In the old days, fishing was all about patience. Sitting outside quietly for hours at a time, maybe baking in the sun or in the pouring rain, you’d wait. And wait. And wait. Totally unaware of the underwater realm, you might get a couple of bites, and sometimes you got none.
Now, it’s much easier to get a bite thanks to the gadgets we have at our disposal. Though some may say it’s cheating, using a fish finder has the ability to make angling even more of an adventure, and will definitely result in more catches.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of castable fish finders, and some of the best options available for purchase.
Comparison of the Best Castable Fish Finders
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What is a Castable Fish Finder?
A castable fish finder is a device that allows an angler to see a graphic representation of the scenery below the surface of the water. It attaches to a cast line and uses sonar technology to map the body of water and identify fish.
This makes it easier for the user to know where to direct their fishing efforts. Here are some notable features of a quality fish finder.
A good castable fish finder should have a decent range of connection, considering they are wireless devices. No matter if they are Bluetooth or WiFi connected, it should be able to connect at a distance of at least 100 ft or more.
Fish finders can only find fish within their sonar pulse’s frequency. For this reason, you’ll want to find a device with a lower frequency that can reach further depths.
The heavier the device, the farther you can cast. With this in mind, you probably don’t want an overly heavy fish finder as it can weigh your equipment down. The sweet spot is between 1.5 oz - 6 oz.
Pros and Cons of Using a Castable Fish Finder
Before purchasing a castable fish finder, you should be aware of the pros and cons associated with the device. The main criticism stems from people who think using fish finders are “cheating”. However, innovation is bound to occur, one way or another.
- Gives the angler more knowledge of the underwater settings, including where fish are located, by mapping out a certain amount of depth.
- Knowing the depth of a body of water is helpful to target specific fish species.
- Identifies fish in the water, making it easier for the user to know where to focus their efforts to get a bite.
- Gives the sport of fishing an additional element of entertainment, rather than just patience, as you can discover what movements work best in the water to catch fish.
- The innovation of the device takes away some of the skill associated with unassisted fishing.
- Fish finders are an added expense to your fishing equipment.
Review of the Best Castable Fish Finders
There are a million fish finders on the market to browse. To save you some time and effort, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite devices to get the job done for a wide range of anglers.
Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+
The Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+ is a well-loved choice among many avid anglers. It can be used in a variety of fishing settings including ice fishing, boat, and shore fishing. This company prides itself with having “the highest spec castable fish finder ever.”
The Deeper Pro has a casting range of 330 feet and can scan down to 260 feet beneath the surface. It features onshore GPS mapping, which is uncommon for many castable fish finders on the market.
It connects to an app on your iPhone or Android using Wi-Fi (no internet connection necessary) and projects all the information to your phone screen.
The Deeper Pro+ is popular for a reason. It’s super versatile and has many additional applications that make onshore fishing a little more interesting. This is a great pick for anglers looking to get serious details about the bodies of water they’re fishing in.
Because it is fairly weighted, at 3.5 oz, you may need a stiff, heavy rod to make sure you can cast properly and accurately.
ReelSonar Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder
ReelSonar’s “iBobber” is an ultra-lightweight castable fish finder that syncs up with your iPhone, iPad, or Android device. It can be used in a variety of fishing settings. It has a casting range of 100 feet and can measure depths up to 135 feet.
It has a 42-degree sonar angle, creating a 243-foot range that the iBobber can map. The device is able to map the bottom of a body of water, underwater structures, and ledges where fish may be lurking.
It’s also able to read water temperature, rainfall, and wind speed, and can log all the information along with the location, type of fishing, and species of fish caught in a saveable trip log you can look back on.
If you have a lighter rod, the iBobber may be a great choice for you. It features all the components of a great fish finder while staying compact. Cool features like the fish alarm also make this an attractive buy.
Some users did complain of Bluetooth connectivity issues, so be aware of that before you purchase.
Best for the Money:
Deeper Smart Sonar PRO Series
Similar to it’s Deeper Pro+ cousin, the Deeper Pro offers many admirable qualities for avid anglers. It also has a castable range of 330 feet and can measure down to depths of 260 feet. Though it doesn’t feature GPS mapping for onshore angling, you can use the GPS feature on a boat or while fishing from your kayak.
The device features a dual-beam sonar feature. The wider range offers a bigger picture of the underwater scenery, while the narrower range provides a detailed picture of your targets.
It connects via WiFi to your phone and can log information such as water temperature, depths, and more.
The Deeper Pro is a great little buddy for any angler wanting to find the perfect fishing location. It’s versatile and can be used as an ice fishing flasher just as easily as a castable fish finder. It’s also got one of the greatest ranges of castable fish finders on the market.
Again, Deeper models tend to be a little heavier, so make sure you have a rod that can handle the weight so you can cast effectively.
4. Vexilar SonarPhone with Transducer Pod
Created for casting or trolling, the Vexilar T-Pod is another WiFi connected fish finder. It’s got a casting range of 300 feet and works well in depths up to 120 feet.
The device’s sonar frequency is in a single beam, at 125 kHz, creating a 30-degree angle of coverage underneath the surface of the water. It features applications like a water temperature gauge and has alarm capabilities for fish, shallow water, and battery life.
The material is made to be impact-resistant and the transducer is activated by the transmitter when it touches the surface of the water.
The T-Pod is a great option for anyone who wants a no-frills kind of sonar reading. Although it doesn’t have many of the fancy features that many of its counterparts tout, it does its job well.
This device is better for anglers who do shorter day trips, as the battery only lasts for four hours at a time.
5. Lucky Fish Finder Portable 2 in 1 Fishing Sonar Wireless and Wired
The Lucky Fish Finder is unique in this group of castable fish finders because it comes with a display, no phone required. There are several different ways to use it. There is a wireless option as well as a cable option.
The wireless castable range is 328 feet and is able to scope to depths of 147 feet. The sonar frequency is a single beam,125 kHz, with a 90-degree angle. This finder allows the user to adjust for sensitivity, choose from a variety of color displays, and customize on-screen icons and alarms.
The sonar information is depicted on the screen’s 2.8 inch LCD display.
This fish finder is super easy to use and is a great option for beginners who don’t want to fuss around with apps on their phone or tablet. The range is good for a wireless finder and also has the option of cables if that’s more your style.
The screen is smaller than the average phone screen, so if that’s something that will bug you, skip this one.
How to Use a Castable Fish Finder
Setting up and using a castable fish finder shouldn’t be super tough. Most of them are very user-oriented and only take a couple of steps to be ready for use. The video below demonstrates how to connect a Deeper fish finder to your phone and what the screen should look like.
In general, the steps to set up a castable fishfinder should be as such:
- Download the app that coordinates with your fishfinder
- Attach your fish finder to your line
- Make sure that your phone is paired with the device via Bluetooth or WiFi
- Open the app and submerge the finder in water, this will connect the two devices
From there, you should be able to view depth, underwater structures, and any fish that may be present. Each finder differs slightly in terms of screen view, so make sure to read the instruction manual that comes with your device.
Check out the video below on how to use a castable fish finder.
Hopefully, this article gave you some ideas of where to start in the purchasing process; all the items listed are great options for all kinds of anglers. Innovation is the key in a changing world, fishing included.
Though there may be some people who view using a fish finder as cutting corners, there’s no doubt that these devices can add an entertaining twist to your day on the water, and definitely increase your chances of getting a bite.