The 5 Best Fish Finder Under 200: Portable & Castable

by Thavius | Last Updated:   October 6th, 2021
The 5 Best Fish Finder Under 200: Portable & Castable


If you have been looking to buy a fish finder, you will agree with me that the process is quite tricky. You don’t just stumble on high quality yet affordable fish finder.

This article will review top-quality fish finders available today to help you find the best fish finder under 200. I’ve ensured that each fish finder has all the right features. So, you may be surprised to learn that they are so affordable!

Be sure to read the buying guide near the end of the article as well. This will ensure that you end up picking an affordable fish finder that meets or even surpasses your needs.

IN A HURRY? HERE ARE OUR TOP PICKS…

What Is The Best Fish Finder Under 200?

Deeper Pro Smart Portable Fish Finder

This is the most versatile product on my list of the best finders under 200. First, it’s an excellent tool for ice fishing. Do you need to view fishing activity through an ice hole at -4°F? No problem, the Deeper Pro+ can do the job. It also features an ice flasher.

Additionally, the fish finder has a 2D vertical zoom that will provide a clear view of the activities going on underwater. The overall design of the device makes it suitable for ice hopping too.

It is suitable for trolling thanks to its boat feature and can be mounted on a boat. It was also designed to float on water so that you can cast it from your boat or the shore. Furthermore, the double beam sonar frequency it produces means that it isn’t just a good scanner. It can be used to locate fish and fish in any body of water, whether shallow or deep.

The Deeper Pro+ comes with a dedicated app, and all you need is Wi-Fi to connect it to your smartphone or tablet. That way, you will be able to view the fish, underwater activities, depth, and temperature on your mobile device’s screen. In addition to that, you can mark fishing spots, develop maps, and map ice-holes with GPS on your mobile device.

Pros
  • App is compatible with Android, tablets, and iOS devices
  • Strong connectivity
  • High versatility
  • Offshore ready sonar depth
  • Strong build
Cons
  • Mounting arm isn’t suitable for bigger boats
  • It isn’t the cheapest fish finder on the list

Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer

Garmin is a popular manufacturer of fish finders, and the Garmin Striker 4 is the cheapest option in its Striker Series. There are several reasons why it is one of the best fish finders under 200.

Firstly, it is quite rare to see an affordable fish finder featuring CHIRP sonar technology. The CHIRP sonar sends low and high-frequency signals that help the device produce clear images. Also, the Garmin Striker 4 has ClearVu technology that further improves clarity and the screen’s contrast. It is a quality fish finder that is good for both shallow and deep water.

This fisher finder has a built-in GPS for smooth navigation. So, you can view your speed, mark good fishing spots, and move around unfamiliar territories by developing waypoint routes.

If you love ice fishing, you will be pleased to know that this portable fish finder has a built-in flasher and is suitable for ice hole hopping. It also comes with a protective carrying kit and can be used on a kayak, small boat, or fishing trip. When it comes to scanning depth, the Garmin Striker 4 can go as deep as 1600ft in freshwater and 750ft in saltwater.

Pros
  • Incredible value for money
  • Built-in GPS
  • ClearVu and CHIRP technology
  • Quality fish arches and higher target separation
  • Carrying kit
Cons
  • Absence of NMEA connectivity

Deeper START Smart Fish Finder

Next in line on my list of best fish finders under 200 is the Deeper START Smart Fish Finder. Deeper is a company that has been making quality fish finders for about a decade.

The cheapest option in the deeper series, this fish finder is perfect for amateur anglers and fans of shore fishing. It weighs 2.30z and has a sonar depth of 165 feet. DSSFF also uses a Wi fi connection with a transmission range of 165 feet.

Asides from the well-designed interface, there is a Deeper app that will make fishing much easier. It will provide you vital information such as the depth, size, and location of sea creatures. Additionally, the fish finder is durable despite its lightweight. You will find it easy to carry around too.

As someone who loves fishing at night, I find the automatic night fishing feature to be an excellent addition. What’s more, the device requires no internet connection thanks to its Wi-Fi connectivity.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Portable
  • Night mode
  • Well designed app
Cons
  • Not so good in shallow water

Lucky Portable Fish Finder

If you need a fish finder that combines affordability and accuracy, this sonar device can be a perfect choice. It is incredibly versatile too. It performs excellently at locating fish, depth, and serves as a fish alarm. Whether you are fishing under the ice, from a kayak, or the shore, the device will come in handy.

Additionally, the Lucky Portable Fish Finder is portable and was designed to be handheld. It has an operating temperature of 14°F or -10°C. So, you can drop it on icy surfaces when trying to discover the distribution of fish.

You can then create a hole in the ice where you will be dropping the transducer. Furthermore, the bracket makes it possible to attach the transducer to a small boat. But if you wish to cast it into the water instead, you can use the removable float.

The device provides lots of information thanks to its high frequency and beams angle of 45°. You will get all the details you need on the fish include their size, depth, temperature, and contour on the color screen. Finally, the alarm will alert you immediately when fish is found. In summary, its usability and sensor accuracy make it an excellent yet very affordable fish finder.

Pros
  • Incredible versatility
  • High accuracy
  • Best for kayak fishing
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Low water resistance

Moocor Fish Finder Underwater Ice Fishing

There are several things to love about this fish finder. To start with, it is suitable for both deepwater and ice fishing. The device finds fish using radio waves, and the accuracy is bound to improve your fishing. You will find it even more helpful if you are a beginner.

Though a little pricier than other fish finders under 200, it will give you good value for money. The package includes an underwater camera, an LED display monitor, and a 15-meter long cable. Thanks to the cable’s length, you will be able to drop the camera deep into the water to find a favorite fishing spot. The camera is also capable of underwater photography and videography. So, you can record your very best fishing moments.

Additionally, underwater lighting is a feature you shouldn’t overlook in a fish finder. Some fish reside in the deep waters where there is very little sunlight. As a result, it is usually difficult for cameras to provide a clear view of them. The Moocor fish finder solves this problem with its combination of infrared and white LED lights. You can also adjust the light according to the time of the day it is. It has different intensity levels.

Finally, the device features an 800 × 480 high-resolution screen. So, you will get to see clear HD images of underwater activities. The full-color view the screen offers will make it easier for you to recognize any fish and see which is taking your bait. . Other information that you will find on the display screen includes depth, temperature, and direction.

Pros
  • Photo and video recording
  • Highly waterproof
  • Big rechargeable battery
Cons
  • Not all anglers will be pleased with the image quality

Our Top Choice

All products mentioned in my list of the best fish finder under 200 dollars are of top quality. However, the Deeper Pro Smart Portable Fish Finder comes out as the overall best. Not only does it have better features than others, but it also fulfills all conditions stated in the buying guide further down below.

This fish finder is an excellent option for anyone looking to boost their fishing game with sonar technology. It can be used by any angler, whether amateur or pro.

All you need to use the device include a durable fishing line, good casting skills, and a smartphone. Get them, and you can catch your carps and catfish from either the shore or your boat. The device is also suitable for ice fishing.

The resolution of this product is simply fantastic. It will help you identify any object regardless of how small it is. I was more impressed with its scanning ability, though.

It has a casting range of 330 feet that will do well in any condition. Also, its excellent depth rating of 260 feet will allow you to discover changes in depth.

Furthermore, it can be used for mapping fishing locations thanks to the system. It is a very portable device that you can hold in your hand. You can also connect it to your smartphone by simply installing an app.

How To Choose The Best Fish Finder Under $200

Kayak fish finders illustrated

Though many of the products on my list will be a good buy, I have no idea of what’s best for you. As a result, you need to know what features to look out for.

This section will provide you with a buying guide to the best fish finder under 200. You should then be able to make a choice based on your unique fishing wants and needs.

So let’s have a look at the key features to focus on when choosing a fish finder:

Usage

The first factor you should consider when searching for the best fish finder under 200 is its usage. For instance, an ice fishing finder will be the right if you plan to go winter fishing. Also, if you wish to attach the unit to your kayak, ensure that it has mounting options.

Kayak Fishing

If you are in search of a fish finder for your kayak, you need to first ensure that it is built to withstand the elements. It should have a very high waterproofing rating. Also, your fish finder has to be a good fit for your kayak

Does your kayak have sufficient mounting space for the display, battery, cables, and transducer? The screen should be large enough to show the necessary details clearly yet compact enough to not hinder your casting and paddling. A 5″ screen should be a good fit for a kayak, however, a 3.5″ or 4″ screen will be more suitable for a small kayak. 

Also, you need to ensure that the transducer fits into the scupper hole seamlessly. Since you will be uninstalling your fish finder after each trip, it has to be easy to install.

Type

Another important thing you need to note is that there are different types of fish finders under 200. There are four different types of fish finders.

First, there are fixable units that you can attach to your boat. There are also portable units that are lightweight and easy to carry around. Additionally, castable units will allow you to cast from the shore or your boat. Finally, there are ice fishing flashers. They provide a clear view of things going on under the ice.

Transducer

A transducer is the component of a fish finder that transmits sonar signals underwater. Therefore, it is very vital. The properties of a fish finder that you should check out include its frequency, wattage, and beam angle.

Below we will discuss these properties individually:

Operating Frequency

The operating frequency of a transducer may either be high or low. Some transducers also have both types of frequencies.

A high-frequency transducer will provide more information and possess extensive sonar coverage. The latter makes it suitable for fishing in shallow waters.

On the other hand, a transducer with low frequency is more suitable for deep water fishing. Dual-frequency sonars possess both low and high frequencies. This makes them ideal for both shallow and deep water fishing.

Cone Angle and Beams

The transducer sends waves into the water, which then transform into cones. These cones may either have a low or wide angle.

A narrow beam will go deeper than a wide beam. On the other hand, a wide beam will have a wide range and possess broadband sonar coverage. But if you want the best of both worlds, get a dual-beam transducer.,

The importance of this technology is that it gives a visual representation of underwater activities. When the signals return to the device, you will be able to see the information they provide on the sonar screen.

Wattage

Wattage simply means the amount of power a fish finder has. So, the higher the wattage of a device, the greater its power.

A powerful fish finder will be the right option if you are into deep water fishing. This is because the device can transmit waves into the deep waters and bring back quick sonar readings. On the other hand, a fish finder with a low power rating is ideal for shallow waters.

Transducer Material

Various types of materials are used in constructing transducers. Each of these materials has unique properties that make it suitable for specific surroundings. For example, some transducers can’t be used on certain small boats.

If you have a wooden boat, you should avoid using thru-hull housing. Wood becomes swollen in water and this may cause damage to plastic transducers.

Display Screen Resolution

GPS fish finder

The essence of using a transducer is to receive sonar readings. Hence, you will need a screen that provides a clear view of the information regardless of the sonar technology.

You should take your time to check out the screen of the fish finder you will be buying. The screen’s resolution and the quality of the images are two things that you should look out for.

Also, a bronze transducer isn’t a good match for an aluminum boat. The combination of both materials and saltwater will lead to rust.

Display Screen Colors

The screens in the best fish finders under 200 can display a variety of colors. This enables the fish finders to provide more details and help you recognize objects better than black and white screens. The higher the number of colors your device can show, the better your fishing experience.

GPS

A built-in GPS is a feature that you will find very useful during your fishing trips. With it, you won’t need to be familiar with an area before fishing there.

The inbuilt GPS will show you your location at all times and allow you to mark waypoints for easy navigation. Also, if you find any fishing spot that you like, you can save it on your fish finder.

Portability

Regardless of your fishing trip location, you won’t want a fish finder that will be a hassle to carry around. Hence, you should get yourself a fish finder under 200 that is lightweight and compact. It’s even better if you can find one with a carrying case.

Power

Like all electronic devices, a fish finder will need a power source to function. A fish finder under 200 may get power from rechargeable batteries, disposable batteries, or straight from a power outlet. If you are buying a battery-powered device, ensure that the battery is long-lasting.

Waterproof

Since your transducer will be used in wet conditions, it needs to be waterproof. The screen has to have protection from splashes, downpours, and falls into the water.

The water rating of a fish finder will tell you how resistant it is to water damage. A good fish finder under 200 should have a water rating of at least IPX7.

For more protection, you may also purchase a product that comes with a cover. The Garmin Striker Plus 4 is an example of a fish finder with excellent waterproofing.

Build

The overall design of a fish finder will tell you how much value it offers. You should get a fish finder with a large and easy to read to screen.

Also, ensure that the menu is easy to navigate and checkout the construction details. If you don’t have a lot of space, get a small fish finder. All products on my review were listed along with their dimensions.

Don’t forget to compare their weights as well. I once used a transducer that had the weight of a 90s phone, and trust me; it wasn’t pleasant!

Warranty

Regardless of what the reviews of a product say, you should always check the warranty. The warranty is important because it will serve as a guarantee that the device will perform as specified.

However, fish finders don’t have long warranties due to the nature of the environment that they are used in. Most fish finders like the Helix 5 Sonar G2 have one-year warranties, while some have two-year warranties.

Additional Features

Wireless Portable Fish finder

Recently, more manufacturers have been trying to make their products stand out. Hence, some fish finders in this price range have additional features to bring you even more value.

Some of the features you should look out for include Wi-Fi connectivity, smartphone compatibility, and the addition of several maps. There aren’t many fish finders under 200 with these features though.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a fish finder?

A fish finder is a fishing tool that locates fish and produces underwater information by sending sound waves. The information it provides includes the presence of fish, underwater depth, and more.

How do fish finders work?

The device uses sonar technology and is made up of two components units. They include the screen and the transducer. The latter sends out sonar pulses into the water and receives an echo when they hit objects. After that, the system translates the impulses and shows them on the screen as images.

Is a fish finder worth the investment?

Yes, a fish finder is a good buy for both amateur and expert anglers. Without this technology, you will have to rely on luck to make a catch.

The device is designed to give you a clear view of the things going on underwater. It will let you know the location, type, and size of the fishes below you.

Additionally, it shows the temperature of the water, its depth, and bottom contour. A fish finder will make your fishing trips more successful and enjoyable.

Are fish finders compatible with mobile devices?

Smart fish finders come with either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi technology. If you purchase one of these devices, you can connect it to your smartphone or tablet easily.

Can one fish finder be used for all types of water?

Though fish finders are usually more suitable for specific types of water, some models are very versatile. These models can be used for fishing in shallow water, deep water, and icy conditions.

If you want one, you should get a fish finder that features a dual-beam/frequency transducer. This type of transducer can send sonar beams with both narrow and wide-angle.

Also, the device should be able to withstand freezing conditions and have an ice fishing flasher. The Deeper Pro Smart Portable Fish Finder is highly versatile, and it costs under 200 dollars.

I've been a fisherman for over 35 years. From catching small bullheads with my grandfather at his pond to catching strippers on the backwaters of the Chattahoochee, I love to get out in the wild and have a marvelous day on the water.