Best Fish Finder Reviews 2016 and Fishing Guide

What is the Best Fish Finder for Money?

A fish finder is a tool that anglers can use that incorporates SONAR to detect fish underwater through the use of sound energy that is emitted and reflected by fish as they swim. These days a modern portable fish finder may be incorporated alongside global positioning system (GPS) technology as well as compasses, marine radar and other modern boating technology.

The great thing about fish finders is that they're widely available with both the amateur fishing-for-fun anglers as well as the professionals in mind. On Best Fishfinder Reviews , we'll discuss both so that you have access to the very best technology available on the market.

Looking to Buy a Fish Finder?

Things to consider when buying a Fish finder:

There are a wide variety of types and models of Fish finder on the market today. The choices can be quite overwhelming and confusing due to the many technical features that the different fish finders have. There are however, certain elements on all fish finders that are common to all models that are important for you to understand to help you make your choice.

These are the important things to keep in mind when choosing the right Fish finder for you

1.  Boat or Bank

Fish finders were originally designed and developed for use from boats only, and still are primarily permanently mounted and used from boats, however, there are now fish finders designed for use from the backside.  There are hand-held models available as well as those that mount on your fishing rod, or on your wrist.  There are now also many portable models available that can be mounted on your boat or kayak which can be dismantled and taken home after each trip.

2.  Color or black & white display

Following laptop and computer technology, fish finders are now being developed with ever better quality displays. Before LCD screens were invented fish finders used CRT monitors which were very heavy, bulky and not very efficient to power. The latest LCD screens are now capable of 256 colors with high clarity pixel definition which provide an obvious benefit for viewing the underwater world. Black and white or monochrome screens still provide excellent underwater scans, but color gives you an extra dimension, especially when it comes to defining features such as the depth of the sea or river bed. You need to consider that a color display will increase the overall price of the fish finder, and will require more battery power.Some displays are also better than others in bright sunshine conditions.

3.  Single or Dual Beam

A fish finder uses its transducer to send out signals to retrieve information about the underwater world in the form of a beam. The strength of the signal will determine how wide the searching beam is (either wide or narrow). The wide beam is used for deep water and the narrow beam is used for shallow water scanning (up to approximately 200 feet). Some fish finders use dual beam transducers which can scan either shallow or deep water by selecting either the wide or narrow beam.  When choosing your fish finder, you will need to consider therefore if you require Single (usually for just shallower water) or dual beam for shallow or deep water. The Single beam transducers are usually set for shallower water.

4. Dual Frequency

Some fish finders have dual frequency capability. What this means is that they are capable of scanning both narrow and wide beams at the same time. The added advantage this has, is that the fish finder will be covering a much larger area of water than single frequency transducer fish finders.

5. Down imaging and side imaging

Recent advanced technology has now given fish finders enhanced features which enable you to view detailed pictures of structure and features under the water in a 3 dimensional view. Thousands of beams are sent out from the transducer in small slices, which when returned to the fish finder are interpreted by software which pieces the slices together in a picture-like format.  Down imaging lets you see pictures straight down below the boat, whereas the side imaging technology returns picture to the sides of the boat. The combination of the 2 technologies can provide anglers with an amazing underwater view to help fully understand what is beneath the boat and beyond, and of course where the fish are living.

6. GPS and Chart plotting

The latest fish finders, are not just fish finders anymore, they now combine GPS and chart plotting features to provide full navigation technology as well as all the excellent fish finding features all in one box. These fish finders are known as Combos which have GPS built-in and usually include some free maps, which you can add to by purchasing and downloading to the fish finder. These Combos completely fulfill a boat anglers fish finding experience, as not only can you find the fish, you can mark exactly where you found them so you can return again and again by marking them on your GPS maps.

7. Price

Of course everybody has a budget and like everything else in electronics and technology you basically get what you pay for. Basic entry level fish finders are available at under $100 whereas fully featured combo fish finders can cost as much as $2500. Best Fish finder reviews will help you find the best suited fish finder for your particular budget.

Watch How Fish Finder Work

Top 5 Best Fish Finder Reviews 2016

This excellent budget entry level fishfinder shows the bottom structure clearly and fish arches too.  This fishfinder has to be the least expensive and fully functional fish finder available currently on the market.

The device is very efficient on electricity consumption, running on AA batteries can run easily for over 10 hours.

Setup is very simple and the screen resolution is exceptionally clear.  An overall excellent product for the money.


The Humminbird 597ci HD DI Combo is another excellent fishfinder in the humminbird range which is packed full of superb fish finding features.

Down Imaging, Dual Beam Plus, Switchfire Sonar, Real-time Sonar as well as built-in U.S. contour XD Maps are just some of the features that make this fishfinder a real choice for the serious boat angler.

The unit has a 5-inch full color display and is available in dash-mount or Tilt & Swivel Quick Disconnect Mounting System.


This portable handheld fishfinder, is good at what it does. It works really well from the bank, or from a Kayak when using the 'broom handle' transducer mount. You can mark groups of fish, the audible alarm is very useful and the depth seems accurate and is an extremely valuable fishfinding tool. For the money this unit is hard to beat.

Very economical on batteries - it takes the AAA type and after a days fishing the battery meter barely moves.

The sonar uses a 25 degree beam angle to find fish and bottom structure from 1.5 to 99.9 feet. As well as comes
with a trollable mountable sensor, you also get a floatable sensor with 35 feet of cable and strap. Can be used from banksides, shorelines, bridges, piers, jetties or from boats.

Not for the serious boat angler, but an excellent all-round beginners hand-held portable fishfinder.


Deeper sonar uses Bluetooth technology to transfer sonar readings to your device from up to 150 feet (45 meters). No cellular data required for the sonar to operate, thus it can be used anywhere. Deeper is a dual frequency sonar that allows you to cover both wide area for ample search and narrow for high accuracy returns. The smart sonar works in the depths from 1.5 feet (0.5 meter) to 40 feet (40 meter), both salt and fresh waters. With the weight of only 0.22 pound/ 100 gram and 2.6-inch/ 65 millimeter diameter, Deeper is smaller and lighter than any other traditional sonar or flasher. Compact, lightweight and easy to use Deeper smart sonar is the ideal fishing companion for every angler.


Other features to consider

As well as the basic fishfinding techniques and enhanced technologies that modern fishfinders provide, there are also extra capabilities within these techniques that provide even more powerful features. Here are some examples of those available that you may want to consider:

Sonar Recording - Record your fishfinding pictures a view them back later. Typically can be stored on a USB stick and view on your computer in common formats such as .MOV.

Split Screen Views - Split the fishfinder screen into 2 or more views. Typically here you could view both the shallow water view and deep water view at the same time.

Freeze Frame - Take a snapshot of the fishfinder view and zoom in on a particular area to analyze it further. Pictures can be saved as .BMP files and saved on USB Stick.

Switch fire Sonar - This is a filtering system designed by humminbird that allows you to control the clarity of the sonar returns.  For example in rough water you can switch to a clearer mode which filters out any unwanted underwater obstructions and just returns the fish and structure you are interested in viewing.

Selective Fish ID

You can set your fishfinder to show certain fish sizes, or fish at certain depths with different colors or shapes. This way you can easily determine which fish are those you want to target and at what depth you are selecting.

All the points to consider mentioned here are explained in further detail throughout this site.  Please make sure you browse and read through the site to get a better understanding of what fishfinder you require before purchasing. Best Fishfinder reviews will also indicate where the best prices available are for all the fishfinders reviewed.

The latest fishfinding products now offer side-imaging sonar and down-imaging sonar scans for even more flexibility and scope in searching the depths.

To help you decide what type of fishfinder, GPS or combo you require and with what features you need, hopefully these pages will give you the information you need to make the correct choice.

As with all the other budget entry level Garmin Echo fishfinders, the echo 150 is no exception in its simplicity but, also has the power to provide excellent fishfinding features.  

The dual-beam transducer and 200 watts (RMS) power allow for scans of up to 1,300 feet in depth. Shallow water beam angle of 120 degrees provides viewing of fish to the sides of the boat.  Transducer includes mounting bracket and and trolling motor clamp.

Most fish finders use sound waves to locate fish using the method mentioned above but fish finders also come in several actual types to choose from.

Single Frequency Fish Finder

A single frequency fish finder such as the photo to the right is a great choice for lake fishing and fishing in shallow waters. Single frequency fish finders tend to less expensive than dual frequency units.

So if your fishing tends to be mostly in lakes and shallow waters, a less expensive single frequency fish finder will probably do the trick. The high frequency setting picks up and shows you smaller objects such as fish better than the low frequency does.

Dual Frequency Fish Finder

A dual frequency fish finder such as the photo to the right is a unit that has both a high frequency beam and a lower frequency beam. The high frequency beam is one that gives a high quality but narrow view of what is below the water whereas the low frequency beam give a broader view but lower quality view than the high frequency beam offers. Dual frequency fish finders tend to more expensive than single frequency units. 

The extra expense spent on a dual frequency fish finder can be a great investment for avid fishermen and those who like to stray outside of small lakes and shallow waters. A dual frequency unit comes in handy when you require a fish finder that can successfully penetrate deeper waters and when you require a broader view of fish that are in your vicinity. The low frequency setting is ideal for deep oceans and other deep waters since the lower frequency carries better in deep water.


Final Word

With fishfinders there are a lot of features that are favorable and there are a lot of cons as well, as is true with most things. However, if you are using the fishfinder in the wrong setting for its intended use, you could end up being disappointed by the results you get from it.

For instance, if you buy a fishfinder that is rated for deep water and you only plan to fish in the shallows, you could get a false reading from the equipment.

You need to read through the reviews and consider where you plan to use your fish finder if you want to find the best one for you. If you are unsure, asking questions is also a viable option to consider before you spend money on something that you are not sure you need.

Often researching through some of the Best Fishfinders Review or products will give you a good idea of where that particular fishfinder is most usable.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which Brand of Fishfinder is best ?

Answer: Lowrance, Garmin & Humminbird.

Which Is The Best FishFinder For The Money?

Answer: It’s not too hard to choose the best fish finder for the money. You need to decide how much you are prepared to spend.

How do Fishfinders work ?

Answer: A computer/display that is placed in the boat or an angler kayak if you have a portable one, which then displays potential fish and their depths, and a transducer, which includes an underwater sensor that sends information back up to the display.

Transom Mount or Portable ?

Answer: Portable.

GPS or not?

Answer: Of course GPS.

How and where do I fit/install the fishfinder on my boat ?

Answer: Try to keep the fishfinder as close as possible to center on the helm, which provides the best viewing angle.