Every single angler knows well that you cannot just go out fishing and expect to make a catch. A little help from a fish finder can come in handy. While it won’t make you a better fisherman, it will definitely make your next fishing excursion a better one.
There is however one teeny-weeny issue here. Finding an affordable unit is not an easy task as most are designed with pro anglers in mind. What is even more challenging is finding a fish finder under a hundred bucks that does everything you want. Don’t fret, though.
This review takes an in-depth look at the best fish finder under 100. With less than $100 you can get a full color display, along with the same dual-beam sonar technology as units costing 5X as much.
The Best Fish Finder Under 100 for Money in Market 2017 – Comparison Chart
|1||Venterior Portable Fish Finder||9.6 x 2.2 x 5.9 inches||1.1 pounds|
|2||iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder||2 x 2 x 1 inches||1.6 ounces|
|3||HawkEye FT1P Fish Trax with Virtuview Icon Display||6 x 3 x 2 inches||1.4 pounds|
|4||Erchang Portable Fish Finder, Fishfinder Tackle Fishes||10.5 x 6.6 x 2.3 inches||1.3 pounds|
|5||OutLife Smart Portable Fish Finder||1.6 x 3.6 x 5.9 inches||0.414 kg|
1. Venterior Portable Fish Finder
Venterior Portable Fish Finder is one of the top-selling fish finders of all time under a hundred bucks. This unit allows you to see the approximate fish location, detect water depth and get information about the waterbed.
What makes this fish finder unique is the different ways you can use it. First, you can choose to either mount it on your hull or fix it to a pole. You could also send it drifting out or even use it to ice fish. So there is really no solid reason not to try this device. The Venterior Portable Fish Finder features a round wired sonar sensor transducer along with a 25 feet cable. What you get in return is clear and accurate images of the location of a fish.
It also comes with a removable transducer float thus no additional expenses on purchase of the same. Thanks to a 45-degrees sensor beam angle, the transducer beam can go up to a 100 meters.
With LCD display that is Anti-UV, this device boasts great image projection and viewing of the finder. The screen comes with a green LED back lighting. This feature comes in handy as it allows you to read and view data on the device even at night.
- check Waterproof receiver
- check Long sonar sensor transducer cable
- check Backed by one year warranty
- check Comes with 5-user selectable sensitivity settings including fish alarm
- check Battery save mode
- check The screen is not waterproof
2. iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder
Portable, castable, wireless and durable are some of the many features that describe this affordable fish finder. The device is built with patented sonar technology to ensure you get precise readings down to a depth of 135’. It provides you with information like structures, bottom contours, fish size and depths.
Featuring Bluetooth connectivity, this unit is compatible with most Android and iOS devices. You can use your phone to mark fish, save water temperature, map depth contours as well as underwater structure. And in case you would like to share hot spots, photos and other information you can do so. All you have to do is download the free App. Included in the package are two snap swivel connections.
This enables you to use this device as a bobber or fish finder when you want to fish in remote areas. Equally important is the rechargeable battery that provides up to 10 hours of battery life. It has a status indicator light so you can know if it’s charging. With fish alarms, built in LED beacon and the strike, you can be sure to enjoy night-fishing, carp and ice-fishing. The unit also has GPS spot tagging feature with interactive map for easy navigation around the waters.
- check Designed for anglers of all skill levels
- check Features a pocket-size design
- check Works on both freshwater and saltwater
- check Perfect for kayaking, camping, hiking and even canoeing
- check It sometimes loses signal with Bluetooth
3. HawkEye FT1P Fish Trax
This is yet another affordable fish finder that should definitely be a welcomed addition to your fishing equipment. It is built for entry-level anglers looking for a simple and durable finder with ease of use. The unit features a VirtuView ICON display with an easy touch and intuitive user interface. VirtuView ICON display technology ensures you have a more crisp view.
Like most affordable fish finders out there, HawkEye FT1P Fish Trax also boasts audible fish alarm. The alarm works to signal the presence of fish. You therefore don’t need to keep on checking the display every now and then.
Additionally, the unit is equipped with dual beam sonar including 200kHz and 83kHz. As such, the device is able to project sharp and accurate fish locations both in shallow and deep waters. It also includes multi-level depth ranges and auto-zoom feature to make finding fish effortless.
Last but not least, it boasts Rock and Weed indicators that shows bottom composition up-to 240 feet. Like most fish finders, this unit runs on four AAA batteries. But you can always replace them with long-lasting Li-ion batteries.
- check Comes in a portable design
- check Screen displays data clearly and accurately
- check Designed for ease of use
- check Can be mounted to a boat
- check The screen is not waterproof
4. Erchang Portable Fish Finder
This is one of the most budget friendly units in this review – a perfect fit if you have a shoestring budget. The hallmark of this device is the fish size indicator located on the lower left corner of the display. The indicator boasts big and small fish icon flash. So apart from knowing the location of fish, you get to know their size too.
Another great feature of this device is its various features settings. Erchang Portable Fish Finder boasts five easy to use and user selectable level sensitivity. Basically you get backlight mode, unit of measure, battery save mode and fish display. With a round transducer sensor, this portable unit is able to detect and display so much information. It indicates approximate fish location, rocks on seabed, water depth, sand, and weeds of all sizes.
The transducer comes with a long cable measuring 32 feet with a removable float. When it comes to cone angle, this affordable unit does not disappoint. Erchang Portable Fish Finder is equipped with a 45 degree beam angle for better and wider view. In addition, it uses a single sonar frequency of 120kHz that provides decent readings up to 100m depth range.
- check Comes with a neck strap
- check Offers good depth and detection at a low price tag
- check Idea for various fishing situations
- check Waterproof transmitter
- check The unit is not waterproof
5. OutLife Smart Portable Fish Finder
The OutLife Smart Portable Fish Finder is a good pick for anglers interested in a wireless fish finder. The device operates at 125 kHz to provide you with clear and precise images every time. With an easy-to-navigate menu and simple controls, it has never been easier to monitor your target.
This model has a LCD screen that displays water depth, bottom contour, temperature, fish size and battery remaining. The display is readable both in sunlight and in the dark. While the screen size is not the largest, it is decent enough for an affordable device. Being wireless and castable makes this device easy to use.
After all, you just need to tie a thread to the sensor then cast it into the water. The sensor usually turns itself on immediately its terminal switches at the bottom touch water. And you don’t have to worry about it being destroyed by water because the sensor is waterproof.
- check User friendly fish alarm included
- check Boasts 90 degrees of sonar detecting angle
- check Decent wireless operation distance of 100m range
- check Comes with a wireless remote sonar sensor
- check The screen is a little on the small side
Before you jump at the first fish finder under 100 you find, there are some things you should take into account. And since all these units are all under $100, the price is not a factor in this situation.
Depending on where you will be fishing from, you should be able to determine what is the best depth range. For instance if you’ll be fishing standing on the dock or shore, a finder with a depth range of up-to 100m is perfect. But if you’ll be fishing from a kayak or boat, then you need a finder with more depth range.
It is much easier to see your fish if you have a large display. For fish finders under 100, they tend to have small to medium sized LCD screens. But there are those still with relatively large displays. And in some cases, those with small screens allow you to hook-up the unit to your Smartphone. This allows bigger and sharper images.
Fishing can be an all day affair. You therefore need to buy a fish finder with sufficient battery life. For portable models, most come with a rechargeable battery. This helps in saving on the costs of having to replace AAs batteries all the time. But AAs batteries tend to have longer battery life.
In determining coverage area, you should consider frequency range and cone angle. For better coverage area, a fish finder with highest frequency is the best. It should have at least 200 kHz for shallow waters and 50 kHz for deeper waters. For cone angle, the wider the cone the better the coverage area.
While all the units we’ve reviewed are pretty similar in features and within $100 price, Venterior Portable Fish Finder is our top pick. It comes with a 45-degrees cone angle for better coverage with depth range up-to 100m. What’s more, the unit is backed by a one year warranty. But if you want a unit packed with so many great features, the HawkEye FT1P Fish Trax is a great choice.
Apart from having dual beam sonar frequencies, it boasts auto-zoom feature as well as Rock and Weed indicators. This makes it a great fish finder for entry-level anglers. This is not to say that the rest of the units in this best fish finder under 100 are not good enough. You can always try any of them depending on your needs.