Fish Finder

Best Fish Finder GPS Combo (Reviews & Buyer’s Guide 2020)

You know that you have the best bait, the best fishing rod and are in the most prime area of the lake. The only problem is that it seems all of the fish have gone into hiding. What’s worse is that the water is too murky to see.

If you have never used a fish finder, you’re missing out on a hell of an experience. It helps you locate where the fish are hiding by scanning the waters and pinpointing their location in proportion to where you are. It can tell you how deep it is and in some cases, the temperature of the water. In this post, we review the best fish finders and tell you how to choose one that suits your needs.

Best Fish Finder GPS Combo – Comparison Table

Full NamePrice
1Garmin 010-01801-01 Echomap Chirp 74Cv with transducer
Editor Choice
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2Humminbird Helix 7 Chirp SI GPS G2 Combo
Editor Choice
Check Price
3Garmin 010-01802-01 Echomap Chirp 73SV with transducer
Best for Deep Sea – Editor Choice
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4Garmin 010-01813-02 Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 52cv with transducer Best for LakesCheck Price
5Garmin 010-01815-02 Echomap Chirp 72SV with transducerCheck Price
6Humminbird 409640-1 HELIX 5 SI Fish Finder with Side-Imaging and GPS Best for BeginnersCheck Price
7Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 52cv Without Transducer Best BudgetCheck Price
8Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 42dv without transducer Best AffordableCheck Price

Reviews of Best Fish Finder GPS Combo

1. Garmin 010-01801-01 Echomap Chirp 74Cv with Transducer – Best Overall Fish Finder

The Garmin Echomap Chirp 74Cv is, in many ways, similar to the older Echomap Chirp 74dv. It comes with a traditional 2D sonar and is capable of 50/77/200 kHz frequencies. With the provided transducer and Chirp, this fish finder can use Mid-band CHIRP to modulate the pulse between 80-160 kHz with a 240/130 conic angle. The system can also modulate the sonar pulse between 275 kHz and 445-465 kHz. This modulation offers a better separation between fish and other structures in the water.

The unit is equipped with a GT23M-TM transducer whose cable has an 8-pin connector. It incorporates a temperature sensor that tells you the temperature of the water. The cable is 30-feet long and the unit is provided with mounts for a transom as well as a trolling motor. Other sonar-related functions include Split Frequency, Circular Flasher, Sonar Recording and Sonar Rewind, Split Zoom, Data Graphs, Bottom Lock and more.

Pros

  •  Equipped with 5 Hz internal GPS
  •  Ability to save up to 100 routes, 5000 waypoints, 50,000 track points and 50 tracks
  •  It has the BlueChart g2 maps that cover the Bahamas and coastal waters of the US
  •  CHIRP technology offers increased clarity
  •  Compatible with other chart types

Cons

  •  Some of the information in the manual may not apply

2. Humminbird Helix 7 Chirp SI/GPS G2 Combo – Best Value for the Money

This is a second generation of Humminbird helix fish finders/chart plotters. It incorporates multi-frequency Chirp technology to ensure reduced water column clutter, better target separation and deep water penetration. The 7″ display 16-bit grayscale screen has a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels for crystal clear viewing. It works great for split viewing as well. Available sonar options include sonar only, side-imaging Chirp and down-imaging.

The Helix 7 offers Switchfire Sonar and DualBeam PLUS Sonar features. The frequencies available in DualBeam Plus are 200 kHz and 83 kHz. This allows you discover and catches fish in areas as wide as your depth for a complete picture. The SwitchFire Sonar feature allows you to view sonar returns in Clear mode or Max mode by adjusting the signal filtering.

The GPS feature has built-in Bluetooth and with an Ethernet cable, you can share tracks, waypoints, GPS position information, routes and sonar information. However, you cannot share maps. You can save up to 50 routes, 2500 waypoints and 50 tracks with 20,000 points. Other optional features with the GPS include Humminbird Mapping, PC Connect, Naviocs+ and Naviocs Platinum+.

Pros

  •  Ability to share tracks, routes, waypoints and other navigation information
  •  Has a full arsenal of Sonar features including Side Imaging, Down Imaging and SwitFire Sonar
  •  High resolution screen can be used for split viewing
  •  Can be used for identifying fish at a depth of more than 800 feet

Cons

  •  A learning curve is important to get the most out of it

3. Garmin 010-01802-01 Echomap Chirp 73SV with Transducer – Best Fish Finder for Deep Sea Fishing

The Echomap Chirp 73SV comes with a quick-release and flush mounts, power/data cable, 12-pin transducer, protective cover, the GT 40-TM, and a user’s manual. The included flush mount is exclusive to Garmin and allows you to permanently install the cable and swivel mount. This unit is powered by 50 watts and uses a 480 x 800 pixel screen to display fish underwater. Controls are similar to the 50s models and include on/off, select, home as well as mark buttons. Zoom in/out and four-way toggle functions are also available.

The Garmin Echomap Chirp 73SV comes with the Lake Vu mapping system with detailed illustrations of more than 17,000 rivers, lakes, and reservoirs in the US. Also included are views of more than 5700 lakes and contour shading for easier depth recognition. You can plot up to 100 routes, 5000-waypoints, and 50,000 points. The provided SD card comes handy when you want to save favorite locations for the future excursion or upgrade the system to the BlueChart G2. The 5 Hz GPS/GLONASS receiver updates images every five seconds.

Pros

  •  Option to use either dual-beam 77/200 kHz or the dual-frequency 50/200 kHz sonar
  •  Ability to reveal marine life and underwater terrain in depths of 1100 feet in saltwater and 2300 feet in freshwater
  •  Includes DownVu scanning technology and high-resolution display
  •  5 Hz GPS/GLONASS receiver seamlessly updates images every five seconds

Cons

  •  Fish that are more than 800 feet underwater are a little blurry

4. Garmin 010-01813-02 Echomap Chirp 52CV with Transducer – Best Fish Finder for Lakes

This is one of the newest fish finders from Garmin in 2017. It comes with the GT20-TM transducer, which has a 20-feet cable, transform mount and 4-pin connector. It is also equipped with a temperature probe. The transducer can use the 455/800 kHz frequencies for ClearVu and 77/200 kHz for Sonar. The included Chirp technology modulates the sonar pulse over a range of frequencies to ensure better separation between fish and other structures as well as provide clearer images with less clutter. This unit has impressive depth capabilities of 750 feet for ClearVu and 1900 feet for 2D.

The Echomap Chirp 52Cv is equipped with an accurate and fast 5Hz GPS that provides updates every five seconds. It is capable of saving up to 100 routes and 5000 waypoints. The trial recording function allows you to save 50 tracks and 50,000 track points. This unit also has inbuilt Worldwide Basemap, which a series of charts that cover the US, Mexico, Canada, Central and South America, Africa, Australia and other regions. While these charts can’t be updated, you can use a MicroSD card to install more detailed charts like LakeVu HD/HD Ultra and BlueChart G2 HD/G2 Vision.

Pros

  •  Uses a 5″ diagonal display with a pixel count of 480 x 480
  •  Unit is IPX7 waterproof
  •  Compatible with several chart types
  •  Impressive depth capabilities of up to 1100 feet

Cons

  •  Manual isn’t specific to this unit, but to all Echomap Chirp units

5. Garmin 010-01815-02 Echomap Chirp 72SV with Transducer – Best Fish Finder with Large & High-Resolution Screen

The Garmin Echomap Chirp 72SV is, unlike other units in the series, only equipped with the worldwide charts. It doesn’t have LakeVu or BlueChart charts, but you can add these later via SD card. The system includes a ClearVu transducer that is capable of scanning on a frequency of 50/77/200 kHz for 2D as well as 260/455/800 kHz for ClearVu and SideVu. The transducer has a 20-feet cable, 12-pin connector and incorporates a temperature sensor. While not as impressive as other units on this list, a depth capability of up to 800 feet is pretty good for fishing in a lake. Sonar functions are a little different from other units in the series and include Bottom Lock, Fish Alarms, Sonar Recording, Fish Symbols and A-Scope.

This unit is equipped with an internal GPS that updates on a 5Hz frequency and updates data every five seconds. It is also able to store 5000 waypoints, 100 routes and 50 tracks with 5000 track points. The Quick Contour feature uses sonar data and GPS to draw the contour as well as the depth of the lake or river you’re fishing in. This unit uses a 7″ screen with an 800×480 pixel count to provide excellent imaging.

Pros

  •  Uses dual-frequency sonar
  •  Fast and accurate GPS
  •  Compatible with other chart types
  •  Shallow Water Shading function
  •  Large, high-resolution display

Cons

  •  Manual covers all units of the Echomap Chirp series

6. Humminbird 409640-1 Helix 5 SI Fish Finder – Best Fish Finder for Beginners

Like other units in the Helix 5 series, the helix 5 SI fishfinder features a 5″ 480 x 800 resolution display that depicts 256 colors. The internal GPS is a slightly smaller and improved version of the 7″ 899 model. In addition to chart plotting, the unit comes preloaded with UniMap that provides 3D charts for inland rivers and lakes as well as the US coastline. There is also a micro sd slot for installing additional map software. You can store up to 45 routes or 2500 waypoints.

The Sonar can penetrate as far as 1200 feet underwater but at that depth, you get a low-resolution view. Sonar functions like Down Imaging, Side Imaging, and SwitchFire Sonar allow for customized coverage. The provided transducer has the standard 83/200/455 kHz frequencies. Other notable features include a mounting bracket, power cord, owner’s manual and a transom mount transducer.

Pros

  •  Comes with everything you need to get started
  •  Compatible with multiple chart types and maps
  •  Fast and accurate GPS
  •  Uses dual-beam PLUS
  •  Backed by 1-year warranty

Cons

  •  Many customers aren’t a fan of the preloaded mapping software
  •  Screen is a little too small for some users

7. Garmin Echomap Chirp 52CV without Transducer – Best Budget Fish Finder

The Echomap Chirp 52CV without Transducer is similar to the 52CV reviewed above, with the main difference being that this one doesn’t come with a transducer. Garmin maximized on the power of simplicity with easy-to-install chart plotter/sonar combos, Auto-dimming display, and backlit controls. The Chirp sonar sends a continuous sweep of frequencies and interprets them individually. Like other models on this list, this unit uses an inbuilt 5 Hz GPS to track your location. It updates the data every 5 seconds to ensure that you mark waypoints easily.

Pros

  •  Price
  •  Easy to install and use
  •  Uses a fast and accurate 5 Hz GPS
  •  Compatible with different chart types

Cons

  •  Lacks a transducer

8. Garmin Echomap Chirp 42DV without Transducer – Best Affordable Fish Finder

The Garmin Echomap Chirp 42DV without transducer boasts an internal 5 Hz GPS, clear scanning sonar technology, chirp sonar and more. The high-frequency sonar does a good job of providing photographic images of marine life and underwater terrain.

The chirp sonar allows for better separation between fish and other structures. This unit comes with LakeVu HD and BlueChart G2 charts. Our main concern is that it doesn’t include a transducer.

Pros

  •  Affordable
  •  Includes several charts and maps for easier navigation
  •  Has inbuilt 5 Hz GPS that updates data every five seconds
  •  Better target separation thanks to Chirp sonar

Cons

  •  Doesn’t have transducer
  •  Isn’t ideal for deep water fishing

How to Choose the Right Fish Finder

There are several factors you should consider to choose the best fish finder. Some of them are discussed below.

Power

With increased wattage comes faster time response. A fish finder that has more wattage also makes it easier to see deeper in the water and find the fish. If you will be fishing in shallow waters, a finder with less wattage will be better. Depending on the frequency range, you will readings from 100 feet deep to more than 400 feet deep.

Frequency range

It is important to understand the significance of the frequency range when looking for a fish finder. Frequencies come in three types including single, dual and multiple. They come in 50, 83, 192 or 200 kHz. The higher frequencies are ideal for fishing in shallow waters while lower frequencies like 50 and 83 are great for deep water fishing. The higher the frequency, the more detail you will be able to see.

Transducer

A transducer makes it possible for a fish finder to actually find fish in the water. It emits and receives sonic waves that let you know if there is any fish nearby. Once it receives the data, it sends it to the main unit before switching it to the screen. Without this feature, your fish finder is simply a fancy screen.

Every fish finder has a transducer but it’s always good to purchase an after-market transducer. This is because after-market transducers are designed to read a wider area, receive data faster and generally work better than what comes with a fish finder.

Screen color

Color screens allow for greater detail in millions of colors as compared to 256 shades of gray. They are the new standard when it comes to fish finders since they make underwater life really pop out at you. It makes it easier for you to see what’s going on, especially in bright light or when the weather is cloudy and dark.

While black and white models are still available on the market, using them won’t be as enjoyable as a color screen. We would recommend one if your budget doesn’t allow you to purchase a color finder.

Color resolution

Another important factor to consider is the number of pixels on the screen. The higher the number of pixels, the more details you will be able to see. You want to ensure your fish finder has, at the minimum, a resolution of 240 x 160 pixels. Even then, images will not be very clear. Consider spending more on a higher resolution screen.

The screen resolution combined with the screen size will be the ultimate factor that determines the clarity of the display. While smaller screens are good choices for backup or secondary fish finders, purchasing the biggest screen with the highest resolution you can afford makes more sense.

Conclusion

Choosing a fish finder is easy if you know what features to look for. All of the models reviewed above are highly rated and have predominantly positive reviews from customers. The most important thing when making your purchase is to ensure that the fish finder you choose suits your needs. Don’t hesitate to tell us more about your favorite model and why you love it.

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