Top Five Fishfinders

RankModelRatingMore Info
1Garmin echoMap 70dv4.864.864.864.864.86
2Raymarine Dragonfly4.754.754.754.754.75
3Garmin echo 551dv4.54.54.54.54.5
4Raymarine Dragonfly74.84.84.84.84.8
5Lowrance Elite-4 HDI4.364.364.364.364.36
 

What's New in 2014

2014 brings a new crop of fishfinders that are better than ever - both in value and in technology. Here's the quick rundown of what's new this year, see our fish finder reviews to find out which fishfinder fits your needs:

Hummibird is completely revamping their lineup. The new 600 series includes many 5 inch models starting from a fishfinder only 678c to a side-imaging/GPS combo 698. There are also new 7 inch models in the 800 series, 8 inch 900 series and 10 inch 1100 series. The new units offer the same technology that can be found on older Humminbird models at much lower prices. 698ci HD SI, for example, has an MSRP of $699 compared to $999 price for the similar 798 model.

Garmin is adding down imaging to the echo and echoMap series. The new units come with hybrid transducers that support both broadband sonar and down image. The display units are largely unchanged, the screens are the same as the ones in the older models.

Lowrance is introducing new HDI models: color Elite 4 HDI and greyscale Mark 4 HDI. The new models support both broadband sonar and downscan unlike the old DSI only units. The screens are also new - 4.3 inch diagonal, 480 x 272 resolution. The software features include: Downscan Overlay, Insight Genesis, Advanced Signal Processing and Trackback. The GPS combo version supports Navionics cards. Lowrance Elite 4 HDI will be a very popular model because of the larger screen, the great feature set and the low price.

The Best Fishfinder Under $700

The Best Fishfinder Under $700

 
The freshwater sonar market has become very competitive in the last couple years with Garmin and Raymarine becoming major players. If you’re looking for a fishfinder/GPS combo for under $700, you have three great choices: Lowrance Elite-7 HDI, Garmin echoMap 50dv and Raymarine Dragonly. Let’s put them all to the test and find out which one is the best. Read More >
The Best Fishfinder Under $250

The Best Fishfinder Under $250

 
It’s Saturday morning, very early. It’s quiet, enough to hear a pin drop in your boat. The lake is like a mirror, and you marvel at the silent beauty as you float along. But wait, there’s something missing in this scene, something quite important. Where are the fish? If your instinct can’t find them, don’t panic–technology can. Read More >
The Best Fishfinder Under $400

The Best Fishfinder Under $400

 
Technology is giving anglers everywhere a great advantage when it comes to dominating the outdoors. Honing in your skills can now come with knowledge of water depth, temperatures, current, and advanced underwater imaging. Any fisherman looking to put these abilities on their side should work with the best equipment available at the most competitive prices. Read More >
The Best Fishfinder Under $1000

The Best Fishfinder Under $1000

 
It has become increasingly difficult since the advent of the modern wireless-equipped fishfinder for manufacturers to strike a balance between largely unnecessary features and vital, meat and potatoes fishing tools. The most important single asset for a finder is easily visible and accurate imaging, which is sometimes lost in favor of bells and whistles. Read More >
Lowrance Elite 3x Review

Lowrance Elite 3x Review

Overall RatingNo Ratings
 
Lowrance Elite 3x comes equipped with an 83/200 kHz dual-frequency Broadband Sounder transducer that also features an LED-backlit color display. With a 240×360 pixel resolution, the screen is easily viewed from any angle. The dual-frequency functionality provides maximum visualization beneath the vessel. Read More >
Lowrance Elite 5 CHIRP Review

Lowrance Elite 5 CHIRP Review

Overall Rating2.52.52.52.52.5
 
Lowrance Elite 5 CHIRP combines the best of sonar, GPS mapping and Downscan Imaging. Using CHIRP sonar technology, the Elite 5 has been equipped with the tools to make it extremely sensitive to locating fish while providing an improved target resolution and noise rejection, making it much easier to see bait fish and game fish targets. Read More >
Garmin echo 501c Review

Garmin echo 501c Review

Overall Rating4.334.334.334.334.33
 
Garmin created the Echo 501c for quick installation and implementation into a fishing arsenal. Whether a novice, weekend angler or tournament professional, the user-friendly unit capably finds the fish. A power, directional/menu and enter button are all the controls needed to operate the device. Initial set-up merely requests that the user choose the desired language, Read More >
Lowrance Elite 7 CHIRP Review

Lowrance Elite 7 CHIRP Review

Overall Rating4.674.674.674.674.67
 
The processor found in the Elite 7 CHIRP is faster than that of its predecessor. The upgraded motherboard and processor along with the CHIRP software provide clearer views of bottom surfaces, plant structures and fish in greater detail, clarity and in real time. Equipped with advanced signal processing the Elite 7 CHIRP allows anglers to spend more time catching fish than having to focus images. Read More >
Humminbird 959ci HD DI Review

Humminbird 959ci HD DI Review

Overall Rating44444
 
The Humminbird 959ci HD DI is built around an HD TFT display, which has a diagonal measurement of 8 inches. The quality of the screen—as well as the greater-than-normal width-to-height aspect ratio (16:9)—allows you to boost your on-the-water performance due to enhanced whole screen or split screen viewing. Read More >
Garmin echoMap 50dv Review

Garmin echoMap 50dv Review

Overall Rating55555
 
The Garmin echoMAP 50dv has a 5-inch display, which provides VGA-quality imaging. Built into the echoMAP 50dv is Garmin’s trademarked High-Definition Identification target tracking technology. Better known as HD-ID, it provides a super clear image of the area under the boat. Read More >
Furuno GP1670f Review

Furuno GP1670f Review

Overall Rating33333
 
The Furuno GP1670F represents the entry-level offering of Furuno’s fishfinder/chart plotter combo systems. It offers a lot of the advanced features found in the more expensive models. The unit is targeted at boaters who want the combination of accurate GPS/WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) performance and enhanced chart plotting and fish finding capabilities. Read More >
Garmin echoMap 70dv Review

Garmin echoMap 70dv Review

Overall Rating4.864.864.864.864.86
 
Garmin echoMap 70dv combines excellent sonar used on the echo series with the Garmin’s brand new DownVu technology, 10Hz GPS receiver, and a brilliant, touchscreen display. The echoMap 70dv has it all and is one of the finest fishfinders we have come across in a long time. Read More >
Raymarine Dragonfly7 Review

Raymarine Dragonfly7 Review

Overall Rating4.84.84.84.84.8
 
Raymarine recently introduced the Dragonfly 7, the big brother of the Dragonfly 5. The difference between the two being a larger, 7-inch screen that provides an 800 x 640 resolution. Otherwise, the newest version offers the same great features of its predecessor. The Dragonfly was designed as an easy to use combination fish-finding/GPS device Read More >
Humminbird 999ci HD SI Review

Humminbird 999ci HD SI Review

Overall Rating2.82.82.82.82.8
 
The fully waterproof Humminbird 999ci HD SI Combo sonar fish finder has a wide variety of features for finding fish in multiple locations. The screen is eight inches wide, and consists of a 480V x 800H pixel high definition full-color LED display that is in a 16:9 ratio. Side Imaging Sonar and Down Imaging Sonar allow for clear images of structure and fish Read More >
Garmin echo 151dv Review

Garmin echo 151dv Review

Overall Rating3.53.53.53.53.5
 
A fishfinder that’s both powerful and very easy to use, the Garmin echo 151dv offers a four-inch display with an eight-level grayscale display and 160 x 256 resolution. Echo 151dv provides similar features and specs as its predecessor – echo 150 – but it has two notable upgrades Read More >
Humminbird 678c HD DI Review

Humminbird 678c HD DI Review

Overall Rating44444
 
The new 600 series from Humminbird was conceived to meet the requirements of anglers who want a sleek but unobtrusive medium sized, easy to read screen and all of the features of larger, more expensive fishfinders. The 600 series offers anglers world-class fish finding without the need to compromise space for other instrumentation Read More >
Garmin echo 201dv Review

Garmin echo 201dv Review

Overall Rating55555
 
The Garmin echo 201dv is a powerful unit with advanced sonar features that until now could only be found on much more expensive fishfinders. 201dv provides traditional sonar as well as Garmin’s version of down imaging called DownVü. Read More >
Humminbird 859ci HD DI Review

Humminbird 859ci HD DI Review

Overall Rating44444
 
When the goal is to catch as many fish as possible, the right equipment is crucial. Rods, reels, bait and boat can take a fisherman far, but to truly catapult to the next level it’s important to know where the fish are in relation to one’s location. To make sure they know where the fish are biting, more anglers are turning to the Humminbird 859ci HD DI. Read More >
Garmin GPSMAP 840xs Review

Garmin GPSMAP 840xs Review

Overall Rating55555
 
GPSMAP 840xs is a part of the new series of fishfinders from Garmin that support down imaging as well as side imaging (Garmin branded those technologies as DownVü and SideVü). Down imaging is built-in while side imaging requires a GCV 10 module that is sold separately. Read More >
Lowrance Mark 4 HDI Review

Lowrance Mark 4 HDI Review

Overall Rating4.54.54.54.54.5
 
The Lowrance Mark 4 HDI comes with a 4.3 inch greyscale screen. HDI stands for Hybrid Dual Imaging and provides both the Broadband Sounder and DownScan. HDI was first introduced by the Elite7 model and it provides extremely accurate fish markings and is capable of tracking bait movement. Read More >
Garmin echo 551dv Review

Garmin echo 551dv Review

Overall Rating4.54.54.54.54.5
 
The echo 551dv is a new fishfinder from Garmin that offers both traditional broadband sonar and down imaging. It produces probably the clearest image among fish finders in its price range. Garmin echo 551dv also stands out from the crowd by giving the user the ability to view the output horizontally or vertically. Read More >
Humminbird 688ci HD DI Review

Humminbird 688ci HD DI Review

Overall Rating3.563.563.563.563.56
 
The Humminbird 688 ci HD DI offers anglers a combination of down imaging and GPS. The 688 has a 640 x 480, five inch display with 256 colors and a backlight. Note that this display has lower resolution than the one found in the older 5 inch models that had 640 x 640 resolution. As the result the output is not as crisp and clear. Read More >
Lowrance Elite-4 HDI Review

Lowrance Elite-4 HDI Review

Overall Rating4.364.364.364.364.36
 
Lowrance Elite-4 HDI is a new generation of compact fishfinders ideal for kayaks and small boat where room for mounting electronics is at premium. Despite of its small footprint Elite 4 HDI has almost all the features found in the larger Elite HDI models, yet it’s moderately priced. It will be a very popular model among those looking for smaller, budget priced units. Read More >
Garmin echo 301dv Review

Garmin echo 301dv Review

Overall Rating44444
 
The Garmin echo 301dv is a small but powerful fishfinder that offers down imaging (called DownVü by Garmin) as well as traditional 200/77 kHz dual beam sonar. The Garmin DownVü offers an almost photographic view of the structure underneath the boat. The new echo 301 is an evolution of the echo 300 platform. Read More >
Humminbird 899ci HD SI Review

Humminbird 899ci HD SI Review

Overall Rating44444
 
Humminbird 899ci HD SI features the 480′ Side-Imaging technology, which Humminbird began and has mastered. It uses the XHS-9-HDSI-180-T transducer, the same one that was used by the older side-imaging models. The 1000W transducer supports 800/455/200/83 kHz frequencies, and it reaches the depth of 150’ in side imaging mode and 1500’ in broadband mode. Read More >
Garmin GPSMAP 527xs Review

Garmin GPSMAP 527xs Review

Overall Rating4.754.754.754.754.75
 
The Garmin GPSMAP 527xs combined sounder and chart plotter permits clear and easy visibility during both the nighttime and the daytime. This will be the main attraction of the angler’s helm, regardless if it is swivel, flush, or flat mounted. The unit includes a worldwide base map as well as a user-friendly interface. Read More >
Raymarine a68 Review

Raymarine a68 Review

Overall Rating33333
 
The a68 fishfinder by Raymarine features CHIRP DownVision built right in with a full featured multifunction display. The CHIRP DownVision channel on the a68 model fishfinder delivers some amazing images of wrecks, fish, and underwater structure with photographic quality. There is also a CHIRP fish targeting channel on the a68 model fishfinder for easy identification of predators and baitfish. Read More >
Humminbird 698ci HD SI Review

Humminbird 698ci HD SI Review

Overall Rating4.254.254.254.254.25
 
The Humminbird 698ci HD SI features a brilliant 640V X 480H, backlit, five inch, 256 color display. It offers precision GPS chart plotting, as well as Down Imaging and Side Imaging sonar. This unit has a tilt and swivel mounting system with quick disconnects and built-in Humminbird UniMap cartography. You can also save your favorite views with three preset buttons that are programmable. The Humminbird 698ci HD SI fishfinder GPS system will enhance the fishing experience for any angler. Read More >
Garmin echoMAP 70s Review

Garmin echoMAP 70s Review

Overall Rating4.334.334.334.334.33
 
The Garmin echoMAP 70s is a combination high performance chartplotter and fishfinder. The ultrafast updates make this unit ideal for shallow and inland water on any center console or bass boat. The echoMAP 70s has a seven inch WVGA touchscreen display. The display is crystal clear, allows great visibility in the daytime as well as nighttime Read More >
Lowrance Elite-5 HDI – Review

Lowrance Elite-5 HDI – Review

Overall Rating2.52.52.52.52.5
 
The Lowrance Elite-5 HDI features Dual Hybrid Imaging. This is a combination of two technologies, which are Downscan Imaging and Broadband Sounder. These technologies offer fishermen a great view of the water column and everything thats in it. The Broadband Sounder Technology is built into the new skimmer transducer which makes it easy to track lure action and mark fish arches. Read More >
Raymarine Dragonfly Review

Raymarine Dragonfly Review

Overall Rating4.754.754.754.754.75
 
The Raymarine Dragonfly 5.7 is a combination of GPS and fish finder, making it an ideal tool for those who want a bit more fishing success even in unfamiliar waters. At just over $700 at most retailers, it is still considered an affordable model, and is packed to the gills with features. Read More >
Garmin echoMap 50s Review

Garmin echoMap 50s Review

Overall Rating4.144.144.144.144.14
 
When it comes to choosing depth sounders and GPS, the top three choices are Garmin, Humminbird or Lowrance. Compact fish finders are the affordable alternative to 12-inch monsters that are very expensive. Garmin has been a market leader in marine GPS and handheld GPS technologies. The Garmin echoMAP 50s is an affordable combination of a well-calibrated depth sounder and GPS and is ideal for smaller craft. Read More >
Humminbird 398 SI Review

Humminbird 398 SI Review

Overall Rating3.333.333.333.333.33
 
The Humminbird 398 SI comes with side imaging and down imaging capability in addition to a 3.5 inch screen with LED lighting. Also included is internal GPS chartplotting capability compete with built-in UniMap cartography. There’s also a card slot for when you want to add maps and save waypoints and a Tilt and Swivel mounting system. Read More >
Humminbird 598ci HD SI Review

Humminbird 598ci HD SI Review

Overall Rating4.14.14.14.14.1
 
The Humminbird 598si HD is a powerful GPS/fishfinder combo that makes a day of fishing easier than ever before. This device offers side-imaging to maximize your angling experience, giving clear information on where even the trickiest of fish are hiding. With its Dual Beam Plus Sonar and brilliant full color display, this unit is sure to bring a new level of excitement to the art of fishing. Read More >
Furuno FCV-627 Review

Furuno FCV-627 Review

Overall Rating3.53.53.53.53.5
 
The FCV-627 is a high-performance digital fish finder that is mainly designed for use on small fishing and leisure boats. Furuno has made a name for itself for over five decades as a leading manufacturer of marine electronic equipment, as seen in the high-quality and user-friendly design of the FCV-627. Read More >
Lowrance Elite-7 HDI Review

Lowrance Elite-7 HDI Review

Overall Rating3.423.423.423.423.42
 
For navigators of waterways of the world, Tulsa, Oklahoma based Lowrance introduces its Elite-7 Hybrid Dual Imaging (HDI) series, otherwise known as the Lowrance Elite-7 HDI. This device incorporates GPS capabilities with course plotting to make navigation and on-water pilotage an intuitive and effortless process. Like all electronics of this sort there is a slight learning curve that once over makes using the device a simple process. Read More >
Humminbird PiranhaMAX 165 Portable Review

Humminbird PiranhaMAX 165 Portable Review

Overall Rating44444
 
Throughout the years, experienced anglers have appreciated the Humminbird PiranhaMAX fish finder because of its precise pinpointing of fish, its automatic alarm system and its user-friendly format. Now, the PiranhaMAX is available in a smaller, compact size, the PiranhaMAX 165 Portable. Read More >
Lowrance HDS-12 Gen 2 Touch Insight Review

Lowrance HDS-12 Gen 2 Touch Insight Review

Overall Rating55555
 
The Lowrance HDS-12 Gen 2 Touch Insight is the largest marine navigational system from Lowrance that has an easy-to-use multi-function touchscreen display with the look and feel of a computer tablet or smartphone. It comes with everything long-time Lowarance High Definition System users expect and much, much more. Read More >
Humminbird PiranhaMAX 175 Review

Humminbird PiranhaMAX 175 Review

Overall Rating2.82.82.82.82.8
 
The Humminbird PiranhaMAX 175 is an incredibly useful tool for any angler, whether they fish for sport, pleasure or commercially. Mounted on the hull of a canoes, fishing trollies and even speed boats, this device allows fishermen to locate more fish, making their fishing trips more successful. Read More >
Humminbird 386ci DI Review

Humminbird 386ci DI Review

Overall Rating3.333.333.333.333.33
 
The Humminbird 386ci DI is a must-have gadget for those people who enjoy launching their kayak or small boat into rivers, lakes and oceans. Versatile and attractive, this device will make the process of locating fish much easier. Prey can be seen instantly and clearly through the color TFT display, [...] Read More >
Humminbird PiranhaMAX 176i Portable Review

Humminbird PiranhaMAX 176i Portable Review

Overall Rating33333
 
The Humminbird PiranhaMAX 176i Portable is a powerful and affordable sonar and GPS system for anglers. With its four-inch screen and legible, backlit 16-shade greyscale display, the PiranhaMAX is easy to set up, easy to use and easy to program. The unit is waterproof, and a fully charged battery lasts up to seven hours. Read More >
Humminbird PiranhaMAX 196ci Review

Humminbird PiranhaMAX 196ci Review

Overall Rating44444
 
The Humminbird PiranhaMAX 196ci has precision internal GPS, a track plotter and GPS speed which makes it possible to know your speed as you sail through the waters. Waypoints, Routes and tracks are fully accessible with the 196ci. Its design allows drop-in replacement for the in-dash models. This fishfinder has track markers with a user-friendly interface. Read More >
Humminbird PiranhaMAX 175 Portable Review

Humminbird PiranhaMAX 175 Portable Review

Overall Rating3.253.253.253.253.25
 
Fishing has come a long way from the time of waiting for hours to get a catch. In the old days anglers used to rely on instinct; but now, they use sonar technology to see if there are fish in the vicinity. One of the latest portable and powerful fishing sonars is the Humminbird PiranhaMAX 175 Portable. Read More >
Humminbird PiranhaMAX 153 Review

Humminbird PiranhaMAX 153 Review

Overall Rating4.54.54.54.54.5
 
The PiranhaMAX 153 by Humminbird is part of their latest line of fishfinders for the 2013 fishing season and features several innovative features to provide performance and value. Featuring a 4” display with a pixel matrix of 160V x 128H and dual beam sonar that produces images at up to 600 feet in a four-level grayscale display, you’ll know exactly where the fish are and where they are headed. Read More >
Lowrance HDS-7 Gen2 Touch Insight Review

Lowrance HDS-7 Gen2 Touch Insight Review

Overall Rating3.53.53.53.53.5
 
The HDS-7 Gen2 Touch Insight from Lowrance is a third generation all-in-one fishfinder, depth sounder and chartplotter. This high-definition system attains very high speeds and is powered by touchscreen control. With the high-definition, 16-color, Super VGA SolarMAX PLUS TFT display, wide-angled views of improved clarity are possible, especially under the glaring sun when the user does not have polarized sunglasses Read More >
Humminbird PiranhaMAX 196ci Portable Review

Humminbird PiranhaMAX 196ci Portable Review

Overall Rating11111
 
Humminbird is a well-known manufacturer for marine equipment and has produced a long series of fishfinders. The PiranhaMAX 196ci Portable applies professional grade Sonar technology to clearly display everything that goes on under the boat to the user. This model stands out for its precision internal GPS that makes navigation much easier. The trackplotter can be used to mark waypoints as the boat courses through the water. Read More >
Humminbird 571 HD DI Review

Humminbird 571 HD DI Review

Overall Rating3.253.253.253.253.25
 
The Humminbird Fishfinder 571 HD DI is a versatile monochrome sonar-only marine navigation system perfect for many types of boats. It has pristine picture quality and features usually found in higher-end models. The fish finder’s powerful Down Imaging sonar will help you clearly see his prey and its surrounding area. Read More >
Humminbird 346c DI Review

Humminbird 346c DI Review

Overall Rating44444
 
Humminbird has once again surpassed expectations with the Humminbird 346C DI Color Sonar. This fishfinder utilizes Down Imaging technology to give the user a picture-like view of the area underneath the boat, allowing them to catch more fish and protecting the hull of the ship from unexpected encounters with boulders, rocks and other debris that may be in the water. Read More >
Garmin Echo 150 Portable Review

Garmin Echo 150 Portable Review

Overall Rating4.54.54.54.54.5
 
The Echo 150 portable is a dual-beam, dual-frequency fishfinder from Garmin, a renowned manufacturer of fishing equipment. Being portable, the device is ideal for angling from canoes, kayaks and other small fishing vessels and for people who move a lot between boats. It not only measures water depths, but also shows the user a very good image of the structural elements like weeds and rocks lying on the bottom. Read More >
Humminbird PiranhaMAX 176i Review

Humminbird PiranhaMAX 176i Review

Overall Rating2.672.672.672.672.67
 
The new Humminbird PiranaMAX 176i fishfinder features an easy to read 4″ display and a powerful dual beam transducer allowing a detailed narrow angle view, a wider angle view to cover more water, and a view that melds the two views into a single screen display. The PiranaMAX 176i incorporates a water temperature sensor, Humminbird’s trademarked Fish ID technology, and a GPS system that tracks the boat’s course, allows the entry of waypoints, and determines actual GPS speed over fish and bottom features. Read More >