Entry Level Fishfinders E-mail
Written by Allen Sansano   
Sunday, 02 September 2012 17:31

Many kayak anglers feel they are "fishing blind" without the use of a sonar fishfinder unit. Depth, bottom contour and density, bait and fish location can all be critical elements towards fishing success. Sophisticated high-definition models with color displays, side imaging and high wattage for maximum depth use often can cost more than your kayak. Combined with the harsh environment and abuse to which we sometimes subject our electronics, it makes a certain sense to go the utilitarian route. Namely, buy an inexpensive unit that will get the job done, but not break our heart if it dies.

There are dozens of fishfinder models available on the market today. It almost seems you need a PhD to decipher which is which. Say you are looking for an entry level, no-nonsense fishfinder- where to begin? KFM weeded through many models to distill our list down to three units: the Lowrance X-4 Pro, the Eagle Fisheasy 245DS and the Humminbird PiranhaMAX 170.  Our criteria?

  • Pricing of ~$100 MSRP, truly entry level
  • 240x160 display resolution, the minimum we believe is needed for ease of use and effectiveness.
  • Dual Beam Sonar, because two is better than one!  The 83 KHz beam gives you wide coverage, while the 200 KHz beam narrows the coverage down.

 

LowranceX-4ProLowrance X-4 Pro EagleFishEasy245Eagle Fisheasy 245DS Piranha170Humminbird
PiranhaMAX 170
 Display Size 4 inches 4 inches 4 inches
 Display Resolution 240 x 160 240 x 160 240 x 160
 Grayscale 4 4 8
 Sonar Frequency 83 / 200 KHz    83 / 200 KHz   83 / 200 KHz  
 Peak-to-Peak Output Power 1500 W 1500 W 1600 W
 RMS Output Power 188W 188W 200W
 Sonar Depth 1000 ft 1000 ft 800 ft
 Temperature Display Yes Yes Yes
 Waterproof Yes Yes Yes
 Dimension, WxHxD (inches) 4.3 x 5.8 x 2.5 4.3 x 5.8 x 2.5 4.375 x 6.125 x 3.25
 Power Supply 10-17 VDC 10-17 VDC 10-20 VDC
 Current Draw (lights off)  170 mA 170 mA 100 mA

 

Of these three units, the Lowrance X-4 Pro and the Eagle Fisheasy 245DS have exactly the same specifications, not unreasonable considering they come from sister brands under the Navico company.  Their similar appearance differs only in bezel color and brand name. Operation and controls are the same on both brand models.

The Humminbird PiranhaMAX 170 differs from these models in a few significant areas.  At a grayscale of 8 vs. 4, the depth of image is "technically" better.  However, at these low levels, the difference in image quality is only slight.  The PiranhaMAX also has a much lower current draw of 100 mA ensuring days of operation on a fully charged battery system.  The power levels and depth limits vary as well. But, really, who is using these in the 800-1000 foot range?

No matter which of these three units you might eventually choose for your fishing kayak, all will serve the purpose of putting you on the bite and without taking a bite out of your pocketbook!

 

 

 

You must be registered to post a comment.


Login

Newsletter

Subscribe here to receive FREE email issues of Kayak Fishing Magazine.

Most Popular

Freedom Hawk 12 Review
  The company calls it the Freedom 12.  It’s the kayak I asked the company to build, sort of.  After using the 14 last winter in Texas I spoke with Dave Hadden...
Stand-N-Fish Kayak Fishing System
Stand-N-Fish has just completed the development of their exciting new, patent-pending, fishing system for kayaks. The innovative system incorporates pontoons and a leaning post in...
RTM K Largo Review
RTM Kayaks K LargoLength: 13’6” 415cmWidth: 30 ½” 78cmWeight” 55 lbs 25kgCapacity: 400 lbs 180kg   I had the opportunity to test drive the new K Largo by RTM kayaks....

Random

The Pacific Angler Fishing Seat
The Pacific Angler Fishing Seat by Danuu Kayak & Canoe Accessories DANUU, LLC, popular kayak & canoe cover producer, now owners of the Seairsports line of time tested kayak seats,...
Malone Auto Racks Xpress Scupper Kayak Cart
I got the chance to try the new Malone Auto Racks Xpress Scupper-Style Kayak Cart.  It is a simple design but might be a great accessory to have at a very reasonable price of...
The Complete Guide - By Cory Ruth the "AKA RUTHLESS
Kayak Fishing, The Complete Guide - By Cory Ruth the "AKA RUTHLESS" Tucson, AZ. No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks is pleased to announce its first publication covering Kayak...

Latest Kayak Reviews

Stealth Pro Fisha 575
 
3.0
Field and Stream Eagle Talon
 
5.0
Feelfree Moken 12.5
 
5.0
Pelican Castaway 100
 
4.0
Ascend FS10
 
4.0
Sun Dolphin Excursion 10
 
4.0
Santa Cruz Kayaks Raptor SOT
 
5.0
Old Town Predator 13
 
5.0
RTM Kayaks Tempo Angler
 
4.0
Hobie Mirage Revolution 13
 
3.0
Stealth Pro Fisha 575
 
4.0
Stealth Pro Fisha 475
 
4.0

Latest Equipment Reviews

Body Glove 3T Barefoot Max
 
5.0
Body Glove 3T Barefoot Warrior
 
5.0
Body Glove 3T Barefoot Warrior
 
3.0
Columbia Drainmaker
 
5.0
Sperry SON-R Sounder Shandal
 
4.0
Garmin VIRB Elite
 
4.0
Polaroid XS100
 
4.0
Backwater Paddles Assault Hand Paddle
 
5.0
Backwater Paddles Assault Hand Paddle
 
5.0
Stohlquist Piseas
 
4.0
Wheeleez Tuff Tire Kayak Cart
 
5.0
Boga Grip
 
4.0