Chances are, as a person who consistently finds themselves drawn back to the water and the humble escape that is fishing, you are not unfamiliar with the concept of fish finders. You may have heard how a proper fish finder can aid even the most experienced fishermen and women. Whether it be detecting fish presence, or just providing other useful information such as water depth, water temperature, or conditions of the seabed, a quality fish finder will be your best friend out on the water.
Unfortunately, you may have also heard how expensive some of the most high-end fish finders can be. Prices in the quadruple digits can make it hard to justify buying anything! Thankfully, there is a variety of affordable, efficient fish finders for less than 200 dollars.
This article will provide several fish finders for under $200 that we believe to be the best, as well as a guide for buyers in the fish finder market. Your wallet doesn’t have to take the thousand dollar hit for a good fish finder, and you don’t have to waste your time scavenging the internet for a cheaper option. Here are our top picks for the best fish finders for less than 200 dollars!
Each fish finder has it’s own unique qualities that separate it from the competition, and it can be hard to weigh the differences sometimes when there are so many options with so many features being presented. So to help you understand which is the best, affordable fish finder for you, we have summarized each of the 5 fish finders provided above.
Top 5 Best Fish Finders Under $200
|Model||Title||GPS||Add ons||Transmit power||Frequency||Buy|
|Garmin Striker||Yes||Clear Vu scanning sonar, chirp sonar, built in flasher||200 W (RMS)||77/200 kHz||Click Here|
|Humminbird PIRANHAMAX 4||No||Dual beam sonar, depth sonar, tilt and swivel mount||300 W (RMS)||200/455 kHz||Click Here|
|Phiradar JOYWEE 3.5"||No||Auto zoom bottom tracking, multi-language menu settings, dual beam sonar||100 W (RMS)||83/200 kHz||Click Here|
|LUCKY Portable Sonar Fish Finder||No||Water depth and data display, sonar transducer with attractive lamp, wireless and castable||-||125 kHz||Click Here|
|HawkEye Fishtrax||No||VirtuView HD color display, FishArc and FishID fish indicators||-||83/200 kHz||Click Here|
Garmin Striker 4
The Garmin Striker is a very fine fish finder, that prides itself on its practicality while fishing. It is equipped with a GPS, which can be used to see your position in relation to way points you have marked while fishing, which allows for very easy navigation. Chirp sonar is an advanced and up to date frequency reader, which provides a wider range of information, crisper fish arches, and greater target separation due to the continuous sweeps of frequencies sent, as opposed to 1 single frequency. The Garmin is very easy to use, and it is good for both beginner and advanced fishers. The 4.7 star customer rating speaks for itself, where they are the number one choice for fish finders. It has been reviewed overwhelmingly positively by every metric, including portability, accuracy, ease of installation and use, and more. The Garmin Striker 4 is a very high quality, affordable fish finder.
Humminbird PIRANHAMAX 4
The PiranhaMAX 4 is a technologically advanced, highly portable fish finder with modern styling and easy to use interface. It comes on a tilt and swivel mount for quick adjustments in viewing area angles and perspectives, as well as features that will allow you to see clearly what is under your boat up to 600 feet below the surface. The dual beam sonar can be seen through a narrow beam for unmatched detail in picture quality and identification, or a wide beam, for a much more generous coverage area of the landscape, identifying a wider range of fish, structure, and contour. At only 99.00 dollars, the PiranhaMAX 4 by Humminbird is the cheapest option in our selection of fish finders under $200, but quality is hardly sacrificed. It operates at 2400 watts PTP, or 300 watts RMS, with a depth sonar frequency of either 455 kHz at 320 feet, or 200 kHz at 600 feet. A cheap, yet powerful option in the fish finder market, the PiranhaMAX 4. Make sure to check out our detailed Humminbird PIRANHAMAX 4 review before you decide to buy it.
As an international favorite, the JOYWEE fish finder by Phiradar has an impressive selection of languages on its easy to use menu, which includes English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and 11 more major languages! But if none of its 15 languages fits you, it also has an audible fish and depth alarm from 3-99 feet! Customization is key when it comes to this fish finder, with 100 levels of sensitivity setting and multi-level depth range, on its selectable sonar chart with both feet and meter readings. A battery strength indicator will keep you up to date on how long you have before its 100 watts of RMS power drains, along with the dual beam sonar frequencies at either 200 kHz or 83 kHz. No matter where you are fishing, this fish finder by Phiradar is specially designed to suit your needs as an amateur, or professional fisher.
The Y2020-CWLA by LUCKY is a very respectable fish finder, that can operate at up to 328 feet wireless, with a lightweight castable sonar transducer that has 147 feet of water depth detection. The advanced colored display clearly shows and indicates fish locations, as well as size, and water temperature. It also has advanced readings on the contours and landscaping below your boat. The customization is universal as well, with both feet and meters being implemented, as well as Fahrenheit and Celsius. A 90 degree beam angle sonar transducer operates at 125 kHz, alerting you when it detects fish or fish schools. It will also send an alarm when it detects shallows. The glow in the dark transparent cap is ideal for night fighting, however it is also a great option for ice fishing, kayak fishing, boat fishing, or bank fishing. It has a 5-6 hour long batter continuously after being fully charged, and with the battery save mode switched on, it can last even longer, up to 10 hours or more! Whether you are a beginner, experienced, or advanced fisher, this fish finder is a very affordable and quality option for you.
At just under 200 dollars, the HawkEye’s very own FBA_FT1PXC is another great fish finder that will not disappoint. With an intelligent FishTrax sonar, it operates at up to 240 feet with clear and precise readings. The up to date and colored LED display produces a glare-free view for excellent and unrivaled readability in the fish finding market. The sonar sensor is highly portable as well, offering FishArc and FishID fish finder indicators with fish depth targeting. The HD bottom landscape imaging and algorithmic software programming will optimize the minimization of false readings while fishing, and this fish finder also provides an audible fish alarm signaling the presence of fish when detected. With customizable models, the FISHTRAX system by HawkEye is perfect for both beginner anglers who are looking for ease of use, as well as intermediate to advanced anglers who want to optimize efficiency and practicality. For just under 200 dollars, the FBA_FT1PXC fish finder by HawkEye is a great option.
Things to Keep in Mind When Buying
Following the links we have provided for these fish finders, it is wise to read the reviews for products you are considering buying, as many consumers can point out previously unmentioned flaws or benefits with the product in their personal experience. It is especially important to do a little extra research when shopping for cheaper alternatives to high end equipment, such as quality fish finders for under 200 dollars, as many models sacrifice quality for affordability.
In the fish finder market, durability is a big concern for many consumers, as varying fishing conditions can damage, or even destroy a fish finder, rendering it useless. Looking into the durability of a fish finder before making a purchase is advised, especially for fishers who plan to use it in adverse or harsh conditions.
Transducers, beams, and cone angles
Specific features in fish finders are what make them stand out in terms of quality. Transducers are essential to every fish finder, and the mounts and materials used for the transducers are worth looking into before purchasing. Beams and cone angles are also key in a good fish finder, as it can reveal a wider search area for the finder, or a more customizable and precise search area, possibly with multiple beams. It is good to have an idea of how you will use the fish finder, and base the number and type of beam and cone angles with that in mind.
The screen is obviously important as well in every fish finder, so if you have a preference between black and white screen or colored screen, or if you have trouble seeing certain patterns or small indicators, the screen is definitely going to be something you will want to make sure fits suits your liking.
Fish finders can also come with dual, single, or multiple frequencies, which all provide their own purpose. Knowing where you will be using your fish finder is key again in picking out specific frequency ranges, as shallow waters are best suited with high frequencies, whereas deeper waters are typically navigated with lower frequencies.
Finally, it is worth looking into the power of the fish finder. Power in a fish finder can be an indicator of speed and accuracy, as well as how long it will last on the water. And it is not a bad idea to check if the fish finder is water resistant, as it varies per fish finder.
To conclude our article, there are many factors that go into a quality fish finder, and it can be overwhelming trying to find all of the qualities you want at an affordable cost, but there are options. We do not believe you should have to settle for a second hand fish finder just to keep the cost under 200 dollars, so we have hand picked several products and models of fish finders that we believe to be the best quality, at an affordable, sub 200 dollar price.
We hope this helped you pick out a suitable fish finder for your next trip out on the water, and we wish you happy fishing!