7 Best Castable Fish Finders: Reviews of Ibobber & Deeper Models

Once upon a time, we anglers all had to rely on a Lowrance SmartCast fish finder for a castable device as it was the only one on the market.

These days more and more manufacturers are coming on the scene with their versions of castable units. From iBobber, Deeper, and many more, we’ve reviewed and compared the best units from the biggest brands to find the perfect fishfinder to suit all of your angling needs.

Preview

Product

Casting Range

Depth Range

Battery Life

Check Price

Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar - GPS Portable...

Deeper PRO+ DP1H10S10

330 ft.

260 ft

5.5 hrs

ReelSonar CGG-MY-IBOBBER iBobber Wireless...

ReelSonar

iBobber

100 ft.

135 ft

8 hrs

Deeper PRO Smart Portable Sonar - Wireless...

Deeper PRO DP1H20S10

330 ft.

scans North to 260 ft

6 hrs

LUCKY Fish Finder Wired & Wireless Portable...

Lucky FF718LiC

328 ft.

147 ft

6 hrs

Vexilar SP100 SonarPhone with Transducer Pod

Vexilar SonarPhone

-

120 ft.

4 hrs

LUCKY Portable Fish Finders Wired Transducer...

Lucky FL068

196 ft.

328 ft

5 hrs

Deeper Start Smart Fish Finder - Castable...

Deeper Start DP2H10S10

165 ft.

165 ft

6 hrs


Why Use a Castable Fish Finder?

  • Castable devices are extremely portable and weigh virtually nothing.
  • They are built to withstand choppy waterways.
  • You won’t need to drill holes in your boat or kayak to mount it.
  • They can work very efficiently and often better than mounted models.

Considerations for Buying a Castable Fish Finder

Connectivity & Range

A wireless fish finder will connect with your Android or Apple device through Bluetooth or a private WiFi hotspot. If you buy a Bluetooth model, then the price may be cheaper, but you could run into some difficulties with losing connection if it's over 100 ft away. WiFiOn the other hand, WiFi models are a lot more reliable in connectivity but will use battery power at a faster rate.

Depth & Frequency

When you buy your new fish finder, you’ll notice that it mentions frequencies and depth ranges. These are crucial pieces of information as a fishfinder can’t find fish outside of its sonar pulse’s frequency. A good rule of thumb to follow, if your device runs on a low frequency, you’ll reach further depths. Whereas if you’re shore or dock fishing, go for a higher frequency device as it leads to better performance when you're not constantly moving.

Sonar Method

Nowadays, Sonar devices can transmit powerful pulses of energy into the water at a specific frequency, which in return, picks up an echo. The echo is then shown to you in a 2D map on your screen. If you use a device that can work on a dual-frequency or even triple-frequency transducer, you’ll get a good combination of depth and detail in your bathymetry map.

Type of Fishing

One of the biggest advantages of a castable fish finder is its versatility. You’ll see for our list, many of the devices are suitable for both freshwater and saltwater and can be used day or night. If you enjoy ice fishing, then a castable device is a great choice, too.

You'll be smooth sailing in your kayak or small boat with a castable unit on board. These lightweight and tiny units can be used all over, just be sure to check if the depth and casting range is suitable for your needs.

User Friendliness

If you're new to fish finders and looking for a device that’s easy to use, then you're in luck. Most fishfinders have an easy to use application that’s updated either daily, weekly, or monthly. Many of these apps are designed with a clear user interface that is basic and to the point.

If you’re unfamiliar with fish arches, then it could be a good idea to study this a little before hitting the water. Otherwise, be sure to get a unit that shows cartoon-like fish on your map. This is called FishID and can seriously help you understand where all the fishes are hiding.

Price & Warranty

When you buy anything new and of importance, it’s always a lot more reassuring if there's some sort of warranty. In all of our reviews, we have stated how long each warranty is good for. Buying a fishfinder with a warranty could save you time and money in the long run.

In terms of budget and price, you’ll need a model that caters to your needs but stays within your budget. No matter how high or low your budget may be, there's at least one castable fishfinder on this guide that will suit all your needs.


7 Best Castable Fish Finders Reviewed

1. Deeper PRO+ DP1H10S10

Our Top Pick

Casting Range

330 ft

Depth Range

260 ft

Display

Smartphone or tablet

Beam Angle

Dual-beam: 15° or 55°

Battery Life

5.5 hrs

Our top of the range castable fish finder has to be the Deeper Pro+ Smart Sonar device.  It has all of the same features as the company's previous model with further casting ability, and it’s a notch better than the Deeper Chirp Smart Sonar model.  This particular model is extremely versatile and will bring a novice or experienced angler many hours of tremendous fishing. Whether it’s bank fishing, boat fishing, or even ice fishing, you’ll reap the rewards of the Deeper PRO+.

The WIFI Technology on the Smart Sonar PRO+ runs seamlessly and can connect to a phone or tablet. It also saves previous fishing trips so you can look back and reminisce or previous fishing adventures. The display and lack of lag the Pro+ displays in a pretty streamlined process to your device. Another top feature about this fish finder is that it’s incredibly portable and a great choice for travelers that are fishing on the go. It weighs only 3. 5oz and fits in the palm of your hand.

It may be small in size but not in performance. This fish finder has dual-beam scanning abilities, so shallow and deep waterways aren’t a problem. And, its built-in GPS allows you to create bathymetric maps from the shore. This new and improved model is one of the best castable fish finders on the market today. Just pair it up with the right rod and reel, and you’ll be finding teams of fish in no time.

Pros
  • Better connection and casting ability
  • Dual-beam angle
  • Versatile fishfinder- good for boating, ice fishing, shore fishing
Cons
  • Deeper’s scroll speed is insanely high
  • 1 Year Limited Warranty

2. ReelSonar iBobber

Runner-Up

Casting Range

100 ft

Depth Range

135 ft

Display

Smartphone or tablet

Beam Angle

90-degree single beam

Battery Life

Up to 8 hrs

Our runner up model, based on performance and price, is the ReelSonar iBobber fish finder.  This fish finder is one of the lightest and cheapest on the market today. Its dimensions are 2" x 2" x 1" and weighs a mere 1.6 ounces. This device also comes with a USB charger, and a carrying pouch, which is easily transportable to the water.

Some of the competing fish finders on our list use WIFI to connect nowadays, and it can drain your battery at a faster rate. The iBobber fish finder uses a weaker Bluetooth connection, so, in return, it uses lesser power. Even though it runs on Bluetooth, anglers haven’t complained about connectivity problems. You can cast long distances into saltwater or freshwater or for ice-fishing or night fishing, and you won’t lose your connection.

The transducer on the iBobber fish finder operates exceptionally, especially for the price. It has a 118 kHz transducer and can scan the water depths of up to 135 feet. Pair all of these features along with the iBobbers smartphone app, and you'll have a ton of information that can help your fishing.

These include the water temperature, moon phase/rise/set, and your GPS location.  It’s even got a weather report, with current, high, and low temperatures, and information on humidity, wind speed, and direction. This model is a great fit for anglers who enjoy long lazy days by any waterway, as long as it’s not too choppy.

Pros
  • Built-in LED beacons for night fishermen
  • Bluetooth Smart sync uses less energy
  • Fish and strike alarms
  • Trip Log with date, time, location, water temp, conditions, type of fishing and more
Cons
  • Some devices find it hard to find iBobber’s Bluetooth if it’s in a heavily congested area
  • Only 1-year warranty

3. Deeper PRO DP1H20S10

Best Castable Fish Finder for Ice Fishing

Casting Range

330 ft

Depth Range

scans North to 260 ft

Display

Smartphone

Beam Angle

55° wide beam (90kHz) & 15° narrow beam (290kHz)

Battery Life

Up to 6 hrs

If you’re looking for a new age, high-tech option that is also good for portability, let us introduce the Deeper Pro Smart Portable Sonar. Our top pick is the newer version, but the original has more than enough features to make it on our list, especially for a model suitable for ice fishing.

Just like the PRO+, this is a castable device that is linked to a smartphone or apple app. With this product, you can cast off from your boat, from shorelines, and of course, enjoy some ice fishing. And if you add in the mounting bracket, this device can become a great addition to any small boat or kayak fishing trip.

Like the PRO+, its design is a black sphere shape that is about the same size as a tennis ball and constructed of ABS plastic. You can fit it in your hand perfectly, and it is small enough to put in a side pocket of your bag. It’s lightweight and makes the Deeper PRO Smart fishfinder one of the most portable fish finders we’ve ever seen.

In terms of casting, it’s almost identical to the PRO+. It can cast up to 330 ft with a good baitcasting rod, and can also scan down to 260ft thanks to its dual beam sonar frequency. You'll also receive free access to Lake Book and to Deeper' s bathymetric management platform where you can save, review, and analyze all of your maps on any Android 4.0 or iOS 8.0 device.

Pros
  • Perfect for scanning hard to reach areas
  • Small and portable
  • Good value for money
  • Connects to your smartphone to record previous fishing records
Cons
  • Issues with connectivity during rough waters

4. LUCKY FF718LiC

Most Versatile Castable Fish Finder

Casting Range

328 ft

Depth Range

147 ft

Display

Handheld device

Beam Angle

45 - 90 Degree 

Beam Angle

Battery Life

6 hrs

When you’re looking for a versatile device, it goes beyond which waterways you’ll be fishing in. It’s how easily it can be used, its purpose, and if it’s suitable for technic-specific fishing. This device has these attributes and more, making the Lucky Wired & Wireless fish finder our most versatile and well-rounded pick.

Unlike most of the other castable fish finders on our list, the Lucky FF718LiC doesn’t connect to a smartphone or tablet, because it doesn’t need a secondary screen. With this model, you get a handheld, portable device that anglers use to read the transmitters’ signals.

You can cast a portable sonar transmitter that floats on the surface. It emits a high-pitched 125Khz sonar frequency, which is more than enough to get an accurate reading without scaring the fish away. You’ll also have a depth range of almost 150 ft, so it’s perfect for rivers, lakes, and ponds. You could even take it out on the open ocean.

Apart from this device being extremely versatile, it’s also very portable thanks to its sizeable waterproof carrying case that can hold everything you need. The case also has a lanyard, so you can have it around your neck when casting or pulling in a line, allowing you to be hands-free. If you know you’ll be fishing in similar fishing environments, you can save all of your data onto the handheld device for your next fishing adventures.

Pros
  • Can be used with fishing rods or flotation devices
  • Large, easy to read screen
  • Waterproof carrying case for all components
  • Ideal for amateurs or professionals alike
Cons
  • The receiver is not waterproof
  • Limited 30-day warranty

5. Vexilar SonarPhone

Best Castable Fish Finder for Trolling

Casting Range

-

Depth Range

120 ft

Display

Smartphone or tablet

Beam Angle

30 degrees, Single Beam

Battery Life

Up to 4 hrs

If you’re an angler who's enthusiastic about troll fishing or new to it completely, then why not consider the Vexilar SonarPhone with Transducer Pod. This device saves money by not having a handheld screen, so you’ll need a smartphone or tablet to pair it with. The software available for Android or Apple operating systems is advanced and can create charts as you are on the move, just like some of the more expensive fish finders on this list but at a third of the price.

The SonarPhone transmitter creates its own WiFi hotspot, and you can share its signal with as many people as you wish, or password protect it just for yourself. The transducer cone can be altered by 40 degrees for a narrow and precise search, or a wider and broader search.  You can also quickly zoom in on areas that have plenty of movement for a closer inspection.

If you’re more experienced with fish finders, you'll like its split-screen display option to see maps alongside the fishfinder. And if you want more maps and sonar charts, you can purchase the Navionics Boating app at a reasonable price. Casting is easy, location won't be a problem, and the price is affordable, so if you're new to casting fishfinders and you’re nervous throwing a $300 device off the back of a moving boat, then a good-quality cheaper alternative like the Vexilar SonarPhone may be a better fit for you.

Pros
  • You can save money as you don’t need to pay for a display or controller.
  • A free app that can be connected to many devices at once
  • Connects easily over WIFI
  • Powerful sonar transducer
Cons
  • Only 4 hours of use before the battery will need a recharge

6. LUCKY FL068

Best Budget Option

Casting Range

196 ft

Depth Range

328 ft

Display

Handheld device

Beam Angle

45 degrees beam angle in 200Khz

Battery Life

4-5 hrs

The second device we’re reviewing by Lucky is a wired, portable device that’s a great fit for offshore fishing, kayak fishing, ice fishing, lake fishing, sea fishing, etc. The FL068 model can easily detect and display the water's depth, approximate fish location, short & tall weeds, as well as sandy or rocky surfaces, so it’s a great option for kayak fishing in general. This portable fish finder gives you another opportunity to hang it around your neck, allowing it to run completely hands-free.

The Lucky FL068 is a multi-functional device that gives five assistant settings to suit your needs- adjustable sensitivity, battery save mode, backlight mode, fish and fish school alarm, and a battery indicator. And, it works wonders with it’s wired transducer that comes with a 25ft cable wire. The detecting depth range of the fishing sonar is from 3ft(1m) to 328ft (100m) with a 45°detecting degree.

In terms of charging and display, you can pack some AAA batteries on your next trip as you can’t charge this device with a USB. It takes 4 AAA batteries with a life capacity of 4-5 hours with new batteries.

The display is clear on its 2 inch LCD Display with a blue LED backlight, but if you have problems focusing on small screens for an extended period, this device may become a bit tiresome after a while. Overall, for the price and the features, it’s hard not to even consider this killer fish finder, especially if kayak fishing is your preferred fishing method of choice.

Pros
  • Great value for money
  • Clear screen and easy to read charts
  • Shows sandy areas as well as rocks and weeds
  • Attach a Side-Scan adapter for side scanning
Cons
  • It won’t work well over 5mph speeds when trolling

7. Deeper Start DP2H10S10

Best Castable Fish Finder for Shore Fishing

Casting Range

165 ft

Depth Range

165 ft

Display

Smartphone or tablet

Beam Angle

Single beam: 40°

Battery Life

Up to 6 hrs

Last but certainly not least on our list is the third device by Deeper and for a good reason. Deeper has proven with each device that it is capable of more and more things. The Deeper Smart Fishfinder has proven its worth in many fishing environments, but shore fishing has to be one of its strong suits.

Like most of Deeper’s models, the Start device uses smart technology with WIFI connectivity that can be publicly shared with other devices or private for your individual use. It generates its own WiFi signal, anytime, anywhere.

Unlike the PRO and PRO+ models, this device doesn’t have CHIRP+, so scanning ranges differ quite a bit from its competitors. Rather than scanning 260 ft with CHIRP+, you can still cast and scan up to 165 ft. with a 40° sonar beam for accuracy and coverage. Every scan will automatically save with the time and location saved so you can always easily find parts of the shore that you’ve had luck at before.

If you're new to fish arches, then this device will come in handy. There are three fish icons displayed on your smartphone or tablet, which indicates not only movement but also size. Pair this feature with a fish alarm, and you won’t go on a fishing trip without a bite.

Pros
  • Know the fishes size and depth
  • Can cast 165 ft from the shore
  • Cheaper alternative out of the Deeper 3 models
  • 2 Year Warranty
Cons
  • Less casting and depth range than its Deeper competitors

Comparing Castable vs. Portable Fish Finders

Portable and castable fish finders have a lot in common but aren’t entirely the same. They can both be very versatile, great for traveling, and are typically lightweight for all-day use.

Usually, portable fish finders come with a small transducer that can be mounted onto a hull and submerged fully underwater. Portable fish finders tend to be wired with a display screen, so you don't have to connect it to an Android or Apple device.

On the other hand, castable fish finders have small and sturdy transducers inside the device that you can tie to the end of your fishing line. Wherever you cast will be where your fish finder will scan. So, cast wisely.


How to Use a Castable Fish Finder

Nowadays, castable fish finders are very user-friendly and should only take a few minutes to set up and use. Different brands have similar techniques. The most common steps to set up a castable fish finder should be as such:

  1. 1
    Unbox your fish finder and familiarize yourself with each component.
  2. 2
    Download the app that coordinates with your device.
  3. 3
    Pair your android or apple device with your fishfinder using WiFi or Bluetooth.
  4. 4
    Place your device onto the end of your spinning or baitcasting rod and make sure it's cast fully and submerged in water.
  5. 5
    Look at the app and check your device’s research.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do Castable Fish Finders Work?

Wireless or castable fish finders are connected to your line from a rod. You’ll then receive all of the information directly to your smartphone in the area that your line is in. These devices can be connected through WiFi or Bluetooth and can scan waterways as far as 300 ft.

Who can benefit most from castable fish finders?

Anglers who love to travel or rent small boats and kayaks will truly love castable fish finders. They weigh so little, and the transducer doesn’t need to be mounted onto the bottom of the boat or kayak.

Is side imaging better than down imaging?

Down imaging units tend to show the bigger picture better than side imaging scanners, but side imaging devices can also help you find and catch more fish with more movements shown on screen. Both sonar waves will help you catch more fish, so it’s really up to your personal preferences.

Do I need GPS on my castable fishfinder?

Many fish finders today don't need GPS to work efficiently, but GPS is a great tool for saving routes and previous trips. It’s an added extra that you may not need but would enjoy.

How can I take care of my castable fish finder device?

If you’re using your device regularly, then it's important to take care of it properly. After each use, be sure to rinse your device with warm water and check for any damages. Once it’s clean, dry your device and store it correctly.

Where can I buy these castable fish finders?

When you’ve picked your favorite fish finder, the next step is to buy it. You can always buy the model you like directly from Amazon. They have a ton of customer questions and reviews so you can read other anglers’ opinions before you order. Or another option is to check out your local fish tackle store to see which models they have to offer.


Conclusion

From our review, it’s easy to see why the Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar Fishfinder is our number one choice. It has all of the benefits of Deeper’s other products but with the highest spec castable system.

If you can cast well in general, then adding this to your line will be a breeze. Otherwise, any other model here has been tried and tested so you’ll know no matter which one you buy, it will be good quality.