Here’s a little something from the Salty Dog: you can find a depth finder for just about any budget. Many might call a depth finder a “fish finder,” but that’s not entirely accurate. Depth finders are all about knowing how much room there is beneath your boat. They have one primary job and that is to make sure that you don’t ground your boat.
Here Is the Best Chart for Depth Finders
Depth finders aren’t all made alike, despite the fact that they all serve the same basic function. You need a product that can provide you with real-time depth updates to stay safe. These are the best products to do that for you.
Here Are the Salty Dog’s Favorite Depth Finders
Norcross Hawkeye D10D Depth Sounder
You can cruise a lake at 63 mph with this depth finder and you’ll still get an accurate reading. The best feature, however, is that it contains a three-stage alarm system that will keep you alerted to specific conditions underneath your boat. You can even program it to give you a deep-water alarm if you prefer. It programs digitally and as a waterproof front face with clear depth numbers you can always read. All of this comes together to easily make it one of the best depth finders that are available today.
- Delivers uninterrupted depth readings from 2.5 to 600 feet on the largest display available on an In-Dash Depth Sounder up to 60 mph
- ShootThru sonar technology allows for depth readings through solid fiberglass hulls and up to 1/8-inch aluminum hulls
- 3-stage Advanced Warning System clearly signals an alarm condition with an audible alarm, an ultra bright red LED warning light and LCD alarm indicators …
Humminbird PiranhaMax 197C Color Fish Finder
With the capability of reading up to 600 feet of depth, this little model is going to be one of the easiest you can find right now to install. All of the mounting hardware is included and the white/black faceplate combination gives the depth gauge a modern look. It fits any standard 2 1/8 inch gauge hole and offers a sealed, waterproof design. The bezels are also included. If you’re using an inflatable boat, a kayak, or a canoe, all you’ve got to do is connect a 12v battery to this depth gauge and you’ll have the information you need to stay safe.
- Down Imaging and Dual Beam Sonar
- 3.5" Display
- 240H X 320V Resolution
- 256 Color Screen
- 320ft Depth Down-Imaging, 600ft Depth Capability Dual Beam
Garmin Echo 501c Worldwide without Transducer
Sometimes all you need to see is the actual depth of the bottom. At other times, you need to see the actual shape of the bottom so that you can find the right fishing holes. That’s what this depth finder is going to help you do. With a full color display, it will also help you locate where the actual fish happen to be and you can go up to 2,300 feet in depth with it. The Echo even has one of the widest viewing cone angles that can be found on the market today.
- Clear Vu scanning Sonar shows you more of what is in the water around your boat; This high frequency sonar gives near photographic images with detailed representations of objects, structure and fish
- The power of simple offers a keyed interface with dedicated buttons; The device is easy to use and easy to install; Available in 3.5, 5 and 7 inch display sizes; Water rating IPX7 …
HawkEye D10DX.01T In-Dash Depth Sounder with Air and Water Temperature
This depth finder provides users with water and air temperature updates in addition to the accurate depth readings that it measures. Users are able to get instant depth updates from the transducer that mounts on the transom. A simple press of a button is all that it takes to get the desired readings. The faceplates are interchangeable and a sun cover helps to keep the LCD display readable under direct sunlight conditions. It struggles a little for boats that are cruising above 30 mph, but overall it gets the job done in an effective manner.
- Delivers uninterrupted depth readings from 2. 5 to 600 feet on the largest display available on an In-Dash Depth Sounder up to 60 mph
- 3-stage Advanced Warning System clearly signals an alarm condition with an audible alarm, LED warning light and LCD alarm indicators with one-touch alarm muting
- Water or air temperature readings are displayed in degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius on a Soft Glow backlit LCD display …
What Are the Basics of a Depth Finder?
Any time you are out navigating a body of water with a boat, it is important to have a depth finder on board. This has never been more true today because of the drought conditions that so many regions are facing. As lakes begin to dry up, there will be low spots that could put your boat at a tremendous amount of risk. With instant feedback, the best depth finder will let you know when it’s time to head in a different direction.
Depth finders can’t just provide an estimate. It needs to be 100% accurate data so that you know how many feet or meters (the measurement is your preference) are available. Larger depth finders may operate in fathoms instead. Look for a product that has alarms incorporated into it so that you don’t have to keep one eye on the depth finder and the other eye on your fishing line.
Why Not Just Use a Fish Finder?
The Salty Dog prefers a dedicated depth finder because it is the only product that will give a clear reading of the bottom using SONAR and Echo Sounding. The technology used to get readings of the fish requires the use of specialized transducers. This might let you see a school of fish, but you won’t necessarily get a clear view of the bottom. What good is knowing where the fish are if you have to ground your boat in order to reach them?
Dedicated depth finders are much more reliable to know the actual depth. If you have one that contains an illuminated display, you can even do some night fishing or other water recreation fairly safely. There’s nothing wrong with using a depth finder in conjunction with one of the best fish finders, but the depth finder should probably come first.
Look for equipment that can work at high speeds for the best results. Many of the best depth finders are able to read the bottom at over 60 miles per hour. To find the best, the reviews you’ll find right here can give you a big assist. Expect to pay between $60-$120 for a decent dedicated depth finder that can operate at high speeds. In return, you’ll be able to get some additional measurements, like water temperature, which can meet some specific user needs.
How to Choose a Depth Finder?
If you want to choose the right kind of depth finder for yourself, you should know all the important details. Without knowing about some of these crucial points, the buying process can become a sort of an ordeal. One should never dive into something without being sure about it entirely; these are some essential factors to remember. These include:
The size of a depth finder can make all the difference. Being bulky does not help at all. The device should be sleek and easy to manage; otherwise, it can prove to be a hindrance, and no one wants that. The screen should have a reasonable size. However, at the same time, the depth finder should be portable.
Widescreen displays are also a good idea. They can allow an individual to see more information. Plus, you can split the screen so you can see all types of data and facts. This includes a GPS chart as well as a radar screen.
Also, the weight adds to its portability. The lighter it is, the better!
Style & Shape
There are several types of shapes available on the market. You should be well-versed with the details related to the style and shape of a depth finder. This can make your shopping expedition much easier. Firstly, you should find a shape that is easy to install so that you avoid any kind of unwanted hassle.
As mentioned earlier, the portability of the product is also a pro. Convenient keypad operation is a good feature too, and a touchscreen is even better.
Pixels and Colors
When it comes to the screen display quality, clarity is highly integral. The colors should be such that you should be able to see them during day time. This is when sunlight levels are highly intense, especially when it reflects directly on the water. In some brands, CHIRP technology provides crystal-clear sonar imagery. The polarized LCD display can allow for spot-free viewing.
Getting clear images at all depths is something that should not be overlooked. No one wants to regret their decision later on! Getting a depth finder with a good resolution can play a major role in your fishing excursions. As a result, your overall experience can improve instantly.
Transmit power plays a big part in the performance of your depth finder. 600W to 2 KW would make for a great option. This is because this range ensures the maximum efficiency of your depth finder. As the wattage increases, the level of performance of the device also improves significantly.
With these numbers in mind, your purchasing decision will become much simpler.
Last but not least comes the price! Obviously, the cost of a product is something that no one can just ignore. The product has to be worth each penny.
The best tip here would be to compare different brands along with their specs. You can go with the one that suits your needs. Also, remember that it is better to have a budget in mind beforehand.
Safety should be a priority in any case. If you’re a fishing enthusiast, then the right kind of depth finder can improve your experience to a considerable extent. In short, it is quite a beneficial tool and can make for a great purchase. Remember to consider factors such as warranty, battery life as well as technical support.
In the case of deep waters, it can prove to be even more helpful. Therefore, buying this product is an investment that definitely would not go to waste. Also, the user will be prevented from beaching their boats now and then, which can be really annoying sometimes.
If you’re ready to be safer in any body of water, especially if you enjoy fishing near the shore, then these are the products that you’ll want to consider today. That way you won’t ever have to worry about beaching your boat.