Finding a fish finder that instantly locates a fish or a school of fish unerringly without putting a hole in your pocket is difficult. Says who?
All that glitters is not gold, remember?
So, the expensiveness of the gadget is not a guarantee for a fruitful fishing getaway.
Today’s market is flooded with the best fish finders under 100 that are as good as those exclusive costly models.
They sense a fish; inform you immediately of its location and surrounding territory; and Viola! You have got fish to catch.
These fish finders are cheap only in price, not in quality and performance. Their sonar beams are powerful enough to penetrate hundreds of feet beneath the water surface to identify fish and the bottom landscape.
The small and portable size of the device is an asset since you’ll be relieved of the effort of accommodating it on a small vessel and paddling the watercraft at the same time.
The display is also compact, but the luminous screen with coloured background and icons makes sure you receive a radiant and readable picture in all kinds of lighting situations.
Best Fish Finder Under $100 in 2023 Reviews
There are hundreds of fishy waiting to be caught, and we do not want you to waste your time searching for the best fish finder under only $100.
So, what we did instead is, we brought 10 of the great fish inexpensive fish finders right to your screen. There’s also a buyer’s guide waiting to teach you what you need to look for in a fish finder before making a purchase.
Proceed further because the right product is just a few clicks away.
Top Fish Finder Under $100 Comparison Table
1. Lowrance HOOK2 4X – Best Value Fish Finder Under $100 with Bullet Skimmer Transducer
Lowrance revels in introducing some of the best budget-friendly fish finders, and we agree with their claim after taking a look at Hook2 4X.
This model comes with a bullet skimmer transducer containing a broader sonar angle to search a wider area at once. It doesn’t take long for the unit to come up with details about fish and general bottom terrain.
You will be able to promptly get to fish hunt mode because the unit has Autotuning sonar along with a simple keyed setup which doesn’t let you linger much on settings. The whole chase and hunt procedure is as quick as a magical “swish and flick.”
Despite coming under 100, the screen is a good 4.3” large and offers crisp and illuminated visuals of fish arches and bottom structures even under dazzling sunlight.
In other words, it makes sure you don’t miss any critical information that could give your target a chance to escape your snare.
Beginners and hobbyists who like a no-fuss setup will be elated to know that this unit could be mounted in many different angles for a better outcome.
On top of that, it is backed by a 2-year warranty, which surmises that it’s a reliable product.
- Reliable and portable.
- The inclusion of a bullet skimmer transducer makes it extra budget-friendly.
- Broader sonar angle skims through a larger territory to acquire accurate information.
- Autotuning sonar and a phone-like menu make its use extremely easy.
- The large Solarmax display offers illuminated and crisp visuals.
- The availability of only one size doesn’t sit well with some avid anglers.
- Costs additional bucks for a protective case and a charger.
Lowrance Hook2 4X is the best inexpensive fish finder because the manufacturers have kept the quality and sonar performance error-free. Its improved sonar and display deliver spot-on information about the underwater region to help you capture more fish in less time.
2. Deeper Start Smart -Best Wi-Fi Wireless Fish Finder Under $100
Deeper Start Smart is a fish finder that you want at hand on every fishing trip because it is smart, it is simple, and on top of that, it is versatile.
All of these qualities sum up to form two words: Buy Me!
Setting it up will barely take a few minutes, and then it will not rest until you catch your first prey of the day. The unit generates its own wi-fi signals no matter where you are fishing, so you will not have to burden yourself or your watercraft with extra junk.
It’s a castable fish finder with a working range of 165ft. So, when you throw it in the water, the sonar plunges to a 165ft depth and scavenges the area for fish.
Furthermore, the built-in Deeper App presents you with a thorough search of the given parameter to help you notice where the fish, structure and planation are located.
Armed with such in-depth surveillance, it is no brainer that you pick fish left and right.
What’s quite unique about this model is that it keeps a record of every sonar scan along with its time and location. This means, that you will have all the data stored in case you felt a need for reviewing it.
An actual icing on the cake comes with its dedication to give you as much time on the waters as it takes to capture those species you came after, thanks to its ability to automatically adapt to the nighttime environment. Come what may, you will return with a fish.
- Lightweight and versatile.
- Basic and simple operating mechanism.
- Instantly delves to a 165ft depth when thrown equally far.
- Keeps a log of scans.
- Brings spot-on data about fish and bottom terrain through Deeper App.
- Phone signals, when left on will, intercept the sonar.
- Its performance is average when fishing from shore.
Deeper has introduced the best value fish finder in the form Start Smart (DP2H10S10) model. The unit is simple yet versatile to help you easily track fish in a variety of fishing scenarios.
3. Lucky – Best Handheld Easy to Use Fish Finder Under $100
Lucky Handheld fish finder is a favorite of newbies and hobby fishermen because it is extremely portable, yet has a remarkable versatility to perform phenomenally in a variety of fishing ventures.
The unit comes with a wired mechanism, which means you cannot throw it farther than 26ft. Is the fish hiding over 300ft below? Don’t worry, still not far from reach because this one shoots sonar that can travel to 328ft depth to detect the prey.
Not just fish, but also bottom contours, water depth and temperature.
The cute 2.4” colour LCD with illumination adjustment and three display choices will allow you to get a professional-level clear picture of the underwater terrain despite the lightning situation.
This means you can once again outwit the cunning target even when it is dark out there.
This unit is rechargeable and gives you a window of 5-hours to fish continuously on a full charge. When added settings like fish and depth alarm and zoom to the mix, you get a device that is dead set on making you victorious in this game.
Be it kayak fishing, ice fishing, inland fishing or sea fishing, the outcome is always the same: A fish in hand and your face lit up with glee.
- Versatile fish finder.
- LCD with multiple displays and brightness adjustment delivers a neat view of the underwater world.
- Sonar can plunge to a depth of 328ft to detect fish and underwater landscapes.
- Rechargeable battery offers a 5-hour window for continuous fishing.
- Multitude of settings to cope with all fishing scenarios.
- Wired operating distance is very limited.
- The cord gets a bit stiff in the cold.
This fish finder by Lucky is a treat for those anglers who want a portable fish tracker that fits their budget yet works exceptionally well all year round. It is loaded with sundry functions to help you catch more fish in less time.
4. Venterior -Best Good Looking Rechargeable Fish Finder Under $100
Relieve yourself from the hassle of cables and other junk and invest Venterior portable fish finder. The unit has a wireless sonar sensor, which means you will have a lot of space in your vessel to throw several fish.
Oh, it’s not wishful thinking; you will catch fish because the sonar beam will meticulously search within the 2.6-131ft depth parameter to track fish.
More impressively, it is also castable, thereby giving you myriad fishing options to choose from – trolling from a boat, casting from shore, ice fishing, river fishing, etc.
Like our previous pick, this one is also equipped with features to gather information about the depth of water and its temperature, the size of fish and its depth and bottom contours. All of these combine to enable you to eliminate the loopholes that could help your prey to escape.
The display takes at least 3 seconds to turn on. Be patient because the wait is worth it. The colour LCD with background adjustment provides you with a bright graphical representation of the data obtained by sonar.
What I am hinting at is that there will be no need to pack things when the sun starts sinking because everything will still be as clear as day on its display, even when it is nighttime.
Lastly, the unit has a 2-year warranty, so you are covered for glitches.
- Wireless and castable design improve its practical use.
- Clear indication of fish and underwater terrain.
- Bright display with background adjustment for retaining readability.
- Covered by a 2-year warranty.
- Battery runtime is relatively lesser.
- Water splash can wreck the screen.
Venterior Portable is dubbed as one of the best fish finders under 100 because of its accurate performance in miscellaneous fishing applications. The display isn’t impervious to water, but the brightness and clarity of the view make up for the loss.
5. ReelSonar Smart – Top Pick Overall Fish Finder Under $100
ReelSonar, though puny in size, is extremely smart and accurate when it comes to tracking fish.
Anglers have gone as far as to call it one of the best castable fish finders since the built-in Bluetooth mechanism remains functional to a 100ft distance while the sonar goes 135ft down the water surface in search of fish.
The flexible design can be used both as a bobber and as a remote fish finder. In either case, you’ll not lose sight of the gadget because the LED beacon will keep you aware of its location.
For an inexpensive fish finder, it does quite a lot than detecting fish. Simply put, it can help you map waterbeds, mark fish sanctuaries and analyze the overall topography of the area to make sure you get accustomed to every nook and cranny of the terrain.
On top of that, it completely erases any possibility of missing a target that’s why it features a fish alarm. It will blow off to immediately make you aware of the target’s presence in the vicinity.
Missed a prey? Not a chance. However, even if you do, by sheer bad luck, you have 10 hours to keep searching until you seize the desired creature. That is how long the battery runs on a full charge.
- Lightweight and flexible design.
- Capable of detecting fish as deep as 135ft.
- 10-hour battery time and fish alarm enhance productivity.
- Built-in mapping and the ability to keep a trip log add to its appeal.
- Lightweight design with built-in Bluetooth connectivity bridles the casting range.
- It only starts functioning when the water is deeper than 4ft.
- Sometimes alarm goes off on sighting debris.
Reelsonar iBobber Smart Sonar is an entry-level, inexpensive device, but the presence of some advanced features makes it a great value fish finder for occasional anglers as well. The flexible nature of the unit allows it to easily identify fish, be it saltwater or freshwater.
6. HawkEye FishTrax 1X – Best Brand Dot Matrix Fish Finder Under $100
Times have changed. Now you don’t need an expensive, fancy fish finder for a successful fishing venture. The best fish finder within a budget like HawkEye FishTrax 1X can do more than just a primary function to help you feel on cloud nine.
For a cheap product, it is very intelligent. The fact is evident from its ability to quickly determine fish location, bottom composition and structure.
Moreover, having multiple sensitivity adjustments and depth ranges along with auto zoom of bottom tracking enables anglers to stay hot on their target’s trail, regardless of the fishing type.
Its Dot Matrix display is unique in the sense that the anti-glare quality of the screen coupled with LED backlighting increases clarity and readability tenfold. Sunlight or nighttime darkness will no more govern your fishing time.
The thing that makes it an absolute must-have for fishing is the flexible sonar sensor. You can mount it on a boat, let it troll or float. Whatever the case is, its hawk-like vision will track the presence of a target.
- High-accuracy fish finder.
- Flexible sonar sensor works in multiple ways.
- Glare-free screen with backlighting enhances the display’s clarity.
- Several adjustments for depth range and sensitivity improve its target detection.
- Handling the unit requires a bit of practice in the beginning.
- Doesn’t work as well in shoreline fishing as in other applications.
HawkEye FishTrax 1X is an intermediate-level fish finder that works well even in wind and current. Its weatherproof design and simple screen navigation make it the best cheap fish finder, especially for kayaking, river fishing and sea fishing.
7. Venterior – Best Wireless Sonar Sensor Fish Finder Under $100
This is another well-constructed, budgeted fish finder by Venterior. The model is very similar to the one reviewed above by the same brand with a major difference in sonar beam only.
With a sonar angle of 90 degrees, this little fella can accurately search for a finned target within a 2.6-118ft depth range. This means the unit is an asset for shallower waters.
Those who were sulking over the loss of depth will be elated to know that the lack of sonar range doesn’t stop it from collecting information about bottom contours, fish depth and size, water depth and temperature, etc.
Besides, you gain more through the wireless mechanism.
First, the hassle of cords is eradicated. Secondly, the wireless gives a decent operating range of 131ft.
Coming towards the viewing part, you’re getting a colour TFT screen, which is synonymous with crisp and clear pictures of sonar data.
To tighten the noose more on fish, the sonar sensor can be easily tethered to your fishing line, thereby giving you the liberty to throw it farther and claim more territory.
Finally, the sensor has a built-in battery but not a display unit. You will have to purchase it separately.
- Compact fish finder.
- Versatile design is compatible with diverse fishing scenes.
- Wireless mechanism remains active to a 131ft range.
- Precisely detects fish size and depth within 2.6-118ft depth parameters.
- Great value.
- Effective in shallower waters because of limited depth range.
- Absence of batteries costs extra money.
Venterior Portable Fish Finder has the build, versatility and effective sonar performance to fit the description of the best fish finder for the money. The small size along with user-friendly adjustments make it an ideal weapon for kayaks, Jon boats, ice fishing, shore fishing and inland fishing.
8. Lucky Colored FFCW-1108-1 – Best Affordable Fish Finder Under $100
This fish finder by Lucky means you will be lucky in your future fishing ventures. For a puny and cheaply-priced device, it has a very powerful sonar beam and wireless connectivity.
Anything that can quickly delve to 147ft depth and stays active from a distance of 393ft can not be called anything other than powerful.
Once you have claimed such a huge chunk of territory, of course, fish is bound to emerge on your radar. It’s a proven statement because the sonar beam is by default commanded to determine fish presence along with its depth and the depth of water.
Lucky doesn’t want to leave anything to chance that’s why the depth alarm, fish alarm and battery indicator are added here. The instant a fish enters your surveillance zone, a fish icon with related data will appear on the unit’s anti-UV display.
Thanks to backlighting, the clarity and brightness of the screen remain unperturbed even at night time.
And that’s how dear anglers you get lucky, quite literally, in catching the desired target in all fishing types including kayaking, inland fishing, sea fishing, reservoir, ice fishing, night fishing etc.
- Multiple applications.
- 2” anti-UV display with backlighting promises ultra-clear picture of sonar returns.
- Multiple alarms allow for coping with unusual circumstances.
- Sonar beam and wireless connectivity have a larger reach.
- Feels a bit heavier in hand.
- Absence of a battery adds more to the overall cost.
This fish finder, true to its name, makes you lucky on any kind of fishing trip because of its active sonar performance and a luminous display. The audible alarms of the unit start beeping the second it senses the presence of a fish in the vicinity, making sure you seize it before it escapes.
9. Humminbird Piranhamax 4 – Best Top Rated Fish Finder Under $100
Humminbird is not just for affluent buyers. This model from the famous Piranhamax series shows the manufacturer is equally gifted in the art of crafting stellar economical fish finders.
You see a glimpse of manufacturers’ superior craftsmanship in the display.
The diagonal screen with the 4.3-inch size is a significant jump from the above 2”-something displays. Yet the compactness and portability of the unit are retained to make sure it doesn’t claim all the space on small watercraft.
The dual-beam 2D sonar is as good as found in some premium Helix models.
So, when you combine a thorough search of the underwater terrain – carrying crystal clear identification of the fish, structure and contours – with a vivid representation of the data, the outcome is always the same: Gloating with the catch of the day.
I can assure you that this model though small has a bigger reach. When used with a frequency of 200kHz, it would go as deep as 600f in search of the prey.
While 455kHz frequency offers you a depth of 320ft. Disappointment and failure are not even a secondary part of this equation because of the adjustable viewing angle.
If it is taking too long to bring forth fruitful results, tilt or swivel the mount a little and Bingo!
- 3” diagonal screen with more pixels offers a radiant picture.
- Dual-beam sonar delivers accurate and precise information about the underwater realm and fish.
- Angle of the mount can be adjusted to achieve a fruitful outcome.
- Portable and durable unit.
- Absence of a carrying bag is a slight nuisance.
- Some competitors of this class also have a built-in GPS.
Humminbird Piranhamax 4 deserves to be called the best inexpensive fish finder mainly for its larger and brighter display and effective 2D sonar. The unit rapidly collects data about the on-goings of the underwater environment to help you snag more targets in less time.
10. Ricank – Best User-Friendly Fish Finder Under $100
The last name on our list resembles a lot in appearance, quality and capacity the fish finder by Venterior.
The whole construction of Ricank Portable Fish Finder can be summed up into three words: Small, Fast and Efficient.
This unit supports an effective sonar whose affinity goes beyond fish. In simpler terms, anything from fish to structure to flora will be caught by the sonar to give you a better idea of what’s hidden beneath the water surface.
As long as the mentioned objects are lurking in a depth boundary of 3ft-328ft, they will pop up in a distinguishable manner on its bright LCD screen.
Another game-making aspect of the small screen is the backlighting format. Add a loud fish alarm to the equation, and you get a fully-armored soldier to rescue you from trickier situations.
We called it a fully prepared-for-action soldier because no matter which fishing scenario you’ve in mind – shallow water fishing, sea fishing, ice fishing, kayaking – it knows how to work effectively to bear results.
- Efficient and versatile unit.
- Sonar remains active within 3ft-328ft depth scope to instantly acknowledge the presence of fish, contours, and weeds.
- Equipped with several user-friendly formats to perform efficiently in a diverse range of fishing scenarios.
- Beginner-friendly device.
- Short length of the cable cord is a putoff.
- Sometimes sonar mistakes longer weeds for fish.
- Designed specifically for entry-level anglers.
Ricank Portable Fish Finder has a few drawbacks, but there’s no denying the overall exceptional value of the unit. The user-friendliness and versatility of the design make it an enticing option for beginners and hobby fishermen.
Buyer’s Guide: By Getting to The Best Fish Finder Under $100 in 2023
There are sundry factors that make a fish finder under 100 the best at its job. We have listed them below in detail to let you know what those components are that you cannot afford to miss.
All the models reviewed above despite belonging to different brands i.e have one thing in common: Portability. Either they are wireless, or the whole setup is very space-efficient and compact.
Whichever the case is, a small and portable fish finder is easy to carry around and adjust, especially when you’re going fishing on a small vessel or planning to fish from shore.
Fish finders can be classified into different types based on portability. This further shrinks the choice list to aid in decision-making.
Traditional Fish Finders
These portable units are space-efficient with display windows smaller than 7”. They usually come in carrying bags to accommodate all the essential accessories in one place. Such units are compatible with a myriad of applications, such as ice fishing, kayak fishing and inland fishing.
The fish finders belonging to this cadre can be attached to a small boat or vessel for a short time. They come with screws and brackets to help you mount them anywhere on your boat. These are best for those who want their units to remain stable while they row their boats.
Castable fish finders are a relatively latest production. They are extremely space-efficient because they only contain a floatable transducer. Your smartphone will work as the display unit for the time being once you connect it to the transducer through either Bluetooth or WiFi. Castable units are best for bank fishing.
As the name indicates, these are held in a hand or put in your pocket. The small size of the unit can smoothly fit in a tiny space. These fish finders are ideal for anglers who prefer shore fishing or like to explore a wide expanse of waterbodies on their small vessels.
The size and power of a transducer matter a lot. An average transducer might fail to deliver results on a moving boat or in murky waters.
The transducers with greater power and sonar beam angle will cover a sizable portion of the area in a single scan to help you see the residence of fish, rocks and plantation.
Good quality coloured display is also mandatory for a successful acquisition of fish. Black-and-White displays are history as coloured LCDs are trending these days.
Choosing a display having coloured graphics and backlight format will enable you to distinguish between fish icons and other objects even in low visibility.
Another critical aspect that people often neglect is the waterproofing element. Units without a degree of weather protection glitch or go dead with an accidental splash or dip in the water. Resultantly, you will have to pack up and cut your trip short. So, I suggest you pick those models that insert anti-glare and waterproofing qualities in their display to be able to handle all sorts of weather situations.
It is not just cost-effective but fulfilling as well when a single fish finder performs effectively in multiple fishing scenarios. You cannot have a separate fish finder for ice fishing, sea fishing, kayaking etc.
So, go for a device like the one manufactured by Lucky or Deeper that can tackle all kinds of fishing applications with an equal level of expertise.
Such a versatile fish finder could be easily taken on a kayak, hung around one’s neck, tethered with a line or held in the hand, etc.
Regardless of its placement, the unit will tell you all about the happenings of the aquatic world.
The battery life of a fish finder will determine the time you will have on the water. A rechargeable battery offering a minimum of 4-5 hours of runtime on a full charge is reliable.
The longer the runtime, the more time you will have to continue searching for your desired prey.
Despite being cheap, it is ideal if the unit comes with a battery. It saves additional expenditure. However, the included battery should have an admirable battery life (run time).
Anything less than 3-4 hours is below ideal. Some units, such as ReelSonar Smart, give you juice for fishing for a remarkable 10 hours on a full charge. For an entire day out, choose units with similar high battery run-time.
Some have a built-in battery-saving mode to increase battery life. They are also safe options.
The guy was a genius who introduced multiple alarm settings in fish finders. Audible alarms for fish or a school of fish, depth and battery are super-helpful as they alert you of the coming situation. You get time to devise a plan to acquire your desired outcome. Just ensure the alarm ringing is loud enough to remain audible under the noise of wind and water.
Other Handy Settings
A reliable and overall best value fish finder will incorporate as many specs and handy features as possible within the given budgeted price. You may find options for sensitivity adjustments, conversion from feet to meters and depth modification in the menu. You can adjust the settings and sensitivity depending on the situation to get the highest-quality results.
While paying attention to specs and adjustments, ensure the setting menu is user-friendly. A complicated setup will become a hindrance during critical fishing moments, particularly for beginners and less-experienced fishermen.
Warranty is important because it is extra validation that tells that the device you plan to purchase is reliable and worth the money. It eliminates the doubts that pop into your head due to cheap pricing. Many products we discussed above have a warranty of 2-years or more to ensure the company is responsible if the equipment exhibits a glitch.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions:
Are cheap fish finders under $100 reliable?
Yes, they are. The word ‘cheap’ is often interpreted as a derogatory term, but cheap fish finders are mostly those that do just primary functions and lack features. Reputed companies like Garmin, Humminbird, Lowrance and Deeper Smart manufacture reliable fish finders even for less than $100.
What are the best fish finders under $100?
Customers’ reviews and ratings hint towards Humminbird Piranhamx 4, Lowrance Hook2, and HawkEye FishTrax 1X as the best fish finders under $100. If you are looking for a unit without the nuisance of cords, Deeper Start Smart is the best wireless fish finder for the money.
How do you choose a reliable fish finder with great value for less than $100?
First, you need to go over the features integrated into the top-rated units at the given price. Afterwards, devise a list of features you need and the additional specs that could prove helpful in the long run. Finally, choose a device that stays within your budget yet meets all your needs, not to mention offers extra help too.
Are cheap fish finders suitable for versatile fishing applications?
In most cases, yes, they are. It doesn’t seem practical to restrict every fish finder’s capacity to a specific fishing type. There are fish finders suitable for only a certain type of application, but many units are designed for versatile use.
For instance, Deeper Start Smart and Lucky Handheld fish finders perform well in various scenarios, including kayak fishing, ice fishing and offshore fishing.
Expensive fish finders are not everyone’s cup of tea. The good thing about the best fish finders under 100 is that they do more than just primary fish tracking to make them worth your bucks. In our reviews, we not only told you about the top 10 budget-friendly fish finders but also cleared long-held misconceptions about cheaply-priced products. It is still challenging, especially for entry-level and intermediate fishermen, to find a reliable bargained model that’s why we’ve added a detailed buyer’s guide at the end. Hopefully, after reaching the end, you will have a clear idea of which model to buy.
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