Garmin is considered by many as one of the best brands when it comes to the development of consumer, aviation, outdoor, fitness, and marine technologies for the Global Positioning System, or GPS for short. Their contribution to outdoor equipment is impossible to miss even if you are not active in that field. The navigation systems they developed with the emersion of the GPS technology are by many of the best on the market.
It comes as no surprise then that this brand has developed many devices which incorporate GPS technology, as well as those devices that are greatly used in the outdoors. Fish finders are one of those devices to which the Garmin brand was naturally drawn. Their fish finder models set new standards and most of them are considered as the best devices in this particular category. But which one of them is the best of the best? In this review we set out to find the best Garmin fish finder for your personal need.
Garmin Fish finder Buying Guide
When we discuss about the buying guide, we basically talk about the aspects that contribute towards the wise choice. Multiple varieties of fish finders for sale are available in the market, where obviously one brand proves to be better than the other. Hence, we would discuss on the different aspects that contribute towards a better decision, in terms of the product that you choose;
The transducer is equipped in the fish finder to ping the fish and create an echoing sound which conveys info about the presence of a fish. A good transducer enhances the performance of the fish finder, by sending the sonar signals towards the sea which gets bounced back as soon as hit by an object. Check this feature before you finalise a fish finder.
The availability of GPS is a must, and you need to check the quality of the same to find the object more easily and quickly. The technologically advanced navigator helps you to navigate in the different locations where you wish to perform fishing.
3. Cone Angle
Check the cone angle, and how far does it go to enhance the performance of the fish finder. A good transducer creates the cone angle of approximately 20 degrees, which lets the fish finder perform well.
The best fish finder works on multiple numbers of beams, and beams create a wider angle through which the fish finder renders better results in minimum time.
The best fish finder shall have the capacity to work in different frequencies, so that it works best in the different locations. With it salt water, or a muddy lake, the fish finder shall be able to perform its functions effortlessly.
Display where you see the number and type of fishes shall be clear enough, and it should display the results even when light rays fall on it.
3 Best Garmin Fish Finders Review
1. Garmin Echo 551C
The Garmin Echo 551c fish finder comes with a Dual-beam transducer that can be mounted on your boat in various ways: transom mount, trolling motor and tilt/swivel quick-release mount. The color display has a resolution of 480 x 640 inches. For this model one 12V battery is required. The Garmin Echo 551c comes with a price of around $820.00
- Dual-beam transducer with transom mount and trolling motor mount
- Color Display
- Display Resolution 480 x 640(VGA)
The “Garmin Echo 551c Worldwide with Transducer” model may come across as a pricey gadget, but if you consider the quality the name Garmin carries, it may seem like a good deal for this kind of product. This fish finder has a battery life of five hours, so it enables you to fish for prolonged periods of time. On its 5-inch display you are able to see clear and high-quality transmissions of everything that happens under your boat. Together with the mounted transducer, this fish finder guarantees fishing achievements. And don’t forget the one-year warranty you have on the device.
2. Garmin EchoMap 50Dvus
The Garmin EchoMap 50Dvus is a fish finder and chart plotter in one device. It comes with a Garmin HD-ID and DownVu scanning sonar. Improve your navigation with the built-in 10 Hz GPS/GLONAS receiver. Also, with this device you are able to wirelessly connect to Apple (mobile digital device) for Blue Chart Mobile. This version contains preloaded LakeVu HD maps. The color display resolution is 480 x 640 inches. This fish finder comes at the price of $650.00
- Version offered with preloaded LakeVu HD maps that include over 17,000 detailed lakes
- Garmin DownVu scanning sonar provides a nearly photographic view of fish and structure under the boat
- Includes all-in-one 77/200kHz HD-ID / DownVu 8-pin transducer featuring a built-in fast-response water temperature sensor
- Includes: echo MAP 50dv preloaded with U.S. Blue Chart g2 maps
- May be to advance for beginners
The “Garmin Echo Map 50Dvus Offshore with Transducer” model simply doesn’t let you to lose your good fishing spot or your way back at night and in the fog. Its preloaded LakeVu HD maps will give you detailed information about over 17,000 detailed lakes, of which more than 5,700 HD lakes have 1″ contours shoreline to shoreline. Its Garmin DownVu scanning sonar provides you with a highly precise overview of the conditions under the water.
Not a single thing was missed with this device so it also has water temperature sensor. All in all, this is one highly efficient device that comes at the price that equals your expectations. It is ideal for professionals, but beginners will probably take some time to learn how to operate this fish finder.
3. Garmin GPSMAP 547xs
This fish finder model from Garmin draws everyone’s attention immediately towards the big luxurious color display. The unbelievable position refresh rate of this model of 10 times per second gives it an edge over the competition and puts it at the top of fish finders on currently on the market. Although, this accuracy is nothing special for devices of this price rank, the integrated 10Hz GPS/GLONASS receiver gives it an extra boost in performance. This fish finder comes at a price of around $680.00
- Integrated 10Hz GPS/GLONASS receiver
- Refreshment rate of 10 times per second
- It displays constant and fluid on-screen location and proves to be incredibly accurate when marking and navigating to any one of 5,000 user-created waypoints
- Very pricey
The power and the features of the “Garmin GPSMAP 547xs 10Hz GPS/GLONASS Receiver without Transducer” model are a must for every professional fisher who wants to get a superior device, or enthusiasts who want to upgrade their gear. Learning patterns is a very easy task with this fish finder. Even if you are not considering getting into learning the various factors of fish swarm behaviors, the intuitive program of this fish finder will teach you everything you have to know, without you knowing it. [ Read Full Review ]
It is always hard to make a choice between devices that are very close to each other in terms of performance and precision. It is even harder when those devices are from the same manufacturer. Nuances are at play when deciding between devices of the same brand, and in most cases like this, it only depends on what you actually want and what you actually need from your device.
Of course, most of us prefer to have everything in one device. And, although that is possible to get, it would cost you a lot of many that you could spend elsewhere or on some other part of equipment.
The “Garmin Echo 551c Worldwide with Transducer” model is a great fish finder of the deluxe kind and made for professionals. The slightly cheaper “Garmin Echo Map 50Dvus Offshore with Transducer” is also a great fish finder for semi-professionals and professionals, and both of them are, without a doubt, at the top of the list when it comes to fish finders across all price ranges.
However, the “Garmin GPSMAP 547xs 10Hz GPS/GLONASS Receiver without Transducer” model is the one we have chosen to be the best fish finder from Garmin. As we said before, nuances are crucial in these kinds of decisions. This model is a well-balanced device that offers great performances for a decent price. Of course, it may not be affordable for beginners, but it sure is a nicely crafted piece of technology for the more experienced fishermen who demand a little bit more from their gear.