Kayak Fishing Ultimate Resource

Thursday, 21 March 2013 05:45

Lowrance Depth Finder Install – Jackson “Cuda”

Written by Matt Kramp
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(29 votes)

I picked up my Jackson Kayak “Cuda" last week. After researching how I wanted to do my rigging, I’d like to share what I decided to do in case it helps anyone looking to do something similar.

I purchased a Lowrance “Elite 4x DSI” sonar, and wanted to figure out how to mount everything. I knew that I didn’t want to drill any holes in the hull, and I knew that I wanted the wiring to be as clean as I could get it. Here’s what I used:

Scupper Hole Transducer Mount by Lowrance Cabela’s/Bass Pro/Gander Mtn.
Lowrance Elite 4x DSI Sonar Cabela’s/Bass Pro/Gander Mtn.
Stealth Cam 12v Battery w/ Waterproof Box Cabela’s/Bass Pro/Gander Mtn.
3-amp Fuse Walmart, Radio Shack, Auto Store
Inline Fuse Mount    Walmart, Radio Shack, Auto Store
Wire Crimp Connections and Electrical Tape Walmart, Radio Shack, Auto Store
Drill & Bit (1/8”), Screw Driver, Pliers Walmart, Lowe’s, Home Depot
Industrial Strength Velcro® Walmart, Lowe’s, Home Depot


1) First I mounted the transducer, following the very simple Lowrance mount instructions. All the hardware is included in the kit.

Lowrance Trandsucer Jackson Cuda Scupper view

Lowrance Trandsucer Jackson Cuda Scupper view top

 2) Next I prepared the wiring to connect to the battery. To do this, you must cut the connector that would otherwise go to the trail cam and separate the wires into ground and positive.

3) Assemble the inline fuse and holder.

4) Connect the ground directly to ground wire that is attached to the DSI filter. Connect the positive battery wire to one end of the inline fuse holder, and connect the other end of the fuse holder to the wire coming from the DSI filter. Now you’re ready to plug in to the unit.

Sonar and DSI Installation Manual - Use this link to view the entire manual and below diagram

Lowrance Fishfinder wiring diagram

5) This is a picture of the battery and the Velcro® I used to mount it inside the hull of the boat. The battery is charging in these pictures, so don’t let the other wire confuse you! This battery came with a charger and the waterproof box. I had to trim the knobs on the bottom of the battery with a knife to get the Velcro® to sit flush.

Lowrance battery box front

Lowrance battery box bottom velcro

6) Mounted the battery to the hull with Velcro® (an additional strap comes with the battery box that you could also use to secure to the inside of the kayak).

Lowrance battery box in hull jackson cuda

7) I bundled my wiring, secured it with a bungee, and rested it between battery and foam, leaving the transducer and unit wire to run out the middle console lid.

Lowrance battery box in hull jackson cuda wires tied

8) I then just mounted the main unit.

Lowrance Fishfinder mount

9) I ran the wires under the lid, and plugged in the main unit!

Lowrance Fishfinder mounted to jackson cuda front

Any questions at all, just let me know! I chose this setup because of its simplicity. It’s more portable than a lot of other setups out there, and there is no drilling into the hull. Worst case scenario, you are just buying a new center lid or swapping out the STP. Now if I can just figure out where to mount my GPS... Happy rigging!



About the author: Matt Kramp is new to YakAngler and new to yak fishing. He purchased a Jackson Cuda a few weeks back and wanted to share his experience with installing a depth finder.

Read 55503 times Last modified on Thursday, 21 March 2013 06:19


# OkChamplin 2013-03-21 15:32
Nice Job. I am planning on doing the same on my Cuda.
+2 # BastropYakker10 2013-03-31 01:18
Hey Matt, nice job rigging the Cuda. I have the same equipment but plan on using the Ram mount. What is the black waffle material under the sonar mount? Where can that be purchased. Also, are the wires coming out of the top of the center console or through the rubber gasket around the console? Additional pics would be great! Thanks
-1 # CarolinaRED 2013-04-04 15:30
Thanks! The waffle material is called Silent Traction Padding (STP). I found it at Outdoor Provision Co. although you may have to order something like that off of the internet. It's really helped with noise, especially around my seat. I have the wires coming out from the rubber gasket around the console because I didn't want to leave my wires exposed all of the time (i.e. during transport). I also didn't want to introduce another hole and the cost that it would incur when I needed to seal it. I tossed around with using the RAM mount but decided I liked the sturdy wide base. I still have it sitting around though so let me know if you like it!
# Edself24 2013-04-15 14:07
Your set-up looks great! I just bought a lowrance elite 4 and a RAM mount, and plan on doing pretty much the same thing. I have one question, though. I've read on another site that the Lowrance scupper hole transducer mount does not fit the scupper holes on the jackson cuda (or in my case the cuda 12). Judging by your picture, it looks like it fits pretty well but I wanted to make sure before I spent the money. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
# CarolinaRED 2013-04-15 15:04
It fits just fine on my Cuda 12. It doesn't sit completely inside the scupper hole. Meaning, it does protrude about a half inch from the bottom. But, when the kayak is sitting on flat ground, it is clear from the ground. The only time I could see it being a problem is if you run shallow creeks. In that case, you may want to find a way to modify the mount to make it removable.
# Edself24 2013-04-15 15:12
Thanks for the help! I guess I was thinking that it was indeed a removable transducer mount that I could store out of the way when I was dragging the kayak or not using the fish finder. This is my first time using a fish finder so I'm new to everything about it, but I just thought that the mount would just slide in and out without much effort. I do a good bit of river fishing and the conditions can sometimes be pretty shallow, even forcing me to get out and pull the kayak. Any other suggestions/adv ice??
# CarolinaRED 2013-04-15 15:15
Yeah it isn't terribly easy to remove as-is but I've seen people modify the cap so that it will easily slide in and out. I will probably look into it myself, eventually. If you don't put the cap on at all, it is very removable so you could start with that and decide later how you want to modify the cap or whether you care to have it at all.
# Edself24 2013-04-22 13:22
Did you have to modify the battery box in order to get the lowrance hook-ups to be compatible? If so, how? Any help is greatly appreciated
# James7898 2013-05-02 16:51
When you cut the wire for the camera how to you know which is positive and which is neg ?.. Thank you !!!
+1 # Edself24 2013-05-02 19:36
I cut the AC adapter off and then separated the two wires from each other. Then I stripped about 2 inches of each one and went outside and tested each wire using my fish finder. You just have to guess at first (50/50 chance of getting it right), but once you get the right connection and your fish finder cuts on, you can then mark the hot wire. Just make sure that you mark it somehow so you don't have to repeat the process when you get ready to make your connections.
# James7898 2013-05-02 22:03
Awesome thank you for your help one more question the red light when you plug in the charger... Does it turn green when it is done charging?
# Cwoody01 2013-05-28 02:19
Does one 12 volt run your fish finder? How long will the battery last? Thanks
# Hammerhead 2013-06-04 22:47
Quoting Cwoody01:
Does one 12 volt run your fish finder? How long will the battery last? Thanks

I can't find an amp hour rating for the stealth battery. So I can't help you on that. If you can find the amp/hr rating check out this article on Batteries and Electronics to estimate your life. One 12V battery will run the unit just don't know for how long. http://www.yakangler.com/kayak-rigging/item/2235-fishing-kayak-batteries-and-electronics
# Cwoody01 2013-05-30 21:31
What amp fuse do u use?? Thanks
# Hammerhead 2013-06-04 22:47
Quoting Cwoody01:
What amp fuse do u use?? Thanks

Use the fuse size the manual for your fish finder recommends. If it doesn't I would use a 5 Amp
# Cwoody01 2013-06-04 21:20
Ok I can't seem to get my unit to come on. If go directly to the battery from the dsi filter cable it powers on. If I tie into the hot wire coming from the stealth cam box it will not power on. I can't seem to get this figured out. Any idea?? Thanks
# Hammerhead 2013-06-04 22:46
Quoting Cwoody01:
Ok I can't seem to get my unit to come on. If go directly to the battery from the dsi filter cable it powers on. If I tie into the hot wire coming from the stealth cam box it will not power on. I can't seem to get this figured out. Any idea?? Thanks

I'll try to help answer your questions, But I don't use this battery.

Sounds like something is up with the wiring out of the battery box. I would use a volt meter to check the voltage across the 2 wire coming out of the box.

If there is 0 Volts there is something wrong with the box, the wiring, or it has a fuse in it that is blown.

If there is less then 10 volts and you have over 12 volts or more at the battery terminals there is a poor connection or something is corroded. I am assuming because this is new it is not corroded.

If you have 12 Volts on the wires try switching them you have them backwards.

Hope this helps some. -Gregg
# Cwoody01 2013-06-05 00:33
Thanks Greg. It's just a 12 volt battery nothing special. Do I even need a inline fuse? No more amps than its pulling just kind of seems pointless. Anyways thanks.
# Scottv1965 2013-12-31 11:37
I am installing an Elite -4 DSI in my JK Big Tuna. I was wondering how you chose which scupper hole to use for the transducer, i.e. forward or aft hole? I want to protect the transducer when I drag the yak (thus a forward hole installation) but also protect it from shallow/river downed tree branches (maybe an aft location). Any suggestions?
# Hammerhead 2013-12-31 12:53

When I first mounted one in my Cuda I put it in the forward scupper for convenience like the author of this article did. I did find that in rough and choppy water that location was getting aerated and giving me poor performance. When I moved it under my seat I did not have that problem.

When I installed it into my Tuna I put it under the seat because I knew from paddling the Tuna solo the front scuppers come out of the water a lot.

The Lowrance transducer is small enough it fits right up into the Jackson scuppers and is well protected. The only way it would be better protected would be an in hull installation.
# BlackStrat 2014-08-24 16:32

I have 2 questions....

1. What does the volt reading on the FF mean?
2. I have an Elite 3x and cannot figure out how to remove the unit from the base without breaking it. Any ideas?
# Hammerhead 2014-08-24 19:54
Quoting BlackStrat:

I have 2 questions....

1. What does the volt reading on the FF mean?
2. I have an Elite 3x and cannot figure out how to remove the unit from the base without breaking it. Any ideas?

The Volt reading tells you what your battery voltage is so you can see if your battery is dying. You can also use it for troubleshooting.

I can't answer you second question as I used the RAM mounting system and no longer have the unit.
# Alexander 2014-12-20 04:56

do you have the plug in the finder while trying to take it off? If not it should come right off the unit easily unplugged.
# Pascal L. 2015-07-11 02:00
what type of fuse are you using? Blade type fuse or cartridge?

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