Depth finders on inflatables

IveofIone

WFF Premium
It's getting easier. For my Scadden Predator I built a custom mount for a Garmin Echo 200 that includes the transducer mount. It was fun to build but rather complex with contours that exactly match the boat. Not exactly a project for a novice woodworker. It attaches to the boat quickly with a single NRS strap, the battery being stored out of sight in the left pocket. A few weeks ago the Garmin appeared to have failed so I immediately ordered a new Garmin Striker to replace it. While removing the old one I discovered the problem with it and was able to fix it easily. Now I am re engineering the mount to accept the new Striker. It will be a nice upgrade over the old Echo 200 and will run on the same 5ah 12v SLA battery.

That left me with an Echo 200 that needed a home and the Super Fat Cat is the perfect place for it. I hadn't had a finder on the SFC since my last Fishin' Buddy died and I really missed it. I was going to build a mount for the SFC similar to the one on the Predator but it was going to be a lot of work and had to be really light. Instead I checked on fishfindermounts.com to see what the latest tricks were for mounting finders on inflatables. It turns out they sell a mounting kit that accepts Garmin products and several others that sells for about $40-$53 with shipping. It includes the platform for the head unit and their patented folding transducer holder that both mount with a single strap. It is just too easy and will save me several days of building and waiting for paint and varnish to dry.

I can use the same 5ah 12v batteries I use on my other depth finders but now there is another option. Krusty turned me on to the Nocqua 12v lithium power pack with 4.5 amp hours. The big advantage of these in addition to long life is the extreme light weight. The batteries I am currently using are pretty light at just 3# 4oz but the Nocqua weighs but 12 ounces and fits in the palm of your hand. It easily powers a finder for a day or two and can be quickly charged by my Jackery power unit. At $70-$80 it is relatively expensive but whether it is back packing gear, fly rods or racing cars, lightweight comes with a price.

The good news is that this stuff is available at all. Having been in float tubes,etc for over 40 years I am finally seeing equipment that is purpose built for inflatable applications. And it isn't that expensive. You can buy a Garmin Striker for $120, a well built mount for around $50 and the little 5ah batteries for $12-$15 apiece.
 

tippet

hardcore flyfishing addict
Thanks for posting this. I also fish out of a predator and this will be helpful whe my fishin' buddy dies. I do love having the sidefinder capability.
 

ronbow

WFF Premium
Pictured is the unit I use on my Predator. This is a Garmin Striker 4 CV. Car caddie, fitted with strap, Scotty small track, gearhead Kayak transducer, and power is from a lion battery. Battery is 16ah, weighs 17.8 oz and has light, emergency light, will charge cell phone, jump start my car, but will not power an air pump. Also get storage tray, cigar ash tray, and cup holder.
Same set up fits on float tube, framed pontoon, and both small fishing boats, with various Scotty mounts. Since picture have also added a Scotty 241 on side that supports a rod holder.
Ron
 

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