Best VHF Radio For Offshore Fishing – Review and Guide

A Good VHF radio is required for offshore fishing, and even a canoe should have a VHF radio when in open waters. But when it comes to finding the best VHF Radio for offshore fishing, you should focus on the quality because you may need to call for help when offshore fishing.

A VHF radio is a perfect tool that offers a great way to communicate with other boats in the area. VHF radios have so many valuable features that can make your fishing life more manageable in terms of safety!

The Models we have reviewed today are easy to use and affordable as well. This is not only a review, but we will also cover a comprehensive guide that will help you to pick out the best one from the list!

So let’s begin! 

Best VHF Radio For Offshore Fishing

1. Cobra MR HH350 FLT Handheld Floating VHF Radio

The Cobra MR HH350 FLT is a handheld floating VHF compact radio machine known as the most popular model in the current market.

The first reason for selecting this model is the floating mechanism and has a choice of 1,3, and 6-watt output options, which means it can hold a variety of short and long wave applications.

With this machine, you can scan channels to search for conversations in progress and get real-time access to channel 16 for emergency moments.

 It has a feature called Tri-Watch which will allow you to control three channels at once. You’ll love the floating design and its orange core that makes retrieving the machine simple if dropped overboard. 

 The meeting JIS7 will also allow the machine to be submerged for 30 minutes at one meter deep. You can use the VHF channel 16 as an emergency channel.

In addition to these features, this model is also offering the Burp feature that will vibrate the water out of the speaker grill and develop the overall performance of your radio speaker.

You can use multiple chargers such as a drop-in battery charger, A.C., and D.C. charger to charge the radio’s battery. The entire pack contains a LiON battery pack, antenna, user-manual, wrist strap, and spring-loaded belt clip.

Pros:

  • Offer a clear communication
  • Optimized speaker performance
  • Easy to use
  • Best for Commercial Vessel
  • Monitor three channels at once
  • Antenna height is perfect

Cons:

  • Quite compact
  • the battery life is not so good

2. Standard Horizon Eclipse-Series VHF Radio 

This standard VHF radio is an Eclipse series model with a great option called built-in GPS receiver functionality. But if we highlight the most helpful thing about this model, it will probably be its easy use facility. 

You can install the radio by yourself in a few moments. All you need to do is plug in your antenna and put two crimps-on wire plugs into the power wires.

The channel button is quite helpful for easy return to 16 after using a different channel. It uses the latest and digital channel display that looks pretty professional and clean to see any information displayed on your system.

Like most VHF radio, it also has a scan function that will not require enough time to scan the area. There is no additional antenna for GPS, and the built-in GPS feature will be enough for your needs.

The waterproof rating is IPX8 that means the model is submersible in 1.5 meters of water for a maximum of 28-30 minutes.

But the only issue with this model is the time, you may face a little bit of a problem setting the time, and of course, the built-in GPS will help you see the local time, so you don’t have to set up the time.

Pros: 

  • Built-in GPS Feature
  • Affordable Ultra Compact Fixed Mount VHF Radio
  • Easy to control
  • Lightweight
  • real time weather alert
  • signal strength is good
  • Waypoint navigation

Cons:

  • It does not include any cover

Also Read:

  • Best VHF Radio For Firefighters
  • 3. Uniden MHS335BT 6W Class

    This is another best and most comfortable VHF Radio for offshore fishing that offers many features to their customers.

    The robust build quality and attractive design make the model more reliable and valuable for most tasks. Although the price tag might seem like an expensive tool, if you look your eyes at its features, it will give you peace!

    With six watts of power and class D standard DSC and integrated GPS functionalities, this item is currently ranking on the top of the market.

    Waterproof IPX8 standards support it, so It will remain floating on the water. The NOAA weather channels will help you to get real-time weather alerts from your local area.

    This radio company offers a smartphone application to provide an easy installation process via Bluetooth to set up their radio and text message other VHF text message-supported radios.

    The additional features are, you can also keep the app on your phone to keep the radio’s firmware up to date for optimal performance.

    Another best part of this model is the GPS receiver is QZSS, WAAS, and SBAS suitable for international accuracy.

    In enough safety, the water-activated MOB and water-activated emergency strobe light functions will activate automatically.

    Pros: 

    • Full Class D Standard DSC
    • Water Activated MOB Safety
    • Text Message Supported
    • Bluetooth Wireless and Smartphone App
    • Noise Cancel for received and transmitted audio

     Cons: 

    • Expensive

    4. STANDARD HORIZON HX40 

    Picking a good VHF radio is essential, especially for offshore fishing, and with this in mind, we have chosen this STANDARD HORIZON HX40 to give you more control over the radio.

    The HX40 is a compact and good-looking floating handheld marine radio. But the model does not float unless placed into a floating case that is sold individually.

    Let’s take a small look at the battery of this item. A 7.4 volt Lithium Polymer battery is used in this radio that will last for a long time when offshore fishing. It’s transmitted with six watts of power. 

    The display of this item is handy in terms of watching weather alerts, navigating menus, and scanning because it uses a dot matrix display. It comes with a limited time 3-years warranty.

    Pros: 

    • The audio is clear enough
    • The battery power is Satisfactory
    • Premium look and easily fit into any hand
    • The price is within your budget
    • Simple To Operate Menu System

    Cons: 

    • Since the device is using a dot matrix display, it seems like a cheap quality

    5. Standard Horizon HX300

    As the five number pick of the best VHF radio for offshore fishing, we have selected this standard horizon HX300. 

    If we explain to you why you should try this one for offshore fishing, the key reason that might come first in mind is the largest battery (1800 mAhr) which is enough for your daily needs. 

    But that’s not the end, and it has the highest water resistance rating, IPX8, which is like a bonus at the price point compared to other brand’s VHF radios.

    It supports USB charging, so you can recharge the battery using the same power pack you charge your phone from. 

    Now coming to the brand, This radio is made by a reputed and long-standing commercial Japanese company called STANDARD HORIZON. The overall quality is just perfect for the price. In a word, great value for the money. 

    Pros:

    • IPX8 Water resistance rating
    •  3.7 Volts
    • The display color options are clear
    • Large 1.75″ LCD
    • it’s support international channels
    • All scanning functions included
    • The product Price is affordable

    Cons:

    • Setup is a little clunky

    What To Look When Buying The Best Vhf Radio For Offshore Fishing

    You can’t rely on a single review, and you should look at some of the critical factors before buying a VHF radio. In this section, we’ll look at these and explain to you which features you should consider and which you should not!

    Before looking at the facts, let’s show you some of the most important things. 

    Why Should You Use a VHF Radio? 

    Using a VHF radio when offshore fishing plays a vital role in communicating with the coast guard and other vessels if needed.

    If you face any critical issue when fishing and can’t contact your nearest coast guard, the coast guard can also try to find you to communicate with your boat.

    The primary reason for buying and using a VHF radio is to call for help and help others get help from you.

    In addition to these benefits of using a marine radio, you can see that this tool is handy in communicating with locks, bridges, harbors, etc.

    You’ll find this tool handy when you’re sailing international waters because there, and you’ll indeed require the machine to communicate with the local coast guard.

    Things To Consider:

    There are two types of VHF radio available in the market to choose from, and these are handheld and fixed.

    Handheld VHF: This type of marine radio tool is inclusive of between 156.0 and 174 MHz. It’s a reliable option for an emergency backup or as an individual radio for the crew members. 

    A VHF radio is also tiny in size and simply portable, making it perfect to use in such situations.

    Fixed Mount VHF Radio: This kind of VHF radio is a permanent addition to the cabin running from power handled by the boat’s power source. 

    They offer helpful features such as automatic weather alerts, which will notify you when the machine detects a bad or good weather warning signal from NOAA to inform you about thunderstorms or other weather. 

    Some features to consider: 

    Battery Power: If you buy a fixed-mount radio, your machine will require the power of your boat’s battery. So eventually, the running time will only be limited by your primary power source.

    On the other hand, a Handheld Radio uses rechargeable batteries (Normally Lithium-ion) that usually run from 7-20 hours before the battery must be recharged.

    Your radio battery life will depend on the size of your radio that will determine how large a battery it will hold. So before buying one, make sure the battery is Lithium-ion. 

    Antenna: Antenna in a VHF radio plays an essential role in transmitting Very High-Frequency signals, and mounting the radio’s antennas as high as possible will maximize your VHF radio’s running range.

    So it’s always recommended to pick a VHF radio with a large antenna so that you can put them in the correct position and get a high range.

    Channels: You may already know that all the VHF radios have a total number of 55 tracks with U.S., Canadian and international menus. 

    Although you can use any of them, transmission is limited to about a dozen, and most of the channels are reserved for the coast guard, government, or shipping industries use.

    Price: This is the most important thing for most new people buying these types of tools for their first usage. 

    The price is not fixed, you can find them in a variety of price ranges, and at the end of the day, the price will depend on the quality of the tool. So you make sure that you’re going to buy a popular radio for its brand value and product quality according to the current market!

    Conclusion:

    Offshore fishing is a little bit risky than other fishing, so it is always better to keep a well-built VHF radio with you. Hopefully, the best VHF Radio review for Offshore Fishing will help you find the most useful one. Although we list more than 4-5 products, you can pick one of them and try to use them!

    The reviewed items are thoroughly researched. They are currently staying top of the market and getting more popular day by day to the customers.

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