Best Fish Finder Reviews 2016-2017

Fish finders have gradually evolved through the years. Nowadays, these are equipped with those technologically advanced features that provide the fishermen with all the necessary information needed in finding the fish hot spots and going home with a bountiful harvest.

Due to a highly intense competition among the fishermen, it is best to equip oneself with the best fish finder available in the market. Having a more advanced fish finding gadget allows the fishers to become aware of the fishing options in their area. Moreover, it will help them make wise decisions in navigating the waters as well as in exploring the new fishing grounds.

Here are some of the top 10 fish finders that are available in the market today.

Best Fish Finder Review

Garmin Striker 4 Built-in GPS Fish Finder

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The Garmin Striker 4 is the most compact in the Garmin line of fish finders. It has a 3.5 inch color display. This model is an easy to use fish finder since it has been painstakingly engineered to be operated by the simplest keypad buttons located right below the screen. These make it easier to navigate around the fish finder gadget that even those who are not tech savvy can easily find their way around and use it comfortably.

The gadget uses a 77/200 kHz CHIRP sonar transducer. CHIRP stands for Compressed High-Intensity Radar Pulse. This technology allows the transducer to transmit a range of frequencies instead of sending only a distinct pulse as used by those conventional fish finders. Using this will result in a clearer detail of what lies underneath the water.

The CHIRP technology built in the Striker 4 has a transmitting power of 200 W RMS/1,600W peak-to-peak. This may also be subsequently upgraded for better performance.

The unit also comes with a built-in, highly sensitive GPS which allows the fisherman to look for the fish, locate them and then mark their position. In this manner, the fisherman can return to the same area where the fish hot spot was found at a later time.

The GPS will also help make navigating back to the docks and ramps easier. The apparatus also includes a portable mount where the fish finder can be securely placed while on the boat. The mount can be tilted and turned for the convenience of the user.

Sale
Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5" GPS...
  • Clear Vu scanning Sonar shows you more of what is in the...
  • The power of simple offers a keyed interface with dedicated...
  • Waypoint map: Use the way point map to easily view, mark and...

Lowrance Hook-3X Sonar

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Lowrance Hook-3x features a powerful Broadband Sounder that serves to strengthen and intensify the signal emitted by the transducer producing much sharper and clearer images.

The crisp images are viewed in a three-inch LED-backlit colored screen with a 320×240 resolution that can be easily set eyes on from a wide angle. It has settings for fishing during the daytime or the nighttime and can be mounted on a swivel bracket for easy viewing.

The combination of the strong broadband and high resolution screen makes it easy to target fishing spots and identify thermoclines, underwater topography and other details. The Advanced Signal Processing (ASP) minimizes the need to manually adjust the settings to sight details displayed in the LED screen.

Lowrance Hook-3X Sonar uses a Dual-frequency 83 or 200 kHz sonar to maximize the images captured underneath the boat.

  • The 83 kHz sonar operation gives a maximum of 60 degrees of conical coverage, perfect for showing the largest fish arches and looking for fish in a wide area.
  • The 200 kHz frequency gives a maximum of 20 degrees of conical coverage, perfect for intensified targeted fish separation, tracking lure and using drop-shooting techniques.

It is equipped with the Patented Skimmer® transducer and water temperature sensor that can survey up to 75 mph. Dedicated buttons allow the user to zoom in four times to focus in target fishing spots. The power button adjusts the backlight while the pages button can be used to switch between the 83 kHz and 200 kHz frequency sonar.

Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X Sonar, W/ 83/200 XDCR
  • Led-backlit 3 inch color display with detailed 320 x 240...
  • Broadband sounder detail easily identifies fish targets,...
  • Advanced signal processing (asp) reduces the need to...

Venterior Portable Fish Finder

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The unit uses a 4.6cm diameter round transducer sensor sonar that can either be fixed in the hull of the boat, mounted on a drift and made to float on the water, fixed on a pole and placed on the water, or in case of ice fishing placed on the water inside the hole cut on the surface of the ice.

The transducer is attached to a 25 feet cable that can be used in the docks, on the boat and ice fishing whether on the docks, on a boat or on ice. It is attached by cable to the portable receiver that measures 9.6x 2.2×6.9 inches and weighs 1.1 lbs.

Venterior Portable Fish Finder has a maximum depth range of 100m (328.08ft) and a minimum depth range of 0.7m (2.30ft) and 45 degree sensor beam angle. It can detect the depth of the water, the location of the fish including the terrain of the sea bed, the sea weeds and rocks that may be found underwater.

The information collected by the transducer is sent to the receiver and displayed on the TN/Anti-UV LCD monitor that is backlit by a green LED light.

The transmitter and the receiver can function within the temperature of -20°C to 70°C (-4°F to 158°F) but the receiver is not waterproof. The unit runs with 4 AAA batteries.

Venterior Portable Fish Finder also features a five-user selectable sensitivity that can be adjusted, battery save mode, backlight mode, fish alarm, and unit of measure selection of either meter or feet.

Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder, Handheld...
  • Shows you what is in the water: Detects and displays water...
  • Easy to Use: Toss the transducer into water and turn on the...
  • Very portable that you can take it anywhere: It comes with...

Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+

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This fish finder is equipped with a dual frequency sonar that can be operated on both fresh and salt water and regulated to fit the water conditions of the fishing location. The lower sonar sensitivity can be chosen in murky waters and the high sonar sensitivity when on clear water.

Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+ can be paired with any smartphone or tablet through its internal Wi-Fi connection. The phone or tablet must be installed with an application named Deeper App that can be downloaded online and is compatible with iOS or Android powered devices.

The Deeper App can be used online or offline and has useful features such as the Solunar Forecast Calendar, Maps available even during its offline mode, weather forecasts, fishing notes and can even connect to social media websites.

Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+ has an internal castable GPS that allows the production of bathymetric maps which shows the underwater terrain, water depth and fishing spots in real time. These maps can be used in both inshore and offshore fishing, with an option to save the data for its future use.

Another useful tool is its capacity to layer maps to create an accurate reading of the topography of the current fishing spot and is also helpful in negotiating difficult water systems.

The device also has a rechargeable battery that can be used continuously for up to 5.5 hours on a single charge and can be fully charged within 2 hours. The screen of the device can also be adjusted to fit the lighting conditions.

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Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar - GPS Portable Wireless Wi-Fi Fish...
  • HIGHEST SPEC CASTABLE SONAR: casts further, scans deeper,...
  • INBUILT GPS: enables you to create bathymetric maps from the...
  • ROCK SOLID CONNECTIVITY: Syncs to phone/tablet using WiFi...

Hawk Eye Fish Trax

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This fish finder is a hand-held gadget having a dimension of 6x3x2 inches and weighing a mere 1.4 lbs. It is portable and ideal for fishing in the docks, and even on boats, kayaks, canoes and floats but can also be mounted on a boat. It is powered by four triple A batteries that last for one whole day.

Hawk Eye Fish Trax is installed with the Dual-frequency Fish Trax intelligent sonar sensor that can be tossed onto the water or installed inside the hull of the boat. It uses Sonar sound waves alongside a sophisticated software capable of detecting the location of the fish, including the depth of the water as well as the composition of weeds, debris and rocks up to 240 feet under water.

The readings taken by the intelligent sonar are shown on the VirtuView ICON display screen. Fish are shown on it as fish icons and fish depth reading, unlike those other fish finders.

Hawk Eye Fish Trax also features a fish alarm that sounds off whenever fish are detected. This will allow the angler to go on fishing without having to look at the VirtuView ICON display screen of the fish trax.

Another useful feature is the Ice flasher mode that allows it to be used in ice fishing.

Lithium batteries must be used for these operations. Navigating through the fish finder is made easier by the easy-touch user interface installed. It also has the built in expandability that allows it to adapt to additional accessories.

Sale
HawkEye FishTrax 1 with Virtuview Icon Display
  • FishTrax intelligent sonar delivers precise fish finder...
  • Glare-free ICON LCD with LED backlight offers excellent...
  • Sonar sensor is trollable, boat mountable, and floatable to...

Fish Finder Buying Guide

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Top rated fish finders are equipped with several advanced features that allow it to produce vivid and more accurate images. The following functions and applications need to be present in a fish finder to have the best value for your money.

GPS

All fishermen need the best GPS fishfinder for the money to help them navigate in the water and find their way home. This is also useful in providing the coordinates of any particular location whenever it is needed.

The GPS system will also help you create maps when you are fishing in unfamiliar places or uncharted waters. More modern ones also allow you to chart and produce maps for underwater terrain, fishing spots and provide other relevant fishing information.

Having the Right Type of Sonar

The best cheap fish finder is equipped with the right kind of sonar beams to create clearer images. There are three types of sonar, each having different functions and benefits.

First, is the Down Scan Imaging. This focuses on one particular spot, specifically the bottom portion of the area scanned. It is best when the fishermen seek to have a more detailed image of a specific area. The best depth finder uses this for surveying deep areas since it increases the precision of readings at around forty feet or even deeper.

Since this centers its scan on one particular area only, it is highly probable for the fishermen to miss other structures and activities that occur in the surrounding areas. In some shallow regions, there is a need to increase and adjust the signal in order to have a clearer image.

Second is the Side Scan Imaging. Using high frequency waves, the side scan allows the fishermen to take images of a wider area with only a single pass. Readings can also be made without going over the desired area since the scan can be done several feet away. This is highly advantageous in scanning undisturbed areas.

It is, however, less effective in deep waters, particularly those reaching from 75 feet or even deeper.

Third, combined down and side scan. This latest technology combines the two functions and provides a better option for fishermen. It works by sending two sonar beams, one focusing on a particular target and one doing a wide scan to cover the surrounding area. This allows the fisherman to experience the best of both scans.

Power

Power is very important to ensure that the best fish finder is running accurately. Fish finders with the greater wattage produces images and readings promptly and with greater precision. This is especially useful in performing scans in deeper waters. Those with lesser wattage are more suited for the shallow waters.

This happens because the readings depend on the transmission of sonar waves received by the transducer. Therefore, when the total power used is greater, the readings are done much faster with more vivid results. Shallow areas also need lesser power to be scanned and detected.

man fishing on a winter day

Frequencies

Conventional fish finders utilize frequencies ranging from 50 kHz to 200 kHz. However, more modern types of fish finders are now capable of transmitting and receiving signals using a combination of a low and high frequencies or utilize multiple frequencies at the same time.

Higher frequencies mean that there are more sonar waves sent out and received by the transducer. This ultimately results to getting more images on the screen. Higher frequencies work best when fishing in shallow waters.

Lower frequencies, on the other hand, are more suited for general searches across a wide area in the water, including deep water explorations.

Most fishermen conduct a search using a lower frequency beam to identify various locations of fish groups. Afterwards, they narrow down the search by using a higher frequency to pinpoint a specific school of fish. In this manner, they are able to target the specific location of the fish and get a better haul.

The best fish finder will be able to combine all the appropriate frequencies in order to come up with a better picture and be able to target a specific area for a bigger catch.

Screen Resolution

The clarity of the images produced depends largely on the resolution of the screen of the fish finder. Higher resolution screens produce sharper images, while those with lower screen resolutions results to more fuzzy images.

The size of the screen will also play a big role in ensuring that the image seen on it is clearer, with more details easily identified.

Colored screens with higher resolutions are available in recent models of fish finders.

man fishing

Transducers

The best value fish finder will have transducers that are able to clearly translate and send the data it receives from the sonar transmissions. Transducers are the main transmitting units that send out and receive sonar waves. They function by sending sonar waves into the water, allowing it to bounce back from underwater objects.

These signals are then received by the transducer again and converted into images that are then reflected on the screens. Most of these are simply mounted on the fishing boats, with minimal installation requirements.

In selecting a transducer, it is imperative to check its corresponding cone angle. This determines the coverage that the beam is able to include in its scan. Beams with a wider angle will be able to include larger areas.

The only downside is that as the cone angle gets wider, therefore, its sensitivity also diminishes especially when it reaches deeper waters.

Transducer cones range from 9 degrees to more than 60 degrees. For fishermen who prefer varying water depths, it is better to start with a 20 degree cone angle.

The standard transducer only has a single beam. This can however be subsequently upgraded to having dual or multiple beams. An advantage to having an upgraded version is an increase in coverage. The more beams used will result to having more areas covered by the scans.

Conclusion

What is the best fish finder? It is one which has all the necessary features mentioned above that will fully assist every modern fisherman. This is a worthy and essential tool that will ensure that the fisherman is able to find the best areas for fishing at any given time. Knowing the essential features and characteristics necessary will help in ascertaining that the fisherman will get the best fish finder for the money.

Having a more modern and updated type these allow you to fully maximize the resources that are available. The best budget fish finder will work to produce accurate results and enable you to bring home a bountiful catch every time.

Last update on 2020-09-20 at 17:27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. More info.