10 Best Portable Fish Finders (Castable, Mountable)

Best Portable Fish Finder

A fish finder is a useful tool that allows you to quickly and easily track fishes in deeps waters. But for those who need to fish in remote places, it must be small enough to fit a jacket pocket and be easily carried to that location.

This is where the portable fish finder comes into play. It is a smaller fish finder that is both compact and lightweight, while still containing the traditional features you would expect from a regular fish finder.

If you are fresh on the market for a quality portable unit, we have exactly what you need. Below we have carefully hand-picked some of the best fish finders for the money. Let's see how well they perform!

You can also read other product reviews such as fish finder, ice fishing fish finder, kayak fish finder, underwater fishing camera, tackle box, float tube

Image

Product Name

Depth

Dimension

Weight

Rating

Current Price

Garmin Striker 4 Built-in GPS Fishfinder Best Cheap Fish Finder

1. Garmin Striker 4 Built-in GPS Portable Fish Finder

487 m

3.6 x 1.6 x 5.9 in

8.1 oz

4.4

Deeper Smart Sonar Pro + - GPS Portable Fish Finder

2. Deeper Smart Sonar Pro + - GPS Portable Fish Finder

79 m

2.6 x 2.6 x 2.6 in

N/A

4.4

Venterior Handheld Portable Fish Finder - Best Handheld Portable Fish Finder

3. Venterior Handheld Portable Fish Finder

100 m

9.6 x 2.2 x 5.9 in

16.96 oz

4.1

Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder - Best Budget Portable Fish Finder

4. Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder

100 m

9.6 x 2.2 x 5.9 in

16.96 oz

4.2

iBobber-Wireless-Bluetooth-Smart-Portable-Fish-Finder

5. iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Portable Fish Finder

41 m

3 x 3 x 3 in

1.6 oz

4.8

Lucky FF718Lic 2 in 1 Wired & Wireless Portable Fish Finder

6. Lucky FF718Lic Wired & Wireless Portable Fish Finder

100 m

5.0 x 3.0 x 1.3 in

39.2 oz

5.0

Garmin Strike 4 with Portable Kit

7. Garmin Strike 4 with Portable Kit

487 m

3.6 x 1.6 x 5.9 in

172.8 oz

4.6

Lucky Portable Fish Finder With Fish Attractive Lamp

8. Lucky Portable Fish Finder With Fish Attractive Lamp

45 m

5.3 x 2.8 x 1.1 in

13.4 oz

4.6

Outlife Wireless & Rechargeable Sonar Sensor Portable Fish Finder

9. Outlife Wireless & Rechargeable Sonar Sensor Portable Fish Finder

45 m

9.8 x 4.1 x 2.9 in

15.5 oz

5.0

Hawkeye Fishtrax 1C Portable Fish Finder

10. Hawkeye Fishtrax 1C Portable Fish Finder

N/A

6 x 3 x 2 in

20.8 oz

4.0

1. Garmin Striker 4 Built-in GPS Portable Fish Finder - Best Overall Portable Fish Finders

Garmin Striker 4 Built-in GPS Fishfinder Best Overall Portable Fish Finder
  • Depth: 487 meters
  • Display: 3.5-inch Color
  • Dimension: 3.6 x 1.6 x 5.9 inches
  • Weight: 8.1 ounces

For those looking for the absolute best when it comes to a portable fish finder, the Garmin Striker 4 is a reference model. It has been for years one of the best units for the money.

This model has a very powerful triple sonar system that allows it to output no less than 3 frequencies for maximum usefulness. Indeed, it displays a photographic image that is extremely detailed on its 3.5-inch color LCD screen.

Moreover, this powerful chirp gives it the ability to sonar great depths of up to 487 meters which makes this model one of the best depth portable fish finder in this entire review. It can also be mounted with its mounting base on any kayak or boat quickly and easily.

All in all, despite its price, we rate the Garmin Striker 4 the best overall portable fish finder simply because it offers an excellent price to performance ratio.

Pros:

  • Large 3.5 inches full-color screen
  • Equipped with GPS
  • Excellent price to performance ratio
  • Powerful chirp with 3 frequencies
  • Easy to install on any kayak or boat

Cons:

  • Does not have maps for chart plotting

2. Deeper Smart Sonar Pro + GPS Portable Fish Finder - Best Castable Fish Finders

Deeper Smart Sonar Pro + - GPS Portable Fish Finder
  • Depth: 79 meters
  • Display: N/A
  • Dimension: 2.6 x 2.6 x 2.6 inches
  • Weight: N/A

With its elegant rounder shape, the Deeper Smart Sonar Pro + is indeed a professional and high-quality portable fish finder. It measures only 2.6 inches in diameter which is very small, but despite its small size it can still sonar up to 79 meters of depth.

Since this is a castable unit, it will require connection to your smartphone or tablet to display its vital data. Moreover, this model uses Wi-Fi and not Bluetooth for connection which means that it has a much more stable connection of distances greater than 10 meters, which is a Bluetooth limitation.

Additionally, this is one of the rare castable models that comes with built-in GPS for more versatility. No doubt the Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+ is the best castable fish finder on the market right now.

The only caveat is that it is pricier than other models. But if you can afford it, this is an excellent model to have because it has an exceptional build construction that will make it last a very long time.

Pros:

  • Excellent build construction. Durable and long-lasting
  • Built-in GPS for chart plotting
  • Decent sonar depth of 79 meters
  • Uses Wi-Fi rather than Bluetooth for a stronger connection to your smartphone

Cons:

  • The price. It is the most expensive model in this portable fish finder review

3. Venterior Handheld Portable Fish Finder - Best Handheld Portable Fish Finders

Venterior Handheld Portable Fish Finder - Best Handheld Portable Fish Finder
  • Depth: 100 meters
  • Display: Monochrome LCD
  • Dimension: 9.6 x 2.2 x 5.9 inches
  • Weight: 16.96 ounces

If you value portability more than anything in a fish finder, then check out the Venterior. In addition to being the most portable model in this review, it is also the most affordable.

However, despite its small size and price, it is still a performing fish finder as it can comfortably sonar up to a depth of 100 meters. Additionally, this device comes with a 25 feet transducer cable that makes it very versatile.

The only problem we have is that its monochrome LCD is rather basic. But it still manages to provide good information about depth. Also, it is powerful and accurate enough to spot small objects for up to 100 meters in depth.

Moreover, it has an automatic power off if it does not detect anything for 5 minutes. Installation of this device is equally easy as it can be mounted on your kayak or boat with the provided side mount adapter and wing nut accessories.

For the price, we have to say that this model is definitely the best handheld portable fish finder in this review. Go get it if you require a small handheld fish finder device.

Pros:

  • Affordable. Value for money
  • Excellent depth range of 100 meters
  • Screen is backlit. Can clearly be seen in the dark
  • Comes with a long transducer cable of 25 feet
  • Can be mounted on a kayak or boat quickly and easily with provided mounting accessories

Cons:

  • Basic features
  • Monochrome LCD screen

4. Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder - Best Budget Portable Fish Finders

Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder - Best Budget Portable Fish Finder
  • Depth: 100 meters
  • Display: Monochrome LCD
  • Dimension: 9.6 x 2.2 x 5.9 inches
  • Weight: 16.96 ounces

The Venterior VT-FF001 is almost the same as the Venterior handheld portable fish finder we reviewed above. However, this is an updated 2017 model that has a few polished features.

For one, it has a memory circuit that remembers your last used setting. This can be handy in situations where you constantly use the same features over and over again.

The build construction is also very good and the whole unit does a good job resisting water. It comes with the same 25 feet transducer cable for versatility and its depth range is still 100 meters. Additionally, we also see the same weight as the other Venterior model above.

One of the areas where the Venterior VT-FF001 absolutely shines is in the price department. Indeed, this model is one of the best budget portable fish finders in this review.

Pros:

  • Affordable. Value for money
  • Newly updated 2017 version
  • Backlit screen for clear visibility in the dark
  • Has a memory circuit that remembers your last used setting

Cons:

  • Basic features
  • Monochrome LCD screen

5. iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Portable Fish Finder 

iBobber-Wireless-Bluetooth-Smart-Portable-Fish-Finder
  • Depth: 41 meters
  • Display: N/A
  • Dimension: 3 x 3 x 3 inches
  • Weight: 1.6 ounces

The iBobber is a decent general purpose castable fish finder. This is a highly portable model that measures only 3 inches in diameter, which is extremely small and can easily be carried in a small pocket.

This model uses Bluetooth connectivity, which is not the best as it only provides a range of no more than 10 meters. However, this may not be an issue for those who fish in a fixed location like ice fishing. On the other hand, for boat or kayak fishing this is definitely not the best unit for the money.

The depth range of 41 meters is still pretty decent and one feature that demarks this model from others is that it has an LED light that flashes constantly providing you with its location. You will not lose the iBobber easily in the dark.

Pros:

  • Small and compact castable fish finder
  • Uses your iOS or Android smartphone screen for displaying detailed information
  • The price. It is expensive for what it does

Cons:

  • The price. It is expensive for what it does
  • Uses Bluetooth for connectivity. Not the most reliable connection

6. Lucky FF718Lic 2 in 1 Wired & Wireless Portable Fish Finder 

Lucky FF718Lic 2 in 1 Wired & Wireless Portable Fish Finder
  • Depth: 100 meters
  • Display: 2.8-inch Color
  • Dimension: 5 x 3 x 1.3 inches
  • Weight: 39.2 ounces

The Lucky FF718Lic is a pretty generic portable fish finder that works as an emitter and receiver combo. The receiver side of this combo has a powerful antenna that provides a solid wireless connection of up to 100 meters.

Additionally, the receiver has a 2.8-inch color screen that displays a detailed information that is very easy to read, even in total darkness.

The keyed-in layout of this receiver is equally easy to use and there is a lot of options to manipulate data in this fish finder.

While the emitter which is actually the transducer is fully wireless, it can also be wired for more versatility. We find that the sonar coverage of 45-degrees and 90-degrees give the user good photographic image of what is going on below.

Finally, it is good to note that this model is a fully handheld portable fish finder and there is no way to mount it anywhere.

Pros:

  • Excellent build construction. Durable, waterproof, and long-lasting
  • Colorful 2.8 inch LCD screen. Displays a lot of information in full-color
  • Decent depth range of 100 meters
  • Dual sonar chirp of 125 kHz and 200 kHz for a more detailed photographic image

Cons:

  • The depth range not the best at 45 meters. It could have been better

7. Garmin Strike 4 with Portable Kit 

Garmin Strike 4 with Portable Kit
  • Depth: 487 meters
  • Display: 3.5-inch Color
  • Dimension: 3.6 x 1.6 x 5.9 inches
  • Weight: 172.8 ounces

This unit is the same as the Garmin Strike 4 model we have reviewed above, with one major difference. Here we have a portable kit that comes with a Garmin Strike 4 enclosed in a weatherproof and waterproof bag.

This bag has a handle and is very easy to carry around. Additionally, it has pockets and generous space to accommodate your other accessories like smartphones easily.

Pros:

  • A fully working Garmin Strike 4 in a waterproof bag
  • The bag has a handle and easy to carry as a backpack or a side bag
  • Pockets for accommodating your other devices

Cons:

  • The price. It is very expensive
  • Heavy at 172.8 ounces

8. Lucky Portable Fish Finder With Fish Attractive Lamp 

Lucky Portable Fish Finder With Fish Attractive Lamp
  • Depth: 45 meters
  • Display: 2.4-inch Color
  • Dimension: 5.3 x 2.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Weight: 13.4 ounces

The Lucky Portable has a colorful 2.4-inch screen that displays information like the depth of the seafloor or the presence of objects for a depth of up to 45 meters.

This model is a receiver and emitter combo that works up to a distance of 60 meters. The emitter side is pretty basic as it is a yellow plastic transducer that can emit a powerful sonar. On the receiver side, you have a keyed interface that allows you to quickly view information in color.

Additionally, it comes with many accessories like USB cables, AC adapter, a neck strap and a swivel snap.

However, despite offering industry standard features, our opinion is that the Lucky Portable is a handheld fish finder that is too expensive to justify its basic feature-set. There are better models in this review.

Pros:

  • Colorful 2.4-inch screen. Easy to see in the dark
  • Small and compact
  • Excellent ergonomics. Comfortable to hold

Cons:

  • Not value for money. A basic portable fish finder that is expensive

9. Outlife Wireless & Rechargeable Sonar Sensor Portable Fish Finder 

Outlife Wireless & Rechargeable Sonar Sensor Portable Fish Finder
  • Depth: 45 meters
  • Display: LCD Color
  • Dimension: 9.8 x 4.1 x 2.9 inches
  • Weight: 15.5 ounces

The Outlife Wireless is another emitter and receiver combo. However, this model is a little more competitively priced than the model above with almost similar features.

The screen on the Outlife Wireless is color and backlit, so there is no problem viewing in the dark. It is able to display detailed information and can easily differentiate between small fishes and big fishes. Moreover, this unit has an alarm that can be set by the user. Handy when you are trying to find a fishing spot.

As for the emitter side, it is fully wireless and contains a small rechargeable battery inside. The Outlife Wireless will require a DC 5V to recharge.

All in all, the Outlife Wireless is a decent but basic unit that simply gets the job done.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • The user can set the depth alarm
  • Backlit and color screen
  • Detailed fish information. Can differentiate between big and small objects

Cons:

  • Not the best build quality

10. Hawkeye Fishtrax 1C Portable Fish Finder 

Hawkeye Fishtrax 1C Portable Fish Finder
  • Depth: N/A
  • Display: LCD Color
  • Dimension: 6 x 3 x 2 inches
  • Weight: 20.8 ounces

The Hawkeye Fishtrax 1C is a highly portable fish finder. There are actually 3 different types of displays for this model which you can choose during purchase depending on your need and budget.

Additionally, this model has a flasher system that allows you to quickly and easily calculate the depth. Very useful during ice fishing.

Moreover, it comes equipped with a dual sonar beam of 83 kHz and 200 kHz that allows it to display very detailed information on the screen.

This model can also quickly and easily calculate the depth of objects and also display their size. Very handy!

Further, the Hawkeye Fishtrax 1C can be fully mounted anywhere with the Fishtrax mounting kit. This unit also comes with other types of mounting accessories like suction cups for a more basic installation. Indeed, this model shines when it comes to included accessories as you do get a lot of mounting solutions.

Pros:

  • Dual sonar for better photographic image
  • Comes with a full set of mounting accessories
  • Easy to use. Beginner friendly

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Not the most powerful fish finder. Data may not be real-time

Types of Portable Fish Finders

1. Portable Units

Portable fish finders are small, compact and lightweight models that can be carried anywhere.

They usually sport a smaller screen and due to their smaller form factor, they output a weaker chirp because they generally have a smaller transducer that is lower rated in terms of power.

However, for situations like ice fishing, the portable fish finder is one of the best models to get since it can easily be tucked in a jacket pocket and its lightweight means that the user will have no problem with portability.

2. Castable

The castable is a new and special type of fish finder. It is basically a sonar emitter than requires an external screen like the screen of your smartphone or tablet to display relevant information. Of course, the user will need to download an Android or IOS app to make the whole thing work.

Most modern castable units are smart enough to emit only when they come into contact with water and automatically switches off when not in use, saving you precious battery life. The castable model usually uses a regular micro USB port for charging purposes.

One of the best things about the castable fish finder is that it is the most portable fish finder on the market. They also barely exceed more than 3 inches in diameter and they emit a powerful signal at close range.

Some castable models use Wi-Fi while others Bluetooth for connecting to your smartphone. Therefore, the castable fish finder is only useful as long as it is within connection range, which is usually no more than 10 m.

3. Mountable

The mountable fish finder looks the same as a portable unit but it comes with a mounting base at the bottom. This mount base is usually bolted to a kayak or fishing boat that usually have standard mounting holes.

This is the most stable type of fish finder on the market. If you usually fish on rough waters, the mountable model is your best choice.

One of the best things about the mountable fish finder is that you can pair it with other accessories like a suction cup and you do not necessarily have to bolt it to a mounting base. By doing this, you make it a more versatile device as it can be positioned in any direction you like.

Additionally, one thing to note is that since it is meant to be mounted, this type of fish finder is also a little bit bigger and usually sports a larger screen.

How to Buy a Portable Fish Finder

1. Transducer

The transducer in a fish finder is the actual part that emits the sonar beam. You normally place the transducer in water for it to work. Therefore, it needs to be a good build construction so as to be durable and long-lasting.

Additionally, a model that comes with an extension cable is preferred as you do not have to place the whole fish finder in the water this way.

2. Beams and Cone Angles

Most modern portable fish finders emit sonar as a dual beam. This allows the transducer to emit a beam that can sonar different angles in a conical shape. For example, a 50 kHz beam will produce a 50-degrees conical shape while a 200 kHz produces a much tighter conical angle of 15-degrees.

The more the frequency of the sonar, the deeper it can travel. The only caveat is that a 15-degree conical angle produces a lot of detail at great depths but in a small area only.

For best effect, go with models that can emit a dual beam such that it gives you a quick overview of objects in a wide angle as well as detailed information deep below.

It is good to note that some of the best portable fish finders on the market can emit a chirp in more than 2 frequencies. 50 kHz, 77 kHz, and 200 kHz being the most common frequencies used.

3. Screen

The screen is one of the most important aspects of the fish finder. It's where it displays all its information and allows you to manipulate the data as well.

For best user experience, we recommend that you go with a model that has a screen of at least 2.4 inches. This is sufficiently large for almost everyone to view clearly.

Additionally, a color screen in a fish finder is almost always better than a monochrome panel as different types of information is usually displayed in different colors making it easier for you to read the panel.

Furthermore, there are some fish finder models called castable that use your smartphone screen to display information. If you prefer, this is another excellent alternative to an average smartphone's screen is much better than even the best screens in a fish finder.

4. Chart Plotting

Chart plotting is a way of mapping waypoints directly on your fish finder. This allows you to mark interesting locations on your map so you can easily find your way back later, similar to how Google maps work.

This feature is usually present in only top-rated fish finders that are usually more expensive, but it is an excellent feature to have especially for those who kayak or boat fish.

5. Weight

Obviously, the weight is an important aspect when it comes to a portable fish finder. You should be able to easily carry it especially in situations where you have to walk great distances in order to find a good fishing spot, as is usually the case in ice fishing.

Conclusion

As we have seen in this portable fish finder review, this device is compact and fairly lightweight. It can easily be carried anywhere. Furthermore, it displays a rich set of information that is vital for anyone deep fishing, ice fishing, or anything in between.

Indeed, this tool does not sacrifice functionalities and allows you to quickly and easily spot fish up to great depths. Additionally, they are built for outdoor use and can handle themselves quite well around water, as most models are fully waterproof.

In any case, the portable fish finder is an absolute must-have for anyone who needs a lightweight, compact and portable fish finder while on the go.

Allen Ethan