The Best Fish Finder GPS Combo Reviews in 2017-2018

Introduction

Just like is the case with most of the other products on the market, fish finders aren’t the “one size fits all” things that you just walk into a store and pick any that you come across. Each fish, as well as every fishing ground, have their unique necessities and requirements. As a result, there is no one product that is the best fish finder for all situations. This is a buying guide of the best fishfinder GPS combo, helping you find that which will perfectly suit your needs.

​Points To Keep In Mind While Choosing the Best Fish Finder

The main factors that are used in the choice of the best fish finders are dependent upon the design, development and ultimately the production of the products. Below are some of the categories used by savvy fishermen to make comparisons between different products before making an apt decision:

  • a. Transducers: This is the fish finder’s part designed to send out and in return receive the sonar signals underwater. Different fishing types require different appropriately corresponding transducers. The deep signal sending transducers are needed for ocean fishing whereas anglers on ponds and other small water bodies would prefer a wider angle of sound wave transmission from their transducers.
  • b. Frequency: Higher fish finder frequency results to the reception of more details on to your fish finder’s screen. Deep-sea trawlers will need the low-frequency transducers while the high-frequency versions work best for the shallow angling. The most common frequencies range between 50 and 200 kHz.
  • c. Cone Angle: This is an angle representing the width of the “net” caught by the signal when deployed from the boat’s bottom into the water. Typical cone angles range between 15 and 20 degrees with other extreme cases going to about 9 and 60 degrees. Advanced anglers prefer products coming with different cone angles hence versatility
  • d. Display Screen: It will be prudent for you to consider the modern full-color screens, rather than the traditional black/white screens. It’s fortunate that these clearer color screens are fast becoming more and more popular hence almost certain that your choice of product would anyway feature a color screen.
  • e. GPS Capabilities: GPS is a must-have feature of any reliable fish finder; no wonder our buying guide specifically narrows down to the GPS combos and no other. You will need a GPS product when you go fishing. Why buy a separate GPS apparatus when you can have one product that has all you need?
  • f. Power: The power of a fish finder is the determinant of the sonar’s operation speed, with fast units featuring higher wattage ratings.
  • g. Scanning Capabilities: There are two main ways used by fish finders to do the scanning. These include down scanning and side scanning. The former is a very powerful, focused and effective method that only focuses on the fish that is directly underneath the boat. The side scan on the other side covers a wider area but isn’t as precise as the down scan method.
  • h. Others: Other features to consider include design & durability, portability, manufacturer and price among other. Price comes last on the list as it is never a prudent idea to buy your fish finder based on the price factor alone.

​Why Do You Need a Fish Finder?

This buying guide of the best fishfinder GPS combo helps you to choose the best product. With the most appropriate product, you will end up with the most out of your fishing expeditions. What is the need of aimlessly floating on water and going home after several hours without anything to show for the time spent on the waters? A fish finder will optimize your efforts of putting food on the table.

​Types of Fish Finders

​There are three main types. These are:

  • i. The standalone Fish Finder: They are the most affordable and economical and the best choice to be considered by those looking for a product that goes for less than $200. The models display elements found beneath the boat, with most of them featuring larger screens. The GPS feature isn’t found in these products. They are the best options for small boats floating on inland lakes.
  • ii. Combination/Chartplotter Fish Finder: This product comes with the GPS functions and a split screen for viewing surroundings. It works best for those owning mid-sized boats, they do fishing on larger water bodies and they also have a little more cash to spend. The combination fish finders are also referred to as combo fish finders
  • iii. Networked System: These are the most advanced products for the experienced or rather big boys and big girls. There is nothing found in a fish finder that isn’t found in these ones. Be it vector GPS charts access, access to SiriusXM satellite radio, raster or radar, you will have all these at your disposal. Wi-Fi/Bluetooth options can also be made available. They are thus the best product found on the market

​1. Best Fish Finders for Kayaks

Garmin Echo 551dv Fish Finder

This model, that comes with a tough build and a large display, features a big display screen, with the resolution just being enough to offer clear visual representations of what happens beneath the boat. It is a color screen, this efficient in enabling the user to differentiate between different animals ad well as fish species. The Sonar rewind option, allows you the possibility of revisiting the water-bound area previously undertaken thus allowing you to make some informed decisions.

Garmin Echo 551dv Fish Finder

Pros & Cons

Pros

Cons

  • The 2,300 feet maximum depth that it can research is good enough for most fishing requirements
  • The display is very large and very easy to read. You can make distinctions between almost every product, thanks to the fact that the finest of details are displayed.
  • Comes with a quick-release mount thereby making it easy and fast to install and get busy within no time
  • It’s accompanied with documentation as well as a power cable. This makes it easier and more reliable to use
  • Would have preferred a longer transducer cable

 ​2. Best Portable Fish Finder

​Garmin Echo 150 Dual-Beam Fishfinder

This is yet another great model on this buying guide of the best fishfinder GPS combo. It features a 4-inch display size screen and comes with an 8-level grayscale. It's included quick-release tilt mount together with the versatile transom-mount transducer has been credited for making the product’s installation so easy. Its efficiency is attributed to the dual-beam technology, the 200 watts (RMS) rating and accurate scanning capacity up to 1,300 feet depths in fresh water fishing environments.

Garmin Echo 150 Dual-Beam Fishfinder

Pros & Cons

Pros

Cons

  • Comes with a compact design that keeps the fish finder out of your way, regardless of the size of the crafts used
  • Features a snap installation design system
  • The pricing is very fair. Most of the dual-beam technology products are more expensive as compared to this product that comes with the price of a single beam technology.
  • It is one of the best-performing fish finders for on shore fishing
  • The user manual is very deficient of vital information
  • It isn’t accompanied with the protective plastic covering. If you need it, you have to spend $7.31 more

 ​3. Best Kayak Fish Finder

​Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro

This is a fish finder that comes with some very impressive features. First of all, its installation is a snap. You won’t waste a lot of energy on installation. This energy is needed elsewhere. It comes with Wi-Fish mobile app compatibility, an app designed by Raymarine, to enable the live sonar data streaming into the angler’s Smartphone. This allows the user to save, share or even rewind as they fish together with friends. The included US Rivers, coastal and lakes maps is an added advantage to the anglers fishing in the USA.

Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro

Pros & Cons

Pros

Cons

  • The product is optically bonded, necessitating for wide viewing angles, no internal fogging and enhanced sharp color visibility
  • Sonar data can be streamed live to your mobile device such as your Smartphone, thanks to the Wi-Fish mobile app by Raymarine’s
  • Comes with a 4.3-inch all-weather display system that features a high-definition LED backlit screen
  • Comes with a dual-channel sonar, with one of the CHIRO’s offering a conventional fish targeting sonar channel
  • It is easy to install and to use
  • Due to the small screen, an iPad would be needed for easy reading. Reading from an iPad may be challenging under direct sunlight.

 ​4. Best Fish Finder GPS Combo

​Garmin Striker 4

This is a very reliable, classically styled and utilitarian product that features an inbuilt GPS waypoint marker. Such a marker enables you to catalog fish activity at some given spots. This makes an angler’s overall fishing to be very productive since one can mark a specific prime spot and come the previous day when they can get a major kill. The finder works well, though for those looking for bells and whistles, spending a bit more will be mandatory.

Garmin Striker 4

Pros & Cons

Pros

Cons

  • The model features a rugged construction that enables it to handle the harsh environments as well as the daily wear and tear that come with the continuous activities of the finder
  • It works as advertised, producing excellent functionality and reliable performance.
  • Digitally advanced with a reliable CHIRP sonar, an inbuilt flasher and a higher sensitivity GPS for improved performance
  • Comes with a waypoint map that increases the fish catching performance no matter what the fish size is
  • It is easy to install as well as to use
  • Comes with only basics, with very few extras included

 ​5. Best Fish Finder Under 200

​Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+

This is inarguably one of the best products on this buying guide of the best fishfinder GPS combo and by extension, among the best in the world. One of its main selling features is its little 2.5-inch ball size that makes it one of the most portable on the market. To boost the portability feature further, the fish finder is feather light, weighing just some 3.5 ounces. An integrated Wi-Fi, a GPS and an included bathymetric map, all improve the products fish finding capabilities. With all these features, you will be surprised that it costs less than $200.

Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+

Pros & Cons

Pros

Cons

  • The sonar sensitivity is adjustable, making its use to be efficient even in muddy and cloudy waters
  • Full-color screen viewing through the use of your phone’s screen thus making visual power to be as good as that of your phone’s screen
  • It is very small in size as well as very lightweight thus making it one of the most portable fishfinder combos
  • Comes with real time map-making capabilities allowing you to archive hence access the maps in offline mode
  • Great investment for serious open lake or ice fishing
  • Its features are limited, with the offline mode also offering limited maps
  • Its maximum depth penetration of 260 feet is a bit low

 ​6. Best Fish Finder Under 300

​FishHunter Portable Directional 3D Wireless, Fish Finder

This is yet another fish finder that makes work easier for you and by extension, makes it easier to live in the world. This is a completely portable design, featuring a power of five transducers that work at a dual frequency. This design, which comfortably fits in one's pocket, enables anglers to know the underwater contours as they fish. At last, you can now see up to distances you never thought were ever possible- up to 160 feet below the water surface

​FishHunter Portable Directional 3D Wireless, Fish Finder

Pros & Cons

Pros

Cons

  • Comes with a patented Directional Casting that enables one to know where to exactly cast their trap so as to catch more fish
  • Versatility is its other name is it can perfectly be used for ice fishing, small boat angling, and shore casting as well as for kayak fishing
  • It comes with technological advancements such as an inbuilt Wi-Fi connectivity with no need of cell phone tower reception. Its connectivity’s range goes up to 150 feet
  • It’s a powerful product, coming with 5 powerful tri-frequency transducers further boosting the versatility of the product
  • It is the only 3-Dimension wireless sonar that you can get on the market today
  • Wi-Fi connectivity can pose a challenge

 ​7. Best Fish Finder Under 500

Garmin Striker 7SV

This is a product, from a well-respected manufacturer and with a well-celebrated design, for the most serious fish catchers. The product comes with a precise GPS and a tough design for functionality and durability respectively. The Garmin Striker 7SV comes with one of the biggest display systems on the market. Another selling point is its powerful nature that makes it a precise and reliable fish finder, locating even those elusive swimmers. It is not only from its features that you can come to appreciate it as one of the best fish finders but also from the reviews put down by other users.

Garmin Striker 7SV

Pros & Cons

Pros

Cons

  • Comes with numerous transducer frequencies, thus improving on the product’s versatility
  • Its split screen enables you the ability to view the surrounding environment thus better decision-making
  • It is among the toughest and most rugged that has been developed for this industry
  • Waypoint map, highly sensitive GPS and an inbuilt flasher
  • SideVu together with ClearVu imaging features makes it more efficient to sight an object
  • Low resolution and low-tech navigation capacity
  • The accompanying transducer won’t fit most of the boats

 ​8. Best Fish Finder GPS Combo Under 1000

Lowrance HDS-7 Fish Finder

I may be sued for pre-empting that this product is a value product but let us analyze these features. The product features a 7-inch color touch screen, a split-screen that features fully customizable options and full touchscreen or keypad control capabilities. The product also comes with a LED backlighting feature that allows for adjustability hence allowing crisp light for efficiency under all light conditions, the bright sunlight included. This makes the product to be the best for all your needs, hence the best product on our buying guide of the best fishfinder GPS combo.

Lowrance HDS-7 Fish Finder

Pros & Cons

Pros

Cons

  • A large storage capacity capable of storing up to 3000 GPS waypoints as well as integrated wireless connectivity
  • Up to thirty-one different language option availability
  • A large 7-inch, easy to use touch screen display feature
  • Features the shallow and depth alarms and an advanced fish finder system for better efficiency
  • SideVu together with ClearVu imaging features makes it more efficient to sight an object
  • A bit pricey
  • A relatively short-1 year warranty

 ​9. Best Fish Finder Battery

Powersonic 12V 7AH 570 Portable Fish Finder Battery

Fishfinders use batteries and it is prudent you know some of the products that are least likely to disappoint you. One of such product is this 12V battery produced by Powersonic. It is a valve regulated sealed lead-acid accumulator that is easy to handle, rugged for durability, maintenance free and very economical. The battery is characterized by wide operating temperatures; high discharge rate as well as deep discharge recover and long service life.

Powersonic 12V 7AH 570 Portable Fish Finder Battery

Pros & Cons

Pros

Cons

  • Features a superior performance that is necessitated by the AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) technology
  • Safe operation which has been necessitated by the product’s valve regulation construction for spill proof
  • Yields unrivaled energy density courtesy of the high power/volume ratio
  • A wider operating temperature range, high rate of discharge, deep discharge recover and long service life makes it versatile for use on an array of electronic devices and in a wide range of environmental conditions
  • Not the best shipment packaging

 ​10. Best Kayak Fish Finder Battery

Chrome 12V 7AH Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) Battery for 570 Portable Fish Finder

This is also a battery type that features the Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) technology hence a complete maintenance free operation is realized. The battery features high-quality material construction after which it undergoes rigorous testing processes to guarantee OEM compatibility, safety, optimal performance, and effectiveness.

Powersonic 12V 7AH 570 Portable Fish Finder Battery

Pros & Cons

Pros

Cons

  • Effective performance with no water, no leaks and no spills thus allowing for complete maintenance free performance
  • Unmatched customer care service provision, exceptional 18 months of warranty and good enough 60-day window of money back guarantee
  • Weighs just 5.6 pounds, which is portable enough
  • Improved Sealed Lead Acid accumulator together with AGM design responsible for the prevention of corrosion and leaks
  • Not a one-product-fits-all

FAQs

  • a) How Does a Fish Finder Work?
    Electrical pulses are sent to the underwater transducers by the fish finders. The pulses are transmitted as sound waves, with resultant reverberations back to the transducer whenever the sound waves hit something. The reverberations are then captured and relayed back to the finder, which in turn translates the information into compositions, shapes as well as sizes.
  • b) Is it possible to Sync a fish finder with a mobile device?
    Yes. Provided your finder comes with such capabilities and your mobile phone can also allow for app installation
  • c) What’s the step to take when a transducer breaks?
    In most cases, you may be compelled to buy and install a new model but consulting your owner’s manual or manufacturer before taking any step would be prudent
  • d) What Do I Do if my Fish Finder Stopped Working?
    You need to determine the source of the problem. Try charging the device, and plug it into an Internet-connected computer to see if the computer recognizes the device. If the screen freezes or is slow to respond, try powering the device down and restarting it. You might also want to try downloading updated firmware for your model. If you suspect water damage, consult your owner’s manual for warranty information and instructions on contacting their customer service department.
  • e) What step do I take if my fish finder isn’t working?
    Start by separately running your transducer cables from other independent wirings so as to minimize interference. If it doesn’t work, consult the manufacturer.

Conclusion

The Lowrance Elite-7 is the best product on our buying guide of the best fishfinder GPS combo article. The product is a budget fish finder as it offers the best compromise between price and performance. Though other products may have slightly better features than the HDS-7, they are designed for the high-end market segment.

The Lowrance Elite-7 on the other side is capable of producing some of the best fishing performances without breaking the bank. All in all, when looking for a fish finder, it is prudent that you consider the GPS combos. And still, within the GPS, try to understand your needs before seeking to make a choice. Now that you know how to go about it, hit the road and pick yours today.

References

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