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 ranging system like sonar. The information is generally displayed in a readable visual data form, making it easier for anglers to comprehend.
The modern-day fish finder gets equipped with high tech functionalities. The advancement of technologies like GPS, RADAR and others have simplified the process of fishing. Many fish finders available in the market provide exceptional functionality under a limited budget. However, it is definitely a tough task to find the best Fish finder GPS combo under $500.
The fish finders help the fishermen to identify the clusters of fish and hence provides them with the ideal location to lower their baits. A fish finder sends a sound wave that gets converted by a transducer. Once the sound wave hits the fish or other elements, it bounces back.
A navigation GPS combo is most necessary in these modern times as it helps the vessels stay in the path and return safely to the shore or port. The high tech fish finders can display the size and composition of the element and aid the anglers in distinguishing between fish and other items. The fish finder’s accuracy will largely depend upon the level of frequency it can transmit.
The high tech functionality doesn’t mean you have to empty your pockets. The various top manufactures of the fish finders release new varied series of fish finders. These series focus on a separate aspect of fish finders. Some prioritize the display screen and its quality. Some focus on the technological advancements and the greater sonar frequency.
The fish finder must provide the necessary functionality on a budget. An angler should first decide what the one aspect that they put in their top priority and then start their search for the best fish finder. Are you still unsure which is the Best Fish Finder Combo GPS for you?
I have listed the 10 best rated GPS Fish finder combo available in the market. Please read further for the detailed review of each product along with their pros and cons. You can choose the best fish finder that suits your requirements.
Best Fish Finder GPS Combo Under $500 in 2019
The Humminbird Helix 7 CHIRP Di GPS G2 is a great fish finder at a budget price. A bright and detailed 7” screen presents the down imaging sonar and split-screen. The G2 models have additional features of CHIRP (Compressed High-intensity Radiated Pulse) sonar.
The sonar type is CHIRP digital sonar with down imaging and Dual Beam plus SwitchFire technology. The Humminbird Smartstrike helps to set parameters and catch the results come almost instantaneously. Fancy features with high functionality like Split Screen Zoom, Split Screen Bottom, Selective Fish ID+, UNIMAP charts are also present.
Furthermore, the CHIRP sonar is the best forms of sonar in the market, and it helps you show the fish that the other cannot show. The internal GPS offers 2500 waypoint and 50 routes. The micro-sd card enables you to store the maps for future reference. The card slot allows you to use Navionics or lake master maps.
Moreover, you can also start saving sonar recordings of your favourite lake. This option will enable you to create and view your custom lake map with the lake master auto chart program. Overall, the Humminbird Helix 7 CHIRP Di GPS G2 is an excellent fish finder with large screen from the reputed Humminbird company.
- Large 7’’ screen
- Split Screen functionality
- Dual Beam with Switchfire technology
- 2500 way points and 50 routes
- Microsd card for external storage
- Robust and well built
- Some users complained of a defective GPS unit
The first on our list is the Humminbird Helix 5 Fishfinder. The Helix 5 boasts of exceptional performance and excellent features. It comes with a large 5” diagonal screen which is readable even in sunlight.
The dual GPS and GLONASS satellite receiver assures uninterrupted, continuous and accurate signal. The signal provides exact fish positioning with other essential details like the depth of water, large rocks, and nearby ports.
Furthermore, the standard CHIRP Digital Sonar gives enhanced networking. Most advanced sonar returns provide MEGA Imaging. Besides, there are fancy high-tech features like Split Screen Zoom, Split Screen Bottom, Wide/Narrow Cone Lock Split Screen, Large Digits View, Freeze Frame, Instant Image Update, Selective Fish ID+, Real-Time Sonar, and others.
Moreover, features like CHIRP technology, UNIMAP charts and the transducer make the Humminbird Helix 5 a great fish finder GPS combo under $500. This versatile fish finder is ideal for saltwater or freshwater. It is ideal for small boats as well as large boats. Overall, the Humminbird Helix 5 Fishfinder With CHIRP is an excellent fish finder at a budget.
- Readable large screen
- Advanced CHIRP and transducer technology
- Continuous and accurate signal of fish positioning
- Easily installed
- A MicroSD card for external storage
- Bold style and the Ease of use.
- Leaky batteries
- Recharging takes lots of time
The Garmin Striker 7 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
The Lowrance Elite -5 Ti Downscan is a powerful device that offers multiple control panels. This fish finder has a powerful CHIRP sonar together combined with a Hybrid Dual Imaging transducer.
The device has a medium and high CHIRP and Downscan imaging. The bright led backlit HD touchscreen display has excellent control. It can connect a tablet or smartphone via Bluetooth. Built-in GPS antenna with fishfinder Chartplotter combo makes it quite a significant device.
Furthermore, you can save and view sonar history through the trackback feature. The GPS unit is one of the most popular among the sub- 500 fish finders. The MicroSD card storage is up to 32 GB for data saving for future reference and analysis. It can save tracks up to 10000 points each.
Moreover, the Lowrance enhanced elite base map provides depth and shoreline information for over 3000 lakes. Advanced signal processing (ASP) decreases the requirement of manual adjustments. Overall, the powerful Lowrance Elite -5 Ti Downscan is a perfect budget fish finder.
- Multiple operations mode
- Data storage up to 32 GB
- Enhanced and detailed information
- HD display
- Maps display
- Post mount has a lot of vibration
- No operating system back up
Raymarine Dragonfly Pro CHIRP Fish Finder is a compact device almost the size of an average smartphone. It has an HD display screen that has backlit functions for the night, which increases readability. A sturdy and durable device positions the fishfinder in comfortably.
There are 3000 user waypoints and 15 routes as well as a three-axis compass and a barometric altimeter. The dual-channel wide spectrum CHIRP sonar reaches down to 600 feet. The CPT -60 transducer fits the dragonfly unit and supports the down vision imaging and targets the fish.
Furthermore, the widescreen 7” display is bright and clear and readable in sunlight. The Pro 7 supports streaming to your phone or tablet via Wi-Fi. The GPS is sturdy and comes with the Navionics app. The screen detail and colour make for excellent visibility. This device is the best option for kayak fishing.
Overall, the Raymarine Dragonfly Pro CHIRP Fish Finder is a compact fish finder with excellent features.
- Large HD display, readable at night
- Wall or surface mounting
- Three-axis compass
- Barometric altimeter
- GPS and GLONASS functionality
- The signal can get lost
- Poor packaging
- Lack of good customer support
The Garmin Echomap CHIRP 54cv with Transducer is one of the best fish finder and GPS combos in the list. The Echomap CHIRP 54cv is easy to use and install. There are 5” Chartplotter and a CHIRP ClearVü for crystal clear display of scanned images.
The standard Quickdraw Contours Software lets you create and save the maps swiftly. The internal 5hz GPS updates the position and heading at 5x per second. 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 and provides sharply defined target separation. It is perfect for boating and fishing purposes. The device has a fast and highly responsive GPS of 5 Hz, which means it can update the heading and position 5x per second.
Moreover, the device drops 5000 accurate waypoints and makes it easier to reach your favourite fishing destination. The Quickdraw Contour feature makes it easier to personalize your HD fishing maps with one-foot counters.
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. Overall, Garmin Echomap CHIRP 54cv With Transducer ticks all the right boxes and is an ideal choice of fish finders.
- 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
The Lowrance Hook-2, 7 Inch Fishfinder has a CHIRP sonar as well as built-in Downscan imaging. Downscan imaging is of the best standard in the market.
It comes with a good map collection of 3000 inland water bodies. The detailed map collection is available through Navionics Gold, Fishing Hotspots Pro and others. The sonar charts are available through online access. The device comes with a Split Shot Transducer that gives you Downscan sonar and CHIRP sonar.
Furthermore, the device is ready to use with smartphone-like menus and comfortable settings. Dedicated keypads give one-touch access to all the features. A wide-angle sonar CHIRP technology provides double the coverage on traditional fish finders. It gets easily set up or mounted.
Moreover, the GPS plotter receives its signal from various satellites. The GPS plotter creates routes and save waypoints and tracks the outline movement of the boat. The only downside is that it does not have a touchscreen capability.
Overall, the Lowrance Hook-2, 7 Inch Fishfinder boasts of high tech features found in high-end fish finders under $500.
- Fast and accurate GPS plotter
- Easy to use
- Good map collection of 3000 us water bodies
- High-quality down scan imaging
- Online access to sonar charts
- No touch screen
- Poor quality control
The Humminbird Ice Series is your best option when it comes to ice fishing in the colder climate. The Humminbird CHIRP GPS combo provides better technology than the traditional flashers. The exciting features like GPS mapping, dual spectrum CHIRP digital sonar and others are available on this device.
The Ice Helix G2 series provides in-depth information about what is beneath the ice. The dual spectrum CHIRP sonar gives excellent viewing options, especially for anglers who love to fish in ice. Built-in GPS comes along with a Humminbird Base Map and CHIRP interference rejection settings.
Furthermore, you can also use this device in summers by adding an optional transducer. The device is truly an all-season model. The ice helix offers a wide range of viewing options including flasher and 2D sonar combo. The 2D sonar provides anglers with lure and fish history.
Moreover, the three-colour 5-inch TFT display provides excellent viewing angles. The ice 45 flasher features a central LCD that provides automatic depth scale. The device works fine even in freezing temperatures of -20 degrees celsius. The dual-frequency sonar delivers beam options that fine-tune your sonar coverage. This fish finder is another great addition to the list of fish finders from Humminbird.
- Works on temperature as low as -20 degrees
- Flasher and 2d sonar combo
- Dual-frequency sonar
- Usable in all seasons
- Built-in GPS with Humminbird Base Map
- Some users complained of poor customer service
- Poor quality control
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. The case is waterproof to IPX7 standards.
Moreover, the Garmin strike gets mounted in 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
The Lowrance 7x Hook 2 Gps Tripleshot Gray is a 3 in 1 fish finder. There are three types of sonar in this device: Downscan, Sidescan and CHIRP. The device is an advanced form of the hook2 series and has more capabilities.
The 5-inch solar max display gives you accurate underwater views. The fish targets and other rock elements are visible in excellent daylight as well. The user-friendly menu and settings give you easy access and controls. The intuitive controls and streamlined features of high-end fish finders are present in the Lowrance 7x.
Furthermore, the CHIRP sonar provide the sonar pulse over a wide range of frequencies. From the Downscan and side-scan sonar, the transducer uses narrow beams with unspecified angles. The triple shot comes with standard sonar applications like the depth alarm, circular flasher, bottom, range, fish id and others.
Moreover, the Lowrance 7x Hook 2 Gps Tripleshot Gray doesn’t come with GPS mapping and chart compatibility. However, it does have a basic GPS plotter, the GPS is internal and uses multiple satellite signals when available. The unique mob function produces a waypoint quickly.
Overall, the Lowrance 7x Hook 2 Gps Tripleshot Gray is another superb addition in the wide range of fish finders from Lowrance.
- Tripleshot or three in one transducer
- Mob function
- Solarmax colour display
- Split-screen up to 4 panels
- Standard GPS plotter
- No unit cover
- Does Not have GPS mapping and chart compatibility
Factors To Consider Before Buying a Fish Finder GPS Combo Under $500.
Buying a good fish finder with GPS Combo is a long term investment. There are numerous parameters that you should consider before investing your money in a good fish finder.
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. Transducer is a device that sends and receives Sonar wave’s signals. A Transducer gets fitted inside the fish finder to send sonar wave in the water. 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. You can also look into the Fixed Fish finders that require a proper area of installation. The fixed ones are quite heavy. 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. 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. 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.
The high-end fish finders are GPS-enabled with the feature of chart-plotting functionality. Others offer a basic GPS plotting functionality. The GPS combo is a significant factor that enables you to navigate the water with accuracy.
8. Easy-to-Use Interface
An easy to use interface will not waste your time. The settings and menus and can directly provide the necessary information required. The units that have intuitive, easy to use interfaces and systems are the best for you.
9. Split screen
The detailed information provided can only be useful when the information spreads out in a flexible and split-screen format. 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. There are great budget fish finders available under the price tag of $300, $500, $700, $1000 or more. All these models come under the budget of $500. You can choose the best according to your requirement and affordability.
The Final Verdict
Choosing the best among the list of these highly-rated Fish Finders GPS Combo is a tough task. However, the Humminbird Helix 7 CHIRP Di GPS G2 with its best in class performance, exceptional versatility and the reasonable price tag is definitely the best fishfinder GPS combo for the money.
The premium features like CHIRP Sonar, Unimap Charts, GPS are all present in this device. It is perfect for both saltwater and freshwater and you can use the fish finder in small size or big sized boats. These all factors make the Humminbird Helix 7 CHIRP Di Gps G2 a great buy under $500.
The Lowrance Hook-2, 7x Tripleshot is another superb Fish Finder GPS Combo that gives the Humminbird Helix 7 CHIRP Di Gps G2 a good competition. The large screen display, easy functionality and exceptional features make it a good buy.