Sounder Skills 1 Reviewed: The Best Beginner’s Sonar Course

In this post, we break down why the Sounder Skills 1 course is the best $20 you’ll ever spend if you are serious about learning to get the most out …

In this post, we break down why the Sounder Skills 1 course is the best $20 you’ll ever spend if you are serious about learning to get the most out of your fish finder … more than 14,000 anglers have downloaded this course and improved their catch rate dramatically. If you decide to buy the course, you can add the code tacklevillage at checkout to save 10%.

Ryan Moody’s Sounder Skills 1 sets out to answer one simple question – the one that happens to be the most common complaint of fish finder users.

“Why can’t I see fish on my sonar?”

Ryan has condensed the learnings of more than 30 years of fishing with the aid of sonar as a charter boat captain, fishing guide, and recreational fisherman.

In Sounder Skills 1, Ryan uses these insights to give beginner sonar users the info they need to spot fish effectively.

If you’ve just bought a fish finder, or have been using one for a while but still not getting great results, this is an ideal course for you.

Course members will learn:

  • How tweaking a few settings on your fish finder will let you see fish you would otherwise have driven straight past
  • How to accurately gauge the size of fish at any depth and distance so you don’t waste time on small fish
  • The right speeds for searching for structure and assessing what’s holding on it so you can fish more efficiently and boost your catch rate
  • Rules of thumb on operating in deep and shallow water to maximize what you can see via your fish finder

This course is all about practical advice to help people see more fish and catch more fish and go home happier from a day’s fishing.

In this review, we break down the content of the course and explain how it can help you.

But first an explanation on terms – Ryan is an Aussie. That’s why this course is called Sounder Skills. “Sounder” is the word used in Australia for a fish finder!

Sounder Skills 1 reviewed:

We’ve broken our review down into three sections below: Overview, Videos, and Verdict


Sounder Skills 1 is a video course comprised of two main video lessons of 30 minutes each along with three bonus presentations and support from Ryan and his team on implementing the learnings from the course (CHECK).

The content is not geared around any particular brand or model of fish finder – these are tips you can use no matter what setup you are using. Ryan talks about using side-scan – because it is really effective – but you’ll get a lot out of this course if you are only running conventional 2D sonar.

 Also, while the fish species in the videos are Australian, how they show up in the fish finder is obviously the same as their counterparts in the US or anywhere else in the world!


The first video in the course is all about boat speed and how it impacts your ability to see fish. Ryan explains what to do when you are traveling at various speeds and when you are stationary. 

You get all the answers you need in terms of how to adjust scroll speed and scale to find fish and fish-carrying structures at the full range of speeds.

There is also a great section on how to gauge the size of fish in various scanning modes and some useful tips on hard-to-spot fish in rocks or hugging the bottom, along with various “illusions” that can fool beginners.

The second video tackles scale and scroll speed – two things that the auto settings on fish finders DON’T always get right. This is one area where you’ll sometimes need to override the auto settings and these videos walk you through how to do it.

Ryan teaches you when to increase scroll speed to see fish and features better when you are moving – this is pivotal in preventing you from missing fish and bottom features, particularly in sidescan, but also in conventional 2D sonar. The video also details a recommended screen set up in 2D with a zoomed image to provide better detail close to the bottom.

If this sounds like the kind, of course, you are after, you can grab Sounder Skills 1 through Tackle Village by clicking on this link at the special price of just $19.99. If you are yet to be convinced, read on for our final verdict.

In terms of, extras, the course also includes two live presentations Ryan has recorded on interpreting fish finder images and a 30-minute introduction to his second introductory course, Sounder Skills 2 (you can also save 10% on this course with the code tacklevillage at checkout).

Our Verdict:

We recommend Sounder Skills 1 because it is the best – and best-priced – sonar skills course developed by an expert that is aimed at beginner users.

You can watch YouTube videos for hours or weeks and end up confused about how to get the most out of your fish finder with all the conflicting or incorrect information out there. But with Sounder Skills 1 you get practical, actionable, and effective advice on operating your fish finder properly and catching more fish.

The explanations are simple and don’t include unnecessary detail. This is advice that is intended for you to implement on your very next trip to boost your catch rate.

You can use these lessons to find outcrops, reefs, rocks, and other structures and see what fish are lurking nearby and their approximate size. It is the kind of advice that puts more fish in the boat resulting in happy anglers.

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Rick Wallace is a passionate angler and fly fisher whose work has appeared in fishing publications including FlyLife. He's appeared in fishing movies, founded a successful fishing site and spends every spare moment on the water. He's into kayak fishing, ultralight lure fishing and pretty much any other kind of fishing out there.
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