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With a range of different fish finders or sounders available in the market, choosing the right fish finder that best suits your needs and budget can sound a little intimidating. The most experienced anglers and boaters may even come across the problem of finding the perfect fish finder for themselves because of the given variety of fish finders. This eventually leaves them confused when it comes to choosing just one amongst them.
With dozens of models being manufactured every year, it difficult for the most experienced boaters and anglers to figure out the differences between them. The reason for so many fish finders in the market is attributed to the many anglers with different requirements they look for in a specific fish finder.
These fish finders vary significantly in their sonar systems and features. Every brand is trying to sell you their product which may leave you with more confusion. Through this guide, if you are not able to find a fish finder that best suits your needs, you will be able to shortlist a couple of them from the hundreds of options available in the market.
Best Fish Finders
Before jumping into the major differences of the fish finders, let’s look into the best picks. These fish finders include one Portable unit, three Down Imaging, three Side Imaging Models, and three for Kayaking.
You can look into the fish finders below and choose the ones that best suit your pricing range and skill level.
1. Garmin ECOMAP Ultra 106sv
A touchscreen unit with MHz SideVU is a great choice for experienced boaters as it comes with LiveScope compatibility.
2. Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 73cv
An amazing budget option with a touch screen and DownVu and CHIRP sonar is a fantastic pick for those looking for the best options on a limited budget.
3. Garmin STRIKER Vivid 7sv
It’s recommended to be the best kayak fish finder with the perfect size and features for small boats.
4. HELIX 10 CHIRP MEGA SI+ GPS G4N
With the best Side Imaging for fish finders, their MEGA imaging with great value makes it stand out in the market alongside its big screen.
5. HELIX 9 CHIRP MEGA DI+ G4N
The model comes with the biggest screen and great value for the best down imaging.
6. HELIX 7 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS G3N
This is another amazing Kayak finder with 7-inch MEGA SI and Dual Spectrum CHIRP.
7. HELIX 5 CHIRP MEGA GPS G2 PT
It is dubbed to be the best portable fish finder.
8. Lowrance Elite FS 9 Active Imaging 3-in-1
The best option available for a fishfinder in the budget range comes with a touchscreen 3-1 imaging fish finder and is compatible with the new Target live sonar.
9. Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 SplitShot
Another in-budget fishfinder with the notable feature of down scanning.
10. Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 TripleShot
The fish finder is a highly capable unit with built-in maps to assist anglers and is also incredibly affordable.
Related: Best Lowrance Fish Finders
Choosing Fish Finders By Price Range
Fishfinders can get incredibly pricey. They can range well over $2000, which is certainly not what most novice anglers are looking for. Some good options of Fishfinders that are within the range of $500-$1000 are:
- Garmin STRIKER Vivid 7sv
- Garmin Echopmap UHD 63cv
- Helix 5 CHIRP SI G2 Combo
- Garmin STRIKER Vivid 7cv
- Lowrance HOOK Reveal 9 TripleShot
- Raymarine Element 9 HV
- Garmin Echomap UHD 73sv
Choosing Fish Finders By Sonar
Sonar technology takes the lead for experienced boaters who are looking for a good fish finder. With the accurate mapping of the fish provided with the depth of water, it has proved to be the most efficient feature of a good fish finder.
While looking for fish finders, you need to be aware of the different types of sonars available in different models. By understanding that, you will have a clear-cut picture of the kind of sonar you should be purchasing for fishing.
A basic sonar that pings in a cone displays the image of whatever is coming within the view of the sonar. As you scroll through the screen left to right, you will be provided with a newer set of data to analyze. The traditional sonar uses the set frequency of 83kHz.
CHIRP does not have a set frequency but instead transmits a range of frequencies ranging from 70-110kHz and provides more sound energy into the water for effective results.
Imaging sonar displays an accurate image of the lake bottom while pinging from either side and straight down.
This sonar provides a full circle image for what is within the range of your craft.
This forward-facing sonar provides the most accurate water imaging and is the most popular amongst the most experienced and active anglers.
The importance of fish finders cannot be said enough. With the help of the tips mentioned above, you can easily find the fish finder that is best for you.