recommendations for portable fish finder for kayak?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Graham Young, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. Graham Young Member

    Posts: 101
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I'm finally outfitting my touring kayak for fishing and have been toying with the idea of a portable unit (batteries within the unit) I can easily install/remove from the kayak since it's left in an non-secure location. Not looking to spend big bucks or need anything more than a basic unit for depth and structure: I've done some web searches and was thinking of something like the Humminbird PiranhaMax 210 Portable, but reviews on that and some others I've looked at have been mixed.

    Thanks in advance

    Graham
  2. sportsman Active Member

    Posts: 802
    Kirkland, wa., 98034.
    Ratings: +74 / 0
    Graham, use the search function and you will find lost of info; mostly new, some old, some good and some bad. I'd guess 90% use Fishing Buddys and they fit your stated paramaters. The older ones could be had for $100.00 and up, depending on the features. A new company purchased them and you would expect that quality has increased along with models[more bells & whistles] and almost certain:price! I've had a Fish Buddy 1200 for 4+ years [got it for Bass, but works great for trout]and never a problem with it, but that may be the exception!
  3. rattlesnakeflyguy Harrison

    Posts: 393
    E34
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I have a Portable Eagle Finder. If you want it I'll sell it for cheaper than I paid :) It's a 2007 unit with that cost 135 new. make me an offer!
  4. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Posts: 5,635
    Somewhere on the Coast
    Ratings: +539 / 0
    I've got a portable Humminbird Piranha 4, runs on 8 AA batteries and has a suction cup transponder. Haven't tried it on my tupperware yet, but it worked fine on my glass mini-drifter and my aluminum squanoe. The suction cup ripped off the hull at higher speeds on my gas O/B powered boat, though.
    This unit is good for scoping out bottom structure and depth, and gives surface water temp. I'm not too sure about its fish finding ability, though.
  5. sportsman Active Member

    Posts: 802
    Kirkland, wa., 98034.
    Ratings: +74 / 0
    Looks like you just found your unit....only thing, you'll have to meet up at Rattlesnake and show RSFG how to catch a fish:rofl:
  6. rattlesnakeflyguy Harrison

    Posts: 393
    E34
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    haha...my fishin days for the time being are all but over, family, etc...I'll need all the help I can get sportsman! Can you show me how to catch a fish at RS? Maybe a beer or two instead...I bet you're good enough for that one.:thumb: :beer2:
    Dan
  7. sportsman Active Member

    Posts: 802
    Kirkland, wa., 98034.
    Ratings: +74 / 0
    Sorry Dan, I couln't resist!! But might have got you a sale. I'm on injured reserve for another week or so until I know the latest injection is going to work! BUT, I would love to take you up on your generous offer to divulge your super secret dry fly! You already know the ones I use! Fred. BTW, Willie still has his Fish Cat up for sale....good guy and dirt cheap!
  8. rattlesnakeflyguy Harrison

    Posts: 393
    E34
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    lol...I find it good-natured!bawling:
    I'm leaning heavily toward the ODC420 right now with the lifetime warranty
    and the reduction down from $224 to $179. I know, it's been all
    over the place in price (the ODC 420) but with a LIFETIME warranty
    I'm all over it...$179.99 ain't bad for a quality tube...

    I just saw Willie's...not bad at all. Why hasn't it sold, IYO?
    Danny
  9. Graham Young Member

    Posts: 101
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Thanks everyone for the replies and for the offer, RSFG. Oddly, my beloved presented me with a Humminbird fish finder when I got home the day of posting the message (she's either a though reader or I have got to clear that web browser history!) - it won't work on the kayak (well, not easily) but I'm now tied into getting something from Sportsman's. Jim, good to know the suction cup transponder will likely work. I thought fly fishers were gadget crazy but kayak fishing elevates acquisitions to a whole new level.....

    Best fishes

    Graham
  10. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Posts: 5,635
    Somewhere on the Coast
    Ratings: +539 / 0
    Graham, I just found out about a new way to attach a transponder to the inside hull of a glass or plastic boat. There's a spongy donut transponder mount that you can glue to the inside of the hull, and then plug the transponder of a portable unit firmly into that. The donut holds the transponder firmly against the inner hull. You can use one fishfinder for all your boats.
    Was in a recent thread over on the NorthWestKayakAnglers.com website.
  11. Graham Young Member

    Posts: 101
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Jim, thanks for the info - this is just what I need, another fishing website to check! Seriously, the donut method looks easy and workable. I also came across a spendier option: a kayakelectronics mounting platform that has a swing out arm for an in-water transponder - called the Liberator (Mad Frog Gear). Careful who's around if you Google it - "The Liberator" is a piece of "bedroom adventure gear"....

    Graham
  12. Mr.E He called me an Elitist ?? LOL ..what a moron

    Posts: 688
    Lakewood,Wa.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    GY,

    Order yourself an extra transducer. A (Through Hull transducer) . Get a tube of marine grade goop and stick it in your hull. I have 3 SOT kayaks that I've done that to and it works fine.

    When I get a chance, I'll post a pick of how I did it. Also the regular transom mount transducer will work.
  13. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Posts: 5,635
    Somewhere on the Coast
    Ratings: +539 / 0
    Roy and Graham, the spongy "puck" or "donut" mount i mentioned will eliminate the added expense for extra transducers. It is supposed to hold the transducer firmly against the inside of the hull. You would need one of those pucks on each boat , though.

    I saw some photos of the new Ocean Kayak Trident SOTs that will be available later this summer. They look pretty sweet. I'm going to take one for a test ride, when they become available. Been doing my research. It will be interesting to see what the competition offers in new models this year, as well.
  14. polepole New Member

    Posts: 53
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    This method is gaining popularity. Take a cross section of a large pool noodle and cut out an opening for the transducer. Cut the hole small enough to be able to press fit the transducer in. Goop the "donut" down. It helps to put water in the middle before placing the transducer in. It make a better path through the water and through the hull.

    Yup. Ocean Kayak has come out with a 13 foot and an 11 foot version of the Tridents. I've been paddling the Trident 15 this year. But I can't wait to get my hands on the 13 and the 11. You should be able to find them in the retail channels starting next month. The 13 is in the back and the 11 is in the front of this picture. They're shortened versions of the 15. The 13 has the sonar shield and the rod pod. The 11 dropped the sonar shield as there was no space for it.

    -Allen

    [IMG]
  15. Mr.E He called me an Elitist ?? LOL ..what a moron

    Posts: 688
    Lakewood,Wa.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Jimbo,

    Do you have a link to these transducers your talking about? I'd like to check them out for when I upgrade my yaks.
  16. polepole New Member

    Posts: 53
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0

    [IMG]
  17. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Posts: 5,635
    Somewhere on the Coast
    Ratings: +539 / 0
    Thanks Polepole for posting the photo. Roy, looks like you'll have to make your own. Its easy. I just excavated a large enough chunk of closed cell foam from one of the junk piles in my garage (I swear I can find practically anything for almost any project there if I dig through it all in a creative frame of mind), and made two of these pucks.

    I may install one under the seat on my mini-drifter as well as just behind the seat on my Ultimate 12. There's just enough space to squeeze it in between the back of the seat tray and the front edge of my fishing pack (or "milk crate," depending on fishing style that day).

    This way I will be eliminating the suction cup mount (detaches from transponder), which protrudes from the hull and can potentially foul your line while playing a fish, might get mashed into something, and causes extra drag.

    Polepole, I notice from your photo that it looks OK to mount this puck on an un-level surface (the one in the photo appears to be over the vee along the hulls centerline). I have positioned mine on a flat surface.

    On a thread on another site, someone else had used vaseline petrol jelly to fill in the hole in the puck before pushing the transponder down into it. Is this any better than just using water? (Assuming the puck installation is watertight against the hull, so the water won't leak out).
  18. islandfisherman islandfisherman

    Posts: 93
    Anacortes,Wa.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Jim,The vaseline does work BUT it can be a mess,I would stick with a bit of water and just fill it up before you put-in.Also it makes me feel better to know someone else has one of those piles of "projects",I blame it on being born and raised on a farm.....Good Luck,Alan
  19. polepole New Member

    Posts: 53
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    As long as the space is filled with something like water or jelly, it will work just find. The concept is to remove and had discontinuities in the densities (or air pockets) that the FF shoots through, because that's exactly what it is looking for when it is working.

    Jelly is too messy. Water works just fine ... so I hear. I still use the "goop the 'ducer down" method. Set it and forget it.

    -Allen
  20. Graham Young Member

    Posts: 101
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Jim, Allen, Alan: thanks for all the information - no excuse now not to get a FF rigged up and get started into some fly fishing paddling.
    Graham