There’s nothing more thrilling than the anticipation of snagging a fish on your line and reeling in a big one. Before you can start posing for big fish photos, you need to ensure you’ve got everything in place for a hassle-free and leisurely fishing trip.
Technically, all you need to fish is a rod and reel and a body of water. But these days, many anglers prefer to cast out in style.
If you like to use a lot of fishing gear or kit out your boat, solar generators can be the ideal solution to power many of your devices, especially when you’re far from shore.
Here are some examples:
- Boat batteries
- Sonar and fish finders
- Mechanical devices used on fishing boats, like bilge pumps
- Marine battery chargers
- Electronic instruments like GPS
- Electric motors for small boats, SUPs, and Kayaks
Whether you’re an ocean or freshwater angler, a solar generator can be a blessing, allowing you to save on energy costs and lower your carbon footprint.
Not to mention that fossil fuel generators are extremely noisy, pollute the environment with toxic fumes and greenhouse gases — and can scare away the fish!
We’ll cover the five best solar generators for fishing and tell you how to pick the right one.
5 Best Solar Generators for Fishing Reviewed
For casual anglers who like to go on short fishing trips, the EcoFlow River mini is the perfect solution. It’s so tiny that you can carry it in the palm of your hand or throw it in your backpack. But with 210Wh of capacity, it’s still six times more powerful than a power bank.
The X-Boost mode gives you 600W of power output, enough for your smartphone, a 50-watt GPS, or a 24-watt bilge pump.
It features DC outlets, USB, and a wireless charging pad giving you a wide range of compatibility. Not to mention, you can power up to eight devices at once.
When it’s time to recharge, you have your choice of charging via a wall outlet, solar charging, and car outlet for maximum convenience.
The EcoFlow River Solar Generator is a lightweight unit perfect for any short fishing trip. Only weighing a feathery 11 pounds (5kg), this generator is the definition of portable. The River is slightly bigger than a toaster so that you can fit it in a fishing rucksack for convenience.
Despite its compact size, the battery packs a lot of power in its small unit. It comes with 288 Wh of storage capacity, but it can expand up to 576 Wh when adding an extra battery. With its X-Boost mode on, it can power devices and appliances up to 1800W.
The River can be essential for slightly longer trips or when using more devices, like powering a 500W fish finder before your trip.
It’s also quick to recharge once you’ve utilised its 288 Wh capacity. Thanks to X-stream recharging technology, it can fully recharge in 1.6 hours with an AC outlet or in under three hours with two 110W solar panels.
Additionally, it features a thermal energy management system, which ensures the unit functions even during inclement weather, when you’ll need power the most. The EcoFlow River operates in extreme cold or hot weather between -4 and 140 degrees, meaning you can still draw or recharge power in the worst conditions. Having a thermal energy management system is perfect for ice fishing.
Weighing only 17 pounds (7.7kg), the River Max is still a portable unit that delivers plenty of power. In fact, it provides 1800W of power thanks to the X-Boost mode. There are not many appliances or devices you can’t power with the River Max.
For example, a fish finder can use up to 200 watts. The River Max can power it for up to 9 hours! If you like cooking your catch, you can use a 1200W electric frying pan. The River Max can power most items you’ll use for your fishing trip.
An extra battery lets you achieve up to 576 Wh of capacity. Or you can even detach the extra battery if you want better portability during travelling or outdoor adventures. With a customisable battery capacity, you can count on it to have enough juice whenever you need it.
The EcoFlow River Pro features a power output of up to 1800W, allowing you to power your most pressing appliances. It’ll likely handle all your fishing devices and cooking appliances like electric grills and rice cookers, perfect for camping out on the riverbank for a week during peak fishing season.
Enjoy 22.2 hours of AC ports and 65.2 hours from DC ports, letting you fish all day without worrying about running out of power. It weighs only 16.8 pounds, which is light enough to carry back and forth from your fishing location to your camping grounds.
Thanks to the patented EcoFlow X-Stream technology, it can recharge from 0% to 80% in under an hour and reach a full charge in 1.6 hours using an AC wall outlet at the campground. Once it’s ready to go, three AC outlets and other ports allow you to charge up to ten devices simultaneously.
Whether you’re cooking up the fish you’ve caught or need to charge up your electronics for the next day in the water, the EcoFlow River Pro delivers what you need in a relatively compact unit.
The DELTA 2 is a reliable solar generator for anglers who prefer higher capacity and power output, especially on week-long fishing trips.
You can connect up to 500W of solar panels to capture renewable energy from the sun’s rays. With 1800W of AC output, you power over 90% of your appliances and plug up to 15 devices simultaneously. If you drive up to the fishing spot in your RV, you can power your car fridge for 16 to 32 hours, an electric grill for 0.7 hours, or a fan for 30 hours.
Sometimes you may be staying in areas with low sunlight, especially when it comes to under-the-radar fishing spots. That’s why it’s crucial to have a generator with a high battery capacity. A second DELTA 2 battery lets you reach up to 2048 Wh or even hit 3040Wh when adding the DELTA Max battery.
The DELTA 2 also will last you for many years to come. With its LFP battery chemistry, you get over 3000 cycles before it reduces to 80% of its original capacity. The lifecycle equates to 10 years of daily use before its capacity reduces. Even the most avid anglers can use the DELTA 2 for over a decade, if not more.
What Should I Consider When Choosing a Solar Generator for Fishing?
Solar generators keep your equipment running so that you can focus on catching more fish and living a more sustainable lifestyle.
However, not every generator on the market is suitable for fishing. Finding the right solar generator can ruin a fishing trip if you don’t choose one that fits your electrical needs. Here are the primary factors to consider.
When you’re hiking into various fishing spots, portability is crucial. You shouldn’t have to worry about being weighed down just to have everything you powered, such as your sonar fish finder, fishing scale, and other equipment.
Some options focus on portability, like the Ecoflow River mini, which weighs 11 pounds. It still provides substantial output to charge small appliances. Many heavier models provide handles allowing you to take them anywhere you go.
The power output level determines which types of devices you can charge and power on your fishing adventure. You’ll need to look at the watt specification since that is the measure of power output.
The total output must exceed the rated power of your electric needs, especially if you’re looking to run them all at once.
Solar generators can come in various battery storage capacities, so it’s essential to choose one that fits your needs for your fishing trips.
Most generators measure the battery capacity by watt-hour. The battery capacity often determines the generator’s weight and size since the battery takes up a significant portion of the unit. A larger battery capacity means you can power more devices and run them for longer.
For example, the EcoFlow River Pro offers the expandable capacity to keep your campsite lights on for up to 65 hours or power other items like your rice cooker, electric kettle, and more.
Depending on the season and region, there might be a limited number of sun hours in a day. For some anglers, limited sunlight is preferable, like for bass anglers. However, overcast skies can also impact your solar generator recharge speed.
The solar panels for most solar generators need between 5 to 8 hours of sunlight. The charging speed can also vary due to various environmental factors and the intensity of sunshine.
Fortunately, many Ecoflow Solar Generators can fully charge in just a few hours with solar energy. You can also charge using a standard AC wall outlet or car adapter for faster charging.
Number and Type of Outlets
The outlets will determine which tools or devices you can run. For example, a USB-A connection might be fine for your GPS device, but a bilge pump requires DC connections.
Comparatively, the number of outlets will dictate how many appliances or devices the solar generator can charge or power simultaneously.
There are plenty of additional features you’ll want to consider when looking at solar generators. Having the ability to expand battery capacity is incredibly useful. For example, the EcoFlow River Pro has 720 Wh of capacity, but you can double that with a River Pro Extra Battery. Expandable capacity is ideal for extended camping, fishing, and other outdoor trips.
Another helpful feature is an LCD, which allows you to monitor how much charge remains in the generator or how much power the solar panels produce. The more advanced solar generators may have WiFi and Bluetooth compatibility allowing you to control and monitor the unit from anywhere through your smartphone device.
Some generators even offer dual-fuel capability, allowing you to use petrol and propane to cover your power needs in case you need the extra juice.
A solar generator has a designated lifecycle, meaning the number of times the unit can be charged and discharged before the capacity begins to weaken. The greater the lifecycle, the longer the lifespan of the generator.
A lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery also lasts longer than other types of batteries, like lead-acid. These batteries are also light, making them an excellent choice for anglers who favour portability.
As an avid angler, you should spend more time fishing and less time worrying about having enough power.
Whether you’re a hobbyist who fishes for a few hours or likes to go on long ten-hour-a-day deep-sea fishing trips, getting the power you need is a must.
Compare the models above and do your research with the knowledge you’ve learned, and you’ll find the perfect generator for your fishing needs.