Best Fish Finders to Be the Best Fishermen

Review & Comparison, Last Update June 21, 2021
A lot of people like fishing. And today the process of fishing is not only joyous but also highly efficient. We have created this informative fishfinder review. ...Read more ...Read less
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BEST 2021
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Detection Range
Data Mapping
Usability
Warranty
 
PROS

Owing to the built-in GPS module and access to offline marine maps, you will be able to record and save the bottom's composition. Likewise, the appliance can save and store the fish hotspots for future use.

CONS

Pairing the device with a mobile gadget for the first time can take some time.

OUR VERDICT

This 3-beam sonar from Deeper will be an invaluable asset for both fishing from the boat and from the shore. Owing to the CHIRP tech implemented in the unit, the appliance is capable of sending sonar echoes at different frequencies, while its internal battery can be quickly charged in just 45 minutes. A true find for professional fishers.

detailed parameters
Detection Range

Up to 330 ft

Data Mapping

All information is displayed on the screen of your portable device

Usability

Wi-Fi, GPS, Standard, Ice fishing, Boat modes, 3 frequency CHIRP - Narrow 675 kHz (cone angle 7°), Medium 290 kHz (cone angle 16°), Wide 100 kHz (cone angle 47°), Up to 8 hours operating time, Fast charge technology

Warranty

5 years

PROS

The onboard Quickdraw Contour map drawing enables creating and saving maps with sizes of up to 2 million acres. The process of creating new maps and using the old ones is quite straightforward and easy to learn since most of the work the unit does itself.

CONS

The cable connection quality can be a little wonky.

OUR VERDICT

The Garmin Striker Plus is a fish finder that features two sonars instead of a single one. This enables using it on the boat and from the shore with surprising effectiveness. The IPX7-rated housing, on the other hand, ensures that it will serve you for years to come.

detailed parameters
Detection Range

1900 ft CHIRP traditional sonar, 750 ft ClearVü sonar

Data Mapping

5" color display (800 x 480 resolution)

Usability

GPS, IPX7 waterproof, support 50/77/200 kHz frequencies, CHIRP (mid and high), ClearVü 260/455/800 kHz frequencies, Built-in Garmin Quickdraw Contours mapping software, Autogain technology, Adjustable depth line, Water temperature sensor

Warranty

1 year limited

PROS

The embedded GPS module enables marking waypoints and creating routes. The module also displays the speed of the boat. The ActiveCaptain app transfers waypoints, provides software update notifications, and lets you access Quickdraw Contours Community.

CONS

The instructions are lacking. 

OUR VERDICT

Between its two sonars, the integrated GPS module, the autogain tech, and the software that this device works with, Garmin Striker Plus will let you strike like never before. With it, you'll be leaving even the worst spots with at least some catch.

detailed parameters
Detection Range

1500 ft CHIRP traditional sonar, 600 ft ClearVü sonar 

Data Mapping

7" WVGA color TFT display (800 x 480 resolution)

Usability

Built-in Garmin Quickdraw Contours mapping software, Wi-Fi, access to ActiveCaptain app, Built-in GPS, IPX7 waterproof, Dual-frequency (50/200 kHz) sonar capable, Dual-beam (77/200 kHz) sonar capable, Ultrascroll®, fish symbol id, Autogain technology, Adjustable depth line, A-scope, Water temperature sensor

Warranty

1 year limited

PROS

The universal TraxNut™ mounting gear allows fixing the main unit on pretty much any surface of your vessel. Alternatively, it can be put directly on ice, which makes ice fishing a breeze with this unit.

CONS

The appliance could really use a UI scaling setting.

OUR VERDICT

The HawkEye Fishtrax 1C fish sonar can work in 3 different modes that will be useful for different kinds of fishing including ice, trolling, and fishing from shore. For added precision, the appliance has 100 levels of accuracy, which enables pinpointing the sonar at different spots underwater.

detailed parameters
Detection Range

Up to 240 ft

Data Mapping

VirtuView™ 3.3" TFT display (2" x 1.6")

Usability

3 modes (Fish Finder, Data, Ice-Mode Digital Flasher), TraxNut™ mounting system, FishArc and FishID fish finder indicators, Dual transducer frequency 200/83 kHz, Dual-beam angle 14°/26°, Fish depth scale, Bottom composition indicators, Audible fish alarm, Algorithmic software, Water temperature sensor

Warranty

2 years

PROS

This fishfinder will display not only the relief of the bottom and the water temperature but also the lunar phase. It has two snap swivel connections allowing you to use it as a remote fish finder or a bobber. The app's anti-glare setting will help you see the reading on the display better. 

CONS

The app interface is not that responsive.

OUR VERDICT

This compact and lightweight Reelsonar iBobber fishfinder can connect to any Android or iOS device via Bluetooth. It turns on in water automatically and begins to send you data on the depth, temperature, and fish.

detailed parameters
Detection Range

Up to 135 ft

Data Mapping

All information is displayed on the screen of your portable device

Usability

10+ hrs battery life, 2 Snap swivel connections, GPS spot tagging with interactive map, Fish & strike alarms, Compatible with Google Watch and iWatch, Lunar calendar and weather, Free app on iOS and Android, Carrying pouch

Warranty

1 year limited

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Deeper CHIRP

Premium Quality and Perfomance

The Deeper CHIRP is one of the best picks for all types of fishing that involves casting a line, be it fishing from a static position or from a moving boat. But what features actually make it so good? Let’s take a closer look at the aspects of this sonar ball and find out!

First things first, the main thing that stands out about this unit is CHIRP (Compressed High-Intensity Radiated Pulse) technology. What makes it so great is that it not only helps find the smallest catch in the water but also reduces the amount of frequency noise that is common in other, less sophisticated sonar models, which allows it to obtain an accurate sonar reading regardless of the waters you are fishing in, be it salt or freshwater, river or lake.

Another feature that is unique to this little green ball is the 3-mode sonar that enables seeing the catch at different angles and at different depths from the gadget itself. This will come in handy for locating and scanning the fish-holding hotspots. The third mode, on the other hand, utilizes a narrow-angle beam that will help you with identifying the type of fish you are looking at.

The other thing that makes CHIRP a better choice for the money compared to other fish sonars in the same class is charging time. Thanks to the quick-charge feature, the gadget will be ready to roll in under 45 minutes, while the full charge time will take only 75 minutes.

Review of Deeper CHIRP Fish Finder for Kayaks Ice Fishing

Fish Is Easily Spotted With Deeper

Being one of the biggest fish sonars out of the bunch included on our list, the Deeper CHIRP is not that hard to transport. Likewise, it floats quite well both in calm and not so calm waters while being visible from quite far away.

Perhaps, the only thing that is unusual about the sonar is that it doesn’t have any means of bringing all the data up, except for the wireless signal transmission. Yep, you will need to connect the appliance to your phone or tablet via Wi-Fi in order to see what the fish finder sees. Luckily, the device can generate its very own Wi-Fi signal, so you only have to worry about your gadgets charge level. For better results, it is recommended to use the mobile application provided by Deeper that enables you to see not only fish but also the underwater vegetation and structure of the bottom.

Wrapping things up, the Deeper CHIRP is an excellent piece of fishing gear and will be one of the best options for fishermen that look for professional-grade sonar. It combines ease of use with cutting-edge radar technologies that enable using it right out of the box with little to no setup.

Deeper CHIRP Fish Finder for Kayaks Ice Fishing in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price $299.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B07VLHY63X

 

Garmin Striker 5cv Plus (010-01872-00)

Picture Clarity and GPS Capabilities

The Garmin Striker 5cv Plus is a GPS-based sonar that also uses the CHIRP technology as its main mean of scanning the waters, so, let’s see what is so special about this combination.

Starting off, the appliance will require prior setup before you can use it to its full potential. This is why you will have to use the GPS function before you venture to capture your next catch. Like with other products from Garmin, the Striker 5cv allows you to create separate waypoints that will help in mapping the sector you want to fish in. This will come in handy for users looking for a fish sonar that can be used for trolling fishing from a moving vessel. This is achieved thanks to the built-in GPS module that doesn’t require additional gear to work properly, the whole waypoint setup can be done on the screen of the main unit.

Furthermore, the appliance has a CHIRP-certified ClearVü Clarity tech to amplify the effectiveness of the built-in sonar module. To put it simply, it can scan everything that passes underneath your boat. Coupled with the Garmin traditional sonar that is also featured in this unit, you will be able to see a clear picture of what’s going on underwater, but what is great about the technology is that it makes it easier to separate weeds and other objects from the actual catch.

Review of Garmin Striker 5cv Plus (010-01872-00) GPS Fish Finder

Unrivaled Sonar Range

What makes fishing a real breeze, though, is the transducer itself, which operates on 3 separate frequencies. These include both ClearVü frequencies (260/455/800 kHz) and the traditional CHIRP ones (50/77/200 kHz) that together can cover the areas with size ranging from 750 up to 1900 feet with some delay. Although the latter is possible, it will be more appropriate to use on greater depth rather than for distance due to the lag that can occur.

Unlike most modern fish finders, this model from Garmin features a solid, durable base that can be installed directly onto your boat. Although this particular kit doesn’t come equipped with mounting hardware, you can optionally order one alongside a protective cover for the main screen. The housing of the unit and the screen, respectively, has the protective rating of IPX7 that firmly protects it from both water splashes and submerging it into the water.

Finally, the Garmin Striker 5cv Plus proved to be an optimal choice between sonar and GPS-based fish finders. Being a good solution for various kinds of fishing, it incorporates multiple sonar technologies in one unit that is both easy to use and adjust on the fly.

Garmin Striker 5cv Plus (010-01872-00) GPS Fish Finder in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price $299.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B076W865Z4

What customers say about this product

Key Specs

Have this on my small boat, works just like it’s big brother..

Features

Good product took some time for GPS line to show up but was able to return to our start location when we were done.

Interface

Works great, lots of information. I like that you can set waypoints. Easy to install
 

Garmin Striker Plus (010-01873-00)

Two Sonars

The Garmin Striker Plus strikes with merciless efficiency and precision. This is not the company's cheapest product to date but, counting everything that this device is offering, its price-performance ratio is up there with the best Garmin representatives.

Without further ado, the model comes equipped with two sonars: the traditional CHIRP unit that reaches 1500 feet and the ClearVü sonar that pushes 600 feet. Between these two, this device delivers practically photographic clarity, drawing a wide image that covers everything that passes below the boat. With it, you'll always be able to tell the difference between structures, submerged objects, and fish. As always, the CHIRP tech provides excellent target separation, letting you catch more fish even on a bad day.

But, as much as tech matters with fishfinders (and it does quite a bit), let's talk a pause and discuss what will be the biggest driving force between success and failure - the software that this device is compatible with. First, there's the integrated Garmin Quickdraw Contours mapping software. With this program, you can create and store maps with 1-inch contours stretching as wide/long as 2 million acres. To put it differently, while you're busy trolling the shorelines as well as the water's depths, this mapping software will be creating high-definition fishing maps, covering the places you've been at.

Review of Garmin Striker Plus (010-01873-00) Fish Finders

Even More Software Assistance

Though we've seen Garmin fishfinders with the above-mentioned mapping software before, the ActiveCaptain app is not quite as common, which is a shame (as far as people with incompatible models are concerned). Using the finder's integrated Wi-Fi module, this brilliant (and free) app can be paired within seconds. Once paired, the app will let smart notifications to the screen. Besides that, this application will enable seamless waypoint transferring, provide easy access to Quickdraw Contours Community, and send you frequent software update notifications. Working with the built-in GPS, the app also marks waypoints, creates routes, and displays the boat's speed.

Keeping in mind everything that we've reviewed and the Autogain tech, the adjustable depth line, and the A-scope, the worst thing about this device is that the provided instructions are lacking, so figuring out its nearly countless settings will take some time. Still, considering how much the Garmin Striker Plus helps, it will be time well spent.

Garmin Striker Plus (010-01873-00) Fish Finders in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price $0.00
Stock May be out of stock
ASIN B08PBXQ834

 

Hawkeye FT1PXC

Great for Trolling and Static Fishing

The Hawkeye FT1PXC has a significantly more modest price tag than the first few fish sonars on our list. That being said, don’t let the price put you off from this excellent piece of kit, what we have here might be one of the best fish finders in the medium price range that you can find for the money.

So, to start off, the appliance features a 2 mode transducer that operates on 200 and 83 kHz frequencies that together allow for depth and distance radar action. While the former will be useful for determining how far the fish is from you, the latter will come in handy for trolling fishing and for fishing from a stationary position. Combined with 14° and 26° beam angles, you will be able to see not only your catch but also the composition of the bottom with relative ease.

Transducer functions aside, it is time to take a look at the main unit itself and what it has to offer. Contrary to other similar devices, the cursor controller on this fish finder is located slightly to the side, instead of being right in the middle. This allows for quicker target acquisition and overall better ease of use since the chances of hitting the wrong button are significantly lower. Likewise, the other buttons enable you to zoom in on the picture and select the required sonar modes in the blink of an eye.

Review of Hawkeye FT1PXC Fish Finder

An Excellent Alternative

The 3.3-inch screen of the unit also makes you see what’s going on underneath your vessel easier. On top of all that, the user interface of the device is simple and quite easy to read in both low-light conditions and under direct sunlight. To make navigating easier, the FishTrax’s 1C multi-mode screen is fully-colored and has 3 different view modes including the standard fish finder, data, and ice-mode digital flasher that react differently to the echoes produced by the sonar.

For added convenience, the appliance will notify you about the detected fish with an audible cue that will ultimately let you know when to drop a line into the water. This will be a perfect option for fishing from a kayak, small boat or any other vessel that requires being in a static position. As a neat bonus, the detector can also determine an accurate water temperature that will be useful for various ways of getting the catch.

In the end, Hawkeye is a solid alternative to pricier options available on the market today. This model features a minimalistic UI that is simple in operation and easy to read, which ultimately makes it a great fish sonar for fishermen that want to yield a big catch in a more relaxed fashion.

Hawkeye FT1PXC Fish Finder in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price $150.79
Stock In stock
ASIN B016O5IDBW

 

ReelSonar iBobber

Simple Enough

The iBobber fishfinder was designed with simplicity in mind. It is truly portable and will be perfect for hiking, kayaking, canoeing, and camping, where the size and weight of a device really matter. Capable of immersing within 135' depth and giving very precise sonar readings, this appliance will be perfect for discovering salmon, walleye, trout, pike, panfish, salmon, muskie, smallmouth and largemouth bass, and some other edible species. 

As it was mentioned above, the best fishfinders are effective both in salt and fresh water, and this model is one of such devices. It will quickly locate structures and fish in rivers, lakes, ponds, and so on. Even being far away from your fishfinder, you will be able to monitor what is going on. All you need to do for that is synchronize the appliance with your phone or tablet.

Review of ReelSonar iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder

Structure Contouring

Besides locating the fish, the appliance will effectively map the waterbed and structure contour. Thanks to a special application, the iBobber fishfinder connects to your mobile device via Bluetooth and enables you to mark spots, add lures, log water temps and depth. The device also allows you to select a fish tagging or raw sonar view, depending on your needs. The GPS spot tagging with an interactive map will be really useful for underwater navigation.

The iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder is a small but very functional device. It has two snap swivel connections allowing you to use it as a remote fish finder or a bobber. The contrast design of the appliance makes it more visible under the bright sun. Plus, the app's anti-glare setting will help you see the reading on the display better. In addition, it features a charge status indicator that lets you know if the battery is OK. By the way, the rechargeable battery can work more than 10 hours non-stop.

The iBobber fishfinder boasts Trip Log allowing you to save time, date, location, water temperature, conditions, lure, and the number of fish you have caught. This model is also compatible with iWatch and Google Watch and has free apps for Android and iOS.

Now, if you are fond of winter fishing or night fishing, then you will certainly appreciate these LED beacons as well as strike and fish alarms.

ReelSonar iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price $89.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B00LEA2FS0

What customers say about this product

Key Specs

A lot of my fishing is in backwater where regular sonar is just not that effective.

Interface

Some of the nice features are the underwater mapping and fish alarm.

Features

Very handy and portable and the battery last long.
 

Infographics

Comparison of Fish Finders to Be the Best Fishermen

What Is a Fishfinder?

Modern technologies greatly facilitate the process of fishing. Recently, a lot of high-tech appliances have appeared in the fishing equipment market. Thanks to that, you can catch fish effectively in almost any and all conditions.

A fish finder is a device that any fisherman will take advantage of. Using a fish finder, you will be able to literally look through the depth of the water and detect the fish, thus, ridding yourself of a lot of hassle that finding the best spot for fishing usually entails. However, it's important to note that a fish finder isn't just a radar. The functionality of a device is much more versatile than that and will give you the precision of scanning the relief of the bottom, something that any diver will be able to appreciate. No need to say, a fishfinder is a must appliance for amateur fishermen too. It does a brilliant job of both trolling fishing on the move, ice fishing, and regular fishing from a static position. Be it your boat or your local jetty, a regular fish finder will make the process much easier.

Finding fish is great, but you need to catch it, and that's why we recommend reading our comparison of the best fishing rods for novice fishermen and professionals.

Also, our review of inflatable boats will come in handy for those who like boat fishing.

Best Fishfinders

What Features to Compare

A choice of a good fishfinder is a guarantee of successful fishing. There are several important features you need to consider when you choose a depth finder. A common person will get nothing from reading too difficult technical terms, so we have decided to make it all much simpler so that an average person can make a choice.

Detection Range

The first thing you need to consider is the detection range which defines how deep underwater a fishfinder can scan. It is usually measured in metres or feet. Also, as additional information, we provide more details regarding scanning angles, the power of the radar, the number of bands, and so on.

Data Mapping

Having chosen a detection range, you need to realize how exactly the information is displayed and we have called this feature data mapping. Some fish finders are autonomous and have TFT screens where all the data are shown, whereas others work via a special app you install on your smartphone or any other portable device. The graphics are different - some depth finders make a really detailed picture.

The most popular apps today are LakeMaster and Navionics. The first application is so popular primarily because the contours that the app draws are easy to read but also because it highlights depth ranges and lets you scroll through lake lists, with a robust search tool finding the one you need within seconds. Navionics is no slouch either though. No, this app boasts the most detailed cartography among similar applications, covering both saltwater and freshwater places. Aside from aiding fishing, Navionics will also help you cruise and sail with comfort and efficiency.

Usability

Finally, you need to know when and where you can use a fishfinder. Some of them are better for boat fishing while others are perfect for fishing from on the shore. That is why we give you detailed information about usability. The best fishfinder sonars can be used in freshwater and in saltwater.

Nowadays, premium 'finders and even some mid-range models come equipped with dual-beam sonars. The difference between these sonars and old versions is that the dual-beam models let you use both beams together or separately. When you use them separately, you can choose between improved coverage or maximum detail. When you use them together, you receive both (compared to single-beam sonars) but also somewhat sacrifice both (compared to when you use dual-beam sonars separately).

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