handheld display’s battery last for 12 hours
- Display quality leaves something to be desired
5. FishHunter Directional Portable Fish Finder
This is another best fish finder that works with your phone or tablet. The features that make the FishHunter stand out are WiFi data speed is four times faster than Bluetooth.
It has five transducers in one unit using three frequencies for greater area coverage and 3-D viewing and mapping, it has four different screen views, and it’s good up to 200 feet out and 160 feet down.
The multiple transducers on the FishHunter give it several references and enable it to display and map the areas you cover in 3-D. I like the fish finders that stream to your phone or tablet because they have the best displays for free. This is a great fish finder for portability and features.
- Fast Wi-Fi feature
- One unit houses three transducers
- Offers 3-D viewing and mapping
- Multiple transducers use three frequencies
- The plastic anchor point is a little flimsy
6. Lowrance Elite-3X Fishfinder with Transducer
This Lowrance fishfinder comes with a dual-band transducer that functions at either a 20-degree cone angle for a maximum definition or a 60-degree cone angle for a larger search area. The unit comes with a one-year warranty and weighs three pounds.
The power required is 12-volt. The drawback here is that this unit isn’t really designed to be portable. If you want to use it on two separate crafts, I would recommend installing a mounting bracket, transducer, and power cord on each craft. That way you could transfer the fish finder back and forth easily.
- Dual-band transducer
- Weighs around 3 pounds
- Color LCD display
- Less portable than the other models in this list
7. Humminbird XPT 9 20 T Portable Transducer
This best portable transducer by Humminbird is compatible with many other Humminbird fishfinders. It has the dual-beam capability with both 24 and 53-degree cone angles. It has a built-in temperature sensor and a 15-foot cable.
This transducer mounts to your boat using a suction cup, so it is for trolling speeds only. The XPT 9 20 T is for any application that requires you to move your transducer to various locations. It has a one year warranty.
Portable Transducers mount on the transom or side of almost any wood, aluminum, or fiberglass boat. For a completely portable fish finder, The Portable Case accessory contains all parts needed to convert your existing fishfinder to a portable operation using your existing transducer.
- Dual-beam capability
- Built-in temperature sensor
- Mounts on the boat using a suction cup
- Great portability
- Not durable
8. RICANK Portable Fish Finder
From what I’ve already shown you, you can probably tell already that portable fish finders are often not waterproof. However, that doesn’t mean they have to be completely defenseless when they’re out in the big blue.
This handheld is one of the best rated low-cost portable fish finders that comes with its own hard EVA case, which I greatly appreciate. When not in use, you can stow the handheld display in this travel case, and just practice caution otherwise, to make sure it’s away from splashed droplets.
Let’s now focus on the actual fish finding properties on this device! For a device this size, it detects a standard 100m depth. You can cast out the transducer with a float using the 25 feet cable. It would’ve been nice if the cable was longer or allowed an extension, though. For a very affordable price, this fishfinder gives you adequate depth reading, a fish alarm, a good display, and great portability. No wonder it has some of the best portable fish finder reviews!
- 1 meter to 100-meter depth reading capability
- Transducer comes with a float
- Comes with its own hard case
- 5 sensitivity modes
- Very cheap
- Runs only 4 hours on new batteries
9. Phiradar Color Fish Finder for Small Boats
Another great fish finder that will be perfect for seasonal fishermen who only fish once in a while. This fish finder is very affordable and comes with all the basic features that you might need when out at sea. It comes with a 2-inch screen as well as AA batteries plus it can be connected to the USB port.
Overall this fish finder was reported to be great for finding fish around rocks and reefs. Lastly, it has an auto-zoom as well as a phone-like button that was reported to be very easy to press even with your wet fingers. Comes with a bottom contour and water temperature indicator. It also has 100 levels of sensitivity setting and a multi-level depth range.
- Affordable option
- Equipped with auto zoom
- Great for fishing around rocks and reefs
- Very compact
- Assembly is a bit tricky
10. Garmin Fishfinder ECHOMAP Plus 43cv
This is a larger and more powerful fishfinder unit than most on this list. One of the top portable fish finders, the ECHOMAP Plus 43cv has a large, detailed display. This unit displays each readout separately on the screen.
With 2,800 watts of peak-to-peak power, this sonar can see down to a whopping 3000 feet deep using CHIRP. This model is the best fish finder in Garmin ever. The Garmin unit must be wired into your boat’s 12-volt power. However, the price of this one is on the high side, and portability is limited without additional purchases.
- Detects as much as 3000 ft. down
- Works in low power
- Hooks up to the 12-volt power on the boat
- Clear, detailed display
- Offers great maps
- Doesn’t keep up if the boat is speeding
11. JoyLog Portable and Wireless Fish Finder
A very unique fish finder that comes in a shape of a ball thus it will not scare off fish because it looks akin to an inflatable ball. This fish finder turns on automatically when you place it in the water and turns off after 30 seconds out of the water.
Plus it works in over 10 different languages and can be recharged through the USB port. It can conduct intelligent fish exploration at a depth of 0.6-40 m underwater with a powerful sonar function.
Very unique design that will be loved by any fisherman thus this can become a perfect gift. Turns on and off automatically depending on whether the fish finder is in the water or out of the water.
- Auto turn-on and turn-off feature
- Works in over 10 languages
- Rechargeable through a USB port
- Inexpensive and portable
- Doesn’t differentiate between small and big fish
12. LUCKY Waterproof Portable Fish Finder
In an ideal world, all fish finders would be waterproof because it can get splashed anytime or dropped in the water. Though the reality is different and most fish finders aren’t waterproof, this LUCKY portable fish finder is!
With this small yet hardy looking top-rated portable fish finder, you don’t have to worry about rain or splashes. In fact, the manufacturers claim that even if you end up dropping it into the water, it will not sink and instead float.
Now that you don’t have to worry about keeping your fishfinder dry all day, you can concentrate more on the fish. The sonar transducer covers up to 100 m of depth, which is impressive considering how small and light it is.
Aside from the transducer, the handheld also comes with a sturdy looking storage box where you can keep it when not in use. The battery needed to run this unit is also included in the package. Lastly, the display of the handheld is also impressive as you can change the brightness across 9 levels. For a small, compact device, you really can’t get any better.
- Compact and lightweight unit
- Floatable in case you drop it into the water
- The battery lasts quite a long time
- Expensive for a portable unit
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Are Portable Fish Finders Any Good?
A: If you’re used to fishing from the shore, going on trips often, or renting boats or kayaks, getting a portable fish finder would be the best option for you.
Q: Do Fish Finders Come With GPS?
A: Getting a fish finder with GPS is a great convenience. However, most fish finders with the GPS feature are expensive and often aren’t found in affordable and compact models.
Q: Are All Fish Finders Waterproof?
A: It makes sense for fish finders to be waterproof. However, many fish finders aren’t. Although transducers usually are, handheld displays tend to not be waterproof. You should carefully check if the unit you’re buying comes with waterproof features. If not, look into options for a waterproof cover for it.
All of these Best portable fish finder reviews are good choices when it comes to small portable units. Just remember to identify your needs and keep your spending limit in mind when you begin shopping. My personal favorites are the ones that stream to your phone or tablet. They are the epitome of a portable fish-finding system.