Does the problem of locating that favorite fishing spot resonate with you? The market is awash with the best fish finder GPS combos under $1,000, and it can be very easy to get swept up in all the technology and jargon surrounding them.
Unless you have money to burn, it would be prudent to ask yourself when shopping, “Will this ever help me get to where the fish are?”
By knowing what to look for in a fish finder GPS combo, you’ll boost your chances of picking a high-quality, great-value piece of technology that will make your time on the water very worthwhile.
72-channel internal GPS/GLONASS system
72-channel internal GPS
5Hz internal GPS system
72-channel internal GPS/GLONASS system
How to Select the Best GPS Combo Fish Finder under 1000?
When scouting for the best fish finder GPS combos under 1,000, it pays to know the key features that will help you in boosting your odds of catching more fish.
Listed below are the different important aspects savvy fishers use to draw comparisons among different products before pulling the trigger.
The good display should have a resolution of at least 800x480 pixels and LED backlight technology to be easily readable in all lighting or weather conditions.
Note that IPX6 means that the device is resistant to water jet from a 12.5 mm nozzle, with the rate of 100 liters per minute, for at least three minutes, while IPX7 means that the device is resistant to immersion in water, up to 3.2 feet deep, for 30 minutes.
Different fishing types need various appropriately corresponding transducers. Open-water anglers would require deep-signal sending transducers, whereas inland-water fishers prefer transducers with a wider angle of sound wave transmission.
Higher fishfinder frequency yields higher-detail reception on to your fish finder screen. Open-water trawlers require low-frequency transducers, whereas the high-frequency versions are ideal for the shallow-water fishing. The most common frequencies range from 50 to 200 kHz.
Display Color Screen
When buying fishfinder combos under 1000, do consider the display. The best ones are equipped with modern, full-color displays, in place of the traditional black-and-white. These clearer-color screens have become increasingly popular, so chances are that the device of your choice would anyway bring a color display.
As far as navigational features and capabilities are concerned, do take note of certain aspects.
If you need a decent GPS combo device, it’s a great idea to get one that has more GPS channels, as such provide sheer sensitivity, positioning, and precision.
Reviews of Fish Finder GPS Combos Under 1000
We’ve rounded up some of the best fish finder GPS combos under 1,000 to help you get the pro-level data you need to get that elusive catch without having to break the bank.
Embedded with a solid multifunctional navigation system, Raymarine’s Axiom 7 runs on a supercharged quadcore processor and the blazing fast LightHouse 3 operating system.
Its vast range of capabilities and state-of-the-art features—such as audio integration, DownVision sonar, autopilot application, radar application, and many more— will bring your fishing game to a whole new level.
Its Bluetooth and standard Wi-Fi connectivity allows you to access the latest Raymarine apps for smartphones and tablets.
The Raymarine Axiom 7 features a 7-inch, 800x480-pixel LCD display. It’s optically bonded, with LED backlight and offers excellent readability from different angles.
It’s IPX6 and IPX7 waterproof, which means it can withstand incidental water exposure with no problem and thus, one of the best fishfinder GPS combos for small boats.
Multitouch type, LightHouse 3, Quad-core processor
The display is the multitouch type, which means you navigate through the apps and functions by touching on the screen, as you do on your smartphone or tablet.
As mentioned, the device operates on LightHouse 3, which comes with a user-friendly interface.
You can pin the main applications on to the main start page for quick access and create a split-screen in different modes with several apps simultaneously. Its quad-core processor lets the device quickly respond to commands.
The Axiom 7 is Wi-Fi enabled, allowing connection to the latest Raymarine apps for tablets and smartphones possible. Finally, the device comes with a sun cover as well as a trunnion bracket, a flush mount, and a gasket for surface mounting.
CHIRP Sonar and Transducer
Integrated DownVision sonar module, RealVision 3D and SideVision sonar
The Axiom 7, as its name simples, is built with a 600W traditional 2D sonar and an integrated DownVision sonar module, which provides a spectacular view of the underwater. So to clear up the confusion, the included transducer for the device is for 2D High-Frequency CHIRP and DownVision only.
Depths ranges up to 900 feet
The Raymarine Axiom 7’s DownVision sonar provides a relatively better depth capability compared to the RV-100’s RealVision 3D. The former can scan waters up to 600 feet deep, while the 2D sonar can reach depths up to 900 feet, respectively.
72-channel, 10 Hz GPS/GLONASS
The device is built with a 72-channel, 10 Hz GPS/GLONASS receiver, which refreshes your positions 10 times/second. Due to its fast processor, the movement on the boat on the display appears seamless.
Navionics Nav+ US & Canada charts
The device comes with the Navionics Nav+ US & Canada charts, which not only cover more than 20,000 inland lakes and the U.S. / Canada coastal waters, but also open multiple useful features.
Autopilot, Radar and AIS apps
The Axiom 7 device has an Autopilot app, which must be integrated with an Evolution autopilot system. This way, it will act as the autopilot’s controller. Radar and AIS applications are also available with this unit, but you’ll need an AIS and Radar module to enable their functionality.
Record up to 10,000 waypoints
The Axiom 7 device can record up to 10,000 waypoints, allowing you to assign various icons for them and mark your points of interest. You can organize up to 200 waypoints per group and create up to 150 routes with up to 250 waypoints per route. You can record up to 16 tracks, with up to 10,000 track points per track.
The year 2017 marked the release of one of Raymarine’s best fish finder GPS combos under 1,000— the Dragonfly 5PRO. The device employs state-of-the-art sonar and DownVision technology to provide all anglers, novice or seasoned, with a splendid underwater view.
The Dragonfly 5 PRO has a solid, rugged design, installs easily, and doesn’t require a steep learning curve, which means that if you’re a newbie, you won’t have to spend days fiddling with your equipment to get the hang of it.
With its large screen, Wi-Fi and mapping capabilities, ease of use, and advanced sonar feature, the Dragonfly 5PRO is, indeed, so much more than a mere fish finder.
Like all the other Dragonfly models, the 5PRO is designed on simplicity. It only has four buttons and one control pad. Its menu system is user-friendly and allows the user to have the most intuitive use of technology.
The 5PRO is waterproof the IPX6/7 standards. Its screen is equipped with optically-bonded LCD technology, offering both bright and high contrast for excellent readability even on the sunniest of days.
No wonder, this model is widely preferred as a good inexpensive fish finder for kayaks.
CHIRP Sonar and Transducer
DownVision and 2D CHIRP sonar
Dragonfly 5 Pro features both DownVision and 2D CHIRP sonar. All in all, the CHIRP technology in both types of sonar offer neat, crisp imaging and excellent target separation. The transducer includes a water temperature sensor.
We want to mention a few other aspects regarding this device’s sonar. For starters, the sonar feed scrolls from right to left. The scroll speed can be adjusted. By default, it’s set to 100%, but it can be downgraded to 10%.
Pause and zoom are also included functions, but the device does not have a snapshot function.
Target Depth ID
The device features a similar function to the Selective Fish ID in Humminbird Helix units or the Fish Symbol ID in Garmin echoMAP units. It’s called Target Depth ID and it’s a function that displays the depths of targets onscreen.
The strength of targets, which displays depth ID is related to the Fish sensitivity setting, accessible from the Alarms menu. However, this function does not assign fish icons to targets.
18,000 US Inland Lakes (2,500 lakes containing 1-foot contour)
The 5PRO comes with a particular chart bundle, the Navionics+, covering North American waters, all the Great Lakes details, plus 18,000 US Inland Lakes (2,500 lakes containing 1-foot contour) as well as all Canadian lakes found on the HotMaps Canada product.
72-channel internal GPS, up to 10,000 waypoints
The device includes a powerful, quick, accurate 72-channel internal GPS. It also offers the possibility to save waypoints and tracks, having a capacity of 3,000 waypoints, and 15 tracks with 10,000 points each.
The device also allows you to categorize waypoints, as it is able to store 100-waypoint groups, with up to 3,000 waypoints per group.
However, if one group has 3,000 (which is the maximum amount for one unit), you won’t be able to save other waypoints in another group. Saved waypoints and tracks can be imported and exported via microSD card.
Belonging to the series metaphorically described as a glance to the future of sonars, the Dragonfly 7 Pro is a great choice for the best fish finder GPS combos under 1,000. It is packed to the brim with user-friendly features, allowing you to spend less time fiddling with the device and more time reeling in more fish.
Its CHIRP technology is one of its outstanding features, enabling transmission of a wide spectrum of frequencies, resulting in crisp, clear images. With the Dragonfly 7’s trackback feature lets you rest easy, as it stores search history and retraces waypoints easily, saving your fuel and time.
The Dragonfly 7 Pro is created to be visually appealing, sporting a compact, lightweight design. Its waterproof display protects the screen from fogging up when it is cold.
Its 7-inch 800x480-pixel display screen is noticeably brighter and crisper, also constructed from optically-bonded technology, producing brighter colors, higher resolution, and sharper contrast.
This fish finder features only a rotary dial and three buttons. This reduction makes the device significantly easier to operate. You can easily switch between GPS, split screen, and sonar features fluidly. You can use the rotary dial to navigate to your preferred screen.
CHIRP down-imaging sonar
As with all the other models in the Dragonfly lineup, the 7 Pro features a broad-spectrum, CHIRP down-imaging sonar, which means that more sonar waves are sent out into the water, yielding more data for the computer and a more detailed image for the fisher.
You’ll find this capability handy when you are trying to determine if you are looking at a fish or some inanimate object underwater.
It also helps you to see the detail on the cover and structure you are fishing like never before possible.
72-channel, internal GPS / GLONASS module
The Dragonfly 7 PRO is equipped with a 72-channel, internal GPS / GLONASS module. It supplies extremely fast and accurate fixes and also able to track your boat’s speed.
Great Lakes details, plus 18,000 US Inland Lakes
Like 5 PRO, the device comes with the U.S. Raymarine-chart-view-05 Navionics+ charts, which cover the North American waters — all the Great Lakes details, plus 18,000 US Inland Lakes (approx. 2,500 lakes containing 1-foot contour) as well as all Canadian lakes found on the HotMaps Canada product.
This device can also work with LightHouse vector and raster charts, SonarChart, Navionics Gold and HotMaps, and C-MAP by Jeppesen.
Save up to 3,000 waypoints and 15 tracks with 10,000 points each
The Dragonfly 7 PRO also allows you to save up to 3,000 waypoints and 15 tracks with 10,000 points each. And because this device is closely similar to the 5 PRO, you can also categorize its waypoints.
The device is also able to store 100 waypoint groups, with up to 3,000 waypoints per group.
We have another Raymarine qualifier on this list of the best fish finder GPS combos under 1,000. The Dragonfly 6 actually bagged the 2013 Innovation Award for Consumer Electronics, Mobile Applications, and Software, presented by the National Marine Manufacturers Association, at the Miami International Show.
Albeit this model has been around for quite a while now, it’s not equipped with the latest features as those of the Dragonfly PRO units. However, with its 50-channel GPS, horizontal-vertical split-screen capability, amazing depth capability, to name some, we believe the Dragonfly 6 is exceptional and does have plenty to offer.
Dragonfly 6’s screen offers just enough space for a proper reading of the sonar and maps. The split-screen function allows the view of two applications simultaneously. There are options for horizontal and vertical split screen views.
The device is ideal for open cockpit installations, due to its superior waterproofing capability. It’s built to withstand rain, heavy splashes, and even complete but quick submersion. The display offers great readability even when you’re wearing polarized sunglasses.
The head unit is designed with a tilt-and-swivel mounting system. One of the features specific to the Raymarine units is their unified connector for the transducer cable and power.
Navigation through the menus and options is done mostly via the rotary controller. In terms of buttons, the device is pretty much simple, featuring only three: the Power and Shortcuts, the Back and View Switcher, and the UniControl buttons.
The standard transducer for this unit is the CPT-60, designed for transom mounting. It comes with a built-in temperature sensor. The cable length for it is 19.7 feet, which should be enough for a wide range of boats. However, in case you own a longer boat, you can opt for a 13.1-feet cable extension.
DownVision and conventional CHIRP sonar
The advertised standard depth capability of this unit is 600 feet, for both DownVision and conventional CHIRP sonar. However, tests have shown that you can achieve 700 feet for freshwater and 890 feet for saltwater with it.
The absolute minimum depth the Raymarine Dragonfly 6 can be used for is 2 feet. The underwater views provided by both types of sonar are very clear and sharp, without unnecessary noise. The target separation that can be achieved with this unit is 1.25 inches for the conventional CHIRP sonar and 1 inch for DownVision.
The transducer uses two distinctive sonar beams, one for each type of sonar. For the conventional CHIRP sonar, it uses a conical beam, with a 25-inch opening. For DownVision, it uses a fan-shaped sonar beam, with 60 inches side-to-side, and 1.4 inches front to back.
50-channel GPS locks, save up to 15 tracks (10,000 points each track)
The 50-channel GPS locks pretty quickly and excels in accuracy. As mentioned in the specs above, the device comes with the Navionics Gold SD card and a mapping pack that covers Coastal, Inland US, and Canada waters.
This device features as waypoint function, being able to store up to 3,000 waypoints. Also, you can save up to 15 tracks (10,000 points each track). You will be able to backup your waypoints and tracks on a microSD card.
Dubbed as a combo with some “serious connections,” the ECHOMAP™ Plus 74cv is built with a 7" diagonal touchscreen with keypad-assist in case the screen gets wet and a transom mount transducer that dials in two kinds of sonar: ClearVü scanning and mid-band CHIRP traditional sonar.
It creates a simple yet solid connection between your compatible mobile device and your charts, Chartplotter, maps and the community. It features Panoptix, which is an innovative sonar technology that lets you see live sonar images and view your bait and the fish attacking it in real time.
All the newer Garmin echoMAP CHIRP units feature a different connection system than those released in 2015. All cables plug into the mount, while the device plugs into the mount via a multiple pin connector.
As its name suggests, the device features a 7-inch WVGA display, with an 800 x 480-pixel matrix, LED backlight, also being IPX7 waterproof. There are various image combos available, with the device allowing you to view up to three panels simultaneously.
The box also includes tilt-and-swivel mount, flush mount, and a protective cover.
Plug and Play
It offers NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 connectivity possibilities, an out for Panoptix transducers, and also features a microSD card slot for software updates, new charts, data transfer etc. The device is also compatible with various other equipment, such as AIS units, autopilot units etc.
The echoMAP CHIRP 74cv unit is capable of 50/77/200 kHz frequencies for its traditional 2D sonar, but since it can use CHIRP, with the given transducer, it’s able to use Mid-Band CHIRP, the pulse being modulated between 80-160 kHz.
For ClearVü, the device can scan at 260/455/800 kHz, and the supplied transducer supports the 260/455 kHz modes. Also, via CHIRP, the system can modulate the sonar pulse between 245-275 kHz and 445-465 kHz.
Just as the Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 54cv, this unit comes with the GT23M-TM transducer. However, its cable features an 8-pin connector and not a 4-pin one.
With the supplied transducer, the system can scan depths up to 1,800 feet for 2D, and 1,000 feet (305) for Cv. However, with a deep-water transducer, capable of 50 kHz, it should be able to scan depths up to 2,300 feet.
Also, the sailing speed recommended for a maximum amount of information delivered by the transducer is 1 to 6 MPH.
Just like the other Garmin units in this feature range, the echoMAP CHIRP 74cv includes several other sonar-related functions.
Among these we can enumerate:
- Sonar Recording and Sonar Rewind
- Circular Flasher
- Bottom Lock, Data Graphs and more...
One last but equally important aspect to mention here is the Panoptix compatibility of the device. Panoptix is actually one of the newest sonar technologies available, which lets you see live sonar images and view your lure and the fish attacking it in real time.
The ECHOMAP™ Plus 74cv is equipped with a fast and accurate, 5Hz internal GPS system, which can offer the position and heading updates five times per second.
The speed of your vessel is also tracked via GPS. The device can also save up to 5,000 waypoints, and 100 routes. It also has a track recording function, allowing you to save 50,000 track points and up to 50 tracks.
BlueChart g2 Maps
This device has the BlueChart g2 maps, which cover the coastal waters of the U.S. and Bahamas, including West Coast, East Coast, the U.S. part of the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico.
Safety Shading option
BlueChart g2 also opens several functions, such as the Safety Shading option, via which you can designate up to 10 different depth ranges, and assign them to the depth contours, making it much easier to see target depth at a glance.
Compatible with various other chart
The ECHOMAP™ Plus 74cv is compatible with various other chart bundles, such as BlueChart g2 Vision and LakeVü HD Ultra (US or Canada). These chart packs come with an Enhanced Auto Guidance function, which instantly searches through your charts to offer the safest virtual paths between two points of interest.
The powerhouse Garmin® Striker™ Plus 9sv Fishfinder/GPS Combo combines a big-screen view and optimized performance for the best fishfinder experience.
One of the best fish finder GPS combos under 1,000, the device brings built-in high-sensitivity GPS, a transducer for built-in Garmin CHIRP traditional sonar plus CHIRP ClearVu and CHIRP SideVu scanning sonars.
The unique Garmin Quickdraw Contours live mapping system, which lets you create 1-foot contours of the area beneath and around you, live as you boat and fish, for up to an astonishing 2 million acres.
The Striker Plus 9sv comes with 800 x 480-pixel, WGVA-color display. It has incorporated LED backlight and is IPX7 waterproof, like the rest of the fish finder models in this list. The package only includes classic-tilt mount; unit cover and flush mount aren’t included.
One of the new features common in all the 7-inch and 9-inch Striker units is their Wi-Fi capability, which allows you to access the ActiveCaptain™ app.
When hooked to a Wi-Fi connection, the device can receive smart notifications, get instant software updates, and access the QuickDraw Contours Community for waypoints and map sharing.
CHIRP Sonar and Transducer
The Striker Plus 9sv is built with the CV52HW-TM transducer, which integrates a temperature sensor, has 20 feet of cable with a transom mount, and a 12-pin connector.
This transducer is capable of a High Wide CHIRP beam at 150-240 kHz, and 455 kHz (425-485 kHz) / 800 kHz (790-850 kHz) for ClearVü and SideVü.
The depth capability of this sonar beam is approximately 800 feet, but with a 50/200 kHz transducer, the system should be able to reach greater depths, up to 2,300 feet.
Full range of sonar features
Like the ECHOMAP Plus units, the Striker Plus 9sv offers a full range of standard sonar features, including
- Fish Symbol ID sonar view
- UltraScroll, AutoGain
- Flasher mode for ice fishing
- Bottom Lock
- Fish Alarm
- Depth Alarm and many more....
Although it’s not a full chartplotter as the ECHOMAP Plus 93sv for example, this Garmin fish finder does offer a basic set of navigation features. To begin with, it has the basic GPS plotter which shows the position of your boat on a blank sheet, without any charts.
The device doesn’t have a microSD or an SD card reader, so it cannot be upgraded, nor it is compatible with any charts. The device can also save up to 5,000 waypoints within its memory, show coordinates for any point marked and for your current location, and calculate the speed of your boat.
A track recording function and a route creation function are also available, enabling you to record your course to review or retrace later. You can also create routes by connecting several waypoints.
Quickdraw Contours feature
Although the device doesn’t have charts, it does have the Quickdraw Contours feature.
The device utilizes the 2D sonar and the GPS information to determine and draw the depth contours of the body of water where you’re fishing. In other words, you can create personalized maps with up to 1-foot depth contours.
The device can record up to 2 million acres and save up to 1,500 hours of recording.
With a multitude of fish finder GPS models claiming to be as great as the Dragonfly 5 Pro, to see is indeed to believe. Without any qualms, we dare you to check for yourself all of its features and see if it is not the best fish finder GPS combo under 1,000 (at least, on this list).
Its reasonable price tag—making it the least expensive device in this list—is the cherry on the cake. Apart from minor caveats such as its small screen size, it boasts virtually the same sophisticated specs and quality as its closest, more expensive relative, the Dragonfly 7.
When you decide to buy a fish finder combo, you would want to see if you’re putting your hard-earned money into one that lives up to its promises. The Dragonfly 5 Pro brings state-of-the-art sonar performance that will not only leave you in awe but also a productive, fun fishing experience every time you go out on the water.
My name is Alex D. Allen, and I’m a professional fishfinder researcher and fishing enthusiast. You’re probably on my website in search of a fishing device that can help make your experience a lot easier and more productive; or perhaps, just trying to glean information to get a wider understanding of what fish finders are and how they can benefit you. Whatever your purpose may be, you’ve come to the right place.