Utility of a fish finder is undeniable however the extent of it can be determined by checking how deftly the device deals with unpleasant situations, not just detecting fish. Because a very popular occurrence is getting carried away by the chase and eventually losing your tracks so you could safely return. While going for a deluxe model seems like a simple solution due to their navigational features, it’s actually not so simple because, of course, there’s a hefty chunk of money involved as well as a list of fancy features that you will find superfluous in most of the fishing scenarios. That means your best bet is to invest in a best fish finder gps combo under $500. Win-Win!
As the name suggests, it will have all the essentials of a regular fish finder along with some bells and whistles like latest Chirp sonar functions, navigational features, basemaps, contour mapping and even networking and connectivity features, if the manufacturers are feeling charitable enough. The slight rise in the price will have a remarkable impact on the visuals as well as the display will be bigger, carrying a vivid view for your entertainment.
Best Fish Finder GPS Combo Under $500 2021 Reviews
We’ve found some reliable fish finders under $500 loaded with a myriad of nifty features to ensure you get an excellent value for money. Also, we don’t want you to make a mistake and lose almost half a grand on a product that will not meet your needs therefore a buyer’s guide is added at the bottom. Now you’ve got all you require to make the best purchase so proceed with confidence.
Top Best Fish Finder GPS Combo Under $500 Comparison Table
SI G2 Fish Finder
ICE H5 Chirp
1. Garmin Striker Plus 5cv with Transducer
When you say craftsmanship brilliance, we hear “Garmin Striker Plus 5cv”. Even parsimonious fishers willingly go for this unit as well below $500 bucks, you get everything to become a fishing guru.
How can you not become a fishing maestro when Garmin Striker Plus 5cv offers you highly improved GPS and cartography mechanisms along with more admirable contour mapping software? You paddle around a lake, river or saltwater territory with confidence of a sea master as all these mentioned features help you pin waypoints and favorite fish red zones to not just know where you’ve been meandering around but also know a way to return to those marked spots without getting lost.
The unit is quite compact and portable to be easily placed on a small canoe but there’s nothing small or ordinary about its 5” display. First, the size is more than adequate to give you a large picture of what the sonar is transferring to your screen. Second, the picture quality is very bright and vivid to ensure you enjoy the best possible view of the world below the boat.
Finally, its Chirp traditional sonar along with Chirp ClearVu detects nearly all elements present below the water surface accurately so as to make sure you get a detailed insight of the underwater realm in order to successfully bag as many fish as you want.
- Long-lasting and portable.
- Sonar offers an in-depth view of the underwater.
- Vivid display of information under sunlight.
- Improved GPS along with contour mapping and customised cartography softwares help visit and revisit favorite spots conveniently.
- Doesn’t come with an instruction manual.
- Random GPS glitches.
- Doesn’t carry a slot for SDcard.
Garmin Striker Plus 5cv is undoubtedly the best fish finder gps combo under $500 as its GPS and mapping features work admirably despite the type of fishing. Its rugged and compact structure with simple use further make it a very compelling option for eager but parsimonious anglers.
2. Deeper Pro+Smart Sonar
Deeper wants only the best for you and their Pro+Smart Sonar fish finder is the best way of showing their intentions. It has everything that a fisher of all categories readily seek:
Affordability, durability, reliability and versatility.
This one will not burden your watercraft as its compact size along with wireless connectivity allow you to conveniently carry it on every fishing venture, be it kayaking, ice fishing, offshore fishing etc.
What makes this model a gold is its efficient GPS system and bathymetric mapping. In their presence not only will you roam around a water territory with confidence but also keep noting down routes, waypoints, fish whereabouts and floor structure of said waterbodies for reviewing and convenient revisiting. These fishing diaries are easily accessible to you through a Lake Book.
When it comes to actual fish tracking, once again you’ll be amazed as the dual beam sonar can give you a width and depth scan of the area at once. Meaning, up to 330ft across surface and to 260ft depth, fish cannot play any hide and seek tricks with you. Come what may, they’re going to appear on your phone’s or tablet’s screen once synced to the device. Gotcha!
- Portable and wireless.
- Built-in GPS and bathymetric mapping keep records for reviewing and future trips.
- Dualbeam sonar provides an in-depth scan of a generous area.
- Effective for a myriad of fishing environments.
- Functions accurately only on a moving boat.
- Battery expires a bit prematurely.
Ignoring the flaws, we can safely call Deeper Pro+Smart Sonar the best deep water fish finder under $500 due to its remarkable sonar functioning and overall convenient usage. Also, its portable size and wireless setup bring additional relief.
3. Humminbird 410230-1 Helix5 Chirp SI G2
Humminbird knows how to rock your world and Helix5 Chirp G2 (410230-1) is an epic illustration of that. By spending almost half a grand, you get advanced SI (side imaging) along with Chirp Digital dualbeam sonar. What we’re saying is that you can get a detailed 180-degree view around your vessel along with fish to know what you’re dealing with. It can travel over 400ft on either side of the watercraft and 100ft underneath the boat which means there’s no such thing as “too far” with this one around. Moreover, SwitchFire mode allows you to exercise full control on how much detail you want to be revealed on the display. The crystal clear backlit screen will give you an HD quality show of the underwater activity with your selected amount of information.
Additionally, you’ll always know your way around a waterbody as its internal GPS and basemap charts containing over 10,000 U.S lakes make navigation a breeze. Even more peachy is that you can sketch your own maps based on personal observations of bottom landscape, fish sanctuaries and vegetation in case you want a detailed input for next visit.
In short, fish without any trouble knowing it would only be a matter of time before you’ll have a few catches to flaunt at your peers and family.
- Wide backlit screen portrays an unprecedented clear view.
- Improved sonar functions don’t let fish hide anywhere.
- SwitchFire sonar lets you control the amount of data revealed.
- Internal mapping and AutoLive chart help you know your way around any waterbody.
- Instructions are generic.
- Plastic mount shakes when the boat is moving.
Spending a few extra bucks on Humminbird Helix5 Chirp G2 will be the best decision that you’ll ever make as its sonar and GPS functioning exceed all your expectations. Figuring out how to perfectly tilt the transducer might be a hairsplitting experience but the overall outstanding performance is worth your while.
4. Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4
Garmin Striker 4 is a stellar fish finder considering the measly amount of money it costs. It is regarded as the best value fish finder because carrying a fully functional GPS system along with other bells and whistles at such a price is quite astonishing.
The display window is pretty compact, courtesy of keeping portability intact, and is also not weatherproof. Bummer! Hold on, it’s too early to have a forlorn look because this shrunk screen can give you a mini cinematic brilliance of underwater with detailed imagery of fish, sea floor and objects. Yippee!
What really makes you gasp in surprise is the rapidness with which details start appearing on the screen. Thanks to Chirp technology, you get a comprehensive scan in a jiffy. There’s no possibility for fish to escape your radar whether its freshwater or deep saltwater, this can immediately travel to a whooping 1600ft depth in freshwater and up to 750ft depth in saltwater. To make you an absolute maestro of this game of chase and catch, this one employs a fish flasher mode containing improved lighting to help you locate your prey in challenging ice fishing and nighttime fishing.
So, as long as there’s fish in water, there will be some big catches in your luggage upon returning home.
- Lightweight and compact.
- Photographic-like clear picture.
- Sonar can go hundreds of feet deep to accurately and quickly reveal underwater view.
- Fish flasher format.
- Beginner-friendly use.
- Display is small and not weatherproof.
- Carrying case is absent.
For a portable and low priced beginner-friendly fish finder, Garmin Striker 4 has hidden quite a few remarkable features up its sleeves. Its cinematic-like imagery paired with rapid sonar scanning make it one of the top value picks for saltwater and ice fishing.
5. Lowrance Hook Reveal 5X SplitShot
When in doubt, go for Lowrance Hook Reveal 5x. I would say this unit, with its basic functionality and a number of incredible features, offers a pretty stable start to hone your fishing skills. Alluding to the title, SplitShot transducer offers traditional Chirp sonar and DownScan. To put it simply, these familiarize you with the surrounding waterbody by giving you a distinguishing view of the bottom landscape, plantation and fish. However, the actual wizardry lies in the Fish Reveal feature due to which you get a better idea of your prey’s location, making it absolutely a cinch to hook it.
More admirable is the 5” SolarMax display that’s both sunreadable and waterproof. So, basically you can have a neat and crisp pictorial representation of on-goings of the aquatic realm without worrying about blinding sunlight, accidental water splashes or rain.
Lastly, it doesn’t have pre-installed mapping but don’t lose heart since you still have a pretty active GPS plotter and Genesis Live software for personalized bathymetric mapping. You can draw your own maps containing depth contours; pin waypoints, routes and save all the jot down notes in an SDcard – know that you’ll have to load SDcard yourself.
- Sun readable,weatherproof display presents a picturesque view.
- Accurately depicts a detailed sight of the underwater realm.
- Reveals precise position of fish.
- GPS plotter and bathymetric mapping enhance navigation.
- Contains a SplitShot transducer.
- Comes without preloaded mapping.
- Lack of networking features.
- Requires external SDcard to save created maps.
Lowrance Hook Reveal 5x is a pretty basic fish finder yet carries some high-in-demand features like DownScan, waterproof display and GPS plotter. The unit has some deficiencies but overall it’s one of the best fish finder GPS combo under $300.
6. Humminbird ICE H5 Chirp G2 410970-1
When you ask for a best mid-tier fish finder for ice fishing, our mind directly goes towards Humminbird ICE H5 (410970-1) because this is what it is, the best. On-budget ice fishers this is your chance to change the game in your favor and set the bar high for your fellow anglers because this works wonders irrespective of depth and temperature of water.
Its extraordinary sonar is responsible for achieving such marvelous feats as it comes back with statistics for flasher and 2D sonar at the same time, presenting before you a clear sight of aquatic environment along with fish routine.
The decent size, 5” width” of the screen is neither going to feel a put off nor is it going to compromise the unit’s portability, just a perfect fit for small boats and canoes. But, the picture quality is worth earning brownie points as for a second you might mistake it for a vivid view live from a fish’s eyes.
Choose any water territory, say a frozen waterbody in the middle of nowhere, you’ll navigate through it like a boss because GPS will keep updating position and let you take notes of specific waypoints and fish active spots so you could return to those favorite locations once the temperature starts coming down from minus.
Last present for all those impatient anglers who have been chomping at the bit is that this gem comes with a transducer, mounting equipment and a protective carrying bag. In short, whenever you’re ready for some action, it’s waiting for your call.
- High-accuracy sensitive sonar.
- Equipped with ice mode for ice fishing.
- Bright display offers a high resolution coloured image.
- Doesn’t function ideally with a small jig.
- Feels somewhat flimsy.
Humminbird ICE H5 410970-1 is by far the best reasonably priced ice fishing fish finder on the list, courtesy of its superior sonar and special ice setting. Freshwater or ice water, you’ll always have the best possible view of the water floor to land a targeted prey without difficulty.
7. Garmin Striker 4cv with Transducer
Garmin Striker 4CV is the true manifestation of how to win your fishing game with flying colours by staying humble – both in price and design. The display is pretty small which is understandable since it’s a portable gadget, unexpected is the bright and vibrant nature of the screen which is also supporting LED backlight. Day or night, you’ll always have a vivid picture of what the sonar is picking for you.
Speaking of sonar, Chirp sonar along with a ClearVu ensure you get accurate statistics about fish whereabouts and general bottom structure. Is there any place for fish to evade your radar? Nope. Nada!
On top of that, you can chase your object of fascination to the end of the world – not literally though; I meant to as far as you see water – because the GPS has got your back. While you’re at it, might as well pin some waypoints and fish red zones so you could come back to them again without losing your way. What really enthralls anglers is the GPS’s ability to measure the speed required for casting a bait in order to successfully land a specific target. Bullseye! As icing on the cake, you can even access previously acquired data for further assistance if the situation demands.
The slight disappointment comes with its lack of networking and connectivity features and SDcard slot which means you can’t download maps and charts.
- Lightweight and portable.
- Backlit display offers a vibrant picture.
- Equipped with ClearVu technology along with Chirp sonar for clearer results.
- GPS can even figure out speed for casting bait along with navigational functions.
- Lacks networking and connectivity features.
- Doesn’t have an SDcard slot.
- Screen protection is missing.
Contrary to what it looks like, this portable fish finder by Garmin has got everything that you might need without splashing a hefty sum of cash to yield some of the toughest and biggest catches. Although it lacks connectivity features, the overall enthralling performance makes it the best economical fish finder.
8. Garmin Striker 7SV (010-01874-00)
When you ask for a best top-end fish finder under $500, Garmin Striker 7SV (010-01874-00) is the name that immediately pops in our head. Bagging your targeted aquatic creature will no more seem like a losing battle due to its stupendous sonar functions – reinforced with Chirp ClearVu and Chirp SideVu. We aren’t talking about just regular wider coverage, but a complete 180-degree view of everything present within your boat’s vicinity. So, basically anything from fish to bottom contours to weeds and reefs will be laid bare for you in a distinctive manner to let you quickly zero in on a vulnerable target.
More impressively, the 7” wide display portrays such a generously large and vivid scene before you that you could spend all day just relishing the scenic beauty of the underwater environment and forget about actual hunting.
What ultimately seals the deal is the integration of highly sensitive GPS and contour mapping features. You’ll always know your way around and also have an opportunity to keep a record of trails and routes that you took. On top of that, its wi-fi connectivity will give you access to ActiveCaptain app and QuickDraw Contours Community to obtain extra information for better outcome.
- Rugged engineering can survive harsh marine conditions.
- Wide display offers unrivalled clear picture with coloured graphics.
- Advanced sonar functions project a 180-degree view of the surrounding waterbody while setting the sight on target.
- Improved GPS coupled with contour mapping promotes better navigation.
- wi-Fi connectivity.
- MicroSDcard reader is unavailable.
- Doesn’t have any user manual.
Beginners or seasoned fishermen, they all prefer Garmin Striker 7SV, even over Humminbird, when looking for the best fish finder under $500 due to its stellar sonar functions and unprecedented clarity of view. The presence of user-friendly controls is icing on the cake.
9. Humminbird 410220-1 Helix5 Fish Finder
Humminbird 410220-1 has so many attractive tricks up its sleeve that a low budget will seem like a blessing in disguise. Intrigued? Don’t let me keep you waiting, proceed right away. This dainty thing will leave you speechless right from the start with its DualBeam Plus sonar along with the most-wanted Side and Down Imaging. Say what? Yes, you heard me right. Get ready to claim as many fish as you want within a 600ft and 300ft coverage area on a Down Imaging scan. The catch is that this limited range is adequate for shallower waters of lakes and rivers but on a brighter side, you get a remarkable clear view.
To retain its portability and dainty look, the screen is kept to a decent size of 5”. However, it still stands apart from the rest of the clan due to its ability to be divided into two mini screens, large enough to reveal information simultaneously without becoming too saturated.
You can give this one to a young one to get him introduced to the charms of this chase and hunt because the installation and operating procedure is kept to the basics to not overwhelm him/her. Moreover, together with its GPS mapping, basemap and AutoChart Live for customized cartography you’ll be unstoppable.
- Loaded with attractive features at a competitive price.
- DualBeam Plus sonar paired with Side and Down Imaging deliver unrivalled clarity of view.
- Ultra clear coloured viewing coupled with split screen format.
- Impressive navigation features.
- Disappointing performance in tidal waters.
- Limited range makes it adequate only for shallower waters.
Humminbird 4102202-1 Helix5 has the looks and the charms along with pocket-friendly price to be safely placed among the best inexpensive gps combo fish finders. Its uncomplicated use and super clear viewing will empower you to seize targets left and right in shallower waters.
10. Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 63cv
Trust Garmin to never grow out of magic tricks to enchant fishers. Garmin EchoMap UHD 63cv is the epitome of Garmin’s wizardry as in half grand you get the taste of a deluxe model. Coming with easy setup and keyed controls for easy use, this one is specifically designed to steal the hearts of inland and inshore fishermen.
Carrying a GT24UHD-TM transducer along with traditional Chirp sonar and Chirp ClearVu scanning, you get a view so clear that leaves little to the imagination. The scenic beauty of the view is maximized when portrayed vividly on a 6” large sunlight readable display.
Besides, you can use the screen to draw personal maps loaded with details that you find important with the assistance of its QuickDraw Contour mapping. In addition, it features LakeVu maps containing inland maps of over 17,000 lakes while the built-in Wi-Fi gives you an easy way to access ActiveCaptain app for more updated information to help you navigate without any hindrance in any water territory.
- Traditional Chirp sonar and Chirp ClearVu supported by a GT24UHD transducer give you High-Definition clearer information.
- 6” large and bright display with coloured graphics.
- Built-in inland maps and Wi-Fi connectivity.
- Customized cartography.
- Designed for inland and inshore fishing.
- Bracket is flimsy.
- Sometimes shows wrong readings.
If you’re seeking an excellent chartplotter along with an equally high proficiency fish finding capability, going for Garmin Echomap 63cv will give you bang for your bucks. Its additional bells and whistles supported by simple use make it by far the best value fish finder for inland fishing.
Buyer’s Guide: Buying The Best Fish Finder GPS Combo Under $500 in 2021
Fishers think that under half a grand, they will not get many bells and whistles in a fish finder, forcing them to settle for a plain device. However, this is not the case. You can still get excellent value simply by knowing what you should expect at such a price. This buyer’s guide will give you a lucid account of what features to prefer in order to come closer to the big leagues.
Of course all the listed models above come with GPS mechanisms to give you accurate coordinates and prevent you from getting lost. For a better experience, look for units with preloaded basemaps as well as customized cartography technology in order to have a better sense of directions alongside the ability to keep track of your routes and save favorite fishing spots.
You cannot afford to overlook the strength and power of a transducer as it’s the actual fish hunter. The unit is responsible for sending out sonar signals to find fish and bring you back details of underwater surroundings. A transducer is said to be powerful only in the appropriate waterbody. For instance, a 200W or 300W transducer is adequate only for shallower waters. It will fail to provide you the desired results when subjected to deeper waters. So, for offshore and ocean fishing, a transducer with 500W or above power will be more rewarding.
Chirp sonar is better than traditional sonar scan as it will give a clearer and more detailed picture of what you’re up against. As you’ll have seen, many of the above units containing chirp sonar are also complemented with Side Imaging and Down Imaging. These extra sonar functions are crucial for getting a 180-degree view of the area around your vessel along with an in-depth picture of activity underneath the vessel. In this way you’re in a better position to move bait to more favorable depths and spots to successfully capture targets.
Sonar information and other fancy features all will be multiplied to zero if the device has a low quality display screen. Since you’re paying hundreds of bucks, settling for anything that has a viewing window of less than 5” is depressing. To enjoy a photographic-like image, make sure the display is coloured with a higher number of pixels. This will ensure you get a super bright high resolution visuals with coloured graphics for easy distinguishing of targets from contours and other marine objects. It will help you immensely if the display comes with sunlight readability or LED backlight; you’ll be able to read what’s appearing on it no matter how many tricks lighting condition is playing on you.
Not all the best value gps combo fish finders have features like bluetooth and wi-fi networking and built-in storage, for keeping records of personally made charts and maps, to keep them under the affordability umbrella. However, if you’re paying whooping $300 bucks or more then its reasonable to expect networking features for a more enhanced performance.
Now that we’ve given you a detailed tour of what the best gps combo fish finder under $500 should look like and the features that are a must for it, we hope finding a suitable one for your fishing plans will no more seem like an exhausting chore. No matter which brand you pick, you’ll experience immense joy on your next fishing venture because of the high-efficiency sonar, improved navigational features and versatility enclosed in each model.