A fish finder is used to locate fish in the water and uses SONAR technology. It is very important for fishing whether done commercially or as a hobby. You will be able to see the fish on a digital screen. This technology has been available since the 90s and it has been developed over the years since with additions such as GPS, radar, electronic compass, etc.
When you are a first-time buyer, there are some things that you will need to check to understand which fish finder to buy. An essential part of the fish finder is the transducers that send out the sonar waves and receive them back. Sonar will bounce off different objects once it is emitted to the water and they will get picked up by the transducer which will then be processed into a picture on a display.
There are different mounts for the transducers and the one that comes with the easiest installation is the transom mount. The material of the transducer will depend on the type of boat. If you are fishing as a hobby or fishing casually, you can use a plastic transom mount. A transducer that has an in-hull mount which will be useful for bigger boats will need a plastic housing if the hull is made of metal or fiberglass. For steel or aluminum hulls, you will need to look for stainless steel housing. There are also different brands such as Lowrance fish finder and you can look into the reviews of different brands to get an idea of the quality of the products.
The cone angle is very important when you are choosing a transducer. This is essentially the width of the beam that will be emitted into the water. With a wider beam, you will be able to cover a larger area. The cone angle will expand when the beam goes down but sensitivity will in turn reduce. The cone angles range from 90 to 600. For recreational fishing, you will be best served with a 200 cone. But you need to understand that transducers can emit more than one cone from a point when it comes to advanced units. You can choose units that will have a dual or triple beam.
There are units that come with side beams as well. The higher the number of beams, the more area you can cover. A larger number of beams will be useful in large bodies of water. The price will of course go up with the number of beams available. For shallow water fishing, dual beams are recommended because you will get a larger coverage.
While black and white screens were what came with the traditional models, the new models now come with color displays. The level of detail offered by different fish finders will vary. However, with a color display, you will be able to better understand the readings. And more colors will add to the information provided. It is easier to read than black and white displays in direct sunlight. But your budget will come into play here as black and white screens will be cheaper. Make sure you go for a sufficient screen resolution as well. With a higher number of pixels, you will be able to get a more detailed display.