The Garmin Echo 551DV is one of the newer and more advanced models in the Garmin line of fish finders and it’s the top fish finder under 300. It’s one of my top choices and I really think that it’s the best fish finder for the money. It offers the best fishing sonar and a large clear display. The transducer has 500 watts of power, which allows the wave to go as deep as 2300 feet. It comes from the echo fish finder series that are known for their great accuracy.
The temperature and pressure sensitivity capability of fish finder units allow one to identify the exact location of the fish in the water by the use of a temperature gauge.Functionality present in many modern fish finders also have track back capabilities in order to check the changes in movement in order to switch position and location whilst fishing.
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Commercial and naval fathometers of yesteryear used a strip chart recorder where an advancing roll of paper was marked by a stylus to make a permanent copy of the depth, usually with some means of also recording time (Each mark or time 'tic' is proportional to distance traveled) so that the strip charts could be readily compared to navigation charts and maneuvering logs (speed changes). Much of the world's ocean depths have been mapped using such recording strips. Fathometers of this type usually offered multiple (chart advance) speed settings, and sometimes, multiple frequencies as well. (Deep Ocean—Low Frequency carries better, Shallows—high frequency shows smaller structures (like fish, submerged reefs, wrecks, or other bottom composition features of interest.) At high frequency settings, high chart speeds, such fathometers give a picture of the bottom and any intervening large or schooling fish that can be related to position. Fathometers of the constant recording type are still mandated for all large vessels (100+ tons displacement) in restricted waters (i.e. generally, within 15 miles (24 km) of land).
Fish finders are incredibly valuable tools, and the more you learn about how to read them, the more successful your fishing trips will be. A key part of learning as angler is to go from trial and error to a more knowledge-based approach. Maybe you regularly catch at a certain spot with a certain presentation – but do you know why? A fish finder will help you understand not just your failures, but also your successes. And once you know this, you can recreate this success more easily.
Fishing nets are meshes usually formed by knotting a relatively thin thread. Between 177 and 180 the Greek author Oppian wrote the Halieutica, a didactic poem about fishing. He described various means of fishing including the use of nets cast from boats, scoop nets held open by a hoop, and various traps "which work while their masters sleep". Ancient fishing nets used threads made from leaves, plant stalk and cocoon silk. They could be rough in design and material but some designs were amazingly close to designs we use today (Parker 2002). Modern nets are usually made of artificial polyamides like nylon, although nets of organic polyamides such as wool or silk thread were common until recently and are still used.
Fishing nets are meshes usually formed by knotting a relatively thin thread. Between 177 and 180 the Greek author Oppian wrote the Halieutica, a didactic poem about fishing. He described various means of fishing including the use of nets cast from boats, scoop nets held open by a hoop, and various traps "which work while their masters sleep". Ancient fishing nets used threads made from leaves, plant stalk and cocoon silk. They could be rough in design and material but some designs were amazingly close to designs we use today (Parker 2002). Modern nets are usually made of artificial polyamides like nylon, although nets of organic polyamides such as wool or silk thread were common until recently and are still used.
The size of the area you’re scanning will be affected by the angle of the cone. A wide beam cone scans between 40°-60°, meaning you’ll be covering a large area. A narrow cone will scan between 10°-20°. So make sure you’re aware of whether your fish finder is using a wide or narrow cone when you’re looking at the data on your screen. The Deeper PRO and PRO+ have wide and narrow beam scanning (55° and 15°), the Deeper START has a medium/wide beam (40°). One other point to remember about how you sonar works is that it is constantly sending and receiving data, which means your display will be continually scrolling. The current scanning data will be on the right – the further left on the screen, the older the data.

The most common mistake anglers make when reading their fish finder is thinking that a long arch means a big fish. This is not the case. On your sonar display, you should think of length as representing time. For example, imagine you keep your fish finder stationary in the water (in other words you are not reeling or trolling it). If there is a fish underneath that is also stationary, what will you see on your fish finder display? You will see one continuous line. That doesn’t mean there’s a blue whale stranded in the pond you’re fishing. It means there is a stationary fish under your fish finder, and it might be a very small one.


The display is all about pixels. With more pixels you will be able to see more details, so it’s also an important factor to consider. More pixels also means higher price of the fish detector. We would suggest going minimum 240(v) x 160(h) pixels of the screen. However, this screen will give a pretty blocky image. To have a sharper image and better resolution, you will need to invest more.


When compared to other finders, this screen is relatively small, but it still gets the job done. Since it’s in full color and has high contrast, you can still see everything quite clearly. The only downside is that you have to switch between menus, which can be a problem if you are trying to find fish and mark your location. Overall, it’s not necessarily a deal breaker, but it may be enough to warrant a larger screen. Fortunately, the Striker can come in bigger sizes if you want to upgrade.
Moreover, the 7SV also has a built in Garmin GPS that allows you to make your own waypoint maps, which makes marking all those stumps, docks, and brush piles as easy as clicking a button or two. All map information is transferrable to other Garmin fish finder devices if you upgrade as well, adding even more versatility to the 7SV. Additionally, the 7SV also has its own rechargeable battery pack that helps you stay on the water all day long, thereby increasing your chances of finally reeling in that trophy catch you’ve been looking for all these years.
The best value fish finder models that we have listed above are the most popular in 2014. All of them have high fish finder ratings and predominantly positive reviews of the users. According to your needs, one model or other might be a better choice for you. When you compare fish finders, you should consider your budget and the features you would like the fish finder you are looking for to have. Before choosing fish finder, you need to decide do you need a portable unit or a fixed one for mounting onto your boat. Also consider will a fish finder be sufficient for your needs or do you also need an integral GPS in the unit. We hope that with the information that I have provided in this best fish finder reviews, you will find a fish finder that will help you catch more fish.
As you look for a GPS/fishfinder combo, keep in mind that the best power and frequency won’t mean much if you can’t use the information. Think in terms of a computer. You can have the most-powerful and efficient computing capability, but without a high-quality monitor, the data does you little good. That’s why it’s always a good idea to spend a bit more to get a top-shelf screen.
The Garmin Echo 551DV is one of the newer and more advanced models in the Garmin line of fish finders and it’s the top fish finder under 300. It’s one of my top choices and I really think that it’s the best fish finder for the money. It offers the best fishing sonar and a large clear display. The transducer has 500 watts of power, which allows the wave to go as deep as 2300 feet. It comes from the echo fish finder series that are known for their great accuracy.
A fishing rod is an additional tool used with the hook, line and sinker. A length of fishing line is attached to a long, flexible rod or pole: one end terminates with the hook for catching the fish. Early fishing rods are depicted on inscriptions in ancient Egypt, China, Greece and Rome. In Medieval England they were called angles (hence the term angling). As they evolved they were made from materials such as split Tonkin bamboo, Calcutta reed, or ash wood, which were light, tough, and pliable. The butts were frequently made of maple. Handles and grips were made of cork, wood, or wrapped cane. Guides were simple wire loops.
Thru-hull: This means a threaded bronze, nylon or stainless steel shaft passes through the bottom surface of the hull. You have several styles to choose from: external football-shaped head with water flow smoothed by a fairing block that also corrects for the dead rise (sideways slope of the hull); or round mushroom head thru-hulls, either semi-flush or flush mounted. These are the most challenging to install, but likely to provide the best signal quality. Displacement power and sailboats generally use thru-hulls.

This unit has a colorful and compact 3.5 inch color screen that is fully equipped with a Garmin high-sensitivity GPS and Garmin’s very own Sonar, which uses Garmin CHIRP ClearVu Scanning. This GPS gives you the ability to mark your favorite hotspots and fishing areas, docks, and slipways, while using high-speed data technology to display any information that you may need, immediately on the screen.


In summer and winter, water temperature is very important - these units will help you discover areas that should be comfortable for your target species. Safety is found in structure, for prey and predator alike. The illusion of safety for baitfish equates to food for prey. So locating proper structure is certainly important. It's been said that 90% of the fish can be found in 10% of the water. Believe it. If you're fishing structure in the middle of a lake or a man-made reef, knowing what's below you is important. Now you know.
The final point to remember when you are looking out for fish arches is that it doesn’t need to be a full arch. Half arches (like the ones shown in the screen shot above) also show that there is fish. In ourtutorial on how sonars work, we explain in detail why sometimes you get a full arch and sometimes you get a half arch. The short answer is that you will get a full arch if a fish swims through the whole of your sonar cone, and a half or partial arch if they only swim through part of it.
Inland fishfinding has changed, with high-frequency (455 or 800kHz) transducers that look to the side, straight down or can aim over a 360-degree range. Fishfinder manufacturers offer the inland angler a growing (and often confusing) assortment of choices in frequencies, beamwidths, even the underwater direction you can look. Inland anglers who search for fish in shallow lakes don’t need the power to see down to 5,000', but can gain a big advantage by looking out to the sides, so Garmin, Raymarine and Lowrance have products using multi-beam transducers for that purpose. Here’s where the Marketing Jargon takes over, with names like StructureScan HD™ and CHIRP DownVision.
The use of the hook in angling is descended, historically, from what would today be called a "gorge". The word "gorge", in this context, comes from an archaic word meaning "throat". Gorges were used by ancient peoples to capture fish. A gorge was a long, thin piece of bone or stone attached by its midpoint to a thin line. The gorge would be fixed with a bait so that it would rest parallel to the lay of the line. When a fish swallowed the bait, a tug on the line caused the gorge to orient itself at right angles to the line, thereby sticking in the fish's gullet.
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