Hi, my name is Jack Baker and I would like to welcome you to my Fish Finder Review site that was brought about by my total confusion when I was ready to purchase my first Fish finder.
It has been a frustrating, exciting, and eye-opening experience for the last few months doing the research on the many products, I found out there…This site is constantly being updated and has the latest best fish finder reviews 2018
We will be reviewing Lowrance fish finder, Hummingbird fish finder, Garmin fish finder and many others including portable fish finders…
- 1 Best-Rated 10 Fish Finders
- 1.1 Humminbird Helix 7 SI GPS Fish Finder
- 1.2 Lowrance Elite-7 HDI Fish Finder
- 1.3 Lowrance Elite-5 HDI Fish Finder
- 1.4 Raymarine Dragonfly-5 Pro Fish Finder
- 1.5 Humminbird Helix 5 SI GPS Fish Finder
- 1.6 Lowrance Elite-5 DSI Fish Finder
- 1.7 Garmin GPSMAP 431S GPS Fish Finder
- 1.8 Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro Fish Finder
- 1.9 Humminbird 385Ci GPS FishFinder
- 1.10 Garmin Echo 550c Fish Finder
- 2 Best 4 Portable Fish Finder
- 3 What Exactly is a Fish Finder ?
- 4 How Does Sonar Work In A Fish Finder
- 5 How does fish finder work?
- 6 Do You Really Need A Fishfinder ?
Best-Rated 10 Fish Finders
|Humminbird Helix 7 SI GPS Fish Finder||7"||Yes|
|Lowrance Elite-7 HDI Fish Finder||7"||Yes|
|Lowrance Elite-5 HDI Fish Finder||5"||Yes|
|Raymarine Dragonfly-5 Pro Fish Finder||5"||Yes|
|Humminbird Helix 5 SI GPS Fish Finder||5"||Yes|
|Lowrance Elite-5 DSI Fish Finder||5"||Yes|
|Garmin GPSMAP 431S GPS Fish Finder||4"||Yes|
|Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro Fish Finder||4.3"||Yes|
|Humminbird 385Ci GPS Fish Finder||3.5"||Yes|
|Garmin Echo 550c Fish Finder||5”||No|
Humminbird Helix 7 SI GPS Fish Finder
When it comes to finding the best fish finder which would be fulfilling all your needs and requirements, it can actually become quite a tedious task. To solve that problem, you can think about buying the Humminbird Helix 7 SI GPS Fish Finder.
Even though it can seem to be quite difficult to choose the most appropriate fish finder, you will not be facing any problems with this fish finder. With all of the admirable features and characteristics being rolled up in one fancy package in helix 7 fish finder, you will have very little scope to find out any flaws in this product. With the help of this fish finder, you will be able to lay all of your weapons at your disposal. With clear sonar imaging and high picture quality, this will be your eyes and ears when you decide to venture underwater.
As a result of a widescreen and glass-bonded display, you will be able to put all your other high-tech weapons at your disposal. This is because the Humminbird Helix 7 SI FishFinder will become your eyes and ears when you decide to go underwater. With this fish finder by your side, you will not need anything more. Not only that but with the glass-bonded display, you will not have to worry about how you will be looking at the screen in bright sunlight. This is because of the anti-glare glass, no pressure will be put into your eyes.
Lowrance Elite-7 HDI Fish Finder
The Lowrance’s new product has two main tools one is for finding fishes and other for navigation, these chartplotters / fish finders have been included in by the company. With an 800×480 pixel 7-inch display you get an extra clear view from the 3D SONARS or GPS mapping packages and Broadband. The display is really a thing which is worth the price. With this being said, on comparing it with the screen of an iPad Mini it is just a little bit smaller.
HDI technology means that the power of two imaging systems joined together is in your hand which distinguishes clearly between fish structure and arches and shows the bottom clearly.
Both high-resolution Down Scan SONAR and Broadband SONAR can easily be viewed on this Lowrance Elite-7 HDI FishFinder, this transducer, which is nearly equal to any other transducer in size, can be installed quite easily; so that you may get to see echoes from the broadband SONAR with echoes of high-resolution 3D SONAR.
Lowrance Elite-5 HDI Fish Finder
There are two advanced imaging technologies built into this fish finder. You can use them individually, together on a split screen or overlapping one another for in-depth view of all available data on one screen. This technology isn’t something you will find on cheap fish finders, and it allows for much greater precision when tracking the ground or movement of fish. No fish finder review is complete without mentioning one more advanced feature found on the Lowrance Elite 5 HDI: a built-in GPS antenna with 16 channels. This allows you to navigate the waters like an expert, and you have the option of adding an external antenna if you wish.
I recommend the Elite 5 HDI for serious anglers interested in advanced technology at a reasonable price. Those looking for a more basic model may find the dual-imaging processing features a bit too much to handle…
Raymarine Dragonfly-5 Pro Fish Finder
If you are looking for a tool that would help you to improve your fishing experience, then you should consider getting Raymarine Dragonfly 5 Pro FishFinder. It includes optically-bonded, a high-definition LED-backlit display which is reliable and easy to view in all weather and not only that but also the LED display looks sharp from every angle. It includes all sorts of bells and whistles such as CHIRP sonar which is a wide spectrum sonar technology.
The dual channel, wide spectrum CHIRP sonar with DownVision technology, it allows us to get photo-like images of fish and underwater structure. The down imaging on this unit is accurate at reaching a depth of 160ft. It also comes with a transom mount CHIRP with a temperature sensor. It contains MicroSD card slot which allows for extra map storage, and the MicroSD memory card lets the user save your sonar screenshots. Raymarine Dragonfly 5 Pro FishFinder has built-in Wi-Fi and the Wi-Fish mobile app allows you to stream live sonar data to your compatible smartphone.
Humminbird Helix 5 SI GPS Fish Finder
This device has a brilliant and larger 5-inch screen with 480 x 800 resolution display having 256-colors with a backlighting feature which allows the user to see detailed and clear image no matter what type of lighting there is or whether it is day or night.
The new screen display is really the only thing that has been changed and the software and the transducers have been taken from its earlier models of 800 and 600 series. The same large digits which give the reading about depth, vessel speed, and water temperature took up very much of display.
There are many different versions included in the Helix 5 series with some having only the sonar, while some having side-imager with GPS.
The Humminbird Helix 5 SI GPS Fish Finder is an ideal angling tool for an amateur as well as for seasoned fisherman because its cost doesn’t include a lot of money and fits perfectly for both.
The 2D sonar penetrates as far as 1,500 feet down by sending out a 200 kHz sonar wave in a 20-degree cone shape. Using this narrow beam, the width of the image will be just one-third the depth being reached.
Lowrance Elite-5 DSI Fish Finder
The incredible new Lowrance Elite-5 DSI chartplotter fish finder provides you anything the modern angler could want. It features a split screen allows you to see where you are and at the same time see what’s below your boat. It’s a great choice for our list, what the best part is the Elite-5 can be purchased as a stand-alone chartplotter or standalone fish finder alternatively. As it features most functions that Elite-4 has, this review will only cover features are unique to Elite-5.
Get a superbly clear view of thermoclines, fish (predators and bait alike), bottoms, and structure. Lowrance boasts its Elite dual-frequency fishfinders provides superior clarity, crystal-clear photo-like views of the underwater worlds with their Exclusive Lowrance DownScan Imaging. You should really check the image right side, quite clear huh? At the same time on the display, we’ll have thermoclines exposed, fish truly revealed, bottoms uncovered and structure disclosed.
Lowrance Elite-5 DSI FishFinder is easy to use, once powered up, sonar imaging picture will be automatically fine-tuned. If you are geek want to DIY, you can use the Advanced User Mode which allows for full manual control of settings.
Garmin GPSMAP 431S GPS Fish Finder
The Garmin GPSMAP 431S GPS Dual Beam Combo FishFinder is a compact chart plotter that features an ultra-bright 4″ QVGA color display along with an improved high-speed digital design for increased map drawing and panning speeds. It’s ready to go with a built-in, satellite-enhanced base map preloaded with U.S. Inland Lakes and an easy-to-use interface designed to help you navigate the open waters with ease. For areas outside the U.S., the Garmin GPSMAP 431S GPS Dual Beam Combo FishFinder has a worldwide base map with satellite images in place of more traditional maps.
The GPSMAP 431s also accepts BlueChart® g2 Vision® cards for added features and functionality such as high-resolution satellite imagery, 3-D views, and Auto Guidance technology.
The GPSMAP 431s also comes standard with a high-sensitivity GPS receiver for superior satellite tracking and quicker acquisition times. And with an SDTM card slot, it’s easy to add additional maps
Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro Fish Finder
When it comes to defining a successful fishing trip, you will find that just having a fishing rod which is top of the class would not do the work. A high-tech fish finder is required, for which you can consider the Raymarine Dragonfly 4 Pro FishFinder.
When it comes to looking for a fish finder, one of the first things that you should be looking for is one which would be comfortable to use. This is because since you will be on your fishing trips for at least a couple of hours, you want something which will be easy on the eyes. Therefore, you will see that the Dragonfly 4 pro would seem like an ideal option. This is because the fish finder comes with a widescreen which will allow wide viewing angles. In addition, it also prevents internal fogging. So, regardless of what kind of weather condition you find yourself to be in, your fish finder will not be giving you any extra trouble.
Humminbird 385Ci GPS FishFinder
The Humminbird 385Ci GPS FishFinder is designed for those who demand top-of-the-line technology but don’t have space for a bigger fishfinder. With tons of new features, the Humminbird 385Ci GPS FishFinder performs way beyond its size and is right at home in the most difficult fishing conditions.
Humminbird’s DualBeam sonar combines the advantages of narrow- and wide-beam transducers into one system with wide coverage and better bottom definition. Its precision 20° at -10db 200kHz down-looking center beam looks for fish and structure directly below the boat, while the broad 60° at -10db 83kHz wide beam looks for fish outside the narrow beam around the boat.
The Fish Identification feature on the Humminbird 385Ci GPS FishFindergives much better information on location than a traditional single beam…
Fish in the narrow beam are displayed as solid fish symbols; fish in the wide beam are shown as hollow fish symbols. Trackplotting which we will explain in the Display feature below
Garmin Echo 550c Fish Finder
This is one heck of a Product from Garmin. I wasn’t going to do any more reviews on Garmin’s Products as they were to difficult to get any decent Information to give a good Review. This Garmin echo 550c FishFinder seems to have so many features that researching it was a pleasure.
This was, I believe, the first Garmin made for freshwater fishing, but can be used in salt water also. Take a good look at this one that bounds with great features to help you catch the big one!
The Garmin echo 550c turns fish into sitting ducks. That’s because of its powerful sonar with 500 watts (RMS) power with Garmin’s exclusive HD-ID target tracking technology. A video-quality 640×480-pixel VGA screen provides you an amazing level of detail on fish returns, structure and bottom contours.
Best 4 Portable Fish Finder
|Garmin GPSMAP 78Sc Portable Fish Finder||2.6"||Yes|
|Deeper Smart Portable Fish Finder||-||Yes|
|NorCross HawkEye F33P Fish Finder||2.3"||No|
|Humminbird PiranhaMax 230 Portable Fish Finder||4"||No|
Garmin GPSMAP 78Sc Portable Fish Finder
The GPS receiver is highly sensitive and is combined with HotFix technology that allows for fast location detection. The GPSMAP 78sc will continue to track your route even if you drift near tall buildings, thick canopies of trees and other intrusions that block signals to many other devices. This feature alone puts it in the running for title of the best fish finder, especially if you fish in areas where trees, buildings and other tall objects are prominent. The Garmin GPSMAP 78Sc also allows you to determine the altitude, collect weather data and locate your direction using a 3-axis compass.
This is a high-quality compass that compensates for tilt and ensures you stay on the right path when on land or out on the water. There’s one more thing worth mentioning in this Garmin 78sc review: the handheld unit floats when dropped in water. Never worry about losing your device if it goes overboard.
NorCross HawkEye F33P Portable Fish Finder
HawkEye F33P Portable FishFinder Using an ultra wide, 45-degree sonar beam angle, this system delivers accurate depth, fish and bottom structure readings from 1.5 to 99.9 feet. Operational down to zero degrees Fahrenheit, this unit includes a trollable, mountable, and floatable sonar sensor with 35 feet of cable and cable tie-strap. Amazing!
The HawkEye is very, very, easy to use; simply turn the power on, throw the sonar sensor from the shoreline, bridge, or boat, and in no time flat, you’ll receive instant depth, fish, weed, and contour readings.
With its “SideScan” adapter, the F33P can also attach to a broomstick handle to scan under weeds, lily pads, ice, or docks. For added convenience, this system comes with mounting tabs for hull mounting of your portable fish finder to canoes, kayaks, and on boats.
Humminbird PiranhaMax 230 Portable Fish Finder
It can even be used without a boat which is a big selling point for me as sometimes I like to just get out on the shoreline for some relaxing fishing.
How clear are the images produced by the Humminbird PiranhaMax 230 PT Portable FishFinder? The device has a 4-inch FSTN LCD display which has a very good picture quality fish finder.
It has 160 x 132 lines of resolution. This is one of the highest resolutions among the different products available on the market at present. I was very impressed.
I couldn’t wait to give my review of the Humminbird PiranhaMax 230 PT Portable FishFinder as I feel it has just about everything you could want in a great product, plus it’s portable!
Deeper Smart Portable Fish Finder
Smart fish hide under bridges, along embankments and close to shore. Smart fish finders go where other finders can’t in order to discover those hiding places. The Deeper Smart portable fish finder retails for less than $250 and is designed to sync with your Android or iOS smartphone.
Consumer fish finder reviews often give it five stars and rank it as the best portable fishfinder due to its versatility in a variety of fishing scenarios, including ice fishing. This device weighs less than half a pound and has a diameter of just 2.6 inches. The super-compact design is perfect for finding fish while in your kayak or with the use of float tubes and bait boats. Simply attach the round fish finder to your fishing pole and establish a Bluetooth connection with your wireless device before casting into the water.
What Exactly is a Fish Finder ?
I get so many people ask me what is a Fishfinder, and how do they actually work?
Hopefully, this will clear up some of that mystery for you.
Did you know that 90% of fish will live in only 5% of the water? It makes no sense to randomly move around looking for a bite when you can use modern technology to help you locate the fish? A fish finder works by using Sonar. Just like a submarine will find other submarines by sending out Sonar waves, a fish finder works in the same way and listens for the reflections of these waves coming back from the surface of the fish to tell it where groups of fish are located.
An up to date model of fish finder will display measurements on a graphical display which tell you exactly how far away the fish are, without you having to guess. This information is extremely useful to fishermen and will greatly increase your catch rate.
Different types of fish finder are available for different uses. Some are used by people who solely fish for sport, while others are of more use to a commercial trawler looking for massive numbers of fish in the ocean. Keep in mind the use you will be putting the equipment to when you make your purchasing decision. You may wish to read some fish finder reviews to help you decide what to buy. Portable fish finders are great for people that need to rent boats when they go fishing.
Many models now come with integrated GPS navigation to help you narrow in on schools of fish more easily. This makes locating fish more akin to using an iPhone than an old fashioned fisherman’s hunch. Hummingbird fish finder are one of the better manufactures of fish finders out there
The fish finder can also help you to find out the depth of the water in which the fish are located. It’s not much use going after a large area of fish if they’re too deep for you to reach with your fishing equipment. The devices will use an echo sounding method to determine the depth of the water in your location. Many lakes can have very varied depths over just a small area of water, so this takes the guesswork out of finding fish. The fish finder will also tell you how close to the bottom the fish are located.
Not only can a fish finder tell you where fish are located, but some equipment is even able to tell you the size and shape of the fish. If you’re only looking for large fish then this will let you narrow in on the big catch, instead of chasing minnows around all day long. A lot of fish finders also have built in gps for making navigation easy on the waters.gps fish finder
The structure of the bottom of the water you’re fishing in may contain hard rock, sediment, plants or debris. This will show up on the sonar graph if you know how to interpret it correctly.
Most models of fish finder will actually have a special symbol showing where the fish are located, instead of just the surface or bottom of the water. If you specialize in fishing for one specific breed of fish then a more advanced piece of equipment will give you more information and help in your quest for your catch. It can look for special types of signals given off by the fish and match it against a database of known fish types. This is some pretty advanced technology.
The concept of the fish finder developed from lights fishermen would attach to the underside of their boat, which would rotate and they would be able to see the reflection from the fish’s skin from above the water. Today’s equipment is much more advanced and informative for the fisherman.
As far what is the best fish finder, it really makes a difference on what your doing as far as type of waters and boats your using
How Does Sonar Work In A Fish Finder
How Does Sonar Work In A Fish Finder; While doing research for Fish finders, I was starting to get really confused about certain language applied in the explanation of fish finders. Before you determine on what Fish finder is most beneficial for you, you need a basic understanding of certain terminology used in selecting the appropriate Fish finder for your specific use. One of the features named in most, if not all, was a word mentioned to as Sonar. What and how does Sonar work in a fish finder?
The Term “sonar” is an abbreviation for “SOund, NAvigation and Ranging.”
Why Is Sonar Important In A Fish Finder?
Simple Term, It Helps Finds Objects in the Water…
The basic principles on which sonar relies are that sound moves at a constant rate through a given medium, such as air or water, and that certain types of objects create certain types of sounds. With this knowledge, calculations can set the distance to an object and distinguish it with reasonable certainty. Do you think this might be a big advantage in helping you locate Fish?
In the least complex terms, an electrical impulse from a transmitter is changed over into a sound wave by the transducer and beamed into the water. When this wave strikes a target, it bounces. This echo strikes the transducer, which converts it back into an electrical signal that is increased through the receiver and sent to the display. Since the speed of sound in water is steady (approximately 4800 feet per second), the period of time between the broadcast signal and therefore the received echo will be calculated and the distance to the item established. This process repeats itself numerous times per second.
Sound navigation and ranging, or sonar, is an umbrella term for technology and formulas that use sound to find objects, generally underwater, very much the same way bats rely on sound for capturing food in the air. The Navy chiefly uses sonar to find vessels, torpedoes and mines. Commercial applications for sonar include navigation, mapping and locating fish.
Bats do it, whales do it, and even subs at sea do it. They all find out about their surroundings with reflected sound waves. Dolphins are so effective at it that they can distinguish the difference between balls two inches in diameter and others only an eighth inch larger. The most common name for the method is SONAR, which is an acronym for Sound Navigation and Ranging
The sonar employed by bats, dolphins and whales is more advanced than anything we have, and much of sonar research is aimed toward better visualization of whatever is reflecting the sound waves so that someday we can do it as well as it is done in nature.
Active sonar requires both the transmission and receiving of sound waves. An active sonar system beams a sound pulse and measures the length of time for the sound to be reflected back. Because the speed at which the sounds move is very quick and remains steady, the distance to the object can be measured quickly. Active sonar can use a concentrated pulse of sound in a particular direction, so information about an object’s direction can also be received through some active sonar applications. Active sonar can be deployed by helicopters, put on buoy’s, boats, or hand-held.
It would be fascinating to note that the fish finder that is for sale on the market today was originally produced to be a submarine finder. With innovations however, major development on the Sonar technology has been experienced and transformed into additional uses that impacted even the fishing world.
How does fish finder work?
When I first started researching fish finders I got very confused as to how they worked.
The terms themselves seemed like a foreign language so I decided to write a post with basic definitions to help you understand how a fish finder actually works.
First let me make an assumption that you don’t know a thing about fish finders as I feel this is the best way to get started.
All they can do, and I probably shouldn’t say just “all they can do” as they can do a lot, but really all they are intended to do basically is tell you when YOU have found fish.
I know this doesn’t sound too exciting at this moment but let me continue.
If you didn’t have a fish finder you wouldn’t know how to actually find fish unless of course you caught some, or had a favorite spot that you caught fish before, but here comes technology! A fish finder is like an underwater camera looking for the fish.Something you couldn’t do without one.
Now, how does it do that?
Well let me give an example that most are familiar with.
If you can understand how a radar gun held by a police officer can tell if you’re speeding, think of a fish finder the same way.
The radar gun shoots a beam to your car, bounces back to the gun held by the police officer and it shows the speed you’re going on a screen.
Now this is not exactly how a fish finder works but I wanted to give you an idea that most of us can understand about a beam bouncing off a target and coming back and giving us information.
Fish finders send a beam, or signal called sonar through the water. When it hits an object just like the radar gun does, it beams it up to a small screen, like a mini monitor, you have on your boat and shows up as an object.
In simple terms, fish finders help you see what is going on in the water that you can’t see.
Realize it does not have to be a fish, it could be a limb, or rock or any other type object but most fish finders can actually detect the contours of fish, distinguish them from other underwater objects and report them to the fishermen in the boat by displaying little fish-shaped cursors on the screen.
Let’s get into the basics that make up a fish finder. This is not as complicated as you might think.
Fish finders have 4 basic parts which are:
Ok, nothing too complicated here so far, right?
Let’s take each one and explain what each one is and does and I think this will help you a lot in understanding how a fish finder really works.
Transmitter..The transmitter is what actually sends the beam down and the transducer is what detects the returning wave so to speak. It actually turns it into sonar and sends it out. Remember the radar gun?
The receiver is what converts the wave to an electronic signal and the display or screen shows the information for you. Fish finder’s have different size displays you can choose from depending on your needs.
Typically they are mounted on a bracket or what we call flush mounted, meaning they are installed in your dashboard.
I like the bracket mount myself as it gives a lot better security as you can take it out of the bracket and take it home with you instead of having to leave it on the boat.
Like T.V’s or monitors that have pixels, so does the display..
The more pixels, the higher the screen resolution just like your TV or your computer monitor.
Also screens come in shades of gray, (remember black and white TV?) and also come in color.
Remember the higher the pixel or going from gray to color all add to the price of the fish finder. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself and want to try to just keep it on how they work in as simple of terms as I can.
One of the things I found out that might get you excited about fish finders is there are actually fish finders that are portable, meaning that you don’t even need a boat to use one..I personally have not used a fish finder from the shore but I have researched a couple of them and actual users of them were quite pleased with the performance.
This just gives you another option if you don’t use a boat to fish but would like to use a fish finder.
Now the big question: Do I really need a fish finder?
Do You Really Need A Fishfinder ?
Never did it dawn on me that there is one to fit just about any circumstance and budget. The problem was, the more I looked into it,the more confused I became.
I was not familiar with the terminology at all. Transducer, Sonar, Duel Beam, etc.That’s when I decided to do some research and the deeper I got into it, the deeper it became.
There were times it got a little frustrating , mainly because of lack of information out there, but after many trips to stores, web sites and manufactures web-sites I was able to gather enough information to give in depth reviews which included star rankings, and information from actual users of the particular one I was reviewing.
I researched 5 different ones for under $100 and they were great ratings!
So if you’re a little skeptical on whether a fish finder is right for you before you spend a ton of money on one, take a look at the under $100 category and I think you will be very surprised with the quality of these…
If you were like me in thinking that a Fishfinder is not for you because you only go out every once in a while, you’re wrong. If you’re going to fish, isn’t catching fish the reason you’re going out in the first place?
I know just being either on the shore, or in a small boat is serenity in itself, but actually being able to know where the fish are and catching a big one just adds to the day’s experience in my opinion.
By the way, there is a fantastic Portable Fish finder just for fishermen that fish lakes from the shore at a price you would NOT believe.
I never had a Fish finder because fishing by surfcasting In N.Y. was a lot different than fishing here on some of the most beautiful and serene lakes I have ever seen.
Well, it has been a journey of love and I’m very happy I did this review site which will be updated continuously with new products, information, etc…