A float tube depth finder is also known as a fish finder. The device utilizes sound navigation and ranging or SONAR to determine where a fish’s location might be. Fish finders are a huge help to any angler, both beginners and seasoned fishermen alike. What are the top float tube depth finders?
Here are 7 of the best float tube depth finders that are easy to use:
- Garmin Striker 4
- Venterior Portable Fish Finder
- Humminbird 5 Fish Finder
- Deeper START Smart Fish Finder
- LOWRANCE Hook2 4x Fish Finder
- HawkEye FishTrax
- LUCKY Kayak Portable Fish Depth Finder
In this guide to float tube depth finders, we’ll review the features and specs for each of the devices on the list above. We’ll also provide some usage instructions so you can quickly figure out where the fish are!
The Top 7 Easy-to-Use Float Tube Depth Finders
Garmin Striker 4
Do you already use Garmin for navigation in your car or truck? Then try their Striker 4 GPS-driven fish finder.
The Striker 4 is a 3.5-inch fish finder with a CHIRP sonar transducer that uses 77 to 200 kilohertz (kHz) to transmit 200 root mean square or RMS of power, which is 1,600 peak-to-peak watts.
The CHIRP sonar technology can also send out multiple frequencies at the same time. Upon the return of the frequencies, the sonar interprets each one to improve the fish arch reading. The target separation is also better.
Clear Vu scanning, which uses sonar as well, runs on a high frequency to produce images that are practically photorealistic. You’ll be able to easily determine what’s around you in the water, including what’s a fish versus a structure or an object.
The interface of the Garmin Striker 4 features keys and buttons for simple use. The display screen size is up to seven inches, but you can also downsize the screen to 3.5 inches if you want a pocket version of the Striker 4.
With waypoint mapping, you can set up locations from docks to stumps and brush piles at a depth of 750 feet in saltwater and 1,600 feet in freshwater. The draw rate is 0.23 amps and 12 volts. All along, the Striker 4 will display your boating speed.
An included flasher allows you to review sonar data when vertical jigging or ice fishing in a flasher view.
Venterior Portable Fish Finder
The Venterior portable fish finder is another great float tube depth finder to have on your shortlist.
Usable for pier fishing, shore fishing, kayak fishing, ice fishing, and more, the Venterior has a cord that’s 25 feet long with a sonar reducer on the end to determine where fish are at 200 kHz of sonar. The transducer includes a transducer float you can remove.
Due to the design of the Venterior, using a fish finder off a bridge or a dock is now possible! All you have to do is put its transducer in the water. The display unit will turn on automatically and indicate the fish depth as well as the water depth (in feet or meters).
You can toggle between several modes when using the Venterior. The fish alarm will audibly indicate to you whenever a fish passes by; turn this off for quieter fishing. The backlight mode turns on a yellow backlight so you can keep fishing even when the sun goes down.
The battery saver mode is to keep the fish finder going for longer. You can also adjust the sensitivity of the fish detection.
The Venterior will pick on fish that are 100 meters or 328 feet under the sonar transducer at a 45-degree beam angle. The float tube depth finder runs on four AAA batteries and will operate for four to five hours at a clip.
Humminbird 5 Fish Finder
Although it’s costlier than the other fish finders we’ve discussed, the Humminbird 5 is one of the most renowned float tube depth finders, so it deserves a spot on this list.
As part of Humminbird’s G2 Series, the Humminbird 5 has all the latest and greatest features in fish finders, including a five-inch display at 800H by 480V in HD quality. The widescreen display is in color as well so finding fish has never been simpler!
Like the Garmin fish finder, the Humminbird 5 relies on CHIRP digital sonar. It also features imaging sonar to detect conditions all the way to the bottom of the lake or river.
As soon as you take the Humminbird 5 out of the box, you can begin using the Humminbird Basemap. The Basemap cites data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA and LakeMaster to bring you up-to-date freshwater conditions. Not only does the Humminbird Basemap detect water conditions, but marinas, buoys, and hazards as well.
The GPS/WAAS receiver will read the direction and presence of fish up to 2.5 meters. AutoChart is another great feature of the Humminbird 5, as it provides up-to-the-minute maps of the water and can record data for up to eight hours.
The map you create includes depth contours, bottom hardness, and vegetation so it’s a full, varied piece of data.
Down Imaging uses high-frequency soundwaves to create a fish-eye shot of rocks, bridge pilings, brush, timber, and more. Side Imaging utilizes a skinny beam to detect the location of your boat on either side and then generate a return image.
That’s not all. The Humminbird 5 utilizes DualBeam for wide-beam detection and SwitchFire in Clear Mode or Max Mode to improve the detail of your fish readings.
Deeper START Smart Fish Finder
Here’s a Wi-Fi fish finder, the Deeper START. It’s designed to benefit your bank, shore, and dock fishing experiences.
The START is a smart float tube depth finder that uses sonar and wireless Internet. It looks like a fishing lure and can be cast into the water like one. With an accompanying app, you can open your phone to review the underwater vegetation, the bottom contouring, and your suspended depth up to 165 feet.
Deeper designed the START app for user-friendliness. The visuals are clear so you can decipher them without confusion. Within the interface, you can select from such modes as the fish alarm or Raw Mode. This mode lets you create fish arches through the app.
Before you use the START, double-check that it’s charged. The START plugs into a USB port and charges in two and a half hours. Once it’s charged, the START lasts for six consecutive hours before needing a recharge. You can take breaks and extend its battery life for even longer.
With a barrel swivel, you’ll be able to confidently install the START to your fishing line. As soon as you do, it will turn on automatically. Then open the app on your phone and begin scanning. It’s that simple!
LOWRANCE Hook2 4x Fish Finder
Increase your fishing game with the LOWRANCE Hook2 4x fish finder, a low-cost but highly effective option for anglers.
The Hook 2 4x has a quick-release bracket that you can mount to install it. You can also set it up via the front. Then you’re ready to begin using Lowrance’s Wide-Angle Broadband sonar. A dedicated keypad and basic menu make it easy to input the commands you want, such as automated sonar.
The SolarMAX screen is four inches and diagonally shaped to help you see all the details of the lake or river and the fish therein. The display has 480 by 272 resolution.
The LOWRANCE Hook2 4x is IPX7 waterproof and has a top broadband depth of 152 meters or 500 feet.
Intuitive, the HawkEye FishTrax is another of the top beginner float tube depth finders.
In FishTrax 1C Multi Mode, you can use the VirtuView TFTN display for high-definition, full-color readouts. The available modules are Ice-Mode Digital Flasher, Data, and Fish Finder.
The Fish Finder mode indicates sonar returns, the Data mode produces FixTrax sonar echo updates, and the Ice-Mode Digital Flasher shows real-time updates of what’s going on below the water.
The FishTrax is expandable so you can use it when fishing on the dock, bank, canoe, kayak, or boat. FishTrax Intelligent sonar produces depth ranges on several levels as well as ground tracking with auto-zoom.
The LCD screen features LED backlighting and a VirtuView dot matrix for less glare.
LUCKY Kayak Portable Fish Depth Finder
The last float tube depth finder on our list is the LUCKY kayak fish finder.
Despite the name, this bright yellow float tube depth finder works for all sorts of fishing scenarios, everything from shore fishing to ice fishing and boat fishing. That includes saltwater and freshwater fishing alike.
The LUCKY fish finder has five sensitivity ranges for determining fish size in stiller and rougher waters. The Backlight Mode produces blue light on the LCD screen so you can continue reading data in the dark. There’s also a togglable fish alarm.
This fish finder uses four AAA batteries and can last up to five hours continuously. If you use the power-saving mode, your batteries will go further.
LUCKY’s fish finder uses a sonar transducer that produces a beam angle of 45 degrees to read what’s in the water at up to 328 feet or 100 meters. As you glean the location of the fish, the LUCKY float tube depth finder will also indicate rocks, sand, and weeds nearby.
Having a float tube depth finder on your person is a great way to increase the number of fish you bring home. All seven of these excellent fish finders are geared towards beginners. You’ll be a fish-finding master in no time!