Information Displays: the Future of Fishing Technology?

Multifunction Displays from Garmin, Navico, and Raymarine

If you’re as old as me, you probably remember how annoying it used to be to control the entertainment system in your home. 

Your TV, DVD player, audio system and cable box all had their own remote control, so you’d have to juggle multiple devices just to get your movie started and surround sound dialed. 

But then universal remote controls hit the scene, and everybody started using one device to control their entire entertainment system. And why wouldn’t you?

They provide a far superior user experience and better control of your equipment. They’re simply a more powerful tool for the job. 

It turns out that there’s an excellent parallel in the world of fishing technology that provides equally impressive results for anglers. 

A Boat Full of Devices

In many ways, the average boat-based angler’s fishing boat is probably just like an entertainment center. They have an array of tools to help you catch the fish, but they’re all separately controlled devices, with different interfaces. 

You control your fish finder via one interface, and your chart plotter with another. You get weather information from one screen and tweak your playlist on a different one entirely. 

But just like universal remotes, there’s a solution to this problem. You simply need an informational display – often called a multifunction display. 

Managing Multiple Functions

An informational or multifunction display unit does exactly what it sounds like: It displays data from and provides and way to control several different devices. You’ll usually mount your multifunction display on the console of your boat (although you can put it wherever you have space) and hook it up to all of your different digital tools. 

The capabilities of each individual multifunction display vary, but most will work with just about anything on your boat, ranging from fish finders to weather data systems to navigational aids and radar. Some will even allow you to browse the web or share data with others. 

There are a variety of informational displays on the market, but some of the best are made by Raymarine. They produce relatively affordable models, such as those in the Axiom and Axiom Pro product lines, as well as high-end multifunction displays, such as those in their gS Series

Informational Displays Aren’t Perfect

Despite the myriad benefits multifunction displays provide, they do have a few drawbacks. 

You’ll have to, for example, spend some time making sure you select a product that is capable with all of your different devices. And from time to time, you may need to purchase new equipment to be able to do so. 

You’ll also need to be willing to spend some time learning how to navigate these sometimes-complex interfaces and synch them with all of the various hardware you use on your boat. This may entail more effort than some anglers are willing to invest, but those who do will undoubtedly reap the rewards and return to shore with a cooler full of fish.


As you may imagine, the convenience information displays provide is amazing, and the way they allow you to use, interpret and leverage data in real time will help take your fishing to entirely new levels. 

We’re betting that the first time you have the chance to control a litany of devices from a central command center, you’ll agree that multifunction, informational displays are clearly the future of fishing technology. 

Do you use a multifunction display to control your digital equipment? We’d love to hear your thoughts on them. Do you find them as helpful as we do, or do you prefer managing all of your various devices separately?

Let us know in the comments below. 

Ben Team

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