Best Fish Finder GPS Combo | How to Choose

best fish finder gps combo

I tested seven of the best fish finder GPS combo units and found the Humminbird Helix 9 Chirp MEGA SI+ GPS G4N to be the best all-around.

There are thousands of fish finder GPS combo units on the market. It’s difficult to filter through them and find which ones are worth your time. I’ve been fishing for years and have put many of these units through their paces on boats, kayaks, and the deep sea. I’ve used different setups for deep-sea guided fishing trips and inshore trips. Later in life, I transitioned to freshwater and have been using a much smaller boat with much smaller needs.

I chose the Humminbird HELIX 9 CHIRP GPS G4N Fish Finder/Chart Plotter because it offers most of the higher-end features of a $2000 combo at a lower price. It provides super quick contour mapping and has an optional remote so you can check boat speed and set waypoints as you go. It offers sonar with a side view, which gives you a clear view below and to both sides of the boat. Overall, it works great and performs well in cooler water, just as well as warm. I found it to be worth every penny. It led me to the fish, and really, that’s the point, right?

Our Pick
Humminbird Helix 9 Chirp MEGA SI+ GPS G4N

The Helix 9 CHIRP is a fantastic combo and is worth every penny. You can seamlessly integrate your Minn Kota and Cannon products right into its interface and set speeds, directions, everything you’d need.

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It has a giant 9” screen that displays in HD and offers split-screen use. You can opt for the second transducer and increase the max depth from 1500’ to 3000’, making it the ideal candidate for any deep-sea fishing trips you have planned. Its GPS is accurate to within seven feet, so your waypoints are pretty spot on.

Working with clients means it’s a must that you find fish. Using a fish finder GPS combo makes it easier to get back to the places you know produce time after time. That’s why I took the time to try these units. I’ve included their best qualities along with where to find them.

The best fish finder GPS combo is going to cost more than a singular fish finder unit, but with the added GPS unit, it will far outperform the standard unit. Bring one along on your next trip, and you’ll see for yourself the difference it can make.

Keep reading to see the combos I tested and see how they did.

Here’s the list I selected:

Best Fish Finder GPS Combo’s Reviewed

Humminbird HELIX 9 CHIRP GPS G4N Fish Finder/Chart Plotter

What You Get

  • 9” HD Screen
  • User-Friendly Menu and Soft-key Controls
  • Low-Q CHIRP transducer
  • Built-in Base-map
  • “The most complete offering of premium chart options available”
  • “Auto Chart Live” real-time mapping
  • Bluetooth connectivity

The Humminbird Helix 9 Chirp goes out of its way to make your boat function with the touch of a button. You can seamlessly integrate your Minn Kota and Cannon products right into its interface and set speeds, directions, everything you’d need. It ties in with the Minn Kota i-Pilot Link and helps create the ultimate fishing platform. Set up a Talon or Raptor shallow anchor system, and it can control them as well. Set your Cannon downriggers to be controlled by it. Sit back and watch the screen as it takes care of the intricacies of trolling.

It offers Dual Spectrum CHIRP support, meaning you can search wide for maximum coverage or narrow for more detailed, narrow ranged cover. It comes with over 10,000 lakes preloaded, with more available to download. The system reports the bottom hardness and vegetation and records up to 8 hours of usage for Auto Chart Live mapping.

The Helix 9 CHIRP is a fantastic combo and is worth every penny. It is more expensive than most on this list, but it stands up to that price. It stands up to the elements with its waterproof casing. Rain or snow is no problem, and in case of accidental submersion, it fares well. Just don’t leave it in the water for too long.

It has several add-ons available to add even more functionality. I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t have Netflix for the kids sometime soon.

Lowrance Elite FS 7 Fish Finder with Active Imaging 3-in-1

What You Get

  • 7” HD Touch Screen 16:9 with LED Backlight
  • Active Imaging 3-in-1
  • Flush Mount and Bracket Mounts
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Supports ActiveTarget and FishReveal
  • CHIRP Sonar and Side Scan

The Lowrance Elite Fishing System is designed to allow easy upgrades to the entire lineup of Lowrance tools. You can integrate full control of Power-Pole anchors and Ghost trolling motors.

The setup on this unit can be a bit tricky. That’s the most common feedback given. Ease of use once connected has been good, but occasional issues with my transducer were a problem until I realized I installed it wrong. Discounting user error, it has been a very reliable, solidly built unit.

For the price, I would have liked it to support other products as the Humminbird does, but with its ability to handle the occasional fall (thanks, grandkids), I decided to rate it as most reliable.

It does come with 8900 lakes and coastal shoreline areas preloaded with 1’ increments. Detailed contours are excellent, and the details on the screen are superb. I really liked the optional feature that detailed fish around cover at the bottom of a reservoir I frequent. It has several old wood pilings that attract big fish. My old finder would show the pilings and a blob. This one picked up individual fish down to the smaller trout that would swim by. It’s a great unit, and for that level of detail under a grand, it’s worth it. If you opt for the bigger screen, it runs the same cost as the Humminbird.

Garmin Striker 7sv

What You Get

  • 7” HD display
  • Quickdraw Contour Software
  • Transom and Trolling Mounts
  • Tilt Mount
  • 12-pin to 4-pin
  • Protective Cover

Look no further if you want excellent sonar, bright, easily identifiable display, and custom mapping. The Garmin Striker 7sv gives you so many features found in a top-of-the-line combo for under $500.00 that if you’re budget-minded, it’s a no-brainer. It’s a great, easy-to-use, easy to install unit.

Built-in WI-FI allows you to connect to the Active Captain feature. The Active Captain feature is an app that you can download to the Striker unit. It enables you to receive calls, emails, and texts on your display instead of having to access your phone while piloting the boat or fishing. That takes care of the worry of sending your phone to the bottom of the lake.

The inclusion of CHIRP sonar, CHIRP SideVu, and CHIRP ClearVu gives you crystal clear images from below and both right and left of your boat or kayak. It has enough clarity to separate targets so you can view the difference between structure, bottom contours, and fish.

The best part of this combo is its ease of use. The QuickDraw feature lets you create maps with one foot contour lines without having to be a software engineer to figure it out. The only thing you to do is turn it on, and it takes care of the rest.

Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2

What You Get

  • 5“ Display
  • CHIRP Sonar.
  • Internal GPS
  • Micro SD Card Slot  

Humminbird managed to land on the list twice. The Helix 5 is an excellent option for those looking to spend less and still get some great features. Internal GPS and CHIRP sonar for under $300.00 is a fantastic find. The 5” display offers a full-color screen with a backlight, making it easily viewable during the day and night.

Add in a micro SD card and create waypoints while you fish. You can load maps as well. The included transducer reaches a max depth of 1500 feet, but you can extend that with the add-on transducer that will take it to 2500 feet.

For the price, this is a fantastic unit that will definitely raise your angling game. It might not run all of your equipment for you, but you’re not paying a premium price for that luxury either.

Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 63cv

What You Get

  • Bright 6” HD Screen
  • Garmin high wide CHIRP traditional sonar
  • Preloaded LakeVü G3 maps cover more than 17,000 lakes

You’re going to find the fish with this unit. The screen is super bright, so it’s easy to see in the bright summer sun, and it’s easy for old eyes to read on the 6” screen. The sonar provides a very clear image, defining cover, vegetation, pilings, and all those fish hanging out trying to hide from us.

The device comes preloaded with Garmin’s patented LakeVu G3 Inland maps data. It covers over 17,000 lakes with well-defined detail. The device can also be removed fast using the quick-release bail mount. The NMEA 2000 and NMEA 0183 network connects to your engine, providing autopilot integration, audio link, and more.

It’s an overall great system and will leave you glad you spent the money. For the same price, you can get the Stryker, which I found to be a little more user-friendly, but it really depends on your personal preferences.

Lowrance Hook Reveal 5 Fish Finder

What You Get

  • FishReaveal is a Proprietary Technology to Separate Fish from Cover.
  • Create Custom Maps
  • Split shot Transducer allows wide view and narrow view for more focused, cleared images
  • Hook Reveal Autotuning Sonar
  • 5” Display

The Hook Reveal 5 is a fantastic unit that provides the ability to scan in both 3d and 2d modes. You can get to depths of 1000 feet in 2d and 3d at 300 feet. The CHIRP sonar is incredibly accurate and delivers crisp, high-definition images that are displayed on the 5” display.

The Lowrance Hook Reveal 5 is very budget-friendly and has been upgraded to Lowrance’s latest CHIRP technology to provide the most accurate images possible at this price point. You can scroll back through previous sonar readings to ensure the settings are correct.

The navigation on the screen isn’t quite as user-friendly as other models, and it does lack some of the features more expensive models take for granted, but it is a fantastic choice for an entry point fish finder and GPS combo.

Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar

What You Get

  • Scans to 260’ Deep
  • Works with IOS/Android. Works With Tablet or Phone-Doesn’t Use Cellular Data
  • Built-In GPS
  • Bathymetric Maps from the Shore, Kayak, or Boat 
  • Real-Time Data
  • Includes USB Charging Cable

The Deeper Pro+ claims to be the only portable, castable combo on the market that can create Bathymetric maps from shore. I was able to see the feature in action, though not use it myself. A fellow angler reviewed this device for me and rated it a solid five stars. He was able to map his exact locations with ease and mark fish. He claimed it improved his shore fishing twofold. I know him well, and that’s a bold statement.

I’ve checked the created maps online through his web platform, and they appear crisp and accurate. He has added notes about the time of day, air temp, cloud cover, and barometric pressure to the maps. They are very informational and an excellent resource for both shore and boat angling.

The Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+ is easy to cast. I tossed it out five times and never had an issue. It’s like tossing a large saltwater lure with more wind resistance. The transducer is impressive. We found that it was accurate within an inch of what it showed. We planted a stick in the water and ran it by at different speeds, then checked the output. The stick showed in almost the exact spot until we reeled too fast.

Overall, this is what every shore angler has been wishing for. It’s going to show them what they’re really casting into and how they should adjust that retrieve. He loves his, and when I asked to borrow it for some more practice with it, he gave me a firm no. He won’t even let his kids use it.

Top Pick Explained

best fish finder gps combo

I really liked the Humminbird HELIX 9 CHIRP GPS G4N Fish Finder/Chart Plotter. Overall, it had the most bells and whistles. Once I figured it out, I felt like I had a chauffeur at the lake all day. It made fishing feel new again. I hadn’t experienced it without the role of guiding everyone else aboard in so long that I forgot how it feels to have something else take that role. The maps are accurate, including the occasional sandbars that I have marked on the printed maps they don’t show up on. That’s a massive improvement over the old maps I use.

When I installed it, I felt like I was being tricked. It took less than ten minutes to add it once I removed my old Garmin. My old Garmin was from the late ’80s, so using a modern one is a huge upgrade in itself, but this thing even runs my Minn Kota. Overall, I would recommend this fish finder and GPS combo to anyone that can afford it. If you can, splurge for the extra bells and whistles. You’ll be glad you did.

How to Choose the Best Fish Finder GPS Combo

When you start searching for a new fish finder and GPS combo, ask the guys at your local shop (if they sell them and aren’t too snarky). The next step is Google. Search for the best fish finder and GPS combo, then click the shopping option. Sort by reviews. This will weed out the worst ones. You’ll be faced with a wide price range. Stick to recognizable names, and you should be okay.

Next up is the ease of installation. Reviewers will note if something is difficult to install. If it’s easy, they usually skip it. People like to share their negative experiences more freely than positive ones, particularly when dealing with expensive products.

Check to make sure it comes with a sound transducer. If not, can you get a compatible one in a reasonable amount of time? Why doesn’t it come with one?

Does it hardwire into the boat, or does it require batteries? That’s a deal-breaker for me unless it’s the Deeper Pro because I see its pros and cons as a shore angler. From a boat, you have a power source. A kayak will need an alternative source, or you’ll need to install a battery. Keep that in mind when searching.

Think about your neighborhood. Are you free to leave it in your boat or kayak? Will it get stolen the first night you install it? Get one that’s easy to remove and keep it under your pillow.

Don’t overspend. It’s far too easy to get excited and buy the $1500 model when you should be buying the $500 model. They will get you on the fish equally as well, but the cheaper one will cause less stress in the long run. Take it from someone who’s famous for overspending on fishing equipment. Did I really need to buy six of those Winston Bamboo Fly Rods to guide people in the Florida flats? Nope. Dumb idea. If you’re unaware, they are about $3500 a piece. I guided there for two seasons before I realized I didn’t much care for the heat.

Conclusion

If you decide the Humminbird Helix 9 Chirp MEGA SI+ GPS G4N is for you, you can find it here. I recommend this fish finder GPS combo, if you can spare the money. It will check all the boxes and then some. With the add-ons available, you can use this for accurate deep-sea fishing or a day on your local lake. Either way, you’ll see new contours and aspects that you’ve never seen before.

For more guidance on how to choose your next fish finder check out the pages below: