Best Fish Finder Reviews In 2017- Buying Guide

From our childhood we love FISHING! Whether it is the toy or the Android one, we all probably played the fishing game. Nostalgic? Yes, that is fun, that is something attached to nature.

Each year, thousands of individuals take part in fishing from all over the world. Some of them do it just for fun and refreshment while others take part in sports where their skills and experience are tested in. When fantastic tools like fish finders came onto the market, you can imagine what a breakthrough this was for most of these experts. All this the best fishing gear will be determined by what you’re going to be taking part in.

Best Fish Finder

It all depends on with your taste and preferences when selecting fish finder, in activities, it will be used. Below, I have compiled a list of some of the best fish finder according to my experience and real users view.

1

Deeper Smart Sonar PRO Fish Finder

Deeper Smart Sonar PRO fish finder

 Editor Rating:

Fish can swim in water, but it’s impossible for them to hide from the deeper smart portable fish finder. It is the first wireless portable sonar device which designed for amateurs and professionals alike.

Deeper helps to find out the location of the fish, its depth, the water temperature, bottom contour structure, vegetation and any other data points which you need. It works both on IOS and Android Smartphone or tablet, and it is suitable for oceans, rivers or lakes. Saltwater or fresh, deeper is extremely versatile and can be used in many areas where regular fish finders can't be used from banks and shorelines to kayaks and boats and even for ice fishing.

Deeper Smart portable fish finder is 2.55 inches ball of tech at a feather light 3.5oz. Combined with a wireless Wi-Fi connection, which sends a sonar reading to the phone or tablet from up to 330 feet/ 100m away, so a cellular connection or internet data is not required. Depth range is from 2 feet- 260 feet (80 meters) which work in both saltwater and freshwater even when wading in the stream at temperatures down to -17.8 degrees Celsius or 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

The lithium polymer battery is fully rechargeable in two hours using a micro USB power adapter and lasts for 6 hours under continuous use. Deeper also has features of dual beam sonar 15/55 degree which gives excellent detailed wide coverage.

Features

  • Multi-device compatibility.
  • The display is your phone or tablet, which has excellent color, clarity, and definition and you're already carrying it around
  • The unique stable design of deeper allows you to view places that other fish finders can't get.
  • The Deeper app allows you to view and control a fish activity calendar, maps, diary, sharing functions and weather.
  • Whether the water is cloudy or muddy, the sonar sensitivity is adjustable.

Potential concerns

  • Some users complain about poor connection problems. To fix this issue, I recommend switch off your Mobile Data.
  • Low depth penetration (Max of 260 ft)
2

Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4 Built-in GPS Fish Finder

Garmin Fish finder

 Editor Rating:

Garmin Striker 4 fish finder with GPS is one of the best fish finders for your money which is under $200. The most compact affordable chirp sonar unit in the Garmin line, but I like about it is that unlike other low-cost units the striker for has a nice three and a half inch color screen which gives you a sporty look. The accuracy and clarity of turf sonar and a built-in GPS allows you to mark your favorite hot spots and find your way home.

Garmin's tagline is the power of simple, and we think that the striker for epitomizes that in the best ways possible. What’s not always obvious is just how much experience and sophisticated engineering it takes to make things simple.

For example, Garmin’s familiar rocker pad and a minimum of simple clear mark button make getting around the functions of the striker for easy and very spontaneous. You may love the touch screen on your phone but imagine using it with your fingers covered in fish line on a bouncing boat and having a few dedicated buttons suddenly makes a whole lot of sense. When we select the home screen, and then you is pretty self-explanatory so you can find your way around almost instinctively.

The good thing is whether you're a novice or an expert with absolutely no marine electronics experience, you’ll be able to comfortably find your way around within five or ten minutes that ease of navigating the device. But let's look at what it can do to help you find fish because that's most likely the reason you wanted in the first place.

Garmin Striker 4 Fish Finder is perfect for kayak or ice fishing which is available in a portable kit, and it's protected and carries your STRIKER fish finder with GPS. If you are looking for an affordable fish finder with GPS and want to more navigation features then Garmin striker 4 is the best fish finder which you should include in your list.

Features

  • Simple & Conventional keypad controls
  • Simple menu
  • Dual beam 77/200 kHz chirp transducer
  • Mark location with GPS
  • Speed & heading info
  • Flasher screen which is popular for vertical jigging and ice fishing

Potential concerns

  • The back-light may have a short lifespan. Check the warranty on the product if your back-light fails.

3

Humminbird Piranha MAX197c Down Imaging Sonar

Humminbird fish finder

 Editor Rating:

The Humminbird Piranha MAX197c DI sonar fish finder features easy programs that deliver optimum performance. The Dual-Beam Transducer came out great as it receives raves from people who have purchased and used the product.

Several online reviews prove why it’s an excellent catch to people who love strolling on a lake or shore for fishing. A lot of reviewers commented on its advanced features that come very portable and handy. A user commended, this one is a must-have if one plans on long day fishing, and it comes with a battery that amazingly lasts for a long period.

All you need is one touch to get easy access all the advanced features of the Piranha MAX Series fish finders. This fish finder offers simplicity and performance as it is equipped 3.5-inch color display with a high resolution, giving a good view of the action even in direct sunlight. So simple to locate fish for its features include the Dual Beam Sonar, Fish ID+ and Fish and Depth Alarms which the PiranhaMAX automatically determines depth and makes adjustments to keep the bottom and fish visible on display, one could surely locate fish even in an unfamiliar location!!

  Features

  • Portable fish finder with 256 color 320VX 240H, 3.5 inch display
  • Dual-beam sonar with 200/455 kHz beams and 1600 watts PTP power output.
  • Tilt and Swivel mounts technology.
  • It has 320 ft Down Imaging and 600 ft depth capability.
  • Programmable fish and depth alarms that working conjunction with fish ID+
  • Suction-mount transducer and rechargeable battery are included in portable version.
  • PiranhaMAX197c Di, Mounting Bracket, Suction-Cup Transducer, Battery/Charger, Cable, User's Manual come in the package. 

Potential concerns

  • Few users pointed out its non-supportive Custom View Selection as a con.
  •  It is not featured with Temperature Graph.
  • Wide/Narrow Cone Split Screen is not supported in this device.

4

Raymarine Dragonfly-4DV Sonar Fish Finder

Raymarine fish finder

 Editor Rating:

The Raymarine Dragonfly is a newer fish finder, and there's one of the coolest fishfinders on the market right now. So let's just dive right into it. Let's talk first about the screen size which is unique about it. It got a 4.3-inch screen with optical bonding LCD technology once only available on high-end marine displays which are on the generous site. It's a color screen with a pretty good resolution of 480 x 272 and from what I've heard and seen the colors that they're excellent, and they pop out at you so that it's something cool about the Dragonfly. Each Dragonfly is engineered with all-weather optically bonded displays that deliver brighter colors, sharper contrast, and are guaranteed never to fog up by the producer.

The awesome thing though about the Dragonfly is the CHIRP sonar. Now chirp sonar is a new technology, and you usually set you back at least a few thousand dollars. And you know if you have these giant transducers that hook up to these giant 12-inch screens but Raymarine has done cool that they bought chirps down to an affordable level for everyone which you know for under $300. The unique thing about the sonar in the dragonflies, it's got the two beam sonar using 3D and the traditional. Your underwater experience will be changed byCHIRP sonar with incredibly clear, photo-like sonar images. Dragonfly’s CHIRP Down Vision sonar beats ordinary imaging sonar’s with reliable high-speed bottom tracking and superior deep water performance to 600ft (180m). So you can just actually make out the schools of fish, you can see the body of the fish, and you can make out the tail fins as well. Aren’t those pretty cool??

  Features

  • All weather optically bonded LED backlit display—brighter color, Sharper contrast & No Fogging!!
  • Employs true wide-spectrum CHIRP Down Vision sonar technology
  • There is a temperature sensor built into the transducer. You don’t need that separately in with GPS.

Potential concerns

  • Lower display resolution compared to the price range of its kind.
  • Professionals may not like the auto adjustment feature of Dragonfly.

5

Humminbird 409640-1 HELIX 5 SI Fish Finder with Side-Imaging and GPS

Humminbird Fish Finder

 Editor Rating:

Humminbird HELIX 5 SI with GPS combo features an excellent 5” color display that allows you a vivid underwater experience. It is a compact gadget with powerful and professional grade features. The fish finder includes split screen zoom, 3D chart view, screen snapshot along with wide/narrow cone split screen.

The internal precision GPS, built into the head unit will give more options and get you there and back. The switch fire technology allows you to complete command of sonar return appear with the clear and Max modes. HELIX 5 also engineered with selective Fish ID+, real-time sonar with instant image update.

  Features

  • Brilliant 800H x 480V, 5 inches 256 color display with LED backlight.
  • Features Side Imaging sonar with 180° side to side view and Down Imaging Sonar that give you fish eye's view of what's happening below your boat.
  • Dual Beam Plus sonar with 200/83/455 kHz
  • Transom Mount Transducer including temperature and GPS speed
  • Power Output: 4000 Watts Peak to Peak and 500 Watts RMS

Potential concerns

  • The preloaded mapping software is not that much great. It’s just a very basic mapping of geography.
  • If you mount on the front of the bow, you may find the cable short for the transducer.

6

Lowrance HDS-7 GEN3 Fish Finder

Lowrance Fish Finder

 Editor Rating:

Lowrance HDS-7 Gen3 came with a revolution in the marine electronics industry. With its game-changing 7-inch touchscreen display and built-in CHRIP sonar, it goes well beyond finding. This 3rd gen fish finder delivers multiple CHIRP and Broadband Sounder frequencies from just a single transducer.

Its Broadband Sounder helps to display and mark game fish, baitfish, and structure at higher speeds and greater depths from 1 to over 3,000* feet. You can also have picture-like 180-degree views of structure and fish below your boat with its built-in sonar imaging. You can review and save key hotspots and fish targets with a waypoint by this fish finder.

It also includes a single Ethernet networking port, video input via an optional adapter cable. It also allows downloading and using Insight maps immediately, and other third-party maps directly from the home screen. Also, it enables Insight Genesis users the ability to upload sonar logs, and download up-to-date, personalized contour maps and contribute to the community-based Social Map directly from your device.

  Features

  • With 7-inch LED-backlit widescreen display
  • Improved interface with touch screen or keypad option provides lightning-fast, fingertip access.
  • A faster processor including scrolling menus, cursor assist, snap-to setting markers and innovative preview panes with quick-touch slider bars.
  • 10Hz Internal GPS Antenna
  • Built-in Insight USA charts for Coastal and Inland
  • Dual micro SD card slots

Potential concerns

  • This product is above average difficulty of use.

7

Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+ Fish Finder

Deeper PRO+ Fish Finder

 Editor Rating:

Deeper sonar PRO+ is not only the best of its series but also the ultimate in smart sonar fishing. It comes with the integrated GPS that turn your Deeper into an incredible mapping device and that sets the PRO+ apart. The Wi-Fi connection used by this fish finder enables great range and huge data transformation to your Smartphone or tablet from up to 300 ft away. It is to note that you don’t need any Internet connection in your fishing spot! The real time bathymetric maps allow you to pinpoint accurate features in such way that was previously available only on the consoles of expensive fishing boats.

This little ball of tech is ideal for the most demanding anglers, and the most extreme conditions for its GPS-enabled 80m/260 feet depth scanning range and map-making features.

The Deeper PRO+ is compatible with bothiOS and Android smartphonesor tablets and it operates in both online and offline modes That’s Amazing!In addition to the above it also affords users with handy Features like Fishing Notes, Camera, Weather Forecast, offline Maps, Solunar Forecast Calendar, Day/Night Screen Color Mode, and others. To constantly improve your fishing efficiency, the Deeper App is regularly updated with new or renewed features.

  Features

  • 2.5-inch compact smart sonar weighting 3.5 oz
  • GPS-enabled castable Sonar
  • Real-time bathymetric mapping
  • Wireless Wi-Fi connection with the range of 300 ft
  • Dual Beam sonar with the frequency of 290 kHz (15°) / 90 kHz (55°)
  • Enables more accurate detection of underwater objects with 8x extended dynamic range
  • 3.7v Li-poly rechargeable battery (Takes 2 hours to fully charged)

Potential concerns

  • The phone losses data connectivity while it is connected with Deeper.

How to Choose the Best Fish Finder

There are many individuals out there who are exceptionally enthusiastic about angling, and keeping in mind that some of them will favor angling the way it was done in the good ‘old days, there are numerous who might want to exploit the best and most current advances for doing as such. But how can we define what a fish finder is?

A fish finder is an advanced piece of technology that uses sonar to locate fish underwater so that fishers can catch them more quickly. In this fish finder screens display where you can see the fish in your boat which is sitting on top of them. This type of fishing is the latest breakthrough in the sport, and it’s what all the professionals are using to have a competitive advantage.

So, it would definitely important to consider the best fish finder and go fishing. But there are lots of models out there in the market and most of you probably get confused to pick the best one.Well, in the article below, I tried the best to point out the essential aspects that you should keep in mind and it will surely guide youwhile choosing a fish finder for you.

Frequency

Sonar Frequency

If you are doing most of your fishing in bodies of water that are deep, then you’ll need a low-frequency fish finder. So, if the body of water you’ll be fishing in is shallow, you should pick a fish finder with a high frequency.

Single or Dual Frequency??If you are confused between single and dual frequency models than have a look at this. A single frequency model transmits signals at a frequency of two hundred KHz, which offers a quite narrow view. While a dual frequency model manages to transmit signal at fifty KHz and two hundred KHz, which means it’ll give you the best possible view underneath your boat, regardless if you are on deep or shallow water.

Transducer

Transducer

Transducers are used in fish finders to send out waves to find the fish. The waves start at narrow but then widen as they go further away from the boat. The sonar signal that the transducer sends in the water bounces off where the objects are underwater, and it’s picked up by the transducer. The signal is then translated into a picture.

Without a transducer it is difficult to work with a fish finder properly. That is why you should ask to get a clear answer whether a fish finder will feature a transducer or not. While checking the transducer, the most important feature is the cone angle. A bigger degree on the cone will give the larger perspective of the borders underneath. The wider beam provides more coverage of the underwater. It also allows locating more fish within it.

But the wider cone angle cannot penetrate the water as deep as the narrow one does for its quick loss of strength. The narrow one can go deep even in shallow waters. It can also give proper data on the composition of the bottom. But to get the most of the both, there’s the dual beam type of transducer that you can choose from. A dual beam transducer combines both features in one unit and can check out a bigger space in comparison with just a single beam. There are also some more options like multiple beams (can be 4 or more) and side beam transducers. You’ll want a dual beam if you’ll be fishing in large bodies of water. The transducers also vary in types, and you can go with any of them.

Transom Mount Transducer

This kind of transducers is installed on the transom of the boat which is directly in the water and usually sticking slightly below the hull. Transom mount transducer is less expensive than others, and the most common & useful in the case of small sized boats. Due to aerated water from the propeller reduces performance, this type is not recommended for large or twin-screw inboard boats. It is not recommended for high-speed operation too.

In-Hull Transducers

In-hull also known as Shoot-through transducers are not the very common type as it can only be used in the fiberglass hull. It is attached to the inside of the hull directly. Although it performs excellent in high-speed operation, you won’t be able to read as deep as the one that’s transom mounted or thru-hull mounted.

Through-Hull Transducers

Thru-Hull Transducers provide the best performance while these are mounted through a hole drilled in the bottom of the boat. You may require installing it with a fairing to ensure proper alignment and a secure fit. If you have a comparatively larger boat, then it may be a good choice.

Consider the location

It’s very important to think about what type of body you’ll try to be using in your fish finder. If you know the answers about the location then you will be able to pick a fish finder based on power, transmission, and other characteristics. As an example, when you are just going away for fishing in small bodies of water then you will simply need a small device. If you are fishing on large lakes, then you’ll need something with a bit more power in it to handle the job. Make sure that you buy a fish finder that has at least 5-600 watts of power.

Display

This is one of the main components to look at. If you are not happy with your display, your fish finder is not worth buying. You should check the size, resolution, and color of the display while buying your fish finder.

Size

From our mobile to TV we area great fan of SIZE!! As with many other devices, the larger the screen, the better the view is. But you also keep the budget in your mind while going for a larger screen. Bigger screens offer you more detail in general, and you’ll also be able to read the information with much ease. The larger screen size will come in handy when you choose a GPS and Fish finder combination. Because most of the times the Fish finder and GPS will share the screen.

Resolution

Whatever your display size is, if your display resolution is not good enough you can’t be able to view a clear picture. Display resolutions are mostly expressed in horizontal and vertical pixel count. The more pixels a display has, clearer the images it will be able to show. Yes, it’s all about Pixels!! Keeping that in mind, it is recommended that you’ll go for a screen that has a high resolution, and it’s worth investing!

Color or Mono

We people love to live in colors. Color screens are the standard in electronics. If you are thinking to have a budget unit, the black and white screens will suit just fine. But if you are happy to spend a bit more money then you will love the benefits of color screens. It would be much easier to fish and simpler to see what’s going on. The information on the display is very simple to interpret in a color display. But don’t worry; still, the Mono will get the job done if you cannot afford the color one.

Sonar Power

Fish finder itself a sonar device that locates fish underwater. Thus, the power of the sonar is very important. When you are going to fish in deep water, you need to gear with powerful sonar. The more power the sonar has, the stronger the return signal will be. There are two ways to display sonar power on a fish finder, and they are peak to peak and RMS. Peak to peak is eight times of RMS.

Price

Before you select a fish finder, you should consider what you want as far as specifications. Though you shouldn’t ignore the price Tag, it’s never been a good idea to pick something based on price alone. If you want to buy the most advanced and top-of-the –line featured fish finder then it will cost more than any entry-level model. If you would rather buy something that only requires one of the best basic fish finders, there’s no need to empty your wallet. No matter what kind of fish finder you pick up, always compare prices. Check the hardware and warranty also while comparing.

Conclusion

With that being said, these are the most important aspects you should consider if you are looking for a top fish finder. If you consider these guidelines, you should be able to pick out the right fish finder for you. When you go to the store with this list, then you can pick out a fish finder which fits your every need. Before buying your desired model, be sure also to read the Best Fish Finder Reviews.