The 5 best castable fish finder reviewed & buying guide

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To have a successful fishing trip, you need to look for the smartest and most effective ways to catch your prey. A sure-fire way to catch the fish you are after is to have sufficient information on it.

You may be able to get some information by reading about the location or having conversations with locals. However, none of them is as effective as using the best castable fish finder.

The best castable fish finder will show you the exact location of the fish right before you cast. But what is the best castable fish finder and what should you look out for in castable fish finders?

In this article, I’ll be reviewing the top 5 castable fish finders available today. I will also be adding some valuable information on this exceptional device near the end of the article.

So, let’s get to it!

IN A HURRY? HERE ARE OUR TOP PICKS…

Review of The Best Castable Fish Finders

Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar Fish Finder

The Deeper Pro+ Smart Sonar comes with all the technology you will need on your fishing trip. When you connect it to your smartphone or tablet via Wi-Fi, it will give you a clear view of everything underwater.

Also, the device features an inbuilt GPS and will give you access to a database of water bodies. This will enable you to create your maps. Despite the lightweight of this device, it is built to withstand the toughest conditions. You will also be able to use it in the coldest conditions. It has an ice fishing mode too.

What I love most about this device is the amount of data it offers. There is an online platform that you can visit to save your bathymetric maps. This will allow you to view them and share them with others whenever you desire.

Finally, the combination of the powerful sonar and your phone’s GPS will enable your device to create highly detailed maps. Provided that you are in range, you will never have any issue with connectivity.

Pros
  • It is portable
  • It is easy to cast
  • It offers a cloud storage
  • It is easy to connect to mobile devices
Cons
  • Battery life isn’t the most reliable

iBobber Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder

The idea behind the iBobber Smart Fish Finder is pretty simple. Reel Sonar took the fishing bobber and added a sonar transducer to it. Hence, this device is the lightest fish finder on this list.

Also, the device only creates a small splash when cast. So, you won’t have to bother about spooking the fish. Though the casting range is limited to just 100 feet, it shouldn’t be an issue for you if you aren’t an avid angler.

On the downside, the iBobber dedicated app isn’t as good as that of others on this list. It has two modes; one for fish finding and the other for mapping. Some fish finder reviews show that certain users were not impressed by the information and animation provided by the fish finder. Some also found the contour map difficult to use.

Yet, the device comes with some unique features. These features consist of a fish attractor that lures in fish by imitating their vibrations. Another impressive feature is the strike alarm. But what I love about it the most is that it is compatible with smartwatches.

Pros
  • It is very lightweight
  • It is affordable
  • The battery can last up to 10 hours
  • It can be connected to iWatches and Google watches.
Cons
  • It wasn’t built with durable materials

Deeper Start Smart Fish Finder

This is the cheapest option in the Deeper Fish Finder Line. Though it doesn’t offer the depth or range of the more advanced options, it remains a very efficient unit.

The Deeper Start is highly suitable for anglers who are new to sonar technology. It will only take a beginner a few minutes to learn how to use this device.

Also, the device comes with an excellent mapping feature. However, it depends on smartphones to provide GPS information. This shouldn’t be a problem as you will be able to connect it to your phone easily after installing the app.

Additionally, this device isn’t suitable for rigorous angling. If you subject it to unfavorable, it may not hold up. You should note that the Deeper Start shouldn’t be used in temperatures below 32°F. Hence, it can’t be taken on ice fishing trips.

Pros
  • It is affordable
  • It is easy to set up
  • It has an excellent app
  • It features a long-lasting battery
Cons
  • It is not suitable for ice fishing
  • It is low powered

Lowrance FishHunter Directional 3D

The Lowrance Fish Hunter 3D is one of the most remarkable fish finders on the market. Despite not being a top choice for retail buyers, this product has some fantastic features. As the name of the device suggests, the transducer float is made up of five different directional transducers.

They include the port, ahead, starboard, down, and astern. These components combine to provide two unique data views. First, the device provides a 3D view of the underwater environment including the vegetation and fish along with their depth. Though it doesn’t offer exceptional graphics, the view provided is easy to understand.

Secondly, there is the directional casting view. This view will direct your cast according to the fixed position of the transducer. You will have to use another pole to fish when casting the fish finder. However, you will find the indicator very actionable.

Additionally, this device features an inbuilt transducer that makes bathymetric mapping possible. The result of all of these features combined with a long-lasting battery is a heavy device. You may end up spooking the fish if you try to hit the max casting range of 200 feet.

Pros
  • It offers directional casting
  • It can operate as an ice fishing flasher
  • It has an extended battery life
  • It is suitable for ice fishing
  • It can be used for fishing in both shallow and deep water
Cons
  • It is quite heavy
  • The pod bottom doesn’t have the best shape

Vexilar SonarPhone with Transducer Pod

The Vexilar SP 100 is a lightweight castable fish finder. It is battery-powered and establishes connections via WiFi. The manufacturers did an excellent job in ensuring that the device has all the necessary features. Thanks to its versatility, it can be attached to a small boat or cast from the shore.

Also, the device was specially designed to travel on a straight path even when the speed is up to 5 miles per hour. The device won’t just display information on your smartphone, but it will also allow you to choose either colored or black and white displays. With the colored display, you will get high-quality images.

Additionally, the LCD screen protector is there to protect your eye and hinder the formation of fog on your screen. The device comes with underwater cameras to ensure that you don’t miss out on any underwater action.

Furthermore, there is an app known as the Navionomics feature. You can transform your smartphone into a GPS by buying it. Using the app is straightforward and this will make navigation much easier for you.

Pros
  • It is a good fish finder for kayak
  • It can be used as an ice flasher
  • It is easy to use
  • It is suitable for both fresh and saltwater
Cons
  • The battery can’t be replaced
  • It may take some time to learn how to use the app
  • The wireless connection doesn’t sync quickly

Our Top Choice

We have to the end of the article and I believe that I left no stone unturned. You should carefully go through the buying guide and understand its contents before picking any device.

Also, I’ll recommend the Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+ Fish Finder as the best castable fish finder. Its combination of a depth rating of 260 feet and a casting range of 330 feet makes it a very powerful device.

Additionally, the quality of the images provided by the device is top-notch. It doesn’t display black dots like lower fishfinder units. Instead, it produces crisp and clear images to give users a clear view of underwater details.

Finally, I have picked this device over others on the list because it will provide you with the very best features at a medium price.

Castable Fish Finders: Pros and Cons

If you are considering buying a castable fish finder, you need to compare the pros and cons of having one. This will make your decision making much easier:

Pros of Castable fish finders
  • A fish finder provides anglers with adequate information on underwater conditions. This includes the location of the fish, the depth of the water, and more.
  • When you have a clear idea of the depth of a water body, it becomes much easier to target specific types of fish.
  • Fishfinders deliver clear images of the fish in the water. As a result, anglers don’t have to waste precious time to where to get a bite.
  • Anglers with fish finders find fishing to be more entertaining. No one has to sit or stand around frustrated anymore.
Cons of Castable Fish Finders
  • Some believe that technology makes anglers unskillful
  • Buying a castable fish finder will increase the cost of your fishing trip

How to Use A Castable Fish Finder

It isn’t enough to go fishing with the best castable fish finder, you also need to know how to use it. The best castable fishers are usually user-friendly and hence, easy to use.

After taking a few easy steps, your device should be ready for use. You may follow the quick steps listed below:

  1. Download and install your fish finder’s dedicated app.
  2. Attach the device to your fishing line.
  3. Ensure that your fish finder is connected to your smartphone or tablet. You may connect them via Bluetooth or WiFi.
  4. Put the fish finder underwater and launch the app. This should sync both devices.

After following these steps, you should be able to view underwater details such as fish, depth, bottom contours on your phone’s screen. Fishfinders come with different screen views. So, you should ensure that you read your fish finder’s manual.

Castable Fish Finders vs Portable Fish Finders

Though portable fish finders have been around for a while, earlier models had some limitations. Since they used wires, they had a limited range and this made them unsuitable for shore anglers.

When wireless fish finders were introduced, they solved the range issue to an extent with their short-range radio signals. However, they were also limited by their basic LCD screens.

Shore anglers were unable to benefit from this technology until castable fish finders were introduced. These devices take advantage of the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity of smartphones and tablets.

Since they rely on the HD color screen that users already possess, the manufacturers have been able to maximize the value of the floating, castable transducers. The result of this has been highly readable yet affordable fish finders.

In the end, the major difference between these fish finders is that castable fish finders don’t require any mounting. Instead, they are attached to fishing lines and then cast into water with the aid of fishing poles.

How to Choose the Best Castable Fish Finder

Fish finder, echo sounder

Each model of castable fish finders has some features that separate it from the others. So, you need to know what features to look out for to find the best castable fish finder.

Let’s go over some of these features:

Connectivity

The importance of wireless devices can’t be overemphasized. Picture yourself casting a fishing line that has wires connected to it and then having to reel it back in. Not cool right?

The wires increase the casting weight and also get tangled up to create inconvenient situations. Fortunately, you won’t have to bother about these inconveniences when you own a wireless device.

Transducers in a castable fish finder are compatible with smartphones and tablets. To connect to these devices, they make use of either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

Bluetooth models are usually able to connect over distances as long as 130 feet. On the other hand, Wi-Fi models connect over much longer distances, up to 300 feet.

Additionally, Wi-Fi models provide stronger connections even in the presence of obstacles and interference. A good castable fish finder should provide a strong connection over long distances.

Phone Compatibility

Fish finders used to come with screens on which information was displayed. This has changed in recent times.

Now, you can connect your smartphone or tablet to your fish finder via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. You will then be able to view all underwater details on your mobile device.

Usage

Fish finders are designed to be suitable for specific types of fishing. These include trolling, casting, and ice fishing. Some products have fixed setups that make them suitable for ice fishing. On the other hand, other devices have an excellent wireless range that will allow you to cast from the shore.

Frequency and Depth

The depth capacity of a castable fish finder simply means how deep into the water it can scan. This feature is usually determined by the frequency of its sonar impulses.

A fish finder with high frequency will provide detailed and accurate information in shallow waters. However, it won’t be able to penetrate deep waters. It’s the exact opposite for low-frequency fish finders.

Some fish finders come with the CHIRP feature. This feature enables them to make use of two or more frequencies. As a result, anglers won’t have to sacrifice depth or clarity.

If you are unsure about the depth of the area you will be fishing, purchase a castable fish finder that goes deeper than you think you need.

Display

The best castable fish finders display underwater details in two different ways:

2D Sonar

This is the lowest display for a fish finder and it scans the area directly below a transducer. However, the view of the underwater object that it provides is usually fuzzy and indistinct. Still, the high-end models offer more readability than their low-end counterparts.

3D

This technology has revolutionized fish finders since its introduction. A 3D sonar unit will show you high-quality images of underwater details and from different angles. Though boat-mounted fish finders have had this technology for some time, it is quite new in castable fish finders.

Bathymetric Mapping

This is a process whereby an area’s GPS information and depth measurements are compiled to produce a shaded map of the bottom. Though this won’t give you the location of the fish, it will provide you with a detailed image of the underwater topography. The best castable fish finder for you should be capable of mapping.

Size

Size matters when it comes to castable transducers. The heavier the unit, the farther it will go when cast.

Also, devices with more components tend to be heavier. As a result, stiff rods and 10 to 20-pound lines are needed to utilize the long connectivity range of heavier devices.

Versatility

Some fish finder models come with accessories that make them mountable on boats. Though any castable fish finder can be attached to your watercraft via the casting attachment points, the mounting feature can be quite beneficial.

This feature will allow you to set the transducer and not bother about it throughout the trip. If you want a castable fish finder that can double as a portable fish finder, this is something that you shouldn’t ignore.

Applications and Platform

All of the devices on this list need either an android or iOS device to function. Hence, you will have to install the manufacturer’s free app on your smartphone or tablet.

Each app has its unique features and if you wish to check out anyone, you can use the demo mode. You will be pleased to know that none of these apps require a cellular network.

Charging and Battery Life

Since you are purchasing an electronic device, you need to consider its battery life. Several castable fish finders feature rechargeable batteries. So, users will be able to charge them whenever the batteries become low.

Meanwhile, other devices come with large batteries that can’t be recharged. Hence, they have to be replaced from time to time. Choose the option that suits you best.

Affordability

One of the most essential factors that will determine the best fish finder for you is your budget. The more advanced the features of a fish finder, the more affordable it will be. However, there are several decent castable fish finders that you can buy at affordable prices.

Accessories

The main device you will need to operate your fish finder is your mobile device. However, more accessories isn’t a bad idea. With the right accessories, it will become easier to find fish, maintain and store your fishing equipment.

Some packages include cables, additional batteries, replacement parts, mounting parts, and storage covers. The replacement parts will enable you to keep the device in good condition by easily swapping out faulty components.

Also, the cables and adapters will enable you to charge the battery in several ways. You may charge on the go using a power bank or via a wall socket. When you have different mounting parts, your device will become much more versatile. So, you will be able to put it into use in different conditions.

Additionally, a storage cover will keep your equipment in good condition by keeping out the elements and preventing scratches. It can also protect your fish finder in the event of an accidental drop.

Ease of Use

When searching for a fish finder, remember to not only look for sophistication. Good fishing equipment should be easy to use regardless of how advanced it is.

What’s the joy in having an advanced fish finder that you can’t understand its controls and mode of operation? You should ensure that your device is easy to use and provides easily understandable scans.

If you find it difficult to read the graphical representation provided by your device, you can easily end up at the wrong spot. The best sonar fish finder will produce easy-to-read underwater scans.

Fish Finder for Kayaking

Your first fishing kayak will need some getting used to. However, you can make things much easier for yourself by adding a fish finder to your fishing equipment.

But before you make any purchase, you need to first consider the features of your kayak. Where will the smartphone be mounted? What mounting accessories are available for the fishfinder? You need to ensure that the device will be easy to install.

If you are interested in more information, we’ve covered fish finders that are suitable for kayaking as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are castable fish finders?


Castable fish finders are devices that are cast into the water with the aid of fishing lines. They make it easier for anglers to locate fish.

These devices create custom graphical representations of underwater details using sonar technology. The majority of castable fish finders require another device to function.

But this will cost you no extra expenses as they only need to connect to a smartphone or tablet. You already own at least one of these two devices.

How do castable fish finders work?


These devices operate as floating transducers that transmit information to dedicated applications that can be installed from the maker’s website. The applications are usually compatible with both Android and iOS platforms.

After installation, you will be able to see underwater activities and objects on your screen as the fish finder scans the water.

How do I use a castable fishfinder?


There are several ways to use a castable fish finder. However, the possible options will depend on what model you purchase.

First, you may attach the unit to a fishing line. So, the device will scan the water below it as you cast the line. You will have the hook snood close, prepared to capture prey as you blind cast with your fishfinder.

Castable fish finders can also be attached to the back of small boats at trolling speeds. This technique can greatly improve the efficiency of drift fishing.

It can also be used for ice fishing. To know if there is fish underneath the ice, you may drop the device into a hold in the ice.

Why should I use a fish finder?


Anglers fish based on their personal preferences. However, an amateur angler has a lot to benefit from having a castable fish finder.

Even experienced anglers have been using other technological equipment to improve their fishing for a while now. In fact, manmade spoons, spinners, and baits have been in use since the 19th century.

Is a castable fish finder worth the money?


Though castable units offer lesser accuracy when compared to boat-mounted units, they are much more versatile. A castable unit can be used from the shore, on a boat, and during ice fishing. Castable units are also more affordable.

Thavius
Thavius
I've been a fisherman for over 35 years. From catching small bullheads with my grandfather at his pond to catching strippers on the backwaters of the Chattahoochee, I love to get out in the wild and have a marvelous day on the water.

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