LCD displays are made of a grid of “picture elements,” tiny dots that individually darken when electrical current is applied, with their name shortened in common usage to “pixel.” More vertical pixels mean higher depth resolution, as each pixel represents less depth. The number of pixels in a screen’s horizontal axis determines how long objects stay onscreen before they scroll out of view, of significant importance with split-screen displays showing narrow columns of side-by-side information.
Unless you know where fish are lurking, casting out anywhere on the water doesn’t necessarily guarantee a bite. Finding where the hot spots are will help you save time and money while fishing. That’s where fishfinders come in. An essential part of any modern angler’s arsenal, a fishfinder makes catching more fish easier.  Fishfinders help you pinpoint the honey hole using SONAR so you can see where the fish are and at what depth they are hiding. No more wasting time, tackle or line on deserted spots in the water. From standalone units, fishfinder/GPS combos, networked or multi-function displays, West Marine offers a wide array of fishfinders from the top brands on the market today. Keep reading for tips on finding the right system for your boat.
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.
There are a lot of good reasons to make sure your fish finder has GPS built into it, with the biggest being improving your fishing techniques and mapping all the data you could want as a fisherman. Each of these options have some great benefits to them, so pick the one that is in the right price range for you! A good rule of thumb is the more you pay, the better mapping options you are going to get, so please remember this if that is an important feature for you!
There are a lot of good reasons to make sure your fish finder has GPS built into it, with the biggest being improving your fishing techniques and mapping all the data you could want as a fisherman. Each of these options have some great benefits to them, so pick the one that is in the right price range for you! A good rule of thumb is the more you pay, the better mapping options you are going to get, so please remember this if that is an important feature for you!

THE LIMBO: How low can you go? Or, how low do you need to go? This is an important question you need to answer. If you don't need to see what's 1000 feet below you, they you can certainly save yourself some money. You did save the gift receipts for those much_appreciated_but_unwanted Christmas gifts, didn't you? Before we take the drill off the charger, let's ponder some options and then work backwards to determine what your needs/wants/limitations are.


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.
However, fish finders for professional use, i.e., those used by commercial fishermen, can make use of other frequencies. Such frequencies include 15, 22, 28, 38, 45, 50, 68, 75, 88, 107, 150 and 200 kHz. There are some special fish finders that utilize the frequency of 400 kHz, but it is quite a rare case. As you can see, there is an extensive range of configurable frequencies available for fish finders for fishery vessels, and a fish finder generally makes use of a combination of two frequencies (high and low frequencies). The selection of the frequencies depends upon the intended purposes of the fish finder, which include, inter alia, finding specific fish species; grasping the seabed condition; conducting a wide-area-search with the search angle of 90 degrees at one go; conducting detailed search for fish schools; detecting fish schools that give weak echo returns; avoiding interference/conflict with other fish finders used nearby. The searchable range (depth) and search area are dependent upon the frequency used. On the one hand, high frequency ultrasound is suitable for a detailed search, although it cannot be used for search in deep water. Low frequency ultrasound, on the other hand, is suited for general searches in a wider area as well as searching in deep water.
Lowrance hds 7 gen 2 touch. Took it off my boat when I got low balled on price of boat.... I think it has less the an hour on it... I honestly dont remember using it at all. Regardless, it has very very low hours if it was used at all. No ducer, wire or mounts come with this. Buyer of my boat literally handed me cash that was 500.00 short so I took it, unplugged this and walked away. Perfect for someone that already has lowrance set up on boat. Selling with no reserve. So good luck.
However, fish finders for professional use, i.e., those used by commercial fishermen, can make use of other frequencies. Such frequencies include 15, 22, 28, 38, 45, 50, 68, 75, 88, 107, 150 and 200 kHz. There are some special fish finders that utilize the frequency of 400 kHz, but it is quite a rare case. As you can see, there is an extensive range of configurable frequencies available for fish finders for fishery vessels, and a fish finder generally makes use of a combination of two frequencies (high and low frequencies). The selection of the frequencies depends upon the intended purposes of the fish finder, which include, inter alia, finding specific fish species; grasping the seabed condition; conducting a wide-area-search with the search angle of 90 degrees at one go; conducting detailed search for fish schools; detecting fish schools that give weak echo returns; avoiding interference/conflict with other fish finders used nearby. The searchable range (depth) and search area are dependent upon the frequency used. On the one hand, high frequency ultrasound is suitable for a detailed search, although it cannot be used for search in deep water. Low frequency ultrasound, on the other hand, is suited for general searches in a wider area as well as searching in deep water.
Kiss has collectable action figures. Does Madonna have action figures? Eh, better not answer that one. Back in the day, I was a member of the Kiss Army. What sort of fan club does Madonna have? Better step away from that one too. Pluto will always be a planet to me, and Kiss is already in *my* rock and roll hall of fame. I love the smell of flamethrowers and flash pots in the morning … smells like … victory.
How to choose a fish finder? There are so many fish finder brands and models of fish locators available that it can be quite difficult to figure out which one would best meet your needs and your individual fishing style. Moreover, it’s also easy to get lost in transducers, echoes, sonar, flashers and transom mounts. The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a good fish finder is the question: will it help you to catch more fish? To make this choosing process less complicated and so you can understand more about fish detector features we have compiled this buying guide. Using this information will help you to make the best choice.

To get the most of the both there’s the dual beam type of transducers. It’s also called dual frequency and which combines both features in one unit. Other types of transducers are more specialized. They include multiple beams (can be 4 or more). These cover a larger area of the underwater and can even give a 3D image on the display. One more option is the side beam transducer. These units shoot their signals to the sides, which increases the search area for fish.


Choosing the perfect fish finder for your requirement is hard with many features such as imaging, power and more. The main purpose of a fish finder is to catch more fish with the screen displaying the fish and underwater structure and physical objects. Other information such as water temperature and depth are common on the majority of devices with many high end fish finders providing much more.

A fishfinder or sounder (Australia) is an instrument used to locate fish underwater by detecting reflected pulses of sound energy, as in sonar. A modern fishfinder displays measurements of reflected sound on a graphical display, allowing an operator to interpret information to locate schools of fish, underwater debris, and the bottom of body of water. Fishfinder instruments are used both by sport and commercial fishermen. Modern electronics allows a high degree of integration between the fishfinder system, marine radar, compass and GPS navigation systems.
Networked system: Fully networked systems are available from all the major suppliers, and usually will support a huge range of data sources including radar, raster and vector GPS charts, video, and SiriusXM satellite radio. Many allow Bluetooth/WiFi, and you can control them from your iPhone or Android smartphone. Your fishfinder, often an external “black box” module, is just one of these sources of data. Multiple-display network systems are great for medium-sized or large vessels. Capabilities get more amazing every year.
For just around 600 you can get this Raymarine Dragonfly fish finder that offers features that are usually found on much pricier models. It uses next-gen CHIRP technology that gives photo-like imagery with high resolution structure. The CHIRP technology transmits a wide spectrum of frequencies and the result is a much higher resolution. The generous size (5.7 inches) of the display gives an easy read of the underwater details and the 1600 nits gives clear viewing even in bright daylight.

The last model we would like to mention in our top 12 list is a model also from the Humminbird brand. It’s also one of the best inexpensive fish finder models. It comes with a black and white display. The sonar is dual beam and its frequency (200/455 kHz) allows viewing readings of depths of up to 600 feet. It’s also a small fish finder with the display being just 4 inches. The clear edge grayscale display clearly shows everything even in direct sunlight.
A fish finder is a sonar instrument that is designed for the specific purpose of detecting fish underwater. It does so by detecting reflected impulses of sounds energy. All the electronic impulses that are reflected off fish are converted into information that is then display in graphic rendition on the screen of the fish finder. In addition to locating fish, these units also measure the depth of the water, locating underwater debris, and bottom structure. The image on the screen of the fish finder can represent just one fish in the form of a small icon or with a series of arches.
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.
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.
Standalone fishfinder: If you just want to see what’s below, dedicated fishfinders give the biggest display and the most performance for the least cost. If you have a small boat that you use for fishing small inland lakes or are on a limited budget, a standalone fishfinder is for you. Conversely, if your pilothouse has room for multiple displays, or if you just bought a new GPS, get a serious big-screen fishfinder. You can usually add a GPS sensor later to many units, turning them into chartplotter combos.
Commercial fishermen also make use of these characteristics. They conduct a search by low frequency (i.e., 15 kHz) beams first to grasp the general locations of fish schools around the boat. Subsequently, they narrow the search area for a fish school, using high frequency beams (200 kHz), to detect the exact location of the fish school and operate the boat to be directly above the targeted fish school.
When it comes to fish finders and fishing GPS technology, the HELIX 5 delivers some of the best in functionality and creating a seamless user experience for fishing pros and hobbyists. This unit uses precise broadband CHIRP, a Reflex interface, imaging sonar and the power to chart and create maps using Auto Chart Live. The HELIX 5 has taken what is already a premier fish finder tool, and taken it to new heights in terms of features and creating an even better user interface. The display looks rich and clear, and is powered with 4,000 watts of PTP power output.
NO INSTALLATION REQUIRED: That got your attention, didn't it? If you're on a budget, and don't want any sort of permanent installation mods to your boat, the Humminbird Smartcast series may be your answer. You simply cast the green transducer to the spot where you want to investigate, and the signal comes back to the wrist module (RF30) or the traditional display model (RF15). This series doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, but for my kind of fishing/paddlecraft, it may be a great solution.
Setting your tip-up baits at the proper depth requires a little work. Then every time you catch a fish or check your bait, you need to reset them. If you’ve got a few nickel-size buttons, those resets become no chore at all. Start by running your main line through one hole in the button and out another. This should allow you to move the button up and down the line easily, but provide enough tension to stop it from sliding on its own. Next, attach your egg sinker, barrel swivel, leader, and hook to the line. Once your depth is set, simply slide the button down to the water’s surface, and then reel the button up to the tip-up’s line guide. Now every time you reset your line after catching a fish or changing bait, wind the spool until the button is at the tip-up guide. Your bait will be set in the same place within the water column every time.

The thickness of the line representing the bottom is also a great clue to bottom hardness. Here the rule is simple – the thicker the line, the harder the bottom. But, be careful – sonar sensitivity can affect how thick the line is. The Deeper display has adjustable sensitivity. So if you turn up the sensitivity to 100%, the bottom line may appear thicker, if you turn it down to 10% it may appear thinner. So practice adjusting the sensitivity and get used to judging how much the bottom thickness varies based on this.


Just getting started using a fish finder? Know the basics but want to get more out of your fish finder? Not sure you’re reading your fish finder display correctly? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. This short tutorial will teach you how to make sense of your fish finder display so you can tell what’s a bait fish, what’s a trophy catch and what’s just a submerged tree that you’ll snag on. Take just 7 minutes to go through this tutorial and at the end you’ll be able to read your fish finder display for:
As we mentioned, the strength of a fish finder is in how well it can locate the fish, which is why you need a high-quality transducer. CHIRP technology is one of the best you can find, and it provides a 200-watt RMS signal that can reach down to 1,600 feet in fresh water and 750 feet in salt water. Overall, you can find plenty of fish with this device.

Fish finders were derived from fathometers, active sonar instruments used for navigation and safety to determine the depth of water.[1] The fathom is a unit of water depth, from which the instrument gets its name. The fathometer is an echo sounding system for measurement of water depth. A fathometer will display water depth and can make an automatic permanent record of measurements. Since both fathometers and fishfinders work the same way, and use similar frequencies and can detect both the bottom and fish, the instruments have merged.[2]


Other devices which are widely used as bite indicators are floats which float in the water, and dart about if a fish bites, and quiver tips which are mounted onto the tip of the fishing rod. Bite alarms are electronic devices which bleep when a fish tugs a fishing line. Whereas floats and quiver tips are used as visual bite detectors, bite alarms are audible bite detectors.
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