With so many fish finder models today, it can be very difficult to know which one is the best for your needs. To help you make an informed decision, in this article, I will be listing the best fish finder GPS Combo under $500, and give you their pros and cons.
What is a Fish Finder?
A fish finder is an instrument that helps anglers to detect fish in the water by using reflected pulses of sound energy. The device uses unique sound navigation and a ranging system like sonar. The information is then displayed in a readable visual data form, making it easier for anglers to comprehend.
Modern-day fish finders are equipped with high-tech functionalities like GPS and RADAR. This advancement in technologies has simplified the process of fishing and has made fishing today a breeze.
Moreover, many fish finders today provide exceptional functions for an affordable price. And with this large selection, it is definitely a tough task to find the best Fish finder GPS combo under 500 dollars.
So, Why Buy Fish Finder with GPS?
As mentioned above, fish finders help anglers identify fish clearly underwater and provide them with the best location to lower their baits. While SONAR is important for fish detection, a navigation GPS combo is most necessary in these modern times as it helps fishing vessels stay in the path and return safely to the shore or port.
Aside from this, Fish Finder GPS Combo also allows you to plot your course and create maps of your favorite fishing destinations.
But these high-tech functionalities don’t mean you have to empty your pockets. Even the most popular fish finder manufacturers produce innovative but affordable fish finders.
In this article, I have listed the 10 best GPS Fish finder combo under 500 dollars available in the market. Please read further for the detailed review of each product along with their pros and cons.
Best Fish Finder GPS Combo Under 500 Dollars In This Guide
10 Best Fish Finder GPS Combo Under 500 Dollars List
1. Humminbird 4090401 386Ci Fish Finder
On top of our list of the Best Fish Finder GPS Combo Under 500 dollars is the Humminbird 4090401 386Ci. Manufactured by Humminbird, you will never regret buying the 386Ci fish finder.
This Humminbird Fish Finder doesn’t come with CHIRP but has internal GPS that offers 2500 waypoints and 50 routes.
It has a small 3.5″ screen but it is equipped with Switchfire Sonar that gives you two helpful viewing options. Use clear Mode for shallow waters and use Max Mode to get maximum details of your fish and structures.
Moreover, you can also start saving sonar recordings of your favorite lake. This option will enable you to create and view your custom lake map with the lake master auto chart program.
Overall, I like the Humminbird 4090401 386Ci Fish Finder for its features, price and portability. But if you have a larger boat, or dislike small screens, this may not be the best option for you.
- Split Screen functionality
- Dual Beam with Switchfire technology
- 2500 way points and 50 routes
- Robust and well built
- Doesn’t have CHIRP
- Small Screen
2. Humminbird Helix 5 G2 Fishfinder
Second, on our list of Best Fish Finder GPS Combo Under $500 is the Humminbird Helix 5 Fishfinder. The best thing that I like about this fish finder is that it comes with a bigger 5” screen compared to the Humminbird 4090401 386Ci. This screen produces a clear display and is readable even in sunlight.
Just like the Humminbird 4090401 386Ci, the Helix 5 Sonar has GPS Chartplotting capabilities and SwitchFire Sonar. Humminbird 410190-1 HELIX 5 SONAR G2 also uses dual-beam SONAR that can support 83/200 kHz frequencies and a depth of 1500ft.
Overall, the Humminbird Helix 5 G2 is a great fish finder for beginners. For its affordable price and good warranty don’t expect a lot of features that some of the high-end Humminbird models have.
- Readable large screen
- Easily to install
- SwitchFire Sonar Display
- 1-Year Limited Warranty
- Doesn’t come with CHIRP
3. Garmin Striker Vivid 7sv with CHIRP
Another Best Fish Finder GPS Combo Under 500 dollars is the Garmin Striker 7 which has a bright, colorful 7” display that is easily readable in the sunlight. The Garmin striker 7 includes transducer with the traditional sonar plus.
The CHIRP ClearVü and CHIRP SideVü scanning sonars provides almost photographic imagery of the potential catch below your boat. You can create and store maps with 1’ contours for up to 2 million acres with the help of the Built-in Quickdraw Contours mapping software.
Moreover, there is a Built-in Wi-Fi for access to ActiveCaptain app. The app lets you receive notifications, access Quickdraw Contours Community and transfer waypoints. The extraordinary Built-in GPS marks waypoints, create new maps and view your fishing boat’s speed.
Furthermore, the device has an extraordinary battery life of 15 hours plus. This Garmin model also comes with a three-axis compass and a barometric altimeter. The polaroid AA batteries or rechargeable NiMH batteries are the power used. This fish finder from Garmin model is a feature-packed device with excellent functionalities.
- Easily readable colour display
- 15 hours of continuous battery power
- 7-inch large screen
- CHIRP technology
- Excellent customer service and support
- Intuitive user interface
- Some users complained of reading not being accurate
- Takes time to restart
4. Lowrance Hook Reveal 5 Fish Finder
The Lowrance Hook Reveal 5 is a powerful device that offers multiple control panels. This fish finder has a powerful CHIRP sonar together combined and has C-MAP Preloaded Map Options.
Aside from CHIRP it has downscan imaging, Splitshot transducer and Autotuning Sonar to make your fishing adventure more enjoyable.
Moreover, the Lowrance Hook Reveal 5 Fish Finder provides detailed maps and shoreline information of over 4000 lakes. It’s also equipped with HOOK Reveal’s SolarMAX 5″ display that allows you to see the screen even in direct sunlight
- Has CHIRP and Downscan Imaging
- Enhanced and detailed information
- Display has good daylight visibility
- Included Inland Maps
- Post mount has a lot of vibration
- No operating system back up
5. Simrad Cruise 5 Fish Finder
Simrad is another reputable brand when it comes to fish finders and their Simrad Cruise 5 Fish Finder is one of their most affordable fishfinders with GPS. It’s loaded with features like CHIRP, GPS and high-quality display just like the other fishfinders on this list. And with the US coastal map and fishing charts pre-loaded onto the device, your next fishing adventure will be more productive.
What I love most about this fish finder is its great split-screen display. You can choose full screen for maximum display of surroundings or sonar data. And you can use the split screen view to see both your sonar and chart data.
Another thing that makes Simrad Cruise 5 one of the best fish finder GPS combo is its ease of use and smooth navigation. And if you don’t like the 5″ inch display, it comes in 7″ and 9″ sizes.
- Available in larger sizes
- Easy controls
- Easy to mount and dismount
- Actual screen is smaller than 5″
6. Garmin Echomap CHIRP 44cv With Transducer
The Garmin Echomap CHIRP 44cv with Transducer is one of the best fish finder and GPS combos on the list. The Echomap CHIRP 44cv is easy to use and install. It comes with a 4.3” display, a Chartplotter and a CHIRP ClearVü for a crystal clear display of scanned images.
Garmin’s standard Quickdraw Contours Software lets you create and save the maps swiftly. It also makes it easier to personalize your HD fishing maps with one-foot counters.
Also, the Echomap CHIRP is IPX7 waterproof and can cope with rain splashes and immersions up to three feet in freshwater.
Furthermore, the CHIRP sonar is miles ahead of the traditional sonar as it provides sharp images and detects distinct targets. Moreover, the device is loaded with 5000 accurate waypoints which makes it easier to reach your favorite fishing destination. E
A bonus feature includes the state of the art GPS software that lets you format and transfers the stored tracks, waypoints, and routes onto another fish finder device. It also updates the position and heading at 5x per second.
- Compatible with other chart types
- Detachable unit
- Ease of use and straightforward operation
- Excellent graphics display
- Tide tables information
- Huge transducer
- No wireless connectivity
- Does Not Have a unit-specific manual guide
7. Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 Fish Finder
The Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 Fish Finder is an excellent choice for anglers who want to be able to see fish and structures clearly on their display. Its FishReveal feature does an excellent job of combining the target separation of Lowrance CHIRP sonar with the high-resolution images of structure from DownScan Imaging. Thus making it easy to see fish even in murky water.
When you’re out on the open water, the last thing you want to worry about is getting lost. With the Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 Fish Finder, you can relax and focus on what’s important: fishing. This GPS plotter makes navigation easy, whether you’re heading to your favorite fishing spot or simply exploring new waters.
It comes pre-loaded with maps of over 4,000 US lakes. Plus, it includes a built-in GPS receiver, so you can create your own trails and waypoints as you go.
Furthermore, it also has a large 7″ display that is also very clear and easy to read, even in direct sunlight. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a novice just getting started, the Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 Fish Finder is a must-have for anyone
- Fast and accurate GPS plotter
- Easy to use
- Good map collection of 4000 US water bodies
- High-quality down scan imaging
- Online access to sonar charts
- No touch screen
8. Deeper PRO Smart Portable Sonar
The Deeper PRO Smart Portable Sonaris your best option when it comes to ice fishing in the colder climate. That’s because this castable and portable fish finder is suitable for any season. In addition to that, it’s so versatile you can use it for ice fishing, shore fishing, boat, and kayak fishing.
Additionally, the Deeper PRO Smart Portable Sonar Fish Finder is a great option for anglers who want to be able to view depth, bottom structure and consistency, vegetation and fish in real-time.
It uses two-beam frequencies with 15 scans per second, making it one of the most accurate portable fish finders on the market.
Moreover, the low power consumption means that you can use it for long periods of time without having to worry about recharging. Overall, the Deeper PRO is an excellent choice for anglers who want to be able to quickly and easily find fish in their favorite body of water.
- Long 330ft casting range
- Comes with an app
- Compatible with Android and iOs devices
- Easy installation
- Not that durable compared to other premium fish finders on this list
9. Garmin Striker 7sv Fish Finder
Presenting you on the list of Best fish finder under 500 dollars, the Garmin Striker 7sv is yet another excellent product from Garmin. The quality and reliability of every product from Garmin is of top quality. This model of Garmin is no different. The Garmin striker 7sv has a 7-inch WVGA display with split-screen functionality.
The CHIRP ClearVü and SideVü transducer provide near-photographic imagery of the fish and other objects under the bottom of the boat. The CHIRP sonar offers a broad frequency range to create clear, crisp and fish targets inches apart.
Furthermore, you can also use the traditional sonar format for vertical or ice fishing adventures. The internal GPS unit handles tracking and marks waypoints that help you to trach locations and fish holes for future purposes. Hence, the case is waterproof to IPX7 standards.
Moreover, the Garmin strike gets mounted in an either gimbal or flush mount. The device is extremely portable as it weighs only 1 pound. The only downside is that the fish finder doesn’t have a MicroSD card as external storage for charts.
- Compact, portable
- Well sized buttons or keypads
- Exceptional feature
- ClearVü and SideVü transducer
- IPX7 standard waterproof
- Not sturdy enough
- No micro-sd card slot
10. Lowrance Hook2 Fish Finder
Last but not the least, on our list of Best Fish Finder GPS Combo Under 500 dollars is the Lowrance Hook2 Fish Finder. And what I love about this fish finder is that it is a 3 in 1 fishfinder. There are three types of sonar in this device: Downscan, Sidescan and CHIRP. This makes this device an advanced form of the Hook2 series.
Lowrance Hook2 Fish Finder Display
The 5-inch solar max display gives you accurate underwater views. Because of that, the fish targets and other rock elements are visible in excellent daylight as well.
In addition to that, it has a user-friendly menu and settings that give you easy access and controls. In fact, the intuitive controls and streamlined features of high-end fish finders are also present in the Lowrance Hook2.
Furthermore, the CHIRP sonar provides the sonar pulse over a wide range of frequencies. And it comes with standard sonar applications like the depth alarm, circular flasher, bottom, range, fish id, and others.
The only downside is that Lowrance HOOK2 5 – 5-inch doesn’t come with GPS mapping and chart compatibility. However, it does have a basic GPS plotter that allows you to create waypoints, and follow fishing trails.
- Tripleshot or three in one transducer
- Easy Setup
- Solarmax colour display
- Standard GPS plotter
- No unit cover
- Does Not have GPS mapping and chart compatibility
Fish Finder GPS Combo Under $500: Buyer’s Guide
Buying a good fishfinder with GPS Combo is a long term investment. Hence, there are numerous parameters that you should consider before investing your money in a good fish finder.
In brief, I have listed the most critical factors you need to consider before buying a good Fish Finder GPS Combo Under $500.
A good Display screen can make or break your fishing expedition. You should buy a fish finder that has the largest display screen as possible. The in-depth information details of the activity of the fish in the water are visible through the screen.
A 7-inch display screen is a perfect size for a GPS combo unit. However, the bigger size gives you more clarity while viewing the images. The resolution also matters a great deal. High definition, the coloured display screen is the standard for modern-day fish finders.
A Transducer is the most crucial factor for consideration before buying the fishfinder GPS combo. Likewise, Transducer is a device that sends and receives Sonar wave’s signals. Furthermore, a Transducer gets fitted inside the fish finder to send sonar wave in the water. Moreover, the waves bounce off when it strikes any external object or fish in the water.
This sonar wave then gets converted into a graphical image that provides detailed information about the fish location. This picture is visible through the display screen of the fish finder.
The frequency of the transducers also plays a crucial role. The Higher rate means that the chances of getting detailed information from the transducer are high too.
Low frequencies of almost 50 kHz are best for profound water studies, and high frequency of up to 200 kHz is best for shallow water.
The portability of fish finder is also essential. You can buy a portable fish finder that is lightweight and transportable from one place to another. In addition, you can also look into the Fixed Fish finders that require a proper area of installation. Above all, the fixed ones are quite heavy. Similarly, you can choose the best portable fish finder GPS combo according to your needs.
5. Down- or Side-Imaging
The two types of scanning sonars are down-imaging and side-imaging. Also, scanning sonar technologies offers a crisper view of the environment beneath the water. At a low price, Down-imaging sonars are more common, whereas more expensive fish finders provide side-imaging capabilities.
6. Connectivity (Wi-Fi or Bluetooth)
A Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity allows you to control your fishfinder through smartphones and tablets without the hassle of physical data cables. Also, they help you send maps of other fishing data from your device to your other gadgets. Many modern-day fish finders provide connectivity facilities.
7. GPS and Chart Plotting
GPS(Geographical Positioning System) enabled fish finders to aid you in finding the lake, river or sea in which you’re fishing. This function helps in the productivity of anglers.
Especially, the high-end fish finders are GPS-enabled with the feature of chart-plotting functionality. Others offer a basic GPS plotting functionality. Moreover, the GPS combo is a significant factor that enables you to navigate the water with accuracy.
8. Easy-to-Use Interface
In fact, an easy to use interface will not waste your time. Also, the settings and menus and can directly provide the necessary information required. Overall, the units that have intuitive, easy to use interfaces and systems are the best for you.
9. Split screen
In particular, the detailed information provided can only be useful when the information spreads out in a flexible and split-screen format. Moreover, this functionality increases the productivity of two folds, and you can fish without wasting much time.
Last but not the least, price is another crucial factor that requires consideration. Also, there are great budget fish finders available under the price tag of $300, $500, $700, $1000 or more. In fact, all these models come under the budget of $500. Overall, you can choose the best according to your requirement and affordability.
The Final Verdict
In conclusion, choosing the best among the list of these highly-rated Fish Finders GPS Combo is a tough task. I personally love Humminbird fish finders but they’re more expensive, that’s why I wasn’t able to include some of my favorite Humminbird models that come with CHIRP. So, if you like Humminbird, you can choose between the smaller Humminbird 4090401 386Ci or the larger Humminbird Helix 5 G2.
If you’re looking for more premium features like CHIRP Sonar and Unimap Charts go for the Garmin and Lowrance fish finders. Simrad is a good choice as well and they’re innovating to make their products more user-friendly. On the other hand, Deeper Pro and other wireless fish finders are new to the market and cheaper. But they come with a lot of drawbacks like disconnection problems and poor battery quality.