- 1 Top GPS Fishfinder Combo Reviews
- 2 Lowrance Elite-4 HDI
- 3 Humminbird 898C HD SI
- 4 Lowrance HDS-7 Gen2 Insight
- 5 Lowrance Mark-4
- 6 Humminbird PiranhaMAX 196Ci
- 7 Humminbird 698ci HD SI
- 8 Garmin echoMAP 50s
- 9 Best Fishfindeg GPS Combos Comparison Chart
- 10 Benefits of Fish Finder GPS Combos
- 11 Charting Packages for Fish Finders
- 12 Tips for Using a Fish Finder GPS Combo
- 13 Bottom Line
The combination of fishfinders and GPS offers anglers and fishermen a good number of advantages than purchasing these two units separately. Combining these two devices in one, provides you with everything for your fishing and navigational needs. Getting a combo, you also save money, as you pay for only a singly screen, single case and single component chassis. You are also simplifying your life, because you will need to install only one unit and then you will be able to conveniently view all the needed data on one device. For finding the best fishfinder GPS combo, you can use my reviews, in which I have picked the top products in this category of fishfinders.
- Lowrance HDS-7 Gen2
- Beam: Dual
- Display: 6.4
- Price: $$$
- Lowrance Elite-4 HDI
- Beam: Multiple
- Display: 4.3
- Price: $$
- Humminbird 898C HD SI
- Beam: Dual
- Display: 7
- Price: $$$$
- Lowrance Mark-4
- Beam: Dual
- Display: 4
- Price: $$
- Humminbird PiranhaMAX 196Ci
- Beam: dual
- Display: 3.5
- Price: $
- Humminbird 698ci HD SI
- Beam: dual
- Display: 5
- Price: $$$
- Garmin echoMAP 50s
- Beam: dual
- Display: 5
- Price: $$
Top GPS Fishfinder Combo Reviews
Lowrance Elite-4 HDI
Lowrance Elite-4 HDI chartplotter fishfinder combo comes with a high resolution LED backlit display that allows multi-window imaging. You can choose three-panel viewing that will include DownScan Imaging, chart and Broadband Sounder.
The Hybrid Dual Imaging gives you the best possible view of what’s happening beneath your boat. Other advanced features of the Elite-4 HDI include Downscan Overlay that overlays Downscan Imaging onto the Broadband Sounder, Advanced Signal Processing for adjustment of settings and Trackback technology for viewing your sonar history.
The GPS includes detailed U.S. maps, including inland lakes and rivers, and coastal contours.
Humminbird 898C HD SI
Humminbird 898C HD SI sonar GPS combo offers a good number of features to enhance your fishing experience and let you catch more fish. It features a wide screen that provides you with bright and clear images of the underwater.
For fish finding, there are features like the Side Imaging that allow viewing the water 240 feet to both sides of your watercraft. Its high frequency also reveals lake bottom, structure and contour changes. The 898C HD SI gives a 360 degree imaging of the underwater.
Humminbird features SwitchFire, which allows you to adjust how you would like to view the sonar returns. The dual beam system gives you the options to either use the narrow beam for higher accuracy and bottom, or the wider beam for covering a larger area.
The external GPS offers Contour XD mapping that provides cartography of 300 U.S. lakes. The dual SD card slots can be used for cartography and for saving waypoints, screenshots and sonar recordings.
The Ethernet feature allows you linking together with other Humminbird head units and share transducers.
Lowrance HDS-7 Gen2 Insight
One of the more advanced combos is the Lowrance HDS-7 Gen 2. Its internal GPS antenna gives super accurate and fast update of the position and heading. The chartplotter offers extensive mapping options, which include U.S. inland lake coverage U.S. coastal and offshore coverage.
The display offers bright and clear imaging and LED backlighting. The transducer features StructureScan technology that gives an unprecedented view of the water under, as well as around the boat. You can see as far as 250 feet from each side of your water vessel. It gives you precise depth and distance information. With the TrackBack feature you can also save waypoints and review your sonar history.
Just like the above mentioned model, Lowrance HDS-7 Gen 2 uses wireless technology, so you can view your chartplotter and sonar readings on smartphone or tablet.
If you are looking for a more budget friendly best fish finder chartplotter combo, then I would recommend considering Lowrance Mark-4 model. Unlike the previously mentioned devices, this unit features a smaller and black and white display. It does have LED backlighting for viewing the screen at night.
The integrated GPS antenna gives accurate and precise readings, so you can easily navigate as you target fishing hot spots. It includes MicroSD cardslot that gives multiple mapping options.
The dual beam of the transducer features 83/200 kHz. Like HDS-7 Gen 2 it also features TrackBack technology, so you can view your previous sonar readings and easily return to the saved hot fishing spots.
Humminbird PiranhaMAX 196Ci
One the more affordable combos among the units with color displays is the PiranhaMAX 196ci. Its drawback compared to the other reviewed models is the smaller screen that measures only 3.5 inches. Also, it does not offer that many advanced features as Humminbird 898C HD SI for example.
The Dual frequency sonar (220/455 kHz) and powerful 1600 watts PTP, which can give you readings of the water under your boat of a depth up to 600 feet.
It comes with a GPS antenna that is built in into the head unit. So on Humminbird PiranhaMAX 196ci you can view your track, view your course and at the same time target fish and save waypoints.
Humminbird 698ci HD SI
Humminbird 698ci HD SI features Side Imaging and Down Imaging, so you can have a 180 degree view to the sides of the boat and at the same time view what’s happening in the water below your boat.
The SwitchFire feature that we have also mentioned in the 898c HD SI model allows choosing between seeing a clearer image or viewing more detail.
The internal GPS includes the Humminbird Unimap that comes with cartography of U.S. coastline, inland lakes and rivers. There is only one SD card slot, on which you can save your waypoints, sonar recordings and screenshots.
Garmin echoMAP 50s
One of the top products among GPS fishfinder combos is the Garmin echoMAP 50s. On its 5 inch display that gives crystal clear images in both day and night you can view your navigation data and target fish.
The chartplotter features a 10 Hz GPS/GLONASS receiver. This super-fast technology refreshes the position up to 10 times per second. The system is extremely accurate at navigating and marking waypoints. The cartography includes U.S. lakes, offshore cartography and worldwide basemap.
For fish finding it features an andvanced Echo HD-ID sonar. It coordinates the timing of the sonar signal return in relation to the position of the boat. The result is accurate and precise waypoints. So you can accurately pinpoint your next hot fishing spots.
It includes a dual beam transducer. The frequency of the signal that it transmits is 77/200 kHz. You can also connect to the echoMAP 50s via your smartphone or tablet using the unit’s wireless connection capability.
Best Fishfindeg GPS Combos Comparison Chart
|Lowrance Elite-4 HDI||Multiple||4.3|
|Lowrance HDS-7 Gen2||dual||6.4|
|Humminbird 898C HD SI||dual||7|
|Humminbird PiranhaMAX 196Ci||dual||3.5|
Benefits of Fish Finder GPS Combos
- Course charting. With the addition of the GPS function in your fish finder you will be able to figure out your current location and chart your way to any location. Most of the combo units come preloaded with chart information of lakes, rivers and coastal areas in the U.S.
- Save locations. Most of the fish finder GPS devices include a feature for saving waypoints. It’s really helpful for fishermen to save their favorite fishing hotspots and then easily coursing their way back to them in the future. You can save multiple locations for future use.
- Depth finder feature. A useful feature if you are looking for specific fish and you know that it’s attracted to underwater shelves or the opposite, looks for deeper pockets of water. This feature will give you an idea of the depth around you so you can point your boat in the right direction.
- Water temperature sensor. On some of the more advanced models you will also find a feature that displays thermoclines, which is an area where cooler and warmer waters meet. It usually identifies deeper pockets of water.
Charting Packages for Fish Finders
Most fish finder GPS combo units have the GPS antenna built-in. Though there are exceptions that have an external antenna. Also, the GPS comes with pre-loaded charting packages. Usually, you can get a memory card and extend those charts for your specific needs. The most common charting packages include the following.
- Basemap. Just as the name suggests it features the most basic map of the United States. They do not provide any contour, depth, or other additional data. On it you can just basically distinguish water from land.
- ContourXD. This package is found on many Humminbird fish finders. It’s a more advanced version of a basemap and features depth, contour lines, lights/markers, and interstate highways.
- Navionics Gold. This is one of the most popular charts used on Lowrance models. It provides a multitude of useful information, which includes currents, depth contours, tides, port plans, marsh areas, and marine services information. It covers the entire continent and allows zooming in up to 3 meters.
- BlueChart g2 Vision. It’s Garmin’s version of the Navionics. It features auto-guidance technology, using which you can just enter a waypoint and the device will automatically find the safest and fastest route in accordance with your boat size. It gives 3D view of the land, satellite images of shoreline and ports, and the underwater view.
- Lowrance Lake Insight. This package features incredibly detailed maps. It covers 6,300 U.S. lakes, rivers and Great lakes. It also provides over 200,000 points of interest, giving you popular fishing spots. It features high definition shaded relief and detailed contour lines.
Tips for Using a Fish Finder GPS Combo
- Contour lines. Across the chart you will find scrawled contour lines that denote depth changes. They allow you to visualize the structure such as humps, drop-offs, ledges and flats. This all is important information for a fishermen, as it helps to discern which areas hold the fish. Between contour lines there’s a certain amount of spacing. Widely spaced contour lines show a gradual decline in depth, while closely stacked together ones indicate a sharper change in depth.
- Buoys. Charts provide different information about the buoys, such as name color, name, and interval between flashes. Being able to locate a buoy is beneficial as the buoys are often popular fishing spots.
- Wrecks. On nautical charts you also view the depth and GPS coordinates of wrecks. Wrecks often attract fish, though not always. Some have deteriorated too much over time, while others have been sanded over completely.
- Seabed. If you are fishing for species like bluefish that mostly feed in the upper levels of the water, knowing the bottom changes might not be that important for you. However, if you fish for benthic fish like blackfish, cod, fluke or sea bass, this can make your fishing more successful. It’s also helpful in identifying areas where the bottom nature changes from hard to soft, which is the area where fluke and stripers often patrol. If you are using a good chart, it will provide you with information on the nature of the seabed and depth.
A GPS is a must have unit for any boat. If you are also a fishing enthusiast, you will also need a fish finder that will aid you in catching fish. So needing both devices, why not get them combined into one. This will save you space, money and will make it more convenient having all the needed data right at hand. If you are looking for the best fishfinder GPS combo, I have listed above some of the top products in this category. I will also be adding GPS fishfinder reviews of each of these single products with more details on each one of them.