If there are vital things you should know about any fish finder, it is that they offer engaging and practical information during the fishing season.
Interestingly, they do this by letting fishermen know more about the water temperature, underwater relief, and even the presence of fish. With the fish finder, one will surely get better performance when fishing.
Also known as an echo sounder, understand that the fish finder helps to give joy to fishing. But the problem most people face is buying the best fish finders.
For this reason, we have provided you with the best fish finder under 500. Keep reading, as there is so much to learn from this article.
8 best fish finders
It will not matter if you are fishing on a canoe, kayak, or boat, as all you need will be the perfect fish finder. So without much ado, some of the best fish finder under 500 are:
- SplitShot transducer
- GPS plotter
- Autotuning sonar
- 7-inch display
One thing to note about the Lowrance Reveal 7x is that it has all the features that will leave you in a frenzy. With its amazing features, it will surprise you that it is one of the budget fish finders out there.
The SplitShot transducer comes with DownScan Imaging and a wide-angle Chirp sonar that will offer the best views you need to see below your boat.
And while the sonar information is impressive, this fish finder also provides what is known as a FishReveal. This FishReveal will help with target identification. This means that it helps in highlighting diverse fishes on your display screen.
Understand that the FishReveal uses the chirp sonar and high-resolution images from the DownScan Imaging. All this makes the fish quickly light up on your display screen.
More so, rather than spend time adjusting the fish finder, you can now sit back and enjoy the entire hunt and chase thanks to the autotuning sonar technology. Interestingly, its GPS chart plotter will help you quickly navigate a good fishing spot.
The GPS plotter aims to make the trail, routes, and waypoint easy when you are offshore fishing. And the 7-inch display will allow you to enjoy clear views even if you are fishing under direct sunlight.
The pictorial representation here is nothing short of bright and crisp. With it, you can easily discover the vulnerable spots for casting your bait.
Why We Love It
I enjoy using the Lowrance Reveal 7x fishing gear because it offers many feature-loaded gadgets at an incredible price. As the best fish finder under 500, it has amazing sonar settings, performance, and display.
- Rugged design
- Intuitive user interface
- Inbuilt GPS
- Inbuilt Garmin quickdraw contours
Have you seen the Garmin Striker Plus 5cv lately but have yet to learn what it truly does? Well, keep reading. As the best fish finder under 500, it comes at a cool price and amazing quality.
More so, if catching fish is genuinely your aim, this is one of the best value fish finders to help you locate fish. In addition, it will reveal the entire underwater realm thanks to its Chirp ClearVu sonar.
The screen size here is five inches and has an intuitive keyed interface. This means that after some tweaks, you will have a scintillating picture of your surrounding area and the fish.
Unlike most fish finders, its GPS capabilities and customized cartography will allow you to underline the ideal routes, landmarks, and waypoints you passed through earlier. In other words, you can use these routes in the future and be victorious thanks to this great fish finder.
Why We Love It
One reason I enjoy using this affordable fish finder is that it comes with a simple mechanism plus the sonar results are highly effective when used to identify fish.
- GPS chart plotter
- SplitShot Transducer
- 5 Inch display
For those who need the best fish finders and are ready to upgrade their fishing gadgets without spending so much cash on their fishing trip, the Lowrance Hook Reveal 5x is the best fish finder for under 500.
It does not have a demanding setup, so you are promised and will get a balanced platform that will help in polishing your fishing skills. In addition, its SplitShot transducer comes with so much magic for you.
It is one of the best fish finders that use traditional sonar and DownScan. These two will assist anglers in familiarising themselves with the world underwater. They assist in identifying and telling the fish, vegetation, and structure apart.
You must understand that the importance of the FishReveal is to merge the target separation of the Chirp sonar and the down imaging sonar. This combination will allow the fish to light up on your display.
As for its GPS capabilities, it will help you with your own maps, thus making navigation pretty easy. And when it comes to the SplitShot transducer features the fish finding abilities of the vast-angle high Chirp sonar and the down imaging sonar’s high-resolution images.
Thanks to the autotuning sonar features, there will be no need to spend time reworking the settings of the traditional sonar. The settings will adjust automatically whenever the fishing conditions change in deeper water. The screen size is 5 inches and lets you see everything under direct sunlight or rain.
Why We Love It
Even with the small hiccup, I love using this imaging fish finder because it can create maps or routes that will lead an angler to the fish saturated sections.
More so, it is rated as one of the most affordable fish finders. However, unlike many fish finders, this Lowrance 5x will provide direct operations and DownScan to help you with your fishing game.
- Inbuilt Chirp sonar
- 7″ display
- Chirp ClearVu scanning sonar
- Inbuilt GPS
As the best fish finder under 500, it must be noted that the Garmin striker 7CV represents utility and reliability. It amazes anglers how simple it is to operate, plus its huge screen.
Remember that the Cv20-TM transducer zeros in on fish like a cruise missile. In other news, there will be no missed targets. Instead, this affordable fish finder will provide a detailed depiction of the underwater surface.
The screen size gives you a vivid and clear view of the sonar results. In addition, the results will contain details about the bottom fauna, fish, and even the landscape. More so, there is the addition of high-sensitivity internal GPS.
The custom contour mapping software and quick draw contours will make anglers forget that there are no pre-loaded lake maps. Interestingly, it comes with Inbuilt WiFi to grant easy access to the ActiveCaptain app.
With the app, you will receive smart notifications, software modifications, and easy access to the quickdraw contours community. The Built-in GPS will help you mark waypoints and craft routes and view your boat’s speed. With all of these, you have a great fish finder.
Why We Love It
You must note that the Garmin Striker is one of the best fishfinder GPS combos out there. More so, I love it because of its unbeatable utility. It has a fantastic transducer and great navigational support.
- 7″ screen
- Switch fire sonar
- Power cable
- Mounting hardware
When searching for the best fish finder under 500, you should remember to check out the Hummingbird 410930-1 Helix 7. It is among the best imaging fish finders you can purchase below five hundred dollars.
Whether big or small, you will take advantage of any cunning prey as this is not just a fish finder but a sonar bomb. It combines Chirp digital sonar with down imaging to produce a clear underwater picture.
This depth finder will go to greater depths to ensure it highlights every fish and identifies the bait and structure.
Its chirp sonar has been engineered to assist anglers in seeing the individual fish and even go into deeper ranges. The power draw here is 800ma. Similar to the Garmin Striker Plus 7cv, it has a broad 7″ screen and a TFT-colored display.
This TFT display comes with a higher pixel; thus, it has a photographic-like bright viewing of all that goes on underneath your boat. Even with its huge screen, there is the presence of SwitchFire sonar.
The switch fire sonar has dual display modes to easily pick the information you want to remove or add to your display. If your plan is for an adventurous getaway, we recommend this imaging fish finder.
The recommendation is because it has Inbuilt charts of more than ten thousand lakes. And it has an entirely functional GPS, and Auto chart live. These are for real-time personalized cartography.
Why We Love It
I love using the Humminbird 410930-1 because it is one of the best fish finder GPS combos and performs like its expensive models. The fish finder work provides me with information ranging from lure position, temperature, and fish location.
- WiFi-enabled model
- START technology
- Night fishing mode
- Deeper App
Before we delve into the vital details of one of the best fish finders on this list, remember that Deeper is a new company compared to many fish finders that made it to this article.
The company was established in 1912 by two highly experienced anglers, thus making it a fantastic option for anglers searching for the best fish finder under 500.
Since the modification of its unit firmware, this device now has a swifter and broader range, plus the WiFi connection is more reliable now.
Remember that it can be used when you are at the dock, bank of the river, or on shore. It is one of those fishing devices that you can take with you on your family trip since it is easily usable by kids too.
The intriguing thing is that the fish finders work without a cell signal or WiFi network. This is because START technology can create its own WiFi signal.
This fish finding device uses the Deeper App to showcase more fish’s depth, size, and location. You will also get to view the vegetation and bottom contour in the entire area.
Its transducer can cast out up to 165ft and scan down to 165ft with a forty-degree dual beam sonar that will double the sonar coverage. Each dual beam sonar scan is capable of saving location and time.
This device is compatible with iOS and Android devices and has a six-hour battery life. This is good as you can recharge it within two hours.
Why We Love It
I love using this fish finder because even though it is easy to set up, it comes attached with a detailed manual to help you easily assemble the gadget. Plus, its sonar coverage is one of the high-frequency sonar you will love.
- Modified AHD 720p camera
- 7-inch IPS monitor
- Infrared white light system
- Rechargeable battery
Its name implies that this is not one of your usual fish finders. Nevertheless, you are bound to experience a great fishing expenditure as it will assist you in knowing when you can pull up the fishing line.
It comes with a camera that assists in providing anglers with a crystal clear view of anything they need to find underwater. In other news, MOOCOR is a five-inch LED screen video camera.
It also has high-resolution pictures that give you the best view of all things swimming around your boat. In addition, it comes with a display option that will show you the temperature of the water and its depth, plus the path you are moving in.
In simpler terms, you will be able to receive clear pictures of the underwater world thanks to its AHD 720p camera, 7 inches 1280×720 IPS screen, and DVR function. This camera will make images clearer and give vivid colors.
Even if the water is murky or the environment is dark, you can now see the fish. Images can be viewed from all angles, and come with a sun visor for great outdoor usage.
Its 12pcs LED white lights and the 12pvs IR lights are easily switched off using buttons. The lightness will automatically adjust and offer good images both during the day and at night. Note that it comes with three levels of light adjustment to take videos at night.
When you are done with recording, you do not need to play the recordings through a third-party player. Instead, you can directly open it on your browser or phone. It has a 16GB memory card.
The MOOCOR will work well in the darkest and deepest parts of the water that other cameras will not operate in. It comes with a rechargeable battery that lasts between six to eight hours.
You will be given a USB charger to operate it from a power bank when you buy it. However, as a camera and not a sonar fish finder, it does not have sonar recording, mapping, or bottom contour features.
Why We Love It
This underwater camera has clear images and is highly affordable even without Chirp technology. If you are looking for one of the best underwater camera for ice fishing then this one can be a top choice for you.
- Down imaging
- Inbuilt Humminbird base map
- Autochanger Live
- LakeMaster compatibility
As one of the excellent fish finder under 500, it is no surprise that the Humminbird brand has made its name here again. The major reason is that it is known for offering top-end models for good prices.
Nevertheless, this product clearly shows all the activities happening beneath the boat due to the down imaging. In addition, its screen is portable, but some people may not like it because of its 5″ size.
Aside been backlit, this gadget is heavily laden with an 800×480 pixel matrix. This gives a crisp presentation of what goes on underwater.
The controls of such a best-value fish finder are pretty easy, and one can approach productive fish zones easily due to the SDcard and Navionics that cover more than twenty-one thousand waterbodies.
Why We Love It
The Humminbird Helix 5 is loved by me because even with its size and down imaging, it is the practical choice that gives a great performance in shallow waters.
Considerations before buying fish finders
If you never knew, when purchasing fish finders, you will likely come across some that will cost way more than you ever imagined.
It is why aside from giving you a list of the best fish finder under 500, we will be providing you with the things you need in fish finders before you choose a model.
These things to be considered are:
One thing to remember when seeking the best fish finder under 500 is that a bigger display will always be better.
When mounting the fish finder on your boat’s bow or at a distance from where you want to sit, a 7-inch display is the best requirement.
However, for those not bothered about big displays, any sonar unit with a sturdy performance will do the trick. It is possible to downsize and go for the 5-inch display.
It will help you save some bucks, and some can come with split-screen features.
A factor to always look out for in your fish finder is whether it is user-friendly. Lowrance and Garmin Striker units are the most user-friendly for most people. It is because they are quite basic.
Meanwhile, there are units out there that are highly advanced when it comes to manual settings. If you are a newbie, you should buy a model with an autotuning sonar.
However, you can use the advanced duties if you can tweak them in the manual settings. But if you cannot, best to purchase a user-friendly fish finder.
It can either be the traditional or 2d sonar. But you may not consider this a requirement because all fish finders tend to come with them. Nevertheless, the 2D sonar imaging will help determine the size of the fish or object underneath your boat.
This is a result of its color palette. And dependent on the kind of color palette, you must know that darker color tones on the screen mean there is a big fish underneath your boat.
More so, it can surely mean there is a big structure. With many trials and errors, you will finally get it right. But since the sonar imaging alone is not enough to help you find fish, keep reading.
Regarding side imaging, you must know that enjoying your fishing game to the fullest is vital. Therefore, a side imaging sonar is key if you are in a new body of water.
Note that side imaging enables anglers to be efficient when they are finding structures or fish. One can scan right, left, or even both with side imaging, depending on the brand used.
Its coverage is roughly one hundred to one hundred and fifty feet right and left of your boat. The side imaging will allow you to find trees, weed edges, rock, and even brush piles.
As stated earlier, side imaging will give you all you need, so it is best to save up to $500 to get this feature in fish finders.
Also known as down scan or down view, it is majorly called down imaging though the name will depend on the manufacturer. For example, while the Lowrance brand calls it down scan, the Humminbird brand calls it down imaging, and Garmin Striker refers to it as down view.
Irrespective of their different names, they perform the same function. This function has to do with looking directly below the boat. Its sonar cone is a bit wider than the normal 2D sonar.
However, it will shine more than the side imaging because of the separation between the brush pile and the fish. The separation here is clearer than the traditional or 2D sonar.
For those who fish so much of brush piles or rocks, you will find out that the separation that occurs between the river bottom or lake bottom gets clearer with down imaging.
You should purchase a portable fish finder if you have a small kayak, boat, or canoe. They do come with batteries and recharging systems. The portable models are great to be used for ice fishing.
When it comes to ice fishing, you should go with the ice fishing bundle to have your money’s worth. In addition, some models come with GPS mapping units though they will only be a base mapping units.
With them, it will show anglers an outline of the water but no topographic map or contour map with details about the lake bottom. You will also not get any modifications with such portable options.
In all, if GPS mapping is not vital to you, then buy the portable options.
GPS mapping technology
One factor that separates the fish finders from one another is their GPS mapping technology. There are fish finders with pre-loaded maps, and some have SD card slots.
The fish finder GPS combo ability to upload new maps depending on the region where your fishing is taking place will differentiate the best ones from others. However, some units can take LakeMaster mapping and Navionics mapping cards.
For the unaware, Navionics is a well-known company that manufactures mapping contour chips. With it, you can steadily upload your maps to the fish finder supporting the Navionics contour chips.
As for LakeMaster, it is a company that manufactures the same topographic maps and even contour maps for the lakes. Their differences have to do with the fact that Navionics is way better with contour lines.
Although in some other countries, LakeMaster takes the win with contour accuracy and depths. It means you will need to conduct your research based on where you live and the lakes around you.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
Which is the best fish finder brand of 2022?
Fish finders are useful for various fishing trips, but you sometimes need to know which brand makes the best ones. If you are looking for the best fish finders under 500 in 2022, a few brands are ahead of the competition. Here is the best fish finder brand of 2022:
Is the Lawrence Hook Reveal the easiest fish finder to use?
Few fish finders work so well that you keep returning to them repeatedly. The Lawrance Hook Reveal has been reviewed to be the easiest of all the best fish finders on the market. The main reasons for why are its design and how the sensors work.
Do I need a side imaging fish finder?
Different imaging is useful in different fishing trips and works in different bodies of water. Side imaging is best when you use it in shallow water since they don’t go too deep into the water. We recommend you use side imaging, mainly in rivers.
Which is the cheapest fish finder?
Due to having sensors and other electronics, some fish finders can be expensive. At the same time, with some good design, you can find some inexpensive fish finders. The best fish finder that is also cheap will have to be Deeper START Smart Fish Finder.
Generally, we have provided you with a list of the best fish finder under 500 plus factors you should have in mind before making your big purchase. Ensure you read through to avoid making any mistakes.