Portable fish finders – Buying guide, Reviews & Comparison


If you want to find the best fishing gear, but you don’t have time to go through the buying tips and reviews prepared by our research team, this short paragraph should tell you everything you need to know about the best portable fish finders. After analyzing a lot of feedback coming from both amateur and professional fishermen, we have concluded that the Lowrance Elite-3X is the best because it has a full-color LED screen and an interface that is extremely easy to utilize. Besides, this is a dual frequency unit that will help you see fish both in shallow and deep waters. Thanks to its compact design, it can be used for kayak fishing. What’s more, it’s one of the most user-friendly and affordable products we have stumbled upon while prospecting the market. If the Lowrance 000-11448-001 Elite-3X is unavailable, you should consider the Garmin Echo 101 as it is a reliable alternative both in terms of performance and quality.



Our top choices


Lowrance Elite 3X


1.Lowrance Elite 3X-Fishfinder with 83-200 TransducerThis is the best portable fish finder from Lowrance particularly for people looking for an affordable model. Not only is it the number 1 best seller on Amazon, but it can be purchased for less than $100. This is a rather decent price for a high-quality unit.

The model comes with a 3.5-inch color LCD. If you’re planning on doing some fishing in the middle of the day or the night, you needn’t worry about anything with this model. This is a backlit display that will allow you to see sharp images come rain or come shine.

The transducer is remarkably versatile, since users have the opportunity to choose between the 83 kHz and the 200 kHz frequencies. The first provides a cone angle around 60 degrees, while the second provides a cone angle of 20 degrees.

Customers speak highly of how lightweight the unit is. More than 40 people consider this is a 5-star product.


Buy from Amazon.com for: See the Price!





Garmin Echo 101


2.Garmin Echo 101 US and Canada with TransducerYou might have asked yourself the following question: what is the best portable fish finder from Garmin? We’ll tell you: it’s this one. The price of this model is comparable to the aforementioned Lowrance model, but it comes with a set of functions that are hard to say no to. It might look off-putting for some people, what with its 8-level grayscale screen.

However, the unit does feature a single-beam transducer that works great for fishing in small-sized boats. Customers claim it works wonderfully when used on canoes. Even though the size of the screen is somewhat small, users state it displays clear images that do the trick.

The unit works with batteries. Buyers often prefer to get a 12-volt one, as it costs around 14 dollars and is rechargeable.

With a list price of less than $100 and a transom mount and trolling motor mount transducer, this model’s certainly worth having a look at.


Buy from Amazon.com for: See the Price!





Signstek FF-003


3.Signstek Portable Fish FinderCompared to the previously described models, this Signstek one is a little more on the high-tech side.

This unit comes with a color LCD screen that is backlit. This allows users to see clear images both during the day and during the night.

A neat advantage of choosing this model is that it features a water temperature indicator. Some fishermen are aware of the temperature that their prefered catches have taken a liking to, which is why this is a great plus for some people.

The reading depth of this model ranges from 2 feet to 240 feet. With this one, users can choose between the traditional 83 and 200 kHz frequencies.


Buy from Amazon.com for ($158)





NorCross HawkEye F33P


4.NorCross HawkEye Fish FinderThe NorCross is a great pick for individuals who plan on fishing in shallow waters. It comes with a super-wide sonar beam angle, measuring 25 degrees. This cone angle is what makes it so good at getting readings from 1.5 feet to 99.9 feet.

Yet another advantage of buying this particular model is that it’s weather resistant. It can survive temperatures of up to 0 Fahrenheit degrees. The transducer it comes with is trollable and mountable and features its own 35-ft long cable.

The unit has a simple interface which allows users to choose between the 4 sensitivity settings.

The small-sized screen is backlit and glare-free.

What about the price? The NorCross is clearly the best fish finder for the money, as it costs even less than $90. Furthermore, the manufacturers are offering a 2-year warranty on this item.


Buy from Amazon.com for: See the Price!





Buying guide


If you want to get yourself the best fish finder out there, you need to pay attention to a set of very important details. Our advice to you is to read as many portable fish finder reviews as possible, as other customers’ opinions can help you make up your mind about what you need in a particular model and understand how reliable some units actually are. Start investing some time in your research and you won’t be sorry for your purchase.

Fish finders come in various shapes and sizes and it might look like it’s difficult to pick the right one. To make the right call, check out the following tips.



Cone angle and beam

One of the first things to consider is whether you’ll be fishing in shallow or in deep waters. The wider the cone angle of your fish finder, the less likely it is able to detect deeper signals. Transducer cones come with variable ranges, anything from 9 to 60 degrees. However, the cone angle of most available models stand somewhere between 16 and 20 degrees.

The beam is also crucial if you’re looking for a good transducer. The majority of older, less advanced models come with a single beam, while modern units have dual and even triple beam technologies.


Frequency and power

The rule’s pretty simple when it comes to frequency. The higher it is, the more detail you’ll be able to see on the screen. Nevertheless, it is important for users to understand that a higher frequency will not help them visualize targets in deep waters. Frequencies can be anything from 50 kHz to 200 kHz, and it is the second that work best for shallow-water fishing.

As for power, the higher it is, the better. With more watts, you’ll be getting a clearer picture and a faster reading of the area you’re trying to scan. Fewer watts will create a fuzzy image which will take more time to load.


Screen-related details

In this case, size matters quite a lot. In this sense, older models are cheaper just because they come with grayscale technology and with screen sizes that resemble the ones of a retro cellphone. This brings up the following dilemma: maybe the transducer is doing its job properly but you’re not being able to see the image as well as you might need to.

Subsequently, we recommend you get a reasonable high-res color screen. The higher the resolution, the more detail you’ll see displayed. After all, who doesn’t want a crystal clear picture of their catch?



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