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Best Fish Finder GPS Combo Reviews – Top 10 in 2020

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A fish finder can be an incredibly useful tool for an angler. It can help you locate fish in the water, eliminating the guesswork in fishing. And another feature that can help you up your fishing game even further is a GPS. There are a number of advantages to purchasing a fish finder GPS combo. In addition to locating fish, you’ll also be able to keep track of your location, easily navigate to any landmark and save waypoints, such as fishing hotspots. But what is the best fish finder GPS combo on the market? Read on our fish finder GPS combo reviews to find the top recommendations for 2020.

Best Fish Finder GPS Combos Comparison Chart

fish finder gps combo reviews
  • Humminbird HELIX 7 CHIRP MDI GPS G3
  • Display: 7"
  • Sonar: CHIRP/Mega Down Imaging
  • Depth: 1,200 ft
  • Maps: Basemap
  • Micro SD card slot: yes
top rated fish finder gps combo
  • Garmin Striker Plus 4
  • Display: 4.3”
  • Sonar: CHIRP Dual Beam
  • Depth: 600 ft
  • Maps: none
  • Micro SD card slot: no
best fish finder gps combo
  • Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2
  • Display: 5"
  • Sonar: CHIRP Dual Beam PLUS
  • Depth: 1,500 ft
  • Maps: Basemap
  • Micro SD card slot: yes
fish finder gps combo comparison
  • Garmin Striker 7SV
  • Display: 7"
  • Sonar: CHIRP ClearVü/CHIRP SideVü
  • Depth: 2.300 ft
  • Maps: none
  • Micro SD card slot: no
chartplotter fishfinder combo
  • Garmin EchoMap+ 94sv
  • Display: 9"
  • Sonar: CHIRP ClearVü/CHIRP SideVü
  • Depth: 2.300 ft
  • Maps: US Offshore g3
  • Micro SD card slot: yes
marine gps fish finder
  • Garmin Echomap Chirp 74Cv
  • Display: 7"
  • Sonar: CHIRP/ClearVu
  • Depth: 2.300 ft
  • Maps: Blue Chart g2
  • Micro SD card slot: yes

Top 10 Fish Finder GPS Combos Reviewed

Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP GPS G2

best fish finder gps comboOne of the top rated fish finder GPS combo units in 2020 is the Humminbird Helix 5 model. It offers the best value for the money with its high quality and cutting-edge technology.

The unit comes with a 5-inch color display that offers HD quality and incredibly clear images. Its size offers plenty of surface area to work with. It also makes it possible to view it split screen with the GPS and sonar information displayed side by side.

The included transom mount transducer supports both CHIRP and dual beam sonar technologies. This means that it can cover a range of frequencies, producing more accurate and more detailed sonar returns. As a result, you can see more details of fish, structure and bottom that you would not be able to see with other types of 2D sonar. It increases your ability to differentiate between target fish, wrecks and other debris lying below the water’s surface.

As for the dual beam technology, it allows you to scan the water either to the sides of your boat or right below it. Moreover, this fish finder GPS combo features Dual Beam Plus, which allows you to scan the water with both beams at the same time. And you can choose if you want to view them separately, split screen or blended together.

This unit offers scanning capability down to 1,500 feet. However, by purchasing the optional transducer instead, you can increase the maximum scanning depth to 2,500 feet.

The fish finder is also equipped with a precision GPS system that can accurately locate your position and help you navigate with confidence. It includes a basemap that covers the U.S. coastline, lakes and rivers.

These charts don’t offer a lot of detail, but it’s enough if you’re not looking for an advanced navigational tool. And if you do want more detailed cartography, you can upgrade the system with LakeMaster and Navionics.

The GPS system also allows you to save waypoints. For example, you can save your launch dock location, so you could easily find your way back home. Or you could save different fishing hotspots that you could go back to in the future. However, you’ll need to additionally purchase a micro SD card in order to be able to save these waypoints and upgrade the maps.

There are also several options for the Helix 5 model. In addition to this CHIRP GPS G2 model, there’s also an option without CHIRP and options with additional side imaging and down imaging capability.

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PROS
  • 5 inch color display.
  • CHIRP and Dual Beam Plus sonar.
  • SwitchFire sonar.
  • Sonar recording.
  • Depth capability down to 1,500 feet.
  • Precision GPS.
  • Waypoints function.
  • IPX7 waterproof.
  • Micro SD card upgrades.
  • 1 year limited warranty.
CONS
  • The included charts are not the best. For more detailed cartography, it requires upgrades.

Humminbird Helix 7 CHIRP MDI GPS G3

fish finder gps combo reviewsOur next pick also comes from the popular Humminbird brand. The Helix 7 model offers great fish finding and navigation capabilities.

It includes a 7 inch TFT display that offers excellent crisp images. It features adjustable backlighting, which provides excellent readability even through sunglasses or when viewing in direct sunlight.

This fish finder GPS combo is powered by a Low Q CHIRP transducer. It offers two types of sonar, which include Dual Spectrum CHIRP and Mega Down Imaging.

When using Dual Spectrum CHIRP sonar, you can choose between narrow, wide and full mode. The narrow and wide sonar modes provide fixed beam cone angles that are 42 and 25 degrees. And the full mode is adjustable between 150kHz to 220kHz.

The unit also offers Down Imaging and the more advanced Mega Down Imaging. For Down Imaging, the transducer operates in the 440-500kHz range, which produces a beam with a 75 degree angle. As for Mega Down Imaging, it operates in a much higher frequency range that is 1075kHz to 1150kHz, which produces a 45 degree beam angle.

With Mega Down Imaging, you get a lot more output, which allows you to unlock new details of the underwater world. You get clearer images of structure and easier separation of target fish.

Similar to the Helix 5 model, this fish finder GPS combo also comes with SwitchFire sonar, depth and fish alarms, sonar recording and more.

This fish finder also excels in its navigation features. The built-in GPS offers accurate tracking of your location, helping you navigate through U.S. coastal waters, lakes and rivers. The provided basemap also shows various points of interest, buoys, hazards and more. And if you won’t be satisfied with the detail of these charts, Humminbird also offers upgrades to LakeMaster and Navionics charts.

Using the GPS system, you can also save points, routes and tracks. It can store up to 2,750 waypoints, 45 routes and 50 tracks.

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PROS
  • High resolution 7 inch display.
  • Dual Spectrum CHIRP and Mega Down Imaging.
  • SwitchFire sonar.
  • Sonar recording.
  • Two display modes.
  • Built-in GPS system.
  • Tracks, routes and waypoints saving function.
  • Upgradable software.
  • IPX7 waterproof.
  • 1 year limited warranty.
CONS
  • For better quality maps, you have to buy the upgraded charts.

Garmin Striker Plus 4

top rated fish finder gps comboFor a more affordable fish finder GPS combo option, we recommend checking out the Garmin Striker Plus 4, which is an upgrade from the older Striker 4 model. This is a more simple fish finder that might not offer all the bells and whistles of more advanced models but it does offer plenty of features and at a very good price.

This is a compact device with a display measuring 4.3 inches. So, it’s more suitable for smaller boats and kayaks. The bright display is easily readable in different light conditions. The unit also features an easy to use the keypad for quick settings adjustments.

The GPS fish finder comes with a transducer that offers both dual beam and CHIRP sonar. It provides a high level of clarity and detail, making the fish and bottom contours more visible. By using the Autogain feature, you can also minimize clutter in order to be able to see more targets. And by using the Ultrascroll feature, you can identify fish targets when the boat is moving at higher speeds.

The built-in GPS will help you keep track of your position and will help you navigate wherever you need to go.

Moreover, it will allow you to save waypoints. For example, if you get a lot of fish biting in a certain location, you can mark that spot and return to it on your next trip. Moreover, you can save launch docks, boat ramps, etc.

The GPS system will also help you keep track of your speed. This would help you make sure that you’re going at the right speed for the lure you’re using.

Another great feature of the GPS system is the map drawing software. It allows you to create HD maps by drawing the contours of the places you’ve been fishing. And the software has enough memory to store up to 2 million acres of content.

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PROS
  • 4.3 inches display.
  • Intuitive user interface.
  • Dual Beam and CHIRP sonar.
  • Built-in GPS.
  • Quickdraw Contours software.
  • Rugged design.
CONS
  • The small size of the display.

Garmin Striker 7sv

fish finder gps combo comparisonThe Garmin Striker 7sv is another high quality sonar GPS combo that offers reliable quality and a wealth of features. It’s more expensive than Striker Plus 4 but it also comes with more advanced features.

Its display measures 7 inches corner to corner. It’s easy to read from a distance and in all light conditions. Moreover, it has a split screen function, so you can view three types of data at the same time. For example, you could simultaneously view CHIRP sonar, SideVu sonar and the waypoint map.

Another thing that makes this fish finder GPS combo standout is the advanced sonar technology. It offers CHIRP, ClearVu and SideVu scanning capabilities.

Its high wide CHIRP sonar sends a continuous sweep of frequencies and then interprets each return individually. This provides a wider range of information, such as deeper scanning and minute details.

ClearVu and SideVu features further help in getting a more clear image. ClearVu gives a wide sonar image of everything that passes below your boat. SideVu, on the other hand, scans the water to each side of your boat.

With all the three sonar returns combined, you get a clear view of structures and fish, making the target easily distinguishable.

The fish finder also has dual beam capability that operates in the 77kHz and 200kHz frequencies. So you can combine the high detail of a narrow sonar beam and the wide coverage of the wide sonar beam.

If you would also like to take out your fish finder for ice fishing in the winter, you don’t need to purchase a separate flasher unit. This device offers a flasher setting, which will show you the bottom, your jig or bait and the depth of the fish that passes through the sonar beam.

One more useful feature of this fish finder is the built-in GPS module. It allows you to view your position, your speed and any waypoints that you might have saved.

The ability to mark waypoints is a handy feature. You can use it to mark spots where you get a lot of fish baiting or you can mark a dock or a ramp where you launched your boat.

Similar to the Striker Plus 4 model, this fish finder also comes with the QuickDraw Contour software. It automatically creates contoured maps as you’re trolling the shorelines and the depths.

We’ve also reviewed Garmin Striker Plus 7sv review, which comes with a few upgrades. You can read it here.

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PROS
  • 7 inch display.
  • Ability to view 3 types of data split screen.
  • CHIRP, ClearVu and SideVu sonar.
  • Ice flasher setting.
  • High sensitivity GPS.
  • Waypoint map.
  • QuickDraw Contours mapping software.
  • Maximum scanning depth is 2,300 feet in freshwater and 1,100 feet in saltwater.
  • Transom and trolling motor mounting options.
  • IPX7 water rating.
CONS
  • No pre-loaded maps.

Garmin Echomap Plus 94sv

chartplotter fishfinder comboOne more great fish finder GPS combo from Garmin that we’d like to recommend is the Echomap Plus 94sv. It’s a high-end fish finder that offers a few more features than a previous model, which contributes to its higher level of performance.

It’s a 9 inch fish finder that offers both touchscreen and keypad operation. You can customize the display’s homepage with the most necessary apps, which would provide their quick access. Moreover, the large display offers various split screen options, so you can view different types of information at the same time.

This fish finder is also networkable. It features an NMEA 0183 output port and is also compatible with an NMEA 2000 support. Moreover, the unit has Wi-Fi connectivity, so you can sync it with your phone and receive the notifications on the fish finder’s screen. Through the Wi-Fi, you can also access updates.

The device also offers excellent sonar capabilities. In addition to the standard dual beam sonar, it offers traditional CHIRP, ClearVu and SideVu sonar.

First, the traditional CHIRP operates in the range from 80kHZ to 160kHZ. It modulates the pulse over this range of frequencies, which results in a clear image with less clutter and noise.

Secondly, the ClearVu and SideVu operate in frequencies 260/455/800kHz. These sonar scans give you nearly photographic images of what’s happening below your boat and to its sides. With these features, it’s easy to identify structure, objects and fish.

Two other useful features of this system are the sonar recording and sonar rewind. They allow you to record the received sonar readings for rewatching them in the future.

As for the built-in GPS, it offers preloaded U.S. Offshore g3 charts. So, keep in mind that it only includes U.S. coasts and does not include inland lakes, for which the 93sv model would be more preferable for you.

The charts provide navigational aid, waypoint marking and more. Moreover, the system allows you to create personalized fishing maps by using the QuickDraw Contour function.

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PROS
  • 9 inch full-color display.
  • Various split screen options.
  • NMEA 0183 output port.
  • Wi-Fi connectivity.
  • CHIRP, ClearVu and SideVu sonar.
  • Sonar recording and rewind.
  • U.S. Offshore g3 charts.
  • QuickDraw Contour function.
  • Transom mount transducer.
CONS
  • Expensive.
  • Doesn’t have charts of inland lakes.

Garmin Echomap CHIRP 74cv

marine gps fish finderThe Garmin Echomap CHIRP 74cv also offers you accurate sonar readings, providing you with a glimpse into where the fish are swimming. On top of that, it comes with an internal GPS and preloaded maps to help you navigate to your favorite fishing spots.

The 7 inch display offers plenty of screen surface for viewing all the sonar information. It also makes it possible to view the information split screen. For example, you can view side by side navigation and sonar. The display also features backlighting that you can adjust to different light conditions.

As for sonar, the transducer offers CHIRP and ClearVu. On top of that, it’s dual beam capable. So, unlike the Garmin Echomap Plus 94sv, there’s no SideVu.

The dual beam sonar works in the 77kHz and 200kHz frequencies. For CHIRP, the pulse is modulated in the range between 80kHz and 160kHz. ClearVu, on the other hand, uses a thin beam instead of the conical beam that is used for 2D.

The combination of these sonar technologies provides a clear image of what passes below your boat. It offers enhanced separation between target fish and between structure. You get an overall better bottom reading as it will have less clutter.

Using this unit’s sonar recording capability, you can also have all the sonar returns saved so you can play them back on a computer later on.

This fish finder also offers GPS capability. This unit is a chartplotter and it comes with preloaded BlueChart g2 maps, which include coastal waters of the U.S. In the charts, you can also view tidal and current stations, depth contours and fishing charts.

There’s also a micro SD card slot in this device. You can use it if you need to expand the memory of the fish finder. For example, if you would like to upgrade the maps by adding maps of inland lakes.

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PROS
  • 7-inch color display.
  • 2D, CHIRP and ClearVu sonar.
  • Data graphs.
  • Sonar recording and rewind.
  • Accurate internal GPS.
  • BlueChart g2 maps.
  • QuickDraw Contour function.
CONS
  • It does not include maps of inland lakes.

Humminbird Helix 8 G3N

good fishfinder with gps navigationThe Humminbird Helix 8 G3N is one of the most expensive fish finder GPS combos on our list. However, it does offer lots of the most advanced features in one single unit, so it offers plenty of value for the money.

It features an 8 inch display that has a resolution of 1024 x 600. The image you get is very sharp and easily readable, even when viewed in direct sunlight.

On the display, you can view up to four split screens at the same time. For example, you can view DI, SI and the map at the same time. Moreover, you can adjust each of them individually.

This unit also has great networking capabilities. It has Bluetooth and Ethernet capabilities. You can use Bluetooth connectivity for pairing it with your phone. This would allow you to view phone notifications on the unit’s display, as well as use the FishSmart app to get software updates and upgrade charts.

The fish finder also offers two micro SD card slots. This makes it convenient for situations when you need more memory space. For example, one card could be used for charts and the other for sonar recordings.

The device can also produce three types of sonar. It features Dual Spectrum CHIRP, Mega Down Imaging Plus and Mega Side Imaging Plus. As a result, it supports multiple frequencies, which include 50/83/200/455/800kHz.

It includes a transducer that provides superior side imaging and down imaging range. Side imaging provides viewing out to 200 feet on both sides of your boat. Down imaging covers down to 200 feet below your boat. And the Mega SI+ and Mega DI+ offer 20% more detail compared to the Humminbird’s standard Mega SI and DI.

The Dual Spectrum CHIRP further adds to the sonar capabilities of this chartplotter fishfinder combo. It offers you two ways to search the water with a wide and narrow mode. As a result, you get well-defined fish arches and lots of detail of structure and bottom.

As for the GPS system, it includes Humminbird’s standard basemap, which is suitable for both lake and off-shore fishing. The basemap also includes buoys, marinas, hazards and more.

The unit is also compatible with upgraded maps, such as LakeMaster. There you will find more detailed contours and highlighted depth ranges.

One more feature worth noting is the AutoChart Live, which allows you to create maps of your favorite fishing spots. It works by combining sonar and GPS information in order to draw depth contours on a map.

Lastly, the GPS system also allows you to save up to 2,750 waypoints. Moreover, you can also create routes and tracks in the system, saving them for later use.

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PROS
  • High resolution 8 inch display.
  • You can set up to four split screens at the same time.
  • Dual Spectrum CHIRP, Mega SI+, Mega DI+ sonar.
  • Depth capability down to 1,200 feet.
  • Bluetooth and Ethernet capability.
  • Basemap with both lake and coastal coverage.
  • AutoChart Live.
  • Function for saving waypoints, routes and tracks.
  • Dual micro SD card slot.
CONS
  • Expensive.
  • It does not include a unit cover.

Lowrance HDS-9 Live

sonar gps comboThe Lowrance HDS-9 Live is another high-end fish finder GPS combo that is perfect for tournament anglers and sport fishermen. It comes in a sleek looking design and it offers the most advanced fish finding performance.

The 9 inch display provides you with a wide view of all the information. You can view it split screen, displaying multiple types of information at the same time. And if you want an even bigger screen, HDS Live is also available in 12 and 16 inch options.

Moreover, the screen is customizable to your needs. You can create shortcut keys that would allow you quickly selecting your most used settings.

The screen also features multiple colors and this new dynamic color range provides better contrast. As a result, you get near photographic sonar images with enhanced target separation.

At the heart of HDS Live is a multi-core processor. It makes the whole system run smoother. So, whether you’re planning your route, looking through the sonar history or adjusting settings, you will have quick responsiveness and no lag time.

The sonar features will also ensure that you’re always on top of your game while on the water. In addition to traditional sonar, it offers a down scan, a side scan and a total scan. The high resolution images and the highly detailed sonar returns make it easy to differentiate structure and fish. Both side scan and down scan have a 300 feet limit. As for the traditional sonar, it can reach down to 1,000 feet.

There’s also an internal GPS antenna that updates your position with a 10Hz rate. This provides ultra accurate position tracking and makes it easier to navigate to your destinations.

The unit comes preloaded with C-Map U.S. Enhanced charts that cover over 4,000 lakes. These are high detail charts that would be sufficient for most situations.

For this chartplotter fishfinder combo, there are also a few useful available upgrades. For example, it’s compatible with Active Imaging. This feature will help you pinpoint fish holding areas, delivering the highest resolution images at a longer range.

This fish finder GPS combo also offers wireless and Bluetooth connectivity. By syncing the unit with your phone, you’ll be able to keep your eyes on the fish and not worry that you’ll miss an important text or call.

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PROS
  • 9 inch display.
  • CHIRP, down scan and side scan.
  • Displays all sonar imaging at the same time.
  • Responsive, smooth performance.
  • Bluetooth connectivity for smartphone control and notifications.
  • Internal GPS antenna.
  • High detail C-Map U.S. Enhanced charts.
CONS
  • Expensive.
  • Transducer not included.

Lowrance Hook2 9 Combo

fish finder with mapsAnother good fish finder GPS combo option is the Lowrance Hook2 model. It makes an affordable option if you’re looking for a large screen fish finder with advanced sonar features.

This fish finder and chartplotter system features a 9 inch display. However, there are also three other size options available. They include 5, 7 and 12 inches. So, you can choose whether you prefer a bigger or smaller screen.

The unit includes a TripleShot transducer. This 3-in-1 skimmer does it all from traditional CHIRP to down scanning and side scanning. Traditional sonar delivers well-defined fish arches. The down scan helps to identify structure and fish below your boat. And the side scan is useful for viewing what is underwater around your boat.

The wide angle CHIRP also allows you to see more fish in the water column, while also covering more water in a shorter time. This results in better coverage than most fish finders.

This marine GPS fish finder also comes preloaded with detailed U.S. and CA maps. It’s an inland map database, so there’s no coastal coverage. And while these maps do offer good detail, they can also be upgraded with various premium charts.

The device also offers functions for creating waypoints, routes and tracks. All these can be easily marked and saved for repeated use in the future.

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PROS
  • Large 9 inch display.
  • CHIRP, Down Scan and Side Scan sonar.
  • Auto tuning sonar.
  • Flasher setting.
  • Sonar recording and rewind.
  • Accurate GPS.
  • Detailed inland basemap.
  • Upgradable to superior charts.
  • Micro SD card slot.
CONS
  • No NMEA connectivity.
  • No unit cover.

Garmin GPSMAP 942xs

fish locator gps comboOur last recommendation for the best fish finder with GPS navigation capability is the Garmin GPSMAP 942xs model. It combines the best of sonar and GPS technologies, providing you with an advanced fishing solution.

It comes with a 9 inch touchscreen display. It offers intuitive controls for quick navigation of settings and crispy clear images for easy readings of the sonar.

This fish GPS tracker does not include a transducer. Once you additionally purchase the transducer, you’ll be able to access its amazing sonar capabilities. It offers both CHIRP and ClearVu. Optionally, you can also purchase an external black box, which will provide SideVu capability.

As for depth, this fish finder combo can scan down to 5,000 feet. However, this is the maximum capacity and the actual depth limit will depend on the water bottom type and water conditions.

The marine GPS fish finder also offers amazing chartplotting capability. The device comes preloaded with LakeVu g3 and Bluechart g3 charts. The first one covers inland lakes and rivers, while the second one covers the coastal areas.

The GPS receiver is highly responsive, refreshing your position 10 times per second. This makes your boat’s movement on the screen more fluid and makes position tracking more accurate.

Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity gives you access to the free ActiveCaptain app. It allows you to sync the device with your phone in order to get access to more cartography, new updates and to the QuickDraw Contours community. On top of that, it allows you to get phone notifications on your chartplotter screen.

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PROS
  • 9 inch touchscreen display.
  • CHIRP and ClearVu sonar.
  • Precision GPS receiver.
  • LakeVu g3 and Bluechart g3 charts.
  • Wi-Fi connectivity.
  • Scanning depth 5,000 feet.
  • IPX7 waterproof.
  • NMEA 2000 and NMEA 0183 support.
CONS
  • Does not include a transducer.
  • Expensive.

Benefits of Fish Finder GPS Combos

If you’re still not sure if a fish finder GPS combo is worth it, consider these advantages that they offer. This would help you understand if you would benefit or not from adding one of these units to your fishing gear.

  1. Space saving. These combo devices offer the functionality of both sonar and chartplotting in one compact unit. This means that you don’t need to purchase separately a fish finder and a GPS. This also means that you don’t need to install two separate systems, which means less hassle and less used space.
  2. Locate fish. The main purpose of fish finders is to help you locate more fish. They scan the water below your boat and then the returned sonar readings are displayed in an image. By analyzing the provided image, you will be able to differentiate between big and small fish, structure and bottom.
  3. Know the water depth. Fish finders also act as depth finders. And knowing the water depth below your boat can also benefit the success of your fishing. For example, if you know that your target fish tends to stay mostly in deeper areas, the depth finder will make it easier to navigate to those areas.
  4. Convenience. It’s a lot more convenient being able to view all the information on one device than having to deal with multiple devices. On many of these fish finder GPS combos, you can also view the information split screen with a map on one side and the sonar readings on the other. This provides you with all the necessary information for both fishing and navigation at a glance.
  5. Navigate unknown areas. The purpose of the GPS is to help you keep track of your location on the water. This means that if you’re equipped with this device, you won’t have to worry about getting lost or not being to find your launch dock.
  6. Save locations. By having a GPS system integrated into a fish finder, you also get the function of saving different locations that you might want to go back to later. For example, you could save a location where you get a lot of fish baiting. You could mark it as a fishing hotspot so you could easily find it in the future again.
  7. Track your speed. A GPS receiver will also help you track the speed of your boat. First, this could be used for understanding how long it will take you to get to your destination. And secondly, this information can be used for adjusting your boat’s speed to the lure you’re using.

Fish Finder GPS Combo Buying Guide

Depending on your preference and the type of fishing you do, one chartplotter fishfinder combo product might be better for you than the other. That’s why it’s important to start by understanding the features of these units. This will help you find the best fish finder GPS combo for your pafish finder gps combo buying guiderticular needs. So, here are the most important features that you should take into account when making a buying decision.

Display

One of the first things to consider when choosing a fish finder GPS combo is the quality of the display. And its quality depends on three factors: size, resolution and color.

Fish finders come in a variety of sizes. They can be as small as 4 inches and as big as 16 inches. A bigger screen is of course better since you would be able to see more information displayed on the screen. The bigger size would also make it possible to view different types of information split screen. It’s very convenient when you can have all the readings at a glance.

However, bigger isn’t always better. If you’re fishing from a kayak or a small boat where space is limited, a smaller and more compact fish finder GPS combo would be appropriate. In this situation, a fish finder that is too bulky would just be in the way. So, a 4 or 5 inch display size might be enough.

When thinking about display size, also keep in mind that a fish finder with a bigger display would also be consuming more power. That’s why it’s also important to take into account how you will be powering the device and if your battery has sufficient power output.

Another display feature to consider is the resolution. A higher resolution will give more accurate and more clear details. This can be important when differentiating fish and other underwater elements.

However, the higher resolution of the display usually also means a higher price. That’s why you should choose within your budget but if you can afford, go for higher resolution.

Choosing between monochrome and a color display also depends on your budget. The monochrome fish finders are usually the cheapest but they don’t offer very detailed images. A full color display is definitely better for more accurate sonar readings.

Transducer

The transducer is the most critical part of your fish finder. The performance of the sonar completely depends on this part. That’s why considering transducer features should also be an important part of your buying decision.

When comparing products, check if the fish finder comes with a transducer included. If it’s not, you will have to additionally buy one, which could add cost and more hassle. However, buying the transducer separately can be beneficial if you need a certain type of transducer.

Also, make sure that the transducer you choose is designed for the type of installation that you require. Most transducers are designed for transom mounting. So, if you need a trolling motor mount, check that the part doesn’t offer this specific mounting option.

Below are some of the other main features that you should look out for in a fish finder transducer.

Frequency

Fish finders operate with different frequencies. Some operate only in just one frequency, others in two and the rest in multiple frequencies. The most basic options will have only one frequency and the most advanced units will operate in a wide range of frequencies.

For example, CHIRP sonar uses a wide range of frequencies that the transducer sends in a continuous sweep. And it interprets each of the returned signals individually. This results in a lot more detail in a produced sonar image. Moreover, it allows you to scan a larger area of water.

Different frequencies are also better at scanning different depths of water. Higher frequencies, such as 192kHz and 200kHz, work better in shallow waters. On the other hand, lower frequencies, such as 50kHz and 83kHz, are better at scanning deep waters.

If you mainly do deep water fishing, a device with lower frequencies would be a better option for you. However, another thing that is important to note is that higher frequencies show more details on screen. So, it’s better to opt for a fish finder with at least dual frequency capability. This way you would be able to benefit from high and low frequency sonar.

Cone Beam

The frequencies used by the fish finder produce different beam angles. It refers to how wide the beams of sonar waves can travel. The wider it travels, the more the sonar can scan. A narrow cone, on the other hand, can reach deeper and can provide more detail.

Maximum Depth

Fish finders also have varying depth limits. Some can work up to only 500 feet, while others can scan as far down as 5,000 feet. So, consider the depths of the waters where you fish and find a fish finder GPS combo with the appropriate depth limit.

If you fish in shallow waters and buy a fish finder that has a maximum depth thousands of feet deep, you won’t be using it to full capacity. In this case, it wouldn’t make sense to overpay for a feature that you won’t be using.

Power Output

Another thing to consider when buying a new fish finder GPS combo is its power output. It’s measured in watts and it shows how fast the unit can display the sonar readings. So, for the fastest performance, look for a fish finder with higher wattage. This is especially important if you fish in deeper waters.

Typically, fish finders will operate in ranges anywhere between 400 to 1200 watts. A higher powered fish tracker will work at higher speeds. However, keep in mind also that a higher power output will consume more battery. This means that you’ll either be able to run your fish finder for a shorter period of time or you’ll need to upgrade your battery’s power capacity.

Power Consumption

Most fish finders require an external power source that is usually 12 volt. However, different units consume different amounts of power. So, to make sure that the battery you have has enough power capacity, check the fish finder’s amperage.

GPS Function

If you’re looking for a fish finder with a GPS function, check the accuracy of the receiver and what maps are included with the product.

Many of the manufacturers offer only basic maps and for more detailed maps, you have to buy upgrades. Depending on your chartplotting needs, a basic map might or might not be enough.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some chartplotter fish finder combos offer only maps of inland lakes, while others offer only coastal coverage. Check that the fish finder you’re thinking of buying offers the appropriate maps.

Consider also other GPS functions, such as creating waypoints and drawing contoured maps. By saving waypoints of different points of interest, such as fishing hotspots, you’ll be able to easily navigate to that spot again in the future.

Memory

Since these units carry out the functions of both chartplotting and fish finding, they require more memory. Especially if you’ll be saving a lot of waypoints and doing a lot of sonar recording, you’ll need a lot of memory space. For this, look for a fish finder that comes with an SD card slot.

Connectivity

Some of the fish finder GPS combos also offer wireless features. It can be Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity that will allow you to sync the device with your phone. This would allow you to access different features through an app on your phone. Moreover, it would make it possible viewing your phone notifications on the fish finder’s screen. And it would offer wireless updating of the software.

Waterproof Design

While using your fish finder, you’re surrounded by water. That’s why it’s important that it comes with protection against water. Look for a waterproof rating IPX7 or IPX8. These ratings mean that if you accidentally drop your device in the water, it will not be completely damaged and you will be able to continue using it.

Fish Finder GPS Combo FAQ

What maps will be available for the GPS?

This depends on the manufacturer and the model you’re buying. Most marine GPS sonar combos offer maps that cover inland lakes and coastal areas. However, some maps will have only the basic details and for more advanced chartplotting, manufacturers offer upgrades.

What kind of fish GPS tracker is better for a small boat?

If you have a small boat or a kayak, look for a fishfinder plotter combo that is more compact in size. This would ensure that it’s not too cumbersome and that it won’t be in the way as you paddle or maneuver your boat.

Final Thoughts

These are some of the best fish finder GPS combo units available on the market in 2020. Our top pick is the Humminbird Helix 5 since it delivers some of the best sonar performance and it does so for an affordable price. However, depending on your needs and budget, one of the other products in our fish finder GPS combo reviews might be more suitable for you. So, consider the features of chartplotter fish finder combos and decide which are must-haves for your type of fishing. This would help you narrow down your options and choose the right one.

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