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.
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Lower frequency transducers, with longer waves and fewer waves per second, show less detail (larger fish) but carry more energy and penetrate to greater depths. One sound wave at 50kHz is slightly larger than 1", so a 50kHz sound wave will only detect fish if their air bladders are large, slightly longer than an inch. Lower frequency won’t provide as clear of a picture but will operate effectively in the depths of the ocean or Lake Michigan.

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.


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.

Modern lines are made from artificial substances, including nylon, polyethylene, dacron and dyneema. The most common type is monofilament made of a single strand. Anglers often use monofilament because of its buoyant characteristics and its ability to stretch under load. Recently alternatives such as fluorocarbon, which is the least visible type, and braided fishing line, also known as 'superlines' because of their small diameter, minimal amount of stretch, and great strength relative to standard nylon monofilament lines.
WIRING: It's like Christmas lights … once you get a good power source you can really go crazy. I guess that's one of the reasons I've never added a power grid to one of my boats. Sure as I do, I'll have dash lights, bow/stern lights, and an 18" subwoofer (though a pair of 10's would probably work just as well). Once you are set up with a 12 volt system, anything that will connect on a go-boat will now connect in your row-boat. Those are scary possibilities indeed. You'll need to keep the battery stationary, as dry as possible, and make it easy to get at for removal and recharging. The easiest choice would be to mount it in the front hatch area. The battery is actually pretty small, so you won't need a lot of room.
Humminbird 140C Fishin’ Buddy is one of the top rated fish finders among the portable type. So you can use it on your boat, on the leased boat, on the dock or for fishing from anywhere else. To use the device you won’t need to do any rigging or wiring. Instead it uses extendable transducer tube housing with the length suitable for most small and mid-sized boats.
Unless you are an experienced fishermen, you will only use one type of beam in order to find fish. A wide beam transducer covers a large area but provides less bottom detail and often has a less powerful frequency of around 50 kHz. Narrow beam covers less underwater but provide more detail and bottom definition from the additional frequency around 200 kHz.

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.
Transducers: Fishfinders operate using a single frequency transducer, dual frequencies, multiple frequencies or a broadband CHIRP system. In general, higher frequencies give the finest detail resolution, the least background noise on your screen and the best view from a fast-moving boat, but don’t penetrate as deeply as lower frequencies. Shallow-water inland anglers generally choose higher frequencies of 200kHz, 455kHz or 800kHz. For maximum depth, use lower frequencies. We recommend 200kHz or higher (up to 800kHz) for water depths up to 200' and 80kHz or 50kHz for deeper waters.
Fish will show up on your screen as an arch (the reason why they are shown as an arch is explained in detail here). But it’s important to remember these arches can vary in size (length and width), and might not be a full arch – look out for those half arches too. The screenshot below gives some nice examples of different arches. They vary in length and width, and some are not full arches, but these are all fish.
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.
Modern rods are sophisticated casting tools fitted with line guides and a reel for line stowage. They are most commonly made of fibreglass, carbon fibre or, classically, bamboo. Fishing rods vary in action as well as length, and can be found in sizes between 24 inches and 20 feet. The longer the rod, the greater the mechanical advantage in casting. There are many different types of rods, such as fly rods, tenkara rods, spin and bait casting rods, spinning rods, ice rods, surf rods, sea rods and trolling rods.

Transducers: Fishfinders operate using a single frequency transducer, dual frequencies, multiple frequencies or a broadband CHIRP system. In general, higher frequencies give the finest detail resolution, the least background noise on your screen and the best view from a fast-moving boat, but don’t penetrate as deeply as lower frequencies. Shallow-water inland anglers generally choose higher frequencies of 200kHz, 455kHz or 800kHz. For maximum depth, use lower frequencies. We recommend 200kHz or higher (up to 800kHz) for water depths up to 200' and 80kHz or 50kHz for deeper waters.
Transducers: Fishfinders operate using a single frequency transducer, dual frequencies, multiple frequencies or a broadband CHIRP system. In general, higher frequencies give the finest detail resolution, the least background noise on your screen and the best view from a fast-moving boat, but don’t penetrate as deeply as lower frequencies. Shallow-water inland anglers generally choose higher frequencies of 200kHz, 455kHz or 800kHz. For maximum depth, use lower frequencies. We recommend 200kHz or higher (up to 800kHz) for water depths up to 200' and 80kHz or 50kHz for deeper waters.
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.

Ultrasound frequency used by a fish finder generally ranges from 15 kHz to 200 kHz. However, the majority of the conventional fish finders oriented for recreational craft utilize 50 kHz and 200 kHz. Such fish finders available in the market incorporate electronic circuitry that can transmit and receive ultrasound in these two frequencies. Also, a transducer mounted on the bottom of the craft is configured to handle these two frequencies.
As with many products, you’ll have to pay close attention to the specific features delivered for the price, simply because the investment for combination fishfinder and GPS can range from $500 to $1200 or more. Fishfinders and GPS units are well advanced when compared to equipment used just a few years ago. Most of the time you can get excellent 3D mapping, scanning, charting and navigation at a very reasonable price. It’s not necessary to spend hundreds more unless you really want to go after the top-of-the-line unit.
The side scan will scan much more around the boat but are not as effective, especially in deep water. For this reason alone, you may feel the need to buy two seperate fish finders but some premium models have both side and down scanning capabilities. This means you can usually view both at the same time for a very detailed scan around the boat in all directions.
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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.
Many people prefer to fish solely with lures, which are artificial baits designed to entice fish to strike. The artificial bait angler uses a man-made lure that may or may not represent prey. The lure may require a specialised presentation to impart an enticing action as, for example, in fly fishing. Recently, electronic lures have been developed to attract fish. Anglers have also begun using plastic bait. A common way to fish a soft plastic worm is the Texas rig.
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