Fish Finders, aka sounders are popular add-ons for many kayak fishermen. Fishing kayaks don't usually come equipped with sounder installations in mind, so there is a high degree of choice and customisation necessary in order to install a finder sucessfully.
A sounder usually consists of a transducer and a display. The transducer transmits a sonar signal through the water, and receives the bounced back signal. Transducers are either designed to shoot thru the hull of a boat or to sit externally in the water. AKFFers have found that most in-water transducers are able to shoot their signal thru the thin polyethylene plastic hull of a Kayak.
The transducer attaches to the display unit by a cable. The display unit interprets the transducer signal into a graphical representation of structure and perhaps fish. Displays can be either colour or monochromatic. Sounders need a DC electrical current in order to work, so providing a reliable, safe power source is one of the challenges for a kayak fisherman.
There are many manufacturers of fish finders/sounders
Here's a resource that compares common sounders. As Doug (DGax65) says:
The comparison tool that they have can be useful starting point if you are in the market for your first fishfinder and are unfamiliar with the various brands and capabilities. I wouldn't use this as the sole method for picking a new FF. Once you narrow down the field to those units with the features that you're looking for, you need to go to a store to get a hands-on demo. The Fishfinder store carries most of the major brands, so I think you could get a fair comparison. Their comparison tool only rates the basic quantifiable aspects of fishfinders. For other, more subjective, factors you'll need to get input from other users or demo the unit yourself.
In May 2005 a poll was conducted on members to see what sounders they are using. In addition another poll was made to see if there was an intention to purchase a sounder, GPS or both in the near future. The Poll results can be seen here
- Squizzy's Innovative FF Installation
- Occy's FF Installation Thread
- Paffoh's FF on his Hobie Quest Thread
- Hi-Yo's FF on his Tempo Fisherman Thread
- Polylureosis writes about his Zero Hole Sounder install on his Hobie Outback
- Funda describes his innovative Sounder Install for his Hobie Outback
- Andybear talks about transducer mounting after some lessons learned.
- Redphoenix describes moving his sounder onto his Hobie Adventure. Here's a link to the original mount, with detailed instructions on the build process.
- Redphoenix talks about a transportable mount for sounders on the adventure, and also a second installation.
- Gatesy posted a thread about an innovative way to use the mast hole on his Hobie Adventure to mount his sounder
- Cuda describes his unique rudder-mounted transducer installation
- Revo's FF/GPS Installation Thread
- Buff's Sounder installation plus cable cutting and reterminating to IP67 rated connectors
- Buff's Installation of a Lowrance Sidescan Transducer inside the hull of a Hobie Outback
- Installation video on YouTube