The Best Hand Fish Finders
To help you find the perfect hand fish finder, we continuously put forth the effort to update and expand our list of recommendable hand fish finders. Our team collects, edits and publishes new information, in order to present it to you in an accurate, significant and neatly arranged way.
Runner-ups: 8 Best Hand Fish Finder Alternatives
Table of Contents
Buying Guide for Hand Fish Finders
The Physics of Finding Fish
The basics of these modern handheld, also known as portable, fish finders is easy to understand. Basically they operate on similar principles as the fathometers which were direct ancestors that have been used for quite some time as a way to measure water depth for navigation purposes, safety, and other reasons. A sound wave is sent into the water using an active sonar transducer, and any waves that hit fish, rocks or other objects in the water will then be reflected back to the portable unit where they can easily be measured and interpreted in order to lead the way to bigger game.
The first model on the top ranked list is the Venterior Portable Fish Finder VT-FF001, and it comes with a wired sonar sensor transducer which performs the exact role as just mentioned above. There is an included 25 foot cable with this model, and it can be positioned in many ways such as through the use of floats, attached to a boat, or even with a long pole. At around a price of $40, this is definitely within the budgets of most fishermen, and the only question might be why one is not already in the toolbox.
One of the next great features that differentiates the available fish finders into at least two different subcategories is the wireless option. With models such as the Venterior VT-FF002 or the Xikezan there is now no longer the need to deal with a long cord since the transducer sends its messages back to the handheld unit wirelessly. Some good things to look for in these units are ones with rechargeable transducers so and bodies so that there will not be a need to continually replace batteries, especially on those long fishing trips where the unit might see a lot of usage. These type of models are just as good when fishing from the shore since they can be positioned and retrieved using something like fishing line in order to get an accurate assessment of the conditions that one is facing. The only drawback is that the price will be a little higher at about twice as much as the wired counterparts, but if that is in range then opting for one should be the way to go.
Dot Matrix Vs. LCD
The Hawkeye FT1PX is another great handheld fish finder model which brings another differentiating feature to the forefront during the buying process. That particular model uses a dot matrix display while the others, including the Venterior models mentioned previously incorporate an LCD graphic displays instead. In effect, the dot matrix screen is able to show a limited amount of symbols such as fish icons, or these can be turned off in order to see the actual sound waves returning. The graphic LCD models come at a higher price tag (the Hawkeye is even upgradable to HD color Virtuview LCD, but with the increase they are able to display more due to a greater control that the internals have of the viewing area, and some also have color displays to really differentiate what is being found at the depths. Also, look for ones wit anti-UV technology so that they are easier read in the sunlight that so many face when out on the water and a backlight for reading during darker situations such as night.
Tell The Fish Apart
The XIKEZAN is another great model of handheld fish finder with both the wireless and graphical LCD options mentioned above. The transponder can report back to the unit at a range of 260ft/80m away which allows a greater flexibility when looking for the hiding fish. Every unit is going to have its own way of displaying structure and fish so that someone above water can tell the difference in sizes and such. This XIKIZAN does a great job of that with three different fish icons so that one can tell apart the small, moderate, and (hopefully) BIG fish that are keeping the sound waves from reaching the bottom. Also, a fish alarm beeps every time that a new one enters into the frame, so that there is a much smaller chance of missing out on any of the action.
Waterproof and Durability
The FishingSir is another great portable unit which is built to be able to handle to rough conditions that can sometimes be faced while on a boat, kayak, canoe or other floating vessel. It has a high-performance waterproof rating which helps immensely, because while the transponder units of every fish finder is naturally waterproof, the handheld unit with its screen and controls is not usually built to be able to withstand a great deal of wetness. A useful metric in fish finders is the International Protection number which on the FishingSir is IP67 which means that it is basically good to go for rain, splashing and accidental submersion to a depth of about a meter or 3.3 feet. So, while it can't be dropped to the bottom of the lake for an hour and then retrieved with the expectation of remaining like new, such models are able to resist many of the hazards that are natural to a fishing environment.
Sonar Beam Angle
The sonar beam angle can be a factor when using a handheld fish finder, and as an example the other great budget model on the list is the Norcross Hawkeye F33P which has a 25 degree sonar beam. That angle makes the difference in the 'dead zone' and so fishermen going for suspended crappie might find the wide beam ideal, while someone looking for deep walleye may want an even narrower beam angle in order to find more hiding fish. It really is a trade-off in coverage area versus depth that needs to be taken into consideration and has a lot to do with the depth of the water that the fish finder is most likely to be used in.
Mobile Phone Integration and Apps
Finally, there are models such as the Fishhunter Fish Finder 3.0 which are able to integrate with cell phone apps in order to display some of the most accurate and colorful information available across the board. Not only that, but these apps are able to keep detailed records that include everything from depth measurements, types of catches, photos of the catches, fish weight and length, and a whole lot more that is continuously being improved. At a slightly higher price point, the Fishhunter uses military grade sonar technology which will eliminate all of the guesswork and leave no reason to blame the portable unit if the catches are lacking for the day.
Overall there are a myriad of great units on the market which can all be helpful in various situations, some more than others. Taking the time to compare the differences now that you are armed with this valuable knowledge can mean more fish in less time.
Top Rated Hand Fish Finders
If you're looking into finding the best rated hand fish finder, you should probable check out the Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer. We looked at various sources of reviews and found this one to have the best mix between review count and average rating stars.
Often, going for the best price is a simple but good option. With a price of $79.89 (last checked on June 25, 2019), we do not list any other hand fish finder cheaper than the LUCKY Portable Finder. Just remember that it's not always the best option to go for the cheapest one.
The Hand Fish Finder with the Most Reviews
With at least 617 reviews and counting, the Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer might be another option to consider. This large amount of reviews signalizes that many people are using it, with most of them beeing satisfied.
It's quite rare that the saying "You get what you pay for" turns out incorrect. If you have the money on the sideline, feel free to choose the most expensive item from our list: The Humminbird 410210-1 Helix 5 Chirp GPS G2 Finder currently sells for $284.95.
Most Clicked Hand Fish Finder
If you trust us and our users, feel free to check out the Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer. Our statistics say that it is the most favorite Hand Fish Finder from the list above.
If you're still undecided, I would recommend that you go with the masses and choose the top selling hand fish finder: The Humminbird 410210-1 Helix 5 Chirp GPS G2 Finder for currently View on Amazon (last checked on June 25, 2019).
That's it for now, please remember that this list is updated on a regular basis.
Hand Fish Finder Reviews
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