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Best Fish Finder – Don’t Let Another One Get Away

  • Updated: November 13, 2019
Best Fish Finder | People On A Boat Fishing

Sometimes even the most experienced fisherman needs a little help. Choosing the best fish finder can make the difference between success and failure.

Read next: Check out our review of the best inflatable dinghy, marine stereo, and best sit on top kayak

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Best Fish Finders - (Comparison Table)

Best Overall
Elite-7 Ti - 7-inch Fish Finder with TotalScan Transducer and US and Canada Navionics+ Map Card
Garmin Striker 7SV with transducer,  010-01809-00
Lowrance HOOK2 7 - 7-inch Fish Finder with TripleShot Transducer and US Inland Lake Maps Installed …
Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish finder
Best Budget
HOOK2 5 - 5-inch Fish Finder with SplitShot Transducer and US Inland Lake Maps Installed
Brand & Model
Lowrance Elite-7 Ti
Garmin Striker 7sv
Lowrance HOOK 7
Humminbird Helix 7
Lowrance HOOK 5
W x H xD
22 cm (8.6 in), 16 cm (6.3 in), 6.3 cm (2.5 in)
23.5 cm (9.25 in), 14.0 cm (5.5 in), 5.8 cm (2.2 in)
23.5 cm (9.26 om), 7.6 cm (3 in), 15.1 cm (6 in)
26.7 (10.54 in), 14.7 (5.80 in), 9.34 (3.68 in)
18.54 cm (7.3 in), 10.1 cm (4.3 in), 8.4 cm (3.3 in)
Has GPS
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
IPX Rating
7
7
7
7
7
Weight
1.38 kg (3.0 lbs)
1.76 kg (0.8 lbs)
1 kg (2.2 lbs)
2.44 kg (5.4 lbs)
1.66 kg (3.38 in)
Side Imaging
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
--
Down Imaging
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Display Size
17.7 cm (7 in) diagonal
17.7 cm (7 in) Diagonal
17.7 cm (7 in) Diagonal
17.7 cm ( 7 in) Diagonal
12.7 cm (5 in) diagonal
Best Overall
Elite-7 Ti - 7-inch Fish Finder with TotalScan Transducer and US and Canada Navionics+ Map Card
Brand & Model
Lowrance Elite-7 Ti
W x H xD
22 cm (8.6 in), 16 cm (6.3 in), 6.3 cm (2.5 in)
Has GPS
Yes
IPX Rating
7
Weight
1.38 kg (3.0 lbs)
Side Imaging
Yes
Down Imaging
Yes
Display Size
17.7 cm (7 in) diagonal
Garmin Striker 7SV with transducer,  010-01809-00
Brand & Model
Garmin Striker 7sv
W x H xD
23.5 cm (9.25 in), 14.0 cm (5.5 in), 5.8 cm (2.2 in)
Has GPS
Yes
IPX Rating
7
Weight
1.76 kg (0.8 lbs)
Side Imaging
Yes
Down Imaging
Yes
Display Size
17.7 cm (7 in) Diagonal
Lowrance HOOK2 7 - 7-inch Fish Finder with TripleShot Transducer and US Inland Lake Maps Installed …
Brand & Model
Lowrance HOOK 7
W x H xD
23.5 cm (9.26 om), 7.6 cm (3 in), 15.1 cm (6 in)
Has GPS
Yes
IPX Rating
7
Weight
1 kg (2.2 lbs)
Side Imaging
Yes
Down Imaging
Yes
Display Size
17.7 cm (7 in) Diagonal
Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish finder
Brand & Model
Humminbird Helix 7
W x H xD
26.7 (10.54 in), 14.7 (5.80 in), 9.34 (3.68 in)
Has GPS
Yes
IPX Rating
7
Weight
2.44 kg (5.4 lbs)
Side Imaging
Yes
Down Imaging
Yes
Display Size
17.7 cm ( 7 in) Diagonal
Best Budget
HOOK2 5 - 5-inch Fish Finder with SplitShot Transducer and US Inland Lake Maps Installed
Brand & Model
Lowrance HOOK 5
W x H xD
18.54 cm (7.3 in), 10.1 cm (4.3 in), 8.4 cm (3.3 in)
Has GPS
Yes
IPX Rating
7
Weight
1.66 kg (3.38 in)
Side Imaging
--
Down Imaging
Yes
Display Size
12.7 cm (5 in) diagonal

Top Fish Finders​

Best Fish Finder Overall

Lowrance Elite-7 Ti

Lowrance has been in the business of producing fish finders for more than 50 years. They have put all their experience into the Elite 7 and pulled out all the stops.

This unit boasts both sideways and downward imaging with sharp images shown on a 17.7 cm (7 in) touch screen display.

A very accurate built in GPS enables you to mark your favourite fishing spots. This device is also WiFi and Bluetooth enabled and can connect to other devices.

The Elite 7 comes with an HD, high speed transducer with CHIRP technology. This makes it even easier to separate vegetation and structures from those elusive fish.

  • W x H x D: 22 cm (8.6 in), 16 cm (6.3 in), 6.3 cm (2.5 in)
  • Has GPS: Yes
  • IPX Rating: 7
  • Weight: 1.38 kg (3.0 lbs)
  • Side Imaging:  Yes
  • Down Imaging: Yes
  • Display Size: 17.7 cm (7 in) diagonal

What we like

  • On board GPS with WiFi and Bluetooth enabled functionality.
  • CHIRP transducer
  • Side by side image splitting

What we don't like

  • On the higher end of the price range

Best GPS Fish Finder

Garmin Striker 7sv

Garmin has introduced the new Garmin Striker 7sv as a competitively priced fish finder that doesn’t scrimp on features.

The name of Garmin may not be as synonymous with fish finders as Humminbird or Lowrance, but the Striker does not disappoint. It has CHIRP technology along with Garmin's GPS know-how

This unit modulates the pulse of its transducer to give a detailed side and downward view.

Its compact design makes it perfect for the kayaker.

  • W x H x D: 23.5 cm (9.25 in), 14.0 cm (5.5 in), 5.8 cm (2.2 in)
  • Has GPS: Yes
  • IPX Rating: 7
  • Weight: 1.76 kg (0.8 lbs)
  • Side Imaging: Yes
  • Down Imaging: Yes
  • Display Size: 17.78 cm (7 inches)


What we like

  • Dual frequency sonar giving both, side, and down view.
  • CHIRP Technology
  • Can save up to 5000 way points
  • Protective cover included

What we don't like

  • Does not have NMEA connectivity
  • No SD card reader
  • Shutting down will reset its settings

Best Value Fish Finder

Lowrance HOOK 7

The Hook2 7 is the successor to the Hook2 5. It shares similar features with some significant additions.

This is a fish finder for anglers, designed by anglers. It features an automatic sonar technology that adjusts as the water conditions change.

The Hook2 7 boasts a triple shot CHIRP transducer giving both a side and a down scan view. This unit allows you to mark fish as well as track bait etc.

This unit has a 17.7 cm (7 in) display and can accommodate up to 3 transducers t increase the range of visibility.

  • W x H x D: 23.5 cm (9.26 om), 7.6 cm (3 in), 15.1 cm (6 in)
  • Has GPS: Yes
  • IPX Rating: 7
  • Weight: 1 kg (2.2 lbs)
  • Side Imaging: Yes
  • Down Imaging: Yes
  • Display Size: 17.7 cm (7 in)

What we like

  • Built in GPS
  • Triple shot transducer
  • Quick access keys
  • Large, bright and clear display
  • Not very heavy and suitable for kayaking.
  • You can create your own maps with CMap technology
  • Can integrate with mobile phones.
  • Integrates with mortoguide trolling motors

What we don't like

  • No touch screen
  • Doesn’t come with a cover and has to be bought separately
  • Not great for ice fishing
  • Default maps are not extremely detailed.

Best Fish Finder For Beginners

Humminbird has a good reputation in the industry for making quality affordable products, and the Helix 7 is no exception.

It has a 17.72 cm (7 inch) bright screen that is easy to read in almost all weather conditions, from bright sunlight to stormy skies.

This unit has an integrated GPS, making it perfect for smaller vessels with limited space. It's not too heavy either so also suitable for fishing kayaks.

Like its predecessor, this unit comes with a XNT 9 SI 180 transom transducer, supporting 200/83/455 kHz frequencies

  • W x H x D: 26.7 (10.54 in), 14.7 (5.80 in), 9.34 (3.68 in)
  • Has GPS: Yes
  • IPX Rating: 7
  • Weight: 2.44 kg (5.4 lbs)
  • Side Imaging: Yes
  • Down Imaging: Yes
  • Display Size: 17.72 cm ( 7 in) Diagonal

What we like

  • Supports all sonar technologies
  • Has a built in GPS, enabling you to save your favorite fishing spots and plot your routes
  • Bright, anti glare display
  • Narrow, Medium, and wide sonar selection
  • Side imaging sonar

What we don't like

  • There is no NMEA 2000 port
  • Does not feature 800khz down and side imaging

Best Budget Fish Finder

Lowrance HOOK 5

This is quite an improvement on previous Lowrance fish finders. The triple shot transducer being one of its main features.

It’s transducer enables both CHIRP, Down Scan, and Side Scan capability.

The screen is only 12.7 cm (5 in), but bright and clear enough to be seen from all angles.


Keyboard controls on the unit allow the image to be shifted from side to side, or top to bottom.

The device is nice and compact, making it suitable for smaller vessels, and kayaks.

  • W x H x D: 18.54 cm (7.3 in), 10.1 cm (4.3 in), 8.4 cm (3.3 in)
  • Has GPS: Yes
  • IPX Rating: 7
  • Weight: 1.66 kg (3.38 in)
  • Side Imaging:  Yes
  • Down Imaging: Yes
  • Display Size: 12.7 cm (5 in) diagonal

What we like

  • Clear, and bright display
  • Compact design
  • Keyboard for quick navigation
  • Micro SD card for adding maps etc

What we don't like

  • The screen is on the small side.

  • No means to connect to other devices

  • GPS features are limited

Buyer's Guide for Fish Finders

Transducer

There are two parts to a fish finder, the monitor and the parts that send out the sonar signal, the transducer.

The transducer needs to be in the water and can be mounted in various ways. For kayaks, it can be connected to a trolling motor, for other boats, it can be mounted tot he hull, or even dropped over the side.

The Transducer Cone

The transducer sends down a signal like a cone. The signal is narrow at the surface and broadens out as it goes down.

Signal Direction

In most models the signal can only go down.  In the new and more advanced units a signal can be sent out to the side as well.  If you are thinking of fishing in shallow waters, this is something you want to consider.

Display Screen

Since the point of a fish finder is to see if you have fish in your area, having a decent screen to see these fish one of the most important things to consider when choosing a fish finder.

Durability and Water Resistance

Choosing a fish finder with a decent IPX water resistance level is imperative if you wish to keep your equipment functioning for a long time. If your device is not going to be mounted securely you should choose a unit that is made of durable materials.

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Category: Fish

About the Author Brad Pickering-Dunn

Hey, I'm Brad - the founder and editor of Watercraft Watch. My love for boating is what prompted me to start WatercraftWatch.com – helping people find the right equipment and supplies so they can enjoy their time on the water. I hope you find the articles on the site useful, and share in my love for boating.

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