5 Most Outstanding Fishing Watches — Reviews and Buying Guide
Last updated: Apr 30, 2020
69Hours of Research
Fishing watches are the quintessential companions of avid fishers who want to keep track of time, tides, temperature, even moon phases and location to determine the best fishing conditions, and for easy navigation. The best fishing watch is typically made of water-resistant material and may include a built-in barometer, thermometer, altimeter, timer, and bright display for fishing at nighttime and in a low-light environment.
Before you invest in a fishing watch, you need to factor in important features like case dimensions, band features, water resistance, and weight, among others. The ideal diameter and thickness of the case provide a sizeable display for easy reading. We have also assessed the construction of the watch bands in this review for a secure and comfortable snug fit. Next, we looked at the depth rating for water resistance to protect the internal components of the fishing watch from moisture. Weight is another key feature we evaluated to avoid a bulky watch which will slow you down or wear you out when fishing.
Top 5 Fishing Watches Review 2020
Identifying the best fishing watch can be a nightmare, considering the numerous models on the market which come in different sizes, styles, functionalities, and price ranges. To simplify the process for you, we have compiled the top rated fishing watches after reviewing the most important features and researching customer feedback. You will also find a ranking comparison table, detailed reviews of each model, and an all-inclusive buying guide which features extensive analysis of the key features and a helpful FAQ segment.
Casio Pro Trek PRW2500T Tough Solar Digital Sport Watch has a high depth rating for water resistance, an impressive battery life and a plethora of features for tracking time, tides, weather patterns, moon phases, and location.
The triple sensor – a common trait of the best Casio watches for fishing – for this model has a tracking range of -2,300 to 32,800 ft. for the altimeter, 260 to 1,100 hPa for the barometer, 14 to 140°F for the thermometer, and heading bearing increments of 1° for the digital compass. For greater accuracy, remove the watch and allow it a few minutes to adjust to the ambient temperature.
Functionalities related to time include tide graphs, moon stats, multi-band six atomic timekeeping, 29 time zones, 12- and 24-hour formats, 1/100-second stopwatch, countdown timer, five alarms, and an auto calendar preprogrammed to run up to 2099.
When the solar rechargeable battery is fully charged, it lasts for five months and two years in normal mode and power saving mode respectively. This ensures uninterrupted operation and decades-long durability.
This model qualifies as the best saltwater fishing watch because it is water resistant up to 660 feet and can withstand the higher pressure of salty water. Moreover, the electroluminescent backlight display with afterglow is legible underwater.
The case is made of stainless steel while the band is hypoallergenic titanium which would suit fishers with allergies. The titanium construction also reduces the overall weight of the watch to 3.6 ounces.
Some customers have reported slightly inaccurate reading by the altimeter and barometer.
660-ft water resistance
Extensive battery life
Convenient solar charging
Wide variety of settings
Reported slightly inaccurate altimeter and barometer readings
A good fishing watch provides useful information on the weather, moon phases, tides, location, and other patterns, which all impact your rate of fishing success. Now imagine having the ability to monitor that feedback and personal stats from your favorite sports 24/7 with live emails and texts, whether you are on a trail or in a torrent. How cool is that?
Garmin quatix 5 helps you to achieve that with built-in profiles, performance metrics and smart features which include a heart rate monitor, a Quick Fit silicone band available in multiple colors for a fashionable statement, and automatic uploads to social media and an online fitness community network. There are even preprogrammed sport profiles for kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding as well as tracking of your fitness training statistics for activities such as running, swimming, biking, hiking and golfing.
Considered the best smart watch for fishing, this marine-optimized model is compatible with chart plotters and other boat systems to stream feedback on speed, depth, temperature, and wind. The watch can also facilitate remote waypoint marking, autopilot control and sail racing assistance like virtual starting line, distance to start line, race countdown timer, and tack assist. Other vital fishing aids include water resistance up to 330 feet, a compass, anchor calculator, barometer, alarm and a highly-sensitive built-in GPS for precise navigation.
Garmin quatix 5 embodies fishing, fitness, fashion and fun. The integrated Fusion-Link Lite App controls connect to Stereo Active and ANT enabled stereo models (RA70/BB100) to play your favorite tracks, adjust the volume and even operate a compatible camera.
Unsurprisingly, this fishing watch will cost you a pretty penny but it will be worth every cent and live up to being the best watch for hunting and fishing.
Sophisticated smart functions
Health and performance tracking
Compatible with smartphones, stereo and boat systems
Citizen JY8035-04E Navihawk A-T Eco-Drive Watch is among the top-rated models on the market which are designed for outdoor and marine activities. Handy features that would be beneficial for fishers are the reliable Japanese quartz technology which is known for accuracy, a rotating bezel that is easily aligned with the minute hand using a simple button on the left side of the unit, and water resistance up to 660 feet to prevent seepage of water when your hand is underwater.
Legibility is enhanced with a digital backlit display, orange accents on dials, anti-reflective crystal which protects you against the sun’s glare and luminous markers for visibility in low light while durability is assured by the 48 mm stainless steel case and the mineral crystal which is less likely to shatter on harsh impact when compared to sapphire crystals.
We also like the timer and multifunctional 1/100-second chronograph, atomic radio control which can sync time zones of 43 world cities, the convenient solar-powered built-in battery which saves you money on replacement, and the power reserve indicator. The manufacturer recommends a full daylight charge of the battery every 30 days for optimal performance.
Although it is the best watch for hunting and fishing, the lack of a magnetic compass may be a deal breaker if you are in unfamiliar environment because you have to rely on the directional markers and the sun to estimate your direction. It is also not possible to set the 99-minute countdown timer in seconds.
Timex Ironman Classic 30 Full-Size Watch is a top favorite with fishers due to its low pricing and user-friendliness. The bestselling watch is equipped with the basic essentials that fishers require for the marine environment, and is available in a combination of 17 different colors which you can customize to suit your style. The buckle clasp on the resin band can also be adjusted to your wrist size for a snug fit.
The watch features 1/100-second chronograph with 99-lap counter, a countdown timer, 3 alarms, a stopwatch with 30-lap memory recall, adjustment to three time zones, occasion mode with 15 event reminders, and a digital display with Indigo luminescence nightlight for visibility underwater and in dim lighting.
Considering how harsh the outdoors can be on even the best watch for hunting and fishing, we appreciate the acrylic crystal construction of this model’s dial window because you can polish off any chipping and scratches to restore a fresh appearance.
This is a practical yet pocket-friendly option for your fishing expeditions, swimming, snorkeling, surfing, sailing, and sweating it out on the tracks or in the gym. However, it is not the best deep-sea fishing watch because it is only water resistant up to 330 feet. The stationary bezel would also be a disadvantage for divers who need to monitor their underwater duration for safety purposes.
Some customers wish the manual could be included with the watch so they wouldn’t have to look it up online.
Casio is one of the oldest and most established brands in the world of watches. As part of the G-Shock series which features tactical timepieces, Casio G-SHOCK GA 100-1A1 Military Series Watch is resistant to both vibration, and mechanical shock, especially gravitational, and can endure a 10-meter free fall, thanks to its Triple 10 design.
Sporting an intimidating yet stealth all-black design which will keep you discreet as you fish, this watch boasts of Japanese Quartz movement, world time swapping capability, 29 time zones in 48 cities, a countdown timer and 1/1000-second stopwatch which can be set to display lap time, split time and elapsed time, among other time-measuring modes.
It also has water resistance rate of up to 660 feet, an auto calendar preprogrammed up to the next century, and analog and digital dials which are illuminated with electroluminescent backlight.
Despite its imposing appearance, this model is the lightest on our list of the best deep-sea fishing watches, weighing only 2.08 ounces, and also one of the most budget-friendly options. Powered by CR1220 battery, this military watch is a durable outdoor investment with a battery life of ten years. The metal buckle closure on the resin band also makes it easy to adjust to fit smaller wrists.
However, the stationary bezel makes it unsuitable for divers who need to know the right time to surface for breathing.
Resistant to vibration and mechanical impact
660-feet water resistance
10-year battery life
29 time zones in 48 cities
Calendar set up to 2099
Not many fancy functions
This buying guide is designed to help you identify the most important features to consider when choosing the best watch for hunting and fishing for the biggest catch. We also offer maintenance tips for longevity and optimal performance and answer pertinent questions on fishing watches in the FAQ segment at the end of this comprehensive guide.
Why do you need a watch for fishing
Fish adjust their movement and feeding time to correspond to the weather, moon phases, and tidal cycles. You will find a barometer, altimeter, thermometer, alarm, timer, tide graphs and moon stats in the best smart fishing watch which enable you to monitor the weather and avoid unfavorable storms, schedule your fishing trip, navigate and establish optimal fishing conditions.
Even if your fishing watch doesn’t possess all the fancy features found in smart models, it is still an essential part of your gear. This small device will help you know the exact time wherever you go, set a timer for whatever you do during your fishing day, and even calculate elapsed time for submerged divers.
Features to consider while choosing a fishing watch
The following features will ensure you get the best watch for fishing, deep-sea diving, and other marine activities.
The case houses the internal components, display, and the movements of the fishing watch. Its diameter and thickness should be large enough for legibility purposes, especially with the splashes and submersion that are a way of life for fishing watches, and thick enough to withstand pressure and impact. Valuable feedback on a large illuminated display with anti-reflective properties will be easy to read at a glance, whether you are fishing underwater or in glaring sunlight, at nighttime, or in dimly-lit surroundings.
However, you should avoid monstrous-sized watch cases because they exert additional pressure on your wrist, which may cause jerky movements. You want your hand trawling the prey, not in a twinge of pain.
In addition to extra weight, a strap that rubs your skin raw or one that hangs loosely on your wrist will also interfere with your hand movements. You will spend more time keeping the watch in place or focusing on the discomfort of a tight watch that tears into your skin than fishing. That is why it is very important to consider the fitting of the watch band. Look for an adjustable closure and clasping system which can be fitted to your comfort.
Titanium is hypoallergenic, stronger and lighter than stainless steel while resin is a type of fashionable plastic which is resistant to water and scratches.
All fishing watches should be water resistant, but the extent varies according to their depth rating. It indicates the level of pressure a particular watch can withstand and impacts the kind of activities you can indulge in while wearing it.
Manufacturers generally warn against operating the buttons when you are submerged to avoid infiltration of water.
A chronograph works as a stopwatch to measure elapsed time while a countdown timer measures elapsed time from a pre-set interval.
Most of the fishing watches on our list feature both chronograph and timers which calculate elapsed time in minutes and seconds.
This is a convenient feature which works with your other devices to feed you live updates, allow remote operation and online connection, sync the collected information and track stats on weather patterns, fishing locations and performance metrics of your fitness activities.
Garmin quatix 5 is loaded with multiple preprogrammed games and profiles and is compatible with Garmin stereo and boat systems.
A long warranty is reassuring considering the impact and pressure of the marine environment which exposes your fishing watch to scratches, shattering and seepage. Since the terms and conditions will differ according to the model, look up reviews from verified buyers and authoritative sites before making your purchase.
They can last from a couple of days to months depending on the model, battery capacity, the number and operating duration of active applications like syncing and Wi-Fi connectivity, and energy-saving modes.
The G-Shock collection by Casio features the best known shock-resistant models. They include the Casio G-SHOCK GA 100-1A1 Military Series Watch which is resistant to vibration, mechanical and gravitational shock. It can endure a ten-meter free fall and is water resistant up to 330 feet.
If you are looking for the best saltwater fishing watch which can withstand the high density and pressure, the Casio Pro Trek PRW2500T Tough Solar Digital Sport Watch got you covered with water resistance up to 660 feet, a rotating bezel to track your elapsed time underwater, and an electroluminescent backlight display for convenient reading. It also has an impressive battery life ranging from 5 to 13 months, depending on the selected mode.
The Garmin quatix 5 is for the geeky fishers who enjoy streaming, syncing, social media, speedy updates, and multiple built-in sport profiles. You will enjoy connectivity to both the internet and your favorite devices and collation of your training stats in our choice for the best smart watch for fishing.
Those who are ready to upgrade to an advanced model designed for professional marine sports and other activities will find the best deep-sea fishing watch in the Citizen JY8035-04E Navihawk A-T Eco-Drive which has high water resistance, a multifunctional 1/100-second chronograph, and atomic radio control which syncs time zones in 43 cities.