10 Best Fish Finders Under $200

Every angler knows that you can't just go out to a body of water and expect to find fish. You need a little help and a fish finder can be your best buddy.

Basically, fish finder is a device that sends out a sound and broadcasts the images back using sonar. These devices can be a bit pricey as well as a big nuisance on smaller fishing vessels like a kayak.

Luckily though there are a quite a few good fish finders that are perfect for the weekend angler who goes out on a kayak. Not just that, you don't need to allocate a hefty budget into getting a fish finder.

There are cheaper options and despite being cheap, they function extremely well, are durable and have great accuracy.

And, to make it easy for you, we've studied the current market, researched the trends and reviewed the ten best fish finders under $200, perfect for your fishing kayak or boat.

​Best Fish Finders Under $200 (Top 10)

​Are cheap fish finders good for fishing?

Wh​en ever we hear the word 'cheap,' we think of a low-quality product and assume that whatever we are going to buy with less money is not going to last long. 

However, the same does not apply for fish finders.

If you've been fishing for long and know what brands of fish finders are there in the market, you'll also analyze that there are different sets of fish finders, some of which are inexpensive and are particularly made for beginner anglers.

However, there are also some fish finders that work the same way as some of the best fish finders available, but are totally worth spending for.

They are inexpensive, and function exactly similar to the expensive ones without a problem. ​On top of that, they are also durable and last longer. 

Things to consider​

But before jumping at the first device you find it is best to know a few things before making the purchase.​

Sizing Things Up

Space is limited when fishing from a kayak and you should remember that you will also need room for a battery, cables, and screen.

For smaller kayaks, a 3-4 inch screen will be sufficient enough to locate the beasts below. Just keep in mind that all the extra gear adds weight to your kayak. It may not be much, but it can add up fast and you don't want to bog down your kayak too much.

You will need space to maneuver around and get your gear, but when you have cables and such in the way; it can be a bit burdensome.

So take the time to measure out the kayak dimensions so you know what you can work with.​

Elements

Another thing to look for is whether the fishfinder is waterproof or water-resistant. There are some that are neither and will require a case to keep it covered.

It is very important to make sure the expensive piece of equipment is protected in case you flip or land a big fish.

It is also important for the device to be covered because of the wind or spraying that occurs on the ocean from waves and choppy water conditions.​

Screen Resolution

You may think bigger is better, but when space is limited you will need to find yourself a fish finder with a high resolution. The better you can see the more effective you are when it comes to hunting the fish.

If your screen is too blurry you might mistake other things for the fish and end up wasting your time. That is why you should get a fishfinder with a resolution that is higher than 240x160.

The higher the resolution the better images you will see and the more fish you will be able to locate.​

Color of Screen

Some anglers are admitting about getting a fishfinder that is in color while others say black and white.

Depending on your budget, you can get a color screen that allows you to really see what is going on below the surface.

While black and white images will still come out clear as long as your resolution is high, they don't really give you the whole picture. If you can afford it, color is the way to go.

With color screens, you will have more light on dark overcast days. Plus you will see 265 different shades of gray that will give you a better idea of how big the fish are.​

Frequency

You will want to have a fishfinder with the highest frequency you can afford.

The frequency allows for more details to show up so it is naturally you will want a fish finder with at least 200 kHz for shallow waters and one that is 50 kHz for deeper waters.​

Power

The power your fishfinder has is crucial. A fish finder uses watts to measure power and the more wattage you have, the quicker the images will show up on your screen.

You should also know where you will be fishing. For shallow waters, you don't need that much wattage.

If you are fishing the deep blue ocean, you will need a lot more. So how much power you will need is a matter of where you are going.​

Cones

When you are picking out a transducer with is the main unit that sends out and receives the sonar waves to help you locate the fish, you have the option of either cone or beams.

The cone angle will send out a wider beam allowing you to see more of what is going on. The wider the cone the bigger the picture.

Many cones come in 9-degrees to as far as 60-degrees. When picking out your fish finder you should try and get one that is about 20-degrees.​

Pricing and options

When it comes to today's technology, everything seems to be getting better.

What is great about that is you can even get a fish finder app that is set up with Bluetooth and gives you crystal clear images right from your smartphone.

While these apps take fishing to a whole new level, some of them are quite expensive. However, there are a few inexpensive fish finders worth checking out to improve your game.

10 Best Fish Finders Under $200​

1. Garmin Striker 4 GPS Fish Finder

Garmin Striker 4 Fish Finder

The Garmin Striker 4 is a unique fishfinder under $200.

It has GPS that allows you to keep track of your favorite fishing spots as well as how fast you are going.

It has an easy to read map allowing you to travel with ease and locate docks, brush piles, and stumps while out on the water.

The Striker 4 is installed with CHIRP sonar that sends continuous frequencies out that range from low to high making sure you don't miss anything.

The screen finder is 3.6 x 1.6 x 5.9 inches and weighs 8 ounces.

It doesn't come with the battery or cords to connect to; however, the price for everything will still be well under $200.

This fish finder has a convent keypad so you can keep track of what is around you and then share it with your fishing buddies. It also comes with sonar history that allows you to retrace your previous areas and wayward points.

The CHIRP sonar is 77/200 kHz and provides you with high levels of clarity and amazing details. Plus you can fish vertically with the built-in flasher that displays the bottom conditions, your jig and the depth the fish are at.

This device is one powerful tool in for your fishing arsenal with a resolution of 480 x 320 pixels that read in color and transmits a power of 200 W with a maximum depth of 1,600 feet in freshwater and 750 feet in saltwater. 

Features I like​

  • The only tri-frequency sonar that works blazing fast.
  • Easy-to-read map. 
  • Convent keyword to track other anglers around.
  • High clarity and detailed display.

2. Eyoyo Portable 9 inch LCD Monitor Fish Finder

The Signstek is one portable device fish finders no major assembly required.

Simply turn the device on and throw the transmitter into the water and it'll start doing its work.

This fishfinder can read depths of 2.0 feet to 240 with 1/10th precision. It also allows you to see the temperature of the water and has 512 colors displayed on a 2.8 inch LCD screen.

It is powered by 4 AAA batteries with a resolution of 240/160.

A few of the main features for the Signstek fish finder are the "Stop Chart", allows for multiple languages, allows you to identify fish and their depth easily and is dual beam sonar at 200/ 83 kHz.

For such a small piece of equipment, this device will keep you on top of the fish no matter where they are hiding.

The FF-003 has auto zoom tracking and ultra-fast manual zoom so you know exactly what you are looking at when you need to. It has a depth alarm of 3-99 feet.

While this is a small device, the results are sufficient enough to get you reeling in the catch in no time. Just don't use it in extremely cold weather as it may cause the device to malfunction.

Features I like​

  • Portable and really fast.
  • Extremely precise with multiple features.
  • Auto-zoom tracking and manual zoom.
  • Small, durable and worth spending money for.

3. Venterior Portable Wired Fish Finder

Venterior Portable Fish Finder

The Venterior portable fishfinder will help you see into the depths you've never imagined before.

This fish finder is also one of the cheapest fish finder in our list under $200, and comes at less than $50. 

With this device, you will not only see the fish but reeds, sand and whatever else is lingering in the depths below.

It comes with a round transducer with a 7.5m cable. The beam is set at 45-degree angle giving you the optimal viewing experience.

It doesn't matter where you are; the Venterior will display in meters or feet and can reach depths of 328.08 feet.

The transducer is 4.6 cm in diameter and sends up images to an Anti-UV LCD screen. You can use this device in water temperatures ranging from -4 degrees F to 158 degrees F using 4 AAA batteries.

What makes this device so unique is the four different ways you can use it.

You can mount it to your hull, send it drifting out, fix it to a pole or use it to ice fish. There really is no reason not to get this truly portable device.The only downside to the Venterior is that it doesn't display how big the fish are.

You can set it to display the differences between big and small fish easily using the "Sensitivity" feature. 

Features I like​

  • Four different ways to use, dynamic. 
  • Easy display with multiple features.
  • Sensitive and accurate even in large depths.
  • Shuts automatically when not used.

4. Lowrance Mark-4 Chirp Fishfinder

Garmin Striker 4 Fish Finder

The Lowrance Mark-4 may not be in color, but you will still see all the fish swimming around on the 3.5-inch screen that has a 16 level grayscale resolution of 320/240.

The Mark-4 has a TrackBack feature that allows you to expand to 4x its size and gives you the history of where you have been.

The Mark-4 fish finder comes under $200 and can easily identify bait fish from game fish efficiently.

It has a "Skimmer" transducer that operates on 83/200 kHz frequency.

You won't need to worry about where to place this device as you can easily mount it to just about anywhere.

When you need it, it comes off smoothly from the mount so you can really see what is going on down below.

Plus it is compatible with Fishing Hotspots Pro, Nacionics Gold and Premium charting plus has a waterproof microSD card slot.You will notice that even though the images show up in gray, the LED backlight keeps things illuminated and clear.

You will also be able to track your speed and drift with the Mark-4 and easily connects to a 12-volt battery.

Features I like​

  • Gives data about history. 
  • 4x zoom with good accuracy and display.
  • Compatible with fishing hotspots pro and other chartings. 
  • LED backlight for clear images.

5. Lowrance Hook-3x Fishfinder

Lowrance Hook 3x fishfinder

Get amazing images with the low priced Lowrance HOOK 3X fish finder that comes under $200.

This device features a 3-inch color screen with a resolution of 320 x 240. You won't need to squint your eyes to see the screen either as the screen is clear even in the most extreme weather conditions.

You will be able to clearly see everything that rests on the bottom including the contour of the bottom to how hard it is, be it sand or rocks.

It comes with a dual frequency of either 83 or 200 kHz. The 83 kHz sonar gives you 60-degrees of coverage to help locate the bigger game.

While the 200 kHz gives you 20 degrees of coverage that is perfect for drop-shotting techniques.

You can simply switch between the two frequencies effortlessly by using the page buttons.

The HOOK 3X also allows for you to zoom into certain areas to get a better image of what is there.

The device works on a 12V DC and has a maximum power output of 180W. Now you can find your fish faster than ever using the HOOK 3X.

Features I like​

  • Clear screen even in difficult terrain.
  • Very good image display and 3x zoom feature.
  • Switching between frequencies is easy.
  • Works on low power, extremely durable.

6. Humminbird 410160-1 PIRANHAMAX Fish Finder

The Humminbird 410160-1 PIRANHAMAX 4.3 DI Fish Finder is a compact fishfinder under $200 perfect for kayak fishing.

modern styling and large, 4.3" color LCD, the new MAX 4 will give you a fresh perspective on what’s below your boat.

It may be small, but it can clear decipher between small fish and big game.The Piranhamax can easy show you the temperatures below and pinpoint what is down there.

You can easily find the fish as well as the bottom conditions by cranking the "sensitivity" settings. It has dual beam frequency of 83/ 200 kHz with a 45-degree sonar beam.

When it comes to the transducer you can easily mount to the side of your hull or cast it out.

What really makes this a unique fishfinder is that it is rechargeable.


Features I like​

  • Four levels of grayscale display.
  • Shows temperature and weather details.
  • Can be easily mounted.
  • Longer battery life and can be charged via USB.

7. Lucky Portable Fish Finder 

TheLucky Portable fish finder is a 4.3-inch fishfinder that displays the depths below in high-resolution 16-bit color.

It comes standard with the CHIRP sonar and DownScan overlay so you can easily see what is below the surface.

You will be able to easily identify the big game from the bait and rocks from the sand with this device.

At under $200, the Elite 4X fish finder allows for multiple windows so you can easily see your charts, DownScan images and sonar ranges all at once.

The screen resolution is 480 x 272 with 11-level LED backlighting. The Elite 4X power output at maximum is 500W with 455/800 kHz for the DownScan as well as low 50 kHz, Medium 83 kHz and high 200 kHz operating frequencies.

The finder works from a 12vDC but you can get away with a 10 17 vDC if you need to.

With this bad boy locked and loaded you are sure to find where the fish are hiding and bring one home for supper.

Features I like​

  • Comes with CHIRP sonar and DownScan overlay.
  • Good display of terrain underwater.
  • Cheap and durable. 
  • Great power, works in different frequencies as required.

8. Lowrance Mark-5x Pro

Lowrance Mark 5x

Get to the bottom of things and find your fish with the Mark 5X Pro.

This fishfinder can reach depths of 1000 feet. The Mark 5X Pro has a high-resolution 5-inch screen that can be viewed even when the sun is right above you.

This device is simple in design but packs a punch with its 480 x480 resolution and comes under $200.

It has 300W RMS and 2,400 W Peak-to-Peak with a dual frequency of 83/200 kHz.

The Skimmer transducer has and internal temperature gauge and 120-degree sonar coverage.

The Mark 5X Pro may not be in color with its 16 level grayscale, but you won't miss anything as it has an advanced user mode to let you fine tune the settings.

It also features the TrackBack that allows you to go back and see where you have been and what was happening and when.

It doesn't matter if you are a day fisher or go out at night; the Mark 5X Pro has you covered with adjustable white LED viewing.

Features I like​

  • High resolution screen with a reach to about 1000 feet.
  • Amazing UI despite being grayscale.
  • Comes with a trackback feature.
  • Adjustable LED viewing.

9. Venterior Portable Fish Finder

Venterior Portable Fish Finder

What more could you want than a rechargeable fishfinder under $200?

That is what Venterior Wireless offers you.

With this fish finder both the sensor and the console are rechargeable and ready when you are.

The screen will display everything from the temperature of the water to the depth range and sizes of the fish below.

It may be small, but it packs a whole lot of features.The sensor covers 90-degrees and gives you a range of 2 to 120 feet.

The plus side is that you don't need to do anything to your kayak as the sensor can be tethered to a fishing rod or cast out to float on its own.

Granted you keep a line out for it.The screen size is rather small at 50 x45 mm.

The frequency operates on 125 kHz with a radio frequency of 433.92 MHz All in all the device is 9.3 x 3.9 x 2.6 inches and can easily be stored in your sack or tackle box for safe keeping while paddling out.

You don't need to worry about cables getting in the way or a battery to weigh down your kayak; not with the Venterior Wireless at least.

Features I like​

  • Portable and easy to carry.
  • Rechargeable console and sensors.
  • Can be easily tethered and mounted. 

10. Garmin Striker 4VD

Garmin Striker 4DV fish finder

The Garmin Striker 4 VD is more advanced than the Striker 4 listed above.

The features are somewhat the same with the 4 VD giving you clearer images and higher resolution all under the price of $200.

The 4 VD comes with a color 3.5-inch display screen and highly sensitive GPS with CHIRP DownVu sonar.

Not only will you be able to keep track of where you have been but also where the nearest dock, ramp, and other angler’s hot spots are assuming they are linked into the app.

The transmit power with the 4 VD is 300 W RMS and 2.400 peak to peak. When you turn on the CHIRP you will get 455/800 kHz and crystal clear images that will enhance your fishing 100 fold.

The image is so clear that you can even spot the algae growing off rocks. Like the Strike 4, the 4 VD will display and track your route, speed and water temperatures.

You will also be able to fish vertically with the built-in flasher.The only thing that is different between the Striker 4 and the 4 VD is the images that are displayed.

If you are looking for super clear resolution gets the 4 VD.

You can take this thing anywhere with its rechargeable battery and suction cup transducer mount that also floats.

Features I like​

  • More advanced technology and clear image display.
  • Easy tracking of route, speed and temperate.
  • Cheap and worth spending money for both beginner and professional anglers.
  • Rechargeable battery, easily mountable.

The Verdict

When it comes to finding fish you want a device that is easy to use and to see even if the sun is directly overhead.

The purpose of a fish finder is for you to locate dinner and each of these products we've reviewed and enlisted are the high-end ones.

The best choice would be to go with a Garmin fish finder if you are in search for the best fish finder under $200. Their technology is way ahead of the game and you won't miss a thing.

While some of these finders are in grayscale and some in color, it really doesn't matter which one you pick.

Janice Friedman
 

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