Fish finder is a revolutionary piece of equipment that immediately leads fishermen to a fish-holding spot.
The problem is, that not all anglers possess the level of expertise of a pro fisherman or have heavy pockets to acquire high-end models.
With that being said, the best cheap fish finders within budget can go a long way to help them out of this conundrum.
Price cut doesn’t mean these devices will just be toys.
Rather, their sizes are a bit small, to retain portability, and have just the right number of nifty features that will not overwhelm less-experienced anglers yet bear fruit.
The displays, though not plasma-like and sophisticated, are of standard sizes or a little larger to enable users to conveniently discern the data.
So, instead of throwing arrows in the dark, you know exactly where to cast the line to directly go for the kill.
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Best Cheap Budget-Friendly Fish Finders of 2023 Reviews
The word cheap gives rise to all kinds of alarm bells in the head, which means scouting for a low-costing fish finder that can actually walk the walk might be harder than locating a needle in a haystack.
I think I deserve a moment of gloating because half of your work is done in this article. Below are 10 of the best cheap fish finders within your budget that diligently probed and investigated for you.
We would advise you to go through the buyer’s guide as well to have a clear picture of what your budget can get you.
Top Cheap Fish Finders Comparison Table
Striker 4 GPS
Striker Plus 4
1. LUCKY – Best Handheld User-Friendly Cheap Fish Finders
Lucky Handheld fish finder is an anomaly among the cheap fish finders because regardless of the significant plunge in price, the unit has excellent quality and fish tracking abilities.
I have heard numerous anglers, both beginners and hobbyists, call it one of the best budget-friendly castable fish finders because although the casting range is a bit restricted.
Its sonar can function accurately within a 3ft-328ft depth perimeter to expose bottom terrain and the existence of fish.
As you can see from the size, it’s very compact and can easily fit in the palm of your hand, which means placing it on a small boat or kayak will not cause any hassle.
Its portable structure deceives many into taking it as a namby-pamby device, totally bland, which is wrong.
The unit contains multiple modes along with an alarm function to help you keep the settings on point; so when the target approaches, the trumpet-like alarm will immediately warn you of a potential catch.
Now it’s time to put your best foot forward and, VOILA!
Fish for hours to hoard as much prey as you can because the powerful battery together with the battery saving mode permits a 4-5 hours window of continuous working.
The device works great for applications like ice fishing, kayaking and dock fishing as long as you protect it from drizzle or water splashes.
- Multiple adjustments with user-friendly control.
- Functional depth is 3ft-328ft.
- This flexible and versatile device can perform effectively in various applications.
- A powerful battery gives a decent runtime of 4-5 hours.
- 25ft cable restricts its casting range.
- It isn’t impervious to water.
When it’s a question of which budgeted fish finder offers the best value? Anglers’ instant response is Lucky Handheld fish finder. The portable unit with its numerous modes and unerring target detection brings it into the good books of occasional fishermen.
2. Garmin Striker 4 (010-01550-000) – Top Pick Overall Cheap Fish Finders
Garmin Striker 4 with a transducer is simplicity and effectiveness personified. Its straightforward design with a hassle-free setup is a blessing for those who want to get their hands on the finned target as soon as possible.
Its compact size enables you to position it on a small vessel, say a Jon boat, without any fuss.
The second you power it, its high-frequency ClearVu sonar will get into action to bring back as much information as possible for a better insight into the aquatic realm.
Like any portable unit, the screen is also small; but this is where it throws you off. The smallness of the display doesn’t reduce the clarity of the view. The data is still revealed with remarkable clarity to make sure you know where the fish, vegetation and structure are.
However, you should be aware of the limited weatherproofing on the screen. In the case of torrential rain, the show will come to an abrupt end.
Apart from this little inconvenience, we still have a few admirable qualities to mention. You can test your skill in both nighttime as well as ice fishing because the flasher mode with its alarm won’t allow the target to take advantage of the tricky situations.
To fully sell you on the idea, it has installed waypoint mapping to help you sketch contour maps marking fish hotspots and schools so you could revisit them without trouble.
- Compact unit with a transducer.
- Effectively works in both freshwater and saltwater fishing.
- High-frequency ClearVu scan offers a crisp and detailed representation of the underwater environment.
- Custom waypoint cartography permits to highlight of fish-active spots.
- Unable to withstand heavy rainfall.
- Comes without a protective bag.
Many low-priced models claim to be the best cheap fish finders within budget, but only Garmin Striker 4 aces the test. Its powerful ClearVu sonar penetrates hundreds of feet deep, both in freshwater and saltwater, to expose fish’s location and bottom structure with photographic-like clarity.
3. ReelSonar – Best Wireless Smart Cheap & Budget-Friendly Fish Finder
When it’s a matter of compiling a list of the best inexpensive fish finders, not mentioning ReelSonar iBobber Wireless fish finder is a cardinal sin. The unit, although puny-looking, packs a beastly-powered transducer.
The lightweight body, as well as the inherent Bluetooth connectivity, makes it infeasible to throw it farther than 100ft. However, thanks to the transducer, you can check to a 135ft depth to find out a fish’s presence.
For your peace of mind, it has an LED beacon, so you’ll know at all times where it is floating.
Besides, with the help of a built-in mapping format, it’s a very practical solution to analyse the topography of the territory and get accustomed to the bottom structure, contours and potential fish sanctuaries.
After the survey, you can switch to the fish tracking mode and see if you find the desired target or not. Its loud fish alarm will blow off to indicate that you’ve got lucky, and now it’s time to hunt.
Do you think a minimum 10-hours window is sufficient to snag at least one catch if not several? I would say it’s more than enough to land a bulk of fish because that’s how long its battery will run on a full charge.
The best part is that it keeps an archive of the kind of species you caught along with other information, like water temperature and wind speed etc, in a trip log. Souvenir…wow!
- Its lightweight design is compatible with a variety of fishing rods.
- The audible alarm immediately alerts of fish presence.
- Sonar has a depth reach of 135ft.
- Built-in mapping helps familiarize with structure, contour and fish hideouts.
- A rechargeable battery offers over 10 hours of runtime.
- Lightweight and Bluetooth connectivity restrict its casting range to 100ft.
- Doesn’t work in waters less than 4ft deep.
- Often gives false alarm on sighting underwater debris.
ReelSonar iBobber wireless is a budgeted entry-level fish finder that has a number of nifty features along with a primary fish tracking sonar function to attract anglers. Its cartography and extended battery time make it a perfect candidate for occasional fishermen and beginners.
4. Venterior (VT-FF001) – Best Cheap Fish Finders with Sonar Transducer
The cheap price of Venterior Portable Fish Finder causes all sorts of alarm bells to go off, but that’s the part which sets the stage for the upcoming surprise: perfect design and laudable performance.
For a cheap and portable model, it packs immense versatility. Kayak or small boat, dock or ice fishing, it will start collecting information pertaining to fish, rocks, weeds and sand on the seabed the instant it hits the water’s surface.
From a 3ft to 328ft depth perimeter, no species of fish can elude its watchful eye; I mean sonar.
Anything that can remotely affect the snagging of a target in any way, from water temperature to vegetation to fish size and depth, is figured out by this little guy.
You can read everything clearly and quickly on the display, which, despite the small size, presents crisp and distinctive icons of the objects the sonar has acknowledged.
Add multiple user-friendly settings including fish alarm, backlighting and battery saving format, and Hallelujah!
You have got every trick up your sleeves to outsmart the cunning opponent.
- Compact and versatile.
- Provides a clear insight about the aquatic world.
- Multiple user-selectable modes enhance performance.
- Accurately identifies fish within a 3ft-328ft depth boundary.
- Entails a 2-year warranty.
- Batteries expire shortly.
- The accuracy of results is compromised when the boat is moving fast.
- The short cable is a nuisance.
Venterior VT-FF001 is like a diamond in the rough because, regardless of the ridiculous plunge in cost, the unit has a versatile design that garners results in a variety of fishing scenarios.
5. RICANK – Best Contour Readout Handheld Cheap Fish Finder
RICANK Portable fish finder bears a lot of resemblances pertaining to size, shape and controlling features to the previous Venterior model. Hence, why we have placed it next on the list.
Portable, fast and efficient, these are the traits that combine together to define this gadget by RICANK.
The possibility of returning from a fishing expedition without a catch is zero to none because its sonar has a strong affinity for catching anything, from approximate fish location to its size to plantation and structure, within a 3ft-328ft depth scope.
All are presented in an intelligible manner on its LCD.
Moreover, the inclusion of various user-selectable settings including fish alarm and backlight format promises to rescue you from any kind of situation.
You can take aid from its expertise in a diverse range of fishing scenes including river fishing, lake fishing, sea fishing, offshore, ice fishing and so on.
However, the 25ft cable of the unit sticks out like a sore thumb since it hinders the casting range. Apart from that, it’s like “Christmas came early.”
- Highly efficient unit.
- Rapidly and unerringly recognises fish, rocks and weeds.
- Suitable for a vast number of fishing applications.
- User-friendly adjustments help maximize performance.
- Short length of cable is problematic.
- Often gives false alarms when sonar is seeping through long weeds.
If you’re a budget-conscious entry-level fella or a hobbyist fisherman looking for a good value fish finder, RICANK portable fish finder is a dependable choice. Although its casting range is a bit short, the exceptional performance of sonar and the versatility of the design entice anglers into buying it.
6. Deeper Start Smart (DP2H10S10) – Best Wi-Fi Cheap Fish Finders Within Budget
When accuracy, versatility and simplicity are the main ingredients you want to see in a fish finder, Deeper’s Start Smart (DP2H10S10) is the name that stands out from the crowd because it’s overflowing with the said qualities.
That also without burning a hole through your pocket.
Alluding to the start, its undemanding setup and use get you off to a good start. The knockout blow comes not with its wireless connectivity, but with the inherent quality of this little gem to produce its own wi-fi signals wherever you are.
This one is hell-bent on making you purchase it, and this staunch dedication can be realised through its Deeper app that provides you with an insight into the whole territory – containing structure, plantation and whereabouts of fish along with its size.
Throw it at a distance of 165ft, that’s how far its casting boundary goes, and it will instantly go down to a 165ft depth to make you aware of what’s in the vicinity.
With such comprehensive knowledge of the underwater terrain at your disposal, no wonder you are capable of catching fish left and right.
Whether it detects fish or not, every scan with the timestamp and location is saved in case you want to give them a second view later.
Last but definitely a winning stroke is its ability to automatically adapt to the nighttime fishing mode when the darkness approaches. Meaning, fish as long as you haven’t caught your target because this one has got your back.
- Lightweight and simple.
- Inherent ability to produce wi-fi signals.
- Admirable casting and depth scanning range.
- The versatile design can handle a variety of fishing ways.
- Keeps a history of sonar scans.
- Performance is interrupted if phone data is on.
- Disappointing inshore fishing.
If you manage to spend a few extra bucks, still the price is within affordability bounds, you will have the best economical fish finder with Deeper Start Smart. The fusion of simplicity and versatility enables the unit to precisely detect targets in almost any kind of fishing scenario.
7. Garmin Striker Plus 4 -Best Top Rated Cheap Fish Finders
If being charming was a sport, Garmin Striker Plus 4 would have been the greatest Olympian of it. Despite the inexpensive cost and simple design, Striker Plus 4, which also comes with a transducer, is garnering a lot of praise.
The main reason is its single-mindedness to track fish, come what may.
The transducer supporting dual-beam and chirp sonar have such a keen vision when it comes to target detection that not the challenging salty water of the sea can hide the fish and other underwater objects from its piercing gaze.
Speaking of gaze, you won’t have to squint your eyes or gaze deeply to discern what’s being portrayed on the screen. A normal glance will help you figure out everything even in blinding sunlight, courtesy of the decent screen size and clear visuals.
Another sigh of relief is in order because the innate GPS chart plotter is not only capable of providing on-point coordinates, but also keeps a log of crucial waypoints and routes.
As a cherry on top, the custom contour mapping feature makes your travelling easier as you can sketch maps containing details that you deem too vital to be forgotten.
- Long-lasting robust body.
- A transducer containing dual-beam and chirp sonar accurately identifies fish in saltwater.
- The vivid portrayal of underwater scenes.
- GPS chart plotter and custom mapping combo maximize outcome.
- Screen is bare of protection.
- Some gripes regarding customer support.
For maximizing productivity in testing ventures like saltwater fishing, we would advise you to take a chance on Garmin Striker Plus 4. The unit has rightfully earned the throne of the best cheap fish finder for saltwater due to its tremendous sonar function and navigational expertise.
8. Eyoyo – Best Design Waterproof Cheap Fish Finder
Getting the best fishing camera under-budgeted price without cutting down on the quality of the unit as well as visuals has been made possible because of Eyoyo 7-inch LCD Monitor Fish Finder.
When you have this fella on board, you’ll have no trouble picking out everything happening within the surrounding marine world.
It comes with a 15m cable, which means that’s the limit till which the camera can travel far from your vessel.
However, we can claim for a fact that this little nuisance will lose significance when you’ll have an astounding view of the underwater world to capture all your attention.
This is the promise that comes with its 7” TFT colour screen with high pixels in combination with a 1000TVL camera. The only thing it doesn’t promise is the recording capability.
Despite that, the all-rounder-like design of the unit is still very satisfactory. Wondering what I am hinting at? The manufacturers have armed this gem with 12 infrared lights.
Just turn them on and it will permit you to fish with the same level of ease and expertise even in a dark environment.
Besides, the integration of a sun-visor on the screen is another convenience that allows you to discern details on the viewing window regardless of the tricks played by sunlight.
Once you have ensnared the species you came for and it’s time to return, you can securely place the equipment in a waterproof case, included in the package.
- 1000TVL camera together with a high-pixel TFT colour screen represents an enticing view of the aquatic environment.
- Inherent 12 IR lights cope with dark and low-visibility circumstances.
- Waterproof protective case for hassle-free storage and transportation.
- Devoid of recording function.
- Cable is only 15m long.
A sophisticated yet economical fish finder camera like the Eyoyo 7” LCD Monitor will help you catch fish and enjoy the beauty of the marine realm simultaneously. Moreover, the protective case and additional embellishments related to the viewing give it the quality of being the best affordable fish finder for offshore.
9. Lowrance HOOK2 4X – Best Budget-Friendly Fish Finders with Bullet Skimmer Transducer
Call it the best cheap fish finder within budget or Lowrance HOOK2 4X, message will be received loud and clear because both are synonymous with each other.
I came across novice anglers claiming to be fishing sports gods because the wider-angle sonar of this unit searches twice the large parameter than traditional fish finders, to help you get accustomed to the ins and outs of the terrain.
Not to mention detect a finned opponent within a snap.
Budding fishermen specifically prefer this model because its simple use and auto-tuning sonar enable them to figure out the perfect settings in a jiffy and spend the rest of the time chasing after targets.
However, nothing lasts forever therefore, your excitement dampens upon seeing the small size of the screen, not to mention the only size available. I would say it’s still a blessing in disguise.
One, you can carry it comfortably on kayaks and small vessels. Second and most important, the screen is Solarmax, which is a code term for a spectacular view of the terrain regardless of the scintillating sunlight.
Lastly, the bullet skimmer transducer provides further peace of mind with its ability to be mounted in several different ways for excellent outcomes.
- Space- and -pocket-friendly device.
- Bullet Skimmer Transducer promises better outcome.
- Wide-angle sonar offers double coverage and high-precision data.
- Phone-like keyed menu is novice-friendly.
- Excellent viewing in sunlight.
- Only one screen size is on offer.
- Calls for extra bucks on a charger and a carrying bag.
Lowrance HOOK2 4X with a Bullet Skimmer Transducer proves to be an excellent value option for on-budget novice users as well as aspiring anglers. The device is capable of garnering unerring information about the selected territory to help you easily seize the evasive prey.
10. Hawkeye Fishtrax 1C – Best Virtuview Display Cheap Fish Finders Under Budget
Just reading the title gives you an idea of what this fish finder is promising. It is often found at the forefront when anglers search for the best cheap and portable fish finder, especially for kayaks and Jon boats, because what other models of this cadre fail to achieve, this one accomplishes it with flying colours: detect a fish in a snap.
You can bet your money that within a boundary of 240ft, its sonar will not miss a single fish that passes by. On top of that, the fish alarm further makes it ironclad so that you don’t miss a target.
The data collected by sonar is projected on its high-def display where you can observe it with clarity to quickly figure out which of the detected targets would prove to be easy prey.
What helps it score brownie points is the LED backlighting that gives the screen anti-glare quality.
Meaning, that no matter how many tricks sunlight is playing on you, the readability of the screen will not be compromised.
More impressively, it’s mountable as well as floatable and trollable. So, whichever fishing venture you’re planning to embark on, this one will deliver results.
- Compact and flexible.
- Its versatility allows it to be taken on diverse fishing trips.
- Anti-glare screen reveals information with remarkable sharpness.
- High-precision sonar and fish alarm prevent missing of a target.
- Relatively costly for a simple unit of this cadre.
- Transducer’s mount needs to be purchased.
Hawkeye Fishtrax 1C possesses all the traits of an excellent value fish finder. It has a few shortcomings, but the flexible design laden with attentive sonar and anti-glare display overshadows the imperfections.
Buyer’s Guide: By Getting to The Top Best Cheap Fish Finders Within Budget in 2023
In this buyer’s guide, we will show you how to maximize your limited budget while purchasing the best low-costing fish finder. Below are some key aspects that have the influence to make or break your fishing game.
Knowing about them will enable you to zero in on the right product in a jiffy.
The success and failure of fish hunting hinge heavily on the appropriate transducer as this is the gear that fires sonar rays in the water. The power and frequency of the transducer determine its use.
For instance, a 200-300W transducer or high frequencies of 192kHz and 200kHz will work effectively in shallow waters like rivers and lakes.
Units with a low frequency of 50kHz or a transducer power of 400W-500W and above are practical choices for deep sea and ocean fishing.
A low budget prevents anglers from going after devices with big screens adorned with fancy functions.
However, you can still make the most of the given circumstances when the display of the device is small, around 3-4” in size, and yet reveals a bright image.
Plus, it’s advisable to choose a gadget that contains a backlit screen to overcome low visibility. And if the said display possesses a coloured screen, it is the cherry on top.
Going for a portable unit will give you the advantage of easy transportation, especially when exploring offshores on small vessels.
Units like Hawkeye Fishtrax 1C and Garmin Striker Plus 4 are not just easy to set up on small watercraft and Jon boats, but they are also easy to stack around.
Choosing such a model will not deprive you of the sonar power and image quality required to successfully locate a fish and eventually hook it.
Portability divides fish finders into three types:
- Traditional Portable Fish Finders
- Castable Units
- Mountable Units
We are briefly explaining each type below to help you decide which one suits your needs best.
Traditional Portable Fish Finders
These traditional units come in small sizes with screens ranging between 3-7 inches. A nylon case is often included in the package that houses all the paraphernalia, including the display unit, transducer, rechargeable battery (12V) and a mounting base of plastic. These units are best for fishing on small boats and kayaks, but they will not disappoint you also during ice fishing and open-water fishing.
These belong to a relatively newer generation of fish finders because they connect to our smartphones. They only contain a floatable transducer – no self-contained fish finder device – that connects to an app on your cell phone via Bluetooth or wifi. These units are best for dock fishing, bank fishing or shore fishing. You can also use them for boat fishing if needed. The only downside is that their range is pretty limited.
As evident from the title, these fish finders are mountable; you can mount them on the side or transom of your watercraft. You can also use them for float tubes, provided that float tube accessories are present.
The alarm bell feature is an additional help to bring you to the threshold of success. Many units insert alarm options for fish detection, depth, battery etc. The purpose is to warn you to get ready to handle the situation. For instance, the fish alarm pings when a target enters your vicinity. As a result, you get the chance to snag your prey before it escapes your clutches.
Similarly, a battery alarm warns you that your battery is about to run out and you need to do something before all goes black. Such settings play a significant role in making or breaking your entire game. So, do not ignore their importance while purchasing a budgeted fish finder.
Being cheap and budgeted does not mean you have to settle for less. Gone are the days when inexpensive fish finders contained single-beam traditional sonars. Now Chirp sonars are ruling the fishing game. This continuously shoots a range of sonar frequencies to acquire more information with better clarity. Some low-pricing models consist of dual-beam sonars. That’s also better than the single frequency because you can choose between a wide angle for maximum coverage and a limited viewing angle for maximum accuracy and precision. Lucky for you, the Garmin striker 4 that we reviewed above offers both dual-beam and Chirp technologies. Find yourself the best fish finder for the money like this one to ensure the successful acquisition of prey.
Many top-rated economic fish finders are GPS combo units to maximise performance and overall value. Additional features like GPS, chart plotting, mapping, sensitivity adjustments and wireless connectivity dramatically improve your performance during fishing. So, make sure the unit you plan to purchase has some of these helping tricks, at least, if not all.
The more, the merrier. So, if you want to maximize performance, select a device that has more than just primary functions.
Features like fish and depth alarms, GPS chart plotters, contour mapping, wireless connectivity etc. go a long way in making your expedition a fruitful one.
Do cheap fish finders work?
The answer is a straightforward YES. Being cheap is a bonus, not a curse, given that you buy the unit from a reliable brand. Cheap fish finders are called cheap only because they lack features and cutting-edge technologies. But, when it comes to locating fish, they do it as accurately as any high-end model. Some are even capable of gauging the depth and recording water temperature.
What’s the best fish finder for the money?
The market is overflowing with the best fish finders for the money. Any unit that offers more than just primary functions, doesn’t put a dent in your wallet, lasts longer and maximises overall experience and performance falls into the best unit for the money category. Garmin Striker 4 and Plus 4, HawkEye FishTrax 1C, Deeper Start Smart and Lucky Handheld fishfinder are some examples of the best cheap fish finders for the money.
What are the best fish finders within budget for kayaks and small boats?
Due to limited space in small boats and kayaks, it is crucial to accommodate units with big and fancy screens. That’s why portable units with display sizes ranging between 3-7 inches are best for kayaks, small boats and Jon boats. To get an idea, you can consider units like Garmin Striker 4 and Plus 4, Lowrance Hook2 4X and Humminbird Piranhamax 4.
How long do cheap fish finders last?
Roughly speaking, around 4 – 5 years. If you have celebrated the fourth birthday of your finder and it’s been used frequently during those years, it’s high time you start hunting for an upgrade.
Fish finder, whether cheap or expensive, is supposed to be best only if it helps you catch fish. Not all low-priced devices are shoddy. The above 10 fish finders that we have reviewed for you are proven to be the best cheap fish finders within the budget that, despite the plunging price, have a decent number of nifty features to help you achieve the goal. With the inclusion of a buyer’s guide, we’ve tried to not just answer your queries, but also highlight some crucial features that you cannot do away with if you want to make the best possible purchase.