Best Fish Finder Under 200 Dollars | Top 5 Picks for 2022

best fish finder under 200
If you are planning to go on a fishing trip anytime soon, now is the best time to invest in a fish finder. But the major issue with this is that this tool can cost quite a few bucks. However, thanks to the rising competition and popularity, the price of fish finder has come down quite a bit over the years.
These days, you can find some decent models that can make your fishing trip eventful even if you have a low budget. Whether you are ice fishing or pond fishing, investing in the best fish finder under 200 can ensure you do not come out empty after casting your fishing rod.
But the main issue with shopping in this budget is the abundance of lackluster products. When shopping for a good cheap fish finder, there are a lot of issues that you need to tackle to make sure you are making the right choice. And most people shopping in this price range do not understand it fully.
To make things easier on you, we have compiled a list of the best cheap fish finder on the market along with our complete guideline on things you must look at when making a purchase. So without further delay, let us begin.

Top 5 Best Fish Finder under 200 Reviews

As we have mentioned before, looking for the best inexpensive fish finder can be quite tricky. The industry is huge and more people are getting into this hobby each year. Naturally, many companies are trying to cash in on this hype without catering to the needs of the consumers.
To save you from having to shuffle through all sorts of lackluster products, here are our own recommendations for the five best fish finder under 200 that you can find on the market.

1. Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4 with Transducer

garmin fish finder
We will be starting off our list with one of the best GPS fish finder for the money. The Striker 4 by Garmin might not feature the biggest screen that you can find, but it gives you a lot of important information that can make finding perfect fishing spots easier. Besides, its smaller size can even be a good thing for some people.
The unit boasts a diagonal screen of 3.5 inches size that gives you clear and crisp images of fishing hotspots. You can split the screen to view two separate data at the same time, which is an excellent option to have in any fish finder. Even under bright sunlight, the screen feels clear, and you should have no trouble using it.
It even uses the high-end Chirp Sonar technology to show accurate data on the objects underwater. With the Clear Vu scanning sonar, you will get clean images of structures and fishes located underwater. It has a maximum depth of 1600 feet in freshwater, which comes down to around 750 feet when you are fishing in saltwater.
You can even upgrade the sonar by investing in GT8 or GT15 later on if you want to get more out of it. This upgrade option ensures that the unit is never obsolete in the near future. It also comes with a high-quality GPS tracker to make navigations easier. You can even set waypoints and mark plots as you please.

2. Deeper PRO Smart Portable Sonar

deeper pro fish finder
If you want a truly portable fish finder at your hand, the Deeper Pro Smart Sonar is one of the best options out there. It comes in a round circular shape, and you attach it to your fishing rod to cast it. The unit connects to your smartphone or tablet via Wi-Fi, essentially using it as the screen to transmit information.
Its quality of transmission is excellent and will provide you with a crisp latency-free reading as long as your screen is within 300 feet. The device itself does not have any screen. Additionally, because of its lightweight design, it does not impact your casting technique in the slightest.
The unit can scan down up to a depth of 260 feet. For such a unit, this scanning range is excellent. It uses dual beam sonar frequency where the wide 55-degree beam transmits at 90 kHz, and the narrow 15-degree beam transmits frequency at 290 kHz.
The powerful transducer in the device scans 15 times each second to ensure you get updated information every time you look at your screen. Since it uses Wi-Fi, you get an excellent transmission range. As an added plus, you get free access to the Bathymetric Management Platform that you can use to download lake maps whenever you want.

3. Humminbird 410190-1 Helix 5 Series Sonar G2 Fishfinder System

humminbird fishfinder
The Helix 5 G2 by the brand Humminbird might be arguably the best fish finder for the money for many fishing enthusiasts out there. It is a complete system that can make your fishing trips much more exciting and eventful. And for the price, the quality it offers is unparalleled.
This device comes with a WVGA display. Although the size of the screen is merely 5 inches, the quality it provides is impeccable. The color TFT display provides crisp and clear images to ensure you get proper information regardless of the brightness of the environment.
Featuring both dual-beam and Chirp sonar technologies, the unit ensures you get a clear down imaging whenever you want it. Thanks to the inclusion of SwitchFire technology, you get to choose how much information returns to your screen. You can even filter out structures if you wish to focus on finding fish traffic solely.
This unit has both an excellent side and down imaging to ensure you get proper depth perception and fishing location. With your purchase, you get the Humminbird Base map built into it that gives you access to many lakes and fishing spots right out of the box.

4. Eyoyo Portable 7 inch LCD Monitor Fish Finder

pfluger spinning fishing ree
If you are looking for the best fish finder under 150, then this particular model by the brand Eyoyo might be worth a consideration. It gives you excellent value for the cost. You even get a carrying case with your purchase, which at this budget is quite surprising.
The unit comes with a large 7-inch LCD screen that shows you clear images at a resolution of 800 X 480 pixels. However, the screen does not feature any anti-glare technology, which can make it difficult to read under bright sunlight. To ensure clear visibility, you get a sun-visor with the screen that you can remove anytime.
It does not come with any Sonar technology but instead goes with Infrared. The 12pcs Infrared camera will give you clear vision underwater and let you monitor fishing activity without scaring them off. However, because of a lack of sonar, it might not give you the best performance in open waters.
But if your sole purpose is ice fishing, this is one of the better options out there. It will give you a clear vision, even in the absence of sunlight, because of the infrared. The camera communicates with the screen using Bluetooth, which does limit the range to around 3 meters.

5. MOOCOR Fish Finder Underwater Ice Fishing Camera

Wrapping up our list of the best budget fish finder, we will be looking at another infrared unit by the brand MOOC. If you are an ice fishing enthusiast, infrared might be a better choice solely because of the lack of sunlight under frozen ice. With this unit, you will notice a drastic improvement in your experience
The LCD screen in the unit might be small, coming in at only 5 inches. However, the quality of the screen is impeccable, and it gives you a clean 480p resolution image to give you a realistic view of the underwater environment. It even displays some essential functions like depth, direction, temperature, etc.
This unit even allows you to record underwater images thanks to its DVR video recording capabilities. So even underwater photographers can get some use out of it. It has four pieces of infrared LEDs and two white LEDs to give you a clear vision at whichever light condition is present.
With your purchase, you also get a rechargeable battery along with a USB cable to power it. For first-time use, you need to charge the battery for about 8 hours, but later-on, only 5-6 hours of charging will give you a full charge. On top of that, the battery uptime is also excellent, giving you around 8 hours of continuous use.

Things to Consider when Buying the Best Affordable Fish Finder

Now that you have a good idea about which products are worth considering, you should look at some of the features that we focused on. This would ensure you can have a clear idea about the unit and can make proper judgments based on your requirements. That way, you can fine-tune which unit suits your needs better.
With that said, here are some of the things you should look at when you are looking to buy the best fish finder under 200
best affordable fish finder

1. Screen Design

The first thing that you want to consider when buying a fish finder is the screen. This is the element that will be in your hand and where you will monitor all the information that the fish finder will provide. As a result, it is essential to consider the quality and visibility of the screen before making your purchase.

  • Resolution

You want a resolution of at least 480 pixels. Although it might not be the highest resolution available for this type of device, when shopping for the best inexpensive fish finder, this should be your minimum target.

  • Size

In addition, you must consider the size of the screen. Naturally, the bigger the size of the screen, the better the quality of the image; however, the larger screen also costs more. So going with the largest screen you can find might not be the best route as it would mean sacrificing something more important.

At this budget, your best bet would be to go with a model that comes with a screen size ranging from 5 to 7 inches in size. The combination of this size and 480p resolution results in crisp and clear images that do not cause any visibility issues.

  • Visibility

However, visibility is not solely reliant on the resolution or screen size. Some models come with anti-glare screens that allow you to view clearly even under bright sunlight. It might be difficult to find a model with this feature at a budget, but you can find units that come with sun shields or visors built-in.

  • Extra Designs

There is another useful screen design found in some modern fish finders. This type of device connects to a secondary device, usually your smartphone with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and uses it as the screen. It is an excellent design as your smartphone should be more than capable of doubling as a fish finder display screen.

2. Sonar vs. Infrared

You might have noticed from our reviews that we looked at two different types of technologies in our fish finders, sonar and infrared. Although both technologies are used for fishing, the two have completely different functions and purposes. So you must know about both of these features before you choose one for yourself.
  • Infrared Technology

Infrared technology is probably the simpler of the two technologies and is used regularly for ice fishing. It uses infrared LEDs and a camera to send images to the screen. It cannot detect fishes that are too far away, but when a fish gets close, it will give you a real-life image of the fish as it takes the bait.

Infrared LEDs are also capable of viewing in complete darkness, giving you thermal imaging instead of natural feeds. Since ice fishing involves fishing under solid ice blocks that obstruct sunlight, this option works out great. However, for open waters, it might not be the most capable tool.

  • Sonar Technology

Sonar technology might be considered a better option when you are fishing in open waters. For one thing, it has much better depth perception compared to infrared. Another great plus is that it can also find fishes under structures or objects underwater.

There are two different types of sonar technologies that are available today. We will discuss both of them so that you can judge which one is better by yourself.

First off, you have the traditional sonar. This type of device emits a pulse at a specific frequency and waits for a return. By imaging the echo, you can get an understanding of the activities underwater. For casual anglers, it is quite efficient at detecting fishing activities.

Secondly, Chirp Sonar is the more modern form of sonar technology found in fish finders. This technology gives you greater accuracy and imaging by giving you a wider range of frequency to work with.

You can also find a dual-beam unit that has a wide and a narrow beam. The frequency at the two different beams is different. Typically the wider beam has a lower frequency while the narrow beam emits pulse at a higher frequency. It is a beefed-up version of traditional sonar.

  • Signal Strength

While we are on the subject of sonar, you also need to think about the strength of the signal that it transmits. The efficiency of a fish finder depends entirely on the frequency. The higher the frequency, the more pulse it emits which translates to better imaging. However, lower frequency is better when you are trying to gather information from a wider area.

3. Water Resistance

Another element that you might want to consider is the water-resistance of the fish finder. However, you can be somewhat lenient on this factor, depending on the design of the fish finder.
If you are using a casting fish finder like the Deeper PRO Smart Portable Sonar, water resistance is a must since the device will be underwater whenever you are using it. Even though it sounds like an elementary feature, shopping on a budget means you will find weird units that do not tackle the simplest issues.
However, when you are using an isolated scanner like the Garmin Striker 4, you can lay off the importance of water resistance. But you want to make sure you keep this type of unit away from salt water as it can drastically mess with the circuitry if it is not water-resistant.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Is 200 dollars a good budget for a fish finder?

Although professional anglers might disagree, a budget of 200$ is decent if you are a beginner or an amateur. If you do not care for modern features like high-speed scanning or mega imaging, you can find some pretty good models at this price range.
Our list of products should give you a decent idea about what you can expect from this budget. As you may have noticed, all the devices we mentioned are suitable for people with minimal needs. If your purpose is to find effective fishing spots, there is nothing wrong with this budget.
Tip: If you are a professional angler and have a tight budget, you may buy a fish finder under $500 for more modern Features .

2) Do I need GPS in my fish finder?

No, you do not. GPS technically does not contribute to finding fish, but rather it offers a quality of life improvement. With GPS navigation, you can plot waypoints or mark locations to make your life easier while fishing.
Although it is an excellent feature to have, it is not essential to the performance of a fish finder. In fact, among the five products we reviewed only one features GPS navigation.
If you want GPS navigation, by all means, go for it. However, if you like a unit that does not feature GPS, you should not use it as an excuse for not buying it.

What is the most important thing to remember when buying a fish finder on a budget?

When buying a fish finder, the most important thing is to manage your expectations. You need to be realistic and understand that you are going for an affordable unit. Fish finders can cost upwards of thousands of dollars, and under 200, you cannot expect a high-end option.
You are shopping in the budget range, and so you have to look at features that are important for your specific needs. For instance, unless you are planning to do deep water fishing, you do not practically need a transducer. Skipping over this feature can help you save a few bucks and get a better product.
As long as you have a clear idea about your purpose, you can cross-check it with different devices until you end up with a unit that ticks all the right boxes. In our reviews, we have covered a few different units for widely different purposes. So the chances are that you can find one that is suitable for your specific needs.

Final Thoughts

One thing that many anglers will agree is that a fish finder can drastically enhance your fishing experience. Nobody likes sitting around, waiting for a random fish to bite the bait. With a fish finder, you can eliminate the guesswork from fishing.
Although it is no replacement for skill and experience, buying the best fish finder under 200 will definitely make your life easier as a beginner angler.

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