Best Fish Finder GPS Combo under 500 – Top Reviews 2018

More often than not, fishing can test the core of our patience. And for the seasoned anglers, they’d tell you that fish can often be more elusive than you thought. Especially in a prime a location where you’d expect a bountiful, stumbling on nothing can be truly frustrating – well, unless you’re armed with the best fish finder GPS combo under 500 of course!

Time has definitely flown so fast that your old-school ways to find fish are now discarded and replaced by the ever beneficial modern technology.

But as these technologies go, one must also be keen in ascertaining which one is a standout. And for most fish finder GPS out there which are essentially equipped with numerous features, this knowledge has now become more of a requirement.

In our today’s post, you’ll be introduced to five of the best fish finder GPS combo products on the market now. These are all well-reviewed and acclaimed by the most inquisitive of consumers.

After which, a quick yet essential buyer’s guide awaits those who still need to get acquainted with the right know-how to choosing only the best one among the many alternatives.

Best Fish Finder GPS Combo under 500 on The Market Now

Not as famed as the Humminbird or Garmin models, the Raymarine Dragonfly still manages to fly on its own. This decent fish finder comes with a seven-inch diagonal screen that packs crystal clarity resolution.

The LED-backlit screen provides all that you need from spotting your targeted species instantly to obtaining information without second-guessing. Charting and Navionics are also easy to navigate in this device which is equipped with a GPS inside.

Along with a voluminous amount of maps, you also have the option to set out customized course plans, allowing you to find only the bountiful areas within reach.

This model can also sync with your smartphone using the proprietary Raymarine application, by which you can enjoy all the perks without buying and installing other equipment.

Specs:
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    Size: 4.3”
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    Screen Resolution: LED backlit display

PROS

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    Affordable CHIRP down imaging
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    Excellent power and transducer connection
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    Great Navionics charting and GPS signal
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    Easy to install
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    Can be seen in direct sunlight

CONS

  • Uncomfortable placement of controls
  • Controls lack backlighting; not ideal for night fishing
  • Lengthy start up time (30 seconds)

Via Amazon.com

Locating fish has never been made easier with the Garmin 010-01799-01 Garmin EchoMap CHIRP 54CV with Transducer. It boasts of a smooth-scaling graphics which provide seamless imagery right when you switch between its reliable depth-range scales.

The accompanying sonar history rewind enables anglers to scroll back via the sonar images so they can mark important points that you may have missed out on. Other inclusions are built-in maps and charts, the clear-scanning sonar, and the best-in-class internal 5Hz GPS.

This distinctive, top-of-the-line GPS readily updates your position and heading five times per second, an excellent way to mark and return to waypoints more accurately. 

Specs:

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    Size: Available in 4-, 5-, 7- and 9-inch display sizes
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    Weight: 1.3 pounds

PROS

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    Bang for the buck
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    Easy to set up
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    Great display (even in direct sunlight)
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    Compact
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    Equipped with high-frequency sonar

CONS

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    GPS doesn’t come with map outlines, only waypoint markers
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    Limited GPS screens

Via Amazon.com

Get right down to your business of finding the more bountiful with Humminbird 410300-1 HELIX 7 CHIRP DI GPS G2 Fish Finder. With the patented SmartStrike, chasing fish would be a thing of the past as the results on the screen appears instantaneously as soon as the parameters are set.

Meanwhile, the device’s basemap is all set to deliver enhanced details and optimized angling experience.

These accurate maps, courtesy of the built-in GPS and the equipped Helix Series G2 and G2N models, along with current data from LakeMaster and NOAA, should provide you exacting depth contours and navigation aids right in the entire U.S. coastline.

Anglers are also given the ability to craft detailed maps of their favorite spots real time with the product’s AutoChart Live. And whether you wish to incorporate depth contours or vegetation, that won’t be a problem with this latest variant from Humminbird.

Specs:
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    Size: 7-Inch
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    Display Resolution: WVGA Display

PROS

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    Comes with Micro SD card slot for optional maps or for saving way points
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    Bright yet clear colored screen
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    Easy to read and use
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    Slim profile display
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    Equipped with AutoChart Live for creation of detailed maps of your fave fishing spots

CONS

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    Installation is a bit complicated
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    Overpriced

Via Amazon.com

Fairly new to the game, you would think that the 5-inch fish finder from Lowrance is rookie at best.

But that isn’t the case with Elite-5 HDI that comes with the less expensive Hybrid Dual Imaging which amalgamates the patented Broadband Sounder and DownScan Imaging Technology, resulting to an unmatched fish sleuthing beneath your boat.

Meanwhile, the device’s Advanced Signal Processing lessen the anglers’ need to adjust the settings to see the fish and structure manually, providing an easy, clearer details.

The equally reliable TrackBack is also noteworthy; it reviews recorded sonar history which comprises of transitions and structure right before it pinpoints locations by way of waypointing.

Specs:
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    Size: 5-inch
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    Display Type: LCD

PROS

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    Easy to install and navigate
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    Smooth transitioning screens
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    Comes with transom mount transducer
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    Equipped with Chartplotter with basemap
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    Unmatched screen brightness, contrast, and resolution

CONS

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    Base is a bit loose
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    Flimsy transducer stern mounting bracket

Via Amazon.com

If you’re gunning for the ablest, internal GPS in this segment, allow Garmin 010-01800-01 Echomap Chirp 73CV with Transducer to impress you.

The accompanying GPS module from this product is equipped with a system that updates users five times per second to aid them in marking and returning accurately with their waypoints.

Additionally, the 73CV is armed with a generous, Pre-Loaded LakeVu HD Maps which can provide to over 17,000 lakes and relevant bodies of fishing water in the U.S. This feature also shows the commonly visited fishing areas, boat ramps, docks, and a lot more.

All of these can be enjoyed by the device’s equally impressive 800 X 480 color 7-inch display.

Specs:

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    Size: 7-inch
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    Display Resolution: 800 X 480

PROS

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    Hi-Res 7-inch display
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    Detailed, accurate sonar transducer
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    Preloaded LakeVu HD Maps with more than 17,000 US river, lakes
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    Excellent chart-plotting capabilities
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    Best-in-class GPS

CONS

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    Reported compatibility issues on other Garmin products

A Quick and Essential Buyer’s Guide to Choosing The Best Fish Finder GPS Combo under 500

Technologies often come with a myriad of features. Some of them are next to overkill while the others may not suffice, so to speak. The same can be said with Fish Finder GPS Combo products, some of these items may not fulfill your fishing needs.

On the other hand, some of them can ultimately have overwhelming features. Both of these can be prevented if one is armed with right components that are relevant to your needs. I’ve personally collated the features below:

1. Screen

Best Fish Finder GPS Combo

By all means, go for those which come with a high-quality screen. Having a lackluster display essentially defeats the purpose of owning something that provides information. So, if you think that that the information is not that legible, then by all mean, proceed to the next item!

In this same route, one must know which to choose in terms of legibility: should it be the one which displays colors or the one which only comes and black and white?

Most low-end variants won’t display colors on their screen which entails that you’re going to have to work on black and white markings, which are pretty indistinguishable in daylight. That said, the colored variant is your best bet.

In terms of resolution, it’s suggested that you look into models which feature at least 240 X 160 in smaller screens (from 5- and 7-inch). Going beyond that screen size may significantly affect the display.

2. Size

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Not exactly a huge of a deal-breaker, your device’s size often tells you how top-of-the-line and updated your product is. By reality, higher end fish finders come in large-sized devices while smaller variants are synonymous to less features.

Now, there’s certainly nothing wrong for having smaller devices as long as these warrant your current needs. That said, if you always find yourself hovering on small bodies of water, then these devices should suffice.

On the other hand, you’re suggested to go for the much larger ones, if you’re frequenting an open ocean.

3. Depth Range

Do you always find yourself in shallow waters? Or are you more of the big lakes and deep sea type of angler? If you’re on the latter, then your fish finder should feature a longer range of depth.

Fishermen who frequent shallow waters can have about a range of 500 yards or more. Meanwhile, sports and commercial fishermen should have at least 1500 feet or more of depth range which should automatically enable them to see what’s underneath them.

4. Portable Vs. Mountable

Best Fish Finder GPS Combo

Going for a mountable fish finder? Yes, you can. Just make certain that you’re going to be fishing primarily from a boat. However, a portable model is suggested to those who intend to have their devices worked autonomously.

This is especially applicable to activities like ice fishing in which you can go fish and check this device from time to time without having to go to certain location.

5. Transducer

Perhaps the most vital of all the features your fish finder should come with is the transducer. Known as the component that sticks right into the water, this device is tasked to show you what’s underneath the surface.

Your transducer should also provide bottom down readings and comprehensive measurement of the boat’s surroundings.

That said, your fish finder would be futile without a transducer. Today, the conventional transducers are now equipped with decent features, just enough for you to know what’s going on beneath.

If you want your details to go further than that, then it’s suggested that you buy one with a sonar transducer in it. When you’re acquainted with a transducer, you’ll find that there are two crucial characteristics that come from it: frequency and power.

These two components should readily provide you a more-than-decent transducer, armed with an in-depth look and data on temperature. The way you’re mounting your transducer is important as well.

You’ll find that most transducers today are being mounted right at the back of the boat and distant from the motor. This is more commonly conducted in smaller fishing boats. Meanwhile, the so-called in-hull transducers are situated via the hull’s opening.

These transducers are generally pricier when compared to the mountable ones. On the other hand, the thru-hull transducers are the ones that operate via the hull, as its name would tell you.

Best Fish Finder GPS Combo

These transducers don’t come in contact with water and are known for its inconsistency on reading water temperature.

The Verdict

The Standout: Garmin 010-01799-01 Garmin Echomap CHIRP 54CV with Transducer

The Garmin 010-01799-01 Garmin Echomap CHIRP 54CV with Transducer is a great reminder that you really don’t have to go extra if you’re simply after for an efficient, well-rounded, and reliable product.

That said, this bang for the buck Garmin entry has left no stones unturned when it comes to providing only the relevant features in a fish finder GPS.

From its scanning and CHIRP sonar, waypoint mapping, down to its simple keyed interface with dedicated buttons, your fishing experience should be redefined with astounding results.

​Did you like this post? Do you think Garmin deserves helming this list? Do you have any fish finder GPS product that you have in mind that isn’t on this list? If you have anything to add, share, or ask, please feel free to sound them off in the comment section below.

John Morris
 

Hi, I’m John Morris. I’m an avid outdoorsman and fisherman, blessed with an awesome wife and 2 kids. Fishing is not my passion, it is my lifestyle. I fished before I knew how to walk! I’m obsessed with all things related to fishing, even the fishy smell. I’m always willing to extend a hand to novice anglers looking for fishing tips and tricks thus I created this blog. This blog is a collection of my experiences, knowledge, and also research from other blogs.

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