Hi this is Chuck with that too many buyers guide from on fish finders. I know how hard beginners choose a right one, I was sick of searching on Internet for such information. I am trying to help you to make life easier.
There’s a wide variety to choose from, let’s look at 5 attributes to find out which one is right for you:
1) Combo or standalone
The first question to ask yourself is: what do you want your fish finder integrated with a GPS chartplotter like first lorenz model. It’s a really handy especially on a smaller boat combined those two functions onto a single screen.
2) Screen size
The second question to ask yourself is how big a screen do you want or how big can you afford. screen sizes vary from a small 3.5-inch Garmin echo 300c to 5-inch Lowrance displays to a 7-inch Garmin or even larger
The next thing you ought to look for is the number of pixels in your display, both vertically and horizontally a display will help 480 pixels vertically which gives you very very accurate detail up fish structure and the bottom.
Another attribute that’s important is that power measured in watts RMS. Smaller fish finders may have as few as a hundred watts RMS larger models may have a thousand watts or more. More power means greater ability to go down deep and salt and freshwater , and frequently giving you a sharper more accurate picture.
Finally many models will offer you a difference a frequency. Something like 55 kHz or 200 kHz higher frequencies usually work better in shallower water. Lower frequencies work better and deeper waters. By choosing a dual frequency model you get the best of both worlds choosing the right fish finder for you really isn’t that difficult if you follow those five key pointers.
Here are 5 most popular fish finders and quick reviews
Garmin Echo 551DV – I personally recommend this one ($288-$295)
Garmin has long been a household name among boating and fishing enthusiasts who enjoy the assisting technology of navigation on the water. Garmin units are consistently rated highly among boaters and sportsmen.Features:
- The Echo 551DV DownVu sonar transducer, operating at 77/200 KHz
- Transom mount for larger vessels, as well as motor mount for smaller trolling vessels
- Quick release feature to remove the unit from its vessel mount
- Tilt and swivel features for easy viewing
- High definition color display with 480*640 pixels
- Split screen allows for simultaneous viewing of two types of image scans
- Maximum depth range of 2300 feet
Users of this unit appreciate the sharp images available on the screen, including the option of seeing the actual sonar image or symbols representing the found fish. Particularly compared to black and white units, the scanned images on the Garmin screen are crisp and easy-to-view and understand– even on bright days on the water. With the quick release option and fast installation, this unit is literally a snap to use.
This Unit is now rated 4.5 out of 5 by Amazon, click here to check what other buyers are saying…
Deeper Smart Portable Fish Finder ($220-$230)
The Deeper brand portable depth and fish finder is designed for either tablet or smart phone use,
Video Reviews by TaFishing
Features of the Deeper Smart Portable Fish Finder
- Compatible with both Android and Apple devices, connects with a smart phone or tablet through wireless Bluetooth technology.
- Lithium battery is rechargeable
- Unit weighs just a few ounces, and measures less than three inches on each side.
- Functions in depths of up to one hundred and thirty feet.
- Integration with free multiple function app and social media outlets
- Data storage available via cloud services wirelessly
- Select your own measurement units, language, frequencies, and alarm options about depth or fish presence
The Deeper unit is compatible with a free app that can be downloaded to provide many additional functions. You can also integrate the camera from your smart phone or tablet, pull up a detailed calendar for fishing seasons, check updated weather reports, customize your own fishing log, and integrate charts or maps.
And hold your breath! You can also send photos and information directly to social media outlets like Google plus, Twitter, and Facebook.
What the Deeper Smart Portable Fish Finder Provides
The portable wireless nature of this product makes it ideal for multiple applications–including shore fishing, boat fishing, kayak use, and even ice fishing.
In situations when you do not have either space or the budget for multiple complicated devices, this depth reader and fish finder is the perfect answer to use with your existing smart phone or tablet, as well as your usual social media and data storage functions.
This united rated as 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon, click to see all 142 customer reviews
Lowrance Elite 5 ($358-$363)
The Lowrance Elite 5 unit with transducer combines GPS and charts with sonar capabilities for depth reading and fish finding, all provided by one of the top brands in marine technology on the market.
Features of the Lowrance Elite 5
- Basemap chart plotter for navigation.
- Compatibility with Gold Navionics software, providing charts for both Canadian and United States water.
- Five inch LCD screen with 480 by 480 pixels and full color, as well as user controls for screen brightness and color and contrast.
- Broadband sonar provides Down Scan images in split hybrid screen
- Mounting bracket features simple to use tilt and swivel brackets for quick release or readjustment of the unit’s position
- Transducer mounts on the transom of your vessel
- Built-in unit memory can store as many as three thousand routes with one hundred way points on each.
- Additional memory available via the micro SD card in a protected waterproof slot
With easy to adjust controls, the Lowrance Elite 5 is easily visible, even in brightly sunlit days. Unlike the older sonar models that merely showed blips on the screen, this unit shows fish in detail.
You can distinguish among predator fish, bait fish, and features of the bottom terrain structure. Additionally, you can also view the dual images on a split screen or overlay them for additional detail.
Elite-5 is Lowrance’s flagship which gets 4.5 out of 5 stars, see more reviews on Amazon
Raymarine Dragonfly 7 Sonar GPS ($695-$700)
If you are looking for a combination marine unit providing GPS navigation as well as sonar fish finding capabilities, the Raymarine Dragonfly 7 Sonar GPS is an excellent unit.Already equipped to use Gold Navionics charts for both Canada and the United States, the Raymarine unit also provides photo quality images of the bottom terrain.Unlike older models of sonar technology, this unit is easy to read and understand, whether you are scanning the bottom for anchorage or looking for fish.
Features of the Raymarine Dragonfly 7
- Photo quality sonar images of terrain bottom and fish
- Dual sonar channel with split display screen
- CHIRP (Compressed High Intensity Radar Pulse) sonar technology powers Raymarine unit’s Down Vision scanning
- Bracket included for mounting unit on transom or motor
- Large seven inch wide screen display and five pound unit
Quick Video Review by Nicholas Nemo
With its wide screen and five pound heft, the Dragonfly is not intended for use as a hand held unit, but mounts easily on a vessel for extensive use.
With this model you need not purchase a separate GPS unit or charts; the Dragonfly combines the GPS and chart programming with sonar CHIRP technology for a multiplicity of functions.
Combining the functionalities will not only free up space in the cockpit of your vessel, but also save you money that would otherwise have to be spent on multiple units to address navigation and fish finding.
What the Raymarine Dragonfly 7 Sonar GPS Provides for You
Make your vessel’s cockpit your fishing command center with the Dragonfly 7 Sonar GPS: it will guide you on top of the water as well as scanning beneath it. You won’t be lost on the water, and you won’t be losing any fishing competitions either!
This unit is good if you have a little extra budget, click here to see other people are saying
Garmin Echo 501C ($220-$225)
If you spend any time on the water, you are no doubt already familiar with Garmin GPS and sonar technology. There is a good reason why Garmin has garnered top reviews for a quarter of a century: they consistently outperform their competitors in the field.
The Garmin Echo depth and fish finder is easy to install, simple to use, and highly effective at finding fish beneath your boat.
Features of Garmin Echo 501C
- The Echo 501C transducer sonar reader
- Full color screen with easy visibility, even in bright sunlight
- Maximum depth range of two thousand and three hundred feet
- Wide angle viewing cones at sixty and one hundred twenty degrees enable users to view fish beyond the boat’s sides, even in deep water.
- User can adjust depth range and rewind the sonar history for review
- Tilt and swivel features for easy viewing
- Quick release feature to remove the unit from its vessel mount
- Mount kits available for either transom or trolling motor
- Alarm for shallow depth alert can be set to user specifications
This unit is ideally suited for use on any size of vessel, weighing in at just over a pound and measuring approximately six inches by six inches, with a display screen of five inches.
The battery of the device lasts for five hours at a time when the unit is not plugged into a boat’s power supply.
Yet Another 4.4-out-of-5-stars unit, yet another Garmin’s hot seller.
You may also like to check:
Lowrance Mark-4 ($95-$100): Current Best Seller in Marine GPS Units & Chartplotters
NorCross HawkEye F33P ($59-$68) was Top seller on Amazon and you cannot beat it for the price
Some Other Tips
Sonar works by conveying an electronic impulse from the device to the transducer. This urge is transmitted into a sound wave by the transducer, at which focus it is channeled through the water segment. The sound wave will now move into a descending manner until it achieves the lowermost structure – it is right now that it will rebound to the receiving device. The sound wave will likewise “travel” through any items discovered between the lake bottom and the surface of the water (fish or baitfish). When the indicator is gained, the device will then create its readings, at long last illustrating the outcomes on the screen.
The power of a sonar unit is illustrated in watts. The expression “crest to-top” is utilized to portray the general power of the transmitter. When managing fishfinders, the higher the wattage, the more effective and compelling the general unit is. The absolute minimum crest to-top power might be 600 Watts, in spite of the fact that 2,000 up to 3,000 are generally suggested for anglers.
Basically, a pixel is a dot for various fishfinders. The screen is made up of an arrangement of numerous dots, which thusly transform the picture or readout. A better picture will show up if there are more pixels present on the screen. The 160 x160 pixels is the absolute minimum regarding picking a fishfinder (that uses pixels). This will show up to a degree “blocky,” so going higher is suggested. The 240 x 240 might be an extraordinary beginning stage, and if your budget will permit you, continue going higher.
A transducer is the part of the unit that conveys sound waves to see what is underneath the surface of the water. Upon transacting with transducers, the most essential feature is cone angle. The more extensive the degree on the cone, the bigger the perspective of what verges underneath you will get.
Frequencies additionally become an integral factor with transducers. Most will accompany 50-, 192- or 200-Khz, all in immediate connection to the cone angle. The greater the recurrence, the better the device will execute in shallow water.
A further fascinating feature of transducers is the capacity to have more than one cone transmitting from the same beginning stage. Therefore, the standard transducer will have a particular beam. Accelerating the scale, you can then advance to a double beam, triple, side beam and etcetera. What each of these make is cover a lot of water – an exceptionally productive alternative to have when scouting the lake for fish.
Long time ago, black and white fishfinder’s display screen was the main selection. With the initiation of new innovation, colored screens are blasting onto the business sector like fierce blaze. In spite of the fact that black and white will work for most anglers, color will give you a more stupendous screen definition, making fish and structure actually appear in distinctive color for simpler classification.
Back Lit Display
For those that get a kick out of the chance to fish during the night shift, having a back lit surroundings, making screening conceivable under dim and non-existent light conditions.
Temperature, Speed, Distance
Despite the fact that standard on a few devices, numerous fishfinders will present these as choices. For those that fundamentally troll, the speed and distance feature is useful.
Portable or Fixed
Fishers have the choice of buying a fishfinder that will be attached lastingly to their watercraft, or one that could be taken out the craft without breaking a sweat.
For those that lease watercrafts, ice fish, or head off to places to “fly-in” fish, the portable choice is the one to engage with.
Settled fishfinders unquestionably get approval for watercraft owners, as they could be mounted in the precise location they seek. The transducer can likewise be affixed to either the stern, trolling engine or hull – providing the fisher numerous choices.
The GPS Option
With the coming of the GPS, fishers are uncovering numerous benefits for this revolutionary innovation. GPS or Global Positioning System utilizes satellite signs to locate your exact area while out on the water. This characteristic permits you to check beneficial spots, discovering your route once again to the shore on account of an urgent situation, and additionally outline coordinates for your home lake through the utilization of mapping programming. It is an extraordinary characteristic to have on any fishfinder you buy!
Bass Fishing with Fish Finders
When it comes to bass fishing from a bass boat, one of the most important tools an angler can utilize is an accurate fish finder. This is especially because due to the strong relationship bass have with structure. The information these electronics deliver today can help you clearly see bottom conditions and determine the best bass lures to fish. It can take some time to understand the display and how it correlates with bass presence, but it’s well worth the time spent. To learn even more about fish finders check out these Fish Finder Websites.