Looking for a quality and reliable fishing sonar but on a tight budget? You don’t have to stretch your budget or settle for a substandard unit. The best affordable fish finders under $200 reviewed below do a great job of locating fish and displaying what is underwater. Whether you fish from a kayak, canoe, or are an ice angler, you will find the best fish finder under 200 for your needs in this list. 

How To Choose A Fish Finder Under $200- Buying Guide


As you can see, there are plenty of remarkable fishing sonars within your budget. Here are the features to consider to identify the very best fish finder under 200 for your fishing technique and platform. 


Keeping the intended use in mind as you choose a fishing sonar will guide you to the perfect unit for you. If you want an ice fishing fish finder, you will need one with the ability to withstand sub-zero conditions. If you will be mounting the unit on a boat, you will need to check the mounting options. 


Choose the type of fish finder that suits your type and style of fishing. There are fixed units designed to be mounted on a boat. Portable units ideal for traveling with. Castable units you can attach to a fishing line and cast from the shore or from a kayak. Ice fishing flashers that offer a real-time view of what is happening beneath the ice. 

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Castable Fish Finder & Kayak Fish Finder

Fish Finders Under $300


The transducer is the technical component that sends sonar waves below the water. The transducer is, therefore, a very important part of a fish finder. Check what kind of transducer the fish finder you’re considering comes with and assess its operating frequency, beam angle, and wattage as follows.


Transducers can have high or low operating frequencies or both. A high operating frequency returns more details and has a wide sonar coverage, which works well for fishing in shallow waters. Low frequency sonar waves travel down deep into the water and are ideal for deep water fishing. Dual-frequency sonar units have both low and high frequencies and work in both shallow and deep water. 

Cone Angles And Beams

The sonar waves the transducer transmits into the water take the shape of a cone with a narrow or wide-angle. Narrow beams travel deep into the water while wide beams have broadband sonar coverage and can scan a wide area. Dual-beam units that emit both wide-angle and narrow sonar beams deliver more details about the subsurface world and can be used in both deep and shallow waters.


Wattage is the power rating of the transducer. The higher the wattage, the more powerful a fish finder is. A powerful unit can send sonar waves further down into the water and return sonar readings faster. If you fish in deep waters, you will need a depth finder under 200 with a high wattage rating. A lower rating will do in shallow waters.

Display Screen Resolution

The transducer sends sonar readings to the screen unit. If you can’t see the display clearly, the whole fish finder will be rendered useless no matter how advanced the sonar technology is. The quality of the screen is a very important consideration. A good quality screen has a high resolution and displays crystal clear images of underwater composition.

Display Screen Colors

Most fishing sonar devices you will come across have screens that can display a wide range of colors, as color display provides more details and it is easier to distinguish between the objects displayed than with a black and white screen. A color display is therefore a superior option. The more the colors a fish finder can display, the better.

GPS System

Some of the cheap fish finders under 200 have built-in GPS systems. If you will be fishing in unfamiliar waters, GPS fish finders can track your location and let you mark waypoints to find your way around the water. You can also save favorite fishing spots so you can find them again easily in the future.


If you’re looking for a fish and depth finder you can use on a wide range of waters and fishing platforms or when hopping from ice hole to ice hole, you need a portable fish finder that is compact and lightweight. Some portable fish finders even come with carrying cases. 


Sonar devices require a power source. Some require a direct connection to a power outlet, some have rechargeable batteries while others utilize disposable batteries. Check what power source the unit you’re considering uses. If you opt for a battery-powered unit, check that its rated battery life is sufficient for your needs.


The transducer comes into contact with water and should be waterproof. The screen unit should be able to withstand rain, splashes, and accidental drops into the water. Be sure to check the water resistance rating of the model you choose. Some units come with a cover that protects the display unit in the event of a downpour. 

Design and Durability

Choose a unit with a large, easy to read display, intuitive controls, a simple menu system, and mounting options that suit your fishing platform. Pay attention to the construction details and warranty and check out the fish finder under 200 reviews by users to ensure that you end up with a rugged unit that can withstand the elements and hold up well. 



Q: What Is A Fish Finder?


A fish finder is a sonar device designed to use sound waves to locate fish and identify other objects below the water surface.

Q: How Do Fish Finders Work?


A fish finder has two components: the transducer and the screen unit. The transducer sends sonar signals into the water. These signals hit fish and other objects in the water and bounce back to the transducer, which translates the returned signals and displays images of what is below the water on the screen unit.

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Q: Why Do I Need A Fish Finder?


Without the ability to see underwater, you can only rely on chance when casting or jigging. A fish finder will give you vision below the water. It will show you whether there are fish, how big they are, and where they are hanging out. It will also display the bottom contour, water temperature, and depth information. It will definitely help you catch more fish and enjoy the fishing experience more.

Q: Can I Sync my Fish Finder with my Smart Phone or Tablet?


If you have a smart fish finder that can connect to a smartphone or tablet wirelessly via Bluetooth or WIFI hotspot, you can sync it with your mobile device and view the sonar readings from there.

Q: Can I Use the Same Fish Finder for Shallow Water, Deep Water, and Ice Fishing?


Yes you can. You just have to get a fish finder that comes with a dual frequency/beam transducer that transmits both wide-angle and narrow sonar beams. The fish finder should also have a classic ice fishing flasher built-in and be able to withstand subzero conditions.

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You don’t have to break your budget to get a quality and reliable fish finder. The best affordable fish finders reviewed here may not have sophisticated bells and whistles but they will show you the fish, fish-holding structure, bottom, depth, and water temperature accurately. They will help you learn the water you’re fishing, land more fish and enjoy fishing even more!

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