Top 5 Best Fish Finders Under $1000 – Buyer’s Guide


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A fishing trip that ends without catching a fish is disappointing, to say the least. Fishing itself is a test of patience.

And at the end of the day, if it does not yield anything, it can get quite frustrating. But if you have a budget of around 1000 dollars, you can prevent this from happening to you.

With the fish finder, you can track fishing spots and make sure you get a bite every time you cast.

Fishing no longer needs to be a guessing game for you. All you need to do is take your boat out to the lake, river, or whichever location you prefer and put your fish finder to use.

However, things are not as simple as it may sound. Although a fish finder does make the job of finding fishes easy, if you don’t have the right product, you will not get the expected results.

And considering the huge number of devices that you can find on the market, not all of them will give you the same level of performance.

That is where we come in. In this article, we will give you a complete rundown of the top fish finders that you can find in the market that promises to ensure you have an excellent time on your fishing trip.

Top 5 Fish Finder under $1000 Review in 2021

Best Fish Finders under $1000

There are a lot of options in the market when you are looking for the fish finder under $1000.

The budget is excellent and can give you some high-end devices for fishing. But there are still a few knock-off units that you need to avoid unless you deliberately want to sabotage your experience.

With that said, here are our top picks for the products that you should consider buying along with a complete review for each of them.

Humminbird 410950-1NAV HELIX 7 CHIRP MSI

Humminbird 410950-1NAV HELIX 7 CHIRP MSI <

We are going to start things off with an excellent GPS fish finder by the brand Humminbird. This company is quite well-known when it comes to hunting and fishing accessories.

With this device, you will have a lot of modern technologies to make your fishing trip eventful and exciting.

The unit features a 7-inch screen with a resolution of 480p. It is a TFT panel and comes with bright and crisp colors allowing you to view it clearly even under bright sunlight.

Additionally, you get the Navionics+ SD card included with your purchase that maps out around 21000 lakes and river bodies in both the US and Canada.

One of the primary features of this unit is the Mega Side and Down Imaging. Simply put, this unit is capable of clearly viewing 125 feet around and under your boat and monitor fishing activities nearby. As a result, you can quickly detect the optimum place for hunkering down with your rod.

Other features in this unit include AutoChart Live, GPS, and a high-quality Dual Spectrum CHIRP Sonar. With all these technologies built-in to a tiny little unit, you should have no trouble finding the best fishing spot.

Although it might take you some time learning the features, once you get the hang of it, you will not go with any other devices.

Highlighted Features

  • 800H X 400W resolution display screen
  • Mega Down and Side Imaging
  • Comes with Transducer and mounting hardware
  • Navionics+ SD card included with purchase

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Humminbird, Helix 7, CHIRP MSI GPS G3N

Humminbird, Helix 7, CHIRP MSI GPS G3N

If you want to save a few bucks without giving up the excellent features that you get with Humminbird, the Helix 7 might be worth a look.

Although you do make a few compromises, you gain a few other extras that can make this unit far more appealing to some users.

For instance, you still get a 7-inch ultra-wide color display in this unit. The resolution is 480p, and it is bright enough to be practical in outdoor conditions.

However, one thing that it lacks is that it does not include the map card with your purchase. So, you might have to invest in a map separately.

The excellent Mega Down and Side Imaging technology in the unit is outstanding and gives you a wide viewing range both on your sides and under the boat. It offers around three times better output than any other standard imaging technology.

Besides, you have a feature called SwitchFire Sonar that allows you to control how the unit picks up returning sonar waves.

The Dual Spectrum Chirp Sonar in this unit supports a frequency of 50, 83, 200, and 455 hertz. In addition, this device comes with Ethernet networking options and Bluetooth connectivity.

It also comes with a Humminbird Basemap, GPS, and AutoChart Live features, ensuring you can start fishing as soon as you have it in your hands.

Highlighted Features

  • Ultra-wide 480p resolution color display
  • Comes with Mega Down and Side Imaging technology
  • High-quality Sonar capabilities
  • Has GPS, Humminbird Basemap, and AutoChart Live

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HOOK2 9 – 9-inch Fish Finder with TripleShot Transducer

HOOK2 9 - 9-inch Fish Finder with TripleShot Transducer

Next up, we will be looking at an excellent offer by the brand Lowrance. The Hook 2 is a unit that features a large and bright display and a high-end sonar to make your fishing trip memorable and eventful. They also have the same model in different sizes if you are flexible with your budget.

The particular model that we are looking at within our budget comes with a 9-inch ultra-wide screen with a crisp, bright, and colorful display. Whether you are under bright sunlight or fishing in cloudy weather, you should not have any trouble viewing information on this screen.

This unit boasts a powerful sonar system that guarantees excellent performance. It has a wider sonar cone that ensures you will have a better time detecting fishing spots compared to other units at a competing price point.

Additionally, you have plenty of adjustment options for the sonar to make sure you have the best time while using it.

Another excellent feature of this unit is its upgradability options. Although it comes with a US Inland Lake map installed with it, you have a spare SD slot to install other maps if you want it. For primary navigation, you also get a high-quality GPS plotter included with this unit.

Highlighted Features

  • High-end sonar functionality
  • 9-inch ultra-wide color display screen
  • Comes with US Inland Lake map
  • SD card slot for installing third-party maps

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Garmin STRIKER Plus 7sv with CV52HW-TM Transducer

Garmin STRIKER Plus 7sv with CV52HW-TM Transducer

The next unit on our list is by a brand known as Garmin. With the Striker Plus, you get a top-notch transducer that allows you to detect fishing activities underwater the moment you put it to use.

Despite its high-end features, the price of the unit is well-within our budget, making it an excellent investment for you.

This device comes with a 480p display in its 7-inch ultra-wide screen, giving you clear images from any angle.

It features a very easy to use user-interface along with a sunlight-readable display, ensuring you will have a hassle-free experience when using it.

The unit makes use of CHIRP sonar and gives you a wide frequency that can detect fishing activities fast and easily.

Its built-in Garmin quickdraw allows you to create and store large maps without any hassle quickly and smoothly.

In addition, the built-in GPS allows you to create waypoints and plot routes when you are traveling to different locations.

Another excellent feature of the unit is built-in Wi-Fi. You can pair it up with the ActiveCaptain app on your smartphone to use it as a secondary screen for checking your waypoints.

Furthermore, it also gives you access to the Quickdraw Contours community to download maps for you to use.

Highlighted Features

  • High-quality CHIRP sonar functions
  • Wi-Fi connectivity and dedicated app
  • Sunlight-readable 7 inch screen
  • GPS for plotting routes and creating waypoints

Lowrance HOOK2 7 – 7-inch Fish Finder with TripleShot Transducer

Lowrance HOOK2 7 - 7-inch Fish Finder with TripleShot Transducer

The final product on our list is another one by the brand Lowrance. In fact, we have reviewed the 9 inch variant of this same product above.

However, with this unit, you get better pricing without sacrificing too much in terms of functionality. If you do not mind the smaller screen size, this might be a better choice for you.

We say smaller, but the size is relatively standard when you compare to other products at a similar price point. You get a crisp and clean 7-inch display screen that is capable of providing 480p resolution.

Furthermore, you will not have to squint or find cover when viewing the data as it is bright enough to be readable under the sunlight.

The TripleShot transducer in the unit is one of the finest you will find in any fish finder. It is capable of DownScan, SideScan, and Chirp sonar, which speaks highly for its versatility.

The SideScan function is capable of covering an area of 300 feet, which is more than you will ever need in a practical scenario.

This unit’s build quality is also excellent. It even features the upgradable SD card slot that we saw in the bigger variant, allowing you to install third-party maps if you ever need it.

However, with the included US Inland Lake Map, you will not have to worry about it if you are fishing on a lake in the states.

Highlighted Features

  • Excellent TripleShot Transducer
  • 7-inch ultra-wide color display screen
  • Comes with US Inland Lake map
  • SD card slot for installing third-party maps

Things to Look For When Buying the Fish Finder

With a budget of 1000 dollars, you have a lot of options when it comes to buying a fish finder. Although it might not get you to a state of the art unit, it will give you decent level equipment that should offer plenty of utility for years to come. However, you need to be careful about where you are spending your money.

Our list of reviews should already give you a decent idea of which products are worth buying. If you choose to go with something out of the list, there are a few elements that you should consider.

In the following section of the article, we will give you a brief overview of the things that you should consider when you are buying the fish finder.

Mounting Type

Mounting Type

The first thing you need to consider when buying a fish finder is how you want to mount it. There are two different mounting designs when it comes to fish finders, handheld, or casting fish finders. The purpose and design of these two variants are entirely different.

Casting fish finders are small units that you have to tie to your fishing line. Typically, they do not feature any display of their own.

Instead, you sync it with your smartphone, and it transmits information to the display of your phone. This type of fish finder is also waterproof.

Handheld units, on the other hand, come with their own display screen. As the name suggests, you hold them on your hand to observe fishing information, and when you want to cast the fishing line, you need to put them on the side.

Some handheld models can even be mounted on the boat for your convenience.

Transducer Quality

One of the most important elements of a fish finder is the transducer. The quality of the transducers dictates how quickly and efficiently you can find fish using this device.

It has a cone angle and a beam amount, both of which contribute to its efficiency in locating fishes.

If you invest in a unit with a single beam transducer with a 50 degree or more cone angle, you will be able to see a larger area of fish.

However, for picking up fishes at the seafloor or below the boat, you will have a better chance with 10 to 15-degree angles.

With dual-beam transducers, you will have greater efficiency in detecting fishing activities.

Display Quality

If you are going with a GPS transducer combo fish finder, you need to give some thought to the built-in display quality.

With a better resolution, you will be able to see elements with greater detail. Ideally, you want a unit with at least 480p resolution. Some high-end models are capable of displaying a 1080p resolution.

The size of the screen is also another vital thing to consider. Fish finder displays can range from 3.5 to 12 inches.

With a larger size, the details are easier as well as sharper. Furthermore, you can get some nifty split-screen features with a larger screen viewing two functions at the same time.

Additionally, you want to make sure your display comes with backlit features. This feature ensures that you will not have difficulty viewing the monitor even in bright sunlight.

Since you will do most of your fishing during the daytime, this is a must-have feature; otherwise, you will not be able to see the images clearly on the screen.

Sonar Capabilities

Sonar Capabilities

Sonar is an essential element of a fish finder. But what most people do not know is that there are two types of sonar technology that you might find in a fish finder. They are CHIRP sonar and traditional sonar.

If you want to get the most out of your investment, you need to know where you should spend your money.

Traditional sonars are great and have been in use for ages. For casual anglers, they are capable enough to find fishes in a relatively short period.

The idea with this technology is that it emits a static pulse at a particular frequency and waits for the echo to return.

On the other hand, you have Chirp sonar, which is a newer and more efficient technology. It offers better imaging capabilities and can emit a wider range of frequency.

At your budget, you can find some pretty excellent CHIRP capable units. With this, you can find fishing spots faster and easier.

Signal Strength

Speaking of sonar, you also need to worry about the signal strength. A fish finder can operate at many different frequencies.

But for the best result, you should go with a unit that can get to higher frequencies. Low-frequency units might not be the best choice if you have a decent budget.

The wavelength of high-frequency pulses is shorter, which means you have more pulses each second.

It gives you better accuracy and imaging with your fish finder. On the other hand, the wavelength for low-frequency pulses is wider, with fewer pulses in between.

Depth Range and Target Separation

Both the depth range and target separation capabilities of your fish finder is essential and dictates how efficiently it can detect activities underwater.

Without considering these two features, you will risk ending up with a device that cannot give you an accurate reading of fish activities.

Depth range, as the name implies, is the depth at which the unit can detect movement of the fish. The greater depth the unit can scan, the better performance you can expect out of it.

Target separation is also critical to your device. Remember, there are many rocks, weeds, and crevices under the water where fish can hide.

With excellent target separation capabilities, your device will be able to isolate the movement of your fish from other objects and give you a precise reading of any activities underwater.

Additional Features

Apart from the essentials we mentioned above, you could also consider a few extra features that might improve your overall satisfaction with your unit.

Although these features might not be essential to your requirement, they offer some improvements that come in handy when you are on the water.

Features like an anti-glare screen can make it easier to read the display when you are under the scorching sun.

With multiple angle viewing capabilities, you could glance at the display from any angle and get a good look at the information that it shows.

Another excellent feature you might want to consider is high-speed scanning.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is $1000 a good budget for a fish finder?

Yes, 1000 dollars is an excellent budget if you are looking to buy a fish finder. At this budget, you will find many of the features that you can see in high-end models, including CHIRP sonar or upgradable SD card slot.

However, make sure you avoid unknown brands as the build-quality can be quite questionable. Another sector that you need to check while investing your money is the display screen.

So make sure you buy something with a clean display that has some type of anti-glare capability to improve visibility under the sun.

Do I need a GPS on my fish finder?

Technically, no. You do not need a GPS on a fish finder. However, with GPS, you get a few handy options that can help a beginner angler.

Not only beginners, but these functions can also be helpful to someone who has some experience in navigating water bodies and fishing in general.

For instance, with a GPS, you will be able to set a waypoint and plot a course to your destination. You will not have to float around blindly and can move from point A to point B in an organized way.

How do I maintain my fish finder?

Thankfully, a fish finder, in general, is quite a durable device. It does not require any special maintenance.

However, you should wipe it down after every fishing trip to make sure that water cannot damage the electronics. You could also cover it up from the sun when you are not using it to protect the unit.

Final Thoughts

With a budget of $1000, there are endless options when you are buying a fish finder. And considering the impact it brings to your fishing trips, there is no reason why you should not invest in one.

We hope you found our article on the fish finder helpful. You should now feel confident about making the right choice when buying one for yourself.


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