If you are thinking about investing in one of today’s state-of-the-art fish finders, it’s important to know what separates one from another. It’s so easy to get confused by all the jargon but here are a few main points to keep in mind when shopping for a fish finder that will best suit your particular needs.
Higher Frequencies Enhance Detail
Different transducers (or fish finders) emit different frequencies that make all the difference when it comes to the detail of images projected on the screen. As a general rule, higher frequency transducers are great at producing crystal clear images in shallow water while low frequency transducers tend to work best for deep water or commercial fishing vessels.
To get the best of both worlds, consider purchasing a fish finder that can switch between low and high frequencies depending on water depth. If you like to take your boat out on the open ocean as well as fresh water lakes, a multiple frequency transducer may be the best choice.
Wattage Determines Depth
For those who want a fish finder that can scan the deepest recesses of a lake bed or ocean shore, go for a unit with higher wattage. The more power a transducer receives the more effective it will be at transmitting and receiving signals. For fishermen who like to stick to rivers and lakes, a fish finder that operates between 100 and 250 watts should be adequate. On the other hand, a transducer with 1,000 watts of power operating on a 50 kHz frequency can scan over 4,000 feet deep.
The Difference Between In-Hull, Thru-Hull and Transom Transducers
Transducers can be installed in many ways but each has its advantages and drawbacks. An in-hull transducer can be easily mounted on most boats but will not offer the same quality signal as a thru-hull transducer. A thru-hull transducer, however, does require that a hole be drilled through the boat which is simply not an option for wooden boats. Special housing for these transducers must be considered as well depending on whether your boat is comprised of metal or fiberglass. For instance, installing a thru-hull transducer on a metal boat without proper housing can cause some serious problems. Plastic housings for fish finders are recommended for metal or fiberglass vessels.
If you’d like to avoid any confusion about transducer housing, consider buying a transom fish finder which can be easily attached to and removed from the outer hull of your boat. Transom transducers will not work so well with sailboats, though, due to the constant heeling of the ship. Also, if your boat’s engine is mounted inboard, the turbulence will interfere with the transom’s signal.
After evaluating all these aspects of transducers, you’re all set to buy the unit that will work best for your kind of fishing. If you’re ever in doubt, do not hesitate to ask a professional for help or get advice from an expert in sonar and fish finding equipment.