How to Choose a Fish Finder Battery 551 350 BassGrab

How to Choose a Fish Finder Battery

A fish finder battery is an invaluable asset that can power many electronics and last quite a long time if chosen and maintained correctly. The four specs to look for when choosing a battery for your fish finder are battery construction, battery power, battery size, and battery weight. These are the most important things to consider in your choice for a battery in a marine environment.

Battery Construction

There are two types of batteries that are suitable for using in a marine environment for powering fish finders. Other types of batteries exist but due to environmental concerns with them not being sealed and the inability to handle harsh environments and constant motion and different orientations they are not the best choice.

  • Sealed Lead Acid Batteries (SLA)

    These batteries are often used as deep cycle or marine batteries because they work well regardless of their orientation. These are sealed batteries making them leak proof. One downside is that they are quite heavy, but their cheap cost and wide range of operating temperatures makes up for this. You also will need to be sure not to discharge them more than 80% of it can damage the life of the battery. These are also referred to as AGM (absorbed glass mat) batteries. This is different than a standard flooded lead acid car battery which should never be used on a kayak or boat.

  • Lithium Batteries (LiFePO4)

    This type of battery is hands down the best option for powering your fish finder. It is very lightweight and typically much smaller than other comparable batteries. It also can discharge 100% of its power without suffering battery life issues and it provides a stable current for electronics. The downside here is price, however if you can spring it then this is the battery to get for your boat or kayak fish finder.

Battery Power

All of the batteries included in this review are 12v batteries rated for 10Ah (amp hours). I chose that power rating because it gives a level playing ground to compare them and it is a great capacity for a full day of fishing running a fish finder sonar and possibly more electronics. This is the amp hour power rating I would recommend purchasing. If you want to determine how long your battery will last it comes down to some fairly simple math that involves current draw and amp hours. 

You will need the following two specs:

  1. Current draw from your fish finder. This is listed in the manufacturer specs, usually around 1A or less.
  2. You also need to know how many amp hours your 12v battery is rated for, it will say this on the side.

Once you have these numbers do the math below

Battery Amp Hours
—————————————–        =    hours of run time
Fish Finder Amp Draw

Ex: Garmin Striker 4 is listed as using a current draw of 0.23A @ 12V. In this case for a standard battery with 10ah you will get a runtime of 43.47 hours in a ideal scenario. However since batteries never run at perfect efficiency I would cut 20% off of that number for real world power hours. Larger fish finders with more features will use more power so make sure to do the math before purchasing a battery.

Battery Size and Weight

The size and weight of a fish finder battery comes into play particularly if you’re using it on a kayak where every ounce added makes more weight for you to paddle. Lithium ion batteries will  be the smallest and lightest weight option, but they also have the biggest price tag. However with some of the batteries topping 6lbs on this list, you may want to consider a lightweight option. Also, let’s face it, if you got into fishing for the low cost of entry then you’re into the wrong sport.

Size is a factor that definitely comes into play on kayaks. These small boats often have small hatches and very limited space that won’t handle a huge battery plus all your other fishing gear. Small and light is the name of the game in choosing a solid kayak fish finder battery.

Fish Finder Batteries

BatteryImageTypeSizeWeightPowerPrice
Chrome BatterySealed Lead Acid5.94 x 4.37 x 2.56 inches6.4lbs12v / 10Ah$
Dakota LithiumLithium5.94 x 3.74 x 2.55 inches2.8lbs12v / 10Ah$$$
Nocqua Power ProLithium3.00 × 3.00 × 3.00 inches
1.4lbs12v / 10Ah$$$
Mighty MaxSealed Lead Acid5.94 x 4.61 x 2.56 inches6.0lbs12v / 10Ah$
Dakota Lithium PowerboxLithium8.50 x 6.75 x 4.25 inches5.0lbs12v / 10Ah$$$$$
ExpertPowerLithium6.00 x 3.70 x 2.60 inches2.7lbs12v / 10Ah$$$

Battery Reviews

Best Budget Battery

Chrome Battery Sealed Lead Acid - 12v 10Ah

A sealed lead acid battery is like the old farm truck of fish finder batteries. It will do a job and do it well, but don’t expect anything fancy. For the price this is a great choice and it is a solid performer with a lot of positive reviews.  If size and weight is not a factor then don’t hesitate to go with this battery. If I were outfitting a small boat then I would go with several of these wired up to run all of my electronics. If I were fishing from a kayak then I may opt for another battery and use the extra space for other gear, however this still would work in a kayak if you have the space below deck.

Pros

  • Low price for a solid battery
  • Sealed battery that can handle marine environment
  • Good run time

Cons

  • Heavier than other battery options
  • Does not include charger or wire connections
Best Mid Level Battery

Dakota Lithium Powerbox - 12v 10Ah

A lot of people ask are Dakota Lithium batteries good? Dakota Lithium batteries are fantastic, they make one of the best lithium batteries available and it comes in at a very competitive price. The weight and size are definitely realistic for a kayak if that’s where you’re mounting your fish finder. Many online reviews have mentioned that the battery has actually exceeded it’s rated capacity as well and the discharge/recharge cycles on this unit are exceptional. Many owners have stated that the company customer service is top notch. This is yet another reason to go with a reputable company when buying a battery as there can sometimes be issues with electronics and a company with excellent service will work to make it right. One thing to add to this would be a waterproof case and waterproof connections for your unit.

Pros

  • Power rating exceeds rated specs
  • Small form factor and lightweight
  • Lithium ion battery excellent for marine electronics
  • Reputable company with excellent service

Cons

  • Need to get a waterproof case
  • Does not include charger or wire connections
Best Ultra Light Battery

Nocqua Pro Power - 12v 10Ah

The NOCQUA Pro Power Kit is a very interesting battery choice for kayak fishing. It is by far the smallest and lightest option on the market and it offers just as much power as the other batteries on this list. I personally use this battery on my own kayak and it is a great choice for powering a fish finder. I can confirm that it actually does live up to it’s expected 10 amp hour capacity which is something I was initially concerned about prior to purchasing the battery due to its size. One other thing that is great about this battery choice is that it comes with a velcro case to hold the battery which doubles to help keep it in place in your kayak. I ran a line on the inside of my sit on top kayak that hangs from the top and I strap the velcro onto the line so even if I have water in my hull the battery is up and out of the water. It also includes a charger as well as several connectors for rigging up electronics. Overall, one of the best choices on this list.

Pros

  • Smallest and lightest lithium battery available
  • Velcro case for kayak hanging mount
  • Comes with connections and charger
  • Sealed battery that can handle marine environment

Cons

  • Expensive option for a battery
  • Velcro case not entirely waterproof
Best Entry Level Battery

Mighty Max Sealed Lead Acid - 12v 10Ah

If you’re looking for a basic battery to get out on the water for the best possible price then the Mighty Max SLA battery is for you. It is a great entry level battery that doesn’t include a charger, case, or any connections, but it is a solid performer and will run your electronics well. There are a lot of these types of SLA batteries on the market, so make sure you’re choosing a battery from a reliable and established brand when making your decision.

Pros

  • Low price for a battery that will run fish finder
  • Sealed battery that can handle marine environment
  • Solid power rating

Cons

  • Large and heavy battery especially in a small boat or kayak
  • Does not include charger or wire connections
Best Luxury Battery

Dakota Lithium Powerbox 12v 10Ah

The Dakota Lithium Powerbox is an intriguing option because basically it is the other Dakota Lithium battery already listed in this review, but packaged into a waterproof box with multiple features. It includes a flashlight switch, USB connections, voltmeter, master power switch, terminal switch, and car adapter input. That is a lot of bang in one package! This is the one to get it you aren’t concerned about price and don’t want to deal with finding a waterproof box and handling all the hookup and wiring. This does make the battery a bit bigger and more bulky, but once you package up any of these batteries they will take up some cargo space. All of this does come with a high price tag, but this battery can be used for a lot of different applications and is super portable.

Pros

  • Portable and ready to go
  • Custom waterproof box around premium lithium battery
  • Attractive features, switches, and wiring pre installed
  • High discharge cycles and warranty included

Cons

  • Expensive for a battery
  • Does not include charger
Best Lithium Battery

ExpertPower Lithium Battery - 12v 10Ah

This is another great choice for a Lithium battery. ExpertPower has great reviews and is widely used by kayak anglers for trolling motors. A battery that can handle trolling motor demand keep going is one that you want to use since that shows it can handle almost anything. This battery can handle a 100% discharge rate because it is a lithium battery and it won’t impact the life of the battery. It also is rated from 2500-7000 power cycles and a 10 year lifetime. Great specs and a great battery for the water!

Pros

  • Power rating is excellent
  • Small form factor and lightweight
  • Lithium ion battery excellent for marine electronics
  • Reputable company with quality products

Cons

  • Needs a waterproof case for kayak use
  • Does not include charger or wire connections
    Heath Anderson

    Heath lives in North Carolina and is an avid fisherman and all around outdoorsman.

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