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September 23, 2016 Comments (1) Water Activities

Best Fish Finder under $500

Humminbird 409830-1 Helix 7 DI GPS/Fishfinder with Down Imaging Sonar

Is your budget for the best fish finder less than $500? If yes, then be prepared to purchase a unit with a small screen but a fully featured fishfinder GPS combo. What is meant by full featured? It simply means that the unit brings with it a combination of the following:

  • At least one kind of imaging sonar
  • Dual beam sonar
  • Memory card for saving screenshots and mapping
  • GPS

The best fish finders under $500 this year bring with them screens within the 4-5’’ range. However, compared to before, they’re packed with much more electronic wizardly.

Courtesy of the stiff competition in terms of sonar wars, side imaging, down imaging and GPS Lake mapping, you stand to get amazing fish finders under $500.

Here are the best fish finders under $500:


Garmin Striker 7sv

Garmin Striker 7SV

With this remarkable unit, you get a fishfinder with a 7’’ screen featuring 800by480 resolution. The screen is great for viewing the famous SideVü imaging sonar, CHIRP, DownVu as well as the standard 2D sonar data. This is the best fish finder for any angler that desires a unit with the largest screen combined with side scanning.

  • Screen: 7″ (800×480)
  • MicroSD Slot: NO
  • Sonar: 50/77/200kHz
  • SideVü: 260/455/800kHz
  • DownVü: 260/455/800kHz

Humminbird Helix 5 SI GPS

Humminbird 409640-1 HELIX 5 SI Fish Finder with Side-Imaging and GPS

This unit is not only GPS Chart Plotter, but also a Side Image fish finder. It brings with it a 5’’ widescreen boasting an 800by480 resolution. All this means that it features the best display specifications among the five featured units in this primer.

The unit also has a XNT 9 SI 180 T transducer that goes by the name “Compact” side imaging transducer. For mapping purposes, this unit is compatible with both Navionics Gold/HotMaps cards and Humminbird Lakemaster cards. The Lakemaster card is handy when it comes to fishing in those lakes that are well covered.

With the Lakemaster card, you can surely take advantage of exclusive features such as the Water Level Offset and the Depth Highlight.

  • Screen: 5″ (800×480)
  • MicroSD Slot: yes
  • Sonar: 83/200kHz
  • Side Imaging: 455kHz
  • Down Imaging: 455kHz

Lowrance Elite-5 Ti DownScan

Lowrance Elite-5 Ti DownScan

This unit boasts a sonar with a number of frequencies for a CHIRP capable sonar (50/83/200 kHz) and an in-built DownScan Imaging (455/800 kHz). So what makes this unit unique from the rest? Its touchscreen capability is exactly what sets it above from the rest. With the touchscreen, you can effortlessly and quickly make waypoints as well as change settings on the fly.

The unit also features a decent map collection by the name the Enhanced Elite Basemap. If you’re in need of more comprehensive maps, the unit is compatible with Jeppessen C-Map Max-N, Navionics Gold, and Fishing Hotspots Pro. What is more is the fact that you can also access the user generated Sonar Charts online.

The unit can also make its own sonar recording. It provides you the option of coming up with your won tailored lake maps through subscribing to the impressive Insight Genesis program. It is very much similar to the Humminbird’s Autochart program.

The only difference is the fact that this particular one needs payments in order to ensure your personal maps remain private.

  • Screen: 5″ (800×480)
  • MicroSD Slot: NO
  • Sonar: 50/83/200kHz
  • SideScan: NO
  • DownScan: 455/800kHz

Garmin EchoMap CHIRP 53dv

Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 53dv with transducer

The unit is an ideal 5’’ fish finder that boasts plenty of offers to anglers.

Are you into sonar?

This unit brings with it a 77/200 kHz transducer with an inbuilt DownVü imaging. Furthermore, it has the ability of linking to trolling motor with inbuilt transducers. The adapter cable is sold separately.The other thing you get by buying this unit is the fact that it has pre-loaded lake maps.

On board, it has over 17,000 US lake maps on-board. Of these, 6,700 of them are of high definition with one-foot contours. With such great features, you can rest assured that this unit will give you real value for money.

  • Screen: 5″ (480×480)
  • MicroSD Slot: YES
  • Sonar: 50/77/200kHz
  • SideScan: NO
  • DownScan: 220/455/800kHz

Humminbird Helix 7 DI GPS

Humminbird 409830-1 Helix 7 DI GPS/Fishfinder with Down Imaging Sonar

The unit offers a great combination of screen size as well as sonar features for its great price. For this unit, you get a highly detailed 7’’ screen that’s also bright in order to view the highly dedicated Down Imaging sonar.

Additionally, you also obtain a split screen alongside the impressive the GPS chart plotter or 200/455 kHz 2D sonar.This unit also has a single microSD card slots that enables you to utilize your Lakemaster or Navionics maps. How about saving the sonar recordings of your most preferred lake?

Just imagine it is all possible with this great unit. Its Lakemaster AutoChart computer program allows you to not only create but also view your own tailored lake map. Of great importance to note is the fact that you do not have to own this program in order to create recordings.

  • Screen: 7″ (800×480)
  • MicroSD Slot: YES
  • Sonar: 83/200kHz
  • Side Imaging: NO
  • Down Imaging: 455/800kHz

Which Unit Should You Settle For?

For Side Imaging

This year, under $500, you’ve got two brilliant options when it comes to a fish finder with a great side-imaging feature. Do you need one with a microSD card slot and detailed lake maps? If yes, then the ideal option is the Helix 5 SI GPS. It boasts an incredible 5’’ widescreen display. The Garmin Striker 7sv is the best option for those that need units with a big screen with devoid of microSD slot for maps.

For DI plus CHIRP

The Lowrance Elite-5 Ti DownScan or the Garmin EchoMap CHIRP 53dv are the best units to settle for if you’re in need of one with DI plus CHIRP. They also have microSD mapping slots. Their only downside is the fact that their screen sizes are small.

For Down Imaging

The Helix 7 DI GPS is the ideal one for this feature due to its amazing 7-inch display. Furthermore, it has a microSD slot that enables you to add the great Lakemaster mapping.

One Response to Best Fish Finder under $500

  1. […] fish finders across a different price range and there are sites where you can find a listing of best fish finder under 500 that is worth checking […]

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