The 10 Best Tide Watches for Fishermen
Why are Tides so Important?
If you are planning a fishing trip in any coastal area, the single biggest consideration must be the tidal cycle.
Tides effect not just where you can fish but where the best fishing will be.
An incoming tide brings in small bait fish that are looking for food among rocks, under piers or out in the grass flats around rivers.
The bigger fish (the kind we all love, like striped bass) follow them but typically wait for the outgoing tide to hunt. The falling tide forces the bait fish seaward and often concentrates them in river mouths or tidal pools. This is the time for great catches.
Every coast is different but paying attention to the state of the tide when you get the best results will reward you in the long run.
You can check tides online, of course, but when you are out fishing, nothing beats a good tide watch.
If you are fishing offshore, forewarning of a falling tide can save you the embarrassment of getting stuck on a sandbar, or losing a prop to rocks.
How do You Choose the Best Watch?
A watch that just gives tidal information will be good enough for many people.
A few extra refinements can be very helpful, though.
- A digital compass in your watch can help with getting about and telling you which direction the weather is coming from.
- Moon phase information can be important. Most fish respond to both the sun and moon, timing their feeding around the rising and setting of these two bodies.
- Atmospheric pressure data provides early warning of storms
These Watches make Great Gifts, too.
Get one engraved and you will never be forgotten by the fisherman (or woman) in your life.
Pro Trek from Casio
The Pro Trek from Casio has so many features that I have just picked out a few of the most important ones. It must be one of the most complete watches for anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors and is aimed more at hikers and climbers perhaps than fishermen.
- Tide graph for the day.
- Moon data.
- Solar power (on a full charge the watch will work for several months without light).
- Radio time signals keeps the time displayed absolutely correct.
- Barometer (with graphs indicating rising or falling pressure).
Nixon's Tide Watches
Nixon are a top maker of all kinds of watch. They have a number of watches, for seafarers, fishermen and water-sports enthusiasts. The most successful is pictured above.
The tide display is a simple low/high sub-dial with few features besides this. There is no back-light, alarm, or even, a second hand. The materials are excellent, however, with stainless steel body and hard crystal face. It is water resistant to nearly a 1000 feet.
This is certainly one of the the most stylish watches on this page if all that you want is the simplest tide data.
Timex Men's Tide Watch with Tough Leather Strap
Timex are well beyond the 'cheap and not so reliable' tag acquired a decade ago. The company is one of the biggest brands in watches and offer some quality and affordable products.
The T45601 model, pictured right, has:
- Tide information.
- Electronic compass.
- Temperature display.
- Declination adjustment scale.
- A robust stainless steel case.
- The tough leather strap that won't shrink if it gets wet.
- It is water-resistant to 100 meters.
No Timex watch offers moon phase information, which is a pity.
Timex Men's Expedition Watch
This would be one of my personal choices for a triple sensor watch. It has an indigo back-light which looks great and more importantly, makes it easy to read in any conditions.
The compass needs some calibration when it first comes, so you need to read that instruction leaflet. After that it is a breeze. The buttons around the face are an easy and quick way to call up the function that you need.
- A Tide tracker
- A Temperature Sensor- this can be used to get water temperature as well as air.
- An Electronic compass
- Declination adjustment scale
- Stainless steel case
- INDIGLO night-light
- Silicone water-resistant strap
- Water-resistant 100m
Casio Men's Gulfman Tide and Moon Watch
All of the watches on this page will stand up to being dropped a few times. This is one, you could drop, stand on and let the kids play with (maybe not for too long!).
The stainless case is protected by tough, thick shock-absorbing resin. If you knock it against a rock, the face and controls are well shielded from damage. In other words it is designed specially for the roughest outdoor life.
It also has the following features:
- moon data and tide graph
- 29 time zones
- three multi-function alarms,
- a countdown timer and stopwatch
- Water resistant to 660 feet (200 meters).
Great value at under one hundred dollars...
Rip Curl's Tide Watches
Originally, all Rip Curl watches were made for surfers, but they were very tough and they told you everything you needed to know about the tides, making them a good option for fishermen.
The success of those early iconic surf watches has prompted the company to produce multiple designs, many of which are as suitable for fisherman, sailors and water sports enthusiasts as the original target audience.
For a younger fisherman, especially, these can make a great gift.
The Rip Curl Men's A1113 is a classic stainless steel watch and link bracelet with a Spring/Neap moon phase, tide dial and mineral crystal face.
Priced at around three hundred dollars, it is one of the more expensive watches on this page but tough materials and good build quality will mean a long life.
It is not designed for divers but offers high protection against water penetration to 100 meters.
Oceansearch Midnight Black
The Oceansearch Midnight Black watch from Rip Curl is a classic surfer design but could have been made with fishermen in mind. It delivers information on moon phases, tide times and local water height at two hundred beaches worldwide.
The tough construction is designed to withstand a surfer's routine submergence in sea water as well as the physical shocks any sports watch encounters.
It has a compass, countdown timer, stop watch and alarm on-board, as well.
Other designs are illustrated below.
Rip Curl Tide Watches for Women
The Maui Mini Tide Surf Watch is smaller (53 mm width) than most Rip Curl watches and fits a smaller wrist comfortably while delivering vital tide information.
It has tide charts for 500 locations worldwide available in graphical or detailed form.
It is available in mint (pictured above), black, slate and peach.
How to Use a Tide Watch
Other Rip Curl Watches for Women
The Aurora and Horizon lines from Rip Curl, illustrated below, do not have tide information on board but are waterproof and shockproof. For style conscious women, who like to spend time on or in the water, they are watches to be aware of.
Find online at Sears.
Nixon's Lodown Watches
Nixon have made quality watches for many years but recently have taken a look at Rip Curl's very successful products and developed a couple of line that are similar in design and materials used but less expensive.
Watches in the 'Lodown' range, illustrated above, are priced from around 70 to 120 dollars.
Reviews for these watches are mixed, some buyers are delighted with their purchases after years of use. Some buyers report issues of water penetration and failure after only a short period.
There may have been quality control issues at some point. More recently produced watches have produced far more buyer satisfaction.
Nixon's 'Supertide' watch (the blue version is illustrated below) comes in at around 150 dollars and is an altogether more reliable watch.
Vestal Men's Brig Tide and Train Surf Watch
This is another tide watch designed primary with surfers in mind but it is a capable watch for fisher folk too
It has very similar specifications as the Rip Curl above with time and tide info, alarm and compass.
Colors include grey/black and white, as well as the blue, pictured above.
You can sometimes see one of these watches for under a hundred dollars online, if you search around.