7 Best Fish Finders [UNDER $400]

Best Fish Finders Under $400: Exclusive Guide

The ongoing development of state of the art fish finder GPS units that establish way-points and incorporate fastidiously accurate fish finding data continues to change the face of sport fishing as we know it.

Never before has it been so easy to find and pinpoint the exact location of productive fishing spots, and then save that valuable information for future use.

Add to that the ability to constantly monitor the water temperature, locate fish in high definition and also use mapping software showing detailed fishing information for virtually any given locale, and you have the ultimate tool for putting you on the fish in just about any situation.

Now that you have the finder with the best features to track the fish, it is up to you to actually catch and land them!

Every angler has their own preferences, but when it comes to the best fish finders that sell for under $400, my personal choice is Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 fish finder.

Humminbird Helix 5 offers a degree of sophistication that was previously only available in units that cost much more, including a 5-inch color display that is easy to read even in bright sunlight, dual beam sonar for increased coverage, and frequency ranges from 75-225 kHz that can reach a max depth of 1500 feet.

Add in advanced mapping tools and GPS that allow you to track and record your favorite fishing spots, and you have a complete package in a fish finder.

Our Top Seven Fish Finders Under $400 in 2019


Garmin Striker 7SV with transducer,  010-01809-00
Sale Humminbird 410210-1 Helix 5 Chirp GPS G2 Fish...
Sale Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5' GPS...
Sale Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar - GPS Portable Wireless...
Garmin 010-01807-00 Garmin STRIKER 5cv with...
Lowrance 000-12664-002 Navico Hook 7 with Card &...
Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X Sonar, W/ 83/200...


The Best Fish Finders Brands To Consider

While you can certainly find a variety of fish finders on the market these days, there are presently only three major manufacturers that offer consistently reliable units that cost under $400.

They all possess a full range of features that run the gamut from providing basic depth and temperature data, to offering sophisticated side finding capability and detailed 3D images that are portrayed in vivid color.

They are:

Key Design Features of Fish Finders

Because of the nature of their design function, several similarities exist between these basic fish finders. They possess 12 channel parallel receivers, can determine, save and recall way-point information and can create routes.  A combo fish finder GPS unit is much more affordable than purchasing the two units separately, and it gives you the same operating features and double the technology all rolled into one.

There are a few important features that you should consider when selecting a new fish finding unit.

#1 Resolution

LCD screens are made up of numerous pixels that combine to make a single image.  Thus, pixel saturation will determine the sharpness of your screen image.  A pixel count of 720p is considered High Definition, and will provide you with optimum resolution and detail.

Lowrance hdi fish finder screenshot

#2 Power

For saltwater application, always look for at least 250W of RMS power and 3000W peak to peak, which will allow you to plot deeper water.  Another consideration is screen size.  While a handheld user may not have a lot of choices in this category, those buying standalone pieces for the console should look for a minimum screen size of 5” and work up from there, depending upon their budget.

The power is measured in wattage, which refers to the amount of power that is supplied to your fish finder. When considering the wattage of your fish finder you want to make sure that a finder is powerful enough to reach the depths you will be fishing at.

Higher wattage in a Fish Finder will result in a finder that is capable of accurately mapping deeper depths, and provide a faster transmission and return of the sonar waves produced by the finder. If you are planning to fish in varied depths, you want to get a finder that can handle from shallow to deep.

#3 Transducer Frequency 

The frequency refers to the ability of your fish finder to produce high detailed images. Lower frequencies are able to penetrate deeper, but also produce lower resolution images. Higher frequencies can give you a much more detailed image, but don’t reach deeper depths.

The best option for a fish finder is a finder that has multiple frequencies to give you the versatility to move from shallow to deep, and have options for higher detail at shallower depths.

#4 Conical Search Area 

The conical search area is where the waves of the fish finder actually search. The cone shape is the most common type of search shape, and expands the deeper it penetrates in the water column.

A wider cone is good for shallow water since it won’t disperse as much, while a narrower cone is better for deep water to reduce the dispersion at depth. Good fish finders will have transponders capable of projecting wide and narrow cones.

For deeper depths, or better coverage in general, look for a finder that has multiple beams. A finder with two beams means that there are two separate cones covering your desired search area, and let you spend less time looking and more time catching.

Reviews of Best Fish Finders Under $400


1. Garmin 010-01809-00 Striker 7SV – IMPRESSIVE

Impressive 7-inch full color screen


Garmin 010-01809-00 Striker 7SV Fish Finder Garmin Striker 7SV Fish Finder – image credit garmin.com

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Pros:

  • Transponders cover both sides of the boat.
  • Sharp image definition.
  • Easy to navigate the screens.

Cons:

  • GPS maps are not detailed.

The Garmin Striker 7SV has an impressive 7-inch full color screen that uses the high-frequency CHIRP ClearVü™ sonar to produce remarkably clear and detailed images.

The sonar uses dual frequencies of 77 and 200 kHz to allow you to dial in the finder for the best view of the water, whether deep or shallow. The best part is that the 7SV continually sweeps using data from both frequencies simultaneously to allow the increased image definition. This design lets the user see crisper outlines of the contours, objects, and fish shapes.

The 7SV has a 500 watt power supply that allows it to reach depths of 1,100 feet in saltwater, and 2,300 feet in freshwater. The cone is a dual-beam, so the dual-frequencies cover a wide aware to uncover all the fish hiding places.

The integrated GPS features waypoint markers that map out your entry and exit points, favorite spots, and the best places to find the largest and most trophy worthy fish.

Garmin Striker 7SV with transducer,  010-01809-00
42 Reviews
Garmin Striker 7SV with transducer, 010-01809-00
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  • Way point map - use the way point map to easily...


2. Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 – Best Overall Pick

Superior fish finding capabilities


Download User Manual here

Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish Finder Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish Finder- image credit humminbird.com

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Pros:

  • DualBeam Plus sonar equipped with SwitchFire.
  • CHIRP sonar technology.
  • Powerful XNT 9 20 T transducer complete with transom mount.
  • Depth capability up to 1,500 ft with the included transducer.
  • Multiple sonar functions available, such as Alarms, RTS, Selective Fish ID+ and Bottom Lock.
  • Sonar Screen Snapshot and recording functions.
  • UniMap chart software package included.

Cons:

  • Unit cover not included.

Just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice top of the line features.The HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 model features Hummingbird’s heralded CHIRP sonar system, which provides superior fish finding capabilities.

DualBeam PLUS sonar provides a larger coverage area for the transducer that has a variable frequency between 75 and 225 kHz.

The 5″ diagonal screen offers a pixel resolution of 800H x 480V, along with 16-bit color TFT and an LED backlight. This unit’s 500 Watt (RMS) output allows you to cover depths up to 1500 feet and has a power input of 10-20 VDC.  It also features an onboard GPS and a UniMap chart software package to enhance your fishing experience.

A 4,000 watt peak power makes the Helix 5 capable of producing rapidly traveling sonar waves to give you quick and detailed images of the water column, and topography of your fishing spot. The Autochart Live feature actively maps your favorite fishing spots to help you get to the fish faster every time you hit the water.

When you’re fishing in new waters, the Humminbird Basemap uses the built in GPS, and data from multiple sources, including NOAA and Lakemaster, to give you topographic, depth, and navigation data to help you make the most of your time out on a new lake.

Sale
Humminbird 410210-1 Helix 5 Chirp GPS G2 Fish...
125 Reviews
Humminbird 410210-1 Helix 5 Chirp GPS G2 Fish...
  • 5-Inch Color WVGA Display
  • CHIRP Dual Beam PLUS Sonar. Power Output RMS :...
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3. Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4 Bbuilt-in GPS – BEST SELLER

Easiest user interface


Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4 Built-in GPS Fish Finder Garmin Striker 4 Built-in GPS Fish Finder – image credit garmin.com

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Pros:

  • High accuracy transducers.
  • Map markers make finding hot spots and docks easy.
  • Easy set-up.
  • Color screen.

Cons:

  • Loses accuracy at higher speeds.
  • Transducer leads are a little short for larger boats.

The Garmin Striker 4 is the simple option designed to give you the easiest user interface possible in a fish finder. The keted interface is has dedicated buttons to keep yo0u from fiddling around to figure out how to change settings.

The built in GPS includes a waypoint map that allows you mark your favorite areas, while also setting reminders of hazards common at your favorite fishin’ hole like shallow spots, large rocks, and others. You can even mark the deep spots where you know the big fish like to hang out. All of this is easy to track on the full-color 3.5 inch screen.

The Striker 4 uses variable CHIRP sonar that continually scans the water at frequencies between 77 and 200 kHz. You can even upgrade to the GT8 or GT15 transducers to increase the coverage area, and produce crisper sonar images, to give you more of an edge for finding your prize catch.

A transducer power source provides 200 watts that lets the sonar read up to 750 feet in salt water, and 1,600 feet in freshwater.

Sale
Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5' GPS...
635 Reviews
Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5" GPS...
  • CLEARVÜ SCANNING SONAR - Shows you more of what...
  • THE POWER OF SIMPLE - Offers a keyed interface...
  • WAYPOINT MAP - Use the waypoint map to easily...


4. Deeper DP1H10S10 Portable Wireless Wifi Fish Finder

Companion for almost any kind of fishing


Deeper Pro Portable Wireless Wifi Fish Finder Deeper Portable Wireless Fish Finder – image credit deepersonar.com

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Pros:

  • GPS mapping feature in app.
  • Easy to use.
  • Produces crisp detail of water column.

Cons:

  • WiFi connection is inconsistent in rough water.
  • If your phone dies, you lose your fish finder’s capability.

Even though I set out to give you a strong list of the most common fish finder brands that produce quality finders for under $400. However, I feel impressed that I should share Deeper portable, because of how popular it is, and it turns your iOS or Android smartphone into the screen for your fish finder.

Using a WiFi radio, the Deeper fish finder transmits water data directly to your phone. The portability makes this fish finder a capable companion for almost any kind of fishing whether from the shore, on ice, or on a boat. The finder even has separate mapping modes for the different fishing conditions.

The flexibility of the deeper lets you cast the sonar device like you would your regular line, and has a connection range up up to 330 feet. The depth penetration power is capable of creating definition to within half and inch of object separation down to 260 feet in fresh and saltwater.

You are able to choose between a precise 15-degree narrow cone, and wider coverage with a 55-degree cone. The power source is a rechargeable battery capable of 5.5 hours of continual use per charge.

Sale
Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar - GPS Portable Wireless...
435 Reviews
Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar - GPS Portable Wireless...
  • Versatile, wireless, castable fish finder for avid...
  • Find fish and hot-spots faster. See fish location,...
  • Built-in GPS enables you to create bathymetric...


5. Garmin 010-01552-00 Striker 5DV

Sophisticated CHIRP system


Download User Manual here

Garmin Striker 5DV Garmin Striker 5DV Fish Finder – image credit garmin.com

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Pros:

  • 2D CHIRP sonar, capable of 50/77/200 kHz.
  • CHIRP DownVü sonar.
  • Dual frequency capable; allowing you monitor both 2D beams at the same time.
  • Wide variety of onboard sonar functions like Split Zoom, A-Scope, flasher, Bottom Lock and Fish Symbols.
  • Highly sensitive GPS system
  • Can save up to 5,000 waypoints.
  • Able to share waypoints with EchoMAP system

Cons:

  • No sonar recording.
  • NMEA outputs not included.
  • Unit cover not included.

Garmin’s Striker 5DV model is a rugged unit that is designed to withstand the rigors of continued exposure to extreme environments.  Its onboard GPS system marks your exact location, and even lets you know how fast you are trolling.  The sophisticated CHIRP system continually emits variable frequencies from low to high, and lets you know how close you are to the action.  It also features a sonar data flasher, which is ideal when you are jigging vertically.

Garmin 010-01807-00 Garmin STRIKER 5cv with...
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Garmin 010-01807-00 Garmin STRIKER 5cv with...
  • CLEARVÜ SCANNING SONAR - Shows you more of what...
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  • WAYPOINT MAP - Use the waypoint map to easily...


6. Lowrance 000-12664-002 Navico Hook 7

High resolution image


Download User Manual here

Lowrance 000-12664-002 Navico Hook 7 Fish Finder Lowrance Navico Hook Fish Finder – image credit lowrance.com

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Pros:

  • Advanced 2D CHIRP sonar.
  • Crystal clear DownScan imaging system.
  • Split-screen viewing allows monitoring of up to 3 panels at a time.
  • Superior sonar recording function.
  • Automatic noise filtering.
  • Various functions included, such as Fish ID, A-Scope, Bottom Lock etc.
  • Rapid GPS acquisition.
  • Interfaces with high end charting software, such as Fishing Hot Spots PRO, Navionics +, C-MAP MAX-N and Nautic Insight PRO.

Cons:

  • Advanced unit; may take some time to master completely.
  • Basic map charts provided offer insufficient detail.
  • Unit cover not included.

The Lowrance 000-12664-022 Navico Hook 7 offers numerous popular features like an exclusive 7 inch color screen that delivers a high resolution image. It also offers powerful DownScan imaging and CHIRP sonar, which together provide you with exceptional monitoring capability directly beneath and around your boat.

In order to reduce the need for manual adjustment, the unit also offers an Advanced Signal Processing system, which quickly allows you to survey bottom detail, submerged structures and, most importantly …fish!  A mid-high down imaging transducer is also included.

Lowrance 000-12664-002 Navico Hook 7 with Card &...
18 Reviews
Lowrance 000-12664-002 Navico Hook 7 with Card &...
  • Lowrance 000-12664-002 Navico Hook 7 with Card &...
  • CHIRP sonar plus DownScan imaging provides the...
  • Advanced signal processing (ASP) reduces the need...


7. Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X

Help you find what you want faster and easier


Lowrance Hook-3X Fish Finder Lowrance Hook-3X Fish Finder – image credit lowrance.com

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Pros:

  • Clear screen, even in sunlight.
  • Easy to install in the boat.
  • Good for finding depth, temperature, and contour.
  • Great for first-time users.

Cons:

  • Loses accuracy at high speeds.
  • 3-inch screen is a little small.

The Lowrance Hook features a 3-inch full color screen that is LED back-lit to allow you to clearly view the images returned to you by the dual frequency transponders running at 83 and 200 kHz. The 80 kHz mode creates a 60 degree cone that is a great option for finding the best fish over a wide area.

The transponders use broadband sounders that relay information back to the screen, and give you a clear picture of bottom contour and hardness, water temperature changes, fish, and underwater structures.

Thanks to the advanced signal processing of the Hook, you spend less time making manual adjustments to improve image clarity.

The fish finder automatically adjusts to changes in the water column and conditions to help you find what you want faster and easier. Page buttons on the body make switching between the 83 and 200 kHz signals quick and simple.

Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X Sonar, W/ 83/200...
119 Reviews
Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X Sonar, W/ 83/200...
  • Led-backlit 3 inch color display with detailed 320...
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 Final Note on Fish Finders

In the final analysis, no matter which brand you ultimately select or how much you may decide to spend for any given fish finding unit, there might be a few individuals who view this type of state of the art fishing technology as providing an unfair advantage to the anglers who use them.

Nonetheless, it must always be remembered that these units do not actually catch fish for you; they simply help you locate them.  It is indeed up to the individual angler to consistently exercise discretion when fishing, either with or without such electronic assistance, in order to help preserve this vital resource for future generations.

Related:  Best Fish Finders For Shallow Water

8 Best FishFinder Models For [SHALLOW WATER]

Best Fishfinders for Shallow Water Fishing: Exclusive Guide


Many fishermen are not convinced that a fishfinder will help them out all that much when they are out fishing in shallow water. I for one totally disagree with them. My experience with them is that they can at least point you in the right direction and give you a better chance to catch some fish on any given day. High frequency sonars in ranges like 200kHz, 455kHz or 800kHz don’t cover a wide area but they do provide great fish and bottom structure detail.

Do they guarantee success when fishing in shallow water? The answer to that is no; but neither does the best boat, the best lure or the best rod and reel setup. That is just the way fishing goes and what makes it a fun challenge. One thing I do know for sure is that fishfinders in the above mentioned frequencies work very well in shallow water.

So what is the best fishfinder for shallow water? I really like the Garmin Striker 7SV with transducer. The large, 7-inch screen, on the Striker 7SV is beautifully detailed to allow you to monitor multiple frequencies simultaneously.

The screen is so crisp and clear that you feel more like your are looking at a live feed of the water column, rather than trying to decipher blob looking shapes that could either be a fish or a boot. The screens provide a higher degree of accuracy thanks to the Garmin CHIRP ClearVü 260/455/800 kHz, and SideVü 260/455/800 kHz that are almost perfect for uncovering all the best hiding spots and fish populations in shallow water.

Our Selection – Fishfinders for Fishing in Shallow Water in 2019


Garmin Striker 7SV with transducer,  010-01809-00
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Sale Humminbird 410210-1 Helix 5 Chirp GPS G2 Fish...
Humminbird 409640-1 HELIX 5 SI Fish Finder with...
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Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X Sonar, W/ 83/200...
Sale HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder with HD Color...
Garmin Echo 551dv Worldwide with Transducer

The Buyer’s Guide – Key Characteristics the Best Fishfinder for Shallow Water MUST Have


You will find many different features on fishfinders. Some of them really help in your quest to find fish and others are mostly just bells and whistles that are nice to have. That being said, there are three important features that any fishfinder for shallow water MUST have.

# High Frequency Sonar 

A fishfinder that will work well in shallow water should have a sonar frequency in the 200kHz or higher frequency range. The higher the frequency, the higher the resolution that fishfinder will show you. This frequency range will also better enable you to position your boat over the fish.

# Good Display Screen Resolution

We have already told you that sonar on your boat that works in the 200kHz or higher range will help give you better fish and bottom structure detail. You can take that one step further with a display on your fishfinder that has good resolution. The higher your resolution the more you can assume about the fish you find and the more accurately you can get right over them with your boat.

Garmin Striker 7SV Screen Display

With a higher screen resolution on your display, you have a chance to do such things as distinguish the size of the fish you are over and in some cases you can even take an educated guess as to what species those fish are most likely to be.

This is a huge advantage for you and your companions when fishing in shallow water. It will help keep you from wasting time going after a different species of fish than the ones you were hoping to catch.

# Side Imaging/Down Imaging Radar

These are some of the newest radar technologies for fishing in shallow water. They work with sonar frequencies that are found in the 455 or 800 kHz range.

How does side imaging sonar help you? We mentioned that one of the downfalls of higher resolution sonar like 200kHz, 455kHz or 800kHz is that they don’t cover a lot of area.

Side imaging sonar helps to compensate for this. Since it shoots at a sidewards angle along both sides of your boat it will cover more area than just standard down looking sonar does.

It will enable you to map the bottom of a body of water much faster. Side imaging radar also gives you more of a 3D view of an area so you can judge bottom structure locations better.

Down imaging radar has its advantages too. It will provide you with specific and more vivid details about an area of structure you are fishing.

You will be able to tell if that structure you are directly over is a rock outcropping, a fallen tree or a sunken ship. This can be really useful in determining exactly how you will fish the area you are casting in.

Any fishfinder that has these key characteristics will give you a better chance at finding where the right fish are in shallow water.

The Reviews – Top Model Shallow Water Fish Finders


1. Garmin 010-01809-00 Striker 7SV Review – Best Overall Pick

 Seamless picture to find the deep spots hidden in shallow waters


Garmin 010-01809-00 Striker 7SV Fish Finder Garmin Striker 7SV Fish Finder – image credit garmin.com

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+ Shallow Sonar Type: CHIRP ClearVü: 260/455/800 kHz SideVü: 260/455/800 kHz.

+ Display: WVGA color 7” diag.

+ Bonus Features: Waypoint map to track your favorite fishing locations.

The Striker 7SV features Garmin’s exclusive CHIRP ClearVü™ and Garmin CHIRP SideVü™ technology in a large 7” diagonal screen to give you an incredibly clear view of the both underneath and around your boat as you cruise your favorite waterways in search of the catch of the day.

The impressive 260/455/800 kHz side and down scans give you such a clear picture of the water column that you will think that you’re almost watching a video of the passing lake bottom.

The installed Smooth Scaling™ software easily transitions between depths to provide a seamless picture to find the deep spots hidden in shallow waters.

The GPS system of the Striker 7SV includes the ability to map and save your favorite fishing areas, that includes saving waypoints to mark hotspots, spawning areas, entry and exit points. Being able to easily update your custom waypoints helps save time so you can cast more and search less.

You can also use the sonor history rewind feature to review sonar images from your scanning to create a series of waypoints to return to as you setup your fishing day. This is a nice addition that removes the regret moment of overpassing a good area, as you search for the best area to fish.

The Striker 7SV GPS actively tracks your trolling speed to help you make sure you are trolling your lure at just the right speed to be able attract active species without going so fast that you outrun them, or too slow that they lose interest.

As you troll the sonar sends you constant imagery to help you make sure that the fish are actually following, and you’re not wasting your time, and bait.

Pros:

  • Easy to use, high featured fish finder.
  • Precision GPS locating, with waypoint mapping.
  • Bright and clear display.

Cons:

  • GPS maps are not highly detailed.

Garmin Striker 7SV with transducer,  010-01809-00
42 Reviews
Garmin Striker 7SV with transducer, 010-01809-00
  • Clearer scanning sonar - shows you more of what is...
  • The power of simple - offers a keyed interface...
  • Way point map - use the way point map to easily...


2. Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4 ReviewBest Value

Excellent CHIRP sonar system


Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4 Built-in GPS Fish FinderGarmin Striker 4 Built-in GPS Fish Finder – image credit garmin.com

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+ Shallow Sonar Type: 200kHz CHIRP.

+ Display: 3.5″ InchColor 480 x 320.

+ Bonus Features: Added GPS Navigation.

There is a reason why Garmin is a leader when it comes to fish finding products. They are known for building products with many nice features and then selling them at a very fair price. This compact model fishfinder is an excellent example of that.

You don’t often see fishfinders in its price range that have all the features this model has and a built in GPS navigational system too.

It features an excellent CHIRP sonar system that operates at both 77kHz and 200kHz. This is the perfect combination to help you get to where the fish are and bring in a boat full of them. With this type sonar setup there is no reason you should ever get shutout again on any fishing trip.

The display on this model fishfinder is not fancy but will still easily get the job done. Its 3.5 inch display will give you a good view of where the fish are and also help keep you safe by showing you the bottom terrain where you are.

The included GPS navigational system is an excellent bonus feature. It will help you safely navigate your way around unfamiliar shallow areas and you can also mark your favorite fishing spots with waypoints.

Pros:

  • 3.5-inch color display with 480×320 pixels resolution.
  • Rugged design to face harsh marine environment.
  • CHIRP sonar for better fish target.
  • Water temperature Log and Graph.
  • Fish symbol ID to help identify the fish targets.

Cons:

  • Unit cover not included.
  • Latitude and longitude information not available.
  • No NMEA connectivity.
  • At direct sunlight, the display could be better.

Sale
Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5' GPS...
635 Reviews
Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5" GPS...
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3. Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 G2 Review – Best Seller

Dual channel CHIRP sonar


Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish Finder Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 – image credit humminbird.com

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+ Shallow Sonar Type: 200kHz CHIRP.

+ Display: 800H x 480V, 5″ 256 color.

+ Bonus Features: Added GPS Navigation.

You are already aware that I am a big fan of this excellent shallow water fishfinder. That being said, my reviews are always based on information and not emotional inclinations. This is one of Humminbird’s best-selling fishfinders for a reason. That means many other people share the same opinion as me.

It all starts with the excellent sonar that this model has. Its dual channel CHIRP sonar will easily help you locate large schools of fish and then position yourself directly over them.

One of the better features on this model fishfinder is the high resolution display. Even the best sonar can do you no good unless you have a quality display to show the information it gives you. This display is also nicely backlit for easy daytime viewing.

The GPS navigational aid is a nice bonus with this unit also. It can help you safely navigate your boat around in unfamiliar areas and you can even waypoint where your favorite fishing spots are.

Pros:

  • Brilliant 800H x 480V, 5″ 256 color display with backlight.
  • Dual channel ‘CHIRP’ sonar.
  • Built in GPS navigation system.

Cons:

  • Transducer cable is a little short.
  • Owner’s manual could use some improvement.

Sale
Humminbird 410210-1 Helix 5 Chirp GPS G2 Fish...
125 Reviews
Humminbird 410210-1 Helix 5 Chirp GPS G2 Fish...
  • 5-Inch Color WVGA Display
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4. Humminbird 409640-1 HELIX 5 SI Review

Full 180 degree image of the water column underneath your boat


Humminbird 409640-1 HELIX 5 SI Fish Finder Humminbird 409640-1 HELIX 5 SI – image credit humminbird.com

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+ Shallow Sonar Type: 200/455 kHz.

+ Display: 5″ 800H X 480V 256 Color TFT.

+ Bonus Features: Side and down imaging with DualBeam PLUS Sonar.

One of the first endearing features of the Humminbird Helix 5 SI is the micro SD card slot that gives you the option and flexibility to add additional maps to the built in GPS to expand your fishing territory.

The micro SD also gives you the ability to save waypoints to better track and navigate to and from entry points, and remember the best areas to cast. The waypoint saving is just one part of the expansive chartplotting system enabled by the precision GPS that also plots your speed.

In the water, the Helix 5 has side imaging and down imaging sonar that has dual cone coverage at 20°, 60°, and 85° options. When combined, the sonar gives a full 180 degree image of the water column underneath your boat.

The power of the high frequency transducers is able to acquire target separation down to 2.5 inches of distance, giving you a more accurate view of what is actually lying in the water column, and how many fish you have to target.

Pros:

  • High precision GPS with waypoint mapping.
  • Wide view range with both side and down imaging.
  • Screen provides high detail.
  • Expandable memory to add more maps.

Cons:

  • Transducer cable is short.
  • Included base, doesn’t rotate left or right.

Humminbird 409640-1 HELIX 5 SI Fish Finder with...
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5. Lowrance Hook-5 Coastal Nautic Review

Clea and, crisp image of the water column below your boat


Lowrance Hook-5 Coastal Nautic Fish Finder Lowrance Hook-5 Coastal Nautic – image credit lowrance.com

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+ Shallow Sonar Type: 200 kHz.

+ Display: 5-inch, high-resolution color display.

+ Bonus Features: GPS with U.S. map featuring more than 3,000 lakes and rivers.

The Lowrance Hook 5 uses a combination of high precision GPS and CHIRP sonar to create your new best fishing friend. The Hook 5 comes with maps covering over 3,000 U.S. waterways that are up-gradable to high definition quality. Plus you can make your own custom using the Genesis® mapping function, and save your favorite fishing spots, complete with routes.

The Hook 5 uses two CHIRP sonar ranges to create a clear, crisp image of the water column below your boat. The images are further enhanced thanks to the Hybrid Dual Imaging™ that combines Broadband Sounder™ PLUS and Lowrance Exclusive DownScan Imaging™ to create a highly accurate scan that has a super low target separation distance, and reduces sonar noise.

The DownScan Overlay™ system overlays multiple sets of down scan data to make sure that you are seeing actual fish targets, and not just a clump of vegetation.

Pros:

  • Personalized maps with option to save infor on favorite areas.
  • GPS with large waterway data set.
  • Strikingly clear downscan imagery.

Cons:

  • Screen is a little dim for bright days.

Lowrance Hook-5 Coastal Nautic Insight Sonar/GPS...
6 Reviews
Lowrance Hook-5 Coastal Nautic Insight Sonar/GPS...
  • Lowrance-exclusive, brilliant, high-resolution,...
  • CHIRP Sonar plus Down Scan Imaging -- the power of...
  • Highly accurate, built-in GPS antenna plus a...


6. Garmin 010-01256-00 Echo 551dv with Transducer Review –

Garmin ClearVü give impressive definition of fish and underwater structures


Garmin Echo 551dv Worldwide with Transducer Fish Finder Garmin Echo 551dv Worldwide with Transducer – image credit garmin.com

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+ Shallow Sonar Type: 200kHz ClearVü scanning sonar.

+ Display: 5-inch high-resolution VGA color display.

+ Bonus Features: Split screen shows both high and low frequencies.

The Garmin Echo 551dv has a high-resolution screen that can be split either horizontally or vertically to take full advantage of the “all-in-one transducer” that simultaneously projects 77 kHz and 200 kHz sonar signals. For you as the fisher, this gives you the clearest and most accurate imagery of the underwater structure, and the fish that are trying to hide from you.

The dual frequency monitoring, and high-resolution screen combine to use Garmin’s Smooth Scaling™ technology to provide a seamless transition from deep to shallow water. This is perfect for finding those hidden deep spots in shallow water lakes where the big trophies like to hide out from us anglers.

The Echo 551dv further sweetens the pot with the variable cone angles that allow you to dial in the coverage area of the sonar signal. You can use a wider cone to find the most likely hiding places, and the narrower cone to focus in for greater detail on the fish.

Once you have found the best places you can use the sonar history rewind to review your favorite spots and dial in where you want to drop your lure without having to troll back and forth across the surface of the lake. You also have access to the Ultrascroll® and AutoGain features that give you clearer imagery with reduced clutter, even when traveling at higher speeds.

Pros:

  • Easy set-up and easy to learn.
  • Comes with quick release transom and trolling motor transducer mounts.
  • Depth indicator, with shallow water warning indicator.
  • High detail color screen.

Cons:

  • Electrical wiring is short (6 feet).
  • Few customization options.

Garmin Echo 551dv Worldwide with Transducer
92 Reviews
Garmin Echo 551dv Worldwide with Transducer
  • Includes: echo 551dv, 4-pin all-in-one 77/200 kHz...
  • Color Display
  • Display Resolution 480 x 640(VGA)


7. Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X Review

Affordable price and easy to install


Lowrance Hook-3X Fish Finder Lowrance Hook-3X Fish Finder – image credit lowrance.com

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+ Shallow Sonar Type: 200kHz XDCR.

+ Display: 3″ inchcolor 320 x 240.

+ Bonus Features: Mounting Hardware Kit.

Lawrance is a very popular name among fishermen because of the quality fishfinders they produce and this model is no exception. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s not a quality fishfinder because you can buy it for an affordable price. It will do the trick nicely for you and this is an extremely small boat friendly model.

It has sonar frequencies of 83kHz to help you find where the fish are and 200kHz to help place you over and identify those fish. It is a very simple but effective system to get you to a fishing spot that increases your chances for success.

Not only will this unit help you find your next fish dinner but it’s very easy to install too. It even comes with all the mounting hardware you need to do that. You can literally have it set up and running in less than one hour. This is true even if you are not mechanical like me.

Pros:

  • 3 inch 320H x 240V display.
  • Dual frequency sonar operates at 83kHz or 200kHz.
  • Quick release bracket for safe storage.

Cons:

  • Display colors are very generic.
  • Daytime display reading is hard to see sometimes.

Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X Sonar, W/ 83/200...
119 Reviews
Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X Sonar, W/ 83/200...
  • Led-backlit 3 inch color display with detailed 320...
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8. HawkEye Fishtrax 1C with HD Color Virtuview Display Review

 Portable finder that helps you fish everywhere


HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder with HD Color Virtuview Display HawkEye Fishtrax 1C with HD Color Virtuview Display – image credit hawkeyeelectronics.com

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+ Shallow Sonar Type: Auto Switching Dual-Beam 200/83 kHz.

+ Display: VirtuView™ HD Color.

+ Bonus Features: Powered by 4 AAA batteries for increased portability.

The Hawkeye Fishtrax is the fishfinder for the angler that loves to cast a lure in different types of water, and on different types of boats. The transducer has three different options for placement; a portable mode that lets you fish from the shore or a kayak, a shoot-through for smaller vessels, and a boat mount for larger boats.

You can quickly and easily change the position of the transducer to meet changing conditions and locations quickly and easily. The transducer can be used for trolling, or floated to further increase the portability and flexibility of this finder.

The screen on the Hawkeye Fishtrax 1C is an HD color display that is glare free and is White SoftGlow™ backlit to provide ultra clear readability in cloudy or sunny conditions. The readout gives you a highly accurate reading of the dual beam sonar. Built-in adaptable software uses the data received to learn topography and fish forms to reduce the occurrence of false fish readings.

In addition to finding fish and displaying depth, the Hawkeye also measures and displays water temperature as it changes through the depth of the water column. This is handy, as fish tend to prefer to hang out in thermoclines, which are the areas where different water temperatures meet.

Pros:

  • Does a great job of tracking fish depth and location in water column.
  • Finder is housed in a waterproof case.
  • Highly portable and adaptable to different conditions.

Cons:

  • Screen is small.
  • Battery life is low for extended fishing trips.

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HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder with HD Color...
74 Reviews
HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder with HD Color...
  • VirtuView HD Color Display
  • Dual-Frequency FishTrax Intelligent Sonar 
  • Ice-Mode Digital Flasher Portrayal


The Conclusion – Give Yourself A Better Chance For Success When Fishing In Shallow Water

I was one of those fishermen that were skeptical at first about spending the money on a fishfinder. Now, I will never leave my dock without one on board. Having a fishfinder is the only sure way of knowing that there are even fish in the area where your boat is.

All of these model fishfinders reviewed here will do the trick nicely for you and are not considered expensive as far as fishfinders go. Once you add a fishfinder to your boat, it will significantly add to your confidence that you will catch fish every time you are out on the water.

8 Best [SPINNING RODS] for Trout Fishing

Your Best Spinning Rod to Fish that Big Trout

There are few fish that are as exciting to catch as trout. They have some smarts and when you do land one they really put up a pretty good fight. It is the perfect sport for fishing purists too because you don’t use boats, fish finders or state of the art gear.

It basically comes down to you and the fish. That does not mean you don’t need a good spinning rod when trout fishing. Patience, tactics and a good spinning rod are essential to your success when you are trying to catch this species of fish.

A quick search will show that there are numberless models of spin rods. Let us narrow the selection down for you. One model that performs very well, and is very well liked by anglers, is the St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod.

The St. Croix Triumph is a solid combination of length, weight, power and action. The strong premium graphite pole is strong enough to fight a stubborn trout, but remains sensitive enough to catch them trying to steal your bait.

Our Top Eight Spinning Rod for Trout Fishing in 2019


St Croix Triumph Spinning Rods (TRS66MLF2)
Fenwicks Eagle Spinning Rods
Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod 5' - Ultra Light -...
SHIMANO Sojourn 1-Piece Spin Rod
Sale Berkley Trout Dough Series Spinning
Sale KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods - Fuji O-Ring...


Important Characteristics of Spinning Rods for Trout Fishing

When you looked at the table above you might have noticed some common traits between all three spinning rods.

Two of these traits are absolutely necessary in any spinning rod for trout that you are considering buying. That is the size and weight of your trout spinning rod.

Let’s take a closer look at these qualities to see why they are so important.

#1 SIZE

Most trout fishing is done in somewhat less open or confined areas like small streams and creeks. You definitely don’t want a long fishing rod when you are trying to move around in these areas. This is especially true if there are a lot of trees or vegetation along the banks.

The less length your spinning rod has the less chance it will catch on something or become entangled. A 5 to 6 foot length is perfect for your spinning rod if you are using it for trout fishing.

I like the slightly longer 6 foot rod myself. Although it is a little harder to maneuver in tight areas, it has the advantage of being a little stronger rod that still has good feel to it when you have a trout on the line.

There is no way I would trout fish with a bigger rod than this if I was fishing for trout in small streams and creeks.

Spinning Rods Weight

#2 WEIGHT

From personal experience I can tell you there are few fishing experiences that are as scintillating as having a trout on the end of your ultra-light spinning rod.

The only problem being is if you get overzealous you can break that pole pretty easy if it’s a good size fish you have on there. So you may want to consider stepping it up one weight class to a lightweight rod.

You will still get some good action and at the same time give yourself a little margin of error for your pole snapping too.

Spinning Rods Weight

#3 POWER

The power of a rod is what determines how flexible the rod is, and how easily it reacts to a fish on. The power you need will depend on the type of fish you are going after.

For trout fishing, a light rod is a good starting place. The rod will be flexible enough to both react to a fish bite, and strong enough to fight the trout in without risking a break.

Spinning Rod Power

#4 ACTION

Action is the rating of the rods ability to bend, and how far back from the tip the rod will bend. Faster rods bend much closer to the tip, while slower rods will bend closer to the middle of the rod.

The action of the rod will determine how well you cast different types of bait, and how the hook sets in the fish’s mouth.

Slow action rods are good for casting baits longer distances, so would be good if you are trying to reach deeper water from the shore.

Faster action rods tend to better for trout, because the easy of the rod flexing help to identify when the trout is biting, Having a fast action will also help to hook the fish, because when it bite the rod will spring back faster after flexing.

Spinning Rod Action

Reviews of Top Model Spinning Rods for Trout Fishing

You know the basics from the chart above as to what is important to look for in a spinning rod that you will use for trout fishing. But those are not the only good features that these trout spinning rods have to offer.

Let’s take a little more in depth look at them and then you will really see why any one of these spinning rods will be a great asset on your next trout fishing excursion.


1. St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod Review – TOP PICK

A tough, yet sensitive rod designed to nab trout


St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod – image credit dickssportinggoods.com

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+ Size: 6’6”

+ Weight: medium-light

+ Action: fast

Uses/Special feature:  amateur angler – freshwater.

We love St. Croix’s slogan, “Fish More. Worry Less.” When it comes to fishing trout, the deck is already stacked in the fish’s favor. The Triumph goes a long way to evening the odds. St. Croix designed the Triumph to be a good mix between strength and sensitivity.

With a length of 6’6” you have a rod that provides strong casting power, and helps control the pull of the fish so you exert less effort while reeling in your catch. The fast action of the rod gives it a high degree of sensitivity at the tip to more easily feel when a fish is jumping on your bait.

The medium-light weight of the Triumph is an amazing blend between flexibility and power. The give and take of the rod gives the fish just enough room to allow the hook to grab hold as the rod flexes back and pulls into the fish’s mouth.

The premium cork handles provide a comfortable grip that doesn’t punish your joints when your squeeze a little too hard during a long fight.

Don’t forget the reel –

A rod is only as good as the reel attached to it. To pair with the St. Croix Triumph, we recommend checking out the Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel. This reel provides a smooth cranking action and high durability to match the dependability of your new Triumph rod.

Pros:

  • Comfortable rod with great sensitivity.
  • Durable SCII graphite pole with Aluminum-oxide guides.
  • Easy to cast, even with further distances.
  • Rod performs well with different types of bait.

Cons:

  • St. Croix’s warranty is tough to work with.
St Croix Triumph Spinning Rods (TRS66MLF2)
124 Reviews
St Croix Triumph Spinning Rods (TRS66MLF2)
  • Premium SCII Graphite
  • Outstanding Strength, Sensitivity, and...
  • Finely Tuned Actions and Tapers for Superior...

2. Fenwick Eagle Spinning Rod Review

Strong but flexible graphite


Fenwick Eagle Spinning Rod Fenwick Eagle Spinning Rod – image credit fleetfarm.com

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+ Size: 5’6”

+ Weight: medium heavy

+ Action: moderate fast

Uses/Special feature:  frequent fishing – freshwater.

The Fenwick Eagle Spinning rods are the culmination of over 60 years of rod building experience that has created a superior class of spinning rods. While this rod doesn’t have the light weight and fast action of some other rods, the build quality and performance of the Eagle will not leave you wanting when you cast for trout in your favorite hole.

Fenwick built the Eagle Spinning rods with B2 burled cork that has the feel of cork used in most rods, but has a much higher durability than standard cork. The result is a consistent feel to the grip of the rod you can rely on with each cast.

To maintain a lightweight feel to the rod, Fenwick built the rod out of strong but flexible graphite with guides made of stainless steel. The stainless steel material not only is lighter weight, but resists damage and corrosion build, allowing your rod to last longer, and have the same action with every catch.

A rod is only as good as its reel – 

To top off your rod package, check out the Pflueger President Spinning Reel. This spinning reel is designed with 9 stainless steel ball bearing to give a smooth feel when reeling in your catch.

The body and rotor are made from strong and durable graphite for lightweight and comfortable action.

Pros:

  • Light, but still strong and durable.
  • Good tip sensitivity, even with medium weight and moderate action.
  • Good balance and feel while casting, and reeling in.

Cons:

  • Joint where two pieces join can come apart easily.
Fenwicks Eagle Spinning Rods
129 Reviews
Fenwicks Eagle Spinning Rods
  • B2 Burled Cork Designs Provides The Feel Of...
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3. Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod Review

High performance at a very affordable price


Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod - image credit uglystik.com Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod – image credit uglystik.com

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+ Size: 5-feet

+ Weight: ultra-light

+ Action: fast

Uses/Special feature:  comfort grip – budget rod

Almost any angler out there has stories about epic showdowns with their favorite Ugly Stick. The Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod is the perfect companion to create a lifetime of fishing stories.

The first thing you need to know about the Ugly Stik Elite is that it requires so little effort to wield into glorious river combat. We don’t go fishing for the exercise, after all. Well, most of the time.

The ultra-light rod has a length of just five feet which falls right into our criteria for the ideal spin rod length for trout fishing. The light weight of the rod makes the Ugly Stik super sensitive to fish tugging on the line, which means that you will feel even the sneakiest of fish trying to steal your bait. The graphite composite body of the rod is what provides its lightweight and power.

Shakespeare specifically focused on durability when designing the Ugly Stik Elite with the Clear Tip, so that users would have a reliable rod for years. Grabbing the Elite will mean you will only need to purchase one rod for your trout battles, and rely on it year after year.

The cork handle is elegantly designed for comfort and ease while in a fight with a stubborn trout. The end cap is firm, yet soft, so that you can anchor it against your body while wrestling you catch to shore.

The one piece stainless steel line guides are not only strong, but smooth to give you a great cast every time, and their light weight contributes to enhanced vibration sensitivity. Better sensitivity means you can feel the fish better with the rod in your hands.

Attaching your favorite reel to the Ugly Stik Elite is simple and dependable thanks to the blank style reel seats that include cushioned stainless steel hoods. The tapered top grip allows for a higher variation of reels, giving you the utmost in customization options.

Even though this spin rod would fall into the budget category of rods, you definitely are not going to be short on quality. The Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod offers high performance at a very affordable price.

Add a little line to your rod – 

Pairing your Ugly Stik with the KastKing SuperPower Braided Fishing Line will give you more consistent casting, more natural lure swimming action, and a zero stretch to make it just a little bit easier to land that hook in the fish’s mouth.

Pros:

  • High Quality and durable.
  • Easy to use for beginners and experienced anglers.
  • Good action.
  • Very good casting.

Cons:

  • Not good for large fish, but comes in higher weights for larger species.
Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod 5' - Ultra Light -...
408 Reviews
Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod 5' - Ultra Light -...
  • Line Rating - 8-17 pounds
  • Ugly Tech Construction with added graphite for...
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4. Shimano Sojourn 1-Piece Review

Flexible and lightweight


+ Size: 6’6”

+ Weight: medium

+ Action: fast

Uses/Special feature: rod for trout and crappie.

SHIMANO SOJOURN 1-PIECE SPIN ROD SHIMANO SOJOURN 1-PIECE SPIN ROD – image credit shimano.com

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This is not a great spinning rod for going after fish that are bigger than trout but it works great for trout and crappie. Any angler will love the way it feels if you manage to set your hook in a trout when using it. You will feel every bit of the fight and love it.

The little extra weight it has will tend to keep it from snapping like some ultra-light rods will do. Even though this rod is a little heavier than an ultra-light class spinning rod, it still has a really sensitive tip which is a requirement when trout fishing.

This Shimano spinning rod gets its great feel thanks to the flexible and lightweight graphite composite material that goes into making it. The guides are low profile which helps to avoid snagging and also helps you cast more accurately too. The guides are aluminum oxide so they will hold up for a long time without corroding.

It’s obvious that Shimano put a lot of thought in the design of this very affordable fishing rod.

Reel in a complete package – 

The Shimano Sienna FE Spinning Reel is a dyna-balanced spinning reel designed to create a compact reel with reduced vibration and increased sensitivity. This reel pair nicely with the Sojourn whether fighting trout, or for a bigger game in in-shore waters.

Pros:

  • Excellent weight and feel.
  • Strong for its size.
  • Ideal shorter length for trout fishing.

Cons:

  • Dual grip is not for everyone.
  • Can get a little heavy after a long wade.
SHIMANO Sojourn 1-Piece Spin Rod
35 Reviews
SHIMANO Sojourn 1-Piece Spin Rod
  • Length: 6'6"
  • Power: Medium
  • Action: Fast

5. G Loomis Trout Panfish SR6010 IMX Review

Strength with lightweight


G Loomis Trout Panfish SR6010 IMX G Loomis Trout Panfish SR6010 IMX – image credit gloomis.com

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+ Size: 5-feet

+ Weight: ultra-light

+ Action: moderate

Uses/Special feature:  trout – confined freshwater.

If you are looking for the perfect trout spinning rod that combines strength with lightweight feel, then this very well could be the trout fishing rod of choice for you. It is a professional trout fishing rod in every aspect of its construction.

A 5 foot rod is the absolute perfect size for trout fishing in confined areas. It is a great rod that has tremendous feel to it also once you set the hook in the mouth of any medium to small sized freshwater fish. Those who have tried this rod often describe the feel of it as being very ‘soft’ and ‘sensitive’ which is ideal for trout fishing.

This 1-piece spinning rod is really lightweight too. You will barely notice its weight even if you have a long walk or wade to your favorite trout fishing hole. That means you will not get arm fatigue as fast as you would with a heavier rod. This G Loomis rod is also surprisingly strong for its weight too.

Among its other fine features are its Fuji reel seat, a moderately light taper and a dual cork handle. This rod even looks great with its sleek black metallic finish. It’s a terrific all-around light duty fishing rod that you can use in a variety of different ways when fishing.

Get your fish on line – 

The G Loomis Trout Panfish is a great companion to the Power Pro Spectra Fiber Braided Fishing Line. This line is is a near-zero stretch Mircoline designed for high sensitivity, especially when going of trout.

Pros:

  • Ultra-light feel.
  • Professional quality from top to bottom.
  • Ideal compact size for trout fishing.

Cons:

  • Dual grip is not for everyone.
  • Only serious anglers should consider purchasing this rod.

6. Berkeley Trout Dough Series Review

Extremely lightweight


Berkeley Trout Dough Series Rod Berkeley Trout Dough Series Rod – image credit berkley-fishing.com

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+ Size: 4’6”

+ Weight: light

+ Action: fast

Uses/Special feature:  great with baits and spinners.

This is a nice spinning rod that will show a lot of action on it when you have a trout on the end of the line. It is a really nice design that is tailor made for trout fishing. Berkley actually designed this to be used with their very popular dough baits but it will work well with a variety of different baits and spinners.

It is an extremely lightweight spinning rod. That translates to a fishing rod that will have a very soft feel when you have a fish on the end of it. It also makes it very sensitive so you will be able to feel the strike easily when a trout hits your spinner.

This Berkley rod is very well-constructed for the affordable price you pay for it too. It is made from sturdy fiberglass blanks to help give it strength. Among its other features are a lightweight cork handle and six corrosion resistant stainless steel guides.

Hard to make a catch without a reel – 

Complete your fishing package with a Daiwa BG spinning Reel for light and quick real action to compliment you new Berkeley Trout rod. Pick up the KastKing SuperPower Braided Fishing Line to make the system complete, and start bringing home the trout.

Pros:

  • Superior ultra-light feel.
  • Medium to fast rod taper.
  • Ideal compact size for trout fishing.

Cons:

  • Single grip may bother some.
  • It breaks easily if you try to manhandle your fish.
Berkley Trout Dough Series Spinning
2 Reviews
Berkley Trout Dough Series Spinning
  • This spinning fishing rod is designed to provide...
  • Spinning fishing rod is specifically engineered...
  • Uni-directional fiberglass blanks deliver the...

7. KastKing Perigee II Review

Power to wear down the trout as you reel it in


+ Size: 6’7”

+ Weight: medium-light

+ Action: Fast

Uses/Special feature:  high flexibility – fresh or saltwater.

What caught my attention about the KastKing Perigree II fishing rods was the dual function. Admittedly, I’m a sucker for equipment that can serve multiple purposes. The KastKing comes with two tips that can make the Perigree II either a baitcasting rod, or a spinning rod.

As a spinning rod, the KastKing offers a rod black made from carbon fiber that provides flexibility and strength, while being environmentally friendly. The grips are made of high-density EVA foam for a comfortable grip.

I also like the Saf-T-Keeper hook holder that is meant to help keep you from accidentally hooking your fishing buddy, or a tree, not that that has ever happened to me.

KastKing built the Perigree II to give flexibility throughout the length of the rod, as well as power to wear down the trout as you reel it in. Fuji O-ring line guides help to keep your line exactly where you want it the entire time you are fighting that fish.

The features of this rod help to form a rod that works with you, instead of against you with every cast and every reel.

Add a line a reel – 

KastKing has a complete line of fishing tools to help you create a high-performing rod. The KastKing Sharky III 2018 Spinning Reel is made of a carbon fiber body to maximize strength while reducing weight. Paired with the KastKing SuperPower Braided Fishing Line that offers superior sensitivity and zero stretch, and you have yourself a lightweight, strong, and sensitive trout nabbing package.

Pros:

  • Good combination of strength and lightweight feel.
  • Even with changeable tip, feels like a one-piece rod.
  • Smooth casting and fast action.
  • Lifetime warranty on tip and rod body

Cons:

  • Reel seat is a little loose.
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KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods - Fuji O-Ring...
311 Reviews
KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods - Fuji O-Ring...
  • AMAZING QUALITY CARBON FIBER BLANK - All Perigee...
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8. Hurricane Calico Jack Inshore Spinning Rod Review

Strong rod with powerful and accurate casting ability


Hurricane Calico Jack Inshore Spinning Rod Hurricane Calico Jack Inshore Spinning Rod image credit fieldandstreamshop.com

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+ Size: 6’6”

+ Weight: medium-light

+ Action: Fast

Uses/Special feature:  budget rod – fresh or saltwater.

The Hurricane Calico Jack spinning rod is another rod that is a good multi-species rod that is made of durable materials that can survive use in fresh or saltwater.

The rod blank is made from IM7 graphite, which is the industry standard measurement that basically says that this rod is lightweight enough to handle easily, but has the stiffness you need to have a strong rod with powerful and accurate casting ability.

The Calico Jack uses Fuji line guides for consistent and durable line performance when both casting, and reeling in your prize trout. The combination of ultra-light graphite and quality line guides give this rod high sensitivity with fast action.

When paired with a quality reel and a strong braided line, you can get a package that increases your chances of setting the hook. It is still up to you to find the fish, and coerce them to go after your bait.

Here’s that rod and reel you wanted – 

Power Pro Spectra Fiber Braided Fishing Line is a strong braided line constructed with spectra fiber to provide outstanding abrasion resistance while retaining high sensitivity. Pair the line with the Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel full-metal body to have a combo that is determined to catch the best trout.

Pros:

  • Great power to weight balance.
  • Feels comfortable with great sensitivity.
  • Performs like a rod with a much higher price.

Cons:

  • Cork grips aren’t as tough and comfortable as similar rods.
Sale
Hurricane Calico Jack Inshore Spinning Rod
60 Reviews
Hurricane Calico Jack Inshore Spinning Rod
  • IM7 Graphite rod blank.
  • Fuji Guides
  • Genuine cork handle

Right Spinning Rod Can Make for a Great Trout Fishing Experience

Fishing for trout is easily some of the most fun you will have with a rod in your hands. Few fresh water fish have the energy and strength to put up the battle a trout can. Plus, they cook up deliciously making a battle win that much more satisfying.

As with any sport, quality equipment makes all the difference to your enjoyment. A rod that is the proper weight and length will make all the difference in whether you head home a victor, or just tired and hungry. Be sure to look for a rod that is between five and six feet long.

For your general trout fishing, you want to go with an ultralight model. Or if you want to include some larger fish in your day, go for a light-weight model.

All of the rods we have presented to you are a great option to maximize your enjoyment, but without a doubt the St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod deserves your attention. This rod’s combination of strength, durability, and sensitivity to a fish on will give you a distinct advantage over the tricky trout.

The St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod comes in a variety of lengths and weights to suit your needs. No one rod is good for every style of fishing, but the St. Croix Triumph is a great rod for trout that has features that will forgive the average fisherman a few mistakes.

Check it out today, so you can be ready to fish before the weekend hits.

The Best Fishfinder [FOR CATFISH]

Pick Out The Best Fish Finders For Catfish

Anyone that has fished long enough knows that even the most faithful fishing spots will dry up from time to time. That submerged rock formation, weed bed or outcropping that normally always produces fish has inexplicably yielded nothing the last several times you have been there. So what do you do when your favorite fishing spots stop producing? The answer is you better have a good fishfinder on board to help you work way through this dry spell. This even applies if you are fishing for catfish too.

So what is the best fish finder for catfish? Catfish are pretty large so any fish finder with decent resolution should be able to spot them pretty easily.  

Every angler has their own preferences, but when it comes to the my personal choice is RAYMARINE DRAGONFLY 4 PRO if you want to catch that big catfish.  It is an excellent model fishfinder that has good screen resolution, multiple frequencies and the added bonus of having GPS navigation built into it too.

Key Charactiristics Your Best Fishfinder For Catfish Should Have


There are many different models of fishfinders out there in the boating marketplace. Some have fancy buttons and controls, some have nicely colored screens and others have weather radios built into them.

When the dust settles on the dressed up features of all these different fishfinders, there are really two key components that you must focus on in order to get that catfish dinner you have been craving.

#1 Screen Resolution/Size


To put it simply, it does not matter how many objects your fishfinder identifies in the water around your boat if you can’t tell what they are. That is what makes the screen resolution on a fish finder so important.

Lowrance hdi fish finder screenshot

The size of the screen is important too. Even the best resolution on a fishfinder is useless if you have to strain to see the objects on your display because your screen size is too small. A display size that is over 4 inches is highly recommended here.

#2 Multiple Frequencies


We don’t live in a perfect world and sonar frequencies fit the mold nicely here. There is no such thing as a perfect sonar frequency because the waves they emit are impacted by the depth of the water you are in. Multiple frequencies will help you overcome these imperfections.

In general, higher frequencies give the highest resolution and work best in shallow water. Low frequencies are just the opposite. They work best in deeper water but the resolution gets worse the further down you go.

More Readings: Best Catfishing Reels Review.

Reviews of Best Catfish Fish finders


Fishfinders are tricky items to purchase. It’s not like you can take them out and test them before you buy them. That is why we have taken the time to review three model fishfinders that will do a great job of leading you to catfish or any other type of fish you wish to go after.


1.  Raymarine Dragonfly 4 Pro Fish Finder Review – TOP PICK

Excellent daytime friendly display resolution


To be quite honest, there is not much that we don’t like about this fish finder. We consider it a do-it-all product that will allow you to search for and find many different species of fish.

The screen resolution on its 4.3-inch display is more than acceptable. The display on this unit is also nicely backlit so it can easily be seen under both day and night time fishing conditions. The display information can also be conveniently streamed to your smart device for easier viewing from where you are in the boat.

Its best feature is the dual CHIRP sonar systems it has. One CHIRP sonar system will allow you to spot fish from a distance and the other will give you much higher resolution images of what those fish are once you get close to that area.

The GPS feature on this product is great for way pointing areas you typically find catfish and for use as a navigational safety aid.

Pros:

  • Excellent daytime friendly display resolution.
  • Dual channel ‘CHIRP’ sonar in two configurations.
  • The ability to stream data to a smart device.

Cons:

  • No battery level monitor.
  • Owner’s manual could use some improvement.

— For more info, you can check out this video or download the User Manual here!


2. Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X Fish Finder

Affordable quality


Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X Sonar, W/ 83/200...
119 Reviews
Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X Sonar, W/ 83/200...
  • Led-backlit 3 inch color display with detailed 320...
  • Broadband sounder detail easily identifies fish...
  • Advanced signal processing (asp) reduces the need...

 If you are looking for a good mix of reliability and affordability in a fish finder, then you really want to take a closer look at this very good model by Lowrance. It is a nice entry level fish finding product.

It features such things as an excellent resolution 3 inch backlit color display and easy to use controls. It will tell you such important things as the depth of the water you are in and the current water temperature.

It also has an 83 kHz sonar frequency to help spot large schools of fish and a 200 kHz frequency sonar to give you more details about those fish when you get closer to them.

Pros:

  • Affordable quality.
  • Dual Frequency.
  • LED backlit display.

Cons:

  • Some resolution problems at faster speeds.
  • Transducer for this unit is sold separately.

— For more info, you can check out this video or download the User Manual here!


3. Garmin Striker 5DV Fish Finder Review

Good resolution 5-inch color display


Garmin Striker 5DV
35 Reviews
Garmin Striker 5DV
  • RUGGED DESIGN - New rugged, outdoor look...
  • HIGH-SENSITIVITY GPS - The built-in GPS receiver...
  • WAYPOINT MAP - Use the waypoint map to easily...

Garmin is a proven name when it comes to fish finding equipment and this unit does not disappoint. This model fish finder will help you navigate around any waterway, identify fish from a distance and then give you more detail about them as you are over the top of them.

It has good resolution on its generous sized 5-inch color display and will easily take you to find where the largest concentrations of catfish are near you. It also has multiple channel CHIRP sonar to help you spot and identify catfish or any other species of fish you want to go after that day. The included GPS is a nice feature to have too.

Pros:

  • Good resolution 5-inch color display.
  • Multi-Frequency CHIRP sonar.
  • Added GPS with waypoint indicator.

Cons:

  • No pre-programmed charts for the GPS.
  • Waypoints can be hard to set.

— For more info, you can check out this video or download the User Manual here!

A Good Fish finder Is Essential To Enhance Any Catfish Fishing Experience


There is no doubt about it, if you fish for catfish or any other type of fish long enough you will go through periods where you will swear there are no fish in the water. That is when good fishfinders like the ones mentioned above are so valuable; just remember to make sure they have a good display and more than one type of sonar to search for fish with.

You can certainly never go wrong purchasing any of the excellent model fishfinders we reviewed here. Get your fishfinder today so you don’t get shut out on your next fishing trip.

More Readings:  Best Fish Finders For Shallow Water

Fishing Knots Lite Fishing App [REVIEW]

Fishing Knots Lite App Review

Fishing Knots Lite App Logo

Any fisherman who has been looking for a  resource to take out on the water, will find this app to be just that. They will be able to look at knot instruction and put that instruction to work all in one shot. Whether you are fishing the deep blue sea for Mako sharks or small streams for native trout Fishing Knots Lite will offer some benefits.

This could also be a great app to have on hand for the  ⊗ average camper, survivalist, prepper or outdoor enthusiast  . Though these knots are labeled as fishing knots they could have many other uses as well. As far as consumers are concerned, I think this app could find a great audience with preppers in their quest to prepare for disaster.

Main Features of Fishing Knots Lite App

Fishing Knots Lite is a very straight forward application. It is a small download that won’t take up much of your phone’s storage at all. After downloading, you are looking at a very simple interface that offers 13 different sections. These sections are based off the types of knots that are included in each section.

EXAMPLE: Knots exclusive to bringing two different lengths of line together, like a blood knot will be one section.

Each of the 13 sections can be drilled down by pressing on the desired section. Once inside each section you will see a collection of knots to meet your needs. A smaller interface features each knot. This interface also includes a video that will show the knots being made. Some videos are pulled directly from YouTube. Others will include a step by step video of pictures.

The interface also offers a picture of the knot that is in progress as well as a few symbols that offer information about its recommended use. There is a recommendation for monofilament and/or braid as well as something about the weight capacity.

What I Liked The Most?

Fishing Knots Lite is all about convenience and navigation. As I mentioned earlier, it is not a very complicated app. There aren’t any options or upgrades you can make to the app outside of spending some money to get rid of small ads that are at the bottom of the page. Honestly, I hardly noticed the adds. They do pop up full page sometimes but that’s after you look at a few knots.

Simplicity overall

Where this app shines is in its simplicity. Whether you know what you are looking for or not, the simple pictures make it easy to find. Having experience with knots, I think I could tie most of the knots off the simple picture provided. The video is always a great option to have.

Videos to tie knots

Regarding video, I really liked the idea of how they present each knot. They first show how to tie the knot on a larger piece of orange rope and a large metal eye. This is not to be used for fishing, but the example offers a magnificent view of how the knot comes together. From here, they grab a larger 00 hooks and make the knot using a small length of line. They even go down one step smaller, after that. So, in total you get to see the knot tied three times on three materials. This really helps in learning just how to do it right.

Simple picture research

My other favorite feature of this app was the simple picture search. If you are a hardcore fisherman looking for a new knot that will add strength to your rig, you will easily navigate the many types of knots. Conversely, if you are new to fishing and are not sure what you need, there are simple pictures of hooks with knots on them or lures with knots on them. When these sections are opened, you find multiple ways to accomplish that goal.

Mobility

Most importantly Fishing Knots Lite offers pictures for each knot so even if you are fishing the Rockies, you will be able to use this app. You do not need the videos to be successful. I also love the mobility, in that, you can work these knots on the water. The old way of learning knots required that you bring fishing line into your home and read out of a book.

⇒ It’s a must have for fisherman and outdoorsman alike. Like I said, preppers and survivalists would really be into this app as well.

What I Liked The Least?

There is certainly more good than bad when it comes to Fishing Knots Lite. There is room for improvement and little tweaks in this app. For the most part, you are dealing with a simple app that could use a little more explanation in certain areas.

Interface is not explained

My biggest qualm with the app is that the interface is not explained at all. Once you have selected a section of knots, each one included in that section has a set of five symbols. The symbols are similar to the legend on a map. Unfortunately, there is nothing to explain what these five symbols are. The video symbol is simple enough because you can click on it. There is one for mono-filament and one for braid if you look closely. The other two, one being a percentage and one being a weight in KG are completely unexplained.

Info Redundancy

You also see the same knots show up in several sections of the app. I am not saying this is entirely a dreadful thing but it has a weird feel to it. From the casual user’s point of view, it seems like they were fluffing up the app to appear as though it offers more than it really does.

⇒ I would also like to see Fishing Knots Lite offer a few simple additions to the app. Maybe some information about lines. For true beginners, they will struggle to understand the difference between braid or mono-filament. These are important concepts that a fisherman should understand.

User Experience

Splash Screen, Tips & On-boarding – Rating: 2.5/5

  • Splash screen missing, the App gets you directly to the homepage. We believe that in this case the splash screen is not an absolute necessity but it would be useful to communicate the essence of the App.
  • No roadblocks to usage and adoption through a not-necessary on-boarding sequence.
  • The app loads instantly.

Home screen & Navigation – Rating: 4/5

  • Home screen provides users with the journey and functionality to complete their priority feature.
  • Primary navigation and content are visible.
  • User settings are easily accessible.
  • Content is used instead of a traditional home screen to engage users immediately.

Content & Design – Rating: 3/5

  • User can’t discover new content via an Infinite stream. Some knots categories have only 1 knot in the list which display the screen with big empty spaces.
  • Visual design engages and enhances the user experience.

Usability Hygiene  – Rating: 4/5

  • Content is accessible when user has no internet connection.
  • Primary call-to-action buttons are persistently visible.
  • Do not ask users to rate app too soon after downloading it.

My Final Take

Fishing Knots Light is a very useful app. The collection of knots and instructions for each knot make it something that could only be replicated by carrying a book around. This is just not practical. It also ♦ allows you to practice these knots and use them immediately without having to learn each and memorize the steps.

The app could stand to focus a little more on details. I would appreciate being able to understand all aspects of the application. It would also benefit on some basic explanation of fishing line types and uses. These little tweaks would make Fishing Knots Lite the best at what it does.

The app would offer any fisherman a great resource on the water and its size won’t bother storage space at all. You don’t have to sacrifice for this app and that is always important.