Best Fishing Watches in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

A fishing watch is an angler’s best friend. It gathers information from every possible place and reports back to the angler in order to maximize their chances of having a successful trip. Even if you are an avid, experienced fisher, you will notice an evident efficiency boost if you decide to add a fishing watch to your fishing gear. 

These amazing compact devices can merely have an alarm and a GPS all the way to barometers, LCDs, and incredible water resistance. You need to know the needs of your typical fishing trips and therefore purchase a fishing watch accordingly. 

We want to help you with such a process, that’s why we have listed our top picks for the 6 best fishing watches on the market today. 

Still, we didn’t stop there; we’ve also added a buying guide that will take you through all the possible options and features that your fishing watch can be adorned with.

Comparison Table:

Fishing Watch

BuildWaterproof

Barometer

SUUNTO Core All Black Military

Aluminum – Carbon CompositeYes

Yes

Timex Ironman Classic

Acrylic Crystal – ResinYes

No

Casio Men’s G-Shock GA 100-1A1

ResinYes

No

Casio Men’s SGW100

ResinYes

No

Casio Men’s Pro Trek

Silicone – ResinYes

Yes

Timex Expedition Shock XL

ResinYes

No

The 6 Best Fishing Watches in 2020

1. SUUNTO Core All Black Military – Best Overall 

SUUNTO Core All Black Military

This sleek, attractive watch by SUNNTO has every right to show off its excellent design as it has the core structure to support it. 

It’s made out of an aluminum and carbon composite for strength and durability, while the straps are made of premium high-quality plastic. 

You could have heard about or even had your own share of bad experiences with plastic straps, especially how they bite into the skin, getting stuck in place, or catching on your arm hairs and ripping them out, the straps that were installed on this watch defy all of that. They’re flexible, comfortable, and designed with the intent of giving a luxurious feel to the watch. 

Furthermore, you can smoothly go 100ft into the water while wearing the SUNNTO Core All Black without risking any damage happening to it. Moreover, its incredible weather detection is unprecedented as it doesn’t only predict the weather; it creates its own trend graph and storm alarm system. 

Additionally, it displays sunrise and sunset times in order to plan your fishing trip around them. One thing that we do not often see with fishing watches is pre-installed map locations. This watch comes with 400 sites, and you can even download more from the website itself. 

You can, of course, always use the GPS to reach your designated destination, however, if you want to be a little bit more adventurous, then following a map from your watch could definitely be a story that’s worth telling. 

Indeed, in order to have such accurate weather reports, the watch had to be designed with an altimeter, barometer, and a thermometer to provide the necessary data. 

Without a doubt, no product is ever completely perfect, and this fantastic watch might sometimes face difficulties. These difficulties include possible water leakages into the watch, which could ruin it after some time and an occasionally straying compass.

Pros:

  • +400 pre-installed map locations
  • 100 ft water resistance 
  • Backlit display
  • Weather trend
  • Great design

Cons:

  • Compass might stray
  • Might face water leakage after time

Final Verdict

This watch by SUNNTO is the complete package. It’s sturdy, durable, versatile, and accurate. Additionally, despite being a little more expensive than other watches, it has a lot more to offer than they do.

2. Timex Ironman Classic – Best Budget

Timex Ironman Classic

The Timex Ironman Classic fishing watch is definitely a masterpiece. It’s designed to cover all your needs in a neat packaging of your choice, since it comes in 17 different colors, for an affordable price that will not hurt your pocket too much. 

The design of this watch has been taken care of down to the very last detail in order to guarantee comfort and maximum gain for the client. 

The comfort comes from the previously mentioned color versatility and the buckle clasp on the resin bands that enable them to suit your wrist snugly and perfectly. 

Getting your money’s worth out of this watch is relatively effortless due to the fact that the display is made out of acrylic crystal, so after the season ends or even after a few vigorous trips, you can easily brush the scratched surface off, and voila, you have a brand new watch with an on-point display. Hence, turning it on at the beginning of the season will always give you the same feeling as when you first bought it. 

As for the technicalities of this watch; it comes with an incredibly accurate 1/100 second chronograph which will help you with precise sports such as swimming next to fishing of course. The lap counter can go up to 99 laps with a 30 lap memory record which is pretty impressive. 

As for the clock itself, you have three different alarms, the ability to adjust three different time zones, and 15 reminders. So, you can have your entire to-do list on your watch wherever you are. 

The display is designed to be visible under any circumstances as it has an indigo luminescence night backlight that’s easily seen underwater and in poorly lit places. 

Last but certainly not least, the Timex Ironman Classic allows you water resistance of up to 330 feet. Hence, swimming, snorkeling, surfing, and ceiling are all an added bonus without having to worry at all. 

The problems that come with this watch include the fact that it does not have a user manual, and this can be an annoying detail because you’ll have to look it up online. 

Also, the bezel is fixed in its place, so, taking a quick glance at it may not be possible from any random angle.

Pros:

  • Acrylic crystal dial
  • Affordable 
  • 17 different colors
  • 1/100 second chronograph 
  • 330ft water resistance 
  • User-friendly controls

Cons:

  • No manual included
  • Stationary bezel

Final Verdict

This watch is an excellent choice for anyone, not just fishers. It’s a sturdy, accurate, versatile piece that’s useful in stressful situations. The mere fact that you can polish the scratches off the display and have an entirely new watch is pretty impressive, and can easily influence many towards this purchase.

3. Casio Men’s G-Shock GA 100-1A1 – Best Accuracy

Casio Men’s G Shock GA 100 1A1

This watch is made by one of the pioneers of the industry. Casio is known for its vast variety of high-quality options, and its collaboration with G-Shock only adds to the quality of its products. The reason behind all of the strength and accuracy that we’re going to mention is the Japanese Quartz Movement.

This watch is robust and durable on a whole other level; it can survive a 10m free fall as it is mechanical and vibrational shock-proof. The Triple 10 design also adds to the sturdiness of the whole thing. 

Moreover, the display here is visible in any situation thanks to the electroluminescent backlight. Even underwater for up to 660ft, this watch will still operate perfectly.  It also allows for 1/1000 second stopwatch that can display either the lap time, split time, or elapsed time. 

You can also set 29 different time zones from 48 cities. The average lifespan of this incredible watch is 10 years, courtesy of the CR1220 battery. 

Unfortunately, just like the Timex, the bezel here is fixed, and therefore you have to look at it properly; otherwise, you won’t see. 

Also, it is not designed with enough sensors as it lacks a barometer, an altimeter, and a thermometer. 

Pros:

  • Shock resistant 
  • 29 time zones 
  • Lightweight
  • 660ft water resistance 
  • 1/1000 second stopwatch 
  • Calendar programmed to the next century

Cons:

  • Stationary bezel
  • No barometer/altimeter 
  • No thermometer 

Final Verdict

To wrap up this product, it is a beastly device. It’ll withstand unprecedented wear and tear for 10 years. So, if the missing meters are not essential to you, then this watch will definitely last you a lifetime, no trouble whatsoever.

4. Casio Men’s SGW100 – Best Display

Casio Men’s SGW100

The SGW100 is packed with features; it is made from high-quality silicone and resin, is waterproof up to 656 feet, and has a barometer as well. The overall build of this watch is excellent, meaning that it can withstand harsh conditions and is exceptionally durable.

One of the best things about it is its design; it sports a sleek look, and true to its look, it is perfect for an adventurous weekend of fishing. It has a thermometer that can display temperatures from -10 to 60 degrees Celsius. Plus, a 1/100 second stopwatch that you can use at any given time.

All of the readings from the temperature to the directions are shown on the digital backlit LCD screen; the readings are divided into three clear segments so that they don’t confuse you. You can easily view them in the dark.

Moving on, it has a pre-programmed calendar that is set until the year 2099, and the battery has an average lifespan of 3 years.

Finally, the CasioMen’s SGW100 has mineral glass that gives it a glossy look and protects it from being scratched.

The downsides of the watch include an occasionally faulty compass and some quality control issues. Unfortunately, watches have been reported to arrive needing a new battery or with mismatched/missing holes for the strap binding rod.

Pros:

  • Water-resistant up to 656 feet
  • Sleek design
  • Pre-set calendar
  • Mineral glass protects it from being scratched

Cons:

  • Compass Function can be faulty
  • Quality control issues

Final Verdict

The CasioMen’s SGW100 is a mischievous looking watch; it is perfect for fishing as it is water-resistant, has a thermometer, and is scratch-resistant.

5. Casio Men’s Pro Trek – Best Construction

Casio Men’s Pro Trek

This watch comes with a chock-full of features, from fantastic battery life to tracking tides, weather patterns, and even moon phases. It’s one of the best that Cassio has to offer evident by the triple sensor trait. The three sensors are the thermometer, barometer, and altimeter. 

Starting with the thermometer, it can identify temperatures from 14 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, while for the barometer it is 260 to 1,100 hPa, and finally, the altimeter with its readings that range between -2300 to 32800 feet. 

Regarding the watch’s casing, it is made from stainless steel, while the band is made from hypoallergenic titanium for fishers with allergies. The watch is extremely durable and has a long shelf life. 

Also, it is one of the best watches if not the best for saltwater fishing, due to its 660 feet water-resistance. And the fact that its electroluminescent backlight display with afterglow is perfect underwater.

Finally, this watch has a solar rechargeable battery, which when charged, will last five months on normal use and two years in the battery saver mode. Talk about long-lasting batteries and uninterpreted use.

Unfortunately, some customers complained about the barometer and altimeter readings being a bit off.

Pros:

  • Solar rechargeable battery
  • Thermometer, barometer and altimeter
  • Water-resistant up to 660 feet

Cons:

  • Barometer and altimeter reading might be a bit off

Final Verdict

If you need a fantastic fishing watch that is water-resistant up to 660 feet and has a plethora of tracking gadgets and Casio’s infamous triple sensor trait, look no further than the Casio Men’s Pro-Trek.

6. Timex Expedition Shock XL – Best Value for the Price

Timex Expedition Shock XL

A rugged watch that is made to endure, the Expedition Shock XL may not have as many features, but what it has is durability, quality, and ability to withstand any and all harsh conditions.

This shock-resistant watch is also water-resistant up to 660 feet, which is quite astonishing. It has a chronograph, calendar, timer, and an alarm as well.

Our second watch by Timex is adorned with a plethora of timers and sensors. It has a 100-hour chronograph, can be set to three different time zones, has both occasion, and hydration reminders.

Its dial window is made from anti-scratch acrylic. This does not take anything away from its excellent display resolution and backlight display that allows you to view the information under any lighting conditions.

Finally, this watch is budget-friendly and is a perfect fit for the fisherman who does not want to go over his budget.

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Anti-scratch acrylic dial window
  • Durable and rugged

Cons:

  • Not many functions

Final Verdict

The Timex Expedition Shock XL is a perfect choice for any fisherman who wants the basics like a thermometer and great water resistance, it doesn’t pack a lot of features, but it packs a strong punch.

How to Pick a Fishing Watch

If you’re looking for a watch that you can take on your fishing trips without having to worry about damage happening to it due to the exposure to water, mud, or salt, there are a couple of aspects that you should consider. And it’s not just the resistance to wear and tear, but a number of other aspects, which we’ll discuss in-depth.

Water Resistance 

Water-resistance is a must with fishing watches, it is a logical thing, and the higher you go, the better. Mostly, you won’t find anything above 650 ft as the required water depth tolerance for safe swimming with a watch is 350 ft. 

So, as long as you’re above the 350 ft mark, you are in the safe zone. You can fall into the water as much as you want as long as you know how to swim your way back.

Construction 

Such a device as a fishing watch has to be durable; there simply isn’t a way around it. You might very well fall into the water and have it fully submerged; you might get some water, snow, mud splashes, or even fish guts on it. 

Consequently, this sensitive device has to be built according to the amount of wear and tear that it’s going to have to undertake. That’s why we recommend aluminum, stainless steel, silicone, resin, or rubber derivatives in general for the construction of these multi-functional watches. 

These five materials can withstand saltwater and its damage, plus, they have high tolerance for scratches and abrasion.

Strap

You can’t forget the strap, and its comfort level. You don’t want something that’s going to bite  into the thin skin around your wrist, cause undue irritation, and hinder you from whatever it is that you are doing. That’s why you might want to go for a silicone or a resin strap that will not bite into your skin unnecessarily.

Site Information 

The time and location of your fishing are detrimental to the success of your trip. There are so many aspects that you need to plan about your target fishing spots.

Tidal and Lunar Phases

The majority of experienced fishers will tell you that tidal and lunar phases have a mega effect on how much fish you are going to catch. It is said that such changes affect the behavior of the fish, and either make them more prone to being caught, or more prone to escape. A fishing watch will definitely keep you on top of everything that you need to know.

GPS

All devices have GPS systems these days. However, when it comes to fishing watches, the GPS is crucial as it can help you record the coordinates of a specific fishing spot that you don’t want to forget, but might easily have no way of going back there. 

Also, in the unfortunate event of you getting lost, the GPS is your best chance of finding your way back.

Compass

A compass is always helpful no matter what activity you are taking part in. It can lead you back if you’re lost and take you to new fishing places that might very well surprise you.

Illumination 

You might very well be fishing during the night-time or in a shadowy, badly-lit area; you’ll still need the info that your watch is displaying. Consequently, a backlit display can come in quite handy in order to defy the darkness of your target fishing spot.

Ease of Use

When you go fishing, you either want to relax and unwind, or you have a particular target that you are going after. Either way, you don’t want to be busied by any unnecessary effort, if you want to know specific info from your watch, access to such info ought to be easy and simple enough. 

You don’t want to be fumbling with the watch mid-cast or mid-retrieval or even during your relaxing, me-time. So, always try to check the manual, know the programs, and how to switch from one to another before deciding on a specific fishing watch.

Sensors

There are so many variables that you need to keep track of when you are fishing. A fishing watch puts all of those meters together and presents them to you in a neat package.

Barometer/Altimeter 

Both these meters relate to atmospheric pressure through which they can predict the weather change and therefore alarm you if the weather will be too bad. 

A barometer does it by measuring in kilopascals, millimeters, or inches of mercury, while an altimeter measures in meters or feet. Hence, find whatever that suits you best and go for it.

Thermometer 

If you are ice fishing or even fishing on a remarkably hot day, the adrenaline rush might very well take your mind off your surroundings and how they can be affecting you. That’s where the thermometer on a fishing watch comes into play. 

It will warn you that the temperatures are not suitable for human activity, that you need to make sure that your body temperature is what it should be, and that you are safe and sound. 

If the temperatures are too dangerous, then you need to get yourself out of there and into a moderately heated place.

Chronograph 

A chronograph is essentially a stopwatch. However, it’s a little bit more advanced with different subdials and higher accuracy. So, if you want to do anything in record time, a chronograph will help you immensely.

Wide-base Smartphone Compatibility

Everything that we have talked about piles into a vast mass of information. You would definitely not want to lose such information and storing them on the watch is illogical. That’s why watches these days come with smartphone compatibility. 

The problem is that manufacturers tend to choose certain phones that they work with and neglect other brands. 

So, try to go for a watch that will work with everything in case you want to change your phone in the future, or you wish to lend your watch to someone else who’s using a different phone.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How to Maintain your Fishing Watch?

  • Wash it down with fresh water after every saltwater exposure.
  • Try to refrain from using the buttons underwater to minimize the risk of water infiltration.
  • Keep a close eye on its performance and do not let it run on low battery.
  • Do not exceed the water depth recommendation. 
  • Turn it off if you’re going to store it for long periods.

Final Thoughts

Fishing watches are definitely revolutionary pieces of equipment that will help fishers.

An impressive fishing watch has to have excellent sturdy construction, high-grade water resistance, variety of different meters, comfortable design, a budget-friendly price-tag, and of course a robust long-life battery. 

Our top pick for the best fishing watch available on the market today will have to be the SUNNTO Core All Balck Military as it checks all the previous boxes and even more. It offers the client 400+ pre-installed map locations that are just waiting to be explored. 

However, if you want something that is budget-friendly yet maintains quality and performance, then the Timex Ironman Classic is an excellent piece of equipment, it comes in 17 different colors and a fantastic display. 

Lastly, if you want a unique fishing watch that is made out of stainless steel and titanium, then the Casio Men’s Pro- Trek has significantly been received by many.