Best Marine Speakers for Your Boat

Those long hours on the boat out on the ocean can get boring, especially if you are alone. One way to pass the time is to listen to music. Everybody loves music no doubt about that, and phones and iPods made listening to music easier compared to boombox days.

However, when you are on a boat, you will want a better listening experience than putting your phone on loudspeaker. Here is where marine speakers come in. They have been specifically designed to be used on your boating trips.

Take a look at some of the best marine speakers for your boat that we have gathered.


Rockford Fosgate R165X3 Prime

This Rockford Fosgate R165X3 Prime 6.5-inch 3-way coaxial speaker has full range, and it is the cheapest you can buy from this list. This will only cost you less than $38. Install this on your boat cabin, and you can enjoy the good balance of tones with treble and bass.

The 6.5-inch cone woofer is covered by a simple grille. At the center of the cone, you will see the midrange driver and tweeter. The midrange driver has a diameter of 6.5-inches and a mounting depth of 2.15-inches. The tweeter has a nominal diameter of 0.5-inches.

The audio output of the speakers is decent enough. The bass and treble are balanced, and the sonic response is balanced. If you like listening at full volume, you can do so without getting too much distortion.

The design is pretty simple and low profile. It has a black color and blends well in the background. However, this is not waterproof, which is why it is better to be installed in the boat cabin. If you can prevent it from getting wet as much as possible, you will have a pretty good listening experience with the R165X3 Prime.


Pros:

  • Produces loud and clear audio
  • Easy to install
  • Comes with 10-feet speaker wire, mounting brackets and screws

Cons:

  • Not waterproof
  • Lacks power
  • The tweeter is not adjustable

 


Sony XSMP1611 6.5-Inch Dual Cone Marine Speakers

Coming from an established brand, you will not be disappointed with this speaker. It has great quality in both audio and material. The Sony XSMP1611 is definitely worth its price of less than $50.

The grille on this 6.5-inch dual cone speaker is removable. It looks really great with its honeycomb design. It is white in color, but if you want, you can remove it then paint to any color you want to make it more personalized.

You could not complain about the audio. It performs better than any other speaker in the same price range. You can enjoy your music at full blast without much distortion too.

However, if you want more bass, this is not for you. This is more for the general listener who just wants good quality audio without breaking the bank.

This comes in a pair so you would have two single speakers that you can install in your boat. The speakers are IPX5-certified and ASTM-certified. It can be sprayed with water for up to three minutes, and it is UV and saltwater-resistant.


Pros:

  • Great audio quality
  • IPX5 and ASTM-certified
  • Has a removable grille

Cons:

  • Can’t take much power
  • Not good at handling bass
  • Deteriorates in quality after two years

 


Pioneer TS-MR1640

These speakers are built to be able to withstand weather conditions you may experience while out on the ocean. For less than $60, these speakers will surely give you a good value.

The Pioneer TS-MR1640’s 6.5-inch IMPP cones and 1 1/8-inch PEI dome tweeter produces impressive mid-range bass and smooth highs in your sounds. This is a coaxial setup with grilles that resists fading and retains its white color.

In terms of material quality, these speakers are meticulously designed to be able to last in the extreme conditions of being out on the sea. It is water, corrosion, and heat-resistant. Even the wires and wire terminals are gold tinsel and gold-plated for great build and audio quality.

This has 91dB sensitivity so you will not need much power when you want to turn it up louder.


Pros:

  • Made from high-quality materials
  • Excellent bass performance
  • Low sensitivity

Cons:

  • Not powerful enough to be heard over an engine
  • No wires to splice in with the connector
  • Not exactly the same size as the speakers it replaced

 


Boss Audio ATV30BRGB

This Boss Audio ATV30BRGB speaker from Boss Audio is definitely user-friendly. It is plug-and-play with Bluetooth capabilities to make it easy for you to control it. It may cost you much more at around $136, but the price is totally worth it.

You can play music wirelessly or use the 3.5 mm aux input. Even the wired remote control has Bluetooth. You can play, pause, change the track, or turn the volume up or down while you ride your boat.

This has 6.5-inch poly injected cone speakers with a soft dome diaphragm and high-performance tweeters. This also has four heavy-duty Velcro straps, cigarette lighter power cord, and a remote mounting clamp.

The materials used for this speaker are marine grade. The plastic surfaces are UV coated, circuit boards and connections are also coated to be corrosion-resistant. The Bluetooth remote also has an IPX5 rating which means it has protection against water.

You can even plug in your USB devices to charge it using the speakers.


Pros:

  • Made of weatherproof materials
  • Has Bluetooth capability
  • Great sound quality

Cons:

  • The wires can be easily pulled off
  • Drains the battery
  • The mounts won’t hold so it can easily get stolen

 


Kenwood Enrock Marine Audio Kit

 

This Kenwood Enrock Marine Audio Kit speaker produces a great sound and is very easy to install. It is the most expensive on this list at almost $200, but it will definitely give you a run for your money. In the package, you will get one receiver, two speakers, and one Enrock antenna.

The receiver can play music via Bluetooth, CD, MP3 player, USB, iPod, iPhone, Android, or AM/FM. It is designed to withstand weather conditions out at sea. The circuit board is conformal-coated, and the openings are designed to prevent salt and spray from entering the ports.

The speakers are 6.5-inches with a 100-watt peak power rating each. It has an injection molded polypropylene woofer cone with a 1-inch balanced dome tweeter. This also comes with a waterproof antenna that is flexible enough to be put anywhere.

This also has an LCD display so you can easily see what music is playing.


Pros:

  • Great sound quality
  • Backed by a 1-year warranty and 30-day money back hassle-free guarantee
  • Many sound source options

Cons:

  • Does not come with cables
  • Does not include the remote control
  • Costs almost $200

 


Factors to Consider When Buying Marine Speakers for your Boat

 

Audio Quality

Since the speakers will be playing music, it has to do justice for your favorite tunes. Audio quality is the biggest factor that determines what the best marine speaker is.

The music will be competing against the sound of the engine when you are on the boat. It should be loud enough to be heard. But, even at a loud volume, the music should not be distorted.

 

The Durability of the Material

Weather conditions at sea can be bad for not marine-grade speakers. The speakers should be able to withstand the heat of the sun and the spray of the water.

Durability is very important so that your money will not go to waste after one use of the speaker. The unit must be able to resist corrosion since it will most likely be dealing with water.

It would also be great if the material does not fade. However, if the yellowing of white plastic will not have any effect on audio quality and it does not bother you, I guess that would be fine.

 

Ease of Installation

If you are replacing worn out speakers, it is best to get ones that have the same size as the previous one. It is best that the new speakers can fit into the holes already cut on your boat. You wouldn’t want to have multiples holes on your boat just because of different-sized speakers, right?

 

Wireless, Plug-In, or Both

It may be better if you have plenty of options to connect your music. Wireless is high-tech, but it has the possibility of getting disconnected. This really depends on what works best and what is more convenient for you.

It is also a great bonus if it has a remote. You can easily gain control without pressing on the speaker every now and again.

 


Conclusion

Marine speakers are a great addition to your boats. It adds to the value, and it gives you a non-boring trip out on the sea.

If you want something that gives the best value for your money, you may want to try the Boss Audio speakers. It may come off as pricey at first, but it will prove that it is worth its price. It had great audio quality and made of high-quality materials.

It will surely give you a listening experience you will enjoy even with the roar of the boat engine and the dangers of the sea conditions.

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Best Fishing Backpack

More than just finding food, fishing is an activity enjoyed by many. For anglers, fishing is a sport, a hobby, or simply a time for bonding with your loved ones. For this activity, you need to come fully equipped with tools and skills to catch the biggest bass.

What you can use to haul most of your stuff is a fishing backpack. It is much more efficient and convenient than a box or a backpack. It will be able to hold most of everything you need and provide mobility when you are on the move.

So, for your next fishing trip, we have listed some of the best fishing backpacks you may want to try.

 


Spiderwire Fishing Tackle Backpack (SPB006)

If you want something that fits into your budget, this Spiderwire Fishing Tackle backpack is for you. This costs less than $65. This may not look like a traditional fishing backpack, but it definitely is built for that purpose.

This backpack has many compartments for you to store all of your items. The top compartment can be used for your personal belongings like your phone and keys. The middle cooler compartment can store food, drinks, or bait.

The lower compartment can fit three medium utility boxes. On the left and right side, are two other large pouches for other small items and removable fishing tool holders. There is also a foam molded sunglass case with soft lining.

The bag is made of 100% polyester and has a flat bottom, so the bag sits upright.


Pros:

  • Has many compartments
  • Has a stylish design
  • Already comes with utility boxes

Cons:

  • Cannot fit big 14×9 utility boxes
  • Poor quality zippers
  • More ideal for those without many items to carry

 


Calissa Offshore Tackle Blackstar Large Fishing Tackle Backpack

Whether you are on or off a boat or ice fishing, this backpack is a great choice. It has a large size and only costs less than $100. This backpack is large enough to fit your fishing tools and equipment.

The Calissa Offshore Tackle Backpack may have a large capacity, but it is lightweight and durable. It measures 20H x 17L x 9W inches. It has multiple pockets for all your belongings including a hard-molded sunglass case.

This also already comes with four tackle trays for organizing your lures and plugs. The straps are adjustable so that bag can fit comfortably on your back. The fabric is waterproof, so it really is designed for the water activity.


Pros:

  • Large capacity
  • Comes with four plastic tackle trays
  • Comfortable and lightweight

Cons:

  • Does not come with a rain cover
  • Poor quality latch on the tackle box
  • The top opening could be bigger

 


Wild River Tackle Tek Nomad by CLC (WT3604)

Loved by many, this Wild River Tackle Tek Nomad backpack is definitely our top pick when it comes to fishing backpacks. It brings good value for its price of less than $108.

This large backpack has four pockets on the sides, a spacious upper compartment, and a bottom compartment for the trays. This fits four #3600 trays and has a sunglass holder that is permanently mounted.

Dawn or dusk you can go fishing because this bag has an integrated LED system. In case of rain, this comes with a rain cover to keep your belongings dry. There is also a removable plier holder that you can put on the bag or your belt, whichever is more convenient for you.


Pros:

  • Adjustable and comfortable to carry
  • Has an LED system
  • Includes a rain cover

Cons:

  • Zippers are made of plastic
  • LED has to be pressed continuously to stay on
  • Rough shoulder straps

 


Shimano Blackmoon Fishing Backpack Black Compact (BLMBP260BK)

Planning on a day of fishing? This Shimano Blackmoon Fishing backpack is for you. This small backpack will store everything you might need for a day’s worth out on the lake or river. This will cost you less than $120.

This small backpack is made of textured fabric that is very durable. The front opening has two-way zippers so you can easily access your items. For extra storage, there are side pockets with zippers and mesh rod holders on both sides.

This comes with two Plano 3750 utility boxes to organize your lures and plugs. The utility box compartment opens in the middle of the bag, and you need to unfold to get access.

The shoulder pad of this backpack is thick-padded for your comfort.

 

Pros:

  • Great quality material
  • Comes with a rain cover
  • Comes with plastic envelopes for soft lures

Cons:

  • Heavy even when empty
  • No cold storage
  • Cheap plastic zippers

Factors to Consider When Buying a Fishing Backpack

 

Storage Space

The purpose of a fishing backpack is to hold all your fishing tools in one convenient place, so you do not have to carry multiple boxes. The backpack you choose should be big enough and has plenty of space for everything you use on your fishing trip.

Fishing backpacks come with multiple pockets for proper organization of your things. Take your time and assess everything you usually bring so you know how big a backpack you should buy.

 

Material

The backpack has to be durable. You will be carrying lots of stuff in there, and it will take a beating every time you use it. It should be made of strong materials that will not easily rip.

It should also be waterproof. Since you will be out on or near the water, the backpack should keep your items dry, especially if you bring phones.

 

Comfort

Since you will be using this to hike onto your fishing spots, the backpack should be comfortable when you carry it on your back. You would not want to have a sore back before you even start to fish. Backpacks with thick padding should provide softness and comfortability.

 


Conclusion

A fishing backpack should be able to solve storage and mobility problems you have with fishing boxes or bags. It is a convenient storage for all your fishing tools and equipment. It will be easier to hike and balance with both hands not holding too many things because everything will be in the backpack.

Our pick of the best backpack you can get is the Wild River by CLC. It gives great value for its price. It has plenty of compartments to better organize your items. It sits comfortably on your back and has a classic fishing backpack look.

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How to Safely Take Dog Fishing

A fishing adventure with your dog is one of the best ways to pass the day, though for some it is not. The reason why some dog owners disagree with this idea is that they are worried about the safety of their four-legged companion even though they were aware that dogs are good swimmers.

However, if you really want to bring your pet to go fishing with you, here’s how to take your dog fishing safely.

Safety Tips for Going Fishing with Your Dog


1. Train your dog not to chase your bait while you’re casting

As we all know dogs are attackers, meaning to say it is natural for them to find a fast movement like bait zipping past and want to quest for it. That is why, before sailing your boat make sure to remind your dog not to chase your bait. Better yet, train them to remain on their place while you are casting because there is a possibility that they will fall in the water.


2. Give your dog a life vest/jacket

While most of us think that all dogs are swimmers, it is just not true. In fact, even the best swimmers can sometimes run into an accident especially if they are in water that is too cold or too rough. That is why giving your dog a life vest during your fishing adventure is a must to avoid drowning accident. However, you can buy life vest for dogs in both boating and pets stores. Nevertheless, make sure to opt for a vest that perfectly fits your dog.


3. Equip your dog with a harness

To make sure that your pet does not fall off, harness them to the boat. As a matter of fact, if you are using a speedboat, make sure to give your dog a stable gear. However, make sure to use a stable gear that goes around its legs and torso so that the force will be more equally distributed.


4. Provide Sunglasses and Plenty of Water

Just like people, dogs can get dehydrated and sunburnt during summer or hot season. That’s why it is important to give your dogs plenty of water and sunglasses while you are fishing. Or provide them a portable shade tent as their temporary kennel.


5. Bring a First Aid Kit

If you are planning to go fishing with your dog, make sure to bring a first aid kit. Even so, you can purchase a complete first aid kit for dogs at pet stores.


Conclusion:

By simply following the mentioned tips above, rest assured you’re in a good place to keep your dog safe and secure while you are fishing. However, it is also advisable that you should prepare a safety plan for emergency purposes. You can bring contact information of an emergency or local veterinarian so that you will be able to seek help from them even though you are in the lake or river. Most importantly, make sure that you have an idea on how to perform a CPR for pets.

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iBobber versus Deeper Pro versus Fish Hunter Pro Review

Modernization has placed the old rod and reel fishing instinct in the corner and introduced the portable fish finder technology. Fish finders are effective tools that allow you to locate fish underwater. This technology works using the SONAR (sound navigation and ranging) technology system.

This portable tool shows a fish’s location in a digital screen, which can be either an LCD or a CRT type. The technology of the fish finder has constantly been upgraded since the 1990s. Today, it is one of the most sophisticated devices as other features have been integrated. Helpful tools such as the GPS, electronic compass, and radar have now been incorporated.

Here is how a fish finder works: A transmitter, which is found on the ship, sends signals in the waves. The SONAR system utilizes the aspect of echoes to reflect back the waves to the transmitter. These reflected waves are recorded. And then, a signal will be sent to your screen.

As they say, there are plenty of fish in the sea. The question is what the best fish finder device there is is. Today, we will take a deeper look into the fish finders from iBobber, Deeper Pro, and Fish Hunter Pro.

 


iBobber Smart Fish Finder

The iBobber was designed with portability and flexibility in mind. It is an excellent choice for those who are hunting for an affordable, portable, and user-friendly fish finder. Without a doubt, anglers of all skill levels and types can take this on the go. All you need is your smartphone or tablet, and you will not have a hard time setting this tool up. Impressively, its Bluetooth technology is very effective. You can use the device even within a 100-foot range. It is energy-efficient too so this will not suck up much of your battery life too.

When using the iBobber, keep in mind that this is quite a simple device. Do not expect the same accuracy and precision regular fish finders have. This will just help

Features

  • Makes use of your existing mobile device. The iBobber uses your smartphone or tablet as controller and display. This is actually a good way to chop down on costs. Also, this allows you to see a sonar display on a large screen. Most fish finders have very small
  • Scans depths of up to 135 feet. Its transducer module operates with a 118 kHz
  • Marks a fish based on its size. The iBobber categorizes the fish it finds – they are either under 15 inches or over 15 inches long.
  • Ideal for kayak, raft, or canoe fishing. It also works well on bottom sounding areas that cannot be accessed by boats.
  • Works on both freshwater and saltwater
  • Comes with two Snap swivel connections to use a bobber or remote as a fishfinder

Pros:

  • Price is friendly to the pocket. The iBobber is one of the cheapest fishfinders on the market today with a price tag of less than $100.
  • Uses low energy Bluetooth connection. Most devices with Bluetooth or wireless connectivity often end up draining the battery really But the iBobber requires less power, so the battery lasts longer.
  • You can easily snug this down into your pocket or bag. It weighs only 1.7 ounces and has a 2.3-inch diameter.
  • Very convenient to use. The free app that comes with the device lets you take full control of the fish finder. It also allows you to log waterbeds, log spots, and map water temperatures and depths.
  • Package includes a lunar calendar. This can help give you relevant information like predictions on the temperature, wind speed, rain, and atmospheric pressure. These are actually useful data you need to consider before going on fishing.
  • Packed with rechargeable batteries and comes with a charge status indicator light
  • Equipped with a built-in LED beacon
  • Compatible with iOS and Android app as well as Google Watch and iWatch
  • Has fish and strike alarms

Cons:  

  • Your mobile device is at risk of falling into the water. Keeping your smartphone secured inside a waterproof case is highly recommended.



Deeper Smart Sonar PRO

The Deeper Smart Sonar Pro is the most recent portable wireless fish finder from Deep Sonar. It boasts of a few upgrades from its popular FishFinder 3.0 model predecessor. You can easily install this in a jiff with no drilling, batteries, or wires. Check out if its features are deep enough to interest you.

Features

  • Allows you to view sonar feedback straight to your device, sent from your castable sonar unit
  • Operates on an independent Wi-Fi connection. This allows you to use the units anywhere even in areas without any cellular services.
  • Packed with a rechargeable lithium polymer battery with 2-hour charge time. The battery can last 6 hours of continuous use.
  • Operates on dual-beam 290 kHz / 90 kHz sonar frequencies. In freshwater, it has a 260 feet max depth range.
  • Can be set in Boat Mode and draw Bathymetric maps of local water. Maps can be analyzed on your computer via a free data management software from Deeper called Lakebook. It has two other modes — the Standard and Ice Fishing modes.
  • Separates objects in the distance up to 0.5 inches
  • Allows to capture smaller underwater units

Pros:

  • Compatible with any smartphones or tablets running iOS 8.0 or later and Android 4.0 or later
  • Comes with a downloadable app. The app has other interesting features too like a solunar forecast calendar, fish notes, and weather predictions.
  • Wider connectivity coverage. The Wi-Fi connection range reaches up to 330 feet (100 meters). This is a huge improvement from the Bluetooth range of the original Deeper fish finder at 140 feet (42 meters).
  • It weighs only 3.5 ounces with a 2.5 inches diameter. It is ideal for hole hopping.
  • Has a Boat Mode feature. This allows you to download free online maps, which you can find your location on them.
  • Fast scanning rate of 15 scans per seconds
  • Has an ice fishing flasher. This lets you assess the water column beneath your hole.
  • Suits all styles of fishing (shore, ice, boat, kayak)
  • Operates on both freshwater and saltwater
  • Three color displays are available
  • History mode lets you review every scan and map you made

Cons:

  • You can experience some interferences when others are using sonar in close proximity
  • Does not work well in rough water
  • You risk your smartphone from dropping into the water



Fish Hunter Pro

The Fish Hunter Pro is a wide-ranging underwater scanning device that will help you look for big schools of fish. This sonar device floats on the water. It can easily be cast, trolled, or placed in your ice hole where it can detect and record relevant data including temperature, depth, fish spots, and bottom contour. It gives a “ping” sound if it detects any disturbances in the water.


Features

  • Offers two views. The RAW view gives you the actual results from the transducer. You can see the sonar feedback in a plain, traditional sonar view. On the other hand, the FISH view collects the RAW sonar data and reconfigures them on the app. Fish are drawn in a water column, so it is simpler to view.
  • Uses dual beam sonar of 475 kHz and 675 kHz
  • Utilizes a high-quality Tri Frequency Transducer. This can work on different frequencies ranging between 381 kHz, 475 kHz, and 675 kHz. This also allows you to go near the CHIRP sonar for a high definition sonar feedback. Both shallow and deep water readings are also possible.
  • Raw sonar and fish tagging views are available

Pros:

  • Works as an ice fishing flasher too
  • Can withstand cold weathers (as low as -22oF or -30 oC)
  • Sends notification when fish is detected. You can turn on an alarm and get notifications when a fish is captivated within your sonar “net.”
  • Faster display action of up to 150 feet depth range and 160 feet width beam
  • Battery life lasts up to 10 hours
  • Bathymetric mapping lets you keep track of your journey and save your favorite locations
  • Wi-Fi Casting range is four times faster than Bluetooth
  • Can be trolled up to 2.5 mph from boat or shore
  • Split screen and full screen allow you to look at the bottom, the bottom depth, and temperature on your smartphone
  • Allows you to share on social media directly (optional, of course)

Cons:

  • A bit heavy for a fish finder at 5.5 ounces
  • Requires 4 hours initial battery charge time
  • Intermittent connection drops can happen
  • Screen glares when hit by sunlight



Comparison of iBobber Smart Fish Finder, Deeper Smart Sonar Pro, and Fish Hunter Pro

 

Depth and Casting Range

The fish finder from Deeper scans deeper and cast further compared with the iBobber. The Deeper cast up to 330 feet, which is three times further than iBobber’s capability. It can also scan down to 260 feet, enabling you to detect the most productive fishing zones. iBobber can only do up to 135 feet. That being said, the iBobber will work fine on small bodies of water. Lastly, the FishHunter Pro can reach a depth of up to 150 feet for ice fishing and 100 feet for jig tracking, with four times faster display action. It can scan a width beam of 160 feet.

 

Marking Fish

Both the iBobber and Deeper are capable of marking fish. The iBobber only has one sonar frequency at 118 kHz (42o cone). Such a wide beam allows you to look at the fish’s general area only, but not the specific location. Moreover, the deeper you go, the harder it will be to pinpoint the fish’s exact spot.

Meanwhile, the Deeper is equipped with both wide and narrow beam scanning at 90 kHz (55o cone) and 290 kHz (15o cone), respectively. You can use the wide beam to scan the area first and then switch to narrow to lock a target.

The FishFinder Pro provides a more detailed feedback. It boasts of a Tri-Frequency transducer too that work on three different frequencies. It can be set at 381 kHz, 475 kHz, and 675 kHz. A higher frequency will give you the most accurate readings. However, it does not work well on deeper water as you will need a lower frequency to see the picture clearly. Take note though that it needs to be placed in at least 4 feet of water to function. Using the RAW view, fish are identified as ‘arches’ of color in the water column or near the bottom.

 

Ice Fishing

The iBobber is not created for ice fishing. But technically speaking, it can operate in below freezing temperatures. However, it will have a hard time. First, remember that this only uses a wide beam scanning frequency. It might only work on a very thin ice surface. Second, it has a low frequency so it will be difficult to pick up signals. Lastly, it has no ice fishing setting so it will be impossible to zoom in or track your lure.

Meanwhile, ice fishing is one of Deeper’s forte. As mentioned earlier, it both has a wide and narrow beam scanning frequency. The wide beam can be used even on small lures and jigs, while the narrow in ice holes. The app features an ice fishing mode and a GPS Ice Hole marking. The latter allows you to save data on every ice hole you fish.

The FishHunter Pro has been designed as an ice fishing flasher. The device is made for ice as it can withstand extremely low weather conditions as low as – 30oC (-22oF). The Ice Fishing Fisher View makes use of two ultra-high frequencies 475 kHz and 675 kHz. This can let you see your jig in real time. The Split Screen (Flasher/ RAW Data) and Full Screen (Raw Data only) allows you to check the bottom, the bottom depth, and the temperature straight to your mobile device.

 

Continuous Scanning Time and Battery Life

The iBobber has longer continuous scanning time as it utilizes low-frequency sonars. The device can last up to 10 hours of scanning. Meanwhile, the Deeper Pro uses dual frequency sonars and scans 15 times per second. While it has better accuracy, it only lasts within 6 hours. The FishHunter Pro is a wide-ranging underwater scanning device. Its scan range can reach up to 160 feet.

Long battery life is one of the holy grails in any devices. The iBobber does a pretty good job, giving anglers up to 10 plus hours of battery life. The battery is rechargeable, and it comes with an indicator light for your charge status.

The Deeper Smart Sonar Pro can last up to 5.5 hours of usage. It will take 2 hours to recharge the battery. The device can also remain for up to 6 months in sleep mode without charging. It is important to note that very cold temperatures can quickly drain a battery’s life.

Meanwhile, the FishHunter Pro is packed with a rechargeable Lithium Polymer battery that can last up to 10 hours. When put on standby, battery life lasts up to 500 hours.

 


Factors to Consider in Choosing a Fish Finder

There are several factors you need to consider before purchasing your own fish finder. The most important one probably is that it should successfully locate the kind of fish you are hunting for. Ease of use, durability, and reliability are also included. But most fishermen are very specific. Other than the comparisons mentioned above, here are the things fishermen look at and compare.

 

  • Transducers—These are an important part that sends and receives sonar signals underwater. You should also consider the frequency at which a transducer
  • Cone Angle—This represents how wide of a “net” the signal will cast after it has been deploWyed into the water. Cone angles usually range between 15o and 20 o. Some use multiple cones.
  • Display screen—Most recent fish finders now flaunt full-color screens. Colored ones have a bigger advantage as details are much clearer. The lowest recommended screen resolution is 240 x 160. Taking those numbers up would really be beneficial.
  • GPS capabilities—Nothing is more convenient than having a fish finder and GPS all in one device.

 


Conclusion

Overall, fish finders are not a “one size fits all” device. We all have different necessities. We vary on what we look for on any devices. Whether you want to fish on the water or shore during hot or cold weather, there is always something for you. So labeling a certain fish finder as the “best” appears like disregarding other people’s needs.

All three devices have their own strengths and weaknesses. They are suitable for people from the beginner to pro in the fishing field. A piece of advice, get something that will provide you with your need. Extra features can get confusing and frustrating for some anglers. Just study each one closely and pick the one that will give the results you demand.

We hope that you find this review helpful. We hope you will have a great fishing time.

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Best Bimini Tops

When you are out on the sea on your boat, you will not find a spot where you can hide from harsh weather. The only way to protect yourself is to have a Bimini top. It will cover you and your passengers from harmful UV rays or rain.

Take a look at some of the best Bimini tops we have found below:

 

Naviskin

If you are on a budget, the Naviskin Bimini tops are a good option for you. They range from around $79 to $134. It offers ten colors for you to choose from.

The 600D polyester frame with PU coating is available in 13 different sizes. The frame is made of a combination of aluminum frames with a diameter of 1. It also has quick release mounts that come free.

When you purchase, this will come with free mounting screws made of stainless steel. You will not need anything else because everything you need is included and installing it is very easy too.


Pros:

  • 1-year warranty for the canvas
  • 2-year warranty for the frame
  • Easy to install

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have back support poles
  • Small seam allowance
  • Thin cover

 


Seamander 3 Bimini Top

Although not as cheap as the Naviskin, Seamander 3 is also a budget-friendly Bimini option. They range from $105 to $165. This four-straps type even has a storage boot.

The fabric is made of marine-grade 600D heavy-duty canvas, which is tough and durable. The frame is made of 1-inch SuperTrude aluminum which is strong, durable, and rigid. Everything you need to mount this on your boat is also already included.

You can choose from four different colors and six sizes. It is easy enough to assemble and store away if you do not use it.


Pros:

  • Excellent quality
  • All hardware is included
  • Includes a Philips screwdriver

Cons:

  • Not high enough to walk under
  • Some customers got confused with the straps

 


MSC 3 Bow Bimini Boat Top

The MSC 3 is a mid-range Bimini top that can help protect you from sun and rain. Its price ranges from $109 to $170. This is not recommended to be used for rigid inflatable boats.

The top is made of marine-grade 600D polyester canvas that has a double coating of PU. The 1-inch frame is made of aluminum, so it is strong and does not rust. This also comes with nylon or stainless steel fittings.

This will come partially assembled so attaching it to your boat will be very easy. It has two rear support poles and comes in 9 different colors and six sizes.


Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Includes a color coordinated storage boot
  • Comes with support poles

Cons:

  • Not for rigid inflatable boats
  • The cover may fade
  • A little low for people with a 5’11” height

 


Brightent Bimini Top

This Bimini top from Brightent will cost you from as low as $113 to as high as $145. It comes in six different sizes, but unfortunately, it only comes in a navy blue color.

The top is made of 600D woven polyester with a double PU coating, which is waterproof and UV-proof. The frame is made of strong anti-rust aluminum, and it comes with everything you need to assemble it on your boat.

This also includes two support poles also made of aluminum and a storage boot. If you purchased this and it turns out this is not what you want, you can contact the manufacturer and see if you can return it.


Pros:

  • Includes instruction manual
  • This is a complete buy
  • Can fold all the way down

Cons:

  • Short rear support poles
  • Cheap plastic mounting hardware
  • Ballooning middle bow pocket

 


Leader Accessories 3 Bow Bimini Top

Leader Accessories is a popular brand for marine products. You can be assured that they have one of the best Bimini tops you can possibly find in the market today. The price ranges from $120 to $170.

The fabric is top-quality with the combination of 600D polyester canvas and 600D solution-dyed fabric. It is UV resistant and double overlapped stitched for maximum strength and protection. This is available in 13 different colors, with 2 of them being two-toned, and in 6 different sizes.

The 1-inch frame is made of aluminum with main bowlegs that are double-walled. The mounting hardware is all made of stainless steel, so they are protected from rust and corrosion.


Pros:

  • Includes a color coordinated zippered storage boot
  • Easy to install
  • Includes free quick release mounts

Cons:

  • The fabric may balloon
  • The top may fade away
  • Instructions are a bit difficult to understand

 


Factors to Consider When Buying a Bimini Top

 

Measurement

Boats come in different shapes and sizes, so naturally, Bimini tops have many different options as well. Decide first on which part of the boat you will be placing the Bimini top. Then measure the width, height, and length that is acceptable to you.

 

Materials

This goes for the fabric, frame. The fabric should be able to protect you from the rain and harmful UV rays. The frame should be sturdy, that is a given, but it should also be rust free. Since you will be out on saltwater, the frame should be protected from corrosion.

 

Budget Pick

Naviskin

  • Starting price is $79
  • Backed by reasonable warranties
  • Ten colors and 13 size options


 

Mid-Range Pick

MSC 3 Bow Bimini Boat Top

  • Starting price is $109
  • Comes with rear support poles
  • Easy to install


 

High-End Pick

Leader Accessories 3 Bow Bimini Top

 

  • Can cost up to $170
  • 13 colors and six size options
  • Strong two-combination fabric


Conclusion

A Bimini top on your boat adds value. It gives it more style and provides protection. A Bimini top is definitely an improvement for your boat.

Even though it is the most expensive out of the five, the Leader Accessories Bimini Top is the best option you can have. You can’t put a price on safety and good skin health. With a Bimini top to protect you from harsh weather conditions, a few bucks would not hurt.

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Best Fish Finder GPS Combo for the Money

It is six in the morning, and you are on your way to the rock pile your friend excitedly told you about weeks ago. Problem is you cannot find it. You are pretty sure you got it right, but it has nowhere in sight, and you already wasted precious time trying to locate it. With the help of the fish finder GPS combo, you can solve this incredibly frustrating situation.

Some fishermen, especially those who are not tech savvy, may find this device intimidating. However, a fish finder is simply a small computer with built-in software designed specifically to show what is going on under and around your boat. These can help you find that perfect spot with ease and accuracy that would take just half of the time it would normally take you.

Standalone fish finders can do the job well, they are composed of the fish finder head unit and a transducer. A fish finder with a GPS receiver can do the job better because it charts your position and track on top of a map. If you are confused on what to get for your next fishing expedition, we have compiled a list of the best fish finder GPS combos on the market today.

 

Lowrance HDS-9 Gen2 Touch Insight Display

 

This Lowrance HDS-9 Gen2 Touch Insight Display has amazing features that are too many to list, so we will just tell you about the best parts. First up, its WVGA color TFT LCD widescreen touchscreen has a split-screen view function that allows the simultaneous viewing of four elements. It gives you 180-degree views of the various fish and structures beneath your boat. The antenna is pretty accurate, its TrackBack feature lets you review and save hotspots, its Broadband Sounder displays and marks fish and water structures even at very high speeds, and many others.



Pros:

  • Internal temperate sensor and thermocline detector
  • Has a 300 feet depth ability
  • Incredible touch-screen performance
  • Equipped with 5 Hz internal GPS antenna
  • Comes with Broadband Sounder and StructureScan HD

Cons:

  • Expensive

 


Simrad GO7 XSE Chartplotter/Fishfinder

 

The Simrad fish finder has amazing navigating abilities that track and displays vital information that you need to plan a safe and productive trip. Its widescreen uses a bright LED light offers a sharp display that still previews readable data even in bright sunlight. It has several charting features such as giving out readings from as deep as 1,000 feet via short pulse lengths and wide-frequency band detectors.


Pros:

  • Comes with a full-featured Chartplotter
  • With Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Equipped with 2D CHIRP, StructureScan
  • Uses Tripintel technology
  • User-friendly touchscreen display

Cons:

  • Uses only a transom mount for the transducer

 


Raymarine Dragonfly Pro CHIRP Fish Finder

 

All that you could ever need or want in a fish finder is in the Raymarine Dragonfly Pro, no more need to buy additional accessories. Weighing just less than 4 pounds, it is lightweight, compact, and portable; you can quickly move it from one spot to another. It uses sonar GPS that tracks your location and lets you save your history so you can go back to your favorite spots easily.



Pros:

  • Uses Spectrum CHIRP Technology
  • With built-in GPS and Navionics+
  • Has Wi-Fi capabilities
  • Employs the Compressed High-Intensity Radar Pulse
  • Up-to-date US and Canada charts

Cons:

  • Has a short cable

 


Humminbird 409920-1 HELIX 9 Sonar GPS Fishfinder

 

This Humminbird 409920-1 HELIX 9 Sonar GPS Fish finder has a 9-inch color TFT widescreen with an excellent resolution that gives you clear and crisp images. You will know exactly where the fish are and how extensive they are in the water. This Hummingbird Helix 9 has smart features to distinguish fish from other sea bodies. It has a very reliable navigation feature that allows you to go to unfamiliar territories without the fear of getting lost.



Pros:

  • Equipped with Dual Beam PLUS and SwitchFire Sonar
  • Uses surround, 360 imaging technology
  • GPS Chartplotting enabled
  • Has a built-in Humminbird ContourXD map
  • Comes with Ethernet networking capabilities

Cons:

  • The installed charts are limited

 


Simrad GO9 XSE Chartplotter/Fishfinder

 

The Simrad GO9 XSE has a user-friendly widescreen interface display that gives you vivid images in full WVGA color and a high pixel resolution. You can quickly locate schools of fish and see what is on the lake, river, or ocean bottom. It can determine the depth, bottom type, locate fish with its advanced echosounder technologies. You can use it with NMEA compliant devices that provide you with data such as fuel levels, heading, and engine information.



Pros:

  • Has Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Boasts of a full 9-inch diagonal LCD display
  • Customizable home screen
  • Comes with a built-in Echosounder
  • Has NMEA 2000 connectivity

Cons:

  • Doesn’t support NOAA Charts

 


Garmin Striker 4 Built-in GPS Fish Finder

 

The Garmin Striker 4 is an ideal gadget if you plan on doing some kayak boat fishing. It is resistant to water and can withstand up to half an hour of immersion of up to 1 meter. The 3.5-inch color display is easy to read and has a keypad that is user-friendly. It provides you with your history of sonar images to guide you when you want to revisit a favorite spot.



Pros:

  • Has a built-in high sensitivity GPS
  • Equipped with CHIRP sonar
  • Comes with the Fish Symbol ID feature
  • Water-resistant
  • High-resolution screen

Cons:

  • Slightly smaller screen size

 


Lowrance HDS-7 Gen3 Touch/Sonar GPS Combo

 

Lowrance HDS-7 Gen3 Touch/Sonar GPS Combo has a high-quality GPS receiver and navigational software that lets you plan routes and alerts you of potential hazards. It also has built-in CHIRP sonar that lets you see baitfish and game fish targets, mark them and structure at high speeds and great depths. It is equipped with the Insight Genesis software that lets you configure and customize your own maps, along with the recorded sonar, or use the maps created by other fishers.


Pros:

  • GoFree cloud-enabled
  • Uses the StructureScan HD sonar technology
  • Sensitive GPS antenna
  • Comes with SmartSteer control
  • Pre-loaded with Insight USA charts for inland and coastal waters

Cons:

  • Too high-tech for novice fishers

 


Raymarine Dragonfly-5 Pro Sonar/GPS

 

With the Raymarine Dragonfly-5 Pro, you can send data from the device to your smartphone or laptop with its built-in Wi-Fi capability. It comes with charts that cover North American waters as well as all Canadian lakes. Its 72-channel internal GPS lets you save waypoints and tracks, boasting a large capacity of 3,000 waypoints, and 15 tracks with 10,000 points each.



Pros:

  • Equipped with a high-quality, 5-inch, all-weather HD LED-backlit display
  • Has 3,000 waypoints of internal storage
  • Comes with Navionics+ charts
  • Has a built-in Wi-Fi
  • Employs the DownVision Technology

Cons:

  • Slightly on the high-priced side

 


Humminbird Helix 5 DI GPS Fish Finder

 

The Helix 5 uses a GPS chart plotting system with a built-in UniMap cartography that gives you highly detailed, full-colored 3D charts of thousands of lakes and rivers along the coastline of the United States. It is equipped with down imaging sonar that displays a clear view of what is happening under the water’s surface up to depths of 350 feet.



Pros:

  • Comes with a built-in GPS chart plotting
  • Has the CHIRP DualBeam Plus sonar
  • Water-proof
  • Has Freeze Frame and Snap Shot capabilities
  • Also has SwitchFire sonar

Cons:

  • Intended for shallow water use of up to 600 feet only

 


Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 73sv

 

The Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 73sv uses its HD echolocation feature that gives you a versatile range of information for any given body of water, and also the location of any underground obstacles. It is loaded with LakeVü HD maps that give highly detailed freshwater information for over 17,000 lakes, rivers, and reservoirs in the United States.


Pros:

  • Uses CHIRP sonar
  • Comes with built-in LakeVü HD maps and charts
  • Employs Garmin Auto Guidance
  • Equipped with Panoptix Livevu Forward sonar
  • Comes with a 7-inch color display screen and keypad control

Cons:

  • The screen can become hard to see on bright sunny days

 


Lowrance Hook-4 Sonar/GPS Mid/High/Downscan Fish Finder

 

The Lowrance Hook-4 comes with preinstalled basic maps of US rivers, lakes, and coastal contours. It also lets you create custom maps from your sonar logs. The high-resolution display will let you see what is going on beneath your boat. You can also view sonar readings from the past, and lets you create waypoints so you can return to fishing hot spots. Its LCD screen is waterproof and weather-resistant, you can go to choppy waters without worrying that your device will get wet.



Pros:

  • Has a high-resolution, 4-inch, color display
  • Uses CHIRP sonar with Down Scan imaging
  • Accurate GPS antenna
  • Comes with the TrackBack feature
  • Equipped with Advanced Signal Processing (ASP)

Cons:

  • The unit doesn’t come with a cover

 


Humminbird Helix 7 DI GPS/Fish Finder

 

The Side-Imaging technology feature that the Humminbird Helix 7 has offers you a wider angle along the side of your boat. It gives you a clear view of everything that is happening directly below you. This fish finder is equipped with a compass that makes the advanced GPS give you real-time measurements with up to 2.5-meter accuracy.



Pros:

  • Has a built-in accurate GPS with UniMap
  • Has Side and Down Imaging abilities
  • Comes with 7-inch, 800×480 pixel resolution, 256 color HD TFT glass screen
  • Equipped with DualBeam Plus down to 1,500 feet
  • Uses Switchfire sonar technology

Cons:

  • The built-in maps lack detail

 


Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Fish Finder GPS Combo

 

Frequencies

Fish finders come in three frequency ranges—dual, single, and multiple—to scan and locate underwater objects such as surface features and fish. Simply put, the higher the frequency, the more detail will show up on your screen. The device sends out many more sonar waves that are received by the transducer. If you plan on fishing shallow waters, choose a fish finder that has a high-frequency transducer. If you are a deep water or commercial fisherman, choose a low-frequency emission as this will work best for you.

 

Display

To get the best fish finder GPS combo, choose one that has a decent screen. This is definitely crucial as the screen will often serve double duty as GPS, fish finder, or even split-screen fish finder. It is probably the main reason you are planning on getting one. To see what is out there, clearly and with all the information easily obtainable and readable.

It is highly recommended to choose the biggest and has the highest resolution screen possible. This will let you maximize and use all the features optimally for a better overall fishing experience.

 

Power

Fish finders come in a wide range of power output measured in watts (W). The higher the power a device has, the better and deeper the readings are. They give you faster results as well, so we recommend choosing a unit that has higher power output.

However, if you regularly do your fishing on shallow waters, you may want to choose one that has lower wattage.

 

GPS

One of the best advantages of having a fish finder with a GPS is that you no longer have to worry about getting lost. You can easily brave unfamiliar waters and still have that peace of mind that you can go back. Just make sure that the GPS capability of the device you choose is accurate. Otherwise, it is like not having any at all.

Also, it is very useful if the GPS can save your fishing history so you can easily go back to your favorite sites with ease. Another wonderful feature would be the preloaded maps and charts that can help you navigate your way and look for popular fishing spots.

Plus, as an added safety feature, some fish finders have GPS that can connect to your marine radio and transmit your exact location should any problem arise while you are out on the water.

 

Conclusion

For us, Lowrance HDS-9 Gen2 Touch Insight Display is the one that tops the best fish finder GPS combos on the market today. It has all the bells and whistles that you could ever want in a fish finder, and more. Some anglers seem to think that it is very high-priced, but in our opinion, it delivers a high performance, so it is worth every penny you paid for it.

A fish finder can certainly make fishing more productive and more enjoyable. And with a GPS feature, it becomes even better as the benefits are way too many.

 

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Best Baitcasting Reel Under 100

There are hundreds, probably thousands of baitcasting reels available on the market today. Finding the right one for you can be a challenging task especially if you are on a tight budget. However, you do not need a lot of money to get the perfect baitcasting reel that will do the work of those highly specialized reels.

If you are not willing to shell out more than a hundred bucks, it is still possible to have a high-quality reel. We have made it easier for you as we list the best baitcasting reels under $100 that we found, all you need to do is read on and choose the one.

 

NEW KastKing Assassin Carbon Baitcasting Reel

Weighing just 5.7 ounces, the NEW KastKing Assassin carbon baitcasting reel is one of the lightest baitcasting reels on the market today. You can carry it all day on your next fishing adventure, and you will not feel tired of it. Its frame is made of high-quality aluminum with a “Bulletproof” carbon construction body that is both rigid and sturdy.

The first time we tried it, we noticed a loud squealing noise, so we took it apart, dabbed a little oil here and there, and the noise is gone.



Pros:

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Comes with a non-rust aluminum frame
  • Impressive stopping power
  • Equipped with 11 + 1 MaxiDur ball bearings
  • Has dynamic 6-pin centrifugal and magnetic brakes

Cons:

  • Makes a squealing noise

 

Abu Garcia BMAX3 Max Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel

 

This Abu Garcia BMAX3 Max Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Ree is the best baitcasting reel for the beginner. It is easy to use and lightweight. It guarantees to give you a smooth drag performance throughout the entire drag range. Its brake system provides you precision and control every time you cast.

It is designed to be user-friendly which makes it an ideal baitcasting reel for the novice but may bore the more experienced users.



Pros:

  • Uses a machined aluminum spool
  • Comes with the MagTrax brake system
  • One piece graphite frame
  • Power Disk system
  • Comes with five stainless steel bearings

Cons:

  • Not for the advanced angler

 

Lew’s AH1H American Hero Speed Spool Baitcasting Reel

This baitcasting reel provides you with a very smooth operation because of its five double-shielded, stainless steel, 5BB bearings. It has a solid brass main gear and crankshaft for heavy duty and reliable winding power. What is even better is that a portion of the sales from this reel goes to help American veterans.

It can be used in saltwater, but you need to rinse it completely with fresh water after to prevent it from getting rusted.



Pros:

  • Has a one-piece, graphite composite frame
  • Comes with five premium bearings
  • Equipped with the Rulon drag system
  • Has adjustable magnetic control system
  • Has a Zirconia line guide

Cons:

  • Not recommended for use in saltwater

 

Piscifun NEW Torrent Baitcasting Fishing Reel

 

The only baitcasting reel that is equipped with a reinforced brass gear, the Piscifun has power, strength, reliability, and steady-speed retrievals. It can handle big fish easily and smoothly because of its 7.1:1 gear ratio for a fast and strong retrieve. The Japanese Hami cut 3604 brass gears are climate-resistant, so you know you are getting durability and strength.



Pros:

  • Comes with reinforced CNC brass gear
  • Has three carbon fiber drag washers
  • Equipped with double winding shafts and backlash
  • Easy assembly
  • Comes with an accurate magnetic brake system

Cons:

  • Does not include reel oil

 

Daiwa Fuego Baitcasting Reel FGCT100HSL

It is common knowledge that baitcasting reels are not the easiest reels to use. However, the Daiwa Fuego is designed to be user-friendly. It offers 13.2 pounds of drag and uses a very impressive magnetic braking technology that allows you precise casting control and efficient management of backlash.

This baitcasting reel is made with a palm-sized aluminum frame that is compact and lightweight, weighing 7.6 ounces. It has a rubber-grip handle for easy maneuvering. It is slightly high-priced but still affordable in the less than $100 price range.



Pros:

  • Uses the Magforce-Z magnetic braking technology
  • Comes with 90 mm swept power handle
  • Saltwater approved
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Rubberized handle

Cons:

  • High priced

 

Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Baitcasting Reel Under 100:

 

Gear Ratio

All baitcasting reels have a gear ratio, simply put, the gear ratio is the speed of the reel. The gear ratio is the number of times the spool turns over when the handle is rotated once. The most common ratio is 6.4:1, the spool turns six times during one handle rotation. The higher the number, the more line can be retrieved with the same amount of work.

To find which ratio will work best for you, you need to know what lures you are going to use. Go for a lower ratio reel if you plan to use cranbaits and large spinnerbaits. If you are using buzz baits, spinnerbaits and other similar lures that need fast action, choose a unit with higher gear ratios.

 

Spool Size

A reel’s spool size is a major consideration you need to take into account when buying a baitcasting reel. If you plan to catch large fish, you will use a heavier line, which will take up more space on the spool. So basically, larger fish require larger spool size.

 

Comfort

Baitcasting reels that are designed to be compact and lightweight are your best bets. You need something that will not tire you out easily when you go out fishing. You are supposed to be having fun and not working. Also, look for something that has a comfortable grip, but still gives you accuracy every time you cast. It is also advisable to purchase from an outdoor shop instead of online, so you can try out several brands and makes. This way you can really get a feel for what you are buying.

 

Conclusion:

In our opinion, the Abu Garcia BMAX3 Max Low-Profile bait cast fishing reel is the best among this list of the best baitcasting reels under 100. It has a lot going for it that would be perfect for the beginner. Furthermore, it comes from a trusted name in the angling industry so you can be sure of a high-quality, high performing product.

We hope you enjoy this list and make an informed decision if you are planning on getting the baitcasting reel of your dreams.

3 Best Side Imaging Fish Finders (with Tips for Buying)

Side imaging fish finders and down imaging fish finders are new technologies that can give you an ever better view down below. If you’re ready to make the leap to side imaging, we’ll save you some time and give you our picks for the best side imaging fish finder available right now.

There are millions of fish in the sea (or lake, or river). There are also too many options for Side Imaging fish finders out on the market. Side Imaging is the latest technology when it comes to a fish finder. Different brands call this technology differently. “Side Imaging” is the term used by Humminbird and for the sake of this article, it will be referred to as such unless if it is specific to another brand.

To help you make a decision faster, we have four recommendations of what are the best Side Imaging Fish Finders you can try.

 

Garmin Striker 7SV

If you are on a budget, this one is for you. This will cost you less than $460.The Garmin Striker 7SV is an affordable option that can deliver great performance. It has an easy enough interface so you will be catching tons of fish in no time.

The clear scanning sonar in this device gives you a near-photographic image of the surroundings of your boat. It will show you a detailed representation of the fish and possible obstacles in the water. The device also uses CHIRP sonar. It will give you more detailed information by using multiple frequencies.

This has a built-in flasher mode will allow you to view your sonar data in the classic flasher format. This will come in handy when you go ice fishing or vertical jogging. You can also go back to locations where you found the most fish by marking it using the waypoint map.


Pros:

  • Easy user interface
  • Shows bright and clear images
  • Has IPX7 water resistance rating
  • Available in 3.5, 5, and 7 in. display sizes
  • Includes a transducer

Cons:

  • No SD card slot
  • No maps

 

Humminbird Helix 5 SI

You can fish in shallow or deep waters when you use the Humminbird Helix 5 SI. It has a 5 in. LED display and will cost you less than $535. The images it will display will also be photo-like because it has a 480 x 800 resolution with a color depth of 256.

With both side and down imaging, this device is truly affordable. It has a Dual Beam Plus sonar that will give you great image data. If you are a natural adventurer, the GPS Chartplotting with built-in Unimap cartography will come in handy.

This device has a micro SD card slot and has a 4,000-watt power output. With this device, you can save your maps and waypoint. With a 4,000-watt power output and a 1,500 ft. depth capacity, it is truly worth your money.


Pros:

  • Has a micro SD slot
  • Has maps
  • Shows high-resolution images
  • IPX5 water resistance rating
  • Includes a transducer

Cons:

  • Limited data when in freshwater
  • Have to purchase additional maps

 

Garmin Echomap Chirp 74SV

This $750 SideVü Fish Finder will give you a powerful sonar technology for your next fishing trip. As part of the SV series, has a built-in CHIRP traditional sonar, CHIRP Clearer, and CHIRP SideVü capabilities. It will give you a wider range of data in a clear and bright display.

This device has preloaded US Bluechart G2 charts, US LakeVü HD maps, Canada LakeVü HD maps, or a worldwide base map. It will also let you customize your own map through Garmin QuickDraw. Create your own map of any body of water but with a limit of 1 ft. contour lines.


Pros:

  • Includes a transducer
  • Has a bright and clear display
  • Comes with preloaded maps
  • Easy user interface

Cons:

  • Manual has less information
  • Not touchscreen

 

Humminbird Helix 9 SI

If money is not an issue and you just want the best features on your device, the Humminbird 9 SI is for you. It has 360 Imaging that lets you isolate your sweep from your whole surroundings. It has both the Side Imaging and Down Imaging Sonar.

The images are displayed on a high-resolution widescreen. The 9 in. LED backlit display is designed to be easily viewed even under harsh sunlight. It also has a built-in ContourXD map with GPS and Ethernet connectivity. Plus, it has two card readers.


Pros:

  • Has Side and Down Imaging
  • Has up to 8,000 watts output power
  • Includes a unit cover
  • The software can be upgraded
  • Includes a transducer

Cons:

  • More complicated controls
  • No CHIRP Sonar

 

Factors to Consider When Buying a Side Imaging Fish Finder

 

Your Boat

If you think you can just buy any kind of fish finder, you are wrong. Not all devices work on every kind of boat. Some are more suited for others. If you buy the wrong one, it’s either you buy a different one or have it modified.

 

Screen Features

The wider the screen, the better. If you choose to have a bigger screen, the information and details it will display will be easier to view. The resolution will also make the display clearer and easier to read. This is important because you will be looking at the device to see your surroundings.

 

Transducer

Some units come with a transducer while some do not. A transducer is important for fish finders because it is the one that determines the location of the fish and shows it to your device. If the fish finder you choose already comes with one, then that is convenient. If it doesn’t, then you will have to purchase a compatible one separately.

 

Conclusion

Compared to traditional sonars, Side Imaging is better at showing your underwater surroundings. It gives you more details and locates more fishes. Side Imaging devices have more coverage and have clearer detection. It will be able to determine whether what’s near you are fish, objects, or structures.

If you plan to upgrade your fish finding technology, Side Imaging fish finders are the way to go. In this article are some of the best out there in the market. Hopefully, this will guide you to an easier decision-making.

 

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The Best Fish Finder Under $200 plus Buyer’s Guide

 

A fish finder is not the kind gadget you would use every day, but if you regularly go fishing or scuba diving, you will be glad to own something like this. This piece of equipment uses SONAR or sound energy to help you locate fish underwater. The fish finder uses a specialized electrical impulse to detect any movement in the water, converts what it finds into graphic images, and sends it to screen on the device. Here, you can determine the shape, size, and composition of the living organisms.

Some advanced fish finder models can even give you a clear picture of the fish and what goes on underwater. This is an extraordinary piece of equipment with incredible technological features.

You may think that owning something like this would cost a fortune. Surprisingly, it will not. At the very least, some affordable choices on the market still get the job done. In today’s article, I will be discussing some of the best fish finders under $200. If you are thinking of purchasing one yourself, and want to find the best deal available, I invite you to read along.

 

Garmin Striker 4 Built-in GPS Fish Finder

If what you are looking for is an entry-level model with all the basic features and a little extra, then the Striker 4 should be a strong candidate. This device is equipped with a CHIRP transducer, a new technology introduced by Garmin. It gives you a higher image quality and details compared to other models. CHIRP technology sends out multiple frequencies into the water to detect a higher range of movement from fishes.

The Garmin Striker also has a built-in GPS device to help you determine the distance between yourself and your targets, as well as pinpoint their exact location. Additionally, you can assign markers on the map to help you navigate through obstructions like large rocks or docking areas. Having this feature ensures that you have a safe and effective fishing expedition.

 

Features:

  • Uses CHIRP technology
  • Has a built-in GPS system for easy navigation
  • View data in the flasher format for greater convenience
  • Can be submerged in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes


The best thing about the Garmin Striker 4 is its overall user-friendliness and practicality. The device is lightweight, which makes it very easy to bring around and store. The layout of the dashboard is also easy to understand. Lastly, compared to other options on the market, the Garmin Striker 4 is very affordable, and will not cost you so much to own. This is an ideal option to buy if you are still just trying out the sport. It provides you with all the basic features, while being quite light in the pocket.

 

Pros:

  • User-friendly interface
  • Practical and affordable
  • Screen has a very high resolution

Cons:

  • Wires are a bit fragile
  • Screen size is too small
  • Difficult to install

 

Deeper Smart Sonar Pro – Portable Wireless Fish Finder

The Deeper Smart Sonar Pro is one of the first models to combine fish finding with mobile application technology. This device can be easily synced with your smartphone or tablet, through wireless connection. The biggest advantage with this is you can access all the information at the touch of a button. Should you need to go over some details, all you need to do is open your phone, and it’s all there.

This is also very easy to use: no irritating cables, wires, or long installation process. Simply drop the gadget in the water, which can easily be attached to your fishing rod or the side of your boat, open the application, and choose the mode you prefer.

There are three settings you can choose from depending on your need: boat, standard, and ice fishing mode. You can get valuable information such as water temperature, depth, underwater structure, and location of the biggest fish. Additionally, you can even map out your favorite locations and analyze using specialized software that you can download for free.

 

Features:

  • Widest reach among all fish finder models
  • Store and analyze pertinent information through the Deeper software
  • Has three modes you can choose from
  • Create Bathymetric maps of the area you are covering


Among all the units on the market, the Deeper Smart Sonar Pro has the widest distance covered, which can reach a distance of 330 feet, and water depths of up to 260 feet. This means that you can cover so much water with this device.

Overall, this particular model is one of the more advanced ones on the market. It is fairly easy to use and bring around, can provide you with all the important information, and has a wide range of uses. It may be a bit more expensive than other options we have on this list, but after going through all its benefits, it truly is a value for money purchase.

 

Pros:

  • Practical and easy to use
  • Compatible with both Apple and Android
  • Can be used for all types of fishing
  • Lightweight, convenient to bring around

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • There are some bugs in the software that needs fixing

 

Raymarine Dragonfly 4DV

Another impressive model that I would like to talk about is the Raymarine Dragonfly 4DV. The first things you will notice when you see this are the controls and the screen. For one, they seem very easy to use. It has a power button, arrows to scroll up and down, and controls for the volume and brightness.

The screen resolution is also very clear. You would think it uses a high-definition camera with the crisp, detailed imageries that it sends. The Raymarine Dragonfly is equipped with CHIRP Down Vision technology that converts sonar signals into clear images. As a result, you can easily see what is happening under water.

 

Features:

  • Uses CHIRP technology
  • All-weather LED display
  • Able to mount the device on any surface and twist it around
  • Very basic controls


To be honest, this particular model seems a little pricey for me. Although not as expensive as the Deeper fish finders, it also does not provide as many features. Similar to other options, the Raymarine Dragonfly 4DV is quite easy to carry around and store. Other than that, and the clear images that it gives you, it is a pretty basic fish finder to own.

 

Pros:

  • Very user-friendly
  • Clear imagery at all depths
  • Easy to store and bring around

Cons:

  • Sound is a bit hazy and not as clear as the video
  • Screen is too small
  • Does not offer GPS options

 

Outlife Fish Finder

If you are looking for a cheap option on the market, while still providing you with the standard uses of a fish finder, this could be the one for you. The Outlife fish finder can be easily attached to your boat or fishing pole, sort of like how you would utilize a float. Once it hits the water, it emits sonar waves that check if there are any fish in the vicinity. Once it detects something, there is an alarm on the device that automatically alerts you, so you always know the perfect area to catch fish.

Although not totally equipped to handle deep waters and detect obstructions, this can still be used for seas or lakes with up to 100 feet of depth. The LED screen also has night mode you can switch on when you are fishing in the dark. This screen, which is connected to the sensor using wireless frequency, also shows you other important details like the water depth and temperature, which are essential to any fishing experience.

 

Features:

  • Sensor and screen use a wireless connection
  • Alarm when the device any fish in the area
  • Night option
  • Comes with a string for convenient attaching
  • 1-year warranty


As I have said, the features of the Outlife fish finderare very basic. This is a perfect tool to bring along on your fishing expeditions, but do not use it during extreme situation because it might not work as effectively. However, for less than $70, you can do much worse than this.

 

Pros:

  • Incredibly affordable
  • Provide all the basic features of a fish finder
  • Use this at night
  • Has a lightweight design

Cons:

  • Screen shows very grainy images
  • Cannot identify rocks, seaweed, and other such obstacles
  • Can’t be used for deep water
  • Batteries for the remote are not reusable

 

Hawkeye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder

The final item we will be discussing on this list if the Hawkeye 1C, which is the top model in the Fishtrax series. The biggest upgrade this particular model has from its predecessors is the VirtuView HD color display, which allows you to monitor images and data shown on the screen easily.

This device also comes with three distinct settings to choose from: fish finder, data mode, and ice-mode digital flasher. Each of them presents you with valuable information that helps make your fishing experience more strategic.

The Hawkeye Fishtrax 1C also comes with dual frequency sonar, which gives you the option to adjust the sensitivity reading, multi-level depth ranges, and much more. As a result, this helps you adjust to almost any kind of fishing environment. Whether you are on a boat, kayak, canoe, or on the ice, this gadget can help you find, and reel in, your target.

 

Features:

  • HD and glare-free LCD screen
  • Fishtrax intelligence sonar
  • 30 hours of battery life
  • 2-year warranty


Buying this kit also includes a slew of different accessories you can use to mount on different surfaces. This shows that the greatest strength of the Hawkeye Fishtrax is its versatility and ability to be taken around in any situation. While medium-sized, this is still very easy to carry around because of its compact design.

 

Pros:

  • Flexibility to be used anywhere
  • Easy to control
  • Screen and information on it can be easily read
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • Batteries are not rechargeable
  • Slow refreshing speed on the screen
  • Occasionally hangs and lags

 

Factors to Consider When Buying a Fish Finder

 

Various Uses

Although its main purpose is to locate fish, a lot of models in the market have already expanded to other uses, such as detecting debris and other obstacles in the water. Personally, I feel like having a device that can serve multiple uses gives me a greater value for money. As a consumer, I believe this is a major thing to consider when buying a fish finder.

 

Distance of the Reach

Similar to the first factor, another major thing to consider is the range that the device can reach. Whether it has an actual distance or depth, you want a gadget that can give you the widest range possible. Having this will ultimately give you an edge in pinpointing where those fish are hiding.

Additionally, fish finders with a wider reach normally come with mapping or GPS features that are very practical to have.

 

Clarity and Resolution of the Screen

Finally, I would like to talk about the clarity of the screen. Fishing is an unpredictable sport, so being able to see your fish finder from a distance can go a long way in being successful. Having a screen with higher resolution gives you the freedom to monitor pertinent information without having to hold the device.

 

Conclusion

There is no doubt that owning a fish finder can significantly improve your chances of landing that big catch, but choosing which one to purchase greatly rests on your need and level of expertise. If you are a beginner, I would not suggest that you go for the high-end models. At the same time, if fishing is a passion for you, I would not advise that you cheap out and buy the lower models, just to save a few bucks.

However, if we are strictly looking at the features, and judging them on their affordability, then in my personal opinion, the title of best fish finder under $200 would have to be the Deeper Smart Sonar Pro.

Despite its heftier price tag, I think its abundance of features more than justify it. It is very easy to use and pair with your smartphone, which makes it very practical to use. The gadget also provides you with a range of details you can use when you fish, and most importantly, you will not have to pay a fortune to have it. It is a perfect balance of quality and affordability and a device any fishing aficionado would be lucky to own.

 

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Humminbird Helix 7 Review and  Buying Guide

Fishing aficionados know the difference a quality fish finder can make in ensuring a successful expedition. Not only should it help you locate moving fishes, but it should also help you detect obstructions in the water, as well as map out your favorite fishing spots.

One of the most popular and most complete brands you will find in the market is Humminbird. Throughout its 40 years in the industry, this company has constantly introduced technological innovations that help make angling more efficient and enjoyable. I think it is safe to say that they have held true to their promise of providing their customers with difference-making days out on their fishing expeditions.

To introduce you more to the brand, I will be discussing some variations of the Humminbird Helix 7 fish finder. If you are interested in buying one of these devices, I invite you to read along and get to know more about this product.

Humminbird Helix 7 410310-1 SI / GPS G2 Fish Finder

If you are looking for a state-of-the-art fish finder, look no further than the Humminbird Helix 7 G2 combo. Armed with the highest level of CHIRP technology and 256-color display screen. This allows you to see fish underwater with incredible clarity and move to spots with the highest catch rates.

The Helix 7 G2 combo also comes with a built-in GPS and a slew of other similar features. This device has the most accurate mapping system I have seen as it has over 10,000 locations programmed into it. It also allows you to map and save your favorite fishing spots for easy access.

Features:

  • Duel Beam settings allow you to be effective in both shallow and deep waters
  • Switch Fire Sonar helps you pinpoint the location of fish and other obstructions
  • CHIRP technology provides clear images
  • Maximum depth of 1500 feet
  • GPS feature guide you to map different bodies of water

Overall, this is an incredible piece of machinery. This particular device is suited for individuals who are extremely passionate about angling and go on fishing trips regularly. Since it comes with a very expensive price tag, unless you are interested in fishing, I would not suggest you go near the Humminbird Helix 7 G2. However, as long as we are simply focusing on the function, this is one of the most complete models on the market.


Pros:

  • Complete and provides you with a wide range of functions
  • Fairly easy to use
  • Easy to see details on the screen
  • GPS functions keep you from getting lost

Cons:

  • Extremely pricey
  • Does not come with a cover

 

Humminbird Helix 7 410280-1 DI G2 Fish Finder

Compared to the G2 model, the Helix 7 DI G2 fish finder may seem like a bit of a downgrade, but it still provides very useful benefits. Like the majority of Humminbird’s products, this device also comes with CHIRP technology, which provides you with solid imagery. The main use of this gadget is finding fish, and it does its job quite well.

It comes with a solid transducer that easily detects SONAR waves in the water from the fish and other possible obstructions. It also collects pertinent information such as temperature and water depth, which are major factors when you go fishing.

Features:

  • CHIRP technology provides accurate images of the situation underwater
  • Maximum depth reach of 600 feet
  • Solid transducer which helps you compile important details
  • Comes with different mounts for convenience

The biggest disappointment of the Helix 7 DI G2 fish finder is the absence of a GPS and mapping system. Considering you will have to pay almost $400 seems unreasonable, but the benefits that it gives can justify the price. At the very least, it is a solid fish finder that helps you accurately locate marine life under water.


Pros:

  • 7-inch screen is big enough to read from afar
  • LED backlight allows you to view the screen even in extreme conditions
  • Multiple settings to choose from depending on the situation

Cons:

  • No GPS or mapping system
  • Heavier compared to other options
  • Does not come with a unit cover

 

Humminbird Helix 7 410300-1 DI/GPS G2 Fish Finder

Among the options on this list, the Helix 7 410300-1 fish finder may not be the most complete or the least expensive, but in my opinion, it is the most affordable. Actually, this is quite similar to the Helix 7 G2 model, only with an added GPS system. It includes location settings with 2500 pre-installed waypoints, as well as 50 routes you can choose from. This is a feature I enjoy using because it allows me to remember the fishing spots I have found success in so I can go back in the future.

This particular option also comes equipped with a strong down-imaging SONAR system so you can see exactly what is underneath the boat. The maximum deepness of 600 feet was a little unsatisfactory, but at least the manufacturers provide you with a solution by increasing the total depth covered if you buy an external transducer.

Features:

  • CHIRP down imaging gives you clear pictures on the screen
  • GPS with pre-installed destinations and routes
  • 16-bit color display
  • SD card slot for additional software
  • Traditional 2D SONAR with dual options setting

Like I have said, the Humminbird Helix 7 DI/GPS G2 fish finder provides you incredible value for money. If you are looking for a semi-complete option with above-average features, this should be one of the top options you consider.


Pros:

  • Good value for money
  • Strong down imaging system
  • Can be effectively used for down-dropping or ice fishing expeditions
  • Comes with an improved interface and operating system

Cons:

  • No connectivity with external GPS or navigation systems
  • Only has one SD card slot

 

Humminbird Helix 7 410290-1 GPS G2 Fish Finder

The final Helix 7 version we will be discussing in this article is the 410290-1 GPS G2 fish finder. In terms of screen resolution, this particular option is eerily similar to the 410310-1 model that we discussed earlier. It has the same 256-color display and 800H by 480V specifications. Similarly, it also has a built-in GPS with Anima cartography that helps you maneuver around bodies of water and remember fishing spots you have been to before. The main difference here that there is not many pre-programmed locations to choose from.

The SONAR system in this model is also pretty strong. It has a maximum depth capacity of 1500 feet, which can be increased to 2500 feet if you purchase an external transducer. If you ask me, the initial ability is good enough. The dual beam ability also gives you the freedom to customize the settings according to your preference. This can either be used to shallow or deep waters, depending on your situation.

Features:

  • CHIRP dual beam technology
  • GPS with Anima cartography
  • Strong 256-color display clarity and precise images
  • Ability to save waypoints on your trips
  • Auto Chart Live gives you ability to create maps of your favorite fishing spots

The Humminbird Helix 7 410290-1 G2 model’s price is quite similar to the 410280-1 one, but with the added GPS and enhanced image quality, this is a clear upgrade. However, what it lacks is a strong SI / DI system, which high models possess. Overall, this is still a valuable option to buy.


Pros:

  • Practical location features
  • Clear screen which is big enough at 7-inch width
  • Easy to use
  • SD card slot can be used to add software

Cons:

  • Limited side image or down image features
  • Does not come with a cover
  • Only 1 SD card slot is available

 

Factors to Consider When Buying a Fish Finder

 

Side Imaging or Down Imaging

Both of these options are innovations by Humminbird, and each answer a specific need. Side imaging is more applicable if you want to scope out the distance in a lake or sea. It allows you to see the exact location of where certain things area. On the other hand, down imaging is more useful if you have already spotted a specific area and want to explore it some more. As the name suggests, this helps you search through the depth in a body of water. While side imaging provides you with a clearer image, down imaging is more affordable to buy, so it all depends on your need.

 

Screen Resolution

The resolution of the screen is an important factor to have, and generally speaking, Humminbird models have an exceptional quality. I think the main consideration here is if you need the top of the line models or not. More high-end models come with anti-glare features or very detail-oriented images.

 

Budget

Humminbird is known to be a very expensive brand, so when deciding which variation of the Helix 7 you want, budget plays a big role. Are you willing to spend a few hundred dollars on extensive SONAR 3D technology, or are you fine with basic features? Do you need a built-in GPS? These are just some questions you should ask yourself when deliberating on the amount of money you are willing to spend for this purchase.

 

Conclusion

All these four Humminbird Helix 7 variants are very similar to each other. Generally speaking, the only difference between each is a few details here and there. That is why it makes the decision to choose the best one incredibly difficult to make.

However, if I had to choose which one I would recommend, I guess it would be the Humminbird Helix 7 410300 model. I believe it can provide you with all the basic features you need to increase the chances of a successful fishing expedition. It has a great GPS system, strong SONAR technology, and an affordable price, which will give you exceptional value for money. Take a look at this model to see if this is the right one for you.

 

 

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