A fish finder is a great device that does exactly what the name implies, it locates the fish in the water, so that you can have a better, more fulfilling fishing experience. However, for a niche market like fishing, the industry is flooded (no pun intended) with fish finders. There are so many on the market that it is hard to decide which would be best.
Fish finders range from less than $100 all the way up to $2000 so it is a good idea to set your budget first and shop at that price range.
Below are the best fish finders in each price range:
Less than $100
For this price range you can expect devices with basic function and small screens. They typically have black and white screens with no GPS function, which often results in them being hard to read.
Lowrance Hook 3X
Great starter fish finder with a 3” backlit LED screen with good resolution. Good depth checking for the price and helpful when mounted to a trolling monitor. However, the device gives inconsistent depth and temperature readings and tends to show things that are not there.
$100 to $300
This price range has a lot of choice with a large variety of functionality.
Garmin Striker 4 DV
This device had a high quality and sensitive GPS along with a great chirp feature. Its screen is easy to see and has a split screen feature so that you can see both your waypoint map and sonar at the same time. However, the screen is quite small and the device does not give you longitude and latitude readings.
Garmin EchoMap 43DV
This device allows you to easily transfer routes and waypoints. It has simple installation with a great GPS and great sounder. On the other hand, it is not battery operated and is difficult to navigate.
Deeper Smart Portable Fish Finder
This fish finder is a great investment for those getting serious about fishing. It is great for ice and open lake fishing and easily connects to your mobile device by Bluetooth. However, the device has issues staying connected and works best when you close all other apps. Lastly, you need a technician to assist you when it’s time for the battery to be changed.
This fish finder is meant to be permanently mounted onto your boat. It has a large screen and is easy to install. It connects very well with iPhones and is very versatile with great sonar charting features. However, it has a low-resolution screen and battery power is not great because the device draws a lot of data.
$300 to $600
The devices in this price range are considered premium and typically include larger color screens, GPS, decent maps and good sonar.
Lowrance Hook 5
This device is easy to use with a five-inch screen and high resolution. It has great depth reading and sonar giving you a clearer view of the bottom with high quality image detail. However, it is hard to hook up and the screen changes on its own sometimes.
Raymarine Dragonfly 5 Pro
This is a 5” all weather device with GPS navigation. It has awesome Wi-Fi and can connect to multiple devices at once to provide crystal clear imaging. However, the device is incapable of plotting a trip or providing trip/track information like distance, max speed and time.
Garmin EchoMap 55DV
This high-performance device gives loud, clear warnings when your boat is headed toward a rock or other obstacle. It is easy to install and is straightforward to operate. The manual that comes with the device isn’t easy to follow.
$600 and Above
This price range contains professional level devices with larger screens and expandability.
Lowrance Elite-7 TI
This fish finder provides a wide variety of useful features at a great price. It has an all-in-one transducer for total scanning and great built in Wi-Fi. However, it does not allow you to edit Navionics maps and the chirp does not work with the side scan
Humminbird Helix-10 DI
This device is quite sophisticated with new modern screens and the AutoChart Live feature that allows you to create your own maps. It also comes with a metal bracket that allows you to mount it. However, the controls do not work very well, the quick keys lose their settings after the device is turned off and the navigation is hard to use.