10 Best Fish Finder GPS Combo Units: Reviewed & Compared

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To get the most out of your fishing experience – especially if you’re fishing in unknown waters, you need a fish finder GPS combo. These incredible 2-in-1 devices will help you find fish to maximize your time spent, while also helping you find your way around.

Many people may own a fish finder or a GPS, but purchasing both separately can be a bit expensive, which is just one of the reasons why these combo systems are so desirable!

Preview

Product

Screen Display Size

Depth Range

Check Price

Garmin Echomap Chirp 74Cv with transducer,...

Garmin Echomap 010-01801-01

7 inches

1,100 – 2,300 feet

HDS-12 Live - 12-inch Fish Finder No...

HDS-12 LIVE

12 inches

n/a

Garmin Striker Plus 5cv with Transducer, 5'...

Garmin Striker

Plus 5cv

5 inches

1,100 – 2,300 feet

Simrad GO7 XSE Chartplotter/Fishfinder...

Simrad

GO7 XSE

7 inches

1,000 ft for CHIRP sonar -

300 ft for DownScan & SideScan

Humminbird 410940-1NAV HELIX 7 CHIRP MDI...

Humminbird

410940-1NAV

7 inches

1,200 – 3,500 ft

Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar - GPS Portable...

Deeper PRO+ (DP1H10S10)

n/a

260 feet

HOOK2 9 - 9-inch Fish Finder with TripleShot...

Lowrance

HOOK2 9

9 inches

500 feet

Humminbird HELIX 10 G3N Fish Finder with...

Humminbird

Helix 10 G3N

10 inches

125 - 800 feet

Garmin Striker 7SV with Transducer, 7' GPS...

Garmin Striker

7SV

7 inches

1,100 - 2,300 feet

Garmin Echomap Chirp 94SV with transducer,...

Garmin Echomap 010-01805-01

9 inches

1,100 - 2,300 feet


How Fish Finder GPS Combos Work and Why Use Them?

Fish finders use active sonar, shooting sound pulses into the water and wait for an echo. Going off of the echo/information received back to the fish finder, it can create an accurate picture of what lies beneath the surface, like a school of fish, or simply an underwater structure. You’ll see both side scan and down scan technology, depending on which model you select (we’ll cover this more in-depth later).

With GPS integration, you'll be able to navigate with ease to precise and general locations all over the country and even the world. They're wonderful for low visibility situations both above and below the water, and provide you with an overview of the area and mark up specific spots so you can come back to them later on.


Buyer’s Guide: Choosing a Quality Fish Finder GPS Combo

Mounting Type/Material

Older models often require a hardwire connection with the unit before using it in a motorized watercraft. However, there are portable versions that come with a rechargeable battery unit, disposable AAA batteries, and so on.

  • Portable vs. Fixed
    Fixed models do offer more stability and also provide more consistency as you aren't required to adjust the settings as often as you would with a portable device. Portable alternatives are convenient in many ways, but they both have their own pros and cons.
  • Portable vs. Castable
    The big difference here is size. Portable models usually have a small transducer you can place in the water or attach to the bottom of your boat. Castable models have a small, rugged transducer that you can connect to your fishing line. This lets you cast it wherever you please.

Transducer

The cone angles of these devices relate to how wide the beams of sonar waves are they're sending out. The wider cone angles offer a wider beam that works to cover a greater area. However, large cone angles that provide greater coverage are also more vulnerable to being scattered in a way that could make things confusing by small objects located in the water.

I always recommend going for dual beam models, which offer different cone angles and can be in 2 different directions at once, offering more versatility and greater/more accurate detail.

Display/Size of Model

Screens typically start at 3.5 inches and end at 9 inches or even larger. The display is essential, as it's where all of your information is shown. If you can, try for a backlit or glare-resistant screen so you can use them clearly in the bright sun and the dark of night.

For a clear, accurate display, you need a higher DPI or screen resolution. 480 pixels vertically, for example, is going to give incredible detail of fish, the bottom of the body of water, structure, and more. Remember, if you have 2 differently sized screens with the same resolution, the larger screen will show a blockier picture.

Scanning Sonar

There are 2 types of sonar to look at: Compressed High-Intensity Radiated Pulse (CHIRP) and traditional. CHIRP is the cream of the crop in sonar technology, and is generally much more effective, which will offer greater and more accurate detailed mapping. We go into more detail on both of these sonar types, as well as side imaging vs. down imaging later on in the article.

Signal Strength/Frequency

Frequency is a huge factor in which model you choose. Various dual frequency transducers will come with cones of 20 and 60 degrees while others may come with frequencies up to 1925. Higher frequencies usually perform better in more shallow water, while lower frequencies are ideal for deeper bodies of water.

If you’re just starting out with angling, you may be better off with higher frequencies. However, if you really take the sport seriously and have quite a bit of experience, then lower frequencies will be your friend, and you'll be able to see more details on the display screen.

Water Resistance/Temperature Capabilities

Fish finding GPS combos are designed to be used in and around water, so it’s pretty hard to avoid coming into contact with moisture. You’ll want to consider if there will be rain, and how deep the water is you’ll be angling in. The transducer should always be waterproof, and the screen unit will also need to be water-resistant, at the very least. Most high-quality units will come with a water resistance rating to indicate just how “waterproof” the device is.

I recommend going for – at the very least – a rating of IPX6 or IPX7 to make sure if you do drop it in the water, it won’t be ruined. On top of that, make sure the device can withstand being subjected to harsh elements like strong sunbeams, saltwater, etc.

Depth Range & Target Separation

Target separation is the minimum distance between 2 objects needed by the fishfinder to differentiate between the two as different targets. For example, there could be two fish hanging out near each other, and some lower quality models may identify them as a single fish. 

Power Consumption

Power is essential and measured in watts. The higher the wattage, the quicker the device will display data. If you need something quick (for example, if you're traveling fast and in deep waters), then obviously you need higher wattage.

You may also see 2 different terms when looking at power: RMS and PTP (peak-to-peak). PTP is 8 times RMS, which is important to know as some manufacturers will use one while another will use the other. To get an idea of how much you need, a 500-watt (RMS) fishfinder should be more than enough in coastal situations, but if you’re fishing out in the deep waters, you’ll need something with at least 1,000 watts.

Performance Features

Make sure to consider models that have built-in Wi-Fi, the ability to pair with your smartphone for handy map viewing, as well as how quickly it operates. You don't want a model that's lagging as you won't get an accurate reading unless you're going very slow or staying sedentary. As I briefly mentioned previously, you also want something easy to transport. It shouldn't be bulky or overly heavy, but still be easy to read and operate.

Price & Warranty

On top of everything else, you need a model that is within your budget. No matter what your budget is, I'm confident there's at least one fish finder GPS combo on this guide that will suit it. For example, if you don't need frequencies for deep water angling, then don't get it, as it often is more expensive.

The warranty should also be reliable, though if you're debating between a cheaper and a more expensive device and the more expensive one has a longer warranty, you may end up saving money in the long run!


10 Best Fish Finder GPS Combos Reviewed

1. Garmin Echomap 010-01801-01

Top Pick

Screen Display Size

7 inches

Dimensions

9.8 x 2 x 5.5 inches

Mounting

Bail or flush

Depth Range

1,100 – 2,300 feet

Key Feature

QuickDraw software, built-in CHIRP

Warranty

3 years

Let’s start things off with the model commonly considered to be the best GPS fish finder on the market today: the Garmin Echomap 010-01801-01. Offering up an accurate sonographic image, you’ll be able to catch more fish easier and quicker than ever before. No more having to waste your time sitting on empty water!

The echoMAP CHIRP 74cv unit is capable of 50/77/200 kHz frequencies for its 2D sonar, but it can also use CHIRP. This means it can use mid-band CHIRP, modulated between 80-160 kHz. Its modulation for both 2D and ClearVü provides a clear separation between fish, and fish and structure. Imagery was overall incredibly clear, with excellent bottom reading as well.

The 7-inch display is a nice balance between portability and easy viewing, along with an 800 x 480 pixel matrix and LED backlight. As far as ClearVü goes, it uses thin beams, with angles of 51 and 32 degrees, but only 1-2 degrees fore to aft. With that being said, it’s obvious this sonar provides better side-to-side coverage. 

Capable of scanning depths of up to 1,800 ft for 2D and 1,000 ft for Cv, you can also take advantage of the deepwater transducer. It produces 50 kHz, which can work up to 2,300 feet! On top of that, the Internal 5 Hertz GPS updates position and heading 5 times per second to make marking and returning to certain points a breeze.

We can’t forget to mention the best Garmin GPS fish finder compatibility with Panoptix. This is one of the most cutting-edge pieces of technology available, allowing you to see live sonar images, your lure, and even the fish latching onto it in real-time!

If you're anywhere in the coastal waters of the US, Bahamas, the Great Lakes, and more, then chances are you'll be able to take advantage of the BlueChart g2 maps which come included. These maps offer navigational aids, depth contours, tides, currents, detailed harbors, and a ton more benefits.

Mounting is simple, as all cables plug right into the mount, and the unit plugs into the mount with a multiple pin connector. A microSD slot makes software updates, transferring data, and updating new charts easy, too. As it’s IPX7 waterproof, you don’t have to worry about it getting damaged anytime soon. Is it any wonder why they call it the best fishfinder GPS combo?

Pros
  • Excellent clarity, target separation, and definition
  • Dual-frequency sonar
  • Fast and accurate internal GPS
  • Preloaded with BlueChart g2 charts
  • Easy to install
Cons
  • Manual was slightly confusing

2. HDS-12 LIVE

Best Rated Model

Screen Display Size

12 inches

Dimensions

15.5 x 11.8 x 10 inches

Mounting

n/a

Depth Range

n/a

Key Feature

QuadCore processor, color sonar

Warranty

1 year

The next fish finder GPS combo on the list for today is the Lowrance HDS-12 LIVE with Active Imaging 3-in-1. This is easily one of the most innovative models out there, with capabilities for Active Imaging, LiveSight, and smartphone integration, so you can see everything from the convenience of the screen you're most used to!

"Year after year, more fishing tour pros use HDS than all other fishfinder brands combined. This model carries on that tradition with pinnacle performance and the best collection of innovative sonar features available,"

informs Bass Pro Shop.

While it is a bit more pricey, you’ll get to benefit from a luxurious, bit 12-inch SolarMAX HD display. This display can be viewed from any angle – even if you’re wearing polarized sunglasses! Through the smartphone integration, you can easily see an array of different Google maps, videos, fishing data, and more through the HDMI connection.

Take Google maps on the chart plotter to start planning out your day for an effective way to spend your time and catch more fish than ever. You’re guaranteed to love the C-MAP US Enhanced mapping with 1’ contours on over 4,000 lakes, too!

You’re able to simultaneously view CHIRP sonar with StructureScan 3D or HD to ensure you always have the view that works best for you – clearly defining fish and structures, below and on the sides of your boat.

The Lowrance fish finder GPS wouldn't be one of the top models out there today if it was slow and lagging, right? That's why it comes with a quad-core processer, which is extremely quick and powerful to keep you updated as things are happening. Take that, along with an internal GPS antenna with a 10Hz position update rate to offer extreme accuracy, smooth performance, and excellent position accuracy.

The dynamic color sonar, along with high-visibility contrast, will make it easier than ever to see your results. Plug and Play compatibility allows you to add Broadband Radar, SiriusXM Marine Weather and audio, and much more. With Bluetooth and wireless connectivity, the possibilities are practically endless.

Pros
  • Multi-touch screen
  • Dual-frequency sonar
  • LED backlight
  • Compatible with an array of different maps and services
  • Dual microSD slots
Cons
  • Expensive

3. Garmin Striker Plus 5cv

Best Fishfinder GPS Combo Under $300

Screen Display Size

5 inches

Dimensions

7.4 x 2.1 x 4.5 inches

Mounting

Tilt, swivel

Depth Range

1,100 – 2,300 feet 

Key Feature

Internal 5 Hertz GPS, preloaded Blue Chart g2

Warranty

1 year

Being on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have one of the best fish finders! The Garmin Striker Plus 5cv is an amazing selection, and easily the best budget GPS fishfinder combo. If you're looking for real quality without emptying your wallet, then look no further. 

This compact, waterproof best cheap fish finder with GPS is perfect if you're limited on space in your backpack or boat as it won't take up much space or weight at all. Despite this, it's still straightforward to use and will easily hold up to regular wear-and-tear that comes with being in a marine environment. The tilt and swivel mounting allows you to place it in the position that works best for your viewing, and the 5-inch, backlit color display makes it easy to see – regardless of the time of day.

The depth range is a nice 1,100 feet in salt water and 2,300 feet in freshwater, making it perfect no matter what body of water you'll be angling in.

Thanks to the ClearVu scanning sonar, you get a near-photographic image of anything up to 750 feet under your boat. You’ll get both ClearVu CHIRP and traditional CHIRP sonar, which transmits a continuous sweep of frequencies. This means you will have excellent visibility and detail for fish and structures underwater.

The split-screen display lets you see the down-view sonar, scanning sonar, depth, and waypoint views all at once to make your angling trip the most efficient possible. The built-in GPS lets you mark spots where fish are active, boat ramps, docks, and more. The best budget GPS fishfinder combo even has a built-in flasher when you’re stationary, ice-fishing, jigging for crappie, and more.

Pros
  • Very clear, detailed display
  • Dual-frequency sonar
  • Extremely portable and compact
  • Adjustable backlit display
Cons
  • Limited connectivity options
  • Not very compatible with maps and charts

4. Simrad GO7 XSE

Best Fishfinder GPS Combo Under $1500

Screen Display Size

7 inches

Dimensions

10 x 9 x 8 inches

Mounting

Bail, flush

Depth Range

1,000 ft (305 m) for the CHIRP sonar 300 ft. (91 m) for DownScan and SideScan

Key Feature

2D CHIRP, StructureScan, ForwardScan

Warranty

2 years

“The full-featured chartplotter with widest available cartography support, includes TotalScan transducer for medium/high frequency CHIRP sonar and StructureScan HD imaging,”

states West Marine.

If you’re sick of lagging, awkward fish finders, then you'll love how user-friendly Simrad has made their GO7 XSE. You’ll be able to take advantage of intuitive touchscreen controls that are perfect if you’re regularly using a smartphone or tablet.

Creating and selecting waypoints is easier than ever before, along with the simple home screen and menu layouts, which make it easy and quick to navigate around the screen. In fact, you could take it directly out onto the water without ever having previously used it and be just fine.

The 7-inch LCD WVGA color screen with a pixel matrix of 800 x 480 and an LED backlight let you observe scans seamlessly, even if the sun is shining directly onto it. Select either a bracket or flush mount, with the flush mount being compatible with a sun cover for further user-friendliness. If you’re a beginner or just love customization and convenience, this is the fish finder GPS chartplotter for you.

With a waterproof rating of IPX7, you’ll never have to worry about rain, water splashing up, and even if you drop it in the water! It can hold up in 3.3 feet of water for up to half an hour! The only downside here is that it’s not tested against dust and dirt.

This unit uses different scanning technologies, like CHIRP 2D, StructureScan, and ForwardScan. With 2D you get 83/200 kHz and 455/800 kHz for SideScan/DownScan, so you'll have to upgrade the transducer if you want to use the ForwardScan feature. With the default setup, it works down to 1,000 feet. 

Coming with Insight USA charts, you'll get incredible shoreline details, relief shading, depth soundings, and more with over 8,000 US rivers and lakes. While it's not ideal for international use, if you're in the United States, you'll love this best 7 inch fishfinder GPS combo.

Pros
  • Dual-frequency sonar
  • Various mounting options
  • Insight USA charts included
  • Beautiful color screen
  • Adjustable backlit display
Cons
  • Not the most affordable

5. Humminbird 410940-1NAV

Best Kayak Fish Finder

Screen Display Size

7 inches

Dimensions

10.5 x 3.7 x 5.8 inches

Mounting

Includes Gimbal mounting bracket

Depth Range

1,200 ft – 3,500 ft

Key Feature

Includes Navionics+ SD card, split-screen view options

Warranty

1 year

Are you on the hunt for the best boat GPS fishfinder combo? Then you need to give the Humminbird 410940-1NAV a good look. It’s more expensive than the previous model, but the screen is nicely sized, coming in at 7 inches and also has an array of other handy features.

Humminbird is one of the most reputable fish finder manufacturers currently out there, and their Helix 7 remains one of their most popular models. Perfect for amateurs and pros alike, it's a premier product in every regard.

If you read through any of the best GPS fish finder reviews, you’re bound to consistently see the 1NAV topping them. It’s still relatively budget-friendly but comes with top-notch features like the ultra-sharp MEGA imaging. This imaging offers at least 100 feet of coverage on either side of your boat but is offered in a more compact design.

With a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels and displaying 256 colors, it’s great for spotting details around fish and different underwater structures. Not only that, but the display comes with LED backlighting to make it clear and easy to use at night, in direct sunlight, and everything in-between. The Helix 7 comes with double the RAM that many other competitor options offer, making images quick to load and easy to operate without any lag in-between.

That’s not the only thing that’s quick, either. The built-in GPS tracks your location and speed in real-time, so you can set waypoints and routes along the way, find fish easier than ever before, and make sure you don’t get lost. You’re able to program up to 45 routes and a whopping 4,500 waypoints with this boat GPS fish finder.

Including a Navionics+ (US and Canada) SD card out of the box, you will get map coverage of over 21,000 lakes and bodies of water. Finally, it has a transmit power of 500W and 4,000W peak-to-peak, operating at 83/200 kHz with 2D imaging and 455 kHz side-and-down imaging.

Pros
  • Powerful transducer with temperature capabilities
  • Great depth capability
  • Very precise GPS
  • Intuitive LED control panel
  • IPX7 waterproof rating
Cons
  • Down and side imaging modes aren't entirely clear when water is too deep

6. Deeper PRO+ (DP1H10S10)

Best Fishfinder GPS Combo Under $200

Screen Display Size

n/a

Dimensions

3 x 5.3 x 5.9 inches

Mounting

Casting

Depth Range

260 feet

Key Feature

Very portable, wireless

Warranty

1 year

If you’re looking for an incredibly cheap but high-performing best value fish finder with GPS, you really can’t beat this model. Use it for on the shore, in the boat, ice fishing, and more – it casts far, scans up to 260 feet, and is perfect for shallow water. If you're limited on space or weight in your pack, then there's no need to worry. Weighing a mere 3.5 ounces, it weighs little more than tackle!

While some may balk at the fact that it must always be connected to a smartphone or tablet for proper use, connectivity is ultra-reliable. Syncing quickly, no internet is needed, so you won’t be sucking up any cellular data and can take advantage of an uninterrupted connection. As you can probably imagine, when compared to Bluetooth-connected devices, it's much faster and delivers data in real-time for incredible precision and accuracy.

With 0.5-inch target separation, detail is surprising, making it easy to tell how many fish are around, as well as what kind of environment and structures lie beneath the surface. As it’s castable, you can throw it farther, picking up at a distance of 330 feet. If you're just starting, you'll also appreciate how easy it is to install. Taking mere seconds, there's no need to struggle with any cables or batteries.

Pros
  • Very easy operation and set up
  • Castable with rod
  • Unique design – doesn’t include built-in display
  • Connects with Wi-Fi
  • Distance of 330 feet, reads up to 260 feet of depth
  • Extremely portable
Cons
  • Sometimes if cast too far, it can be hard to see where the unit is located
  • Down and side imaging modes aren’t perfectly clear when water is too deep

7. Lowrance HOOK2 9

Best 9 Inch Fish Finder GPS Combo

Screen Display Size

9 inches

Dimensions

11.9 x 9.1 x 8.6 inches

Mounting

Flush

Depth Range

500 feet

Key Feature

Crisp imagery, TripleShot CHIRP sonar, IPX7 waterproof rating

Warranty

1-2 years

“ The HOOK2 9 HDI Split Shot helps you have a more enjoyable day on the water by removing the hassle of making adjustments with a simple menu layout, easy access to key features and game-changing Lowrance Autotuning sonar,”

informs Hudson Marine.

It’s true – the device is perfect for beginners, comes with a TripleShot Transducer, menus similar to what you’d find on your smartphone, and much more. The Lowrance fish finder GPS combo comes with a huge 9-inch widescreen with an 800 x 400-pixel display.

Complete with the SolarMax LED backlight, you’ll be able to take advantage of crystal-clear images, no matter where the sun is shining. The updated keyboard design lets you use one-touch technology to navigate through extensive menus quickly, and also use the handy split-screen options so you can see both sonar and maps at the same time.

With an IPX7 waterproof rating, you can count on it staying safe and performing correctly, no matter if it's exposed to water splashes, rain, and even submersion within 3.3 feet. Going back to sonar autotuning, it’s an ideal option if you have no experience with fishfinders. The device works to monitor underwater conditions at all times and makes adjustments on its own without you having to do anything so you can simply enjoy the sport and none of the hassle.

The wide-angled, broadband high CHIRP sonar along with DownScan Imaging and SideScan, along with a temperature sensor, is incredibly helpful in locating fish from far distances. The two-dimensional images in full color are one of the most pleasant to look at and work in depths of up to 500 feet (in either fresh or saltwater). Keep in mind that DownScan transmits up to 300 feet and offer monochromatic images on either side of the vessel, though the images really are photo-quality.

Pros
  • Wide-angle High CHIRP (2D)
  • DownScan and SideScan
  • Includes TripleShot 3-in-1 transducer
  • Fast and accurate GPS
  • Can create routes
Cons
  • No unit cover
  • Lacking any NMEA and Ethernet ports

8. Humminbird Helix 10 G3N

Best Fishfinder GPS Combo Under $2000

Screen Display Size

10 inches

Dimensions

20 x 13 x 10 inches

Mounting

Comes with in-dash mounting kit

Depth Range

125 to 800 feet

Key Feature

Large and vivid display, sleek and compact, MEGA side and down imaging, dual-spectrum CHIRP

Warranty

2 years

While the Humminbird Helix 10 G3N is notably more expensive than most on this guide, it’s well worth the money. You’re going to have a hard time finding all of these features anywhere else, and due to the sturdy build, you can count on it lasting much longer as well!

With both MEGA Side Imaging+ and MEGA Down Imaging+, you’ll experience pristine views out to 200 feet on either side of the boat. The built-in dual Spectrum CHIRP sonar locates defined fish arches, offering uninterrupted views of fish-holding structure and the bottom. Select Wide Mode for max coverage and narrow mode for max detail – whatever you need at that moment to catch that fish! 360 imaging and a wide beam sonar will alert you to everything happening around your boat.

The model combines accurate GPS location with the built-in signature Basemap for a clear view under the water, and you can use the brand’s AutoChart Live to create personalized depth contour maps as well.

The 10-inch, full-color TFT display even has a convenient keypad control for quick navigation and adjustments, along with Bluetooth connectivity with onscreen notification displays. The large screen makes split-screen views much easier to look at and track, rated at 50% brighter than others on the market today.

Pros
  • Mega Si and regular Side Imaging
  • DualBeam CHIRP Plus Sonar
  • 360 imaging
  • Incredibly big, bright, and clear screen
  • Upgradeable software
Cons
  • No weather support
  • No Bluetooth remote included

9. Garmin Striker 7SV

Best Fishfinder GPS Combo Under $500

Screen Display Size

7 inches

Dimensions

9.3 x 2.3 x 5.5 inches

Mounting

Bail, flush

Depth Range

1,100 to 2,300 feet

Key Feature

QuickDraw contour software, CHIRP, and SideVu, built-in Wi-Fi

Warranty

1 year

If you’re looking for the biggest bang for your buck, then give the Garmin Striker 7SV a good look. It’s a nice middle-of-the-road design made with a rugged build made to withstand harsh elements and always give you accurate readings. No matter where you want to use it, you can count on the Garmin Striker 7sv to have your back.

The high-sensitivity GPS lets you mark each location you want to go back to and start reeling them in. You can even mark your speed, making it perfect for sneaking up on fish. As the GPS is so quick, you don’t have to worry about inaccurate readings, either.

Waypoint maps let you see the surrounding environment, marking particular landmarks, and much more. It's so precise that you can even locate brush piles, docks, and stumps. This makes it perfect for use in an array of different bodies of water.

CHIRP traditional sonar, ClearVu and SideVu offer a continuous sweep through the water to lead you exactly where the fish are hanging out. Change the pitch from high to low, providing even more data and details, no matter if you’re going from deep to shallow water either. Target separation and detail is great, allowing you to lock onto your target easily.

The 7-inch display is the perfect size for many – not too small, so it's hard to read but not so big that it's bulky and illogical. The full-color display lets you easily differentiate between fish, debris, and structures, so false readings will be a thing of the past.

Pros
  • Reasonable pricing
  • Quick and simple installation
  • Excellent picture quality
  • User-friendly operation
  • Very accurate and detailed feedback
Cons
  • Can’t upload waypoints to fish finder
  • Doesn't include preloaded maps

10. Garmin Echomap 010-01805-01

Best Boat GPS Fishfinder Combo

Screen Display Size

9 inches

Dimensions

11.3 x 2 x 6.4 inches

Mounting

Bail, flush

Depth Range

1,100 to 2,300 feet

Key Feature

Preloaded with Coastal Mapping, 9-inch color display, QuickDraw Contours

Warranty

1 year

Last but not least, we have another one of the best Garmin fishfinder GPS combos out there: the Garmin Echomap 010-01805-01. This model is a robust unit with highly accurate GPS, complete with BlueChart g2 maps. While it isn’t the cheapest, it’s not the most expensive either – remaining a great value product if you’re okay with shelling out a bit of cash for high performance and reliability.

This screen is one of the largest out there – drawing similarities to a tablet! As you can imagine, this makes it incredibly easy to read and navigate. Split the display up to 4 different sections if you’d like, so you can see all necessary data simultaneously without losing picture quality and detail.

Similar to the Lowrance HDS units, a large part of the higher cost is due to this beautiful display. However, it undoubtedly offers a much more pleasant user experience. Garmin is a name most of us heard first because of their navigation devices, offering some of the best GPS tech in the world. The BlueChart g2 maps come preloaded into the model, so you can simply type in a location, and it will lead the way. 

With CHIRP Sonar, you'll be able to see individual fish, schools, and amazing detail that many others lack. Capable of projecting 1,100 feet in saltwater and 2,300 feet in freshwater, there's no doubt you'll have success with this powerhouse. In addition, you get DownVu and SideVu with high-frequency 3D imaging for lifelike, photo-quality images!

Pros
  • Preloaded with an array of maps
  • Excellent picture quality
  • User-friendly operation
  • Very accurate and detailed feedback
  • Large screen
Cons
  • On the higher end of the price spectrum

Cheap vs. Expensive Fish Finder GPS Combos

Cheap and expensive fish finder GPS combos typically vary quite a bit. 

  • Expect the lifespan of less expensive models to be significantly shorter.
  • Expensive models scan deeper and wider in the water surrounding your boat. With cheap devices, detail can sometimes be blurry and can be interrupted by small objects/debris in the water.
  • Expensive fish finder GPS combos will come with gorgeous displays, larger screens, and full color typically. Their touchscreens are also intuitive and easy to navigate.

Comparing CHIRP to Traditional Sonar

CHIRP sonar is the standard in expensive fish finder GPS combo units and transmits signals which sweep linearly upward. These carry less peak power than your traditional sonar units, but their wide-band, frequency-modulated pulses are much longer as far as time goes and can produce up to a whopping 50 times more energy into the water.

You can expect much better resolution, detail, and target detection, which essentially makes it easier for you to catch fish (and bigger ones, too!). As CHIRP can transmit at the same time on both high and low frequencies, you get excellent depth penetration with less power and noise, which can disturb the fish.


Down Imaging vs. Side Imaging

Down imaging fish finders use a transducer that moves sonar waves underneath your boat, while side imaging directs the beams to either side of your boat. Some models have only one or the other, while some come with both.

Remember, some manufacturers use different terms to describe these two types of technology.

  • Garmin:
    Uses “DownVu” and “SideVu” for down imaging and side imaging.
  • Lowrance:
    Uses “DownScan” and “SideScan”.
  • Side Imaging:
    These have better detail as well as a more accurate point-of-view. However, they’re usually pricier and don’t offer detailed images of anything directly below your boat. Despite the higher price, for me and most others, it’s worth it.
  • Down Imaging:
    Great for angling in the deep waters as it’s specifically designed to transmit deep below your boat. The imaging isn’t as great as side imaging, but it’s still solid by all means, even while traveling at high speeds.

How to Use a Fish Finder GPS Combo

It's essential to actually know how to use your fish finder GPS combo so you can catch more fish and overall have a better experience.

Understanding/Interpreting The Display:

You could have a huge fish right underneath your boat, but if you don't know how to read the display, it's not going to help you at all! The most important thing, then, is knowing how to identify fish. For models with fish-ID tech, this is super simple, converting raw data into user-friendly feedback. This technology shows “fish” with different sizes and lengths, along with different icons referring to plants, rocks, schools of fish, and so much more.

Fish arches can also save you a lot of time but can be a bit more difficult to understand initially. They represent fish as arches more clearly than fish-ID can, so when it displays larger arches, this signifies it’s detected a big fish. While it’s a bit more challenging to identify rocks and plants from said arches, it gets much simpler over time.

Keep in mind that you will often see full and half arches. This doesn't always mean that the half arch is a smaller fish; instead, the half arch commonly means a fish has swam through only part of the sonar cone. The best way to spot a trophy fish is by looking at the width or thickness of the fish arch – regardless if it's full or half.


Frequently Asked Questions

What maps are available for fish finder GPS combos?

You could get Navionics+, Chartplotter, BlueChart g2, Google Maps, and more. However, these are the most common and top performers.

Which fish finder above has the best maps?

There are a few which all score very high in this regard: the Garmin Striker 7SV, the Humminbird Helix 10, and the Lowrance HDS-12 LIVE.

Stand-alone fish finder GPS combo v castable fish finder – which is best?

There's really no "best" here as it all comes down to personal preference. Castables can be transmitted to your smartphone, which is handy and easy to use. Not only that, but they're almost always significantly cheaper yet still perform well. However, the depth range is often not that substantial, and detail isn't always as good as fish finder GPS combos.

How do I mount a fish finder GPS combo on a float tube?

Here’s a comprehensive video that takes you step-by-step through the process!

What are the best brands for a GPS fish finder combo?

Garmin, Humminbird, and Lowrance are, without a doubt, the best. There are rarely any other brands and models that can compete with them.

Where can I buy these fish finder GPS combos?

The great thing about Amazon is that they have all of these models available, respect their warranties, and make sure they get to you quickly and safely. Not only that, but you can read through real customer reviews, so you know what you're getting.


Conclusion

Allow me to reiterate how amazing the Garmin Echomap Chirp 74Cv 010-01801-01 is. It’s listed at a reasonable price, offers near-photographic images, features CHIRP sonar, has a beautiful display, and includes preloaded BlueChart g2 maps of the coastal US.

However, what’s most important is that you choose the device perfect for your angling needs. I hope that this guide has helped you to do just that. Happy fishing!