Best Fish finder Under $300 Review 2020

Coupled with the ever-increasing technological advancement, the world is becoming a more exciting place to dwell in.

The fishing industry has also benefited from this encompassing wave which is gifting us with stellar devices loaded with functionalities without crossing over the affordability threshold.

Gone are the days when hectic measures had to be employed for locating or discovering fishing spots. The fish finder can do all the hard work for you with utmost precision as you fill up the drums with delectable sardines and tunas.

These gadgets can add a spark to your fishing game whether you are an occasional fisherman or an addicted angler.

However, coming up with a fish finder which will be best suited to your requirements can be a tough nut to crack given the wide array of possibilities available in the marketplace.

Considering all these things, we have compiled a list of ten best fish finders which can serve your needs.

ImageNamePrice
Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5View Product
Garmin Striker Plus 5cvView Product
Raymarine Dragonfly ProView Product
Garmin Striker 4 View Product
Deeper PRO PLUS Smart SonarView Product
Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 54cv View Product
Venterior VT-FF001View Product
Garmin Striker Plus 4Cv View Product
Deeper PRO Smart Portable SonarView Product
HawkEyeFishtrax 1C Fish FinderView Product

Now we shall take a look at a few buying tips which can help you in gaining a deep insight for taking the right decision.

You may also check best inflatable floating island for the budget.

Transducer

They translate signals into easily understandable pictures by emitting and receiving sonar waves. However, all fish finders do not come with transducers. The ones having transom mount transducers can be installed easily on smaller boats. The length of the transducer cable is also dependent on your boat size as bigger ones might require longer cables. The shape and size of the selected transducer whether it is In-Hull, Thru-Hull or Transom-Mount needs to be in sync with your boat type. Bronze housing work perfectly with wooden hulls since leakage and plastic damage can be caused by wood expansion.

Design and durability

Finders having water resistance capabilities and crafted using non-corrosive material can be of great help especially when you are fishing on salty waters.

Display Screen Colors

The display screens come either in colored options or black & white mode. While the black & white models are comparatively cheap, they cannot offer equivalent level of view and enjoyment as their colored contemporaries.

Portability

Portability of a fish finder implies its availability in a single piece which is not the case in most situations. In spite of this, if portability serves as a focal point of consideration for you, then you should purchase a device whose transducer can be attached easily with its primary unit.

1. Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish finder

The HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 banks on the legacy of sonar innovation of Humminbird to help you in exercising complete command on the appearance of sonar returns.

This Gen 2 fishfinder toppled over its predecessors by featuring CHIRP sonar technology which can scan up to 1000 feet deep with high-resolution display and reduced image noise.

Anglers can define the desired search range by merely dialling the specific kHZ and accessing low, medium or high frequency ranges for filling in your fish kitty.

The CHIRP sonar also accentuates the ability of the fish finder in differentiating between drop-offs, game fish, bait fish, wrecks and other debris lying at sea bed.

The HELIX 5 display identifies every single fish as a dot or arch whenever a group of fish is encountered by the sonar beam. The integrated water temperature probe helps anglers in gauging the temperature of the upper most water layer.

You can adjust your fishing condition using the dual display modes. Details pertaining to turbulence, water depth and even experimental lure presentations can be added or removed by a simple push of the button.

Precision GPS/WAAS receiver provides accurate results within a 2.5 metre radar while the slim profile display maximizes its cool factor by minimizing the space requirement. Its AutoChart Live option provides users with the ability of creating exquisitely detailed maps on a real-time basis.

You can add information pertaining to vegetation, depth contours and bottom hardness to your favourite fishing spots without having to upload your data on a global platform.

Pros

PROS:

  • Eight-hours of recording time to accompany you on those fishing missions.
  • Multiple sonar functions such as Bottom Lock, RTS, Alarms, Selective Fish ID+ etc.
  • Precision GPS with ENGONS, MSAS and WAAS enhancing.
  • Best-in-class brightness delivers optimum clarity even under direct sunlight.
  • 5-inch Ultra HD LED-backlit display spreads out the picture over a wider gamut when the side imaging screen is being used.

Cons

CONS:

  • Does not come with any unit cover.
  • Lack of standing mode.

2. Garmin Striker Plus 5cv

The Striker Plus series of Garmin has packed in an array of new features and tech without losing out on its user-friendly attribute.

The latest QuickDraw technology of Garmin helps in mapping bottom contours over an interval of 1-foot using unit data storage capacity.

This can easily cover 1 million acres which can easily suffice the biggest of lakes. Contour maps are created automatically for reviewing the places you have already covered before planning an upcoming trip.

QuickDraw has an extremely easy learning curve and does not require any prior experience or special training in this subject matter.

SEE ALSO:  Top 6 Best Self Propelled Lawn Mowers For Hills - Buying Guide 2020

Built-in GPS helps in creating routes, marking waypoints as well as constant gauging of your boat speed.

The speed indicator proves to be exceptionally helpful for observing limits in wake-controlled lakes or while monitoring your trolling speeds.

The high-sensitivity GPS can exercise high precision in tracking your location on the water constantly.

Striker Plus comes with built-in WiFi which assists in sharing the maps across various other Garmin Striker Plus devices to assist your friends who are out fishing.

The free utility named ActiveCaptain app can easily establish connectivity between your Striker Plus and other compatible mobile devices for uploading or downloading maps both in QuickDraw Contours maps and waypoint routes.

The vibrant WGVA 5” display maintains its brilliance even under direct sunlight so that you can enjoy crisp images at all times.

The IPX7 waterproof design helps the Garmin Striker Plus in surviving minor bumps without revealing any signs of weakness.

Pros

PROS:

  • Dual-frequency sonar helps in using both 2D beams at once.
  • LED backlight assists with better readability under direct sunlight.
  • Can save approximately 5000 waypoints.
  • Packed with various sonar features like A-Scope, Fish Symbols, Flasher, Ultrascroll, Bottom Lock etc.
  • Affordable and easy to install unit.
  • Can reveal coordinates and calculate your boat speed.

Cons

CONS:

  • Lacks NMEA support.
  • Unit cover has to be purchased separately.

3. Raymarine Dragonfly Pro CHIRP Fish Finder with built in GPS

If you are on the lookout for an affordable CHIRP model, then your search is bound to come to an end once you come across the Dragonfly 4PRO which comes with all the necessary bells and whistles in the form of accuracy, crisp-clear imaging, sonar depth capability and an array of other useful functionalities.

Although the display is not adequately wide, the stellar image quality is bound to mesmerize you by retaining its operational prowess in a variety of weather conditions round the clock.

The optically bonded screen empowers the display with superior readability which does not fog on the occurrence of temperature differences.

This dynamic feature makes the Dragonfly model a favourite pick of fishermen riding open full boats. The heavy-duty ball-and-socket system featured in its mounting system helps the fish finder in being easily adaptable to absolutely any surface.

You can now gain an edge over your friends coupled with the CHIRP DownVision feature which comes as a pleasant surprise given the budget price range.

The 4 Pro can provide photo-like clarity as it uses sonar pulses which are modulated over a wide array of frequencies. You are bound to be benefitted with the superior target separation feature which helps you in distinguishing fishes from other marine structures.

You can enjoy up to two different applications using its split screen mode. Its integrated Wi-Fi module aids in connecting the device with tablet or smartphone for live streaming.

Compatible both with Android and iOS devices, the Dragonfly 4 Pro can be used to freeze frame in a particular spot and scroll back and forth using the sonar.

Pros

PROS:

  • C-Map Essentials pack comes loaded with chart objects, critical navigation aid, tidal info, C-Marina icons and costal data revealing depth shading, depth contours and spot soundings up to 60 feet.
  • Wi-Fish application supports mobile-friendly mapping and waypoint navigation through augmented reality.
  • Easy installation system fostered by its compact ball-and-socket mounting system.
  • Built-in WI-Fi for streaming data from the Dragonfly fishfinder directly to your tablet and smartphone.

Cons

CONS:

  • The display might come off as too small for split-screen usage.
  • Does not support NMEA connectivity.

4. Garmin Striker 4 Built-in GPS Fish Finder

Coupled with a 4-pin connector and 10-10249-20 transducer, the Garmin Striker 4 comes as one of the most affordable units loaded with CHIRP functionality plying the market with which you can now mark and return to boat ramps and docks as well as share your favorite routes and way points with other Striker fishfinders.

Uninterrupted imagery gets guaranteed by smooth scaling graphics especially while toggling between various depth-range scales. You can scroll through sonar images for rewinding the sonar history and marking waypoints which could have been missed originally.

The built-in flasher also displays speed data so that you can stroll around effortlessly in wake-controlled areas. The high-sensitivity GPS of the Striker fishfinder aids in navigating through stumps, brush piles and docks.

Coupled with a small HVGA colour display of 3.5 inches, the Garmin Striker offers excellent readability even when used under direct sunlight.

The IPX7 waterproof fishfinder having a rugged design can support a maximum of two applications simultaneously. The CHIRP sonar also aids in excellent target separation coupled with clearer images.

The Fish Symbol ID feature is much similar to the Selective Fish ID+ function which is found in its peer Humminbird units such as the HELIX 5 GPS.

This function aids in indicating the depth of individual fish target and assigning fish icons. The flasher mode on the other hand integrates information pertaining to targets which get caught by sonar beams.

Depth is indicated by the inner rings of the Flasher while segments on outer rings indicate varying strengths of the sonar returns. Both ice and stationary fishing can be engaged in with much precision using this functionality.

You can filter unwanted noise automatically using the Auto gain feature while Ultrascroll aids in scanning at higher boat speeds by enabling the sonar data to scroll faster.

Pros

PROS:

  • Garmin CHIRP transducer provides high clarity level and detailing compared to the traditional transducers.
  • Continuous frequency sweeps are send by the CHIRP which are interpreted individually for providing a wider range of information.
  • Built-in GPS aids in precise positioning even when you are located at the middle of the lake.

Cons

CONS:

  • Does not come with NMEA connectivity.
  • No information pertaining to longitude or latitude is available.

5. Deeper PRO PLUS Smart Sonar – GPS Portable Wireless Wi-Fi Fish Finder

The smartphone fishfinders of Deeper has curved out a niche for itself in the market of sonar fishfinders with its stellar functionality.

SEE ALSO:  Top 10 Best Paint Sealant for Black Cars - Buying Guide 2020

This extremely powerful castable sonar can scan deeper and cast further to guarantee you an exhilarating fishing experience.

Its integrated GPS aids in mapping any water right from the shore. Coupled with the mounting bracket, the Deeper unit emerges as an agile and affordable boat sonar unit. You can view the sonar feedback sent from the castable sonar unit using your mobile device.

The downloadable application also comes loaded with other ground-breaking features such as weather forecast, solunar forecast, fish notes and much more. Its independent WiFi connection spread over 330 feet aids in using the device even in places where cell service is poor.

The portable unit having an ABS construction is durable enough to accompany you in even the toughest of missions where maximum impact is expected.

A lithium polymer battery with a charging time of 2 hours and running time of 6 hours powers up the device for unbridled performance on the go. Its bathymetric mapping feature helps in viewing lake maps and creating detailed and accurate bathymetric maps of the bottom by pulling the unit over to the water.

This comes as a significant improvement over the Boat Mode maps which cannot paint a detailed picture.

Coupled with this dynamic new attribute, you can have an edge above your friends whenever you go on a fishing trip and detect the hiding spots of fishes with recording of the bottom contour.

Pros

PROS:

  • Strong Wi-Fi connection up to 100 metres.
  • Dual beam options. Wide 55obeam aids with broad fish searching while the narrow 15o scanner aids in zeroing on targets with better resolution.
  • Free Deeper App comes loaded with functionality to help you with everything ranging from night/ice fishing mode to saving your maps.

Cons

CONS:

  • No CHIRP sonar integration.
  • No means for chart plotting.

6. Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 54cv

Blend in precision to your daily fishing activities with the Garmin echoMAP which harnesses the power of CHIRP sonar for spotting the fishes nearby.

This chartplotter comes equipped with a 5 Hz internal GPS/GLONASS module for delivering both heading as well as positioning updates 5 times per second.

You can easily gauge your boat speed coupled with its built-in GPS system. The Garmin fish finder comes pre-loaded with BlueChart g2 HD maps which cover East Coast, West Coast, U.S. coastal waters and Bahamas and U.S. parts of the Gulf of Mexico and Great Lakes.

The charts pack helps with smooth transitioning in between varied levels of zoom for maintaining excellent continuity all across chart boundaries.

The BlueChart g2 Vision charts support Auto Guidance function for creating a virtual safe pathway by searching through the existent charts.

This can assist you in avoiding obstructions like low bridges and shallow water which might otherwise slow down your progress.

You can trust this unit to save 100 routes and 5000 waypoints for being retraced whenever necessary. It is also possible to add depth contours to your maps during navigation coupled with its Quickdraw Contours function. Its GT23M-TM (4-pin) transducer features a 30’ cable and built-in temperature sensor.

Pros

PROS:

  • Features a fast and accurate internal 5 Hz GPS.
  • Comes with a unit cover.
  • Can be installed easily.
  • The CHIRP Sonar can provide users with a wider range of information by sending a continual sweep of frequencies.
  • Built-in charts and maps add up to its lucrativeness.
  • High-frequency CLEARVÜ scanning sonar leads to detailed representations of structure, objects and fish around your boat.
  • Has pretty comprehensive and straightforward operation.

Cons

CONS:

  • Manual is not very specific and users will have to go through the whole thing for understanding the relevant information.

7. Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder

If you are on the lookout for a simple and affordable fish finder, then the Venterior VT-FF001 is sure to cater to your requirements with its out and out efficiency.

Its single-beam transducer radiates a 45-degree angle beam which can be of great help in spotting fishes between depths ranging between 3 to 328 feet. A 25 feet cable keeps the transducer attached to the control unit.

Only the targets in motion can be spotted by this portable fish finder which is not of much help in detecting your bait. Fishes bigger than 10cm can easily be spotted by this fish finder. The size of fish which will be spotted by the sonar transducer can be regulated easily by adjusting the level of sensitivity.

However, only the big fishes will be displayed on the fish finder if the level of sensitivity is kept at a low level. For gaining the most out of the sonar transducer it is advisable to keep the boat speed below 5 mph.

Featuring a TN/anti-UV LCD black and white display coupled with a green LED backlight, this model guarantees optimum visibility even in low light scenarios.

You can gauge both the depth and positioning of fish through the display and the former can be toggled between feet and meter.

Pros

PROS:

  • Lightweight and compact model.
  • Backlit screen aids in using the device both during day and night time.
  • The Venterior portable model is operational at temperature ranging between -4 to 158 degree Fahrenheit making it perfect for being used in ice fishing.
  • Easy to use interface which can suffice even the first-time users.
  • Five settings for bringing along battery savings.
  • Reasonable price tag.

Cons

CONS:

  • The transducer cable measuring 7.5 feet is way too long for being used while kayaking.
  • Settings are not saved once it is turned off.

8. Garmin Striker Plus 4Cv with Cv20-TM transducer

Offering basic navigation features, the Striker Plus 4cv features a plastic transducer having metallic transom mount.

You can also gauge the water temperature coupled with its internal temperature sensor. The CHIRP sonar pulse modulation helps with better target separation and definition as well as clearer images having less clutter.

All these aspects are of tremendous help while detecting fish even for first timers. Conical beams are used by the transducer for the 2D sonar when it comes to depth scanning and coverage.

SEE ALSO:  Top 10 Best Samsung Galaxy S6 Power Banks of 2020

The Garmin Striker Plus 4cv does not have any charts and cannot be upgraded with the same. It only has a GPS plotter showing your position on a blank sheet. You can thus mark up to 5000 waypoints with the GPS plotter.

You can even create routes between marked waypoints and record tracks automatically with this fish finder. Each waypoint can be made more suggestive with the various types of icons earmarked against them.

The coordinates for each waypoint marked is showed by the GPS which can also calculate your boat speed. Quickdraw Contours stands out as another striking feature of this unit as it aids in drawing the depth contours of rivers, lakes, canals and other water bodies using basic sonar data and GPS.

You can thus create your own fishing maps having the latest 1” depth contours.

The unit also comes with an IPX7 waterproof rating which can suffice rain, occasional splashes and even immersion for one whole minute in freshwater.

Pros

PROS:

  • Affordable fish finder which can be installed easily.
  • Routes and tracks recording functions.
  • Features high-sensitivity GPS.
  • Unit is capable of using 50/77/83/200 kHz base frequencies.
  • Includes a tilt-swivel mount.
  • Larger display size than its predecessor.

Cons

CONS:

  • Lacks a unit cover.
  • Lacks NMEA connectivity.

9. Deeper PRO Smart Portable Sonar – Wireless Wi-Fi Fish Finder for Kayak and Ice Fishing

This versatile and wireless fish-finder can serve as the perfect addition to your fishing gear with its high-end features and functionalities.

You can install it within seconds without having to juggle with any wires or batteries. In spite of being an extremely portable model which requires minimal floor area, the Deeper model promises optimal performance on the go.

The rock-solid Wi-Fi connectivity once synced with your tablet or smartphone can send instantaneous information about the marine findings underneath such as depressions, drop offs, vegetation and much more.

You can even plot underwater contours on a real-time basis on your map. The stellar target separation and scanning power of the Deeper model promises you complete accuracy of its display and projection.

The durable construction of this fish finder makes it perfect for hope hopping once you have found the perfect spot. Ice fishing is an absolute delight coupled with the Deeper Pro Smart Sonar having 0.5” target separation and 15° narrow scanning beam.

You can track your jig in the ice fishing mode coupled with the Zoom function and match the hatch. The ice holes can also be mapped with utmost precision so that you benefit from these high yielding spots even during your future fishing endeavors.

The dynamic Deeper App has been specially designed for converting raw data into simple information which can be understood by anglers of all levels.

Pros

PROS:

  • Boat mode aids in the creation of Bathymetric maps for being analysed via Lakebook or PC.
  • Every single ice-hole is marked on your map using the smartphone’s GPS.
  • Guarantees easy trolling as it makes 15 scans every second.
  • Can be attached to a line for being casted out from the kayak.

Cons

CONS:

  • Reading depth might be inaccurate at times.

10. HawkEyeFishtrax 1C Fish Finder with HD Color Virtuview Display

Earmarked against the experienced anglers who wish to enjoy the perks of a high-definition fishing experience, this full-color fish finder comes loaded with an array of functionalities.

Its VirtuView TFTN display comes with three operating modes of Data, Fish Finder and Ice-Mode DigitalFlasher. You can form a clear estimate of the fish, overall depth and much more using its HD color display.

The depth, battery voltage and temperature settings get enlarged in the Data mode for being read easily even from a distance of several feet.

You can benefit from sonar echoes on a real-time basis coupled with the Ice-Mode Digital Flasher much like a traditional flasher making it an ideal pick for targeting suspended fish especially when you are out on an ice fishing spree.

The FishTrax Intelligent Sonar assists users in tweaking their fish finder for being in sync with all forms of fishing platform or technique.

Anglers can now hike up their pre-targeting game with utmost satisfaction coupled with stellar features such as auto-zoom ground tracking, multi-level depth ranges and 100-level affectability modification.

Coupled with dual functional airwaves frequencies the sonar readings can be fine-tuned to be in sync with both deep or shallow water without any complexity.

The built-in expand ability of the FishTrax 1C provides enough room for addition of accessories which are compatible over a wide gamut of fishing platforms such as canoe, boat, float tube, kayak, dock, bank, ice and much more.

Pros

PROS:

  • Accurate temperature measurement.
  • Clicking alarm sound to inform you about fish detection.
  • Premium display having adjustable options.
  • Durable construction which can take on heavy-duty usage.

Cons

CONS:

  • Screen delays with changes in depth zones.
  • Poor battery life.

Conclusion

Considering the myriad of models available in the market, coming to a conclusion is anything but easy. At the end of the day it all comes down to striking the right balance in between one’s fish finding needs and available financial resources.

However, once you know about the types of fish finders available in the market, the decision might prove to be much easier. Standalone fish finders having a wide display screen are perfect for anglers whose ultimate goal is to have a clear notion about the underwater marine life.

Unfamiliar fishing territory calls for these fish finders which are much cheap compared to other types available in the market.

Network system fish finders offer superior features such as GPS charts, satellite radios and much more which causes its price to hike up. They also guarantee excellent connectivity options paired with stellar Bluetooth and Wi-Fi features.

Combo fish finders offer features to gauge speed, depth, temperature and fish size. They also offer technical features such as split screen option and navigation GPS which can make your fishing game easier.