If you ask ten different fishers why they engage in the sport and what they get out of it, as well as how they enhance their experience, you will get ten different answers. Some fishermen want the purity of experience of being one with nature, with a little technology to interfere with their mornings spent out on the waterways seeking to improve what was once considered a necessary survival skill with little more than a rod and line. Others seek to enhance the experience and success using the latest gadgetry and technology at their disposal.
Smartwatches are now available for a wide range of sports, including marathon running, health tracking, and even fishing, as we move into the era of Internet-enabled smart devices. For any sport and outdoor activity, you want to ensure that you come equipped with the right equipment. Some of them may just be convenient to have, while others are crucial and will help improve your performance.
Anglers jumped on the smartwatch bandwagon almost immediately, as it seemed like everyone was donning one. These watches developers designed to simplify and track even the smallest activities. A fisherman’s watch would be ideal for someone who enjoys utilizing technology in their leisure activities. There is a slew of useful features on a smartwatch explicitly designed for anglers, in addition to the standard functions like timekeeping, step counting, and other health monitoring data.
Is there a feature set that you’re looking for? We’ll take a closer look at fishing watches in this article, which are sometimes referred to as “tide watches” because of the features they provide. This article will discuss the best and most popular fishing watches and the essential features to look for when purchasing a fishing watch. Keep reading to learn how to choose the right fisherman’s watch for your fishing style and needs.
Table of Contents
- 13 Best Fishing Watches Reviewed
- #1. Suunto Traverse Alpha
- #2. Casio Men’s AQW101-1AVCF Active Dial Multi-Task Gear Sport Watch
- #3. Garmin Quatix 6 Marine Smartwatch
- #4. Garmin’s Fenix 6
- #5. Casio Pro Trek Sport Watch
- #6. Casio 10 Year Battery WS-1100H-4AVCF Tide Graph
- #7. Casio G7900-1 G-Shock
- #8. Rip Curl Rifles Digital Tide Watch
- #9. Casio Pro Tech PRW2500T
- #10. Casio Men’s XL Rescue G-Shock G-7900-2CR
- #11. Suunto 9 GPS Sports Watch
- #12. Casio Pro Trek PRW2500T Tough Solar Sport Watch
- #13. Garmin Instinct
- Buyer’s Guide to Fishing Watches
13 Best Fishing Watches Reviewed
- GPS with breadcrumb feature
- Sunrise/set and Moonrise/set indicators
- Lithium-Ion batter
- Tidal charts are the third party
- The nylon strap is not durable
- Large for smaller wrists
The Traverse Alpha is a good option because of its attractiveness, robustness, features, and long battery life. This timepiece has a lot of clever technology at its core. For anglers, this watch has a lot to offer, such as a GPS, as well as a moon phase display and barometer readings, and information on sunrise/sunset and moonrise/moonset times. The watch has an onboard digital compass and thermometer. Furthermore, the Traverse Alpha’s compass is accurate to 5 degrees thanks to automatic declination adjustment. As long as you don’t mind using the GPS at a lower level of accuracy, it will still get you to your destination. Using the Suunto Traverse Alpha GPS, you can leave a “breadcrumb trail” to help you find your way back to where you started. An innovative power system recharges the watch’s lithium-ion battery. Despite having the GPS accuracy set to a low level, it still lasts for quite some time on a single charge. This should last at least three days and be sufficient for a 50m resolution in the real world. This watch’s only flaw is its nylon strap. You should get a metal or silicone replacement band as soon as possible with this watch. Those with smaller wrists may find it unwieldy due to its size.
- Accurate fish indicator
- Easy to read illuminated dial
- Moon phase
- No GPS or tidal charts
- Dial is cluttered
You might want to check out this Casio fishing watch if you’re on a tight budget. It’s challenging and long-lasting, but it’s missing more modern conveniences like a GPS, tide chart, or compass. A fish indicator, which shows how well the fish are biting based on the time of day and the moon phase, included as well, is fairly accurate. Despite the screen’s bright illumination and easy readability, the analog hands above the digital display can sometimes obstruct access to certain features. There is excellent battery life, but the dial is a little too cluttered with data. Made of resin, the strap and casing are water-resistant to 330 feet.
- Garmin GPS connectivity
- Heart rate monitor
- Built-in barometer and compass
- Features heavily dependent on a connected smartphone app
Garmin designed this smartwatch for various marine activities, not just fishing. Garmin’s proprietary chart plotters and other devices connect the device’s onboard GPS to Garmin’s services through a smartphone app for speed and depth calculations, as well as wind and temperature. In addition to the barometer and altimeter built-in, it also has a heart rate monitor. It can receive smart notifications via email, text, and social media via a connected smartphone. The barometer that comes with it provides weather data, and the 3-axis compass helps determine direction.
- Sunrise and sunset indicator
- Digital compass and GPS
- Moon phase indicator
- Garmin track-back feature
- Two-day battery life
- Water-resistant to 330 feet
- No tidal charts
- The silicone strap should be replaced with something more durable
Consider the Garmin Fenix 6 if you’re looking for a watch that can assist you in almost any activity. With a sunrise and sunset feature, a digital compass and GPS, a barometer and the moon phase indicator, and a thermometer, it is ideal for fishermen. The tidal chart feature, which some anglers may consider essential, is missing from the watch, but third-party apps may be able to fill in the gaps. It has a track-back feature with electronic breadcrumbs, like many other GPS-centric Garmin products. Lithium-ion batteries provide up to two days of battery life and are waterproof to a depth of 330 feet. The strap consists of silicone, so some users might want to swap that for a metal strap. The case is a polymer and stainless steel.
- Waterproof to 330 feet
- “Fishing mode”
- No tidal charts
This watch is built to withstand the rigors of daily wear and tear. Waterproof to 330 feet, this watch is ideal for water enthusiasts with an LED light digital display. Anglers can use its “fishing mode” to get information on the best time of day and the lunar phases to catch fish. A stopwatch, countdown timer, hourly time signal, and an auto-calendar are also included.
- 10-year battery
- Tidal graphs
- Moon phase display
- No GPS
- The watch strap might need replacing
This Casio watch features a tide graph and a moon phase display, making it another reliable Casio product. Its silicone wristband is long-lasting, comfortable, and lightweight. It has a ten-year battery life and a host of other features that make it ideal for anglers. It’s water-resistant to a depth of 100 meters (330 feet), has a dual time display, and includes a stopwatch, countdown timer, and automatic calendar.
- Moon phase and tide data display
- Water-resistant to 660 feet
- No GPS
- No barometer
This watch isn’t just rugged and sporty; it’s also highly durable. The LCD shows the time, the moon phase and tide data, and weather information. For swimming and shallow diving, it is water-resistant up to 660 feet. It’s compatible with 29 different time zones, has multiple daily alarms, and even has a snooze button. It has a built-in stopwatch and a two-year battery life.
- Easy to use
- Pre-programmed tide charts
- No other features like barometer or GPS
- Not as water-resistant as other models.
This digital tide watch is ideal for those who prefer a more straightforward approach. The 500 pre-programmed tide locations can be viewed in two ways: as a graph or in great detail. A stopwatch, alarm, countdown clock, and backlight are all included. Even though it’s made of polyurethane, it’s not recommended that it be submerged. Because of the program’s menu-driven user interface, many people find it a breeze to operate.
- Digital compass
- Tidal charts
- Moon phase indicator
- Large size for small wrists
- No GPS
This Casio watch, which is also very well made, was created with anglers in mind. It’s more expensive than some of the other options on this list, but it comes with many extras that make it well worth the money. There is an LCD on the watch. You can use it to navigate by using the built-in digital compass and view tide charts, barometric pressure readings, and the moon phase. This watch, however, stands out because it has a solar-powered battery. Having the watch charge in the sun is a nice perk on top of the already impressive battery life. People with smaller wrists may not enjoy this watch’s size and lack of GPS, which is noticeable on a watch costing this much.
- Tidal chart feature
- Moon phase indicator
- Shock resistant
- No compass
- No barometer
You can use Casio XL G-Shock Rescue Series G-7900-2CR to monitor tides and moon phases, countdown times, and hourly time signals for fishing and other water sports. With a -20 Celsius and up to temperature range, water resistance of up to 100 meters, an EL backlight, and shock resistance of up to three meters, it’s tough as nails. For 48 cities, it has 29-time zone functions on board and is made of long-lasting resin.
- Made of titanium
- Lightweight and durable
- Barometer included
- Most fishing features like tidal charts are dependent upon the smartphone app
Made of titanium, this GPS watch is the most durable and lightest on this list. Using the Suunto app, you can sync the watch’s data with your smartphone even when it’s submerged up to 100 meters (330 feet). A barometer allows for weather monitoring during a fishing trip, and the app connects to popular fitness apps like Strava. It also has sleep tracking and heart rate monitoring capabilities.
- Water-resistant to 330 feet
- Can withstand low temperatures
- Can recharge using solar power
- No tidal charts
- No compass or GPS
Thanks to its wealth of useful functions, this well-made and long-lasting timepiece is a must-have for anglers. It is water-resistant to a depth of 330 feet and is rechargeable using the sun. It has an altimeter, barometer, compass, and thermometer on board, and it can withstand temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius. In addition to daily and hourly alarms. The battery reserve is approximately five months when fully charged. Still, a few minutes in the sun each day usually keeps it charged. However, it is missing the tidal chart function, making it less appealing to anglers.
- Garmin GPS functionality
- 3 axis compass
- Heart rate monitor
- No tidal charts
Garmin created this timepiece with outdoor activities, particularly fishing, in mind. Most Garmin models include a built-in GPS and follow military standards for shock and temperature resistance and water damage. It has a three-axis compass, an altimeter, and a barometer and is water-resistant up to 330 feet. Tracking heart rate and other physiological responses to stress occurs via the Garmin app and smartphone connectivity. It has a battery life of about 14 days when used solely as a smartwatch.
Buyer’s Guide to Fishing Watches
There are a few factors to consider before making a purchasing decision on a fishing smartwatch. To begin with, any watch you select should be tough and durable. While a typical smartwatch that does not see much action in nature can be more slender and gracefully made, a watch that sees primary use in active outdoor activities such as fishing should be able to handle knocks and bumps. Because it is almost sure that your timepiece will get splashed or submerged at some point, it should be impervious to water, especially saltwater. Any smartwatch that has a future in outdoor use needs to be tough enough to withstand the rigors of nature.
What is the purpose of a fisherman’s watch? A particular watch’s options and features often determine the final decision. Due to their importance to anglers in indicating tides and waterway conditions, most fishing watches are referred to as “tide watches” in general. Mechanical or digital, analog tide watches are available, but most are digital. The location and weather data they provide are more detailed than what you’d get from a regular smartwatch. You can also plan your fishing around the current and future weather conditions with the help of additional features such as GPS, barometer, sunset times, and a host of others. Those features will make fishing a lot more enjoyable and a lot safer. It all comes down to what you need and want in a fishing watch. As you may be aware, fishing watches come in various functions, features, and aesthetics, so it all boils down to your individual preferences.
It’s possible to narrow the field significantly by using your personal needs in a watch as a starting point. Let’s take a look at a few other requirements as well.
Obviously, any smartwatch that will see many actions near rivers and lakes needs to be water-resistant. Anglers are often exposed to the elements. If it isn’t splashing or submerging, it could be raining or water vapor in the atmosphere. Most watches, on the other hand, aren’t water-resistant. Instead, developers designed the casings to keep moisture out to a certain extent, but they are not impenetrable. That’s especially true when the timepiece is completely submerged. Water pressure affects how well the casing holds up against keeping water out of its mechanism. It’s also worth noting that developers base water-resistant readings on still water, which doesn’t hold up in an actual moving waterway. This has a significant impact on the casing’s ability to repel water.
Suppose you expect to wear your smartwatch for long periods without recharging. In that case, it should come as no surprise that the battery life is essential. Unless you’re using many apps, smartwatches’ batteries only last one or two days before needing recharging, and this is with the most basic features. The battery drain will be even more significant if you use many network-dependent apps, such as GPS, for example. Even if you’re using the GPS a lot, the watch you choose should last the entire day and into the next.
Easy to Read Display
When shopping for a smartwatch for outdoor use, many people do not consider the display itself. Most digital displays are difficult to read in direct sunlight, making them less suitable for outdoor use than indoors. The watch you select should have a clear and easy-to-read display that can be seen even in direct sunlight, as a watch that is difficult to use and difficult to see is of no use to you. Even in low-light conditions in the natural world, this is true. For predawn or twilight fishing, the display should be well-illuminated.
Tidal Charts and Moon Phases
While a regular smartwatch’s ability to display the moon’s phases might be more of a novelty than anything else, it is a critical piece of information for a fisherman. Fishing conditions, such as tides and currents, can be significantly influenced by changes in the moon’s phase, so it’s essential to consider this when planning your trip. It’s also worth noting that the stage of the moon and the current tides can significantly impact whether or not you catch anything while fishing. Fishers specializing in certain fishing types rely on accurate tide readings provided by tidal charts that incorporate location-based data.
GPS and Compass
Having access to a mechanism for marking and geo-tagging your favorite fishing spots is a great advantage, especially if you are out and stumble upon a great fishing spot unexpectedly but do not have any other means of digitally bookmarking your location. While most smartphones do have this feature, this ability on a smartwatch allows for just a quick tap of the watch face to bookmark a location for review on a smartphone later. Also, having a compass feature is helpful, though it might seem redundant with a GPS. If you find yourself lost and without a cell or GPS signal, the compass will continue to work in some models of smartwatches. Compass has been instrumental in lost outdoors people finding their way back to civilization.
Barometric pressure is the first thing meteorologists read when attempting to predict what kind of weather is on the way. Anglers need to be aware of any changes in barometric pressure that could indicate a storm is approaching, and this information can be beneficial. In addition, some fish feed differently depending on the barometric pressure, which rises and falls. The wind, affected by barometric pressure, also affects fish feeding behavior at specific fishing locations. Keeping track of changes in barometric pressure while wearing a wrist-worn device can be highly beneficial.
Made of Easy to Clean Materials
Straps and bracelets for most watches are available in various materials, with the most common being leather and cloth or woven natural fibers. However, these materials are susceptible to rot and breakage when exposed to water. Use a firm material such as reinforced plastic or metal to attach your watch to your wrist for maximum security. Natural fibers can harbor harmful bacteria or even mold or mildew when exposed to moisture. Plastic or rubber bands can also cause this issue, so we recommend sticking with metal for your fishing watch. These are easier to clean, more durable, and have a longer lifespan. Metal wristbands are superior to a fishing watch because they do not retain and harbor fishy smells.
Deciding which watch to pick out of this list is difficult, as much depends on your own needs and what features you would consider essential for your activities. However, suppose you need or want all of the features suggested above in one package. In that case, the Suunto Traverse Alpha is the watch for us. All other watches listed here, while wonderful timepieces, also lack at least one feature or another, and the Travers Alpha packs it all into one package. Casio and Garmin certainly make worthy competitors, and if you don’t mind your watch not having an altimeter or weather data, any of those offerings are certainly worthwhile. However, the Traverse Alpha’s GPS, weather updates, moon phase, and tidal data are essentials for a good fishing trip. It would be best to swap out the wristband for something more durable, but that is the only thing you could say against this watch. Technology might not be the final word in an angler’s ability to haul in a great catch. Still, it is undoubtedly helpful to have the tools on this watch in your arsenal when you hit the waterways for the day.