If you’re into kayak fishing, you know how much equipment it involves. Rods and reels, fishing line, bait, tackle, lures – and you might add a fish finder to the list, too.
But as valuable as a fish finder can be, it opens up a whole new can of worms:
Finding a reliable power source that doesn’t take up half your’ yak suddenly becomes a priority – but grabbing the first battery you come by isn’t the answer – well, not if you want it to last a multiple fishing trips!
There’s more to choosing the best kayak fish finder battery than you probably think. This guide will tell you all about it!
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At a Glace: Our Picks for Best Kayak Fish Finder Battery
- Overall Winner: Dakota Lithium Fish Finder Battery
- Budget-Friendly: CHROME BATTERY Piranha MAX 160
- Premium Pick : ROCKPALS 250W Portable Power Station
- Lightweight Option: TalentCell – YB1206000 – Lithium-Ion Fish Finder Battery
- Best SLA Battery: Mighty Max ML9-12 – Fish Finder Battery
- Best Lithium Battery: Miady Lithium Iron Phosphate Fish Finder Battery
In A Rush? The Winner After 36 Hours Of Research:
Dakota Lithium Fish Finder Battery
Why is it better?
- Engineered with Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePo4) technology
- Has a 10Ah capacity at 12V
- High performance output – delivers a steady power output regardless of charge, ensuring a flat voltage curve
- A compact and lightweight, 2.7-pound battery suitable for kayaks
- Wide range of operating temperatures
- Active BMS protection handles low and high voltage cut-off, short circuit protection, and increased performance
- A longer lifespan with up to 2000 charge cycles
Fish Finder Batteries 101: Basic Terms & Two Main Battery Types
You could skip straight to the reviews, but having a basic understanding of battery technology – and the correct terms used to describe it – will ultimately be far more beneficial – l help you understand what to look for when selecting the best battery for kayak fish finder
Let’s start with the basic terms outlined below:
- Voltage (V) – The measurement of electromotive force, or difference in potential, needed to make one ampere of electrical current flow through the wire.
- Ampere (A) – Ampere, or Amps for short, is a unit of measurement for the electrical current or electron flow rate through a circuit.
- Watts (W) – Multiply amperes by volts, and you’ll get watts – a measurement of total electrical power stored in the battery.
- Ampere-Hour (Ah) – The measurement of the battery’s electrical storage capacity is calculated by multiplying current (A) and discharge time in hours.
- Cycle Life – The total number of complete charge/discharge cycles a battery can go through before its capacity is reduced significantly and drops below 80% of the original rate.
Two Types Of Kayak Fish Finder Battery: SLA & Lithium
Portable kayak fish finder batteries can, broadly speaking, be split up into two distinct categories:
There’s the more “traditional” Sealed Lead Acid battery (SLA) option, and then there’s the Lithium variety, which – although more expensive – has been gaining popularity as the preferred high quality alternative.
Sealed Lead Acid Battery
You’ve likely heard about Sealed Lead Acid batteries, or SLA batteries for short, before. They are, after all, best known for their car battery applications.
But did you know that SLA batteries are also the most commonly used battery type for kayaks, too?
The tried-and-true SLA technology costs less upfront, making affordability one of the very few categories in which this type of battery outperforms Lithium-based options.
However a lead acid battery can’t compete with a lithium in terms of performance, efficiency, depth of discharge, lifespan, or capacity, though – and tend to be heavy, too. Still, if you’re on a budget, an SLA battery will be an obvious choice.
Yes, it’s the same type of battery that’s powering your laptop or smartphone right now, as you’re reading this.
The list of reasons why Lithium batteries are better is a long one, but I’ll sum it up in a few key points:
- Several times longer cycle life
- Flat voltage curve, or steady voltage regardless of the battery’s charge
- Significantly higher energy density
- Improved efficiency and higher depth of discharge tolerance, up to 85% or more
- Faster charging rates
- Compact and noticeably lighter design
Overall, Lithium batteries are the far more superior power source for kayak fish finders – but only if you have that kind of money.
Things To Consider When Choosing A Fish Finder Battery For Kayak
Even if you narrowed things down to one of two battery types mentioned earlier, there are still tons of options on the market.
But instead of trusting the manufacturer’s claims, you should know how to pick the best battery for fish finder based on your specific needs – as shown in this guide.
Battery Capacity & Everything That Comes With It
The best battery for kayak fish finder should have a capacity that meets – and slightly exceeds – your needs. Otherwise, you might end up running low on power in the middle of your trip.
So, before we go further, think about how much power your fish finder requires and how long your fishing trips are on average.
Most fish finders consume around – and often less than – 1 Amp per hour when powered by a 12V battery. And, generally speaking, the length of a fishing trip typically ranges between 3 to 12 hours.
Multiply the fish finder’s current Amps by the desired operating time, and you’ll get a good estimate of battery capacity needed to power your unit, measured in Amp-Hours (Ah).
Do the math and choose the best kayak fishing battery for your specific needs accordingly – play special attention to deep cycle batteries as these will provide constant output over the full operating time.
Charging Time: The Faster, The Better?
If you’re an active angler – as in, you’re out on the water nearly daily – you want a battery that can keep up in terms of both capacity and charging time.
Lithium-type batteries boast higher efficiency ratings than Sealed Lead Acid SLA-type batteries, meaning they also have a faster recharge rate. Either way, the best fish finder batteries should take around 4 to 5 hours to charge.
If you only go kayak fishing once in a while, or only have a fish finder to power, this may not matter much. Having a battery that can recharge in a few hours is convenient – but longer charging time might not necessarily be a deal-breaker for you.
Battery’s Size & Weight Matter (Especially In A Kayak)
Fishing kayaks tend to have higher load capacity or the maximum weight they can support without affecting their performance and buoyancy.
Still, kayaks don’t come with unlimited onboard space, which means that the battery’s weight and overall size will be a factor:
Yes, you want a battery that will keep your fish finder running for as long as possible – but you don’t want it to take up the entire deck.
If weight is a concern then lithium will always be a better choice over a SLA battery type – but that quality comes a price
A kayak battery packing a lot of power in a small and relatively lightweight package would be ideal for kayak anglers.
Waterproof Case: A Word About Storing Your Kayak Fish Finder Battery
Fish finders tend to be waterproof, but many batteries aren’t. And, getting wet is an integral part of any on-the-water activity – but water and electrical equipment make for an unforgiving mix.
Considering the two are archenemies of sorts, you should think twice about where and how you want to store your fish finder battery.
Getting the terminals wet could short out the electronics or cause corrosion. Either way, `you’re in for serious damage – and additional expenses.
So, be sure to keep the battery in a waterproof case – preferably in the kayak’s watertight compartment – away from splashing water and the elements.
You can even make a DIY waterproof battery box.
Best Fish Finder Battery – Top 6 Options Reviewed & Rated
Best Budget-Friendly Fish Finder Battery
CHROME BATTERY Piranha MAX 160 – Fish Finder Battery
This budget-friendly SLA option by Chrome Battery is the go-to replacement for powering the Piranha MAX 160 – and many other – fish finders.
This lead acid battery is constructed with Absorbed Glass Mat technology (AGM), which comes with a promise of spill-proof design and completely maintenance-free operation. Plus, the heavy-duty, sealed construction means you might get away with not using a waterproof battery case.
You won’t find the info anywhere on the label, but it’s a 12V 7.4Ah battery – a versatile fit for various applications. Also, at 5.9 x 2.5 x 3.7 inches, it’s compact enough for kayaks, although the 4.1-pound weight could be a deal-breaker for some.
- Deep Cycle SLA battery with AGM technology
- Rated at 12V 7Ah
- 5.9 x 2.5 x 3.7 inches
- 4.1 pounds
- Utilizes Absorbed Glass Mat Separators for maintenance-free operation
- Doesn’t require a waterproof battery case
- Vibration-resistant design and sealed corrosion-resistant posts
- Comes fully charged for easier application
- Weight might be a deal-breaker for some kayak anglers
- Doesn’t include ratings of any kind on the label
- Potential issues with quality control
Yes, it’s a bit heavy – but if you want a versatile, low-maintenance, budget-friendly SLA battery, the Chrome Battery 12V 7.4Ah battery is a solid choice – and you can see why it’s a popular option with those who go ice fishing.
Best SLA Kayak Fish Finder Battery
Mighty Max ML9-12 – Fish Finder Battery
Mighty Max ML9-12 is another solid choice for kayak anglers who would prefer to stick to the SLAs.
It’s a general-purpose SLA battery that features Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) construction, The advantages are it’s fiberglass mat separators wick the electrolyte solution, ensuring spill-proof and maintenance-free operation with a valve-regulated design. The deep cycle structure and 12V 9Ah battery ratings make it suitable for various applications, including powering fish finders.
As lead acid batteries go, its 5.9 x 2.6 x 3.9-inch dimensions are compact; I’ll give it that. But if you’re trying to shed a few pounds off your fishing trip equipment then the Mighty Max isn’t the way to go, as it weighs slightly over 5 pounds.
Oh, and you’ll have to get mounting hardware and a charger separately.
- SLA battery with AGM technology
- Rated at 12V 9Ah
- 5.9 x 2.6 x 3.9 inches
- 5.1 pounds
- Spill-proof and maintenance-free glass fiber mat (AGM) valve-regulated design
- Resistant to shock and vibration
- Low self-discharge rate
- Arrives fully charged for maximum convenience
- Versatile and reasonably priced
- It’s pretty heavy for its size
- Quality control could be better
- Longevity could be a potential issue
- Doesn’t include a charger or mounting hardware
Do you still prefer SLA batteries over any other option? Well, if that’s the case, Mighty Max should be your go-to for powering fish finders.
Overall Best Fish Finder Battery
Dakota Lithium Fish Finder Battery
Remember what I said about Lithium batteries delivering better performance across the board? Well, it’s time to introduce you to Dakota lithium 12V 10Ah battery that employs Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePo4) technology:
A deep cycle battery, it charges five times faster than an average SLA battery, has a longer lifespan of up to 2000 cycles, and delivers steady voltage for up to 99% of its charge. Plus, it measures 5.9 x 2.5 x 3.7 inches but is still 60% lighter, weighing only 2.7 pounds.
It won’t win any budget-friendly awards any time soon, though, given that it costs more than the previous two options combined and requires a specific LiFePO4-compatible charger.
- Lithium battery
- Rated at 12V 10Ah
- 5.9 x 2.5 x 3.7 inches
- 2.7 pounds
- High performance – steady power output regardless of battery’s charge
- Features an active BMS protection circuit
- Operating temperature suitable for harsh environments
- Compact and lightweight kayak-friendly design
- Uses a LiFePO4-compatible charger that’s sold separately
- It’s a relatively expensive option
- Not rated for wet environments and requires a watertight box
If you can afford to spend more to reap all the benefits of using a Lithium fish finder battery, Dakota lithium 12V 10Ah is a hard-to-beat option.
Best Lithium Fish Finder Battery
Miady Lithium Iron Phosphate Fish Finder Battery
Miady also utilizes Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePo4) technology, but unlike the previous option, it has a slightly lower battery capacity, at 6Ah with a 12.8V nominal voltage.
It’s worth considering for fish finders with a current draw of 0.25 to 0.5 Amps at 12V and should handle multiple 8-hour fishing trips before needing a recharge. The 1.2A discharge current seems a bit limiting, though, so you might struggle to power multiple gadgets at once.
On the plus side, recharging takes around two hours, and it can go through over 2000 charging cycles.
It’s also among the most compact options – measuring 3.6 x 2.7 x 3.9 inches and weighing a mere 1.6 pounds – and has an IP55 water-resistance rating.
- Lithium battery
- Rated at 12.8V 6Ah
- 3.6 x 2.7 x 3.9 inches
- 1.6 pounds
- High quality, compact and lightweight battery pack
- Handle being fully discharged and has a low self-discharge rate
- An IP55 water-resistance rating
- Recharges in two hours
- Requires a LiFePo4-specific charger, which isn’t included
- The terminals feel a bit cheap
- The 1.2A discharge current might be low for some
If you’re looking to power a smaller fish finder unit, Miady’s 12V 6Ah LiFePO4 battery is a lightweight, water-resistant, and affordable way to do it.
Best Lightweight Fish Finder Battery
TalentCell – YB1206000 – Lithium-Ion Fish Finder Battery
TalentCell’s Lithium-ion battery is ultra-light, portable, and – well, as tiny as kayak fish finder batteries go. Seriously, it weighs less than a pound – 0.8 pounds, to be exact – and measures 5.7 x 3.3 x 1.1 inches.
If you’re hoping to keep your fishing gear light, TalentCell’s battery is probably your best bet.
Despite its tiny size, this 12V 6000mAh Lithium-ion battery packs enough juice for an afternoon on the water from a single charge. Plus, it features five LED indicators for tracking battery life, which is a nice touch.
A waterproof case is a must, though, since it can’t handle water and humidity exposure. So, add that to your shopping list.
- Lithium-ion battery
- Rated at 12V 6000mAh
- 5.7 x 3.3 x 1.1 inches
- 0.8 pounds
- Features five LED indicators for tracking battery life
- Ultra-lightweight and compact 0.8-pound battery pack
- Over-discharge, over-charge, and short-circuit protection
- An additional 5V USB output
- Can’t handle water exposure and requires a waterproof case
- Slightly lower capacity compared to similarly-priced SLA batteries
- The construction feels cheap and flimsy
Tiny, lightweight, and powerful enough to keep your fish finder running, TalentCell’s Lithium-ion 12V 6000mAh battery should be your go-to if you’re hoping to keep things light.
Best Portable Power Station For Kayak Anglers
ROCKPALS 250W Portable Power Station
ROCKPALS’s 250-watt multi-purpose power station makes for an outstanding backup power supply and, interestingly enough, it’s a generator-and-battery-pack hybrid of sorts:
It utilizes a deep cycle 3.7V 64.8Ah/12V 20Ah Lithium battery and features multiple output options, including two AC, two USB, and four DC ports. Plus, you have three ways to recharge it.
It might be overkill for powering a single fish finder. However, if you’re running multiple devices at the same time, ROCKPALS is a safe bet.
This ROCKPALS unit clocks in at 5.5 pounds and measures 8.9 x 3.9 x 6.3 inches, on par with your average SLA battery. It’s portable enough for a multi-purpose power station; I’ll give it that. But it’s bulky, nonetheless.
- Lithium battery
- Rated at 3.7V 64.8Ah/12V 20Ah
- 8.9 x 3.9 x 6.3 inches
- 5.5 pounds
- Features multiple AC, DC, and USB ports
- High performance output – capable of powering multiple devices at a time
- Compatible with three charging methods
- Built-in system protection
- It’s not waterproof and will require watertight storage
- Bulkier and slightly heavier than other options
- It’s not the best choice for anglers on a budget
ROCKPALS’ power station packs a ton of juice for any adventurer, hobbyist, or fishing kayaker out there – especially if you’re trying to keep more than just a fish finder up running. The perfect high performance battery for a long weekend of kayak fishing.
Summing It Up
If there’s anything I’d like you to take away from all this, it’s that you can’t trust every brand that claims their battery is somehow “better.” It’s a decision you make for yourself.
That said, I do have some recommendations – starting with the Dakota Lithium Fish Finder Battery, which, I believe, deserves the title of the best kayak fish finder battery.
However, Dakota’s 12V 10Ah Lithium battery delivers power and efficiency in a compact, lightweight package. It’s a bit pricey – but it has what it takes to keep things going during a day-long kayak fishing trip.
And ultimately, that’s what matters the most, and why its our best battery for fish finders.