What is the Best Fish Finder for the Money?

Best Fish Finder GPS Combo Review

Choosing your next fishfinder can be a complicated task, especially for the novice angler. There is not really a “best fish finder“, and there probably never will be. However, there are many new models manufactured every year, and each one has it’s own unique best uses. The main purpose of this fish finder review is to help you the angler find the best fish finder for the money. CoastalXP will help you learn about the different types of sonar and common features found in today’s top fishing electronic devices, helping you maximize your time on the water catching more and bigger fish.

Portable Fishfinders

We consider special types of fish finders as any electronic sonar unit that is not permanently fixed to a water craft. In many coastal locations saltwater kayak fishing has become extremely popular, and there are many different types of sonar units being released that are customized for kayak anglers. The same thing applies for inshore fishermen, and those units function very much like a traditional fish finder only better. Here are our choices for many of these popular electronics segments.Saltwater kayak fishing has exploded in popularity along the inshore coasts. If you are looking to try kayak fishing, now is the perfect time. There have never been so many kayak fish finder options to put on a yak. There are many very good 5″ and 7″ models that have great screens as well as easy on your wallet. Check out our Top 3 recommended “Kayak Fish Finders” below.

Garmin Striker 5dv

The all-new, rugged STRIKER fish finder series with high-sensitivity GPS is designed to allow you to mark your favorite fishing spot and easily navigate back to it tomorrow, saving you time and money. All of the STRIKER series fish finders offer CHIRP traditional sonar, which shows crisp fish arches with excellent target separation. STRIKER dv series adds CHIRP DownVü scanning sonar to provide clear images of structure below the boat.

Garmin-Striker-5dv-fishfinder
STRIKER 7sv adds CHIRP DownVü and CHIRP SideVü scanning sonars to find structure to each side of the boat. Use the split screen view to show the waypoint map and various sonar options or create customized sonar views simultaneously. STRIKER series devices are available in 3.5-, 5- and 7-inch display sizes.
  • Rugged Design – New rugged, outdoor look complements your lifestyle. Able to withstand the harsh marine environment with excellent performance.
  • High Sensitivity – The built-in GPS receiver allows you to mark your favorite fishing spot and get back to it tomorrow. This also allows the device to display GPS speed so you know how fast you are trolling.
  • Waypoint Map – Use the waypoint map to easily view, mark and navigate to locations such as brush piles, stumps and docks.
  • CHIRP Sonar – sends a continuous sweep of frequencies ranging from low to high which provide a wider range of information. CHIRP sonar is able to create crisper fish arches with greater target separation.
  • Screen: 5″ (800×480)
  • Sonar: 77/200 kHz
  • Down Imaging: 455/800 kHz
Garmin STRIKER 5cv with transducer
Helix 5 DI GPS

Precision Internal GPS Chartplotting with built-in UniMap cartography with a micro SD card slot for optional maps or saving waypoints along with a gimbal mounting system. Maximize your angling experience with the Humminbird HELIX 5 DI GPS fishfinder GPS system.

Helix-5-DI-GPS-fishfinder
The Humminbird 409620-1 HELIX 5 DI/GPS Combo w/ Temperature features a brilliant 800H x 480V, 5″ 256 color display with backlight. Down Imaging and Dual Beam Plus sonar with 4000 watts PTP power output.
  • Precision Internal GPS Chartplotting with built-in UniMap cartography
  • Maximize your angling experience with the Humminbird HELIX 5 DI GPS fishfinder GPS system
  • Micro SD card slot for optional maps or saving waypoints along with a gimbal mounting system
  • Screen: 5″ (800×480)
  • Sonar: 200/455kHz
  • Down Imaging: 455/800kHz
  • MicroSD Slot: YES

Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP Di GPS G2

 

Lowrance Hook 5

High-resolution, 5 inch color display; CHIRP sonar plus downs can imaging the power of today’s leading Fish finder technologies combined to provide the best possible view beneath boat; highly accurate, built-in GPS antenna plus detailed U.S. Map featuring more than 3,000 lakes, rivers & coastal contours to 1,000ft; optional Americas Chart upgrades include lake insight & nautic insight Pro & HD, Navionics hotmaps premium & fishing hotspots Pro; global Chart upgrade options include Navionics+ & Jeppesen C-MAP max-n; insight genesis custom maps created from sonar logs; downs can overlay technology downs can Imaging onto CHIRP sonar; advanced signal processing (ASP) reduces need to manually adjust settings to see fish, structure & bottom detail more clearly; track back to review recorded sonar history including structure, transitions or fish targets, then pinpoint locations

Lowrance-Hook-5-fishfinder
Comes with a transducer: 83/200/455/800 HDI Transom Mount Transducer, MicroSD Slot: YES
  • Screen: 5″ (480×480)
  • Sonar: 83/200kHz
  • Down Img: 455/800kHz
  • MicroSD Slot: YES

Lowrance HOOK-5 Fishfinder/Chartplotter Combo w/No Transducer

 

 

 

 

Top 3 Down Imaging Units

Lowrance Hook 7

Lowrance exclusive, brilliant, high-resolution, 7 inch , color display; CHIRP sonar plus downs can Imaging combined to provide the best possible view beneath the boat ; highly accurate, built-in GPS antenna plus a detailed U.S. Map featuring more than 3,000 lakes & rivers & coastal contours to 1,000ft ; optional Americas Chart upgrades include lake insight & nautic insight Pro & HD, Navionics hotmaps premium & fishing hotspots Pro; global Chart upgrade options include Navionics + & jeppesen C-MAP max-n ; insight genesis custom maps created from personal sonar logs; downs can overlay technology overlays downs can Imaging onto CHIRP sonar.

Lowrance-Hook-7-fishfinder
Advanced signal processing (ASP) reduces the need to manually adjust settings to see fish, structure & bottom detail more clearly ; track back to review recorded sonar history including structure, transitions or fish targets, then pinpoint locations
  • Lowrance-exclusive, brilliant, high-resolution, 7 inch , color display
  • CHIRP sonar plus downscan imaging combined to provide the best possible view beneath the boat
  • Highly accurate, built-in GPS antenna plus a detailed U.S. Map featuring more than 3,000 lakes & rivers & coastal contours to 1,000ft
  • Screen: 7″ (800×480)
  • Sonar: 83/200kHz
  • Down Img: 455/800kHz
  • CHIRP: YES
  • MicroSD Slot: YES

Lowrance Hook-7 Sonar/GPS Mid/High/Downscan Navionics+ Fishfinder

 

Garmin Striker 7dv

Finding fish is easier than ever with STRIKER 7dv fishfinder. Mark and return to your hot spots, boat ramps and docks. You also can share your favorite waypoints and routes with other STRIKER and eco MAP combos. It has a built-in flasher and displays speed data. Includes tilt/swivel mount plus transom and trolling motor mounting hardware and cable. For high-performance CHIRP, purchase a GT22 or GT23 transducer (each sold separately).

Garmin-Striker-7dv-fishfinder
CHIRP SONAR sends a continuous sweep of frequencies ranging from low to high which provides a wider range of information. CHIRP sonar is able to create crisper fish arches with greater target separation. View your sonar data in the classic flasher format; ideal for vertical jigging.
  • Easy-to-use 7-inch color fishfinder with built-in, high-sensitivity GPS and Garmin CHIRP DownVü™ scanning sonar
  • Find fish; mark and return to hot spots, docks and ramps
  • Includes Garmin GT20 transducer with CHIRP (77/200 kHz); transmit power (300 W RMS)/(2,400 peak-to-peak) with 455/800 kHz CHIRP DownVü (300 W power)
  • Upgrade to high-performance CHIRP with a GT22 or GT23 transducer (each sold separately)
  • Share waypoints and routes with other STRIKER or echoMAP™ chart plotter combos
  • Screen: 7″ (800×480)
  • Sonar: 77/200 kHz
  • Down Img: 455/800 kHz
  • CHIRP: YES

Garmin Striker 7Cv with transducer

Helix 7 DI GPS

One look at the HELIX 7 Series and there’s no mistaking its Humminbird Fishing DNA. Packed to the gills with technology, the HELIX 7 is easy to use, dependable under any circumstances and unbelievably clear, bright and fast-not to mention built right here in the United States. Experience jaw-dropping 480×800 resolution and 1500 nit brightness, delivering a clear and precise picture of fish and fish-holding structure. The ultra-wide 16:9 ratio gives you ample room to view two screens side-by-side, making fishing and navigating easier. The built-in quick-release gimbal mount makes angle adjustments and removal easy – No matter your target – No matter what conditions – Fish on!

Helix-7-DI-GPS-fishfinder
It does have a micro sd card slot and has the built in Uni-map. Its a basic map with no contour lines so get the Lakemaster map card for your area and you will be set!
  • The built-in quick-release gimbal mount makes angle adjustments and removal easy
  • The ultra-wide 16:9 ratio gives you ample room to view two screens side-by-side, making fishing and navigating easier
  • Screen: 7″ (800×480)
  • Sonar: 200/455kHz
  • Down Img: 455/800kHz
  • CHIRP: No
  • Micro SD Slot: Yes

Best Selling Products from Humminbird

Top 3 Side Imaging Sonar Units

Humminbird Helix 7 SI GPS

Put every available weapon at your disposal. Make the Hummingbird HELIX 7 SI GPS your underwater eyes and navigation guide, and you’ll always have a clear and complete picture of what’s going on. Unbelievably clear, in fact. This is true widescreen, Side Imaging and Down Imaging sonar/GPS at its brightest and crispest, with high-def 480 x 800 pixel resolution supported by Humminbird’s advanced Glass-Bonded Display. No matter how high or low the sun, you can see the screen clearly, brightly, without glare, from any angle. And the 16:9 ratio display offers the optimum aspect for viewing sonar and cartography simultaneously and getting all the detail you need. The HELIX’s processor has been beefed up too, with double the RAM for lightning-quick waypoint management and screen refreshes. With 500 watts RMS/4000 watts peak-to-peak power, the Humminbird HELIX 7 SI GPS has the punch to deliver crystal-clear SwitchFire Sonar images, provide Side Imaging and Down Imaging scans loaded with incredible detail, manage up to 2500 waypoints/45 routes, and support LakeMaster, AutoChart, AutoChart Pro, and Navionics Gold/HotMaps mapping programs via its single Micro SD card slot. Includes internal precision GPS and built-in Contour XD map. Side Imaging range: 100′. Depth capability: 600′; 1500′ with XD transducer (not included).

Helix-7-SI-GPS-fishfinder
The transducer is included and has the part No. XNT-9-SI-180-T
  • Screen: 7″ (800×480)
  • Sonar: 200/455kHz
  • Down Imaging: 455kHz
  • Side Img: 455kHz
  • MicroSD Slot: YES
    • 16:9 widescreen Glass-Bonded Display
    • Ultra-bright, glare-free, at any-angle viewing

Best Humminbird Fish Finder

 

Garmin Striker 7sv

Finding fish is easier than ever with STRIKER 7sv best fishfinder. Mark and return to your hot spots, boat ramps and docks. You also can share your favorite waypoints and routes with other STRIKER and echoMAP combos. Smooth Scaling graphics provide uninterrupted imagery when switching between depth-range scales. Sonar history rewind allows you to scroll back through sonar images to mark waypoints you originally may have missed. Plus, it has a built-in flasher and displays speed data. Includes tilt/swivel mount plus transom and trolling motor mounting hardware and cable.

Garmin-Striker-7sv-fishfinder
Comes with the Garmin GT52HW-TM DownV/SideV Chirp Transducer
  • Screen: 7″ (800×480)
  • Sonar: 77/200 kHz
  • Down Img: 455/800 kHz
  • Side Img: 455/800 kHz
  • CHIRP: YES
  • MicroSD Slot: NO

Garmin Striker 7SV with transducer

 

Lowrance Elite-7 Ti TotalScan

High-resolution 7 inch LED back light color display; easy-to-use touchscreen ; CHIRP sonar ; structure scan; downs can Imaging ; track back features allows users to scroll back through sonar history to review structure or fish targets & mark the location with a way point ; internal GPS antenna; optional Americas Chart upgrades include lake insight and nautic insight Pro & HD, Navionics hotmaps; premium and fishing hot spots Pro global Chart upgrade options include Navionics + jeppesen C-MAP; built-in wireless (WiFi) connectivity; provides access to the go free cloud ; Micro SD card Slot; quick release bracket.

Lowarance-Elite-7-Ti-TotalScan-fishfinder
YES it comes with a cover. YES it’s multi-touch screen (like a smartphone) YES it takes a micro SD card
  • Screen: 7″ (800×480)
  • Sonar: 83/200kHz
  • Down Img: 455/800kHz
  • Side Img:
  • CHIRP: YES
  • MicroSD Slot: YES

Lowrance ELITE-7 TI Med/High Totalscan Fishfinder

 

 

360 Imaging Sonar

As good as they have become, down and side imaging sonar have some drawbacks. Firstly, you must be moving forward to get a clear image. Idle speed is better, but you can also slow the scroll speed to show a decent picture while fishing a trolling motor. The second main drawback, you can only see bottom structure that you have already passed. Great for seeing the structure, just before the structure you hit.

Humminbird created an innovative new technology to solve this problem, 360 sonar Imaging. 360 Imaging uses a rotating transducer to sweep 360 degrees around you and your boat. Thus allowing you to see in front, behind, and the sides without moving. The 360 imaging transducer refreshes the screen even when stationary, allowing you to see targets in any direction. Displaying casting targets such as brush, stumps, and trees.

The 360 Imaging transducers are some what expensive, but we truly for serious anglers, well worth it. Most of Humminbird’s higher priced sonar units are capable of 360 Imaging data, so long as you have the most recent software updates.

Best CHIRP Fishfinder

CHIRP sonar is one of the latest sonar technologies to come to affordable fish finders. Lowrance and Garmin have helped push this type of sonar to the fish finder market, and now most recently Humminbird and others are beginning to follow suit. You are probably wondering what exactly CHIRP is; here is a short prime.

Where as regular sonar employs a fixed frequency, such as 83 kHz or 200 kHz, CHIRP transducers transmit longer sweeps across a range of frequencies. CHIRP transducers are essentially pushing more acoustic sound energy into the water than traditional transducers, thereby making it easier to display submerged objects with better target separation, and at greater depth.

CHIRP is normally used in coastalxp saltwater fishing areas, where the need for greater depth capabilities is present.

Our Best CHIRP Sonar Fish Finder for the Money
EchoMap CHIRP 73dv

sheepshead-fish

Echo MAP 73dv includes a 7-inch high-contrast color display with automatic backlight adjustment. Fast, responsive 5 Hz GPS/GLONASS refreshes your position and heading 5 times each second to make your movement on the screen more fluid. echo MAP comes with 1 transducer for 77/200 kHz HD-ID sonar and Garmin DownVü, the clearest scanning sonar on the water. It also supports Minn Kota and Motor Guide trolling motors with integrated transducers. The combo’s cords plug directly into the mount, allowing you to quickly install and remove your device from power and the mount.

Garmin-EchoMap-73dv-CHIRP-fishfinder
Echo MAP dv series come with built-in 500 W (RMS) traditional HD-ID sonar and DownVü scanning sonar capabilities. Transom and trolling motor mount included.
  • Coordinates the timing of the sonar return with your boat’s position and saves digital information for playback on a computer using FREE Homeport planning software.
  • Cables plug directly into the mount allowing for you to quickly install and remove your device from power and mount.
  • Includes: echo MAP 73dv with U.S. LakeVü HD, power/data cable, quick-release mount, flush mount, protective cover, GT20-TM transducer (77/200kHz/DownVü, 4-pin), trolling motor mount, hardware, documentation
  • Down Img: 455/800 kHz
  • CHIRP: Med/High

Garmin Echomap Chirp 73Cv with transducer

Best Fish Finder GPS Combos

All of the best fish finders on the market today will have GPS. These sonar units have multiple SD or Micro SD card slots for gps map cards such as Navionics and Garmin. Lakemaster map cards are exclusively used in Humminbird fish finders, while Navionics can be read by almost any brand.

In recent years there have been many exciting advances in DIY global mapping technologies, such as: AutoChart, AutoChart Live, Navionics SonarCharts, and Insight Genesis. Some companies are offering cards like Lakemaster PLUS and Navionics Platinum+ which also offer Satellite Overlays which enhance your maps even further.,000best fish finder for the money
Top Fish Finders Under $500
Top Fish Finders Under $300
Top Fish Finders Under $200
Top Fish Finders Under $100
Humminbird Helix 5 Sonar GPS
Humminbird Helix 7 Sonar GPS
Garmin EchoMap CHIRP 43dv & 53dv
Lowrance Hook 5x & Hook 7x
Lowrance Elite-5 Ti & Elite 7 Ti
Humminbird Helix 5 DI GPS
Humminbird Helix 7 DI GPS
Garmin STRIKER 5dv and STRIKER 7dv
Lowrance Hook 5 & Hook 7
Lowrance Elite-5 & Elite 7 Ti DSI
Humminbird Helix 5 SI GPS
Humminbird Helix 7 SI GPS
Garmin STRIKER 7sv
Lowrance Elite-7 Ti TotalScan

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