Buying Guide For The Best Fish Finder Under 200
Having a good fish finder lets you maximize your kayak fishing trip. But it’s difficult to find an excellent model when you’re in a low price range.
But I’m not saying it’s impossible.
So no need to worry! After months of hunting and testing, we’ve found the 7 best fish finder under 200!
Yes, it’s possible.
In this review, we’ll be covering:
- Key takeaways and benefits of an affordable fish finder
- The pros and cons;
- Different fish finders under 200 for different needs
- Lots more!
Ready to change your fish finding game today? Read on to see what works for you.
Let’s dive right in.
Quick List Of All The Products Reviewed In This Article
Check out our guide to find the perfect fish finders under 200 for you.
Buying Guide For The Best Fish Finder Under $200
1. Garmin STRIKER Vivid 4 Fishfinder : Best Overall
- Has all features seen in expensive models
- Combination of sonar and GPS
- Built-in flasher
This is a well-known brand [R] that has historically created superb and reliable GPS systems, including those for finding fish under the water.
It has a 3 5-inch screen size, with a color display at 480 x 320 pixels and bright HVGA colors. Its battery has 500-watt power and it can reach a depth of 1, 750 feet in fresh water and 830 feet in saltwater.
However, some comment that its screen is too small.
The 4cv features a combination of Compressed High-Intensity Radiated Pulse or CHIRP sonar imaging technology [R] and a robust GPS system to get the job done, whether you are ice fishing, fishing angler [R], or anything else.
The Striker 4cv is a powerful tool that offers an excellent navigation system and a good fish finder.
This includes 2D sonar, ClearVu (DownVu), and CHIRP sonar inside this small but powerful unit.
The CHIRP Sonar lets you see mid and high-range CHIRP bands with the included GT20-TM transducer. It can also produce high-quality images.
It also supports an array of frequencies and can even use both traditional Dual-beam sonar at 77/200kHz for different cone coverages and CHIRP ClearVu at 455/800 kHz for deep and shallow water.
With exceptionally accurate GPS marking and reliable boat speed readouts, this is one of the best fish finders you can get on a limited budget.
It generates highly detailed underwater views with a built-in flasher to give you constant data on bottom depth while fishing.
This fish finder is lightweight and easy to mount and dismount whenever you need to.
As a matter of fact…
It can even be placed on a transom or trolling motor or other surfaces if you purchase the accessory mounts. However, its mounting may not be the strongest.
Is the Garmin STRIKER Vivid 4 for You?
If you need a basic fish finder at an affordable price range that can give you all the essential features and functions you may need for kayak fishing, the Garmin STRIKER Vivid 4 is the model for you.
With Garmin’s reputation, you can make sure they built the 4cv well.
Garmin STRIKER Vivid 4 Fishfinder
- Easy-to-use 4″ color fish finder with vivid updated, more-vivid color palettes
- Greater contrast allows more easily distinguishable fish and structure
- Includes GT20 transducer for built-in Garmin CHIRP traditional sonar and CHIRP ClearVü scanning sonar
- High-sensitivity GPS: Mark waypoints, create routes, and view your boat’s speed
- Built-in Quickdraw Contours mapping
- Grand design
- Good for navigation
- Excellent manufacturer
- Screen may be too small
- Not the most rugged housing
2. Garmin Striker Plus 4 with Dual Beam Sonar and CHIRP Transducer: Best Value
- Bigger screen size
- Dual-beam transducer
- Very clear images
It has a bright, crystal-simple display measuring 4.3 inches. Its interface is intuitive and easy to use. The rugged design is also excellent for every fishing environment.
You can even adjust the colors of the display.
Although, some of my teammates commented that its mount can be unstable at times.
This tool includes a dual-beam transducer with CHIRP imaging sonar that delivers crystal-clear images and excellent target separation.
It also has built-in quick-draw counters mapping software that lets you create and keep maps with 1’ contours for up to 2 million acres.
Its built-in GPS lets you mark waypoints [R], create routes, and see your boat speed at a glance.
Is the Garmin Striker Plus 4 for You?
If you want a more feature-packed fish finder that will deliver clear images and can create and store maps, this fish finder is the best tool for finding the best fishing spots.
- Ability to change color
- Excellent target separation
- Crystal-clear images
- Create and store maps
- Bigger display
- More pricey
Garmin Striker Plus 4 Dual-Beam Transducer Fishfinder/GPS Combo – 4” Display
- Bright, sunlight-readable 4.3″ display
- Intuitive user interface—perfect for novices and experts alike
- Built-in Garmin Quickdraw Contours live mapping with 1′ contours for up to 2 million acres
- Dual-beam transducer with Garmin CHIRP traditional sonar
- Built-in high-sensitivity GPS
- Marking options: Place waypoints and create full fishing/navigation routes
- Boat speed display
- IPX7-rated waterproof ruggedness
3. Humminbird Piranhamax 4 Fish Finder: Best Budget
- Depth and fish alarm
- Three frequency options
- Great for deeper waters
The Humminbird PiranhaMax 197C is a solid device. Even with this less-pricey model, you still get a lot of the features you can expect from more expensive ones.
This portable fish finder has a 3.5-inch color display that has excellent image quality. It is also lightweight and portable. It even comes with its own carrying case.
However, some of my teammates found the screen too small, which may be a shortcoming for some anglers.
While the PiranhaMax doesn’t have a GPS, they equipped it with a depth and fish alarm and three frequency settings that can read up to a depth of 600 feet.
It produces highly accurate readings and crystal-clear images, which is really all you need in a budget fish finder. The screen is easy to read and easy to use, too.
Note, however, that it doesn’t have PC linking capabilities.
Is the Humminbird PiranhaMax 4 Fish Finder for You?
If you need an accurate device that can give you excellent image quality and reliable readings, especially at deeper levels, the Humminbird PranhaMax is an excellent choice.
For its price, it doesn’t have fancier features. However, it makes up for it with its accuracy, making this one of the best fish finders you can get under 200.
Humminbird PiranhaMAX 4 Fishfinder
- 4.3″ screen
- 20% larger screen size than past versions (4.3″ vs. 3.5″)
- 256-color screen
- Crisp 480×272 resolution
- 600′ Dual Beam
- 2,400W PTP power output
- Dual frequency
- Convenient tilt-mount base
- Great image quality
- Down imaging excellent for deeper water
- Several frequency options
- Easy to use
- Screen may be too small
- No PC linking capabilities
- Mount could be better
- No GPS
4. Lowrance HOOK2 4X Bullet GPS Plotter Fishfinder
- CHIRP sonar and down imaging
- Split-screen display
- DownScan overlay feature
The Lowrance Hook 4x CHIRP is one of the newest budget fishfinder models available, replacing the Lowrance Hook 3x. For its size, it’s powerful.
It has a 4.3-inch color screen with 16-bit color, LED back-light, and a 480 x 270-pixel resolution.
The highlight of this easy-to-use model is its sonar capabilities.
It uses both CHIRP sonar and down imaging. You can view them on the split-screen or with the Lowrance exclusive DownScan Overlay mode, making all the important information easy to see.
They say its CHIRP sonar can improve target separation on the screen display, especially in deeper water. The DownScan Overlay is a useful feature that combines the advantages of both 2D and down imaging.
The result is that you get a hybrid picture that takes the structure, revealing the ability of down imaging, and overlays it with the 2D sonar to help you distinguish between fish and objects within the same display screen.
Is the Lowrance Hook2 4x Bullet for You?
If the screen resolution isn’t a big issue for the average fisherman, we highly recommend the Lowrance Hot 2 4x bullet portable fish finder for its remarkable sonar and CHIRP technology, which makes this one of the best fish finders under 200.
Lowrance HOOK2 4X Bullet GPS Plotter Fishfinder
- The world’s easiest fishfinder/GPS plotter, with exclusive technologies for novices and pros alike
- 4″ SolarMAX Screen
- Ultra-crisp display with sunlight-viewable brightness
- Autotuning sonar—active, automatic adjustments for peak performance as conditions change
- Proven Lowrance Broadband sonar
- 200kHz sonar mode
- Easy to find fish with double the sonar coverage of traditional fishfinders
- Optimized keypad with 1-touch access to key features
- High-sensitivity GPS antenna
- Save waypoints, follow trails, and navigate to your favorite fishing spot
- Depth and water temperature readings
- Downscan overlay for better target distinction
- Powerful despite size
- Color screen with LED backlight
- Relatively big LCD display
- Easy to see
- Easy to read
- Not the best screen resolution
5. Deeper Smart Sonar Pro + Power Bundle
- Castable fish finder
- Built-in WI-FI
- Connects to any smartphone
Because of its unique built and feature, the Deeper Sonar Pro looks nothing like the other fish finders under 200.
As a matter of fact…
It’s a small black ball that you cast into the water to read the information you will require. This makes it a brilliant device for ice fishing.
It’s lightweight and small, making this an excellent addition to your fishing loadout and one of the most portable fish finders out there.
Unlike the other fish finders under 200 in this guide, the Deeper Smart Sonar Pro is unique because it requires you to gas it into the water.
Overall, this gives you a lot more versatility and lets you search for fish in any location.
You’ll need to have a smart device with you to read the data it will transmit. This device connects to your smartphone through its built-in WI-FI so you can read its data.
It can be cast into the water up to 330 feet, while its scanning capabilities can reach up to 260 feet. It has a dual-beam sonar with an adjustable beam.
The internal GPS creates bathymetric, bottom contour maps, while multiple modes adapt to your environmental conditions.
…we recommend bringing a spare battery with you, as its battery can be pretty limited. You need to take care not to lose the WI-FI signal and to keep it within range of your phone.
The Deeper PRO+ Smart Fish Finder Power Bundle includes the PRO+ Fish Finder, Power Lantern, and smartphone mount.
Is the Deeper Smart Sonar for You?
If you don’t mind having to use your fish finder with your smartphone, the Deeper Sonar Pro is an excellent device for you, especially if you typically require good depth capability.
Deeper PRO+ Smart Fish Finder Power Bundle
- Wireless and castable sonar fish finder
- Works in conjunction with smart phones and tablets
- Internal GPS receiver creates bathymetric, bottom contour maps
- Scans from 2 ft. to 260 ft. for fishing in a variety of water sizes
- High scanning resolution separates objects of up to .04 ft. and captures small underwater units
- 8x extended dynamic range for accurate detection of underwater objects
- High frequency for up to 15 scans captures faster moving objects
- Wi-Fi range up to 330 ft. for long distance connectivity with smart devices
- Easy to carry
- Connects to any smartphone
- Excellent image quality
- Good range
- With GPS
- Battery life is pretty limited
- Difficulty finding fish in vegetation at the bottom
- No GPS
- Be careful to keep it within range
6. HawkEye FishTrax 1 Portable Fishfinder with Virtuview Icon Display
- Auto and Manual Depth Range
- 10-level Sensitivity Settings
- Can view raw or FishTarget data
It has a glare-free VirtuView dot matrix display on its 2.75-inch LCD display with LED backlight, giving you extra readability. However, this is the smallest display size among the fish finders featured in this list.
But don’t despair.
The VirtuView icon LCD shows sonar data through a series of icons, which will give you a readout that’s super easy to understand.
The HawkEye FishTrax intelligent sonar uses sonar sound waves to detect water depth, locate fish, and define bottom contour, composition, and structure.
This 200 kHz sonar sensor feature is rollable, boat mountable, and floatable to achieve excellent portability and versatility.
It also has 10 levels of sensitivity adjustments, multi-level depth ranges, and auto-zoom bottom tracing that intensifies prey targeting.
Its sonar sensor adapter side view functions allow sonar direction, finding even under weeds, ice, docks, and other obstacles. However, note that this accessory is sold separately.
You will know whenever there is fish because this features a fish alarm and backlit display for easy nighttime fishing.
The cool part?
Both beginner and intermediate anglers who need to pinpoint optimal fish habitats can use this.
The VirtuView Dot Matrix LCD can be configured to show raw sonar data or to use its built-in FishTarget programming to determine the exact depth of your prey.
The Fishtrax 1x also has auto-switching, dual-beam FishTrax, intelligent sonar, and auto-zoom bottom tracking.
Is the HawkEye FishTrax 1 Portable Fishfinder Fishfinder for You?
The HawkEye FishTrax 1 Portable Fishfinder is meant for beginner anglers who are looking for basic functions, affordability, and ease of use.
It can display a lot of data all at once and lets you see both raw and programmed information to best inform you of where the fish are.
HawkEye FishTrax 1 Portable Fishfinder with Virtuview Icon Display
- Weed and Rock Indicators for bottom composition down to 240′
- Audible fish alarm
- VirtuView ICON Display
- EasyTouch user interface
- TraxNut mounting system
- 200kHz sonar
- 26° beam angle
- 15′ transducer cable
- Operates in temperatures 0°–160°F
- 2″H x 1.6″W display
- Multiple sensitivity levels
- Intelligent sonar
- Auto-zoom bottom tracking
- Easy to understand
- The smallest screen
- No full-color display
7. Garmin Striker 4 GPS Fish Finder
- Excellent for beginners
- Most basic Garmin model
- Less depth, but with sonar and GPS
It houses everything in a 3 5-inch full-color display screen, which may be quite small for some. However, you can opt to increase the screen size for an additional payment.
The Garmin STRIKER 4 is the more basic version of the Striker. It doesn’t have the same range as the Striker 4cv and 4 plus, but it comes at a more affordable price.
It uses Clearvu imaging sonar, GPS, and CHIRP sonar technology. It also has waypoint mapping and can read up to a depth of 1600 feet in fresh water and 750 feet in saltwater.
Suffice to say…
…everything is easy to use and durable, with high-quality imaging and a great range of features for its price.
Is the Garmin Striker 4 GPS Fish Finder for You?
If you’re just starting out and need a basic fish finder model to work with, the Striker 4 is an excellent choice for you.
It will give you a feel for how to use a fish finder and get you started on your fishing adventures.
HawkEye FishTrax 1 Portable Fishfinder with Virtuview Icon Display
- Easy-to-use 3.5″ color display
- Convenient keypad option
- Built-in, high-sensitivity GPS
- CHIRP sonar
- HD-ID™ sonar
- Mark hot spots, docks and ramps to return to later
- Includes CHIRP (77/200 kHz) transducer with transom and trolling motor mounting kit
- Share waypoints and routes with other Striker or echoMAP combos
- Smooth Scaling depth-range adjustments
- Sonar history rewind for waypoint marking
- Includes tilt/swivel mount
- Includes built-in flasher
- Speed data displayed directly on screen
- High-quality image
- Easy to use
- Excellent manufacturer
- GPS and other features
- No fancy features
- Small display
How Do I Choose the Best Fish Finder Under 200?
With a limited budget, it’s a challenge to get a fish finder with all the bells and whistles, like a fishing camera.
So you’ll need to determine the features you need to prioritize to find the right model that suits your needs and budget.
Here are a few tips for maximizing your budget so you can get the right fish finders under 200.
Think About the Fishing Spots and Conditions You Normally Encounter
For example, in deeper waters such as in ice fishing, you will need a transducer that has a lower frequency.
This creates a narrower beam, which means you won’t get to cover as much of the water around the boat, but it will travel deeper.
If you normally just fish in rivers or streams, you’ll want to get a transducer with a higher frequency. This won’t go very deep but will give you wider coverage so you can see more of what is around your boat.
Now if you’re the type of fisherman who switches between depths, you’ll need to get a dual-frequency fishfinder to give you the versatility and depth capability you need.
For other features, like GPS, take some time to consider whether you really need it.
Do not get dazzled or tempted by extra features you won’t most probably need and use, as they can add up to the product’s final price.
Consider the Display and Ease of Use
The purpose of a fish finder is to help you discover the best fishing spots.
It’s essential that you can easily see the data collected by the sonar. If you have to squint to read the screen because of its poor quality, it’s likely not the right fish finder for you.
Here’s the kicker.
Get a screen that is large enough, so it is easy to read and can quickly display all the information you need to know.
You don’t need a stellar display, but at least a decent enough one that will give you a clear picture.
What is Scanning?
Side-scan and DownScan are the two available options that you can choose from in fish finders.
DownScan fish finders are powerful and best for smaller bodies of water, as they’re more focused on a more limited area. With this, the fish will have to pass underneath the boat to show you any reading.
On the other hand…
Side scan fish finders are for larger bodies of water. However, they’re not as effective in deeper water as they are more focused on breadth, rather than depth.
Some fish finders can provide both scanning abilities, though they will cost more.
Do I Need GPS?
Most excellent quality fish finders will give you a GPS option or feature, which can store and collect data from your past fishing trips to help you out or give you a point of reference for future trips.
This can be useful for boat or kayak fishing, where you frequently change locations. It will also allow you to go back to your favorite spots.
Plus, there are available models out there that use mapping cards that can be inserted into SD slots on your device to do the mapping for you. Consider whether you really need these extra features.
Top Picks For Worthwhile Cheap Fish Finder
Garmin STRIKER Vivid 4 Fishfinder: Best Overall
The Garmin 4CV is the best model you can buy when you’re on a budget of 200 dollars or less. It has all the features that you normally only see on higher-end models while staying affordable because of its smaller size.
This comes with the advantage of better portability, which is perfect for a casual fisher.
It’s also well-known for its incredibly accurate readings, which is the most important feature you should expect from the best fish finders.
Garmin Striker Plus 4: Best Value
We love how this device has one of the biggest display screens among all fish finders under 200.
It has dual-beam imaging that lets you accurately detect your prey and even lets you create and store maps for present and future fishing expeditions.
Humminbird Piranhamax 4 Fish Finder: Best Budget
As the cheapest option, the PiranhaMax is perfect for beginners who are on a budget. Despite its price, this is still a powerful fishfinder that will give you reliable readings and crystal-clear images.
Its only disadvantage is that you cannot connect it to your computer. If that’s something you can live with, this is the best budget fish finder for you.
Related Articles For Fish Finder For Money
What can you buy with 200 dollars nowadays? Well, the excellent news is that you can get an accurate, fully functional fish finder even on a budget.
And this list has rounded up the best models available for you today.
We hope that one of these babies can show you that you don’t have to sacrifice great quality just for an affordable price. You can actually have both!
So what are your preferences? Are you planning to get the best overall, the Garmin STRIKER Vivid 4 or the cheaper Garmin STRIKER Plus 4? Let us know today!