Best Fish Finders Under $500

5 Best Fish Finders Under $500-600

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If your budget for a new fish finder is 500 bucks, then you are in the sweet spot for buying a small-screened, but full-featured fishfinder GPS combo.

Full featured means it has combinations of GPS, memory card slots for mapping and saving screenshots, dual beam sonar, and at least one type of imaging sonar.

This year’s best fish finder GPS combo under $500 will have screens in the 5″-7″ range, but they are packed with more electronic wizardry than ever. Thanks to the strong competition in the sonar wars, GPS lake mapping, down imaging, and even side imaging have been pushed down into the 500 dollar units.

There is much to cover to help you choose the right depth finder, so let’s start with the comparisons.

Pricing Note: The “Under $500” category is based on the MSRP at the time of product listing and cannot guarantee accuracy or availability. We will correct any inaccuracies when they are brought to our attention.

Best Fish Finders Under $500-600 Compared

Fish Finder:
Editor's Choice
Garmin Striker Vivid 7sv, Easy-to-Use 7-inch Color Fishfinder and Sonar Transducer, Vivid Scanning...
Lowrance HOOK Reveal 7 Inch Fish Finders with Transducer, Plus Optional Preloaded Maps
Garmin 010-02590-01 ECHOMAP UHD2 5" Chartplotters 53cv with GT20-TM Transducer
Garmin Striker Vivid 7cv, Easy-to-Use 7-inch Color Fishfinder and Sonar Transducer, Vivid Scanning...
Humminbird 411670-1 Helix 5 Chirp DI GPS G3
Display:
7" (800 x 480)
7" (800 x 480)
5" (800 x 480)
7" (800 x 480)
5" (800 x 480)
2D CHIRP:
Down Viewing:
Side Viewing:
Mapping:
Live Mapping:
Check Price at:
Editor's Choice
Fish Finder:
Garmin Striker Vivid 7sv, Easy-to-Use 7-inch Color Fishfinder and Sonar Transducer, Vivid Scanning...
Display:
7" (800 x 480)
2D CHIRP:
Down Viewing:
Side Viewing:
Mapping:
Live Mapping:
Check Price at:
Check Price at:
Fish Finder:
Lowrance HOOK Reveal 7 Inch Fish Finders with Transducer, Plus Optional Preloaded Maps
Display:
7" (800 x 480)
2D CHIRP:
Down Viewing:
Side Viewing:
Mapping:
Live Mapping:
Check Price at:
Check Price at:
Fish Finder:
Garmin 010-02590-01 ECHOMAP UHD2 5" Chartplotters 53cv with GT20-TM Transducer
Display:
5" (800 x 480)
2D CHIRP:
Down Viewing:
Side Viewing:
Mapping:
Live Mapping:
Check Price at:
Check Price at:
Fish Finder:
Garmin Striker Vivid 7cv, Easy-to-Use 7-inch Color Fishfinder and Sonar Transducer, Vivid Scanning...
Display:
7" (800 x 480)
2D CHIRP:
Down Viewing:
Side Viewing:
Mapping:
Live Mapping:
Check Price at:
Check Price at:
Fish Finder:
Humminbird 411670-1 Helix 5 Chirp DI GPS G3
Display:
5" (800 x 480)
2D CHIRP:
Down Viewing:
Side Viewing:
Mapping:
Live Mapping:
Check Price at:
Check Price at:

*Last updated 2024-04-21 at 13:35 / Product Links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. Garmin STRIKER Vivid 7sv – Best Under $600

Important Specs:

  • Screen: 7″ (800×480)
  • Sonar: CHIRP 150-240 kHz
  • ClearVü: CHIRP 425-485 kHz, 790-850 kHz
  • SideVü: CHIRP 425-485 kHz, 790-850 kHz
  • Wi-Fi: YES
  • MicroSD Slot: NO

The Garmin STRIKER Vivid 7sv is the best value fish finder in the Striker series of imaging fish finders. The 7sv sports an 800×480 pixel 7” screen for displaying SideVü imaging sonar, as well as ClearVü, CHIRP, and your standard 2D sonar data.

With the Striker Vivid 7sv, Garmin has tried to bring together as much size and capability into a value-driven depth finder. However, the fact that there is an internal GPS but no microSD memory slot for upgraded mapping capabilities will mean the 7sv is a no-go for many fishermen.

For a 7” unit with side imaging, GPS, mapping, and microSD, you should consider the Humminbird HELIX 7 MSI, or for a couple hundred bucks more you can get a touchscreen with the Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 73sv.

On the other hand, if you want a side scanning fish finder with the largest screen possible for under $600, then the Striker 7sv is your best bet. Only one other unit (keep reading) can offer you side, down, and CHIRP in the 7” size and still remain within your budget.

2. Lowrance HOOK Reveal 7x Triple Shot

Important Specs:

  • Screen: 7″ (800×480)
  • Sonar: CHIRP 200kHz
  • DownScan: 455/800kHz
  • SideScan: 455/800kHz
  • Wi-Fi: NO
  • MicroSD Slot: YES

The Hook Reveal 7x TripleShot is essentially the same unit as a “Hook Reveal 7” but without chart plotting capability. If you need a cheap screen with SideScan capability, this unit is a really great bet.

It more or less is equivalent to the Garmin Striker Vivid 7sv. It’s pretty simple, if you prefer Lowrance, go with the HOOK Reveal, if you are set up with Garmin go with the Vivid 7sv.

The HOOK Reveal 7x does have the unique “Fish Reveal” feature that combines traditional sonar and overlays DownScan into one view. This is designed to “reveal” fish arches while showing the realistic bottom structure of the DownScan.

3. Garmin ECHOMAP UHD2 53cv

Important Specs:

  • Screen: 5″ (800×480)
  • Sonar: 50/77/83/200 kHz
  • ClearVü: 260/455/800/1000/1200 kHz
  • SideVü: NO
  • Wi-Fi: YES
  • MicroSD Slot: YES

The ECHOMAP UHD2 53cv is an excellent little 5″ fish finder with a lot to offer anglers. For sonar, the Garmin 53cv comes with the GT20-TM transducer with CHIRP 2D sonar and CHIRP  ClearVü in frequencies of 800, 1000, and 1200 kHz. It can also connect to trolling motors with built-in transducers (adapter cable sold separately).

The screen may be small, but it packs the same number of display pixels as the Helix 5 & 7 or Lowrance HOOK models. It also has something those don’t, and that is pre-loaded lake maps. The 53cv has Navionics+ lake maps pre-loaded, many high definition with 1ft contours. That makes this unit an excellent value, and you can see our Echomap UHD review here.

4. Garmin STRIKER Vivid 7cv

Important Specs:

  • Screen: 7″ (800×480)
  • Sonar: 77/200kHz
  • DownScan: 435-475 kHz, 800-840 kHz
  • SideScan: NO
  • Wi-Fi: YES
  • MicroSD Slot: NO

The STRIKER Vivid 7cv from Garmin is similar to the HOOK Reveal 7x SplitShot.  This fish finder has sonar with multiple frequencies for traditional dual beam sonar (77/200 kHz), as well as built in CHIRP ClearVu Imaging (455 & 800 kHz).

While the STRIKER Vivid 7cv lacks the touchscreen capability of the Garmin ECHOMAP series, it’s still a decent value. Garmin is building a reputation for good down imaging, and the new Vivd units are no exception.

Unlike the Echomaps, the STRIKER Vivid does not come with base maps or a card slot for adding any maps. If you need more detailed maps, you should definitely upgrade to an ECHOMAP, HOOK, or HELIX fishfinder.  But you do have the ability to make waypoints and create your own personal charts with Quickdraw contours.

5. HELIX 5 CHIRP DI GPS G3

Important Specs:

  • Screen: 5″ (800×480)
  • Sonar: 83/200kHz
  • Down Imaging: 455kHz
  • Side Imaging: NO
  • Wi-Fi: NO
  • MicroSD Slot: YES

The HELIX 5 CHIRP DI GPS G3 was once the best fish finder you could buy for under $500.  It’s still a good unit, but the competing fish finders now have 7″ screens. The fact that this is a GPS Chart Plotter and Down Imaging fish finder still make it a top choice.  The Helix 5 DI GPS has a widescreen 5″ with 800×480 resolution, meaning it has the same display specifications as other bigger units in this list.

This unit comes packed with the XNT 9 SI 180 T transducer, also known as the “Compact” side imaging transducer, and is eligible for Humminbird’s transducer exchange program.  You can upgrade to the High Definition side imaging transducer (XHS 9 HDSI 180 T) for a little extra money.

The Helix 5 SI GPS is compatible with Lakemaster and Navionics cards for mapping.  To get the most out of the unit, I first recommend you check the Lakemaster lake list for your area.  If the lakes you fish are covered well, get the Lakemaster card to take advantage of exclusive features like Depth Highlight and Water Level Offset.  See our review here.

6. Lowrance HOOK Reveal 7x SplitShot

Important Specs:

  • Screen: 7″ (800×480)
  • Sonar: CHIRP 200kHz
  • DownScan: 455/800kHz
  • SideScan: NO
  • Wi-Fi: NO
  • MicroSD Slot: YES

The Lowrance HOOK Reveal 7x SS unit is a nice blend of screen size and sonar features for the price. You get a bright, highly detailed 7” screen to view the dedicated DownScan sonar, and split screen it alongside the 200 kHz 2D sonar, or the GPS chart plotter. The Reveal models now even have the benefits of the Fish Reveal CHIRP overlay with DownScan structure.

The HOOK Reveal 7x SplitShot has one microSD card slot allowing you to use C-AMP Insight Pro map chips. You could even start saving sonar recordings of your favorite lake to create and view custom lake maps with the Genesis Live onboard mapping function.

Overall, the Reveal 7x Splitshot has good capabilities and features for a unit in this category. The 7x SplitShot cannot share waypoints with another unit, but honestly, that kind of feature will be left out to keep the unit appealing to anglers with all kinds of budgets.

Related: All Fish Finder Reviews

7. Raymarine Dragonfly 5 Pro

Important Specs:

  • Screen: 5″ (800×480)
  • Sonar: YES
  • DownVision: YES
  • CHIRP: YES
  • MicroSD Slot: YES

If you’ve already done some looking around, you’ll see the Dragonfly 5 Pro is under the 500 dollar mark when not bundled with a Navionics mapping card. This little unit is compact enough to fit on kayaks, and will provide you a screen big enough to not have to strain to see.

The Dragonfly 5 Pro has an optically bonded display, which means it uses glass and a gel bonded to the display to provide an improved optical viewing experience.  When you combine the excellent display with the dual channel CHIRP and DownVision sonar, you get some fantastic images on the fish finder.  The CHIRP technology simultaneously pings across a range of frequencies, resulting in increased detail and target separation.

All of the Dragonfly Pro units have a built-in WiFi capability, allowing you to connect and share video and screenshots to the optional WiFish mobile app that you can use on your smartphone or tablet.

Which Unit Should You Buy?

For Side Imaging – You have two excellent options for a side imaging fish finder under $500 this year. If you need detailed lake maps and a microSD card slot, your best option is the Hook Reveal 7 TripleShot.

This unit has been extremely popular, as it is the lowest priced Side Imaging fish finder on the market and has a brilliant 5″ widescreen display.  I do not hesitate to recommend this fish finder to anyone. For a larger screen, but no MicroSD slot for maps, choose the Garmin STRIKER Vivid 7sv.

For Down Imaging – For the best down imaging performance, it’s hard to go wrong with any of the remaining units in the $500 price range.  For most people, I would point them to the ECHOMAP UHD2 53cv because of the awesome 6-inch display, and microSD slot to allow you to add in the superb Navionics+ mapping.

For DI plus CHIRP – Choose the ECHOMAP UHD2 53cv or Hook Reveal 7x SplitShot, as they are the only units that have microSD mapping slots and DownScan with CHIRP sonar. The only downside is the smaller screen sizes compared to the other units, so before you buy, decide if you really need the CHIRP sonar for your style of fishing.

Resources

  • If you need a better unit or bigger screen, something that will let you add on a Livescope or MEGA 360, then I recommend reading these reviews – Top Fish Finders Under $1000
  • If you still want new sonar technology like down imaging, but can’t afford a 5″ screen, then we have some great units to check out here – Top Fish Finders Under $200

*Last updated 2024-04-21 at 13:35 / Product Links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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