What if you have the best fishing rod, best fishing baits and lures, and other fishing equipment in your fishing backpack but did not get that much of fish of your expectation. Along with the best fishing equipment, you should know where to cast. Definitely, you don’t know if the fish are hiding in the reef or heading towards the middle of the lake. That’s why you need to spend a few bucks for buying the best fish finder, a gadget that will help you visually to find out where the fish are hiding. If you’ve never used a fish finder, you’re way behind the best fishing experience.
What does a fish finder do?
- They can locate and track the fish
- They scan under the waves
- Pinpoint where each fish is in
- They can tell the temperature of the water
- Measures the depth of the water at certain spots
There are several fish finder brands and thousands of the products. Searching for the best fish finder for your need is the most complicated and time-consuming process. To lessen your time consumption in this search, we have arranged this best fish finder reviews of the brand’s ad models which are quite popular and top-rated in 2019. To choose the best one for you, carefully read the reviews and comparisons.
Top 10 models of fish finders have been selected considering the highest rated, bet sellers, most positive reviewed and the best features offered.
Best Fish Finder 2019
1. Garmin Striker 4 Built-in GPS Fish Finder
- CLEARVÜ SCANNING SONAR - Shows you more of what is in the water around your boat. This high-frequency sonar gives near-photographic images with detailed representations of objects, structure and fish.
- THE POWER OF SIMPLE - Offers a keyed interface with dedicated buttons. The device is easy to use and easy to install. Available in 3.5-, 5- and 7-inch display sizes. Water rating IPX7
- WAYPOINT MAP - Use the waypoint map to easily view, mark and navigate to locations such as brush piles, stumps and docks. Maximum depth-1,600 feet freshwater, 750 feet saltwater. Current draw at 12V : 0.23A
- CHIRP SONAR - CHIRP sends a continuous sweep of frequencies which provides a wider range of information. CHIRP sonar is able to create crisper fish arches with better target separation.
- BUILT-IN FLASHER - View your sonar data in the classic flasher format; ideal for ice fishing or vertical jigging.Display size: 1.9 x 2.9 inches (4.9 x 7.3 cm); 3.5 inches diagonal (8.7 cm)
Choosing a product is not fruitful at all until it fits in your budget. Garmin Striker 4 Built-in GPS Fish Finder is the best fish finder which performance is outstanding and the price is enough smart to fit in the pocket. A 3.5-inch Screen is literally smaller but it still gets the job done better than others. Built-in GPS can make a map on the water and you can mark your hotspots thus you can track your progress quite easily.
Now, the main point about the best finder is locating the fish. And the job is done by a transducer. CHIRP transducer is one of the best and its signal can reach down to 1,600 feet in the freshwater and 750 feet in salt water. Overall, this device is the best fish finder to catch plenty of fish.
- 3.5-inch high contrast color screen
- Built-in GPS
- Hotspots marking system
- 200-watt RMS transmitter
- 1600-watt peak to peak
- Speedometer included
- Detects and shows water temperature
- Max depth of 1600-ft fresh water, 750-ft saltwater
- Some of the consumers don’t like the buttons feature
- GPS location might trouble on open water in rare cases
2. Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS Combo G2
- 5-Inch Color WVGA Display
- CHIRP Dual Beam PLUS Sonar. Power Output RMS : 500 Watts. Power Draw : 615 mA
- Precision Internal GPS Chart plotting with built-in Anima cartography
- Micro SD card slot for optional maps or for saving waypoints
- Target Separation - 2.5 Inches
Professional or hobbyists chosen the best fish finder is Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP GPS Combo G2. With the help of some stunning technology like precise broadband CHIRP, Reflex interface, imaging sonar Auto Chart Live, it creates live maps. A clear display and improved user interface made it great. It is powered with 4,000 watts of PTP power output.
The CHIRP sonar helps to detect the exact location of your boat and the location of the fish. It comes with a built-in SD card slot thus you can save your favorite way-points to it. But keep in mind that, this fish finder is not for the novice.
- Sharp and clearer WVGA display
- A CHIRP dual beam and sonar is used for detecting the floor and the fish
- An advanced chart plotting system is used with the internal GPS
- Optional SD card slot to upload additional maps and to save waypoints
- Display works fine in the sun
- No additional GPS features
3. Garmin STRIKER 4cv with Transducer
- Easy-to-use 3.5-inch colour fishfinder with built-in, high-sensitivity GPS and Garmin CHIRP ClearVu scanning sonar
- Find fish; mark and return to hot spots, slipways and docks, Speed data displayed directly on screen
- Includes Garmin transducer with CHIRP (77/200 kHz) and CHIRP ClearVü (455/800 kHz) with 500 W powe,r Includes: built-in flasher
- Physical dimensions: 91.6 x 150.8 x 42.8 cm; Display size: 4.9 x 7.3 cm; 3.5'' diag, (8.7 cm); Display resolution: 480 x 320 pixels
- Weight: 230 g, Water rating: IPX7,Maximum depth: 1,750 ft freshwater, 830 ft saltwater, Transmit power: 300 W
Garmin, you’ve already heard the name of this brand. Another masterpiece with a colorful and compact 3.5-inch screen. With the help of a Garmin high-sensitivity GPS, Garmin’s Sonar and Garmin CHIRP ClearVu Scanning, it provides the best result. It also gives you the ability to mark your specific hotspots and fishing areas.
This super lightweight fish finder comes with a Garmin Transducer with CHIRP and CHIRP ClearVu. It has a built-in flasher. And most importantly, it is an IPX-7 water resistant fish finder.
In freshwater, this fish finder can register a maximum depth of 1,750 feet, and in saltwater, it can hit depths up to 830 feet.
- Lightweight, slim, compact and portable fish finder
- 3.5-inch colorful and bright screen
- It has CHIRP and CHIRP ClearVu and sonar technology
- IPX-7 water resistant
- Registers up to 1,750 ft. in freshwater and 830 feet in saltwater
- Marks spots, slipways, and docks
- Screen glares in the sun
- No “zoom on” option
4. Garmin Striker 7SV With Transducer
- Includes transducer for built-in Garmin CHIRP traditional sonar plus CHIRP ClearVü and CHIRP SideVü scanning sonars
- Built-in Quickdraw Contours mapping software lets you create and store maps with 1' contours for up to 2 million acres. Resolution : 800 x 480
- Built-in Wi-Fi for access to ActiveCaptain app so you can receive smart notifications, access Quickdraw Contours Community and transfer waypoints and software update notifications
- Built-in GPS lets you mark waypoints, create routes and view boat's speed
- Bright, sunlight-readable 7" display and intuitive user interface
Finding fish and showing out where they are hiding are the main purposes of a fish finder, fortunately, this is the best fish finder to do this job. This fish finder is advanced with its superior scanning sonar which gives the most complete images in real time. With the help of an easy user interface and helpful buttons, this device is perfect for novice users.
A simple button clicking will let you save your waypoints which are perfectly measured by a built-in Garmin GPS. Transferring map. information to other Garmin fish finder devices is now easier with Garmin Striker 7SV With Transducer. All day long fishing is now easier with the help of its own rechargeable battery pack.
One best feature is rest yet, you can see the “side-view” with sharper pictures of your boat.
- Built in CHIRP transducer
- Mounting hardware included
- Marking 2500 waypoints and 50 routes
- The complete picture of surroundings with ”Sideview” sonar package
- Huge variety of navigational features; i.e. current speed and waypoint ETA
- No touch screen display but buttons only
- Not auto brightness adjustment system
- External storage system is not included
- Detailed GPS navigation maps are absent
5. Humminbird HELIX 7 CHIRP DI GPS G2
- Exclusive multi-range chirp -- view low, mid and high chirp ranges, either individually or all at once
- 360 imaging - Humminbird has you surrounded. 360 imaging allows you to isolate your sweep, see 5 preset views or see all around you
- Side imaging sonar -- gain a 180 degree side to side perspective on the world below the surface
Dual imaging technology in a fish finder makes fishing easier and fortunately Humminbird Helix 7 CHIRP DI GPS G2 does it very well. CHIRP Down Imaging and Switchfire Sonar data will help you with the most complete image of the underwater environment to markdown your map structures and schools providing. It can store up to 2500 waypoints and 50 routes thus you can mark your favorite hotspots and you can also save them to an external microSD card.
Chart applications like Auto Chart, Auto Chart Pro, and Navionics software suites can be used with this device. With help of hardware and built-in software packages, this fish finder finds the fish out from almost any depth.
Helix 7 fish finder comes with a complete package including underwater sonar transducer and necessary mounting hardware. These specifications let Humminbird Helix 7 CHIRP DI GPS G2 Fishfinder listed on the best fish finder list.
- Large 7” 16-bit dual display for dual imaging
- Measures up to 600 feet of depth for standard sonar and CHIRP
- Wide spectrum array sonar package is used for complete and accurate sonar picture
- 2500 custom waypoints can be stored
- Up to 50 custom routes can be stored using integrated GPS
- Comes with all mounting hardware and standard transducer
- Navionics software is included
- CHIRP transducer, software suites and SD card sold separately
- Software packages are must for better map experiences
- Display is not so much sharp
- No “side-looking” sonar package is used (Included one is a dual beam)
6. Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+, 2.55″, Black
- Versatile, wireless, castable fish finder for avid anglers, with an emphasis on shore fishing.
- Find fish and hot-spots faster. See fish location, their size and suspended depth as well as underwater structure, vegetation, bottom contour and hardness. Know water depth and temperature.
- Built-in GPS enables you to create bathymetric maps from the shore. Enjoy free access to Lake book, Deeper's bathymetric management platform where you can save, review and analyze all of your maps on any device from the comfort of home.
- Casts up to 330ft and scans down to 260ft. It operates with dual beam sonar frequency, 55° wide beam (90kHz) and 15° narrow beam (290kHz).
- Generates its own Wi-Fi signal to sync with your smartphone, anytime, anywhere. Pairs with the free, easy-to-use Deeper App, updated monthly. Compatible with iOS and Android devices. Made in Europe. 24/7 customer support.
You’re living in the era of Wi-Fi technology, so why not your fish finder! Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+ is one of the best Wi-Fi fish finders. It uses Wi-Fi to connect to your smartphone or tablet. There is no limitation of the display as it depends on your phone or tablet’s display size.
This fish finder has GPS also which can help you to navigate you across your fishing area. You can explore your targeted areas and find some of the best places for fishing.
While you’re using Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+, you have no need to worry about the waters. It is suitable for both fresh and saltwater.
Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+ uses a dual frequency that allows you to fish in both deep and shallow water. You can also track the fish sitting on the shore or on a boat.
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- GPS module
- Mobile or tablet device connectivity
- Fresh and saltwater compatible
- Rechargeable battery
- Dual frequency
- Some people don’t like to use their smartphones for fishing
7. Lowrance HDS-9 Gen2 Touch Insight
Professional fishing requires some professional tools and Lowrance HDS-9 Gen2 Touch Insight is the best fish finder tool for them. A 9-Inch touch screen works in the most convenient situation. Its wider display can show two maps at a time and even it can create 3D models of the bottom of any lake or river in real time.
With the help of Navionics charting technology, you can have the best chart experience ever. Based on your location you can scan and create high quality and high definition 3D maps of the whole area in real time.
This time it might go beyond your thinking that this fish finder has four channel sonar. It means you can scan the bottom of the lake or river with the transducer which uses four separate channels.
- 9-inch extra-large touch screen display
- Ultra durable
- Easy to operate
- Highest standard GPS and Navionics technology
- Four-channel sonar for better views
- High definition color imaging
- Comes with adjustable mounting bracket
- Dual mapping
- Comparably expensive than other models
- Transducer cord might be short (depends on boats)
8. Humminbird HELIX 9 Fish Finder GPS Combo
- Display 9-INCH Color TFT
- 3 Programmable Buttons
- Dual Beam PLUS and Switch fire Sonar
- Upgradeable software
- Gimbal or Optional In-Dash Mount
A 9-inch display along with the intuitive control panel makes it the ultimate fish finder. Some people including the anglers like to work faster and this fish finder is perfect for them. Dual beam sonar detects the fish underneath a boat and also sweep to the sides.
Internal GPS System is rare until you upgrade your fish finder. But this is a top fish finder as it has the GPS Combo and thus it is easier to pinpoint your explored locations out on the vast water. It will also help you mark the hotspots so that you can have some bigger cast next time.
- 9-inch extra-large screen
- Easy to use control panel
- Built-in GPS
- A dual sweep sonar system
- Both side and down views
- Convenient gimbal or in-dash mount
- Easier views with backlit
- Simplest upgrade software
- 4000-watt power output
- The transducer isn’t 360-degree
- Extra downloads (maps) may required
9. Raymarine Dragonfly Pro CHIRP
- A leap into the future of sonar Dragonfly 7 Pro employs true wide Spectrum CHIRP Technology where sonar signals are transmitted into the water allowing Dragonfly to interpret more detail target more fish and image structure with unmatched clarity
- CHIRP DownVision will change your underwater view with incredibly clear photo like sonar images that surpass ordinary imaging sonars with superior deep water performance to 600ft (180M) and reliable high speed bottom tracking
- Dragonfly 7 Pro has GPS built in and comes with navioncs + by navionics for charts. Waterproofing Standard: IPX6 and IPX7
- Dragonfly 7 Pro features built in Wi-Fi so anglers can stream Dragonfly sonar data right to their smartphone or tablet with the Raymarine Wi-Fish mobile app
- Dragonfly is engineered with optical bonding LCD display Technology that are all weather and deliver Brighter colors sharper contrast and are guaranteed to never fog up
If you’re thinking of having an HD display on your fish finder display, the waiting time is over. Raymarine Dragonfly Pro CHIRP comes with a 4.3-inch LED backlight display to help you locate the fish in the bright sunlight. Moreover, it has wide viewing angles to have more around views.
Dual-channel sonar provides almost every detail around the area. With the help of a CHIRP DownVision sonar, this fish finder produces clear pictures. Another CHIRP sonar focuses in on fish, providing you the best information.
The Raymarine Wi-Fish mobile app can track the information that sent to your mobile from the sonar. It has the functionality to rewind, save, and share your catch with others. Moving the best fish finder is easier now with the help of removable mounting ball. You can store 3000 waypoints from your map and 15 tracks for next time.
- Brighter and clearer backlight LED screen
- Removable mount
- Instant power up
- Easier to read the readings
- Also compatible with a Smartphone
- Slightly polarized screen
10. Lowrance HDS-7 Gen3 Fish finder GPS Combo
- 7 inch screen size
- Touch/Key pad menu
- Built-in CHIRP sonar
- Built in wireless
- Built in Bluetooth
Another most heard name is Lowrance in the fish finder field. A 7-inch touchscreen display and some high-tech options made it the best fish finder. Lowrance HDS-7 Gen3 Fish finder GPS Combo is one of the most user-friendly fish finders.
The most interesting feature, huge pre-loaded maps and some of the best navionics are included in it. Built-in GPS with help of navionics will help you to create your own charts if you go traveling outside of that region.
The Lowrance HDS-7 Gen3 Fish finder GPS Combo is also weather resistant which will let you continue your fishing in any situation. The mounting bracket will let you use the device both on horizontal and vertical axis.
- 7-inch screen
- 3D transducer to scan
- Weather resistant
- HD display with full-color imaging
- Pre-installed maps and Navionics charts
- Rotating mounting bracket
- Downscan Overlay
- Trackback feature included
- A bit pricey
How to Choose the Right Fish Finder
Investing in the best fish finder can help you to have the best fishing experience ever. Before buying any fish finder you should check out the key-points given below so that your money will not be wasted.
- Understanding the frequency range is important while buying the best fish finder. Basically, there are three types of frequencies, including dual, single, and multiple frequencies. Usually, they come in 50, 83, 192, or 200 kHz.
- For shallow water, higher frequencies, such as 192 or 200, are recommended.
- For deep water, lower frequencies, such as 50 or 83, are perfect.
- Higher frequency shows more details on the screen and on the contrary lower frequency show fewer details.
- Watt is needed to know the response time of the fish finder. With the increasing of the watt, the response time decreases. Which means if you have more wattage you can see deeper with small response time.
- Fishing in shallow water requires less wattage
- The result comes with the combination of the frequency range and the wattage. Keep in mind this calculation: You can read up to 400 feet deep at 50 kHz with every 100 watts of power. You can read up to 100 feet at 240 kHz with 100 watts of power.
- Screen size is not the fact to detect the fish but higher resolution is also needed. Don’t buy a fish finder which has a too much blocky screen.
- Best and larger screen will demand more budget definitely. If you don’t go out for fishing regularly or periodically, you can continue with the smaller display.
- This age is colorful so don’t buy an old black and white one. Colorful displays show more detailed objects thus you can catch more. But you can also buy a black and white one if your budget is so limited or as a backup one.
- Easy readings, even on the sunlight, touch screen, zoom-in etc. are some lucrative advantages of a colored screen.
- A transducer, the most essential instrument in a fish finder which helps to find the fish. By emitting and receiving the sonar waves, it will let you find the fish and objects. All you see on the display is the received information through a transducer.
- There’s an option to upgrade the pre-installed transducer. To receive data faster, elaborate the reading area, and faster and better work you might need to change it.
The transducer material, water resistant, cone angles, and beams are the other features that you might consider before purchasing the best fish finder for you.
How to Use Your Fish Finder: Best Practices
Purchasing the best fish finder is the start of your fishing journey. Don’t get confused with what to do or how to use it properly. We’ve created a step-by-step guide to help you setting up the fish finder and ready to use it.
Check the Manual
Almost every device comes with a user manual, so don’t forget to read it. If you’re not a good terms and conditions reader, simply have a rough look of the manual. Any warning should be kept it mind.
Mounting the Fish Finder
Transom, trolling, hull, or portable are some types of mounts for the fish finders. Install it in the best place on your boat, so make your own decision to choose the perfect fish finder mount for your boat.
Setting up the Fish Finder
Turn your fish finder on and you will get it in automatic mode with the default settings. You can let it go in automatic mode at the very beginning.
Adjusting the Settings
As you will search for the fish at the beginning, you will need to understand the sensitivity of the fish finder. Adjusting the power will let you see more detailed views. On the other hand, lowering the power will show less details. Try changing the sensitivity of the fish finder and you will have a very good hand at it.
Using Auto Depth
You can use auto depth until you learn about the use of sonar. Auto depth tracks the bed of the lake and tracks from upper to bottom. But you can measure (manually) the depth from a specific level which will help you by providing the proper info of the fish.
Another most important thing is the depth cursor. It is a line that goes across the display of the fish finder. You can determine how far down the fish are, and it’ll help you to cast the bait or lure easily.
Blocking the background noise is the main purpose of suppressor setting. For some specific region you can adjust the suppressor yourself. Remember, don’t keep it on always as it can block your sonar.
How Does a Fish Finder Work?
Fish finders are the neediest and excellent fishing tool for the best fishing experience ever. Basically, there are two parts of a fish finder. One of them is the screen or display which is used to show the information of the fish. Another part is sonar which detects the depth of water as well as locates the fish.
The fish finder produces the sound wave and with the transducer the sound is sent through the water. The sound wave spreads from the water surface to the bottom in the form of a cone (known as beam). Whenever the wave get any objects within this cone or beam, it sends the signal back to the transducer.
The information that comes from through the transducer, is showed on the display. Don’t worry the information is easier to understand.
For a better experience of fishing, the fish finders are ideal. An angler has the opportunity to cast the bait or lure where the fish are staying. You can also know if there’s any big rock closed to your boat, which might save you from an accident.
How Much Should I Spend for a Fish Finder?
Budget is the main fact before buying any product. You should know that the fish finder you bought already is worthy or not of your budget. Depending on your fishing type, there are a bunch of factors to find the best fish finder that fits on your budget. Keep in mind, buying a pricey fish finder doesn’t mean that it’ll be suitable for you. Sometimes a $300 is worthy than a $1000 one for your fishing type.
Point to be considered before buying a fish finder:
- Where do you want to go fishing?
- What type of fish do you want to catch?
- What features do you need?
- Does it fit your budget?
Spend at least $300 but not more than $1000 for an ideal fish finder. If you need some top rated and extra featured fish finders, only then you can spend more than $1000.
Choose the best fish finder that meets your requirements and fits in your budget. If you need the more precise pick from the list above, we’ll recommend you to buy either the Humminbird Helix 7 or the Garmin Striker 7SV. If you’re on a money-saving mode, the Garmin Striker 4cv will be the best fish finder for you. Arrange your fishing backpacks with all of your best fishing gears and go out for fishing. Learn some fish finder tricks and tips before your fishing journey, that may help you to catch the fish faster.