Finding a Fishfinder

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Posted in: Bretts' Blog

So you have a kayak/ski. Well, at least I hope you do and if you don’t, stop right there and give me or one of my international distributors a call and get it done…. its the happy season, so make yourself happier.

I finished my last blog off discussing a little bit about the evolution of fishing kayaks but I think I will continue from there next time. For now it has been a very busy last few weeks and a persistent question keeps popping up.

What fishfinder should i get?

Before we go into brands and models the first question here is what is your budget and what, ultimately, do you want to get out of a fishfinder unit on your ski. After all, these do not magically make you catch more fish (DAMN IT) but rather if you learn to use it correctly you really can change the way and number of fish you catch.

Using a fishfinder from your kayak means you really do need to take care of it at all times. We cannot avoid them always getting a little wet or damp so looking after your plugs and connections is key to a happy unit.

On numerous occaisions I get the dreaded; “But I only used it a few times and now it doesn’t work!” Only to find the plugs are filled with green corrosion and the evidence of it never being cleaned is bold and bright. My point… if you are going to spend the money, do it wisely and make sure you are prepared to look after it correctly.

As I said maintenance is key…

So you’re ready to purchase yourself a unit, you have a budget now what should you do next.

With the conditions we put our units under, make sure you establish what the back up service and warranty issues are like for your chosen brand in your area. This can make small problems or issues a breeze to sort out which ultimately makes your experience of using a finder more pleasurable.

So lets look at Durban for example. Durban is by far the most active kayak fishing market in South Africa. The go to brand here would now be Lowrance. The head office is here in Durban so getting info, assistance or quick solutions to your warranty if need be are right at your finger tips.

Lowrance are a strong international brand who has a massive reputation for the best salt water fishfinders starting at the most basic models to some seriously fancy units.

With kayaks there is no need to spend your fortunes on a chosen unit but rather decide exactly what you want out of the unit and from their what functions and features you will actually use.

For example; most guys choose the simple approach. They say i just want to see the bottom, fish or even to help me find the bait.

Enter the Lowrance Elite 3X and the Lowrance Elite 4x.

Then we have the guys looking for an entry level combo unit.

The go to one here is the Elite 4x HDI.

Here is a link to their website for all the info on all their units and more.

Remember with the choice between a stand alone unit and a combo unit the issue of having a big enough battery or long enough battery life while on the water always comes into play. Unfortunately nothing keeps our batteries charged up while on the water so always take this into account. For this reason alone I have and still am a separate fishfinder and GPS fan. I use my fishfinder as a stand alone unit and then have a handheld GPS for all my GPs navigation. 2 penlight batteries on these units can last for days so if for some reason your fishfinder battery does go flat at least you have navigation to your favourite spots.

Once you have chosen yourself the unit you need, the next trick is to make sure that you have installed this unit correctly. If you cannot get someone at our factory or a recognised dealer to fit the unit for you, then take a look at this helpful video we did to ensure you get to fit out your unit correctly.

I hope this short blog helps you make a decision and also think about a few of the basic choices when venturing into the world of fishfinders and kayaks… till my next blog, happy fishing and i hope you have a fish filled 2015….

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