This is a review and comparison of the best watches for fishing in 2023. This review compares Garmin, Coros, SUNNTO, Casio, and Apple watches.
Each watch on this list was ranked using the most essential fishing watch criteria so you can easily find the best fishing watch for you.
Without further ado, here are the 8 best watches for fishing in 2023:
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Table of Contents
Best Watch Criteria For Fishing
- Waterproof Rating
- Tide Clock/Chart
- Moon Phases
- Sunrise and Sunset
- Display Quality
- Mapping Features
- Watch Durability
- Watch Face Material
- Battery Life
- ABC (Altimeter, Barometer, Compass)
Top Fishing Watches Comparison Chart
In this chart, you’ll find the top watches in this review compared. Scroll ➡➡ to see all of the watches.
|Smartwatch Model||Garmin Instinct Solar (Standard)||Apple Watch Ultra||SUUNTO Traverse Alpha||Coros Vertix 2||Garmin Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar|
|Award||Best Value||Best Apple Watch||Designed For Fishing||Best Battery||Best Overall|
|Battery Life (Days)**||24||1.5||14||60||18|
|Watch Face Material||Power Glass||Sapphire||Sapphire||Sapphire||Sapphire|
|Sunrise & Sunset||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Display Res. (px)||128x128||410×502||128x128||280x280||260x260|
|Durability||MIL-STD-810G||MIL-STD-810G||MIL-STD-810G||Robust Titanium Case||MIL-STD-810G|
|Availability||View on Amazon||Check Amazon's Price||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon|
**Battery Life Depends on Settings
Best Watches For Fishing
Garmin Instinct Solar (Standard) – Best Value Smartwatch For Fishing
The Garmin Instinct Solar is the best fishing smartwatch for the money. There are a lot of features you get from this watch at a very reasonable price point. This smartwatch comes with everything the majority of fishermen would need. For example, it has GPS/ABC, 24 days of battery life, sunset/sunrise, moon phases, and meets military specs MIL-STD-810G for durability.
The screen is made of Power Glass which ranks about 6.8 on the hardness scale and is very resistant to breaking and scratching. However, the Sapphire glass of many of the other watches rank 9 on the hardness scale. This means sapphire is very hard to scratch and is better if you think there’s a high potential to damage your smartwatch while fishing.
Garmin Instinct 2 Solar Smartwatch For Fishing
The Garmin Instinct 2 is the next step up from the Standard Instinct.
Difference Between The Garmin Instinct 2 vs Instinct?
The biggest difference between these two models is price and battery life. The Instinct 2 is more expensive but does have an improved battery over the Standard Instinct because of the solar panel watch face which charges the watch. The battery life can potentially be unlimited in smartwatch mode with adequate sun exposure.
You’ll also get more features with the Instinct 2 including:
- 32MB vs 16MB Storage
- Incident Detection
- Training Status
- VO2 Max
- Recovery time
- Garmin Pay
Apple Watch Ultra
The Apple Watch Ultra is the smartwatch for fishermen that are looking for the perfect balance for those who still want an Apple Watch and access to the App Store while having more rugged features like Garmin watches. The Apple Watch Ultra is more waterproof (100m), works down to -2ºF, has an awesome compass, dual-frequency GPS, the ability to take waypoints, longer battery life (up to 60 hours), and has sapphire glass in an aerospace-grade titanium casing.
SUUNTO Traverse Alpha – Best Specifically Designed Smartwatch For Fishing
The SUUNTO Traverse Alpha Stealth is one of the best fishing watches on the market because it was designed specifically for fishing and outdoorsmen.
Another key feature of this watch is that it is GPS and GLONASS enabled which means the watch can be used for navigation. In GPS mode you can set the watch to leave breadcrumbs, enabling the watch to track your path. This is helpful for fishermen that walk into remote areas or need a way to get back to their vehicle by boat on a foggy morning or night.
This watch also has an Altimeter, Barometer, and Compass (ABC). This means it has the elevations, atmospheric pressure, and a digital compass, which are helpful for fishing.
Other great fishing features of this watch include sunrise and sunset and moon phases.
Coros Vertix 2 – Best Battery Life Smartwatch For Fishing
One of the biggest reasons the Coros Vertix 2 is a great watch for fishing is because of its impressive battery life. This smartwatch can last up to 60 days in smartwatch mode which beats the competition by a landslide. Battery life is important for fishing because it is very inconvenient for a watch to run out of battery when you’re using it for navigation.
This watch also has all of the features you’d want out of a fishing smartwatch. For example, the best features for fishing include; a large readable display, advanced navigation features, (5-satellite systems + offline mapping), advanced navigation capabilities, and is very simple to use.
Maps include landscape, topo, or hybrid modes which are helpful to alternate between when fishing. It comes with a global landscape basemap and you can download free topo maps by a specific region on the Coros site. Another great mapping feature is that you can zoom in and out of maps easily using the touch screen.
Garmin Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar – Best Overall Smartwatch For Fishing
Difference Between The Garmin Fenix 7X vs Coros Vertix 2
The Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar is the most comparable watch to the Coros Vertix 2. So if you’re looking for this Garmin version of the Coros 2, this watch might be for you. They are just about the same size and offer similar features. The Coros 2 has the leg up when it comes to battery life and price.
However, the Garmin Fenix 7X performs slightly better in all other categories. Most importantly for fishing, it has a much better GPS mapping experience and a better touch screen for easy screen and GPS navigation.
Difference Between Garmin Fenix 6 vs Garmin Fenix 7
- The Garmin Fenix 7 has a touch screen, the 6 does not
- You can easily pan and zoom on map with Garmin Fenix 7
- The Garmin Fenix 7 has better GPS accuracy
- The Fenix 7 has a better battery life
- GPS mode battery life is much better on the Fenix 7 (56 vs 36 hours)
- Better heart rate sensor with Fenix 7
- Fenix 7 has Solar + Sapphire glass options (with 2x more effective solar panels)
Apple Watch Series 8 – Best Smartwatch For Casual Fishing
For more casual fishing where you don’t plan to be fishing aggressively in tough terrain and in remote places for days at a time, the Apple Watch might be your best option.
The Apple Watch 8 is feature-rich because it has access to the Apple App Store. There are many GPS apps and fishing apps to download on the App Store. Also, if you already have an iPhone the integration between the two devices is seamless.
This is also one of the best watches for everyday use. If you’re looking for a hybrid smartwatch that is great for daily life and for casual fishing scenarios this watch is absolutely a consideration.
The Apple Watch Ion-X glass is about a 5 on the hardness scale, which means the screen is not as durable as the other watches listed. The Garmin Instinct Solar screen ranks 6.8 on the hardness scale, which is better than the Ion-X and more shatter-resistant. Sapphire ranks 9 and is very difficult to scratch and break making it one of the best products for watch screens.
Apple Watch Series 8 Sapphire
You can get the Apple Watch 8 with a sapphire screen which will greatly improve its scratch resistance because it will be a 9 on the hardness scale. The Apple Watch Series 8’s with a stainless steel or titanium case will have a sapphire lens. However, this increases the price of the smartwatch.
Casio Pro Trek Bluetooth Angler Line Sports Watch
This USA-made Casio watch was designed specifically for fishing. It offers 200m of water resistance, altitude, barometric pressure, temperature, and step count. One cool feature of this watch is that it can connect to your smartphone which will give you even more functions and features.
This watch allows you to access moon data and tide graphs which are important for fishing. Although not technically a smartwatch, this watch offers a lot of value for the money.
Hopefully, this post helped you narrow down the best fishing watches in 2023. If you enjoyed this post, you can learn more below:
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