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BEST FISH FINDER OVERALL

Garmin Striker Plus 4

4.5/5

BEST DOWN IMAGING FISH FINDER

Hummingbird 410940-1 HELIX 7

4.5/5

BEST MAPPING

Lowrance HOOK2 5-Inch Fish Finder

4.3/5
Whether you’ve fished for 40 years or 4 years, someone you know is out there catching more fish because they’re using the best fish finder. I’ve been fishing with and without fish finders for decades, and I’ll tell you what, having a crappy one will hurt you more than having none at all. The Garmin Striker Plus 4 offers the features, simplicity, and quality we’re all seeking.  If you’re a fan of the endless goose chase of tailing fish all day, then, by all means, proceed. If you want an honest review of the best fish finders so you can catch more bass and catch them faster, then keep reading!

Our Reviews Of The Best Fish Finders

Garmin Striker Plus 4

BEST FISH FINDER OVERALL

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Model: Striker Plus 4
  • Type: Dual-Beam Transducer
  • Display: 4.3”
  • Dimensions: 3.9 x 1.8 x 6.9”
FEATURED SPECS
  • The GPS fish finder features a highly sensitive GPS that maintains a position everywhere you go. It makes maps of places you’ve been and allows you to create marks in the event that a fish bit there.
EXTRA FEATURES
  • The highly visible display makes it easy to see even in bright sunlight.
BUYING ADVICE
BENEFITS
  • Great fish finder for the money
  • Mounts well on the boat
  • Creates maps quickly
DRAWBACKS
  • Not for use with saltwater
  • Limited display options

The Garmin Striker Plus 4 is one of the most popular fish finders on the market. It comes with a dual-beam transducer and a chirp technology. The finder creates great images of fish under the water, and it maps up to two million acres, which you can store on the device. 

I personally like the design of the fish finder, I think it’s durable and long-lasting, and most people don’t seem to experience any problems with it, even after prolonged use.

Hummingbird 410940-1 HELIX 7

BEST DOWN IMAGING FISH FINDER

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Model: 410940-1 HELIX 7
  • Type: Down Imaging Fish Finder
  • Display: 7.0”
  • Dimensions: 10.5 x 3.6 x 5.8”
FEATURED SPECS
  • The mega down imaging of this fish finder is incredible. You’ll get views of the lake floor like you’ve never seen it before.
EXTRA FEATURES
  • Features two modes that allow you to have control over how much or how little detail you have.
BUYING ADVICE
  • This fish finder has a highly visible screen, which makes it ideal for use on bright sunny days.
BENEFITS
  • Great screen
  • Down imaging
  • Exceptional underwater detail
  • Low chirping transducer
DRAWBACKS
  • Doesn’t come with an SD card (includes micro SD card slot)
  • Does not contain side-imaging capabilities

My favorite thing about this fish finder is the two different visualization modes. You can narrow it down and search a smaller area, but you’ll get exceptionally fine detail. You can also spread the coverage out wider with less detail. These two settings help you locate the bass and then from there, narrow down to find out exactly what they’re doing and where they are. 

Lowrance HOOK2 5 5-Inch Fish Finder

BEST MAPPING​

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Model: HOOK2 5
  • Type: Chirp Transducer
  • Display: 5.0”
  • Dimensions: 9 x 7.5 x 7.1”
FEATURED SPECS
  • This fish finder comes with US Inland Lake Maps installed on the unit. It contains more than 3,000 US lakes already mapped out for you to explore.
EXTRA FEATURES
  • SolarMAX feature makes it easy to navigate the different menus making this an easy to use fish finder for those who aren’t familiar.
BUYING ADVICE
  • I love that this fish finder offers both down and side-scanning. It has quite a bit of reach as well, so it’s a great all-around option.
BENEFITS
  • High detailed mapping
  • Down and side-scanning
  • GPS feature
  • Great kayak fish finder
DRAWBACKS
  • Issues with installing the transducer
  • Can’t adjust the contrast

While this fish finding device might be a bit more expensive than some of the previous options for what you’re getting, you’re picking up an exceptional fish finder. It comes with side and down mapping, which is ideal for getting underneath structure like docks and bridges. 

This one also has an autotuning sonar, so you don’t have to adjust anything as you’re trolling along. While this is a plus to some, others actually saw it as a downside because you can’t shut that feature off. If you don’t like the contrast or visibility of what you’re seeing, you’re out of luck. 

The main feature that makes this fish finder stand out is the built-in mapping that comes with it. You get access to over 3,000 lakes throughout the country. They’re already mapped, built into the GPS system, and ready to explore. 

Humminbird 410150-1 Piranhamax

BEST AFFORDABLE FISH FINDER

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Model: 410150-1 Piranhamax 4
  • Type: Dual Beam Sonar
  • Display: 4.3”
  • Dimensions: 4 x 7 x 3”
FEATURED SPECS
  • This fish finder with a 4.3” display screen primarily focuses on showing you changes in the structure of the ground beneath you.
EXTRA FEATURES
  • The Piranhamax 4 uses dual beam sonar with a coverage area of 28 x 16 using less than 10 decibels of frequency.
BUYING ADVICE
  • It has low resolution and isn’t quite as accurate as some would prefer. As a result, I would recommend this fish finder for beginners who aren’t sure if they’ll actually use it.
BENEFITS
  • Affordable
  • Dual-beam sonar
  • Great for showing bottom
DRAWBACKS
  • Not as clear as most options
  • Doesn’t have a lot of accuracy surrounding fish locations

If you’re dabbling with fish finders and you’re thinking of trying something out, you’ll want to get this one. You can get it for less than $200, and while it won’t show you a whole lot, you’ll get an idea of how to tell differences in elevation and how to pick up a fish on sonar. 

Don’t let this fish finder discourage you if it doesn’t help you as much as you’d like. Some of the other options here are much more accurate. 

Deeper Chirp Smart Sonar Castable Fish Finder

BEST CASTABLE FISH FINDER

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Model: DEE-ITGAM0631
  • Type: Castable Chirp Fish Finder
  • Display: N/A
  • Dimensions: N/A
FEATURED SPECS
  • This is a castable fish finder that you’ll cast out into the water and use like a bobber. It has a max distance of 330ft and accurate scanning the whole way down.
EXTRA FEATURES
  • You’ll see what’s happening underneath the water by connecting the fish finder to the Fish Deeper app on your smartphone.
BUYING ADVICE
  • This is one of the best deep-water fish finders because of the distance. If you’re trying to see what’s going on towards the middle of the lake, consider giving this one a try.
BENEFITS
  • Easy to operate
  • Connects to an app
  • Long-distance
  • Create maps and log them using the app
DRAWBACKS
  • Issues if using it for ice fishing
  • Occasional misreadings

This castable fish finder is a pretty cool change to what we normally see in the market. The best fish finder offers versatility and user-friendliness, and this one offers both of those things. Some people don’t like the fact that you have to download an app. If you have a problem with that, you likely won’t enjoy that either. 

Another issue that I see is pertaining to ice fishing. Most people will always use a fishfinder when ice fishing because it’s incredibly difficult to locate fish otherwise. Sometimes the weight of your body on the ice causes misreadings on the finder. 

Humminbird SOLIX 10 G2 Fish Finder with Chirp

BEST HIGH-END FISH FINDER

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Model: SOLIX 10 G2
  • Type: HD Down/Side Imaging Chirp Sonar
  • Display: 10.1”
  • Dimensions: 11.81 x 7.89 x 4.45”
FEATURED SPECS
  • The main standout feature of this fish finder is the HD screen. It offers incredibly detailed images pairing maximum coverage and maximum detail.
EXTRA FEATURES
  • It comes with Bluetooth compatibility so you can actually sync it to your smartphone and receive notifications of texts and calls on the fish finder.
BUYING ADVICE
  • If you’re looking for something that's easy to use, don’t be too intimidated by this one. I like the fact that you can use the touchscreen or the controls on the side to navigate it.
BENEFITS
  • Premium option
  • Incredible visuals
  • Pinpoint accuracy
  • Loaded with extra features
DRAWBACKS
  • Loaded with extra features

This down scan fish finder is the Rolls Royce of its kind. It comes with a huge display with both side and down imaging. The chirp displays arches and offers clear views of where they are and what they’re holding out in. 

If the price is an issue, you won’t want to get this fish finder. It’s really expensive, but for those who purchased it, they aren’t complaining about all the fish at the end of their line! 

Lowrance HOOK2 7 7-Inch Fish Finder

BEST SCREEN

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Model: HOOK2 7
  • Type: Split Shot Transducer
  • Display: 7.0”
  • Dimensions: 18 x 10 x 6”
FEATURED SPECS
  • Comes with a high chirp sonar technology and down imaging offering full chart plots and simple GPS plots.
EXTRA FEATURES
  • The Lowrance HOOK brand of fish finders offers the best quality and contrast on their screen. You can see every slight change in structure as well as the location of the fish.
BUYING ADVICE
  • This one offers both a split shot transducer and a Chirp so you can see straight down or fish arch sonar views depending on your preference.
BENEFITS
  • Versatility
  • Great screen quality and contrast
  • Not overly expensive
  • High detailed mapping of 3000+ lakes
DRAWBACKS
  • No directions to set up
  • Slow to map and navigate

Having a high-quality screen on your fish finder is an important factor. This one offers high visibility and perfect contrast, which helps you see what’s happening under the water more efficiently. 

I find that having options is also a nice feature. In some cases, you might prefer a down image from the split shot, and in other cases, you might want a more broad view from the chirp. If you’re unsure about what those mean, I’m breaking it all down in the buyer’s guide below, so check it out! 

Raymarine Axiom 7 Fish Finder with Built-In GPS

BEST 3D FISH FINDER

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Model: Axiom 7
  • Type: 3D Chirp
  • Display: 7.0”
  • Dimensions: 14 x 14 x 11”
FEATURED SPECS
  • It comes with high-quality 3D sonar so you can see everything in life-like clarity. It comes with a variety of different settings, including 3D sonar, down vision, side vision, and chirp.
EXTRA FEATURES
  • Features Navionics+, which offers over 20,000 lakes throughout the US and Canada. You’ll get access to detailed maps, so you know what to expect before you even hit the water.
BUYING ADVICE
  • This fish finder even offers “auto-routing,” which will take you from wherever you are on the water, back to the dock if you’re at one of the 20,000 lakes on the system. Pretty cool!
BENEFITS
  • Loaded with premium features
  • Comes with wi-fi so you can control the finder from your phone
  • Navionics+ 20,000 lakes and ponds
  • 3D high-quality visuals
DRAWBACKS
  • Expensive
  • Some of the features might be unnecessary for fishing

If you’re looking for a fish finder that offers extremely clear underwater visuals and it’s packed with other features like music downloads, then this is the right option. I find that products like these are a bit unnecessary because they’re more “smoke and mirrors” than they are things that will actually help you. 

That said, the Real Vision 3D imaging is no joke. It also comes with side and down vision and an operating system that is easy to use despite its complicated appearance. 

LUCKY Handheld Fish Finder

BEST PORTABLE FISH FINDER

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Model: FFC1108-1
  • Type: Handheld
  • Display: 2.0”
  • Dimensions: 5.9 x 3.9 x 3.9”
FEATURED SPECS
  • This fish finder comes with five different sensitivity modes based on how you’re fishing, where you’re fishing, and what you’re fishing for.
EXTRA FEATURES
  • It comes with a 25-foot cable offering versatility of how you’d like to get it in the water. It’s also one of the best saltwater fish finders because of its durability and portability.
BUYING ADVICE
  • It might not offer the most advanced display other than images of fish and grass, but it’s a great beginner fish finder. I also think this would work well from the shore if you cast it out with a second rod.
BENEFITS
  • Easy to operate
  • Affordable
  • Great beginner option
  • Five different sensitivity modes
DRAWBACKS
  • Doesn’t offer advanced imaging
  • Small screen

This fish finder brings us back to the basics and the reasons why we want one in the first place. We need a fish finder to find fish, and this one does a good job of it without all the frills. It’s affordable, you can use it in a million different ways, and it’s durable. What more could you ask for?

Moocor Underwater Fishing Camera

BEST FISHING CAMERA

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Model: 8541747448
  • Type: Underwater Camera
  • Display: 4.3”
  • Dimensions: 4.9 x 3.3 x 1.5”
FEATURED SPECS
  • Here we have an underwater camera that is quite different from a fish finder. It comes with an HD screen, which is a great option for ice fishing.
EXTRA FEATURES
  • Features three high visibility infrared LED lights, so it lights up the water underneath the ice.
BUYING ADVICE
  • I suggest this option for ice fishing or possibly shore fishing if you’re limiting your movement. The camera may draw attention to itself, so you’ll want to keep it a small distance away from the lure.
BENEFITS
  • Great for monitoring fish behavior
  • Excellent for ice fishing
  • Cool for recreational use as well
DRAWBACKS
  • Limited viewing area
  • Cold water sometimes causes distortion

Deeper Start Smart Fish Finder

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Model: DP2H10S10
  • Type: Castable Fish Finder
  • Display: N/A
  • Dimensions: N/A
FEATURED SPECS
  • The fish finder connects using its wi-fi, so you don’t need an internet connection or data.
EXTRA FEATURES
  • It displays fish icons using these different sizes to indicate different sizes of fish. There’s also an alarm, so you never miss out on a big catch.
BUYING ADVICE
  • This one has a little less of a range than the other castable fish finder we looked at, and it comes with a mount so you can safely secure your phone to your rod.
BENEFITS
  • Easy to use
  • Provides animated fish display in the water
  • Uses its own wi-fi connectivity
DRAWBACKS
  • Doesn’t provide a lot of detail regarding vegetation and structure
  • Shorter distance than desired

If you like the castable fish finders, here’s another one for you. You can sync it with the Deeper App, hook it up using the included swivel, and cast it out on the water. It comes with wi-fi enabled, so you receive updates in real-time. 

The Deeper Start charges using a USB port, and it runs for a total of six hours on a two and a half-hour charge. The app is easy to use, and the sonar is accurate and efficient. 

HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Model: Fishtrax 1C
  • Type: HD Sonar Display
  • Display: 2.0”
  • Dimensions: 6 x 3 x 2”
FEATURED SPECS
  • The handheld design makes it easy for beginner anglers to learn how to use a fish finder.
EXTRA FEATURES
  • It comes with five different levels of sensitivity and a fish alarm to appeal to anglers of all types. You can use this one the shore, on a boat, or for ice fishing.
BUYING ADVICE
  • This one has a little less of a range than the other castable fish finder we looked at, and it comes with a mount so you can safely secure your phone to your rod.
BENEFITS
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Great for beginners
DRAWBACKS
  • Doesn’t provide advanced detail
  • Limited information regarding structure

This fish finder might be simplistic, but it gets the job done. It’ll locate and display the location of fish up to 240 feet, and it comes with an LED backlight to reduce glare and also help provide increased visibility at night. 

The HawkEye also offers a wide assortment of fish finder mounting options. It comes with an extender arm that you can use to mount it on kayaks, Jon boats, and more. 

Lowrance HOOK2 9 9-Inch Fish Finder

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Model: HOOK2 9
  • Type: Split Shot Transducer
  • Display: 9.0”
  • Dimensions: 11.8 x 10.1 x 8.6”
FEATURED SPECS
  • Wide-angle chirp sonar helps offer extended coverage of everything going on under the water.
EXTRA FEATURES
  • This fish finder offers multiple picture-in-picture to show you sonar, live imagery, as well as mapping and GPS.
BUYING ADVICE
  • I’m a huge fan of the fact that this fish finder offers 4,000 preloaded US lakes already mapped out into the finder. We’re becoming big fans of the Lowrance HOOK2 brand of fish finders. They’re definitely one of the best fish finder brands, in our opinion.
BENEFITS
  • Large screen
  • Great visibility and accuracy
  • Easy to set up
  • Down scan or chirp sonar
DRAWBACKS
  • A little pricey
  • Issues with faulty materials

If you can look past the price tag, you get a lot for your money here. This fish finder is incredibly easy to use with autotuning scanning sonar and simple to navigate menus. If you don’t have a lot of experience with technology, this finder won’t hurt you too much. (I figured it out, and I’m not tech-savvy either) 

You mount the transducer on the side of your boat and choose split shot, down scan, or chirp. It’s great to have these options because what you need with change based on where you’re fishing. 

Garmin echoMAP Plus

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Model: 93sv
  • Type: Down and Side Scan
  • Display: 9.0”
  • Dimensions: 13.5 x 10.25 x 8.5”
FEATURED SPECS
  • This fish finder includes both a side and down scan, which helps increase the amount of fish you can see depending on your fishing style.
EXTRA FEATURES
  • It offers incredible visual quality, including depth and exact location of the fish.
BUYING ADVICE
  • You’ve got a lot of options here, and navigating is simple with the touch screen and side button functionality.
BENEFITS
  • Large screen
  • Great visuals
  • Easy to operate
DRAWBACKS
  • Doesn’t have chirp functionality
  • Issues with faulty materials

This high-performance fish finder from Garmin does a great job of providing high-quality visuals, pinpoint accuracy, and a highly functioning device. It’s got a hefty price tag, but with that comes great performance that is sure to help your fishing game.

JOYWEE 3.5” Phiradar Color Display LCD Screen Fish Finder

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Model: FF688C
  • Type: Dual Beam Transducer
  • Display: 3.5”
  • Dimensions: 7 x 7 x 5”
FEATURED SPECS
  • This fish finder is ideal for beginner anglers looking to start identifying fish on a fish finder.
EXTRA FEATURES
  • It helps show you changes in the contour of the ground beneath the water while also helping you pick up on the location of schools of fish.
BUYING ADVICE
  • It comes with many different sensitivity settings, so if you fish many different lakes and water bodies, you might like this one.
BENEFITS
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Great for beginners
  • Easy to mount
DRAWBACKS
  • Not as detailed as some other options

Types of Fish Finders

Fish Finders

When choosing the right fish finder, what a lot of people don’t realize is that it has a lot less to do with the design, screen, and appearance of the unit itself. Having the best fish finder transducer is what will separate the top-rated fish finder from a scrub you find on clearance. Let’s break down the types of sonar. 

Standard Sonar 

The types of fish finders I used originally were conventional sonar. This meant that the waves went down into the water until they bounced off of something. When they bounced, it would usually indicate a fish or some sort of structure.

Based on that, this is how you would determine where to throw your line. While this worked to a certain extent, you can probably tell why it isn’t the best option. First, it doesn’t tell you what you’re bouncing off of. It could be a rock, stump, patch of grass, or a prize-winning bass

Another problem with standard sonar is the accuracy of location. They’ll tell you the depth of the fish, but there’s no guaranteeing how accurate that will be. The screens on these types of fish finders aren’t usually very detailed, so you don’t get a lot of information. 

It’s generally a toss-up of whether you’re casting perfectly into a school of fish or a patch of weeds. 

Chirp Sonar

Chirping is the same as standard sonar, and much of the operational function is the same. The main difference is the frequency of the sonar. Instead of sending equal waves in a pattern down into the water, the chirp sends quick bursts of sonar waves, which helps detect fish quicker, but it also helps increase accuracy. 

These types of fish finders can also tell you more about the water structure because certain things will move (fish), and others won’t (structure). 

Down Imaging

This type of fish finder is much smarter and ultimately much more expensive as well. Instead of creating images based on where the sound bounces off, this type of sonar will paint a vivid picture of what to expect beneath the water based on the frequency.

Down imaging provides an elaborate picture of underwater structures such as trees, stumps, and greenery. It also refreshes constantly, so it will continue to pick up the movement of fish as they move around beneath you. 

These are much more accurate, and they keep you hot on the trail of fish. The problem is, they can only tell you what is directly beneath the boat. For that reason, you’re limited with what you can do with a down image fish finder. 

These work well if you’re throwing out a split shot or a drop shot, but if you’re trying to cast long distances underneath a dock, you won’t have any idea what’s out there. 

Side Imaging

Hey, would you look at that? We have a solution to the problem. If you read some of the fish finder reviews above, you know what side imaging exists, and it helps you see what’s around the boat rather than right under it. This is helpful if you’re trying to fish structure around you or in shallow waters. 

Each side imaging fish finder will have a certain radius that it can read, and the best fish finders will offer a combination of all of these in one. You’ll get chirp, down image, and side image in one convenient package to hook up to your boat and roll with.

Features to Look For When Choosing a Fish Finder

Features to Look For When Choosing a Fish Finder

When you’re looking for the ideal fish finder, there are many primary features to keep an eye out for. Here are some examples. 

Transducer

The transducer is an essential component because it will determine the quality of the image you receive. If you don’t have a high performing transducer, you won’t have the accuracy you need to find any bass. 

The transducer sends the sonar waves into the water, and those waves bounce back, that’s what provides you with the image of a fish underneath the boat. So, how do you tell that you have a high-quality transducer? 

First, I look at the brand. If it’s a popular brand like Humminbird or Garmin, I know I’m getting a product with a successful reputation.

The next thing I look at is the build of the device. Does it appear durable? Does it look like it can withstand some abuse? Keep in mind that this piece will usually get mounted on the underside or side of the boat. There’s a chance that it might take some damage in the water. It needs to be able to hold up against all the odds. 

Mounting 

Another important factor to consider is how the transducer gets mounted to the boat. The typical type of mount is a transom mount transducer. These are mounted to the back of the boat, by the trolling motor so they don’t have to take a heavy flow of water.

Due to the nature at which you mount these transducers, they are usually the most fragile but the most affordable. 

Through-hull mounts usually go on the side of the boat, and while they’re more durable and offer more flexibility as to where you mount them, they’re more expensive. These are designed for longer fishing trips in deeper water on higher speed boats. 

An in-hull mount goes inside the boat as the name suggests, and they’re the easiest to install. The downside here is that you need to have a boat material that the transducer can penetrate. You’ll need to mount it using bronze, stainless, or plastic based on your boat’s material. 

Cone Angle

The cone of your fish finder refers to the width of the sound wave it offers. The wider the cone, the larger the area. It’s important to understand that larger doesn’t always mean better. Some of the fish finders we looked at above have a wide radius, but that results in a poorer signal. 

I’ve noticed that fish finders with a smaller cone provide a much clearer and more accurate picture of what’s going on under the water. 

Where you really want to pay attention is the depth of the cone. Some will only provide signals up to 100 feet at the side but 150 feet if you’re directly under the boat. If you don’t understand this, it can lead to distortions and confusion, which can cause you to cast in places where you won’t catch anything. 

The angle of the cone is critical too, and you’d like to find one with at least a 20-degree angle. These are most common, and you shouldn’t have to pay a whole year’s salary to get one that offers it. Many of the fish finders I reviewed above also offer dual-beam signals, which will cover more area at a lower depth.  

Display

The display and screen that you get with your fish finder are important because it helps you see what’s going on beneath you. An important feature that I look for is a fish finder with a display that is easy to navigate. Split screen is also an ideal feature. 

I’m looking for simplicity, and so should you. All I need is a fish finder that will help me find fish. It’s all part of the user experience. 

Something else you want to look for with your display as well is the type of screen. Some are monochrome, while others are color. Most of the fish finders we see today will use color to signify changes in elevation, this feature is incredibly useful, and it helps you get an idea of what you’re looking at faster. 

You also want to look for a display that offers some sort of glare protection or automatic adjustment based on the amount of sunlight on the screen. A backlight is convenient for night bass fishing as well. 

Screen Resolution

The resolution of your screen is always an important buying factor because it determines how much time you’ll have to spend looking at the fish finder to figure out what you’re looking at. While there’s no “set in stone” requirement for screen resolution, you want something with high-resolution that allows you to view what’s happening underwater clearly.

Size

In my opinion, I want something that isn’t intrusive to my fishing. I find that some of the fish finders reviewed above appear incredibly fragile, and they also take up a lot of space in the boat. Nobody wants something that gets in the way, especially if you’re fishing on small boats.

That said, the smaller you go, the smaller screen size you will get, which may make it more difficult for you to see what’s happening underwater. 

Power

When I refer to power, I’m talking about the power of the transducer. The amount of power you have will determine how deep your finder can display images. A powerful device will allow you to work better in deeper water, but it will also help you in less than desirable conditions. If the water is murky, a low-quality fish finder will prevent you from getting a clear image. 

The power of your transducer is calculated in something called RMS or root mean squared. It’s similar to wattage. Most fish finders aren’t any less than 200 RMS, and the ideal power is 500. If you have a 500-watt device, you will be able to get a clear image in any condition. 

Sometimes it’s not even about the image. Many finders can display water temperature and they have a depth finder. 

Frequency 

Another factor that will determine the quality of your image is the frequency. All of these factors work together in perfect harmony, and you can’t have one without the other. Higher frequencies mean more detail. 

The primary thing to understand is that, with a high frequency, the water depth and power decreases. So, ideally, you want to find something with a nice middle ground. Quality frequency and moderate power are essential to getting a high-quality picture of the water. 

GPS Capabilities

Most finders will come with a GPS unit, and this is a feature you won’t realize you need until you need it. If you’re out on the water and a dense fog comes rolling in, you won’t know where you are. 

I’ve drifted too far down the river on multiple occasions that I can’t determine how far it is back to the launch site. If that happens, I can check out the GPS and keep my peace of mind. 

GPS also allows you to create waypoints and many have chartplotter features so you can document your best fishing spots for next time. 

The only problem with finder/GPS combos is the price. These are more expensive and sometimes a little bulkier, but you can’t sacrifice the security you have in always knowing where you are. (unless you have GPS on your phone, which most of us do) 

FAQ’s

You might still have some questions, and that’s okay. Here are some of the most popular questions we’ve received regarding fish finders.

A fish finder is a device that uses sonar waves underwater to identify disturbances in the water. These waves bounce off whatever it is, and the device then determines if that is a fish or a structure. Some high-quality fish finders even identify the size of the fish. 

The method of installing a fish finder depends on many different factors. The type of boat you have, the type of finder, your fishing style, the material your boat is, the type of mount you have, and more. 

Your finder will usually come with a few different methods of reading. One is similar to a topographical map. It will use changes in color to identify changes in elevation below the water. This helps you determine drop-offs and changes in the bed to help locate ideal fishing locations. 

 

Another method will use the sonar waves, which will display ripples on the screen. These ripples or “waves” are fish. Some have a picture of a fish, while others show waves or curves. 

 

Finally, the best fish finders will display an accurate picture of what’s happening under the water. They will show you actual pictures of fish as if you took them with a camera. 

Most fish finders are not waterproof, but they are water-resistant. You can not fully submerge them underwater, but if they get wet, it will not hurt them. If you have a castable fish finder, then you know that they are waterproof. 

 

The transducer that comes with your fish finder is waterproof because a portion of it will be continually submerged underwater. 

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right fish finder is not easy. It’s an expensive purchase, and it’s something that you hope will last you a long time. Many factors go into this decision, and a lot of technology behind how they work is not easy to understand. I hope this guide cleared up some of your confusion and pointed you in the right direction. 

All of the fish finders recommended above are great options; it’s just about choosing the one that makes the most sense for you. I recommend the Garmin Striker Plus 4 because it offers the most features for an affordable price. 

If you’re like me, you just want something to perform its duty without all the smoke and mirrors. That fish finder will do the trick. Good luck out there!

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