Smart anglers know that the best way to have a successful trip out on the water is to know as much as you possibly can about the fish you’re trying to catch. You can read up about the lake or river you’ll be in, and talk to locals, but the best information you can have is knowing where exactly the fish are at the moment you cast out into the water.
To get that kind of in-depth information, you’ll want to use the best castable fish finder. How do fish finders work? The ones we’ll look at today all work by being cast out into the water and then transmitting radar information on where fish are currently sitting in the water below. You’ll use that information to find hotspots and to decide where will be the best place to cast your next line.
Best Castable Fish Finder Reviews
There are a lot of fish finders out on the market, so this deeper fish finder review will look at all the important information you need to decide which one is best for you. We’ll examine all the top brands and how each one works, giving you peace of mind before you make a purchase. Let’s take a look at some castable fish finders for 2021.
1. Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar – GPS Portable Wireless Wi-Fi Fish Finder for Shore and Ice Fishing – Lots of tech in a tough little package
This item is only a few ounces and feels a bit flimsy in the hand, but it’s built to withstand serious chop and can be used in extremely low temperatures. It also has an ice-fishing mode that can be used from the surface.
I’d recommend this sonar system if you’re looking for something that will be easy to set up right out of the box and that you won’t have to have too much technical knowledge to use.
- Lightweight and easy to cast
- Excellent sonar
- Easily connects to phone or tablet
- Battery life is a concern
- Only useful if you have a plan for using your phone out on the water.
2. Deeper PRO Smart Portable Sonar – Wireless Wi-Fi Fish Finder for Kayak and Ice Fishing – Just a bit less than the PRO +
Note also that the PRO is basically the same size as the PRO +, both of which are very easy to string up and cast out a long distance.
If you’re looking at these Deeper finders, I’d recommend going for the PRO + over the PRO. The differences are small but they do add up so if you’re serious about this, go for the top line.
- Easy to use
- Connects easily to phone
- Lightweight, strong material
- Must piggyback on phone’s GPS signal
- Battery life concerns
3. LUCKY Fish Finder Wired & Wireless Portable Fishing Sonar – Don’t miss anything with the wired option
I’d recommend this fish finder if you’re not sure what the conditions will be like during your next trip. It’ll do a good job of letting you see terrain and find fish both near and far.
- Wired and wireless all in one package
- Dedicated viewing device included
- Good wireless range
- Sonar can be a bit unreliable
4. iBobber Castable Bluetooth Fish Finder – Accurate readings for a low price
The radar output here is strong and accurate. You’ll get a good visual readout of exactly what the topography and the fish look like under the water.
For that reason, this fish finder is highly recommended if you’re new to using sonar as part of your fishing. This is a great introductory level item that’ll show you what a system like this is capable of.
- Easy to use
- Option to use as a stationary finder
- Battery life
- Material quality is not the strongest
5. LUCKY Portable Fish Finder Transducer Sonar Sensor – Best included viewing device
This system has the ability to set depth and fish alarms, letting you know right away when you reach an area you want to fish. The bobber is designed to attract fish with a flashing LED light and has a great wireless range.
However, the fact that you get such a small charge out of the receiver makes it really difficult to use this device for any kind of serious fishing trip. Unless you plan to stay close to shore, this is not the fish finder I’d recommend.
- Dedicated viewing device with lots of features
- Good range
- Bad battery life on both viewer and sonar device
6. Deeper Start Smart Fish Finder – Entry point to the Deeper line
The Start will use your phone’s GPS for its robust mapping feature but is unable to offer any GPS insights on its own. The system will connect easily to your phone once you’ve set up the Deeper app.
In general, if you find the Deeper line interesting, I’d recommend the PRO + as it’ll give you a really robust sonar system right out of the box. If you specifically want a product that will serve as an entry point to fish finding, this is the one for you.
- Simple setup
- Great app
- Good battery life
- Not suitable for sub-freezing water
- Low-powered sonar
Making this connection is a ton of fun and really makes the experience of fishing that much more exciting.
This fish finder is not recommended simply because it does not shine in any specific area. It’s not beating other fish finders on price or functionality and that means there’s definitely something better out there for you.
- Fun, easy to use app
- Good depth range
- Great for trolling
- Bad transmission range
8. LUCKY Wireless Sonar Fish Finder – Versatile system for use in salt or fresh water
This device also allows you to set some sophisticated alarms on your phone, allowing the phone to alert you whenever fish are nearby.
If you like the LUCKY alarm systems, but want to use your own device instead of a dedicated viewer, this is exactly what we’d recommend.
- Small bobber can be cast a long distance
- Lots of alarms and customization options
- Battery life is very short
- Bluetooth connection is not always strong
There are lots of options when it comes to the fish finders on the market. Some of them are critical to know about, and others are just marketing fluff. Let’s take a look at what you’ll want to know before looking for your fish finder.
What is a fish finder
Put simply, a fish finder is a device that uses sonar to detect anything under the water that your eyes might not be able to see. These systems on their own are able to detect where things are, but not necessarily what is a fish and what is, say, a big rock or a tire. A good fish finder comes with software that makes sense of the raw data and shows it to you in a way that’s useful.
At one time, it was common for fish finders to hook up to their own viewing screens to be used. Now, anglers are very likely to have phones or tablets with them in order to view the information from their finder. You can find items that come with their own screens, or which connect to your phone. It’s important to decide which you’d like to use.
Trolling, casting, ice fishing
Pay attention to the specific capabilities of different devices to know which one fits with the kind of fishing you’d like to do. Some items will do better in a stationary setup, as with ice fishing. Others, that have a good wireless range, will work well when cast out in advance of baited hooks.
Charging and battery life
Since we’re talking about wireless electronic devices, one thing you’ll have to understand is the battery life of the item you’re looking at. Most fish finders come with rechargeable batteries but some do not, they’re simply built with large batteries that need to be replaced after a certain amount of use. Decide which system will be best for you and look for a finder that fits.
There’s never been a better time to use a high-tech device as part of your fishing. The finders on the market today have strong sonar and great software that helps you make sense of the information you’re seeing. If you want a leg up the next time you head out on the water, find a castable fish finder and put it in your tackle box today.