Fishfinder kit for a small boat

Deeper Sonar Gear

I will tell you about my fishfinder kit for a small boat. This will apply more to an inflatable boat or kayak and those cases when the boat is bigger but there is no need or possibility to buy expensive StructureScan 3D Sonars and LiveScopes. If you are a novice angler, you will need a similar kit. And if the depth of the water body is small, up to two meters and a lot of aquatic vegetation, then the installation of more expensive equipment is unlikely to give additional benefits.

So what does a fishfinder kit for a small boat consist of?

  • Fishfinder;
  • Smartphone or tablet;
  • Boat mount;
  • Powerbank;
  • Three cables.


I have a Deeper Smart Sonar Chirp +. You can use other Deeper models except for the simplest Start. Probably other manufacturers will soon make full analogs of these devices Deeper, but at the moment I have not found worthy competitors. Sonar must have a function Create Bathymetric Maps. It helps to understand the relief and type of water area, on the basis of which to build fishing tactics.

Deeper Smart Sonar Chirp +

Classic sonars are a poor fit here, as the simpler versions have much less built-in functionality and are more difficult to install, and the more complex ones require a larger boat.

Smartphone or tablet

It is desirable to have a separate phone and tablet to work with fishfinder, so that you don’t have to switch between applications for calls and messengers. But at first you can also connect it to the only phone. But as practice shows, no matter how carefully you handle it, sooner or later the phone will fall, moisture will drip on it. You just have to accept it. And do not put on board, so that the phone does not fall into the water. And put the simplest case on it or buy Smartphone Mount for Boat and Kayak by Deeper.

I would note that of the criteria for choosing a device I would note:

  • The bigger the screen, the better. You can see details.
  • An anti-glare matte screen or a screen with increased brightness will be just right. In the sun, it can be extremely difficult to see through dried drip marks.
  • A recent version of iOS or Android.

Sometimes your phone can overheat after being in the bright sun for a long time. Be aware of this. If this happens, simply place it in the shade or with a frozen bottle of water. The phone will recover in a couple minutes.

In sub-zero temperatures I have never had my phone disconnected once. I fished from a boat with the fishfinder to a maximum of -7 °C (19.4°F). There were no problems.

Boat mounting

Deeper has a Sonar Flexible Arm Mount 2.0 for Boat or Kayak, it costs about 70$. I don’t use it as I don’t see it as convenient on a small boat. It needs to be mounted from the side, as there is a lot of noise from the propeller at the back, making it uncomfortable when passing in narrow passages between grass or floating islands. This mount comes in handy in cleaner areas and on a larger boat.

diy kayak fish finder mount

I use a diy kayak fishfinder mount. It is a lanyard tied to the sounder on one side by a loop in the center hole, and on the other side by the seat or a secure loop. With such a mount, the echo sounder is quickly removed into the boat and also quickly returned back. And works even with a big wave. When using a rigid mount, especially the first generation, there were problems. Sonar has two terminals that are short-circuited by water. When you take it out of the water, it turns off. This problem is sort of solved in the latest mount, but the echo sounder works fine with diy mount as well.


Fishing from a boat goes on for a long time, especially in the summer. A tremendous amount of calculations are performed while scanning depths and drawing maps. Even the most capacious phone battery is not enough. That’s why the phone is constantly plugged into a powerbank, also called a portable charger. Once a day I have to charge the spherical sonar itself. I usually do this during a big lunch. 

Walker Powerbank 20000 mAh

Small powerbank is not enough, I consider the capacity of 20000 mAh to be optimal. Personally I use more than a year specifically model Walker for 20000 mAh with two USB outputs. It is very convenient. You can charge both your phone and echo sounder at the same time. In general: a particular model of powerbank Walker I advise to use or other proven brands with a capacity of at least 20000 mAh. 

Three Charging Cables

One is the Deeper Sonar Charging Cable. It comes with the sonar. The other two are cables for charging the phone. One is the main one, the other is a spare. During the season several pieces of cables become faulty due to high humidity and occasional unintentional jerks. And always suddenly and not in time. That’s why I always take a spare cable in the boat.

Deeper Sonar Charging Cable
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