The Best Depth Finders of 2020 – Reviewed & Tested

Catch your bait with easy traits!

Catching fishes when going out for recreational excursions and unable to find them brings a lot of anxiety. The waters are also murky that may double the trouble.

Just chill!! As these small high-tech gadgets called depth finders are designed especially for you. They not only work as a fish finder on the deepest spots of water but have the ability of telling the temperatures, size of the fish and signals for the places where you can find your bait for which you had been waiting for so long.

These devices are simply incredible and if you don’t have one just invest in one. We have come with some of the best  portable depth finders with their amazing qualities, that they are capable of.

Basic Depth Finder For Beginners

1. HawkEye FishTrax 1 with Virtuview – Icon Display

The HawkEye is an amazing depth finder that is designed for beginner anglers and comes with impressive features. You can know about 240 feet deep composition as features rock and weed indicators. This possesses an audible alarm signal that will make you about the fish, without even checking VirtuView ICON display constantly. The user interface comes with an easy touch feature that enables you to set-up the fish finder for small boat with convenience.

The depth is detected with the help of Sonar sound waves and bottom contour is defined along with locating fish. The intelligent sonar waves make use of specialized microprocessors and the display of FishTrax is also generated by this. This is also arranged with a Human Interface Software that can be easily understood by you on the ICON display. The ICON LCD is glare free. Is equipped with an LED backlight that helps you read excellently and identify the presence of fish.

Pros:

1. The Sonar sensor side-scan adapter and allows finding under weeds, docks, ice and more
2. This finder gives readings up to 240 feet
3. The sensor can be trolled, boat mountable, and can be taken anywhere, is portable
4. Comes with a glare free LCD and LED backlight offers excellent readability
5. Boat mountable, trollable
6. This minimizes false readings and the fish alarm signals the presence of fish

Cons:

1. Shoreline use isn’t possible

Best Overall Depth Finder

2. HawkEye DT2B-TM – DepthTrax 2B

The DepthTrax 2B is a depth finder that works accurately for delivering uninterrupted depth findings. With a research of years, the Sonar algorithms have been made efficient enough to reach to the maximum depths. This gives a high-speed performance and can reach to the depths more than any other. The DepthTrax 2B is economical, and performs at its peak than the others in this category.

This doesn’t give any false readings as the algorithm programming delivers incomparable precision, and updated 4 times. The Polarized LCD icon display is clear and with no glare. This also incorporates a transducer (plug and play) along with a water-proof fuse holder. This feature black or white trim rings and is customized to perfection. The DepthTrax can be easily mounted or glued to boat hulls and performs with speed. The face system is patented and interchangeable with a fuse holder that’s water proof. You can do spot free viewing with or without sunglasses. You can cover your risks within a 2-year warranty period.

Pros:

1.A depth finder that is another name for perfection
2. Ability to deliver uninterrupted readings from 2.5 to 600 ft with an in-dash depth sounder up to 60 mph
3. The technology allows readings through solid fiberglass hulls, up to 1/8th inch aluminium hulls
4. A warning system with an audible alarm and a bright LED warning light of red color and LCD alarm indicators
5. No false readings due to algorithmic programming and produces an unmatched precision

Cons:

1. Functioning issues

Best Temperature Gauge

3. Lowrance LST-3800 2-1/8 Inch In-Dash Depth and Temperature Gauge

The LST-3800 has the capability to measure a depth of 700 ft. This works perfectly giving accurate readings and is equipped with transom mount transducer. Any boat with a speed above 50 mph is what the Lowrance supports. A compact sized depth finder that can fit 2-1/8″ (55mm) diameter hole and features a high-contrast matrix display. Can be mounted on boat with ease on the dash board.

This comes with an added feature that can measure water temperature as well along with the depth. The screen has a back light and even on the brightest days with sunlight on your head this displays everything clearly from temperature, dual display to depth. The three-button keypad helps in controlling all settings and displays. This also features alarms that can provide notifications for deep and shallow water depths. The measurements can be assessed for 1 to 640 feet. Depth can be chosen in meters and feet both and the temperature is provided in Celsius and Fahrenheit too.

Pros:

1. This comes with a transom mount transducer and delivers readings that are accurate
2. Features a high-contrast dot matrix display
3. This can measure about 700 feet depth
4. LST-3800 is compact in size and fits standard 2-1/8″ (55mm) diameter hole
5. Meters and feet for depth and Fahrenheit and Celsius for temperature is available on this

Cons:

1. Doesn’t work properly sometimes

Best In-Hull Transducer

4. Faria 13751 Chesapeake Black Depth Sounder 

The Faria 13751 has all the capabilities of measuring depth of 199 foot (61m) and gives readings that are accurate and perfect. This best in-hull transducer fits a standard 22-1/16″ gauge hole easily. This also features an offset keel function (programmable) for adjusting the depth readings. The alarms are audible and visual both and informs accurately where and when to hit the waters, deep or shallow for finding fish. These deep-water alarms can be controlled with three button interface that are programmed previously.

The display is backlit and is oversized and offers reading in any condition and displays depth in feet, meters and also fathoms too. The product measures 8 x 8 x 8 inches and possesses a weight of 2 pounds. This comes in a powerful black color. This works with an automatic gain control and is a good quality depth finder that is handy and durable.

Pros:

1. This fits a standard 22-1/16″ gauge hole
2. Possesses a depth measuring capability of 199 foot (61m)
3. Features audible and visual alarms that inform you when and where to hit the waters
4. The display is oversized and is backlit, shows readings in every condition
5. Warranty of 1-year and good customer service
6. A great, efficient and durable best in-hull transducer

Cons:

1. Gauge may show all black

Best for Ice-Fishing

5. Humminbird ICE-45 Three Color Flasher – with LCD

Humminbird ICE-45 is an amazing depth finder that can work in the thickest layers of ice and this quality sets it apart from all the others in this category. The company offers great fish finding weaponry from GPS mapping, digital Sonar and even CHIRP- dual spectrum. The icy anglers appreciate this product as this works in the coldest temperatures.

The LCD has a backlight that works well in extreme temperatures and finds what is going in the lake bottom. The flasher scale possesses automatic settings and no false readings or guess work is reported. This is equipped with a zoom which is fully adjustable and makes you see the depths clearly. The automatic depth scales are 7 while four are manual (20, 40, 60, 80. 100, 120 and 200 feet). Peak power of about 1,800 watts is delivered as this owns a dual beam transducer (at 455 kHz and 240 kHz) in shallow or deepest of waters. This gives and reads information in the direct sunlight and has an optic display in three colors with a backlight too. A rechargeable battery is a part of the product. A product that is manufactured with supreme quality material. A product from the US which works great indoors and outdoors both.

Pros:

1. This is the best ice-fishing depth finder
2. Crafted with highest quality material
3. Works perfectly outdoors and indoors
4. A great product from the US
5. The company provides great fish finding weaponry
6. Fully adjustable zoom helps in providing accurate information

Cons:

1. Functionality issues

Fish Finder And Their Types

The categorization of the fish finders has been done in three types of locators:

Ø Standalone

The basic role of locating fish is being pursued by a standalone fish finder. There are no extra features attached to it and you get them at a very affordable price. These types of finders come with a wide screen and are suitable for simple purposes.

Ø Network System

As the name suggests these types of finders are connected to technology as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi along with GPS charts and even satellite boat radios too. The screens of these are wide and include videos too. They are incorporated with comprehensive features and this depends on you if you require all this in your depth finder.

Ø Combo

These work marvelously as the information you can get is much more than just fish finding. You can know the depth and the water temperature also if you invest in this type of depth finder.

Don’t be surprised! they give you a detail about the size of the fish too. They also include GPS, have comprehensive features and provide you with enhanced viewing experience.

The Most important things to be kept in mind while purchasing the Best Depth Finder

There are many things that should be considered before you make a final decision to buy the best depth finder.

A. Transducer

It is very necessary to have sensors as they work to receive and give sonar waves that get emitted into the water. The waves that are generated bounce on the objects present in water and are caught up by transducers. This helps in finding the fishes in the deepest depths and the signals get processed into pictures, thereby displaying on your screen.

You can understand things better and clearer and the transom mount transducers are easy to mount and install. Humminbird HDR650 is supposed to be the best transom mount that provides the apt information.

B. Transducer Material

The boat type you use will make you decide the material of the transducer. Any one doing fishing as a hobby or for recreational purpose then a transducer of plastic is sufficient. A transom that shows compatibility of all kinds of boats is the right one.

Fiber glass or metal hulls require housings of plastic and will prove great for in-hull or thru-hull mount. For wood hulls or fiberglass bronze housings are recommended and the entire choice is yours. The guidelines for installation should be thoroughly followed and the mounting should be done properly.

C. Colored screen or Black & White Screen

Colorful displays are always welcome for any of the electronic devices you choose and use. The beautiful spectrum of colors gives beautiful detailing. If we talk about black and white screen then we are left with varied shades of grey providing you with least color choice.

The readings are clearer on a colorful screen than the black and white ones. You are under the exposure of sunlight so colorful screens is a far better option. Furthermore, you can go for upgradation too later if you want.

D. Screen Resolution

We are concerned about pixels here, as these are dots on the screen. The simple thing is that the more the pixels the more clarity of pictures your screen will deliver. If you have a resolution of 320 x 320 then the whole screen will have dots vertically and horizontally 320 covering the whole screen.

Images of good screen resolutions are perfect and you can choose according to your budget. Larger displays will definitely provide you with quality images, and you should choose a one with a good resolution. Small screens on the other hand may get messy though they have good back up options. If you are doing some serious fishing then go for a product that goes for long. The numbers are also more-clear on a screen with good resolution.

E. Power

If you want readings for deep waters then more wattage unit is required as the slower ones will be of benefit for shallow waters only. The rule of the thumb is, more depth then more powerful the depth finder you require, as you jump in and pull the trigger, they should work properly.

F. Taking readings

If the power is 50 kHz then the depth finder will help you have readings up to 400 feet (every 100 watts of power). With 200 kHz power it will give readings till 100 feet (every 100 watts of power). Mid-range depth finders have the ability to function with dual frequencies.
You will be able to see the readings properly on your split-screen mode.

G. Water-Resistant:

Since it is all about water, the depth finders may come it the water contact when installed on an open vessel. There is a need to check IPX and JIX settings when you buy a depth finder, as this will ensure you the water-resistance levels of the depth finder when any splashes occur. A rating of 7 is supposed to be good that will give you more flexibility to take the device to depths up to 30 minutes.

Summary:

By now you must be well aware about what a depth finder is like! Invest in the best and enjoy fishing as a hobby or recreation. The 3 D mapping, navigating, charting and scanning, all can be done with these little but magical devices.

The close details need to be studied always, be it for the depth finders or any other gear. Enhance your fishing experience by investing in an excellent depth finder. You can choose one according to you budget and try to opt for the one that can be upgraded for future use.

Stress free performance with these robust constructed devices can be obtained and make the most of it while your water tour.