Which is the best fish finder under 500 dollars? Read our guide for the top recommendations loved by anglers from all over the United States.
There has been advancement in technology over the years and the fishing industry has seen major growth. To give anglers a better fishing experience, manufacturers have invented a number of gadgets to enhance their performance. This is where the fish finder comes into play.
A fish finder is capable of helping you catch fish effortlessly by using a range system or sound navigation. Having the best fish finder at your disposal is very important especially for those doing large scale fishing.
Fortunately, the market offers some of the best fish finders under $500 with impressive features. However, in terms of product characteristics, priorities may differ depending on the company. For instance, some manufacturers usually prefer channeling their energy on making the display while their counterparts focus on providing the anglers with extra features not available in typical fish finders and technological capabilities. That’s why choosing the best fish finder on the market can be an uphill task for advanced fishers.
We did the leg work for you and rounded up some of the best fish finders on the market, putting all factors into consideration. Some of these important features include sonar type, maximum depth, side view option and display among others.
We took our time researching and going through customer reviews and expert recommendations from those who were kind enough to share their experiences. This information always comes in handy when looking for the best fish finder and what to look out for including different unique features.
Best Fish Finders Under $500
Here’s a round up of some of the best fish finders under 500 on the market:
1. Raymarine Dragonfly 7 Pro Chirp Fish Finder
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This is a renowned company known over the years to make premium quality marine electronics and there take over in the fishing industry was no surprise. That saw the birth of the Raymarine Dragonfly 7 Pro Chirp Fish Finder. This fish finder has it all. It has all the unique features that any advanced angler would find handy. For instance, this model comes with the capability of expanding using a MicroSD card and thousands of preloaded maps.
Raymarine Dragonfly 7 Pro Chirp Fish Finder is relatively large with a seven-inch wide LED backlight screen, ideal for wider angle and multiple views. It uses a unique dual channel system sonar with an impressive Down Vision depth images and CHIRP sonar that is quite conventional. It additionally features a built-in software that combines Navionics+ and NAG chart for ease of navigation. However, it tends to expand effortlessly to include Jepsen’s C-Map and the brand’s lighthouse charts.
Raymarine Dragonfly 7 Pro Chirp Fish Finder works perfectly well when it comes to fish finding and navigation. However, it doesn’t have depth maps that usually come in handy for inland waters. The best thing about this fish finder is that has a built-n Wi-Fi that’s compatible with the WI-Fish mobile app. The only drawback that can inconvenience most anglers is the lack of a touchscreen. But that doesn’t necessarily compromise its performance.
Raymarine Dragonfly 7 Pro Chirp Fish Finder is highly functional, easy to use and install. Plus, it’s a valuable investment any advanced angler can make.
- Raymarine Dragonfly 7 Pro Chirp Fish Finder is easy to use and install
- It’s user-friendly
- This fish finder is accurate when it comes to fish finding
- It comes with an in-built Wi-Fi that’s compatible with Wi-Fish mobile application
- It has a large screen
- Raymarine Dragonfly 7 Pro Chirp Fish Finder lacks a touchscreen
2. Garmin Striker 7sv with Transducer
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Garmin Striker 7sv with Transducer is legit and the best fish finder under $500 on the market with a side view. Garmin is also a renowned manufacturing company that’s known to make premium quality and reliable products and this fish finder model is no exception. It has a full color seven-inch WVGA display screen, side view transducer and CHIRP clear view that provides accurate images of the fish around the boat and the bottom structure with accuracy and precision.
Garmin Striker 7SV Fish Finder with Transducer features CHIRP sonar that uses a wide range of frequencies that helps it differentiate any close targets and deliver clear and crisp fish images. In addition, this fish finder model comes with a built-in flasher view that allows you to use the standard format of the sonar for vertical still and ice fishing. It additionally features an accurate built-in GPS system for marking waypoints and tracking to let you mark fishing holes, docks and boat ramps.
Garmin Striker 7SV Fish Finder with Transducer weighs about a pound. This means that this fish finder model is lightweight and portable with a sports profile for ease of carrying and transportation. Although it’s compact, this model has a waterproof and sturdy construction that makes it ideal for use even under the toughest of weather conditions. It’s the best fish finder for this price especially since it has a seven-inch WVGA display with a side view.
Garmin Striker 7SV Fish Finder with Transducer additionally features a built-in Wi-Fi that is compatible with the Active Captain application to give you a better fishing experience. This model doesn’t come with a slot for a microSD which might inconvenience some advanced anglers. Garmin Striker 7SV Fish Finder is your best bet if you are looking for the best one on the market with a range of sonar capabilities.
- Garmin Striker 7SV Fish Finder comes with a side view feature
- This fish finder model user-friendly and easy to operate
- It comes with a built-in Wi-Fi
- It has a clear and crisp display
- The CHIRP sonar function guarantees a better fishing experience
- Garmin Striker 7SV Fish Finder doesn’t have a slot for a microSD card
3. Humminbird Helix 5 Chirp GPS G2 Fish Finder
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You need a premium quality fish finder model to explore salty water fishing. The gadget should be able to withstand the corrosive effects usually associated with salt water and this is where the Humminbird Helix 5 Chirp GPS G2 Fish Finder comes into play.
The best thing about this fish finder is that it’s affordable and that doesn’t necessarily mean that the quality is compromised. Save for being a popular fish finder on the market, you can also use it in both fresh and salt water alike. It features a detailed five-inch display screen with a built-in software that helps users plot different charts accurately using the built-in GPS. This device has it all.
Humminbird Helix 5 Chirp GPS G2 Fish Finder has a backlit full color five-inch display with a slot for a microSD card to allow users to load other alternative maps and also save waypoints. The incorporated CHIRP sonar allows anglers to see the CHIRP ranges individually and simultaneously as it utilizes a wide range of frequencies compared to a regular sonar. It typically allows provision of precise and accurate high resolution images and information to find different hiding spots of the fish.
Humminbird Helix 5 Chirp GPPS G2 Fish Finder is able to resolve images up to 1500ft which typically means that it pierces way deeper as compared to other fish finders available in the market. It’s an excellent choice for offshore fishers.
Just like the name suggests, this fish finder model also features a built-in GPS that sends accurate information when it comes to position from 2.5 meters or thereabout to help you find the hiding spots of the fish with ease. To help you adapt to the device easily, it has an intuitive system with an industrial design that can withstand all weather conditions.
Humminbird Helix 5 Chirp GPS G2 Fish Finder features a mounting hardware that can be quite inconveniencing as it doesn’t rotate in any direction. Save for that minor inconvenience, this fish finder model is the best bet for those looking for top tier technology, accurate GPS, crisp images and other adjustable features.
- Humminbird Helix 5 Chirp GPS G2 Fish Finder features a slot for a microSD card
- This fish finder model provides crystal clear and crisp images
- It has an intuitive system
- Humminbird Helix 5 comes with a built-in GPS
- Humminbird Helix 5 Chirp GPS G2 Fish Finder comes with a mounting hardware that doesn’t rotate
- Some anglers find the display screen a bit small
4. Humminbird Helix 7 Sonar G2 Fish Finder
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Humminbird Helix 7 Sonar G2 is one of the best fish finders under 500 on the market. Humminbird is a renowned manufacturer of fish finder and it’s no wonder we are featuring two of their devices in this article. This fish finder model is totally deserving thanks to its full color seven-inch WVGA display screen and advanced technology. It’s easy to operate and use, highly functional, affordable and equally reliable.
Humminbird Helix 7 Sonar G2 Fish Finder cannot be used under direct sunlight as it tends to faintly washout. This is because manufacturers optimized the device for daylight viewing so you can only use it in a yacht or find something to cover it. This fish finder model has a 1500ft depth capacity to allow the device to penetrate some of the most profound parts of the water body with ease.
Humminbird Helix 7 Sonar G2 Fish Finder, like its counterparts of the same size allows users to have both multiple and single view windows for most of the data that can be viewed on the display screen. In addition, this fish model uses a 2D pulse sonar with the brand’s Switch Fire technology. The technology helps differentiate between the fish, bottom and structure for ease of finding your target. The feature helps save time as well.
The only drawback of the Humminbird Helix 7 Sonar G2 Fish Finder is that it doesn’t come with a cover. If you opt to go for this model, you’ll need to buy the cover separately. Once you get acclimatized with how the display works, this device provides everything an angler needs to make their fishing experience better.
- Humminbird Helix 7 Sonar G2 Fish Finder is easy to operate and use
- It has a high depth capacity allowing the device to penetrate the most profound parts of the water body with ease and precision
- This fish finder model is cost effective
- Humminbird is a reliable manufacturer
- Humminbird Helix 7 Sonar G2 Fish Finder doesn’t come with a cover so you have to buy it separately
- The display tends to washout when the sun is bright
5. Lowrance Hook2 Fish Finder
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The Lowrance Hook2 also makes it on our list of the best fish finders under 500 with a GPS. This model has the most reliable and equally top tier features such as a GPS plotter and a triple shot transducer which makes it a popular option in the fishing industry when it comes to fish finders. It additionally features a full color seven-inch display screen that is quite impressive since it’s big enough to suit the needs of different anglers.
What’s more, this fish finder gives some rapid access to a range of display modes and automatically adjusts itself to deliver clear and crisp images. It delivers these images depending on the conditions and type of the sonar signal you choose.
Lowrance Hook2 Fish Finder has an outstanding split screen feature that allows you to view four different screens simultaneously. The best thing about this fish finder model is that it has an intuitive system that is quite easy to use even though it lacks the touchscreen feature. It also has a built-in GPS system that delivers accurate information and allows users to navigate the water with ease and fast to their desired location.
Lowrance Hook2 Fish Finder comes with a microSD card for storing over a thousand waypoints and different navigation routes. Most anglers love the triple shot transducer as it allows them to use both scan and CHIRP sonar modes – down and side imaging simultaneously.
The fish finder features the gimble mount style that allows you to mount the device on the dashboard of the boat. It can also resolve images up to 500ft providing a shallow water alarm and temperature information. The only drawback of this fish finder model is that most anglers think that its cost is on the higher side of the pricing spectrum.
- Lowrance Hook2 Fish Finder is easy to use
- It comes with a built-in triple shot transducer
- It has an intuitive display
- Lowrance Hook2 has an accurate GPS
- This fish finder features a slot for a microSD card
- Lowrance Hook2 is relatively expensive
Factors to Consider When Looking for the Best Fish Finders Under 500
You might probably be considering acquiring a fish finder for your fishing adventures especially if you are inclined towards aquatic life. Here are some of the factors you need to put into consideration when looking for the best fish finders under 500.
Making the Most of Your Ideal Fish Finder
- Wireless Connectivity
Most find finders on the market can be connected to tablet screens, desktops, laptops and smartphones using a USB cable. However, according to our list, the Raymarine Dragonfly 7 Pro Chirp Fish Finder and Garmin Striker 7SV Fish Finder stand out from the rest when it comes to connectivity.
Plus, you can either use Wi-Fi connectivity or Bluetooth. This saves users the hassle that comes with using hardware when transferring data which not only makes the procedure quick but also seamless.
Save for transferring data from the fish finder to your smartphone, Wi-Fi connection also allows anglers to use other compatible apps on their phones.
- GPS System
Most fish finders on the market usually have a GPS system. The GPS system comes in handy for those doing large scale fishing in oceans and lakes as it helps them navigate their way back with ease. You can also utilize the GPS system to save popular spots with the most fish for future use. What’s more, you can use it to map prime spots and also track different hazardous areas around the water body.
If the fish finder features a multi-screen similar to that of the Humminbird Helix 7 Sonar G2, you definitely will have a great fishing experience. The multi-screen function enables users to divide the display and show more than two different features simultaneously.
Multi-screen is especially comes in handy when trolling since it typically allows anglers to see the map and the bottom structure simultaneously. The best thing about a fish finder with a multi-screen feature is that it can even show varying bottom views as you fish.
Choosing the Best Fish Finder Under $500 on the Market
Here are some of the things you need to look out for when shopping for the best fish finders under $500 on the market:
A top tier quality display helps you detect even the tiniest of details when fishing. A great display will also give you a great fishing experience under poor lighting conditions and bright light alike. You don’t want to spend the rest of the day squinting your eyes to try and see clearly. Generally, go for fish finders with large displays within your budget. A display that’s sealed is also ideal to avoid any fogging.
Fish finders with higher frequencies usually display more information on the screen. Higher frequencies are equally effective in shallow waters but commercial anglers and deep-sea trawlers prefer using transducers with low frequencies.
The most common frequencies usually range from 50kHz to about 200kHz. Besides, thanks to advanced technology, most fish finders currently on the market are equipped with different frequencies allowing you to choose one that you prefer and use it simultaneously using the split-screen feature. You can also keep switching between the available frequencies with ease.
The side view sonar usually allows anglers to scan a lot of water once. An average fish finder model can scan up to 100ft on either side quite efficiently. The best thing about fish finder models with the side view feature is that you can scan different regions easily without causing disturbance. This is because you don’t need to physically visit the area to scan.
The only drawback with fish finder models with the side view feature is that they aren’t as effective when it comes to deep water fishing. In average, things usually start getting a bit blurry when anglers go beyond 75ft. At this point, you’ll realize a drop in the quality of the image. One of the fish finder models with this feature on our list is the Garmin Striker 7SV.
The best fish finders under $500 on the market have GPS capabilities. Having both the navigation and fish finding feature on one device is quite handy and equally convenient as opposed to buying a navigating tool separately. Fish finder model with GPS capabilities allows anglers to save their favorite and popular spots with the most fish. Plus, you can also use the feature to mark different areas with any submerged obstacles.
The best fish finders under $500 on our list with GPS capabilities are the Humminbird Helix 5 Chirp GPS G2 and the Lowrance Hook2 Fish Finder.
Size is equally important when it comes to the best fish finders on the market. Generally, it’s always advisable to go for a fish finder model with a larger display for ease of reading. If you opt for a model that is relatively small, you’ll find trouble differentiating between the target and water debris which beats the purpose of using the device in the first place.
The fish finder should also be compact for ease of storage and convenience together with other fishing essentials.
We all know the importance of buying products that usually come with warranties. Always have this in mind when buying electronic devices since they are more prone to damages and faults. Ensure you check the warranty terms before buying any fish finder model. The warranty will come in handy during replacements and repairs from the brand or manufacturing company.
When looking for the best fish finders on the market, always check if there’s a provision for extra features such as Wi-Fi connectivity. This allows you to connect the fish finder to your tablet screen, laptop, desktop or smartphone with ease or use other specialized applications. For instance, the split-screen features allow you to use different compatible modes simultaneously. You can also add alternative maps so that you can navigate easily around the water.
Remember, fish finder models with these extra features usually fall on the higher side of the pricing spectrum. In this case, advanced anglers stand to benefit the most from these types of features since they invest in large scale fishing.
All fishers need reliable and handy fishing tools. However, there’s only a few on the market that are as reliable as the Raymarine Dragonfly 7 Pro Chirp Fish Finder. This fish finder model is less than $500 but has a number of impressive features usually found on other high-end models including a relatively large display, a slot for a microSD card and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Most anglers will agree that the Raymarine Dragonfly 7 Pro Chirp Fish Finder is hands down the best fish finder under $500 on the market with Garmin Striker 7SV coming a close second.
You can go for the Humminbird Helix 5 Chirp GPS G2 if you are looking for a functional and budget-friendly option.