Where to mount transducer?

Discussion in 'Kayaker and Canoe Fishing' started by SDOutdoorsman, Aug 23, 2017.

  1. SDOutdoorsman

    SDOutdoorsman Active Member

    Messages:
    63
    State:
    South Dakota
    Name:
    Jake
    Watching youtube videos I see several ways people are mounting transducers. Seen one where they mounted it on the inside and said the transducer will have no problem reading through the bottom of the kayak. Is this true? Seems like this would be the best option as it would be kept out of the way. Also see the little arms that hang over the side.

    For you guys that have fish finder/sonar units mounted on your kayaks for fishing how do you mount the transducer? Pics would be great too if you have some.

    Also what are some good options for smaller sonar units for kayaks.
     
  2. twaskom

    twaskom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,818
    State:
    Indiana
    Name:
    Tom
    Jake, don't take this as gospel but the transducer should shoot through the hull of a kayak. They will shoot through fiberglass so I think as long as there is no metal or air in the way, it will work. We used to lightly glue the top section of a paper cup to the fiberglass where we wanted the transducer. Then we would mix up a quantity of epoxy and pour it inside the paper cup ring. Made sure there were no bubbles it the epoxy and then press the transducer into the epoxy. It worked very well.

    Some boats had a place manufactured near the transom for this purpose.

    You can test this by glueing the paper ring (top edge of a cup) where you want it and then fill it with water. Hold the transducer in the water and see if it works.

    Now for a final note. If the kayak has an air pocket between the inner and outer layer, the transducer can not send the sonar waves through that so it will not work.

    Always test it first before epoxying a transducer in.

    I was reading that some kayaks had a recessed place on the bottom side that a transducer could be mounted in and the cable could come up through a scupper plug.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
    crcanter and SDOutdoorsman like this.

  3. vortex

    vortex Twirlygig Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Missouri
    Name:
    Luke
    Jake, let me introduce you to the yak attack cell block.

    It's a small box, holds your battery, head unit mounts on top with a ram mount. What else? A transducer arm also mounts to the top and hangs over the side. The box itself mounts onto an accessory rail.


    Here's a local link to a writeup about how I've set up my big rig: Kayaks and Kayak Accessories


    Here's the concept:

    [​IMG]


    I mount mine on the center track as I find it's less in the way than on an outside track. To do this I did have to run to home depot for a longer round aluminum rod, as well as something to cover the length difference. Ended up using a dishwasher drain hose and painting it with a black spray paint that turns to rubber. Krylon something or other.

    Transducer cable runs up the arm (I used a couple zip ties under the tubing) and the excess wraps around a place on the box.

    Setup is awesome, and you can use it on any rail. I even use it on a little bass hound I have that I added a rail to.
     
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  4. Ammo

    Ammo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,469
    State:
    Glendale, AZ
    IMG_7188.jpg I built a set-up a lot like Luke's, 'cept I rigged it to use DeWalt 12V power tool batteries. You have to remember that if you mount the transducer INside the yak you will lose the water temperature function, if your 'ducer has it.
     
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  5. vortex

    vortex Twirlygig Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Missouri
    Name:
    Luke
    Also, side-imaging and inside the hull mounting doesn't mix (outlier cases exists, but it just ain't worth it.)

    Benefit of the "box on a rail", IMO:

    1) no new holes in the boat.

    2) install isn't permanent, so you can use it on another boat, leave it at home, etc.

    3) layout changes: you can mount it to any rail you have, so there are a lot of options. If you change your mind, no problem. I've even thought about getting a ram arm mount, and mounting on a rail behind me, but have the screen almost in my face. Probably won't be doing that, but I could, simply because I can move it to any rail in my boat (provided the transducer reaches the water, obviously.)
     
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  6. halll

    halll Active Member

    Messages:
    368
    State:
    iowa
    I'm planning on mounting one on mine also and haven't decided where yet either. On one of the YouTube videos I seen they had the transducer mounted under the seat(depending on kayak of course). Just another option
     
  7. vortex

    vortex Twirlygig Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Missouri
    Name:
    Luke
    Some kayaks have a recessed area under a scupper hole that allows you to mount up through the hole. The ones I've seen were for a narrow body transducer, not a wide body.

    Problem with any of that being it's still not as simple of an install as that cell block. It doesn't get much easier than that.

    Either way, internal mounts aren't good enough IMO. You want that transducer in the water, and less holes in the boat is a good thing.
     
  8. CatBassin'

    CatBassin' Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,261
    State:
    Harmony, NC
    Name:
    Garrett
    Mine is mounted on the transom.
    IMG_1797.JPG IMG_1798.JPG
    I made the bracket out of aluminum flat bar that I bent to fit the curves of the kayak. The flat bar gave me a flat surface to mount it to and also kept the holes high on the transom. The turned out part at the bottom sits just a little lower than the transducer. It acts as deflector but sits far enough back so that it doesn't interfere with the picture.

    I really like the placement of it and with it being in the water and not shooting through the hull I get water temp readings. The only downside is the bracket drags on the ground when pulling the yak without the wheels on. But since I only drag it short distances I just pull it by the back handle.
     
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  9. bauer

    bauer Active Member

    Messages:
    143
    State:
    Iowa
    Name:
    Spencer
    I'm a huge fan of the RAM mount transducer arms. Reasons being:

    1. They make it easier to move transducer from one kayak to another.
    2. If the transducer hits something, it just pops out of the water.
    3. It functions well with side scan.
    4. I can swing it out of the way during transport and not worry about beating it up.

    Good luck out there!