There is a common misconception that fish finders cost a lot of money. Because of this, many casual users prefer to go at it on their own.
The result is a frustrating fishing session with a measly catch at the end of the day. We explored many fish finders in search of the best fish finder under 200.
Many fish finders indeed come at high price points; however, a fish finder does not have to be pricey to be productive.
Many affordable and even inexpensive fish finders have proven themselves to be quite effective with their detection capabilities.
Finding such devices is the art that new users need to master. Do go through our list of recommendations and the guide that follows.
It will surely leave you more knowledgeable and better equipped to pick out worthy investments from those that won’t deliver satisfactory results.
Quick Overview – Top 10 Best Fish Finders Under 200
- Humminbird Helix 5 Sonar G2 410190-1 – Good value at affordable price
- Garmin Striker 4 with Kit – A complete package for adventure fishing
- Lowrance HOOK2 4X GPS – Basic fish finder with a GPS system
- Garmin Striker 4cv – Portable and powerful sonar detection
- Deeper PRO+ DP1H10S10 – Smart detector with advanced detection capability
- Garmin Striker 4 – Affordable detector with strong feature-set
- Deeper Start DP2H10S10 – Smart detector with basic detection capability
- HawkEye FishTrax 1X – Inexpensive and reliable fish finder
- Humminbird PIRANHAMAX 4 410150-1 – Portable and high-quality detection device
- Lucky Handheld FFC1108-1 – Entry-level fish finder for casual fishing
Comparison of Top 10 Best Fish Finders Under $200
Best Fish Finders Under $200 Reviewed for 2021
Finding a good fish finder is easy if budget isn’t an issue. Tons of expensive detectors will take care of your fishing needs.
Finding a reliable one on a budget, however, is a lot more complicated. We review some of the best fish finders that we have come across under $200:
1. Humminbird Helix 5 Sonar G2 410190-1 – Most Accurate Fish Finder Under 200
Humminbird, another trusted name in fish finder manufacturing, has a strong portfolio of highly capable devices.
Humminbird devices tend to be slightly more expensive than other options but when you experience their performance, you will find that the price is quite justified.
The Sonar G2 is a relatively basic variant in the Helix 5 lineup. It doesn’t come with any of the bells and whistles of its more jacked up counterparts.
But it retains all the essential elements that make the Helix 5 lineup special. What you get as a result is a powerful and affordable device.
The Helix 5 G2 features a large HD WVGA 5-inch display. This is very impressive under the 200-dollar mark.
Many other devices at this price come with smaller displays, LCD displays, or no displays at all.
Helix 5 G2 may not be as capable as more expensive devices in the Helix 5 catalog, but it does come with CHIRP sonar and Humminbird’s Dual-Beam PLUS scanning.
Utilizing CHIRP’s variable scanning ability, the device combines low and high-frequency scanning to detect with accuracy.
With the low-frequency scanning mode, the transducer emits wave pulses that cover a wide area.
Although they capture the surrounding in less detail, they give users a general sense of the surrounding. The high-frequency mode can then be used to capture a smaller area in more detail.
All Helix 5 devices come with SwitchFire viewing. Through this, users can select one of two viewing modes.
Clear mode displays only critical information users can use to spot fish-activity hotspots. They can then switch to Max mode for more information including fish sizes.
- HD 800px x 480px display
- CHIRP Dual-Beam PLUS detection
- SwitchFire viewing
- Good value for money
- Standby mode not available
If you are looking for a powerful device that delivers far better performance than any other at its price point, the Helix 5 G2 is the best fish finder under 200.
It lacks several additional features, such as navigation, but it won’t leave you disappointed with its detection capability.
2. Garmin Striker 4 with Kit – Best Accessories Package on a Budget
The Garmin Striker 4 on its own is a tremendous offering from the company. We have already gone over why the Striker 4 is such a valuable offering at its price range. It is probably even one of the best for the price.
Garmin Striker has released several variants of its popular Striker 4 series as well as several bundles aimed at making fishing simpler for new users. One such bundle is what we will be discussing here.
The Striker 4 Kit is priced only slightly higher than the device itself. For the additional money, you get a great deal of value.
The additional accessories save users from purchasing them separately which tends to be more expensive.
The kit comes with the 3.5-inch Striker 4 primary display which we have covered in considerable detail in our dedicated review of the device.
The variant of the Striker 4 included in this bundle includes an integrated GPS system.
The Striker 4 Kit also includes a carrying case. The case is made from thick water-resistant materials with a mesh lining the outside of the case.
Inside the case is an integrated stand so the device can be used from inside the case. This is useful when there is a risk of the device being exposed to water.
The fish finder itself comes with all the features that we have already discussed. These include dual-beam CHIRP sonar. The device also features an in-built flasher.
This is useful when ice fishing, as it enables the users to view the collected data in the flasher format.
- Accessories bundle at a low cost
- Water-resistant carrying case
- CHIRP sonar scanning
- GPS and way-point mapping
- The device lacks chart plotting
If you plan on doing a lot of kayak fishing or will be fishing in extreme weather conditions, it is advisable to spend a few more dollars on the Striker 4 Kit.
The water-resistant case helps keep the device safe from being harmfully exposed to water.
3. Lowrance HOOK2 4X GPS – Best Budget Fish Finder with GPS
Lowrance manufactures feature-rich devices that cost considerably less than similarly-functioning devices from more established manufacturers.
The company has carved a significant position for itself in the market over the years, and its detectors have received much praise.
The Hook2 is an upgrade to the company’s original Hook fish finder. Lowrance has released several variants of the series with varying capabilities and features.
The 4X is a barebones offering that delivers reliable sonar detection and basic GPS navigation.
The 4X may be a much cheaper model than the other Hook2 devices but this doesn’t show in the build quality.
The device comes with the signature rugged casing that looks and feels premium. It should, as this is the same casing featured on pricier Hook2 models.
Although the device comes with a 4-inch display as we have seen on other budget offerings in this list,
Lowrance changes things up a bit by giving this smaller device the feel of a larger one with a landscape display. This allows the device to make better use of the limited screen space.
Hook2 4X comes with auto-tuning sonar capability which enables the user to spend less time setting the device up and more on finding the perfect fish.
The transducer scans on a wide-angle cone that captures more of the surrounding.
This fish finder also comes with an integrated GPS system. Although the GPS system is limited in functionality and won’t offer mapping and chart plotting, it is still a valuable addition which we don’t generally see on cheaper variants.
- Auto-tuning sonar
- Wide sonar coverage
- Convenient usage
- No mapping or chart plotting
Easy setup, accurate detection, and GPS navigation make this device an ideal purchase for beginners and intermediate fishermen.
Its crisp display and auto-tuning scanning allow for a more immersive and convenient fishing experience.
4. Garmin Striker 4cv – Good Value Upgrade
Going up in the price department we see another slightly more powerful member of Garmin Striker’s Series 4 lineup.
It brings back all the core functionality of the base model and builds on the device’s sonar detection capability with the addition of Garmin’s ClearVu scanning. The device’s superior scanning performance won’t be news to users aware of Garmin’s offerings.
The Striker 4cv comes with a 4.3-inch display and the same pixel-dense 800px x 480px resolution.
Compared to the 3.5-inch display on the base Striker 4, this is quite a step up. The display is as crisp and as bright as ever, ensuring great visibility in brighter conditions.
An upgraded sonar transducer is the highlight of the 4cv. The transducer now comes with ClearVu scanning in addition to the CHIRP sonar scanning.
ClearVu scanning delivers a vivid photographic image of what passes through directly underneath your vessel.
Another notable addition to the device is Garmin’s Quickdraw Contours app. Quickdraw allows the device to make better use of its GPS navigation system.
As you explore the lake or the shoreline, Quickdraw creates HD maps of the areas you have been to. These are helpful for future trips.
The Strike 4cv delivers the same detailed 2D sonar detection as the Striker 4. The transducer scans on variable high and low frequencies to create a detailed image of the surrounding.
The ClearVu helps bring images to focus and does an excellent job of distinguishing fish.
- HD display
- Quickdraw Contours app
- CHIRP and ClearVu scanning
- Precise GPS navigation
- No expandable storage
Garmin Striker 4cv is a significant upgrade over the Striker 4. What makes it a valuable buy is that it doesn’t cost a lot more than the base model but delivers more control to the user.
For the professional fisherman, this is an excellent entry-level fish detector.
5. Deeper PRO+ DP1H10S10 – Best Advanced Smart Fish Finder
Midway through our recommendations, we find ourselves looking at another promising offering from Deeper. The Pro+ can be counted among the company’s more premium offerings.
However, its capability and performance are certainly worth the few extra dollars that you will be spending on it.
As you open up the box, you will notice the black spherical shape of the Pro+.
Layered in a matte finish with a hint of orange going around, the Pro+ gives you the feel of a premium device. Setting it up is easy if you follow the included instruction manual.
Once you have connected the device’s private wireless network and connected your smart device to it, it works quickly and flawlessly.
As soon as you cast it out it will send back readings on the water depth and temperature as well as a bunch of other information.
Let the device float around for a bit longer and it will collect elaborate data on various physical characteristics of the underwater environment.
These include vegetation, underwater structures, the nature of the seabed, and the suitability of the area for fishing.
The Pro+ boasts a higher detection range than what we saw on its more affordable brother. The detector can be cast out to a maximum distance of 330 ft.
This is especially beneficial for people who like to fish from the shore. It can also scan to a greater depth of 260 ft.
- Dual-frequency scanning at 90kHz/290kHz
- Sleek and stylish design
- Scans over a longer distance
- Compatible with various apps
- Needs to remain partially above water to retain connectivity
You don’t expect a budget fish detector to be this capable or smart, which is why the Deeper Pro+ is a refreshing find.
Like other detectors from this manufacturer, the Pro+ is an ideal addition to the modern fisherman’s gear.
6. Garmin Striker 4 – Best Budget Fish Finder
Garmin Striker is one of the top brands when it comes to fish finders. You can’t be in the market for a fish finder and not comes across several quality offerings from this manufacturer.
Garmin has a wide catalog of devices available at different price points. The manufacturer has made a name for itself for offering powerful high-quality equipment at competitive prices.
Garmin’s strategy is fairly evident on the Garmin Striker 4 portable fish finder. For this device,
Garmin has aimed to strip all extra features that hold the device back and focused on delivering core features in a simplified user-interface.
Garmin Striker 4 is one of few devices in its price range that comes with CHIRP sonar scanning.
CHIRP is a military-grade sonar technology that works more effectively than regular sonar. It captures more detail and reveals more of the surrounding through variable frequency scanning.
The device includes a dual-beam CHIRP transducer.
The transducer is capable of emitting sonar pulses at two frequencies simultaneously for better scanning. The low-frequency beam of 77 kHz covers a wider area but scans it with less detail.
The higher frequency of 200 kHz is for more detailed scanning to distinguish between different underwater structures and types of fish.
Results from both these scanning operations can either populate the screen individually or can be viewed together for more clarity.
- Best value for money
- CHIRP sonar technology
- Several scanning modes
- GPS navigation
- Small 3.5-inch display
Garmin Striker 4 is a premium device at a low-end price. It is a great buy for anyone who wishes to experience what a seasoned manufacturer like Garmin has to offer while staying well within their budget.
Its durable water-resistant exterior promises many years of reliable service.
7. Deeper Start Smart DP2H10S10 – Best Entry-Level Smart Fish Finder
Deeper is a relatively new brand that is fast growing into a recognizable name in the fish finder market. This recognition is primarily owed to the company’s focus on integrating modern technology with reliable sonar detection.
Deeper’s smart tools come with Wi-Fi connectivity and are compatible with many of the leading fish finding apps.
Deeper Start is the company’s less expensive variant of castable fish finders. It is a small device that resembles a pear at first glance.
The device pairs with Deeper’s dedicated app and transmits data directly to the device the app is installed on over wireless radio.
The device does not require an internet connection for data transmission.
It doubles down as a Wi-Fi hotspot which generates a private wireless network that smart devices can connect to. The app is designed for simplicity and is easy to use.
The casting and scanning range on the device is 165 ft. What this means is that it will retain its connection to your smart device up to a maximum distance of 165 ft.
The included cord will only allow the device to reach this distance so you won’t go out of range. This is sufficient for almost all freshwater fishing and some sea fishing. The transducer scans in a 40-degree radius and brings back a lot of detail with its scans.
- Affordably priced
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- Smart device integration
- Accurate sonar detection
- A cellular connection can affect Wi-Fi connectivity
Everything these days is being enhanced by technology so why should fish finders be any different? Deeper operates with this focus.
This allows it to achieve a higher level of integration with smart devices than any other fish finder, making the device a great choice.
8. HawkEye FishTrax 1X – Best Castable Fish Finder
The FishTrax 1X from HawkEye is another inexpensive fish finder that is built for performance. This fish detector comes in a small and stylish form factor. The casing is made from anti-slip material which is comfortable to grip.
This means you can handle it with confidence when on the water. Each of the four devices in HawkEye’s FishTrax series offers the same level of performance and doesn’t disappoint with their quality and accuracy.
FishTrax 1X features the company’s VirtuView display. The VirtuView display comes in several variants but the one on this device is a dot-matrix display.
It comprises an LCD panel and LED backlighting. This display is special as it delivers excellent visibility in almost all conditions.
Despite being a simple black and white display, the device makes tremendous use of its limited capabilities.
Users can use it in data and fish finder modes, as required, to get information relevant to their situation. A depth scale shows how far fishes and objects are from the sensor.
Unlike most fish finders in this price range, the FishTrax 1X comes with a transducer capable of dual-beam detection.
The castable transducer emits sonar beams at two different frequencies. Each frequency works for specific detection modes.
The higher frequency of 200kHz is used for scanning in shallow water. The high frequency travels less distance so it doesn’t scan as wide an area as the lower frequency.
However, it captures more detail. The lower frequency of 883kHz scans a wider area with less detail.
- VirtuView dot-matrix display
- Dual-frequency transducer
- Several sensitivity settings
- Fish Depth and FishID
- Floater kit for shore fishing not included
The FishTrax 1X is a low-end device but you won’t feel this when using it. It feels like a premium device that was built in this size and form factor to make it more versatile and effective.
For the user to feel this way about an inexpensive device is a rare occurrence.
9. Humminbird PiranhaMax 4 410150-1 – Best Inexpensive Fish Finder
PiranhaMax has long offered the budget-friendly solution to fishermen who either can’t afford or don’t prefer the company’s more expensive Helix lineup.
The PiranhaMax caters to a more casual market of recreational fishermen. The aptly named PiranhaMax 4 from Humminbird is one of the best underwater sensing and sonar imaging devices we have tested in this price range.
The PiranhaMax 4 comes with a crisp 4.3-inch LCD portrait display. Being an inexpensive fish finder, it is very impressive that Humminbird created it with a dense pixel count of 272px x 480px.
The backlit display has been tested during various times of the day and it has been fairly visible throughout.
Humminbird reserves its CHIRP sonar integration for the pricier models.
However, even without CHIRP, the scanning capabilities of the PiranhaMax 4 leave little to be dissatisfied about.
The transducer comes with dual-beam scanning and is capable of both wide and narrow-beam scanning.
Wide-frequency scanning on the device works at 200 kHz. At this frequency, the transducer scans a radius of 28 degrees.
Wide scanning captures less detail over a larger area. This becomes a good point to start as users can assess the area for hotspots of activity.
The narrow frequency scanning uses a frequency of 455 kHz. This scanning mode scans the immediate surroundings or a specific area to capture more detailed information.
This includes Fish ID+, which gives users a significantly accurate idea of the types of fish in a cluster.
- Dual-beam scanning
- Built-in transducer
- Various mounting options
- Good value for money
- No CHIRP scanning
The PiranhaMax 4 is a great budget fish finder.
It is aimed at the budget-conscious casual fisherman who wants to enjoy fishing without getting too burdened by the complications of a more advanced fish detector.
10. Lucky Handheld FFC1108-1 – Best Detector for Casual Fishing
When it comes to low-cost but efficient fish finders, Lucky is a prominent name. You won’t find many budget fish finder recommendation lists without a Lucky product or two.
Lucky is a relatively new company as compared to some other manufacturers we will be looking at later in this list. However, this handheld device packs some impressive detection capabilities that will simplify your fishing trip.
The FFC1108-1 is a versatile detector that packs a lot of functionality in a small body. It is capable of detecting in various situations such as shore fishing, lake fishing, saltwater fishing, and even ice fishing.
The device detects depth, the density of fish, and other details about the surroundings.
The collected information is displayed on the device’s LED display. The simple but colored display comes with blue LED backlighting which does wonders for the device’s visibility.
The display is fairly visible in various lighting conditions, including during the daytime.
What sets the FFC1108-1 apart from other common fish finders is that it doesn’t require extensive setup or an external power source to function.
The device is powered by AAA batteries which you can easily stock up on to keep the device running for as long as you wish.
The device comes with a castable waterproof transducer that discharges sonar waves in a radius of 45 degrees.
The transducer is capable of emitting these waves to a depth of 328ft, which allows for more comprehensive scanning.
- Sufficiently powerful sonar detection
- Good detection range
- Can be used for ice fishing
- Accuracy is affected when moving
The FFC1108-1 fish finder is a capable offering from the Chinese manufacturer, Lucky, at a great price.
It is an ideal choice for beginners and casual users as it does not complicate things with too much detail or displays that are difficult to interpret. It also manages to deliver accurate results.
How to Search for the Best Fish Finders Under $200?
The devices we have reviewed are some of the best you can buy for under 200 dollars. However, several other devices are equally as good for the price. The trick is being able to spot these devices. Not every device is worth the money that you spend on it.
When you purchase an expensive fish finder, chances are higher that you will end up getting your money’s worth.
However, the situation gets a lot more complicated when you are shopping on a budget. The market is filled to the brim with cheap devices that aren’t good enough to detect a fly.
You must be able to pick out a device that will deliver good value for money from amongst a multitude of others that won’t.
To do this, you must have basic knowledge of what makes a good fish finder, and the considerations you should be assessing when picking one out.
Be Mindful of Your Budget
This is probably the most important consideration. You should always remember how much you are willing to spend. But we understand that this doesn’t always happen.
When shopping for a new fish finder, you might be tempted to spend more than you should be spending if you see a device that offers a rich feature-set.
Before going overboard and spending a whole lot of money, consider your usage for the device.
You should assess whether you need a device of such high capabilities or if your needs can be met with a more affordable device.
Unless you fish for a living, the chances are that you can make do with a much cheaper device, provided that it delivers reliable performance and detection.
How accurately a fish finder detects fish is determined by the transducer it comes with. Almost all fish finders come with two components – the display and the transducer. The transducer emits the sonar beams that capture and return data from the surroundings.
Portable fish finders come with castable transducers that can be cast out using a fishing hook or an included cord. Such transducers are often limited in capability, although some more modern devices even come with CHIRP sonar detection.
Other transducers are mountable. They can be mounted to the transom or the hull of your boat. These transducers can come with additional scanning capabilities that deliver more detail about the surrounding area.
For casual fishing, standard single-frequency sonar detection will do a reasonable job. It will allow you to estimate the density and distance of fish, along with some other useful information.
However, if you want more control over your catch, you should consider a fish finder with advanced sonar detection.
Variable-frequency CHIRP sonar is the latest in sonar detection. It allows for a much clearer image of the underwater environment as it uses a mix of high and low frequencies.
The variable frequencies work together to compile a comprehensive estimation of the area underneath.
Best Fish Finder Under 200 (FAQs)
You hopefully now have a better idea of some of the more important considerations when searching for a good fish finder.
You will probably still have a lot of questions, especially if this is your first time buying a fish detector. We answer some of the most burning questions new buyers frequently ask.
✅ What features should I look for in a good fish finder?
Any good fish finder should come with decent sonar detection capabilities. It should also be able to produce consistently reliable readings even through extended usage. Apart from these primary features, the feature-set that matters most to you will depend on the type of fishing that you intend to do.
✅ Is it safe to buy a cheap fish finder?
Fish finders come in a range of prices from inexpensive to considerably more expensive. An expensive fish finder will give you reliable detection and a strong set of features. Chances are that you won’t even be using many of the features more advanced fish finders come with.
There are a number of affordable fish finders that deliver powerful detection capabilities. They might not offer a lot of additional features, but what they do, they do quite well. Not all cheap fish finders can be trusted, however. Assess the device for its reliability and performance to determine if it is worth the purchase.
Do I need a large display?
✅ Although a larger display on a fish finder does help, it isn’t essential. Larger displays are capable of delivering more information on a single screen. However, there are many fish finders with smaller screens that have a clean user-interface which is a delight to use. Try the interface for yourself before making a decision.
We have shortlisted some of the best fish finders you should be considering if you are on a strict budget.
All of our picks are selected specifically for their accurate and reliable performance. They are also selected because they deliver tremendous value at their respective price points.
Amongst a list of impressive selections, we found the Helix 5 Sonar G2 to be the strongest offering. It has all the basic qualities a fish finder must have and some features that you only see on pricier models.
A sharp display, powerful CHIRP sonar detection, and basic navigational capabilities give this all-rounder the top spot as the best fish finder under 200 dollars.
That being said, you should make your decision based on your specific needs, in accordance with the buying guide we have included above.