What Is The Best Fish Finder For The Money 2017?

Fish finders are small sonar producing devices used to locate, identify and create images of nearby fish. The most useful tool for anglers. Let's take a look at the best fish finder reviews!

Fish finder are not one size fits all. They all have different features and capabilities, and they vary in price. You can buy a very simple, gray screened device for as low, or a high-tech device with a color display, extensive sonar capabilities and chart plotting. This article will review popular fish finders that are currently on the market. All of these come with the at least 4.0-star rating on Amazon.com. This list of fishfinders should help potential users make an informed decision if they are looking to make a new purchase. Online shops vary in their prices on a daily basis (based on demand) so the definitive price isn’t listed but rather a range is given to give you an idea of how much you should pay at most for one of these finders.

1. Lucky FFW-718 Wireless Portable Sonar Fish Finder

The Lucky FFW-718 is a wireless fish finder that runs off batteries making it portable. It has a wireless sonar sensor that can be placed in the water. It can be used in both salt and fresh water and is completely waterproof so it can be used as a depth sounder.

Its wireless frequency is 433 MHz and its sonar frequency operates at 125 KHz. It has a 90-degree coverage area. The screen is not in color, but a Dot matrix gray LCD at 128 x 64. This item is 8 x 2 x 7 and only weighs 12 ounces.

2. Venterior Portable Wired Fish Finder

This very affordable fishfinder is used just to show where fish are located. It does not provide the amount of detail as other more expensive options but is reliable and worth it for the price. It has adjustable sensitivity levels, so if you set the sensitivity to its highest level you will see both large and small fish; if set on the lowest setting you will only be able to see larger fish. Weather can have an effect on the results of this device.

High winds, strong waves, temperatures below 0 degrees, and even very muddy waters can limit performance. This device comes with a sonar sensor that alarms as fish are found and provides water depth information for better estimation. It is waterproof so it can be placed into the water for more accuracy. This unit is 9.6 x 2.2 x 5.9 and only weighs 1.1 pounds. This unit is a great buy for a cheap product.

3. Lowrance 000-11448-001 Elite-3X Fishfinder - best fish finder

The Lowrance Elite-3X fish finder comes with an 83/200Khz transducer. It has a 3.5” 240 x 360 LCD color display that rivals more expensive brands. It is as bright and colorful as its more expensive competitors. It has a Broadband Sonar that provides ten times the sensitivity levels of other analog based models, and also provides extended battery life by limiting its pull, and also provides more detailed images of the fish.

It is a dual frequency device with 83Khz used to show 60-degree conical coverage for a larger search area, and 200Khz used to show a 20-degree conical which is best used to help separate the fish. The Elite also comes with a Fish I.D. that is great for helping beginners know what fish are appearing in the display by flashing identifying icons. This unit is 5.64” x 3.7 x 1.85 and weighs 3 pounds. It is highly rated on Amazon

OUR PICK on low-PRICE fish finder


Lowrance 000-11448-001 Elite-3X Fishfinder

Mid-price Fish Finder Short Reviews

4. Garmin echo 200 Fish finder reviews

This unit provides many of the features you come to expect from Garmin. It comes with Smooth Scaling TM to aid in the transition between shallow and deep waters, Sonar history rewind which gives the ability to view previously saved sonar history, and easy installation with its quick-release tilt/swivel mount. It also comes with Garmin’s HD-ID target tracking technology which provides crisp, clear pictures on its 5-inch grayscale display. It is capable of producing images up to 1,500 feet deep. This product is 1.8 x 6 x 5.9 and weighs about 1.1 pounds. It comes in three models: the 4” display that goes up to 1200ft in its search depth. Another 4” display that only goes up to half the length in depth at 600ft and the 5” display.

5. FishHunter Military Grade Portable Fish Finder 3.0

The FishHunter is similar to the Deeper Smart model in that you use it as you cast, and the images are displayed on your phone. The Bluetooth range on this device is 80 feet, meaning your cell needs to stay within that range to receive the pictures. It can see down to 100 feet unless you are ice fishing where maximum depth is 60 feet. The FishHunter app maintains all the date about your catches from its length and weight, meaning you will have evidence to go along with your bragging. It is equipped with GPS that is considered military grade. The device is completely portable and only weighs 1.4 pounds. Its features make it perfect for shore or small boat fishing. It does not rank as high with customer reviews as the Deeper model, but it has similar features for a lower price.

6. Deeper DP0H10S10-P Wireless Sonar Smart Fish Finder

The Deeper is considered a smart device because it is Bluetooth enabled giving its users the ability to share their images with their other smart devices. Because it is using Bluetooth, devices do not need to use any data to receive the images which mean no matter how far out to sea and away from a cell tower you are, this capability still works. The Deeper sonar just needs to be within 150 feet of your other smart device. It is a dual frequency sonar so that you can examine both wide and narrow read. The Deeper is tennis ball shaped and sized making it very lightweight and compact which could ease its use. It also has an advantage over other devices as it can be used in areas not normally reachable. You can use it ashore, while docked, on a bridge, for a kayak or even while ice fishing. You use the device by placing it on your fishing line before you cast, then use your phone to see the images and depth information.

OUR PICK on MID-PRICE fish finder


Deeper DP0H10S10-P Wireless Sonar Smart Fish Finder

Hight-price Fish Finder Short Reviews

7. Hummingbird GPS/Sonar Combo 409120-1 859ci

This device is one of the larger fishfinders on the market. It is 16.8 x 13.8 x 5 and weighs a whopping 7 pounds, but it also has a 7-ince very vivid, very bright, very crisp color display with 480 x 800 VGA resolution. It is GPS enabled with 10Hz precision and cartography. It has two SD slots to allow for massive storage capabilities. It boasts a host load of technical features to ensure fish finding accuracy along with water depth and temperature, advanced chart plotting, split screen, and advanced navigation.

8. Garmin GPSMAP 547xs 10Hz GPS/GLONASS Receiver without Transducer

This GPS-enabled system does not include a transducer but is still equipped with a worldwide map. It has a 10Hz receiver. Its 5” display is a VGA presenting images with an HD-ID sonar that refreshes about ten times per second. This fish finder is Wi-Fi compatible. It can chart up to 5,000 wayward points. This Garmin comes in three different models. The Chartplotter Sounder models; The Chartplotter; and the Chartplotter Sounder w/ Transducer is the most expensive.

9. Lowrance Elite-7 Gold CHIRP Fishfinder

This fish finder is also a chart plotter and includes a transducer. It can chart up to 3,000 waypoints. It is GPS enabled with 16 channels. It has a waterproof micro-SD card that can also store navigation charts. The screen is 7 inches which is one of the larger displays available. It is 11 x 9 x 10 and weighs 5 pounds.

OUR PICK on HIGHT-PRICE fish finder


7. Hummingbird GPS/Sonar Combo 409120-1 859ci

Infographic: Comprehensive guide to choosing the best fish finder


Fish Finder Benefits

Of course, the biggest and most obvious benefit of a fish finder is its ability to help you find fish! If you plan to fish all day, and I mean all day, then you have the luxury of being able just to go out on the water, cast and just wait for the fish to come to you. For those shorter on time, you want to maximize that time by casting in an area with the largest pool available. That is why both the professional and novice fisherman alike can benefit from using one.

Many fish finders show the size of the fish. Knowing fish size can help determine the type of bait and fishing line to use. Nothing is worse than hooking a shark thinking you were catching a bass. Same holds true for the advanced devices that have fish icons to help beginners or just anyone unaware, of the type of fish in the view and being displayed.

Fishfinders also give information concerning water depth, so you know how to cast properly. If you get one of the most expensive models, your fish finder can come equipped with GPS. This ensures you won’t, or can’t get lost out at sea.

Steps to determine which fish finder is right for you

1. Create a list best fish finder

The first step in determining which fish finder is right for you is deciding what your needs are in a fishfinder. Are you a beginner? Do you need to have a device with a color LCD? The grayscale models are becoming more and more scarce, but they are still available and normally much cheaper. How big do you want the screen to be? Do you need a transducer? The transducer is what emits the sonar waves, and most units come with transducers, but there are models without them. Do you need a fish finder that is strictly for deep sea fishing from a boat, or from a bridge or shore as well? What is the deepest and shallowest water you plan to be in? Do you need GPS?

Ask yourself if you are the type to get lost quickly to answer that question better. How easy do you need or want the installation to be? Do you need it to be portable or wireless? Is having the ability to see images on your phone important to you? Wi-Fi capability? Bluetooth? Does the charging cable matter? What about the length of those cables? Do you need to be able to rewind previously received sonar images? How detailed do you need the images to be? Keep in mind the higher the frequency, the better your detail, and they work best in shallow water, the lower frequencies are great for commercial uses since they are great in deeper waters. How much can you spend? Budget is important, so make sure you know how much you can really spend, or else all the bells and whistles of the available selections could lure you in and you’ll find yourself spending more than you intended. Not only create a list, but try and prioritize the list the best you can. For example, if you are a beginner and you know the most important feature you need is a fish finder that is easy to use and designed with the beginner in mind, place that at the top of your list. Once you answer these questions you can move on to the next step.

2. Research

Start researching available fish finders within your price range. As you gather, a list of fish finders within that range begins to look at ones that have your needed features. If you set your needs in order based on priority, start matching your list based on those priorities.

3. Narrow Your options

Once you complete your research, now narrow your options down to two or three solid choices. Since you know, your top priorities narrow the list by matching the devices that have your top three needs and maintains your budget.

4. Read the reviews then make your purchase

The joy of the internet is able to “ask” other users about their experience with items. Many websites like Amazon and Overstock allow you to ask directly other people who purchased items you’re interested in about their experience. If you’ve narrowed your choices down to two to three, look at which one has the highest rating if that is the only factor separating your options.

Tips for using fish finder

The first tip is to read and follow all of the instructions that come included with your device. The best way to learn all of the capabilities of your fish finder is to take it out on the water and start using it. If you are a visual learner, do an online search for the model you purchased, and you may find videos that will aid you in setting it up and give specific tips on how to best use your model. Pay attention to the troubleshooting guide that accompanies your unit when you purchase it.

It may provide website information that you can use to navigate to and get tips on how to use your model. Once you learn the basics of using your fish finder through practice, you can start digging deeper. If your finder includes chart plotting this is an important tool to master. This allows you to record coordinates within the history of your device meaning you can go back to that precise spot at any time.

Make sure you know how to clean properly and care for your device. Most fish finders do not need or downright forbid the use of harsh chemicals for cleaning.

Also, if you are using a device that uses Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capabilities, ensure you understand the range needed to optimize performance.

Many fish finders have split screen options. This means you have both horizontal and vertical views and normally have zooming capabilities. This is another capability that is best learned through use. Screen options vary across models so you want to play with the capabilities on yours. Don’t be afraid. These devices are meant to be touched and held and used so playing with the options is not going to damage your device. Play with your device until you are comfortable with it.


Below are some of the questions that frequently appear across multiple websites about fish finders.

  • How do I clean my device?

Most fish finders do not want harsh chemicals used to clean the device. Just use a damp cloth to wipe off any dirt or debris that covers it. Be sure and use fresh water to wipe off the film that arises from being around salt water. Using salt water would just further the advancement of the movie and avoid cleaning it.

  • How long do I need to charge the device?

Read your instruction manual for the exact timing. Ensure the device is fully charged before first use.

  • How do I pair my fish finder with my smart device?

Ensure your device is fully charged. Turn on the Bluetooth option on your smart device and scan for nearby objects. Once your smart device finds the fish finder, you select the option to pair the two. They should now be connected, and you can follow the directions in your manual to upload or stream images. If you have problems pairing the devices read your manuals troubleshooting guide for more details.

  • Will it work in saltwater?

Most fish finders work in both fresh and saltwater.

  • Does the unit supply both meters and feet or degrees and Celsius?

Most units give the ability to toggle between both.

  • Does the fish finder come with maps of lakes?

Units that provide chart plotting normally do come with maps of lakes. GPS units may as well, but a standard fish finder may not include. Check your specific manual for more details.

  • Does the fish finder come with mounting brackets?

Most units do come with all the equipment needed to mount it to your boat.


Fish finders are useful tools for both the professional and novice fisherman alike. It provides one with the ability to not only find fish but have an image of them that they can hold in their hand notifying them of how far ahead and below those fish are. These fish finders range in price based on their features meaning they are available for almost any budget size. In this article, we explored a few of the fish finders currently available. Hopefully, you found this information useful to helping you decide not only to purchase the fish finder but in figuring out how to discover which type might be the one for you. No matter your needs there is a fish finder right for you.

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