Ever imagined how it would be like if you have the best fish finder that would make your fishing adventure a complete joy?
Realistically, catching a lot of fish isn’t a difficult task if only you have the top fishing tools with you.
So what are the best fish finders currently on the market? After a lot of research and testing, our team of experts has penned-down a handy list of the best fish finders in 2018.
Although some of them may come with a top dollar price, they are the best fish finders you can currently find on the market.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at the list of the top five fish finders for anglers in 2018.
1. Lowrance HDS-7 Gen3
The HDS-7 is aimed at anglers who want to step up their fishing game to a higher level where no one else can come near. The all-new Lowrance HDS-7 touch screen unit which was designed based on the culmination of customers’ feedback happens to be our editors’ choice of the best fish finder in 2018.
The HDS-7 is an awesome fish finder that blows all other brands out of the water. With full Sonar, and the ability to adjust sensitivity level, there’s no question that the Lowrance is the best-performing fish finder we have had the opportunity to use.
The design of this unit is splendid, and the real magic is that it’s remarkably easy to operate. Just by going through the device with your finger, you can quickly setup what you want with this unit. The touch screen makes it so much easier and faster for you to navigate through the device.
The 6.4-inch screen size fish finder delivers a high color display of 480 by 640 sharp screen resolutions, giving you a clear view of rocks, trees, and underwater structures.
Performance and Features
Compared to other brands, the Structured Scan Module is a shiny new addition to this particular unit. The structure Scan model gives you down imaging, side imaging and high-resolution display quality of what exactly is beneath your boat.
The side scan imaging gives you up to 500 feet of either side of your vessel, allowing you to scan more water in less time. It shows you detailed target information which includes structure game fish and bait fish. The down scan imaging provides a dedicated view with unmatched images of what is directly underneath your boat
Another exceptional feature is the broadband sounder that combines a tip top sonar technology with structured scanned soundings for an incredibly easy to interpret structure and fish.
You can also trackback on your sonar or chart view to mark waypoints and save locations of key areas without losing your favorite reading. The HDS-7 Gen3 keeps recording while you’re busy marking your favorite spots.
The unit comes equipped with hi-tech features such as the chart plotter, Sonar, structure Scan, Navigation steering, and an info page. With just a click on the GPS menu, the device will bring up your location and also give you the option to zoom in and out the spotted area.
Apart from giving you access to customize your waypoints, the unit also allows you to write notes about a particular waypoint. That means you can easily write a short description of that particular waypoint.
The three frequency options transducer comes with a 50 kilohertz for saltwater and deep fishing while the 83 kilohertz is suitable for freshwater fishing. The 200 kilohertz is appropriate for a more detailed look, but with a smaller scanning area.
Using the HD-7 Go-Free wireless app, you can view the screen on your iPad with Wi-Fi. You can also do split screen so that you can see side imaging and down imaging together.
If you are looking for a hi-tech fish finder that can do so much more and gives you more control of your entire boat, this is the perfect brand for you. The unit works perfectly for those with larger boats or for those that own a fishing charter.
Getting into a promising fishing spot is much easier and quicker with the Lowrance 000-11785-001 HDS-7 GEN3. However, if you’re willing to live without all the advanced features of this unit, you can save some bucks by sticking with other low-cost fish finders on our list. Notwithstanding, we think the HDS-7 worth the splurge.
Pros & Cons
- Works amazingly fast and easy to operate
- Smooth operation with incredible detail
- The Structure Scan and 3 d scan works amazingly
- Larger screen Size
2. Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 fish finder
We are taking a step down, and we are going to talk about some of the legends now. The next fish finder on our list is the famous Humminbird HELIX 5 Chirp. If you are an angler that is looking for a top of the line fish finder that comes with the powerful combination of switch fire, down imaging, side sonar, and a crystal clear screen display, then the Helix 5 is for you.
As you may have noticed that Humminbird is known for producing a plethora of high tech fish finders that can scan deep waters with its high-resolution display and greater fish targets. Needless to say, Humminbird single-handedly dominated the active fish finder market, and while it is faced with a lot of competition, nothing has managed to come close to its line of amazing fish finders.
In our personal opinion, if there is any fish finder that can stand head to head with the Lowrance 000-11785-001 HDS-7 GEN3, it’s the 410210-1 HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS. The Helix 5 offers a sturdy and brilliant design that features 5-star small, medium and high-frequency modes to give you a greater view of depth to contours and underwater structures.
Helix 5 is one of Humminbird series that delivers an impressive screen resolution. Its 5-inch Ultra HD widescreen LED Backlit display provides you with 800 horizontal pixels by 480 vertical pixels.
Just like its competitor-the Lowrance 000-11785-001, the Helix 5 delivers a waterproof rating of IPX7, and the Micro SD card slot is placed behind the removable cover which allows you to store marked locations.
Performance and Features
I must tell you: I adore the fact that the unit allows you to split your images into two halves of the screen easily and still gives you an excellent size chart plotter. Thanks to the Unimap and its Auto Chart Software that allows you to create your own custom contour and also give you a crystal clear detail of lakes, rivers, and coastlines.
One striking thing about the Helix 5 is that it’s incredibly easy to operate for both seasoned anglers and new anglers. Its most trusted and dedicated buttons allow you to save and bring up saved waypoints. You can as well take snapshots of images and zoom in and out your pictures.
The fish finder offers a Chirp Sonar and Transducer technology that comes with a 2d sonar and chirp imaging that lets you cover a broad range of frequencies and also provide you with better clarity between the targets and structures. These features combine to create an elegantly-executed fish finder that gives you just enough functionality while fishing.
Apart from the ability to differentiate between fish and structures, the Helix 5 also can go down to 1,500 ft. of water depth and has a transducer technology that lets you know the water temperature.
The Helix 5 is perfect for anglers who are looking for a fish finder with a GPS technology. With a built-in GPS, the unit allows you to navigate your way around the lake and keep track of your favorite fishing spot. The Unimap technology really makes the difference by showing you different inland coastlines, streams, boundaries and lakes.
In addition to that, the fish finder provides you with a sonar recording to keep records of a particular spot and save it for future reference. The battery life of the unit is quite impressive and can last for more than 7hours without going down.
Having the Helix 5 as part of your fishing arsenal is a single investment you will never have to replace. Our experience with Humminbird Helix 5 has been extremely pleasant and amazing. We recommend this unit to anyone who is looking for a fish finder that can be used for both small and big size boats as well as fresh and salt water.
Pros & Cons
- Upgradeable software
- Outstanding performance
- Well-built and sturdy design
- Easy setup and installation
- Unimap and Auto Chart Software functions
- A little bit expensive
- No save mode to back up the battery life
3. Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+
If you are looking for a fish finder that will allow you fish right from the shore while having smart Sonar, then the Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+ is the best choice for you. This unique device delivers lots of features that set it apart from other fish finders.
Apart from shore fishing, you can as well use this fish finder for all types of fishing such as ice fishing, and on the boat fishing. Just like Helix 5, the Deeper can check water temperature as well as read and scan water depth up to 260 to 330 feet.
The looks of the Deeper smart Sonar are so impressive and offer a 3.50z lightweight, compact design that you can easily carry anywhere with you. The unit feels very sturdy and has a waterproof casing to tackle the element as well as protecting the device when submerged in water.
For an entirely immersive fishing experience, the Deeper offers three attachments, which are the middle, top, and bottom attachments. Other features include a wall charger, a USB cord, an instructional manual and a Mini USB port to charge up the device.
Performance and Features
With a fishing rod, you can easily cast the unit into the water while the fully installed app gives you crystal clear information of underwater structures and target separation.
Using the history settings, you can easily locate your favorite spots and while the basic/detail mode, gives you a clear picture of bottom composition underneath the water.
One mind-boggling feature about the Deeper Smart sonar is the Bathymetric map with an underwater mapping system that lets you record and mark a particular spot. Another amazing and unique feature is the dual beam sonar system which allows you to fish in both shallow water and ice water. Also, do keep in mind that the unit delivers up to 4 hours of battery life and two hours of charging.
The Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+ is one of the best fish finders we have used in a long time. For the best onshore fishing experience, the Deeper Smart Sonar will certainly put you on the spot where you can easily catch fish.
Pros & Cons
- Excellent choice for all types of fishing.
- Perfect for anglers fishing on smaller boats and Kayaks
- Efficient, lightweight and sturdy design.
- Comes with the ability to view fish targets with your phone.
- Features a Bathymetric map with an underwater mapping system
- Offers a low depth penetration
- Battery life isn’t impressive compared to other devices
4. Raymarine Dragonfly 7PRO
There is no denying that the Raymarine series of fish finders are one of the best ranges of fish finders currently on the market for modern anglers. One would assume that this unit was made as a direct competition to other fish finders on our list.
The Raymarine is very easy to set up and operate, making it a delight for beginners as well as professionals. Not a single love has been lost on this device as it happens to be one of the prettiest fish finders with GPS and Wi-Fi connectivity.
The all-weather unique and compact design coupled with other excellent features set it apart from other fish finders. The Dragonfly 7PRO is waterproofed and strongly built to withstand harsh weather conditions.
Unlike other fish finders, the entire settings of this unit are controlled by just a rotary dial and 3 buttons. The 5.7-inch display screen is one of the best we have used so far. It offers a brighter screen resolution and a sharper contrast that enables you to see underwater structures any time and any day.
Performance and Features
The unit is also equipped with two distinct Chirp Sonar channels that deliver excellent target separation and structure-like imagery. With these functions in place, you can easily get an enhanced detail of underwater structures and rocky bottoms.
The Dragonfly stood out by featuring a GPS and Chart plotter built into it to help you navigate your fishing spots easily. The Chart plotter offers a built-in 50 channel high precision GPS for setting up your waypoints even in dark and unfavorable weather conditions.
The Pro also moved a step up by providing a Wi-Fish mobile app, which allows you to view, review and pause the Sonar right on your smartphone after downloading it.
So far so good, the Dragonfly is a powerful fish finder that is easy to use and works amazingly well in helping you catch fish. If you want a fish finder that offers a Chart plotter, Chirp Sonar, dual channel, packaged transom mount transducer and a Navionics Blush, then the Raymarine Dragonfly 7 Pro.
Pros & Cons
- Crisp and clear dual chirp sonar
- Easy to setup and operate
- High quality and sturdy design
- The image quality is superb
- The software isn’t upgradable
5. Garmin Striker 4
The last but not the least is from none other than the famous Garmin. In case you don’t know, Garmin is a reputable company known for producing top of the line products at an affordable price. And this time it is introducing the Garmin striker 4 which is a perfect alternative to both Lowrance 000-117 and Humminbird Helix 5.
The Garmin Striker 4 paid a significant amount of attention to detail by offering a smooth and uninterrupted imagery when sailing in deep and shallow waters. Well, that is not the only trick up its sleeve as it packs many cutting-edge features to ensure its outstanding performance at an affordable price.
The Garmin Striker 4 comes with a very low profile design that features marked buttons for controlling the unit. The Striker 4 is housed in a waterproof rating of ipx7, a GPS for docks and hotspots to find your way around.
Performance and Features
Not only will the Power RMS give you the ability to scan the depth of water, but it is also capable of giving you an accurate and sharper imagery. Thanks to the fact it provides you with modes that allow you to see the bottom of structure obstacles, the depth of levels of the water, and what is underneath the boat in two different segments.
Other than that, it also comes with two additional modes to help you keep track to a particular marked spot and allows you to change the map into vertical and horizontal splits using the layout configuration setting.
Another excellent feature is the crisp and clear image quality. Unlike the Dragonfly 7, the Striker 4 uses a touch screen device coupled with some few dedicated button for easy navigation. The 3.5-inch screen delivers a sharper image up to 200 kilohertz with less scanning area and dull images up to 77 kilohertz with a larger scanning area.
Other significant improvements are the GPS technology that allows you to mark your favorite spot and a Chirp Sonar as well as a transducer which delivers a brighter target separation and underwater structures. Do keep in mind that the unit provides up to 12 volts, 7 milliamps of battery life and a battery charger to power the device.
There is no doubt that the Garmin Striker 4 is a portable fish finder that comes with a lot of premium features at an affordable price tag. The fact that it’s user-friendly and comes with the ability to save your waypoints makes it incredibly brilliant.
Its low price, Chirp Sonar technology, high-resolution screen display and other premium features are its selling point, making it one of the cheapest fish finders on the market.
Pros & Cons
- Cheap and affordable
- The Chirp Sonar and built-in GPS technology work stupendously
- Very easy to set up and operate
- Provides greater detail in any type of fishing
- Smaller screen size
- No pre-loaded mapping system
So there you have it. If you’re looking for the best fish finders currently on the market, you can’t go wrong with the above fish finders. Take an ample look at each one of them and see which one perfectly suits your fishing needs.
Also, based on our careful research and findings, the all-new Lowrance HDS-7 touch screen happens to be our editors’ choice as the overall winner of the list of best fish finders in 2018.
The reason why this brand seems to get the cake is due to its Versatility. The Lowrance HDS-7 touch screen is the perfect choice for both commercial and non-commercial anglers. So, for those who are into commercial fishing, this is what you’ve been looking for.
However, if you’re on a budget, and you’re willing to do without all the advanced features of the HDS-7, then you can go for a more cheaper model like the Humminbird HELIX 5 and the Garmin Striker 4 which is a perfect alternative to the HDS-7.