We remember years ago when fish finders first appeared on the market. They were clunky and not easy pieces of equipment to use.
While it did take a while for fish finders to gain popularity, one of the big reasons why novice fishermen tend to stay away from fish finders is due to their high prices. Thankfully, prices have dropped and technology has improved tremendously throughout the years since they’ve appeared.
Fish finders are a great tool for any fishermen to have, not just for finding fishes, but also for charting and understanding the waters that you fish in. Fish finders take the ‘gut-feeling’ in fishing and paint a comprehensible picture of it.
Parameters like depth, water temperature, and obstacles are clearly displayed on fish finders, removing the need to guess. Fish finders make these parameters empirical, which gives the fisherman a much better idea of the day’s conditions.
Generally, fish finders are expensive pieces of equipment that require a large investment. However, there is a small selection of fish finders that are below $200 but still function great! Which we’ll talk about today!
- Top 10 Fish Finders Under $200
- 1. Garmin Striker 4cv – 4inch Fish Finder with GPS
- 2. Humminbird PirahnaMax 4
- 3. Venterior Portable Rechargeable Fish Finder
- 4. Walmeck FF918-C100DS Color Screen Wired Fish Finder Dual Frequency
- 5. HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder with HD Color Virtuview Display
- 6. Lowrance HOOK2 4X – 4-inch Fish Finder
- 7. Garmin Striker Plus 4 with Dual-Beam Transducer
- 8. Eyoyo Portable 9 inch LCD Monitor Fish Finder
- 9. LUCKY Fish Finder Wired & Wireless Portable Fishing Sonar
- 10. MOOCOR Underwater Fishing Camera
- Best Fish Finder Under $200 Buying Guide
- What is the best fish finder under $200
Top 10 Fish Finders Under $200
In this section, we cover our top 10 picks of the best fish finders under $200. We’ll discuss each of them briefly and also talk about their features.
1. Garmin Striker 4cv – 4inch Fish Finder with GPS
Garmin as a company has long been producing some of the best GPS devices for the longest time. The brand should give you some confidence especially when choosing products for the outdoors!
It’s colored 3.5 int screen may be small but is extremely clear for its size. Partly due to its proprietary CHIRP transducer which produces images of a higher quality and detail.
The beauty of this fish finder is that Garmin’s world-class GPS is built-in, making marking spots and locations a breeze. The fish finder uses waypoints to direct you to the desired location.
Other useful features that come with the device, for example, the speed of the boat as well as arrival time to any particular waypoint.
A bonus of the Garmin Striker 4cv is that it also comes with a built-in flasher mode which is pretty handy if you ever need to do some ice or vertical fishing!
2. Humminbird PirahnaMax 4
Humminbird is another well-known company that produces very rugged proof devices that seem to withstand even the toughest conditions, much like Garmin.
The Humminbird PiranhnaMax 4 is a small and stylish fish finder with a 4.3” colored LCD screen. The screen features a 256 color display with a picture matrix of 272H x 480V which is a lot for a screen this size.
Related: check our article about best fish finders for small boats!
What we really like about the PirahnaMax 4 however, is the dual-beam sonar. While this feature is common in more expensive fish finders, it is usually not found in cheaper fish finders in this range due to the complexity of the equipment involved.
What the PirahnaMax 4 really does excel at however is the clarity of the image it captures. Due to the 200kHz and 455kHz frequencies, the PirahnaMax 4 produces some of the clearest images we’ve seen on any fish finder.
Lastly, the IPX7 rating ensures that the device stays waterproof no matter how bad the weather gets. Most of the cheaper fish finders tend not to have good waterproof capabilities however the PirahnaMax 4 holds up very well!
3. Venterior Portable Rechargeable Fish Finder
The Venterior Fish finder is an interesting fish finder which includes a wirelessly tethered transducer. A transducer is a separate unit that requires the user to cast it out to a specific location.
The benefit of this is that this removes the need for the boat or fishing kayak to move to that specific location. This gives the user the freedom to stay in 1 location while easily changing the location of the transducer.
This fish finder is not feature-rich, however, what it does excel at is that it is wireless and rechargeable. This removes the need for replacing batteries whenever it runs dry.
The device is small and designed to be handheld, with 8 easy to reach buttons for navigating the interface. At 2.6” the screen size is the smallest amongst all the fish finders we will talk about today, however, the images displayed are clear and seem to be very concise.
4. Walmeck FF918-C100DS Color Screen Wired Fish Finder Dual Frequency
The Walmeck Color Screen Wired Fish Finder is a well-built fish finder that does its job exceedingly well.
For its price, the 3.5 inches screened device is packed full of features. Its color screen has a pixel density of 320V x 480H, which is really good for such a small screen.
Its adjustable mount also provides multiple viewing angles which is great when fishing on different parts of the boat or kayak. The wired transducer has a cable and float that enables the user to place it at different places without moving the boat.
The sonar coverage is great too! It has a dual-beam coverage which lets you choose between 200kHz for a sharper image but shorter range or 83kHz for a less sharp image but a longer range!
While there’s not much to talk about in terms of capabilities, this fish finder sure finds itself serving us well when we were using it. It’s a basic fish finder that can detect up to depths of 100m.
5. HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder with HD Color Virtuview Display
The HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder positions itself as a fish finder that is suitable and affordable for beginners. Its ease of use and affordability are the top reasons to buy this fish finder.
The Fishtrax 1C features a VirtuView ICON LCD screen that shows sonar data with an array of easy to understand icons. It also includes a 5 level adjustable sensitivity with an audible fish alarm and backlit displays for night fishing.
Its dual beam sonar allows users to use 2 operations frequencies, the 200kHz, and the 83kHz which translates to viewing different depths of water. This gives fishermen the choice to fish at different depths of water with added accuracy.
We like the Fishtrax 1C also because of its expandability. There is a wide array of accessories that you can use or add on to your existing set up when you get more comfortable with the fish finder.
Its multi-mode also features 3 functional modes which include, fish finder, data, and the Ice-Mode digital flasher. These modes will give you added flexibility as well as show you the historical data so you can make a better decision.
6. Lowrance HOOK2 4X – 4-inch Fish Finder
The Lawrence Hook2 4X fish finder is a well-built device that comes at a steal. It features an auto-tuning sonar and a phone like a menu which makes navigating through the interface a breeze.
The Hook2 4x also features wide-angle sonar coverage which easily gives you double the coverage of other fish finders. This means you get a better picture of what’s beneath you without moving around too much.
Included is a single transducer that can be mounted on most parts of the boat. This gives fishermen the flexibility to place it wherever they want.
What we like about the Hook2 4X is the build quality and screen size. It is built to withstand any situation and its screen is large such that everything you see on it is clear and concise without having to zoom in or out.
The Hook2 4X is a handy device that is great for beginners due to its ease of use and rugged build.
7. Garmin Striker Plus 4 with Dual-Beam Transducer
The Garmin Striker Plus 4 is a nifty device that is built like a tank. It has a 4.3” display that is fully colored and produces some of the best images we have seen.
It includes a dual-beam transducer with Garmin Chirp technology. Which produces crystal clear imaging and target separation.
The Garmin software also allows users to create and store maps with 1’ contours up to 2 million acres, which is a lot for such a small device. Its built-in GPS lets you create, mark, and route waypoints as well as displaying pivotal data such as speed and temperature.
The dual-beam transducer also allows for dual-frequency operation. This enables fishermen the option to tune the fish finder’s accuracy for different depths of water.
What we really like about the Garmin Striker Plus 4 is that it doubles up as a GPS unit as well. This means that getting lost in the open is a thing of the past.
8. Eyoyo Portable 9 inch LCD Monitor Fish Finder
Probably the largest fish finder in our list today, the Eyoyo Portable fish finder is actually more of an underwater camera that enables you to see actual images of what is underwater with a submersible camera.
The entire kit comes with a heavy-duty storage unit and fixed to the lid is a high definition 9 inch LCD screen. The screen is fully colored and displays sharp images.
The submersible camera is an IP68 waterproof camera with a 15/30/50 meter cable of your choosing. It also comes with 12 infrared adjustable lights which let you adjust the cameras lighting according to the surrounding environment.
The kit comes with a 4500mAh rechargeable battery which can be used for up to 8 hours when the battery is fully charged. 8 hours is a long time and should be ample for any fishing trip.
What we like about this kit is that it gives you actual images of what’s in the water below. It is a common occurrence for fish finders to pick up false images.
9. LUCKY Fish Finder Wired & Wireless Portable Fishing Sonar
The Lucky Fish Finder is another rare find. It is well built and has many features packed into a small device.
It features a 2.8 inch LCD display with 3 color tones. While it is not full color, it certainly gets the job done and accurately depicts what’s happening in the water below.
Both wired and wireless capabilities are present in this model. With the cable mode, it can reach up to depths of 328ft (100m) and in the wireless mode it can reach up to 147ft (45m). This is a great feature to have if you are constantly having to shift the position of your transducer.
The coverage beam covers a 45-degree angle in 200kHz (cable) and 90-degrees in 125kHz (wireless). The 2.8-inch display while small, accurately depicts what’s underneath with its 3 color tone screen.
The build quality of the Lucky fish finder is also superb, it feels like a small grenade in your hands. While it is small, there was little worry that we would damage it while using it, the bigger worry was losing it because it was tiny!
10. MOOCOR Underwater Fishing Camera
The Moocor Underwater Fishing Camera is another quality product that is both well built and compact. Unlike most traditional fish finders, the Moocor underwater fishing camera uses a high definition infrared camera to capture images of the entire environment below.
What’s great about fish finders like these is that they give you an actual depiction of what’s beneath the surface. This is great because sometimes there are false positives on traditional fish finders and things like that don’t happen with live imaging.
The monitor that comes with the kit has both a sun visor as well as a LED backlight. This ensures that visibility remains optimum even in low light conditions.
The underwater camera is equipped with infrared led lights and captures the high definition of realistic imaging. This ensures that even in dark or murky waters, images still remain crisp and sharp.
The cable length is 15m and is weight tested at 40kg. This gives most fishermen a worry-free experience should the cable get caught on anything.
Best Fish Finder Under $200 Buying Guide
Now that we’ve gone through the top 10 products, we’ll go through a simple buying guide so that you’ll be better equipped for your next purchase.
Understanding how the fish finder works will aid the buying process. Fish finders traditionally work in 2 parts.
The first part is the main device which acts as the brain of the whole machine. The second part is called the transducer.
The transducer produces a high-frequency sound wave that is picked up and then interpreted by the main device to form a picture.
These 2 parts make up what we know as a fish finder. While other types of fish finders that involve different technology, by and large, most fish finders function with these 2 parts.
Features on a fish finder are important. Most of the basic features such as displaying what is beneath as well as empirical data like temperature and speed are important.
Most cheap fish finders will lack features and usually only can display what the transducer picks up. However, there are some (like in the list above) that do have the same features that expensive fish finders have.
What is most important for a fish finder is that it accurately depicts the environment below and accurately shows data. Fish finders like the Garmin Striker 4cv double up as both a fish finder as well as a GPS navigator, which makes it a great option for the price!
Fish finders are known to be an effective yet expensive piece of equipment. While many fisherman praise its effectiveness, the same amount of fisherman shuns even buying it because of the large investment required.
Most of the time you will see that only professional fishermen have a unit installed on their boat. However, recently due to price drops and improvements in technology, even novice fishermen can afford them.
If you are a novice getting your first fish finder, you’ll find a myriad of suitable choices in the list above! All for $200 or less!
What is the best fish finder under $200
In our opinion, the best fish finder under $200 is one that is well built, does its job well, and has not too many features so novice fishermen get to play around with it.
The top recommendation from our list is the Garmin Striker 4cv, because of all the features it has as well as being made by a reputable company. The Striker 4cv has both GPS and fish finder capabilities which make it a great option for beginners.
To add, the Striker 4cv is well built with quality material and is a breeze to use. Making it the top choice of today’s list.
Choosing a good fish finder with a budget can be quite difficult. However, with some help and recommendations, choosing one should be relatively easy!
Having said, we’ve discussed our top picks for fish finders under $200 and also how to go about buying a fish finder.