The Best Fish Finder Reviews For The Money
Having the right fish finder can make a huge difference to the success of your fishing trip. However, it can often seem like some of the fancy, high end devices do everything but find fish for you! This is because they are complicated and offer more functions and features than the average fisherman will ever need.
You do not have to send a small fortune on a fish finder for it to be accurate. In fact, some of the best fish finders on the market are also some of the most affordable. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best fish finders for the money.
Fish Finder Comparison Table
|Image||Model||Max Depth freshwater (ft.)||Display Resolution||Color display||Frequency (kHz)||Editors’ Rating (out of 5)|
|Deeper Smart Smart Sonar Smatphone and Tablet Compatible Fishfinder||130||/||/||90 / 290||4|
|Lowrance Elite 3X Fishfinder||800||320 x 240||Yes||83 / 200||4|
|Garmin echo 150 Dual-Beam||1300||256 x 160||No||77 / 200||4.5|
|FishHunter Military Grade Portable Fish Finder 3.0||100||/||/||381||3|
|Humminbird 120 Fishin’ Buddy||240||128 x 160||No||200||4|
|Garmin Striker 4||1600||320 x 480||Yes||50 / 77 / 200||4.5|
|FishHunter PRO||150||/||/||381 / 475 / 675||4|
|Garmin Echo 551DV||2300||480 x 640||Yes||77 / 200||4.5|
|Signstek FF-003 Portable Fish Finder||240||240 x 160||Yes||83 / 200||4|
|Lowrance Mark-5x Pro||1000||480 x 480||No||83 / 200||4.5|
Different Types of Fish Finders
There are a number of different types of fish finders out there and choosing the correct one for you is going to depend on a number of factors including what type of fishing you will be doing, where you go to fish and even what sort of boat you are using! Here is a brief round up of some of the different types of fish finders that are available.
Standalone Fish Finders
If all you want to do is just see what is below the water then a standalone, dedicated fish finder is likely going to suit you very well. It will offer the biggest display and the most in terms of performance while maintaining an affordable cost. If you are using a small fishing boat on relatively small inland lakes or if you are just interested in finding the best cheap fish finder (you can check our under $500 guide if you want), then a standalone is likely your best option.
Combination Fish Finders
Combo units are a little bit more complex and they are a popular choice for those with a mid sized fishing boat. You can use the GPS mode to navigate and the fish finder to survey the fishing grounds. Most models are even going to allow you to view on a split screen or to switch between the two.
Some major suppliers are also able to offer fully networked systems offering users a wide range of data sources including the likes of radar, raster and GPS charts as well as video, satellite radio and more. Often these will also allow you to view data via a connected smart phone. These are best for medium to large fishing vessels and are best suited to the serious or professional fisherman.
Best Fish Finder Brands
When you start looking into what is the best fish finder, you will soon see that there are multiple brands out there who produce some of the top rated fishfinders out there. Sometimes, knowing which of these brands represent the best value for money, or the best quality can help you to narrow down your search. With that in mind, we have summarised a few of the best fishfinder brands around.
Even if you are researching fish finders for the first time, it is likely that you are already familiar with or have at the very least heard of Garmin. They are one of the world leaders when it comes to navigation for a range of purposes including driving, aviation, marine and outdoor pursuits. In terms of fishfinders, Garmin have recently completely redesigned their range starting from scratch and addressing the things that fishermen have been asking for. All of the fishfinders in the line make use of Garmin’s exclusive HD-ID target tracking technology providing a better separation of images than ever before. If you opt for a Garmin brand fish finder then you will know that you are getting a quality product that you can really rely on!
Lowrance are very much a brand which specialises in fish finders having launched their very first recreation sonar in 1957. They have continued to add new products to their line over the years including the latest DownScan Imaging and Broadband Sounder technology which features in the current products. Lowrance are firmly established as one of the leading lights in fish finder technology. The products in the Lowrance range are designed to help anglers and fishermen to locate and target fish regardless of their location or the type of fish that they are catching. With a number of options including standalone fish finders and multifunction combo devices, Lowrance have the right device to meet your needs.
Humminbird has been one of America’s favorite fish finder brands for over 40 years. There are a wide range of devices in the Humminbird line for both freshwater and saltwater fishing using some of the most innovative technology. In fact, Humminbird are often credited with being the leading innovator of side imaging technology which has made a massive difference to recreational and professional anglers alike. Humminbird fish finders are available from retailers across the USA and Canada and can be purchased in 100 countries by way of authorised retailers.
Top Fish Finders on The Market
With so many different fish finders on the market, it can be really difficult to know which one you should choose. However, to make the choice a little bit easier for you we have summarised some of the best fish finder models that we know of in order to help you make a short list of products to research further. Make sure that you check out some in depth fish finder reviews to help you make that final decision.
Deeper Smart Portable Fish Finder
One of the best fish finders on the market at the moment is the Deeper Smart Portable Fish Finder. It has just the right combination of useful features, ease of use and affordability. The device works alongside your smartphone or tablet and is compatible with both Android and iOS.
The device is perfect for helping you to fish in places that other fish finders just do not allow you to reach! With a 6 hour battery life and a depth of up to 130 feet, this particular model Is ideal for fishing from the shire, bridges, embankments, kayaks and in rivers (for example in conjunction with the right rig). It is even suitable for use when ice fishing.
Lowrance Elite 3X Fishfinder
Another contender among the best that you will see cropping up in fishfinder reviews over and over again is the Lowrance Elite 3X Fishfinder model. This particular device features a 320 x 240 resolution full color LED backlit display making it easy to see, even in direct sunlight.
One thing that we keep hearing again and again about this product is how in has managed to pack in lots of advanced or premium features, while still retaining a compact design and an affordable cost! In the past fishermen sometimes had to sacrifice display quality in order to save money, but now the Lowrance Elite 3X offers a high quality display at a very reasonable price.
Garmin Echo 150 Dual-Beam Fish Finder
Depending on who you ask, there is a very good chance that they will suggest the Garmin Echo 150 Dual-Beam as a strong contender for being named the best fishfinder for the money. Garmin is one of the top brands in the world when it comes to GPS and mapping techology so it is no surprise that their fishfinder equipment is every bit as good quality.
This is dual beam technology offered at single beam prices! You have 200 watts of power at your disposal, allowing you to scan to depths of 1300 feet. The device is really easy to mount and features a quick release tilt and swivel mount.
FishHunter Military Grade Portable Fish Finder 3.0
Something that most fishermen are looking for according to fishfinder reviews, is versatility and that is one of the things that really stands out about the FishHunter Military Grade Portable Fish Finder! As the name suggests, this device has been built to military grade specifications making it ideal for use just about anywhere – even in ice fishing!
It features a protective rubber coating and holds a charge for up to 8 hours. It also happens to fit neatly right in your pocket! One of the best things is that although data is transmitted to your smartphone or tablet device, you do not actually need a cell phone signal for it to work as it operates using bluetooth!
Humminbird 120 Fishin’ Buddy
Voted best fish finder 2017, the Humminbird 110 Fishin’ Buddy is still one of the best depth finder devices on the market today. It is a highly portable model that requires absolutely no rigging or wiring meaning that you can use it anywhere. It does not even need a transducer to mount it.
It features a high resolution monochrome display and has a built in 24 inch transducer tube housing that should be able to reach the water from most average small to mid sized fishing vessels. This mode offers up to 3o hours operating time making it an idea choice for those who are headed off on a fishing weekend!
Fish Finder Buying Guide
With so many fish finders on the market, it can be difficult to decide which one is the right one for you. Even after we have narrowed down the list for you to these top rated fish finders, it can still seem a little bit daunting. That’s why we have put together this brief guide demonstrating what sort of things you need to be looking at when buying a fish finder.
- Depth – The first thing that most people look at when selecting a fish finder is the depth that it can handle. However, this is not really an important factor for most people. The majority of casual fishermen and anglers are going to be targeting fish that are no deeper the 100 to 200 feet under the fish finder in which case almost any fish finder on the market will be sufficient. It is only if you are going to be participating in deep see fishing and the like that you would need a deeper fish finder. Otherwise, there are other more important features to look into.
- Screen Size – It is actually probably a more important thing to consider than depth. This is especially important for hobby anglers. You are going to want the screen to be as large as possible. You may find that the cheapest, or budget fish finders have small screens, no bigger than the average cell phone. These will work perfectly well, but you may find it difficult to read the fish finder screen, especially if you are new to using them. You will want to think about screen size, colour and resolution when choosing which model of fish finder to buy. Color screens can be advantageous because they allow greater differentiation between different objects. A four to five inch screen is the most comfortable for most people, but you should take a look at a few sizes just to see what best suits your eyes.
- Do You Need GPS – Another thing to consider is whether or not you need a fishfinder that also doubles as GPS navigation. If so, then you are going to want to look at combo units that serve both functions. If you already have a navigation system, or you are not going anywhere that requires GPS then you need not spend the additional money to get a combo model.
- What Is Your Budget? – Perhaps the most important thing to take into consideration is cost. Think about what sort of budget you have available to spend on your fish finder. It does not always follow that the most expensive devices are the best, there are some very effective fish finders at affordable prices. There is little point in spending a lot of money for features that you might never use, so think about how much you can afford and then look at the devices in that price range to select the one that best meets your needs.
Finding the best fish finder to meet your needs can seem like an overwhelming task given the various different types of fish finder on the market from a wide range of brands. However, if you take some time to think about which features you really want and then look at some depth finder reviews to establish which products meet those features then you will find it much easier to make a choice. Hopefully our buyer’s guide and summary of some of the top rated fish finders around will set you on your way!