Garmin Echo 101 Fish Finder Review of 2023 – Good for the Money?

By Wade Johnson

Garmin Echo 101 Reviews

Garmin is one of the big names in the marine equipment industry that is synonymous with top-notch quality.

The same top-quality built can be witnessed in the super-small, inexpensive Echo 101 model too.

We have dedicated this review to this state-of-the-art fish finder because we want to show you why it is rated as one of their most popular and widely-selling fish finder.

Echo 101 is a no-frill fish finder carrying basic features and an economical price, thereby making it a treat for users, especially amateurs and occasional anglers.

Furthermore, the small and portable body of this unit makes it convenient to accommodate it on a small boat.

Buy it if you want a simple fish finder with super-powerful sonar technology at a cheap price.

What Makes Garmin Echo 101 Outshine Others?

Garmin Echo 101 stands apart from the common folks – other low-costing, small fish finders – because of its large and clear display and on-point fish detection and description.


Our Garmin Echo 101 Review

Garmin has a manufacturing rule 101: no compromise on quality. The telltale signs of excellent quality are spread throughout the structure of Garmin Echo 101 too.

The unit is pretty simple in design and operation yet a master at what it is supposed to do, safely making it the best fish finder under $100.

The unit is the smallest in Garmin’s Echo family, which means it offers great portability – something that is high on the priority list of those who love kayak fishing.

Speaking of which, I can say with certainty that comes hell or high water, this tool will locate fish for you, even if the cunning little devil is hiding near structure and plantation on the seabed.

The HD-ID sonar with its single 200kHz beam can sense its presence up to 1500ft depth.

So, despite how badly it doesn’t want to, the poor thing still appears on your device’s 4-inch diagonal screen in the form of a crisp and defined fish arch with greater target separation – making it very, very hard to miss fish.

However, the screen is grayscale, which means you will see the underwater world through a black and white lens. But, the size of the display and crisp and clear quality of the image pretty much makes up for the loss.

The good thing is that it comes with a quick-release tilting mount and along with mounting gears to make installation a piece of cake.

So, if you are on a budget but do not want to compromise on the quality and effectiveness of the fish finder, Echo 101 is your guy.


Compact Build

This is the puniest model of Garmin’s Echo lineage. Thanks to the space-saving design, the unit is very generous in portability, thereby it can be placed in a kayak or any other small watercraft with zero hassle.

Do you know what else is of zero hassle? Its installation. The unit comes with a swivel mount, transducer and a versatile mounting kit. Therefore, you can have it ready for action in a snap.

Display Window

For such a compact and low-costing unit, the presence of a 4-inch large diagonal screen is a pleasant surprise.

The screen is grayscale, though – here comes the “feeling disappointed” face. Grayscale with 256 x 160-pixel matrix means everything will be shown in gloomy grey, almost black and white.

But, the clear display with a crisp and sharp view makes it easy to read the stuff, thereby making it extremely hard for fish to miss your surveillance. Also, navigating it is so easy that even a first-timer will have it running like a champ in a few seconds.


Don’t underestimate its capabilities and power. The unit might be small, but its fish-sensing ability is on-point.

It comes with a single beam sonar having 200kHz frequency which might not be as effective as dual-beam, but it has the strength to penetrate as deep as 1500ft.

The HD-ID technology allows the fish arch to be displayed in a crisp and discernable manner, making it easy for a viewer to discern it from miscellaneous objects existing in the vicinity.


  • Space-saving unit.
  • HD-ID technology quickly locates fish and displays it distinctly to help you distinguish it from other objects.
  • Sonar can go to a 1500ft depth.
  • Large and clear screen.
  • Novice-friendly mechanism.
  • Ideal for small boats and kayak fishing.
  • Great value for money.


  • Colourless display.
  • Lacks dual-beam sonar.
  • Basic and low-cost design isn’t suitable for professionals.


Why Should You Buy Garmin Echo 101?

Echo 101 has a low cost, yet the quality of the unit is superb, making it hands down one of the best value fish finders.

Besides, the device has a space-efficient design and features extremely powerful and effective sonar that can easily and accurately detect fish even when it is lying well over a thousand feet below the water surface, allowing you to seize more fish.

This compact form is beneficial for those who prefer kayak fishing or own a small boat.

Final Verdict

Just like what 101 suggests, Garmin Echo 101 is also a basic fish finder following ole school sonar principles – single beam sonar. But, the quality and fish tracking ability of the compact unit is unquestionable. Its ultra-clean, large display will empower you to easily discern how far the fish is. Some users have found its colorless display a bit disappointing, though. Ignoring that, this is without a doubt a great beginner-friendly fish finder with equally excellent value for money. Buy it if you want simplicity and effectiveness.


Wade Johnson
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