Fish Finder Buying Guide: How Does It Work?

What Is a Fish Finder?

A fish finder is actually a sonar device developed with the specific objective of detecting fish under the water. But how does the instrument do that? It functions by detecting reflected signals of electric sounds. Each of the electronic signals that are reflected of the fish are then transformed into selective information that are then presented in graphic interpretation on the display screen of the fish finder. As well as locating fish, these types of devices additionally calculate the depth of the water, help you to locate underwater debris and how the bottom of the water is formed. The graphics located on the screen of the fish finder is able to portray one specific fish in the shape of a little symbol.

How Does a Fish Finder Work?

Finding out how a fish finder operates can help you to understand the best way to how to use it. Fish finder functions by using sonar. It is a technology that employs sound waves to show underwater elements. The fish finder generates the sound wave together with the transducer and transmits it through the water. Plunging through the water deeper and deeper, the sound wave begins to scatter in the shape of a cone (beacon). As the wave meets the object in this particular beam, it directs the indicator back again to the transducer.

By determining the time period anywhere between when the sound wave was transmitted and when it returned, it calculates the distance and reveals on the screen. If the wave does not come across anything on its way, it hits the bottom. If the bottom is smooth and simply consists of dirt, the signal gets soaked up. If the underwater surface is a rock bottom, it will transmit a more powerful signal back.

These sonar transmissions will show on the screen. So in this way a fish finder scans and enables you to observe the bottom surface and every little thing it runs into on the way. The direction of the sonar beam is calculated in degrees and it is known as the cone angle. A broader angle consists of more area underwater. A variety of fish finder brands include different cone angles. Some versions likewise incorporate multi-beam sonar technology that covers a significantly broader area.

Factors to consider when buying a fish finder

You will find plenty of fish finder products and models out on the market and it could be very difficult to determine which type of unit will provide what you need will and match your own fishing preferences. Furthermore, it is usually rather simple to get lost in the boundless world of transducers, transom mounts, sonar and echoes. It is essential to remember, that when you are planning to buy a good fish finder, to ask your self the following question: Is the product going to help me to catch more fish? To help with making the selection approach more straightforward which enables you to know much more about fish finder functions, I have developed this buying information and I sincerely hope, that by using this important information, it will enable you to make the best choice that meets your fishing style.


Transducer is the main component of the fish finder. The transducer is one thing designed to actually send out the sound waves that will help you to monitor the fish that you are really pursuing. It transmits the electric sound waves and reveals precisely what is beneath the surface of the water. Simply put, the sonar waves that the transducer delivers right into the water, is reflected back once it reaches the objects that are located underwater and then gets collected by the transducer and the transmission is then converted into a picture.

The cone angle is among the most significant facts you can take into consideration. The larger the angle of the cone you use, the larger the view you will obtain of every single thing beneath your boat. This is particularly practical when you’re fishing in shallow waters, and in those situations when you would not have good overview of what is going on under you boat. Unfortunately, the disadvantage of so large angle is going to be the rapid loss in strength. For this reason, it can’t display the water as deeply like the narrow cone.

The narrow cone is able to go extremely deep even yet in shallow waters and will furthermore give informative data on the structure of the bottom surface.
To receive the most from the both features, there is the dual-beam kind of transducers. It is also referred to as dual frequency and integrates both features in one single device. Other sorts of transducers will be more complex and specialized. They come with a variety of beams (sometimes over 4). These focus on a much larger portion of the underwater and may even supply a 3D image on the display screen. Another option would be the side-beam transducer. These kinds of models project their signals to the sides and that will improve the hunting area for fish.


You will have to take into consideration the type of power and wattage of your fish finder as it is an extremely important factor if you really need the most powerful option that is available. The bare minimum that you need to delve into is going to be around 600 watts mark, nevertheless, there are types available to buy up to 3,000 watts and that kind of power is appropriate for serious fishermen.

Although higher wattage will provide you more effectiveness, you have to understand that you’ll want significantly less wattage the more shallow the water is. For every 100 watts of power, you will be capable of seeing 400 feet, at 50 kHz. With 200 kHz you will see 100 feet for every 100 watts. An effective fish finder product will enable you to break it up and provide you with split frequencies. Then you’ll able to operate the ideal range for exactly what you’ll be requiring at the time.

If you decide to fish in deep waters try to look for more powerful devices. Like I mentioned above, 600 watts may very well be enough for you in shallow waters but for the extreme fisherman above 1000 wattage will be more suitable.


The display screen quality is focused on pixels, or in other words, everything revolves around pixels. With increased pixels you’ll be able to see more details on the screen. That is exactly why it is crucial factor to bear in mind. More details will definitely come with a higher price tag. If you want or need a sharp crystal clear imagine and far better resolution, you will have to invest more money.

The screens of the brands can also be found in various sizes. Big size screen means more clarity and better picture and the bigger the better details. Clearly, it’s going to be simpler to identify all the data (echoes and numbers) on a big screen than on a smaller and more compact size display.

It’s also possible to purchase either a color screen or black & white display. If you’re searching for a budget device, then a black & white display should be a good option for you. The advantages of color display consist of increased detail illustrated in millions of colors and much better viewing angle of the screen when you are using the unit in bright daylight. Therefore, a color display will enable you to easily observe what is going on underwater A black & white display will definitely work well enough for you, however, a color screen with informative data on different fish around will significantly enhance your enjoyment on the water and aid in making it more efficacious than ever before. Needless to say, as previously stated above, you’ll end up investing a lot more cash on a color unit compared to a black & white display.

Portable Fish Finders

Occasionally, a fish finder can be quite a complicated product. You will discover brands, designed to be installed with many different pieces. However a portable fish finder is going to be completely self-contained and convenient to carry with you and power off. With an easy to use suction-cup you are able to hook up the transducer and begin finding fish more quickly than ever before.

What is unique, concerning portable fish finders, is most notably the fact that they usually are available in multiple parts, no matter what the brand you are dealing with. With two distinct pieces of equipment, it’s possible to continue to have a self-contained device that does not occupy a great deal space, without does forfeiting the high quality.

This is usually achieved by quickly applying devices that make it not difficult to take off the primary unit. However, there’ll be straightforward to attach units that have the transducer. Despite the fact that you own a device that must be employed on the bottom of the boat, it’s going to be one that by no means needs to be screwed into position, carrying out possible damaging to your boat or to a boat that is not even yours.

One important thing to be aware of is basically that you might often be better-off with other choices if you are not short on space. Just these features are extremely popular with a lot of folks through the entire fishing world.

Fish Finder and GPS

If you’re searching for the perfect fishing instrument, consider to incorporate GPS to your fishing tool. The Global Positioning System (GPS) with the assistance of satellites determines your actual location on the water. It will aid you to label areas that you’ve got a whole lot of success, or places that you simply have never had any luck before. It’ll likewise function as a rescue beacon should you ever wind up in trouble on the water and you need to send a signal to any rescue operators.

First of all, think about what kind of maps are included in the GPS unit. They usually come in many different forms but the main idea is that you will be able to see where you are and where you are going at any place in the country. Upgrade and the ability to update the software is extremely important if you want to have your finger on the pulse and stay on top of things/technology that will change and improve in future.

Lastly, you should consider the accuracy of the GPS device that you are investigating. The main idea or concept here is that you need to be absolutely certain that you will be able to see where you are located within the accuracy of just few meters.

GPS Included in Fish Finder

As mentioned above, GPS device is an absolute must have for most anglers and being able to have it in just one unit along with a fish finder is, not only economical, but also saves space and is extremely convenient. Experiencing the addition of a GPS device is exceedingly practical. Imagine having, on the same screen, the ability to navigate through waters and also having all the information clearly displayed on only one screen or being able to switch between screens in a second. Those types of devices come with background maps and charts. Not to mention all the waypoints you can mark (which can be over 1000), all in one unit.

Final Points

The best value fish finder products that you will find on this website have high ratings and all of the products have positive user reviews making the reviews on this website definitely among the best available. Based upon your own personal needs, one unit or any other may well be a better option for you. Whilst comparing fish finders, you must think about your financial budget and the functions you prefer the fish finder to contain. Before purchasing fish finder, it’s essential to determine if you’ll need a portable unit or a fixed one to attach to your boat. Additionally, think about if a fish finder will fit your needs or do you need GPS integrated in the device. Hopefully, with the information and knowledge that you obtained from this website, you are able to effortlessly identify the most beneficial fish finder that suits your needs, and the perfect one that will help you capture a lot more fish. Get your own fish hunter today and you will be blown away how many more fish you can capture in just one day!