5 Best Fish Finders Under $1,000 for 2024

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What can you get for a grand these days, especially in marine electronics? Your fish finder options have never been better for $1,000 or less. You can pick from several different 7 and 9-inch models that are just as feature packed as units costing twice as much.

The rest of this article will discuss the pros and cons of these carefully selected fish finders. The goal is to make it easier to choose the right unit for your type of fishing. There is much to unpack in this price range, so let’s dive right into our Top 5 recommendations.

5 Best Fish Finders Under $1,000

Here is a comparison table of our recommended fish finders. These models are “all-in-one” type units, with 2D, Down, and Side imaging out of the box.

Do you need side imaging? Heck yeah, you do. It’s worth every penny to have on your boat.

But there are quite a few differences when you break down the specs, especially in the sonar capabilities.

If you want the best imaging, look no further than the Helix 7 MSI G4N. The Elite FS 9 or Hook Reveal 9 TripleShot are the top choices if you want the largest screen for the money.

*Last updated 2024-11-12 at 12:34 / Product Links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What Can You Get for $1,000?

Generally speaking, 7″ to 9″ are the maximum sizes in this price range, several of which are touchscreen models. You’ll also be able to get into a unit with 2D, down, and side imaging – the trifecta of sonar.

Sure, there are plenty of Down Imaging only units under $1,000, but why limit yourself when there are awesome “All in One” units that can do it all?

With those aspects in mind, here are the Top 5 Fish Finders Under $1,000.

1. Lowrance Elite FS 9 Active Imaging

The Elite FS series (Fishing System) are aimed at anglers who want a little more technology in their fish finder without paying the hefty price tag for an HDS Live unit. The Elite FS delivers plenty of fish locating features without putting you into debt.

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If your style of fishing depends on DownScan and CHIRP 2D sonar, Lowrance has long had some of the best units available. The Elite FS is no exception, utilizing the 455 and 800 kHz DownScan and SideScan in the Active Imaging All-in-One Transducer.

One drawback is the massive jump in price (nearly 3x!!) from an Elite FS 9 to an HDS 10. There are currently no Lowrance units in the middle ground. Other brands have much better options if you decide a 9 inch screen is too small.

If your boat is already set up with Lowrance, then the Elite FS 9 would be a great choice, especially if you want to add Active Target live sonar.

2. Garmin Echomap UHD2 73sv

The Garmin Echomap UHD series has really found a following among serious fishermen. With loads of fish finding features and a bright 9-inch touch screen – the UHD2 has upgraded to a 1024×600 resolution.

The 73sv is in the sweet spot of screen sizes that quickly displays sonar and map information side by side without struggling to see it all.

The 73sv has several mapping options. You can use the thousands of maps that come standard with the preloaded Navionics+ charts, use your Navionics MicroSD card, or make your maps with QuickDraw live mapping. Most other models will require the purchase of a map card.

The 73sv is extremely popular for anglers adding Garmin’s Livescope sonar technology to their boats. Anything smaller and it’s too hard to view. So if you are interested in the Livescope technology, the Echomap UHD units are the most affordable way to upgrade.

3. Humminbird Helix 7 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS G4N

MEGA Imaging has exploded onto the fish finder scene, providing the clearest, most detailed imaging yet. The G4N gets an upgraded 1024 x 600 resolution display.

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Until recently, MEGA was only available on the larger HELIX and SOLIX fish finders. Humminbird found a way to put MEGA into the lower-cost HELIX 7, giving more anglers the opportunity of MEGA side imaging.

This little fish finder is packed with features yet stays under a $1,000 MSRP. The Helix 7 MEGA SI is easy to use, running on Humminbird’s standard OS that has proven user-friendly and intuitive.

For mapping, you’ll get 8 hours of AutoChart Live recording, after which you’ll want to use a ZeroLines card to download your maps. Otherwise, the HELIX 7 is compatible with the excellent new Lakmaster VX charts.

One drawback is the lack of dedicated down imaging crystals in the XNT 9 HW MSI T transducer.

Now that you can buy a networking version, what’s stopping you from linking two Helix 7 units side by side? Use one with full-screen MEGA SI and a simple sonar/GPS split screen on the other for a working man’s dual-screen setup!

4. Raymarine Element 9 HV

The Raymarine Element series is all new for this year. These units are directly comparable to Helix MEGA and ECHOMAP UHD units. Both have non-touch screens, CHIRP, and Megahertz capable all-in-one transducers. If the imaging is anything like the popular Dragonfly series, the Element will be an excellent unit for the money.

The Element 9 HV has some benefits over the Helix 7: the ultra-bright 1500 nit glass bonded display and dedicated down looking imaging crystals in the HV-100 transducer.

It also has better connectivity options, with optional SeaTalk networking (buy accessory cables), Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi (which the Helix 7 lacks).

If Humminbird isn’t your thing, but you still want the best imaging possible, check out the Raymarine Element combos.

5. Lowrance Hook Reveal 9 TripleShot

The Hook Reveal 9 TripleShot is another 9-inch all-in-one fish finder and a more budget friendly one at that. It can do many of the same things as an ECHOMAP UHD but lacks the touchscreen. If that doesn’t matter much to you, why not save a few bucks?

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The Hook Reveal series has proven to be a popular fish finder for Lowrance. They are very affordable compared to higher end units of the same size. This fish finder gives you all the sonar options you’ll need out of the box.

If you don’t care about some of the more fancy functions like live mapping, or being able to add on accessories, the Hook Reveal 9 TS is a great choice.

Which Fish Finder Should You Buy?

Best Fish Finder Under $1,000 Overall – The clear winner is the Lowrance FS 9 Active Imaging, and it’s not a close race.

A 9-inch screen with SideScan, DownScan, CHIRP sonar, and can be upgraded with C-MAP pro maps, and the very cool Fish Reveal function is hard to beat.

Lowrance is aggressively pushing Active Target by lowering the price of their FS 9 and FS 7 units under the $1,000 mark.

Low Cost “Live Sonar” Unit – If you want to get into the Forward Facing Sonar game, you now have five great options.

  • First, you can use Garmin LiveScope with the Echomap UHD2 73sv.
  • Second, the Lowrance Elite FS 9 and Elite FS 7 are both compatible with the Active Target transducer system.
  • Third is MEGA Live, the newest of the bunch, which you can plug and play directly into a HELIX 7 MSI G4N or a HELIX 8 MDI G4N.

With any of those options, you get a decent size screen, all the main sonar options, HD displays, and the ability to add a live sonar to the unit. That is a great deal!

Best Imaging – The best options for anglers who want Megahertz imaging are the HELIX 7 CHIRP MSI GPS G4N or the Raymarine Element 9 HV. There are no touchscreens or options to upgrade sonar, but they are the way to go for mega-sharp imaging.

*Last updated 2024-11-12 at 12:34 / Product Links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>