How to Install a Fishfinder on a Kayak?

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Fishing is all about catching fish. Buying a kayak is the first step to initiate the process. The next thing is how to find the fish, and a fish finder is the answer. Thanks to modern technology, you don’t need to rely on assumptions anymore.

Fishfinders provide you with immense details about the terrain, depth, and structure under your kayak. Most importantly, they give you details about the fish.

A range of fishfinders is available in the market. From a professional grade to a basic fishfinder, you can choose a tool that meets your requirements.

Once you have a fish finder, the next step is to install it. In this article, we will share tips regarding the installation of fishfinders on a kayak.

Unit Position

The most important step in the installation of a fishfinder is locating the unit carefully. There are various factors that influence the installation. The most crucial factor is the type of kayak. Modern kayaks come with storage compartments where you place the unit. In older kayaks, you need to find a flat surface or an area within reach.

Remember that the installed unit should be within reach to make necessary changes while fishing. Don’t try to place it too far, considering that it will be safe. It will become an issue to crane your neck to see it all the time.

While making a placement, it is essential to remember that you have other gear as well. The unit shouldn’t come in contact with other equipment. If you are planning to place it on the side, it must not come in the way of your paddle stroke.

Use stainless steel of 304 or 316 grade for all fastenings unless you want to see rusty screws after a few days.


While buying electronics to use on your kayak, you must check the waterproof rating. You should only buy electronics that come with a waterproof rating of IP67 or above.

Remember that the IP67 rating is for submersion. It doesn’t protect against a high-pressure water blast. While cleaning your equipment at the end of the day, make sure you don’t exert a lot of water pressure.

Source of Power

Find an SLA (sealed lead acid) battery to power the unit. The battery works on the same principle as your car battery. The only difference is that the acid is sealed inside a plastic case. It ensures that acid doesn’t split, giving you complete peace of mind.

What should be the size of the battery? It depends on your power requirements. An average fishfinder requires 250mA power to work. If you are planning on fishing for 8 hours, you need to get a battery of 4.0Ah. You can also choose to get a bigger battery to charge your devices. However, you need to keep in mind that you have limited space on the kayak.

Battery Location

The battery must be kept away from saltwater as much as possible, as saltwater will reduce its life. Find a place inside your kayak and use a battery tray to secure the battery. Instead of a battery tray, you can also use a foam block.


Wiring allows the power to travel to the fishfinder. It is very simple. All you have to do is join the battery and fishfinder with a cable. Use a marine-rated cable if you need to extend the power cable. Just like any other item on the kayak, you need to seal the joint to keep it safe.

There must not be any exposed cable joints. Plugs and sockets must be protected with a protectant. Without any protection, the electrolysis will make your unit useless in no time.

Use a Fuse

Protection of your electronics should be the priority. Using a fuse in the positive line of your wiring can save your electronics. Make sure you choose the right size of fuse and don’t be shy to have a spare in the kit.


The transducer scans the water below your kayak. Hence, it requires a clear view all the time. Modern kayaks come with an installation kit that allows you to install the transducer easily. It goes in the water and provides you with an excellent view.

However, if your kayak doesn’t support transducer installation, you need to put it inside the hull of your kayak. There must be no air bubbles as they interfere with signals.

Wrap Up

So now you know how to install a fishfinder on a kayak. Once you have installed the fishfinder, you are ready for the fishing. After you come back from a successful day, it is important to clean everything you used on the kayak, including the fishfinder. You need to remove the crusty layer of salt from the fishfinder.

Use fresh water to gently clean the fishfinder. After the cleaning, store in a dry place. If possible, place it in an airtight box before storing it anywhere.

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