10 Best Fish Finders: Top Rated Fish Finders for The Money

 

Whether you are fishing for sport or are into commercial fishing, using a fish finder can be of great help in figuring out what is going on below and around your vessel. Today, even the smallest crafts can use a fish finder thanks to the advances in sonar technology. But, selecting the best budget fish finder can be a tough decision to make. In fact, the definition of the ‘best fish finder’ varies from person to person, or should we say from angler to angler. Your budget also plays a major role here. But you can narrow down the choices for the top fish finders on the basis of device size, built-in features, the technology used, the kind of water you will be fishing in, and the mounting type.

 

To make the choice easier, we bring to you ten top rated fish finders that include both best budget fish finder and high-end models loaded with top features. But, before we list out our top 10 fish finders, their features, and the pros and cons of each, we will give you a quick brief on what a fish finder is. In case you are a beginner, you must know of the best fish finder for the money you are willing to invest in. In this article, we will also guide you on what features to look for and give a final verdict on the best rated fish finders for different budgets.

 

 

Quickly Navigate Through the Best Fish Finders

  1. Garmin Striker Plus 4 with Dual-Beam
  2. Humminbird HELIX 10 G3N Fish Finder
  3. Humminbird HELIX 5 SI/GPS Combo
  4. Lowrance HOOK2 Fish Finder/Depth Finder
  5. Lowrance Elite-7x
  6. DEEPER Smart PRO Sonar
  7. Garmin ECHOMAP Plus 73cv
  8. Garmin ECHOMAP Plus 43cv
  9. Raymarine Element 7 HV
  10. Lowrance FishHunter PRO

 

 

What is a Fish Finder?

A fish finder is a device used by fishermen to locate fish underwater. It works on the technology of SONAR (Sound Navigation and Ranging) that receives echoes from the bottom of the sea with the help of a transducer. The information is displayed graphically on a digital screen which can be interpreted by a fisherman to trace schools of fish, measure the distance of fish from the ship, map out prime fishing spots, distinguish between fish and underwater debris, etc. Most of the modern-day best fish finders use CHIRP Sonar that stands for “Compressed High Intensity Radar Pulse” that is capable of showing you fish that do not come in the range of standard sonars. Some of the top rated fish finders available today are made by Humminbird, Raymarine, Lowrance, and Garmin. The price range for the best budget fish finder starts from as low as $80 and can go all the way up to $2500 depending on the features integrated into the device.

 

So, let’s dive into the top fish finders that you can find in the market.

 

 

Our Top Picks for Fish Finders

 

ProductRatingShop Now

Garmin Striker Plus 4 with Dual-Beam

4.6

Buy Now

 


Humminbird HELIX 10 G3N Fish Finder

4.4

Buy Now

 


Humminbird HELIX 5 SI/GPS Combo

4.1

Buy Now

 

Lowrance HOOK2 Fish Finder/Depth Finder

4.3

Buy Now

 

Lowrance Elite-7x

5

Buy Now

 

DEEPER Smart PRO Sonar

4.4

Buy Now

 

Garmin ECHOMAP Plus 73cv

4.5

Buy Now

 

Garmin ECHOMAP Plus 43cv

4.6

Buy Now

 

Raymarine Element 7 HV

3.8

Buy Now

 

Lowrance FishHunter PRO

3.5

Buy Now

 

 

10 Top Rated Fish Finders to Choose From

1. Garmin Striker Plus 4 with Dual-Beam

The first in our list is the fish finder that rightly justifies the saying “good things come in small packages.” Garmin Striker Plus 4 is the best fish finder for small crafts and kayaks that offers decent features at a great price. This mountable and portable fish finder comes with a bright 4.3” screen but does not compromise on the image quality. It has an in-built GPS that allows you to mark docks and boat ramps and navigate waypoints. Garmin Striker Plus 4 integrates Garmin CHIRP sonar for crystal clear imagery in shallow and deeper waters. It also includes Quickdraw contour mapping software that can store up to 2 million acres of map content. It also has various screen modes that can display both sonar and GPS on split-screen. Another reason for this one making to our list of top 10 fish finders is the dual-beam transducer that also includes a temperature sensor. Despite its small size this best fish finder boasts of powerful depth capability and can also be used offshore.

 

$139.99

4.6

Buy Now

 

Features

  • Bright 4.3” QSVGA display with 272 X 480 pixels resolution
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Dual-beam transducer with Garmin CHIRP traditional sonar
  • Built-in Garmin Quickdraw contours mapping software
  • Water temperature log and graph
  • Built-in GPS that also lets you view the boat’s speed
  • Frequencies supported: 50/77/83/200 kHz
  • Transmit power: 200 W (RMS)
  • Autogain technology that minimizes clutter and maximizes targets

 

Pros

  • Split-screen zoom mode
  • Small and compact
  • Easy to install
  • Create and store maps with 1’ contours for up to 2 million acres
  • Backlight screen for a good view in sunlight
  • Displays fish targets at higher boat speeds
  • Adjustable depth line
  • Includes water temperature sensor
  • IPX7 waterproof
  • High-sensitivity GPS
  • Quickdraw contours
  • Rugged design for every fishing environment

Cons

  • No pre-installed maps
  • No NMEA port
  • Unit cover not included

 

Summary

If you are looking for the best fish finder on a tight budget, the Garmin Striker Plus 4 can do a decent job at a great price. This is the best budget fish finder that is equipped with the right features and rugged design to get the job done in different fishing environments.

Buy Now

2. Humminbird HELIX 10 G3N Fish Finder

The Helix series by Humminbird offers some of the best rated fish finders available today. Being of the biggest players in the marine technology industry, Humminbird’s Helix 10 has been leading from the front as the best fish finder on the market that has it all. Though the Helix series is available in different screen sizes, the 10.1” mountable/fixed model has the perfect blend of technology and practicality. It boasts of a large colored TFT screen and intuitive keypad. What makes this device stand out amongst the rest of the top fish finders is its top-notch imaging technology with Dual Spectrum CHIRP sonar. The SwitchFire sonar feature for 2D fish-finding, with two display modes CLEAR and MAX, allows anglers to take control of the fishing conditions on the fly. The precise GPS location with built-in Humminbird Basemap aid in navigation and the AutoChart live feature can be used to create custom contour maps. The Helix 10 is capable of identifying fish arches and fish-holding structures over wide areas and producing crystal clear images up to 200ft on either side of the boat. The high-speed Ethernet connectivity allows you to connect to multiple fish finders and upgrade with add-on technologies.

 

$2369.99

4.4

Buy Now

 

Features

  • 1-Inch full-color TFT display
  • Dual spectrum CHIRP sonar
  • Intuitive fish finder
  • Keypad control interface
  • Dual SD card slots
  • Built-in GPS for chart and track plotting
  • Built-in Humminbird Basemap
  • AutoChart Live for creating customized depth contour maps

 

Pros

  • Available in 5, 7, 9, and 12-inch models
  • MHz imaging
  • IPX7 waterproof
  • Pre-loaded split-screen view
  • Bluetooth and Ethernet connectivity
  • Low-Q CHIRP transducer
  • Available in multiple configurations
  • Can be paired with a Minn Kota trolling motor
  • Compatible with Humminbird LakeMaster and LakeMaster Plus digital maps
  • Compatible with Humminbird SmartStrike to pattern and locate fish
  • Compatible with Navionics charts

Cons

  • It does not offer Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Not very pocket friendly

 

Summary

Humminbird’s Helix 10 G3N is the best fish finder option to consider if you do not mind shelling out some extra money to get some great features installed on your vessel.

Buy Now

3. Humminbird HELIX 5 SI/GPS Combo

If you are looking for the best fish finder for a smaller vessel then the mountable Helix 5 is the one you should go for. It features a 5” colored and backlit screen that provides good visibility both at night and in direct sunlight. Helix 5 is the first fish finder in the Helix series that offers 3D quality imaging with all three sonar types i.e. Dual Beam Plus, Side Imaging, and Down Imaging. The zoom feature allows you to focus the sonar to the exact depth you want to locate the fish and its size. Helix 5 is one of the best fish finder on the market through which you can also screenshot or record the sonar to review the footage later. The helix 5 is the best fish finder for the money it is being offered for as it comes with a powerful transducer with CHIRP sonar and temperature control that further enhances the imaging capabilities of the device. It is also compatible with Humminbird’s LakeMaster series of digital maps as well as Navionics charts so that you have plenty of fishing playgrounds to explore and set waypoints.

 

$552.45

4.1

Buy Now

 

Features

  • Screen: 5″ color TFT with backlight
  • Side Imaging, Down Imaging, and DualBeam Plus sonar
  • Power Output of 500 Watts (RMS)
  • Power Input: 10.8-20 VDC
  • Depth Capability: DualBeam Plus: 1500 ft. (457 m); SI/DI: 100 ft. (30 m)
  • Frequency and Coverage:
  • DualBeam Plus: 200 kHz / 20° and 83 kHz / 60°
  • Down Imaging: 455 kHz
  • Side Imaging: 455 kHz / 86° (x2) – 240 ft. (73 m) on each side of the boat
  • Power Draw of 615 mA
  • Transom XNT 9 SI 180 T transducer
  • Internal GPS: 5 Hz

 

Pros

  • Advanced 3D viewing combining smart 2D sonar and CHIRP technology
  • Compatible with Navionics and LakeMaster charts
  • Used data from NOAA to display accurate water and weather conditions
  • Powerful transducer
  • Sonar recording and screenshot capability
  • IPX7 waterproof
  • Micro SD card slot
  • NMEA 0183 support
  • Easy to install
  • Upgradable software

Cons

  • Limited to 100 ft. depth capability for SI/DI sonar
  • Does not include AutoChart Live
  • No active support for SmartStrike cards

 

Summary

This is the best budget fish finder that mimics the DNA of the higher-end Helix 10 with lesser features and a smaller screen but with an affordable price tag.

Buy Now

4. Lowrance HOOK2 Fish Finder/Depth Finder

Next in our list of the best fish finder is a mountable/fixed and easy-to-use fish finder by Lowrance. This is one of the best budget fish finders that is extremely user-friendly and is therefore suitable both for beginners as well as seasoned fishermen. The Hook2 integrates all the basic features that you want in a decent fish finder. It comes with preloaded US inland maps, DownScan and SideScan, and CHIRP sonar coverage. It also comes with a GPS plotter that can be used to navigate, add waypoints, or follow trails. Lowrance Hook2 comes in multiple screen sizes (5”. 7”, and 9”) and is an ideal choice for small fishing crafts or kayaks that have limited console space. The reason we have placed Hook2 as one of the finest choices in the top fish finders is that it integrates auto-tuning sonar so that beginners need not waste time fidgeting with the device to optimize it. The software and maps can also be upgraded with the help of an SD card slot.

 

$420 onwards

4.3

Buy Now

 

Features

  • SolarMAX™ Display
  • Screen size options – 5″, 7″and 9″
  • Optimized keypad with one-touch access to key features
  • Transmit Power: 200w RMS Sonar
  • Sonar Beam Width: 40°
  • Usable Depth: 80m+ Sonar
  • Operating Frequency: 200kHz wide angle sonar
  • IPX7 waterproof protection
  • Power: 12v DC (10-17v DC min-max)
  • Max power consumption: <6.1W

 

Pros

  • In-built GPS
  • Automated sonar settings
  • Suitable for beginners as well as experts
  • Wide cone angel sonar coverage
  • Easy to mount and use
  • All-rounder and affordable
  • User-friendly interface

Cons

  • Cannot be updated through a wireless connection

 

Summary

All in all, this is the best budget fish finder that offers different screen sizes to suit your fishing style. This is one of our top contenders in our list of best fish finders that you can purchase for a fairly decent price.

 

Buy Now

5. Lowrance Elite-7x

The Lowrance Elite-7x is the best fish finder on the market with its DownScan technology combined with Broadband CHIRP sonar that can produce dynamic and accurate down-scans. While there are several other top fish finders that offer great down-imaging options, but the Elite-7x is truly power-packed best fish finder for the money it is being offered for. The device sports a bright full color 7” LCD that is easy to view both at night and in direct sunlight. The display has a split-screen that can show explicit images of the fish and other underwater typography. You can also choose from multiple modes such as ice mode, shallow water, freshwater, brackish water, deep water, slow or fast trolling. It can also display water temperature and is durable enough to withstand different marine environments.

Elite-7x is one of the best budget fish finders to use in shallow waters to spot schools of fish and can mark fish clearly even at higher boat speed. Plus, it comes with easy-to-use menus along with an advanced mode to expand feature selection.

 

5

Buy Now

 

Features

  • 7 inches LCD widescreen
  • Broadband CHIRP sonar
  • Selectable single-frequency sonar operation
  • Advanced Signal Processing (ASP)
  • Transducer: 83/200KHz+455/800KHz
  • DownScan Overlay technology that overlays down-scan imaging onto CHIRP Sonar

 

Pros

  • Easy touch button keypad
  • IPX7 waterproof rating
  • Multiple user modes
  • Multi-window display
  • One year parts and labor warranty
  • Supported by the Lowrance Advantage Service program

Cons

  • Works as a fish finder only
  • No chart plotter
  • No in-built GPS

 

Summary

Lowrance Elite 7-x is the top choice for a down-imaging fish finder. But one major lacking is the absence of GPS. Hence the device can only be used as a fish finder and not for plotting your own charts.

Buy Now

6. DEEPER Smart PRO Sonar

Next up in the top fish finders is the best castable fish finder DEEPER Smart PRO. It is one of the most portable and the best budget fish finder that you can use from the shore, along your kayak, from your preferred pier, or through the ice. Deeper Smart PRO is counted in the top 10 fish finders as it is quite simple to use, you can hook it to a line, cast out the transducer in the water and it will relay the data to your smartphone through a free app. The device can give instant data on the water depth, bottom topography, water temperature, greenery, and its thickness, etc. And the price tag that it carries makes it one of the best fish finder for the money that can suit all pockets. Smart PRO certainly deserves a place amongst the best rated fish finders as it not only uses Wi-Fi connection but it also transmits the signals; which means that you can get connectivity for approx. 330 feet of distance and save on your data plan. It is the sole fish finder in the market whose built-in GPS allows you to create Bathymetric maps from the shore and gives free access to DEEPER Lakebook™.

 

$195.63

4.4

Buy Now

 

Features

  • GPS onshore mapping
  • Used own Wi-Fi signal to increase range
  • Casting range of 330ft/100m
  • Scans as down as 260ft/80m
  • Sends 15 scans per second and 0.5″ target separation
  • DualBeam (wide scanning beam 90kHz 55° to cover broad areas and narrow beam 290kHz 15°)
  • Maps depth, finds structure, vegetation, and fish
  • Supports Bathymetric Management Platform to save, retrieve, and analyze scans and maps

 

Pros

  • Extremely portable can be used almost anywhere
  • Easy connection to smartphone or tablet and syncs with both iOS and Android devices
  • Every scan and map saved on the Fish Deeper App, and available on any computer using Lakebook™
  • Data saved on cloud
  • Suitable for shore, boat, and ice fishing
  • Install in seconds
  • Does not need cables
  • No internet connection needed

Cons

  • Does not work with older devices
  • Lithium-ion batteries need to be recharged regularly regardless of use

 

Summary

DEEPER Smart PRO is the ultimate choice for a highly portable and easy-to-use fish finder. The free app and compatibility with Android and iOS devices enable you to have a fish finder that can fit in your palm but in no way compromises the accuracy.

 

Buy Now

7. Garmin ECHOMAP Plus 73cv

Adding to our list of top 10 fish finders is the mountable/ fixed fish finder ECHOMAP Plus 73 cv by Garmin. This model from Garmin comes with additional features that were missing in the earlier models such as ActiveCaptain compatibility, Wi-Fi, SailAssist, and touchscreen technology. It is one of the best rated fish finders that offer top-notch fishing technology with CHIRP ClearVü scanning sonar and CHIRP traditional sonar along with a powerful GT22 transducer. It is also compatible with Panoptix all-seeing sonar that adds on the functionalities. Another feature that compels us to include this device in our top fish finders is the in-built Wi-Fi that gives access to OneChart through the free ActiveCaptain app. You can also create customized contour maps with the help of Quickdraw software.

 

$599.99

4.5

Buy Now

 

Features

  • Bright 7” diagonal display with sunlight-readability
  • Keyed-assist and touchscreen combo
  • Preloaded LakeVü g3 inland maps covering more than 17,000 lakes with 1’ contours
  • ClearVü with built-in CHIRP
  • Built-in NMEA 2000 support
  • Split-screen zoom capabilities
  • IPX7 water-resistance rating

 

Pros

  • Lightweight and user-friendly
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Personalized real-time mapping
  • Integrated Navionics charts
  • Plenty of accessories available

Cons

  • No side-imaging capabilities
  • Limited offshore capabilities

 

Summary

The ECHOMAP Plus 73cv is a good option to consider for the best fish finder on the market that has all the desirable features and offers high-res images and accurate navigation.

Buy Now

8. Garmin ECHOMAP Plus 43cv

Another Garmin make that has made it to our list of mountable top 10 fish finders is the ECHOMAP Plus 43 cv. The features are pretty much similar to the ECHOMAP Plus 73cv but what makes it different is its compact 4.3” color screen that is suitable for small boats or kayaks. This fish finder too offers superior ClearVü sonar images and comes with a built-in GPS. The GT20 transducer offers excellent target separation. ECHOMAP Plus 43 cv is amongst the best fish finders that support Quickdraw Contours mapping software to create personalized maps that you can also share with the Quickdraw Community. The device is one of the best fish finder for the money it charges as it comes preloaded with 17,000 LakeVü g3 maps of rivers, reservoirs, and lakes and up to 1’ contours for accurate fishing.

 

$299.99

4.6

Buy Now

 

Features

  • Bright and sunlight-readable 4.3” screen
  • GT20 transom mount transducer
  • CHIRP ClearVü scanning sonar
  • Built-in Quickdraw contours software for mapping
  • Compatible with Navionics data and preloaded maps
  • 5Hz GPS antenna

 

Pros

  • Micro SD slot for additional memory
  • Easy to use
  • You can share routes and waypoints with other ECHOMAP and Striker users
  • Lightweight (1.6 lbs.)
  • Quick-release mount

Cons

  • No Wi-Fi connectivity

 

Summary

ECHOMAP Plus 43 cv is one of the best budget fish finders that are easy-to-use and its small size makes it the perfect fit for tight spaces.

Buy Now

9. Raymarine Element 7 HV

Next in our list of top fish finders is a mountable/fixed fish finder by Raymarine that is known for its accuracy and convenience of use. The Element 7 with HyperVision CHIRP technology sports sunlight viewable 7” multifunctional display and its RealVision 3D sonar offers a crystal clear and high-res imagery. The functions can be accessed through dedicated keypad controls that also include a prominent waypoint key so that you can mark your favorite spot with ease. Raymarine Element 7 HV integrates a 28-channel in-built GPS and has position enhancement abilities facilitated through MSAS, EGNOS, GAZAN, QZSS, and WASS. The reason we have included this one in our top 10 fish finders is that its quad-core processor can produce continuous 3D imaging that can help you identify contour changes.

 

$749.99

3.8

Buy Now

 

Features

  • 7” high-resolution display of 840H*480V
  • Quad-core processor for fast response
  • Smooth RealVision 3D imaging and instant chart redraw feature
  • HV-100 transducer to support all built-in sonar types
  • HyperVision 1.2 MHz super-high-resolution sonar technology
  • RealBathy sonar mapping
  • 28-channels internal GPS
  • Can save up to 5,000 waypoints in the internal memory
  • Supports Navionics charts and maps for Canada and the U.S

 

Pros

  • Fast and accurate
  • Supports multiple sonar functions
  • High-resolution images
  • Multiple navigation features
  • Fairly easy to install
  • Offers Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Comes with a track plotting and creation function

Cons

  • Does not support 50KHz and 83KHz sonar
  • Does not have circular flasher sonar view

 

Summary

If you are looking for the best fish finder loaded with features, then Raymarine Element 7 HV has some great offerings to excite any angler. It is amongst the best fish finder on the market that works brilliantly for inland navigation and fishing.

Buy Now

10. Lowrance FishHunter PRO

The last one in our list of top fish finders is an affordable unit offered by Lowrance. The FishHunter PRO is one of the best fish finder for the money as it has the world’s fastest tri-frequency transducer that can rotate between three frequencies to provide high-res imagery.  If you are looking for the best fish finder on the market that is wireless or Castable and is loaded with features then this is the one to go for. This device is counted in the top fish finders for onshore or ice fishing and offers multiple views including raw, fish, and ice flasher views. The FishHunter comes with Wi-Fi that can cover a range of 150 ft. without the need of an internet connection and can transmit data on your smartphones or tabs through the FISHHUNTER app. You can also create custom maps and mark your favorite fishing spots.

 

$79

3.5

Buy Now

 

Features

  • Max depth Up to 160 ft./55 m
  • Frequencies supported – 381kHz, 475kHz, and 675kHz
  • Wi-Fi range up to 200 ft. (65 m)
  • Integrated GPS
  • Course over Ground (COG)
  • Current draw @ 12V: 0.23A
  • FISHHUNTER app allows you to log catches and share data with other users

 

Pros

  • Small, compact, and lightweight
  • Supports Wi-Fi and no data connection required
  • Dedicated fishing view for ice fishing
  • Built-in LED light to spot the unit in the dark
  • Compatible with iOS and Android phones
  • Difficult to submerge that improves Wi-Fi connection

Cons

  • Requires a smartphone with Wi-Fi

Buy Now

 

Features to Look Out for In the Best Fish Finder

Primarily there are two major types of fish finders that you can find in the market – fixed and portable. While the mounted ones are a bit pricy but they are the best rated fish finders with tons of features. On the other hand, the portable ones are great for onshore fishing. To select the best fish finder that suits your needs, mentioned below are the features that you must look for in the top rated fish finders.

 

Device Size

Fish finders are available in multiple sizes. Keep the size of your craft in mind when searching for the top rated fish finders. Since most of the boats are tight on space you do not want your fish finder to clutter the area.

 

Display

Do not only focus on the screen size but also consider the screen resolution while buying a fish finder. The more the pixels better will be the clarity. Also, go for colored displays as they are easier to read in different weather conditions.

 

Transducer

A transducer is a crucial feature that will determine the quality of information that is displayed on your fish finder. The more powerful the transducer the stronger signals it will be able to send to greater depths. A power-packed transducer can easily differentiate between fish patterns and other underwater objects.

 

Frequencies

Higher frequencies work better in shallow waters and lower frequency fish finders are more suitable for depth penetration. However, lower frequencies cannot generate detailed imagery. While selecting from the top rated fish finders frequencies between 200 kHz and 800 kHz are ideal for shallow waters and 50 kHz and 80 kHz for deep waters. Though more expensive to buy, the best rated fish finders with CHIRP sonar can transmit dual frequencies to produce crisp and detailed images.

 

View Types

Most of the top rated fish finders provide both SideScan and DownScan for easy fish spotting in different water conditions. The SideScan covers the area around the boat and is suitable for shallow waters. The DownScan gives a view of water underneath your boat and works well in deeper waters.

 

Transducer Mount Types

Since transducers require some effort to install, depending on the design and space on your boat you can select from various mounting types. Some of the popular mounting types are transom-mount, thru-hull mount, in-hull mount, and trolling motor mount.

 

GPS

Having a GPS enabled fish finder can be very handy to navigate and pinpoint your favorite spots. It can also be very useful in emergencies.  However, this feature adds to the cost of the top rated fish finders.

 

Integrated Maps

Most of the best rated fish finders come with pre-installed maps and charts of the USA and Canada’s inland waters. Look for the package that is being offered by the company.

 

Water Type

When shortlisting the best rated fish finders that will suit your needs it is also important to consider the type of water you will be fishing in. Usually, saltwater will require tougher and more expensive devices to produce clear images. A good device will be the one that can meet both saltwater and freshwater requirements.

 

 

Conclusion

With that, we come to the end of our list of best fish finders. Since every angler has different needs and preferences in fishing, checking out the top rated fish finders is crucial before you zero down to any one of them. If you want to go easy on your pocket then Garmin Striker Plus 4 is a great option. For mid-range and good features, Humminbird’s Helix 5 is a good choice. And if you are ready to shell out the big bucks and want top-notch features then Humminbird HELIX 10 G3N is the best fish finder to go for.