Best Fish Finder Under $500

Best Fish Finder Under $500

Best Fish Finder Under $500 – Over the past decade, technology has had a major impact on many aspects our lives. Fishing has seen a lot of innovation, including fish finders that use amazing technology.

You can still have a successful fishing trip, regardless of your budget. This article is written primarily for people who are looking for sub-$500 fish locating equipment.

You may be wondering what a fish finder is. It is a device that emits sound waves to the water to give you information about the under-water environment. It brings the underwater environment to your screen, so you can see exactly where your fish are and how to catch them.

This technology is even more advanced, with an integrated GPS and Chartplotter that allows you to save your waypoints as well as your favorite fishing spots. This is an impressive feature that saves you time and effort when you are trying to find the fishing spot that you were successful in finding on your last trip.

We know you might get lost fishing for the best fishfinder under $500 on multiple sites so we created this buying guide.

You will find the top fish finders available today. You will also find important information to help you make a decision.

The 5 Best Fish Finder Under $500 for 2021

Fishfinder

Weight Dimensions Screen Resolution Screen SizeDepth 

Frequency 

Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar3.52 ounces3 x 5.3 x 5.9-in.260 feet90kHz- 55°/ 290 kHz-15°
Garmin Striker 48 ounces3.6 x 1.6 x 5.9-in.480 x 3203.5-in.1,600 feet freshwater, 750 feet, saltwater50/77/200 kHz CHIRP (mid and high)
Lowrance HOOK2 4X2.2 lbs.3.3 x 6.5 x 3.8-in.480 x 272 pixels450 kHz to 800’ and 200 kHz to 200’50kHz-200 kHz
HawkEye Fishtrax 1C10.2 ounces6 x 3 x 2-in.240 feet83kHZ-

200 kHZ

Humminbird 410160-1 PIRANHAMAX 4 DI2 lbs.3.6 x 3.9 x 6.8-in.272 X 4804.32D depth to 600 feet and DI depth to 320 feet.200 kHz-455 KHz

1. Deeper PRO + Smart Sonar-Best Overall

Deeper PRO + Smart Sonar-Best Overall
Deeper PRO + Smart Sonar-Best Overall

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Castable fish finders can be used for fishing from shore, boats, and ice.

Because it uses your smartphone’s screen as its screen, the screen does not exist. Is that weird? It’s not at all. After connecting to your smart phone via Wi-Fi, it displays information on both Android and iOS. It doesn’t require any cellular data so you can use it without interruption.

It also allows you to save, review, and analyze your maps right from your bed, thanks to its GPS. You can create bathymetric maps right from shore and get free access to Lake book which is Deeper’s bathymetric management platform.

It can scan down to 260ft, so it doesn’t scan very deep. It has a great target separation of 0.5 inches and scans at around 15 scans per minute. It can be cast up to 330ft/100m.

Let’s now talk about the sonar. You can choose whether to use a narrow or wide beam. This is what kind of sonar? It is a dual beam sonar. This is the beauty of dual-beam sonars. Wide beams (90kHz 55deg), cover a larger area, but provide less detail. While narrow beams (290kHz 15,deg), give you a more detailed view of a smaller area.

It is easy to set up and doesn’t require cables. It is ideal for smooth trolling.

Pros

  • Castable
  • Dual beam sonar
  • Useful for ice fishing
  • Wi-Fi is preferred to Bluetooth
  • No cables are required

Cons

  • Battery with short-life

Bottom line

Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar, a castable fishfinder under $500 is the best option. The dual beam and ability to save scans and maps to Cloud are amazing features.

2. Garmin Striker 4: Best Fish Finder for Deep Scanning

Garmin Striker 4: Best Fish Finder for Deep Scanning
Garmin Striker 4: Best Fish Finder for Deep Scanning

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Garmin Striker 4 fish finders can scan to very deep points under the water. The device can scan down to 1,600 feet in freshwater, and 750 feet under saltwater. It has a frequency range 50/77/200kHz. It’s also quite powerful due to its power output (Peak-to-Peak) of 1600 Watt and RMS power output 200 Watt.

The sonar uses a CHIRP sonar which produces a continuous range frequency at the same moment. This provides more information and crisper fish arches, with better target separation.

It also features an integrated GPS with high sensitivity. This allows you to mark your favorite spots for future fishing trips. It does not have a Chartplotter.

You can also see where you are relative to the waypoints that you have marked with your GPS. It can also be used to mark up to 5000 waypoints. It’s amazing, isn’t it?

Do you want to find out the speed at which your trolling is going? It’s easy! It is easy to check the speed and lure for the fishes you are targeting. This is especially useful if you’re trolling in a controlled area.

It also includes a small, portable kit with a battery, charger, storage, suction cup mount and float and a transducer cable management. It is also IPX7. It is ideal for kayaking, canoeing, and even ice fishing.

It displays the exact information on a screen with a resolution of 480×320 pixels. This resolution isn’t the best, but it’s acceptable. The screen measures only 3.5 inches. However, you can buy models with 5- or 7-inches if your budget allows. It can also be read under the sun, which makes it an important feature.

Pros

  • GPS built-in
  • IPX7
  • Screen that is visible in sunlight
  • You can mark multiple waypoints
  • You can do deep scans to get a lot of detail

Cons

  • Screens for small screens
  • This is not the best solution
  • No Chartplotter

Bottom line

Garmin Striker 4 is a great choice if you don’t need a Chartplotter or a large display. The in-built GPS, CHIRP and speed check capabilities are all crucial.

3. Lowrance HOOK24X – Best Budget

Lowrance HOOK24X - Best Budget
Lowrance HOOK24X – Best Budget

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Are you looking for a fishfinder that has twice the coverage of traditional fish finders? With its wide-angle sonar cone, it is in your hands.

It also features a Bullet Skimmer transducer, which gives traditional 2-D sonar (fish arches) views. It is easy to mount the transducer on the trolling motor, transom or through a scupper hole.

The Solarmax Display measures 480 x 272 pixels and offers sharp and clear images of fish as well as structures. It can be read in the sunlight, which is a good thing.

It can deliver a 50Hz or 200kHz signal image that can be up to 800 feet and 200 feet deep, respectively, at 200 watts.

It also features built-in mapping that allows you to locate roadbeds and depth changes. It also features a U.S. map that can be used to locate your favorite fishing spots. This map features great detail and features 1-foot contours for more than 3000 lakes.

These fishing spots could be lost when you return home from your trip. You won’t. They can be saved on the micro SD card, which you can also use to save waypoints, routes and trails.

An optional chart card can be used to update your mapping so you will always be up-to-date.

You probably assumed that Lowrance HOOK24X’s settings and interface were difficult to use. You are mistaken, I’m happy to inform you. The fish finder comes with phone-like menus and an auto-tuning system, so you can stop spending hours dialing it in. You just need to plug it in, and you can start fishing.

Pros

  • Double coverage
  • Solarmax Display
  • It is simple to use
  • Maps built into the software
  • Slot for micro SD cards
  • Features an auto-tuning sonar

Cons

  • A GPS is not available
  • Screens of small size

Bottom line

It is the most affordable fish finder, but it still offers many features. We can see that the company is trying to please their customers with its auto-tuning sonar, ease of use and other features. The GPS is missing, which may be a problem for some.

4. HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Best Battery

HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Best Battery
HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Best Battery

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It is portable, boat-mountable and floatable making it one of the top portable fishfinders. It also has 4 AAA batteries, which last for around 20 hours.

The sensor makes it suitable for ice fishing as well as deep weed fishing.

It is also known for its simplicity of setup, as it includes a transducer and sensor float, side scan adapter, and cable strap.

It also has a 25-degree beam which delivers accurate readings down below 240 feet. This is thanks to the software algorithm that minimizes false readings. Do you want to spend less time focusing on fish? This is it. The device will also sound an alarm if it detects fish.

There are three frequency modes: 83 kHz or 200 kHz. It also has dual-view (200 KHz and 83 KHz.

All this information is where? Its VirtuView HD color LCD display screen, which can be read in the sun thanks to an LED backlight.

Our IPX7-fishfinder can be submerged down to 1 meter in water. It also features FishArc fish finder indicators and FishID fishfinder indicators, which target HD bottom landscape and fish depth.

Pros

  • IPX7
  • Portable
  • Battery with long-lasting life
  • Software programming that uses algorithmic algorithms
  • FishArc fish finder indicators and FishID fishfinder indicators

Cons

  • Problems with depth registration
  • A Chartplotter is not available
  • Its waterproofing feature may not be the best.

Bottom line

If you’re looking for a compact fish finder that is easy to set up and use, HawkEye Fishtrax1C is it. The screen display is clear and the battery lasts a long time. This is not the chartplotter you’ll need if your area needs to be scanned deeper than 240ft.

5. Humminbird 410160-1 PIIRANHAMAX4 DI – Best Fish Finder with Down Imaging

Humminbird 410160-1 PIIRANHAMAX4 DI
Humminbird 410160-1 PIIRANHAMAX4 DI

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This fish finder is a great choice if you’re looking for a fishfinder that costs less than $500 and has Down Imaging and dual-beam sonar.

If you’re looking for one that has a dual beam sonar, I assume you already know the purpose of it. But I will tell you. Dual-beam sonar allows you to choose between narrow beam and wide beam.

Although the narrow beam can be useful for scanning small details, it cannot scan large areas. A wide beam, on the other hand scans large areas but doesn’t provide much detail.

The Dual Beam Scan’s impressive features are limited. It only allows for one frequency per scan, while the Dual Beam Plus scan lets you use multiple frequencies at once.

The down imaging sonar has a 2D depth of 600 feet (200 KHz) and a DI depth of 320 feet (455 KHz). It provides a detailed view of the area below your boat.

It’s also quite powerful with 2400 watts peak to peak and 300 Watts RMS.

It comes with tip 2.5’’ target separation to detect fish from the general vegetation.

It also has an XNT9 Di T transducer with a water-temperature sensor. The transducer can be mounted on the transom. It can be used to scan the water for fish, or even target them.

It boasts a 4.3″ color LCD screen display with 256 colors. It features a resolution of 272H X480V pixels and is easy to read in sunlight due to its LED backlight.

As life has shown us, there is no perfect solution. It doesn’t include a CHIRP Sonar, which some users consider essential. It does not have a GPS or other navigation functions.

Pros

  • Features Down Imaging
  • Uses the Dual Beam Sonar function
  • The screen displays 256 colors
  • Is equipped with an XNT9 Di T transducer

Cons

  • No CHIRP sonar technology
  • Navigation features are missing
  • No Dual Beam Plus scan function
  • Chartplotter is not required

Bottom line

Although this fish finder lacks certain essential features, such as a navigation function or CHIRP sonars, it still offers a lot. It has impressive features like a dual beam scan, a down imaging scan, and the ability to measure water temperature.

What to look for when buying a fish finder?

You must be clear about what you want before you buy anything. It is not a good idea to just buy anything, only to find out later that it is junk. We have chosen to share with you the most important features of a fishfinder. You will need to decide which one is more important to you.

1. Frequency

Every fish finder has its frequency. It is determined by its frequency. Most people believe that the higher frequency is better. You aren’t wrong but you don’t know everything. It isn’t a puzzle.

Frequency transmits waves into water and returns information about what’s under the water. It is important to remember that lower frequencies transmit wider beams while higher frequency emits narrower beams.

Fishing in deep water requires a fish finder that scans deeper. However, it will not scan large areas.

If you have to scan large areas, choose one that has high frequency.

2. Power

The faster the information appears on the screen, the more wattage you have. It also reduces the time it takes to respond.

3. Transducer

This is due to the frequency at which the transducers emit sound waves into water. The wider beam scans large areas, while the narrower scans deeper.

Because it emits sound waves in a cone-shaped pattern below the water, it is closely related to the cone angle. The beamwidth is usually between 9 and 60deg. A cone angle of 20deg is great for fishing at different depths.

4. CHIRP Sonar

A CHIRP Sonar technology is a compressed high-intensity radio pulse. CHIRP Sonar technology is superior to traditional ones as it transmits a continuous range at the same frequency. This allows for clearer images and higher resolution.

5. Water Resistance

Make sure your fish finder is not damaged by water. It’s obvious that fish finders will come in contact with water, and could get wet. Go for an IPX7 fish finder.

6. Screen Resolution and Size

What good power and frequency would do if the screen has poor resolution and is small? They would be useless. High resolution screens will always be better as they show more detail.

A screen size that is suitable for your workspace is important. A large screen may not be a good idea for a kayak that is small.

7. Screen Color

A colored screen is better than one that only shows the information in black and white.

8. Chartplotter & GPS

Many people mistake a Chartplotter with a GPS. You must be aware of the differences between them. A Chartplotter lets you map the area around your location so that you can perform navigation. This allows you to see where you are relative to where you started.

GPS, on the other hand allows you to only mark waypoints.

What to Expect From a $500 Fish Finder?

For less than $500, you can get many features from some of the most powerful fish finders.

This list includes sonars with CHIRP, GPS, dual beam sonars, microSD cards, and others.

The bottom line is that a budget-friendly fish finder purchase doesn’t have to be difficult if you take into account the important features. Next, narrow down your choices and choose the one that suits you best.

Last Thoughts

I’m sure you have found the best fish finder for under $500. It is easy to find the best fish finder for you. It is as easy as prioritizing your needs and you will see which one suits you best.

We know how stressful and confusing it can be to purchase something on a limited budget so we’ll give you a brief recap.

Lowrance HOOK24X fish finder is the best choice if you want to save your waypoints or pinpoint fishing spots. It has a microSD card slot. It is also the most affordable. It’s also notable for its dual coverage, Solarmax display, ease-of-use, auto-tuning sonar and built-in mapping. It does not have a GPS.

Garmin Striker 4 may be the best fish finder if you have a deep concern about having your fish finder scan to very deep depths. It scans down to 1,600 feet freshwater and 750 feet saltwater. It also has an in-built GPS that allows you to mark up 5000 waypoints. Unfortunately, this would mean that you would have to sacrifice a Chartplotter or a large screen.

Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar is the best choice for castable fish finders. You will love its dual-beam sonar and Wi-Fi use.

This list includes the top fish finders below $500, so you can be sure to land safely.

Happy hunting.

Lewis
Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.