Fish Finders for Kayaks?

I just purchased my sit on top kayak today. I wanted the Malibu Extreme but turns out it was a bit big for me to handle so I bought a 10 ft yak. The malibu extreme has an option fish finder. For those who are more experienced could I install a small fish finder on any yak???

FF mounting
Absolutely!Check out the “Do it yourself” page,etc for info/ideas at Kayak Fishing Stuff.Best yak fishing site goin!

floating fish finder
I saw a floating fish finder at wally world made to use with a tube or any small boat. I think it was about $50. Walter

Humminbird Smartcast
I use one of these it’s excellent. It’s not permanently attached to the kayak. I have a couple of boats so it can be easily used on whatever boat I decide to paddle.

is that the one that transmits back to
a wrist watch type display? does it really work decently?

I have the pole-mount display (same size as the

wristwatch display). Have run side-by-sides with

“regular” FF’s & found the SC to be as accurate for depth & the fish show up good also. The SC also has a wider angle of coverage.I like being able to spot fish from a distance rather

than paddling over them to spot them. Once I spot

fish, just reel in the SC, grab another pole

& start casting to where you found them…

Smartcast here too…
It’s a cute/fun lil tool that works weel enugh to make me happy as a depth finder. As a fish finder I think it’s programed to give false hope ;o)

Note… it doesn’t like going fast. For it to work while moving you have to keep a pretty slow pace. I have it attaced to one of those lil Tadpole, stainless rod&reel set-ups and it serves it’s intended purpose. It is possible for me to reel it in too fast whereupon it quits providing a read-out.

I’ve no experience with a mounted transducer in a kayak that I can compare to.

I like the Smartcast well enough that when I thought it had been stolen I planned to replace it with the same model. I really like it’s portability. I can switch boats and it comes with me and I can use it from the bank if I happen to be boatless that day.

Lots of people mount fish finders on their yaks. The “Pros” in my book are the guys at

Search their “Do It Yourself” board and you’ll learn more than you ever needed to know.

Pirahna 1
Had it for 2 seasons now. Have the transducer “permanently” mounted (have to re expoxy it from time to time) and power it with a small rechargable 12 v. Works good as a depthfinder and has stood up to repeated splashings. Haven’t submerged it yet, somehow, to see if it is truly waterproof though.

How did you poxy the sensor?
Did you poxy the sensor on the inside bottom of the Kayak?

Vexilar 'Boundary Waters’
I just bought a Vexilar ‘Boundary Waters’ and am really pleased with it. For years I’ve been using an old kit-built flasher unit that is a copy of the famous old Lowrance “Green Box”, and I wanted a graphic display so I could look away from the screen and be able to look back again without having to wonder how long ago I drifted too far off the drop-off, etc. I don’t know how it compares to the ‘Smart Cast’ in terms of compactness and portability, but it is smaller and lighter than anything I’ve used before. It is very sensitive. You can epoxy the transducer to the inside of your hull, but I’m not sure how much that reduces the sensitivity. I’m going to experiment with a non-permanent through-the-hull system, because I fish out of several different boats. The batteries probably won’t last as long as the manufacturer claims, but the connection from the battery box to the unit is a standard plug, so it would be easy to adapt one of those little 5-inch, sealed lead-acid batteries as a power source.

This season I attached transducer, inside hull, with clear silicone (after roughing up hull with sandpaper). So far has held since April and I’ve fished out of it 30 days. Have used the 4020 marine epoxy before and it lasts about as long. Have heard lots of things to try, Shoe Goo, Gorilla Glue, Two Part epoxy. Lots of glues say not to use on polyethylene. I’ve read that they work OK. But am scared to use them. The clear silicone may not last as long, but I don’t think it damages the hull.

Anybody have better suggestinos for attachment?


If I were to epoxy the sonar to the inside of the bottom of the hull and I have a sit on top kayak which takes in a ‘calculated’ amount of water into the hull for balancing then I would not need a battery for the sonar right? I know very little about this fish finder but it turns on in the water right? - I have not had the kayak long and Im not familiar with how much water collects in the hull and if this will work…pls advise

When you buy your sonar unit…
…you will find out that it needs a power source. Having water in your boat matters not.

Having water in the boat might be a good thing, though. You can probably mount the transducer (that’s the gadget that sends the sonar beam and recieves the echo) right on the bottom of the inside of the hull, slightly immersed in water. The water provides a sound-carrying medium between the transducer and the hull, just like a gob of epoxy or silicon would do. It should send and recieve signals through the hull okay if the hull is solid, with no foam or air spaces sandwiched inside.

The nonpermanent inside transducer mount that I mentioned in my other post with will be nothing more than a circular steel ring about three inches across and an inch or two high, caulked to the inside of the hull and filled with water. The transducer will mount within that ring. I’ll post later to report if this works well or not.

smart cast
I found the smart cast to be finicky and did not like to be trolled other than at dead slow. Frankly, when you are traveling or trolling and trying to find structure, the Smart cast really does not work well in that situation. I think if the company would come out with a suction cup attachment, it would work better. Once you get moving, the thing rocks and spins- no wonder you don’t get a good reading. I experimented with letting out different lengths of line to see if it helped but no major difference in performance.

There are many ways to mount the tranny.It’s a good idea to protect it from other gear you might have stored below deck.Attach a small plastic container with the bottom cut out or a foam block to the hull with Lexel then secure the tranny inside.You can fill it with water or just smear some vaseline,silicone,or whatever on the bottom of the tranny.Just be sure it sits flat with no air bubbles.Id stay away from a suction cup mount.They add drag,collect weed and come loose too often.Good luck!