Best Fish Finder Under $500

Any person interested in fishing, as a business or as a hobby, needs the best devices to help make sure you succeed in your watery venture. One of such devices is a fish finder, which can help you identify the exact location of fish, fish schools, and other objects beneath the water. However, getting the best fish finder under 500 can be tricky, especially if you don’t know the right features to look out for in such a device. This is because most fish finders with outstanding features are expensive.

But don’t worry, if you’re working with a tight budget and you need a device to make your fishing experience easier, we’ll show you the best fish finders under $500 in 2021, a buying guide for said market, and FAQS about fish finders.

Top 5 best fish finders under 500

Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP SI GPS G2 Review

One of the best fish finders under $500 is the Helix 5 by Humminbird. This device has GPS and CHIRP giving you value and efficiency back for your money. It also has a large, bright screen of 5 inches, allowing you to scan the results easily and without strain.
The CHIRP side imaging allows you to have a clear view of the surface and depth underneath your boat. The display also has dual modes that will enable you to monitor the temperature, water depth, and turbulence. You can also check on the lure presentation.

It has a dual plus sonar that connects the two beams transducer, allowing you to have a bigger coverage area. Charts with an estimated 10,000 lakes and coastal coverage for the US will prove very useful, especially when navigating unknown or unfamiliar waters. The GPRS will enable your device to connect remotely with other devices. You’ll have no trouble navigating the water using this quality fish finder for less than $500, as it’s got built in GPS and autolive functions.

  • It has an built in GPS
  • It’s got excellent side imaging and down imaging
  • It’s not ideal outside of small fishing kayaks and boats

Lowrance Hook Reveal 5 Review

You can also go for this fish finder GPS combo for an affordable price of less than 500 dollars, which can scan fish in their hideouts and previously undetected areas. It has close to 4000 detailed US inland lake maps already, but you can also develop customized contour maps to have an easy time in your favorite local lake. This device also has a downscan imaging feature that works with Lowrance CHIRP sonar to light up fish on the display.

The split-shot will give you a nice experience when fishing in a kayak, which offers a clear and vivid picture of the underneath surface. It has auto sonar which changes settings depending on the fishing condition, giving precise images.

  • It has a preloaded inland map
  • It contains autotuning sonar
  • It’s got a powerful transducer
  • It’s not ideal for big bodies of water

Garmin Striker 7SV With Transducer Review

Another fish finder in the sub 500 dollar range is the Garmin striker 7SV. It’s an easy-to-use device that is ideal for beginners. It has an advanced, up to date sonar, with clearvu and sidevu making it one of the best fish finders that you can find. You can use this device in day or night, as it’s clear and colorful in any condition.

It allows you to mark waypoints, check your boat’s speed, and create routes or customized maps. It has a Wi-Fi connection and an activeCaptain app, which allows you to share and store data.

  • It has three powerful CHIRP sonars
  • It’s easy to use
  • No base maps

Raymarine Dragonfly 7 Pro Review

Raymarine dragonfly 7 pro also sells for an affordable price, but has great features that will help you fish smoothly. It has a 6-inch LCD screen and a high resolution of 800 by 480. You can connect this device to any compatible smartphone through Wi-Fi to increase its performance and practicality as you see fit.

It has a built in GPS that includes Navionics+. Since this device is waterproof, it can withstand water splashes, rainy conditions, or accidental drops while out on the water. You’ll get clear sonar images on display, as this unit has a CHIRP downscan which performs better than other ordinary imagery sonars. The wide spectrum CHIRP technology enables you to get better and more clear images, helping you identify more fish, ready to be caught.

  • It’s clear precise when showing individual fish
  • It has a Wi-Fi connection for better performance
  • It has a build in GPS
  • It has no touch screen

Garmin Striker Vivid 7SV Review

You can also get this top fish finder on a 500 dollar budget, and enjoy a successful, relaxing fishing trip with it by your side. It has an easy-to-use, 7-inch color display that distinguishes between fish and other structures it may detect. The vivid 7sv has a built in map that enables you to fish in large, unfamiliar bodies of water with ease.

The GT20 transducer includes a built in Garmin CHIRP traditional sonar and CHIRP clearvu scanning sonar. You can connect this device with the activecaptain app, which allows you to connect it to a smartphone for better performance through Wi-Fi. This enables the sharing of waypoints and the software update notifications.

  • It has a Wi-Fi connection
  • It’s got preloaded contour maps
  • It has a great sonar palette color
  • Doesn’t have an SD card slot
  • It has no base maps

Buying Guide for Fish Finder market on a 500 Dollar Budget

It’s advisable that before you buy any fish finder, you’ve got to understand what makes it stand out from the rest and how it will help you meet your fishing desires and expectations. We’re going to show you what you should consider before getting the best bang for your buck fish finder.

Check on the type of sonar

You need to look if the fish finder you are planning on buying has 2D sonar or traditional sonar. The 2D sonar will help you know the size of fish underneath your boat because of its color palette. A darker color shows how big the object/fish right below your boat is. But the traditional sonar plays a role of the universal feature.

Side/Down Imaging

It would also be best to get a fish finder with a side view, especially if you’re to fish in a new body of water. You’ll have an easy time finding fish/structures on either side of the boat within up to 150 feet with it.
The down imaging will help you see the images and structures below your boat. It works better than 2d sonar as it shows you what’s underneath, like rocks or shallower waters, for better navigation.

The GPS Mapping Technology

You should also check on the GPS mapping technology of the device. You’ll find that some of the best GPS fish finders have preloaded maps, while others have SD card slots. This allows you to upload a customized map depending on the region you’re planning on fishing in.

The portability of the device

This majorly depends on the type of boat you’ll be using. If you have a smaller boat or kayak, a portable fish finder will do you good. Such portable devices come with chargers and battery making them easy to use while on the go. You can also use portable fish finders for ice fishing. However, you can’t upgrade these devices.

Go for a User-friendly device

If you want to have an relaxing, stress free time fishing while using these devices, go for one that’s easy to use. There are some models that people consider the most user-friendly, like Garmin or Lowrance, but you can specifically look for ones that have easy to understand manuals to avoid confusion while at work. Alternatively, you can buy a brand with autotuning sonar so that you will not have to set it.

Display and frequency

Don’t forget to check on the kind of display the fish finder has. A high-quality display will enable you to see smaller details you’d never see without it. You’ll also not strain reading the results on the screen with a bigger display as the digits will be distinct and easy to interpret. A bigger display and a higher frequency will give you more details faster and clearer, but remember, the high-frequency best works on shallow waters while low frequency is for deep-sea and commercial anglers. So, choose what fits your fishing needs.

Will A Fish Finder Below 500 Dollars Deliver?

Yes. Some of these fish finders have better features than expensive models, and in some aspects can be more practical. However, they’ll not have all the features, or all of the advancements in technology that more expensive models have. But the basic features, like CHIRP, GPS mapping, and side/down imaging, will surely make your fishing a whole lot easier.


Which brands are best when searching for fish finders under $500?

You’ll realize that most popular brands have fish finders under 500 dollars, like Garmin, Lowrance, and Humminbird.

Are the fish finders capable of sensing the water temperature?

Some of the depth fish finders enable you to monitor the water temperature. The temperature gauge is on the transducer. It helps you know the type of fish to expect according to the water temperature.

Final Thoughts

If you’re on a tight budget, you can find either a quality side imaging or GPS fish finder under 500 dollars and have a smooth experience while fishing. However, you’ve got to understand the features and specifications of each product to get the desired results you look for when fishing with a device like this. With such knowledge, you’ll get the best fish finder according to your budget and expectations.

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