What Are The Most Important Brands Of Fish Finders? (2022 List)
UPDATED 17 JANUARY 2022
by Robert Ceran
If you’re interested in buying a fish finder, the first step is to get an overview of the fish finder brands that are available, so you can decide which one is right for you.
There are currently 10 main brands of fish finders on the market, although the 3 top fish finder brands (Garmin, Lowrance, and Humminbird) together account for more than 80% of the market.
In this article we’ll walk you through the different fishing sonar brands (starting with the top 3), and will also discuss the types of fish finders, quality, and pricing that you can expect from each of them.
What are the top fish finder brands?
Below is a list of the main fish finder brands that are currently available:
Now let’s take a closer look at each of these sonar brands, and discuss the types of fish finders they produce, and what price range you can expect from them.
We’ll start with the 3 top fish finder brands, which together have the lion’s share of the market.
Garmin fish finders
Garmin is the top fish finder brand in the USA, closely followed by Lowrance and Humminbird. The company was founded in 1989 in Lenexa, Kansas, and makes a wide range of consumer electronics in addition to fish finders.
Garmin fish finders come in all shapes and sizes, starting with the Garmin Striker 4, the most popular low cost fish finder on the market, and going up to high end chartplotters like the Echomap and GPSmap series, which combine sonar, GPS, and mapping functionalities.
Garmin has also pioneered the area of live sonar imaging with their Panoptix and LiveScope transducers, the latter of which is currently one of their most popular sonar products.
Pricing: $ to $$$. Garmin covers the full gamut of fish finder prices, starting at just over $100 for the Striker 4, and going up all the way to $5,500 for the largest GPSmap units that come with sonar capabilities. The nice thing about this is that they have something for everyone, from beginners to professionals.
Lowrance fish finders
In terms of market share, Lowrance follows closely behind Garmin, but unlike Garmin, Lowrance is almost entirely specialized in fish finder electronics, though they have recently also entered the trolling motor market with the Ghost trolling motor.
Lowrance fish finders cover the whole range of sizes and features that can be expected from fish finders, starting with simple entry level fish finders, and going up to large chartplotter units that come with advanced sonar and mapping capabilities.
Lowrance has also recently introduced live sonar imaging with their Active Target and Active Imaging functionalities, which compete with Garmin LiveScope.
Pricing: $$ to $$$. Lowrance covers a wide range of fish finder prices, with its entry level model, the Hook Reveal, starting around $300, and going up to about $4,700 for the largest HDS Live unit.
Humminbird fish finders
While Humminbird is entirely focused on making fishing sonar electronics, the fact that it belongs to parent company Johnson Outdoors creates a direct connection with Minn Kota company, which is also owned by Johnson Outdoors.
Due to this connection with Minn Kota, most Humminbird fish finders are designed to be networked with Minn Kota trolling motors, which is great if you’re interested in networking all your boat electronics.
Humminbird fish finders cover a wide range of sizes and features, from the low cost Piranhamax 4 to the largest Apex Chartplotter, that combines high end sonar functionalities with GPS and mapping capabilities.
Pricing: $ to $$$. Retailing at less than 150 dollars, the cheapest Humminbird fish finder is the Piranhamax 4, which competes directly with the Garmin Striker 4 for the position of best low cost fish finder. At the opposite end of the scale, the largest Apex unit retails at just under 5000 dollars, and competes with the high end chartplotters of Garmin and Lowrance.
Deeper fish finders
Deeper is entirely focused on producing castable fish finders, and has cornered the market in this area (though recently, several other brands are starting to come out with castable fish finders, such as the Garmin Striker Cast).
The most popular product of Deeper is the Smart Sonar Pro, which is the most popular castable fish finder on the market. It is shaped as an aerodynamic sphere, making it easy to cast with a fishing rod, and can be controlled remotely with a smartphone app.
Together, these features allow anglers to use a fish finder from shore, which has revolutionized this type of fishing. Deeper has recently also come out with the world’s first castable fish finder with CHIRP sonar.
Pricing: $ to $$. Deeper sonars all fall in the affordable price range, with its entry level model starting at around 90 dollars, and going up to about 250 dollars for their most advanced CHIRP Smart Sonar model.
Vexilar fish finders
Vexilar is famous for their ice fishing flashers, and apart from an ice fishing camera and ice fishing auger, they are entirely focused on producing high quality flashers. And since their ice fishing flashers are hand built in Minnesota, they are highly sought after, and often hard to get.
Pricing: $$. Vexilar flashers are mostly in the mid price range, starting around 300 dollars for their cheapest model, and going up to about 800 dollars for their most advanced flasher unit, the FLX 30.
Simrad fish finders
Unlike many other fish finder brands, Simrad is not entirely focused on the sportfishing market, but instead produces boating electronics that can be used for yachts and cruisers, as well as recreational fishing boats.
When it comes to their fish finders, Simrad does not provide dedicated fish finder sonars, but instead makes chartplotters that come with fish finder functionalities. Because of this, they don’t really have an entry level fish finder, such as Garmin, Lowrance, and Humminbird.
Pricing: $$ to $$$. Simrad fish finders start around 480 dollars for the smallest models, and go up to 12,300 for the most advanced models, which are intended for large offshore sportfishing boats.
Marcum fish finders
Similarly to Vexilar, Marcum is best known for their ice fishing flashers, though it also produces a very popular lineup of ice fishing cameras. Originally based in Canada, Marcum sells most of its products in the USA.
Marcum flashers and ice fishing fish finders cover a similar range of sizes and prices as Vexilar, and are highly sought after by hardwater anglers.
Pricing: $$. Marcum ice fishing flashers start around 300 dollars for their entry level unit, and go up to 830 dollars for their most advanced model. Interestingly, their pricing structure is almost identical to that of Vexilar, their main competitor.
Raymarine fish finders
Similar to Simrad, Raymarine produces a range of boating electronics, of which fish finders just make up a small portion. And when it comes to their fish finders, they are specifically designed for saltwater fishing, as Raymarine have discontinued their smaller entry level models.
Raymarine fish finders are great for oceangoing vessels, and especially well suited for offshore and inshore fishing applications.
Pricing: $$ to $$$. Starting around 800 dollars for their smallest models, and going up to about 2,500 for their most advanced models.
Lucky Sonar fish finders
Lucky fish finders are entirely focused on the low cost end of the market, where they outperform all other brands in terms of their low pricing.
The most popular Lucky fish finders are portable kayak fish finders that are easy to transport, and that are easy to use in the confined space of a kayak. Their low cost, ease of use, and portability makes Lucky fish finders very popular for beginners.
Pricing: $. Lucky fish finders are currently the cheapest models on the market, starting around 30 dollars and going up to about 130 dollars for the most advanced unit.
Furuno fish finders
Furuno produces a wide range of electronic devices that cover industrial applications all the way to recreational fishing electronics. And since fish finders make up quite a small percentage of their products, Furuno is not quite as well known or popular as other fish finder brands.
When it comes to fish finders, most Furuno models are intended for offshore saltwater fishing, and hence start at a higher price point than smaller models designed for freshwater fishing.
Pricing: $$ to $$$. The smallest fish finder units start around 1000 dollars, and go up to about 5000 dollars for high end chartplotters that combine sonar with advanced mapping capabilities.
What are the best fish finder brands?
There can be no doubt that Garmin, Lowrance, and Humminbird are the best fish finder brands currently on the market, and together they account for more than 80% of all the units sold in the US market. Also, if you look at the pro circuit, you’ll find that most professional anglers use one of these 3 top fish finder brands.
However, there are several other brands that outcompete the top 3 when it comes to certain specialized types of fish finders, namely ice fishing flashers, castable fish finders, and offshore fish finders.
When it comes to ice fishing flashers, the 2 top brands are Vexilar and Marcum, which dominate the flasher market between them. And this even though many other brands have started making ice fishing fish finders that provide almost the same functionalities as flashers.
The best castable fish finder is produced by Deeper, which pioneered this type of fishing sonar. And finally, the best offshore fish finders are made by Simrad and Raymarine (though Garmin also competes successfully in this market).
What are cheap fish finder brands?
The cheapest fish finders are currently produced by Lucky Sonar, with their most affordable model retailing at just 30 dollars.
In addition to this, Garmin’s Striker 4 and Humminbird’s Piranhamax 4 fish finders retail under 150 dollars, and both of these low cost fish finders are very popular among beginners. In fact the Garmin Striker 4 is currently the most widely used entry level fish finder on the market.
This concludes our article covering the main brands of fish finders. Hopefully this will help you to figure out which brand(s) are most appropriate for your specific purposes, so you can narrow down your search, and look for models with specific features and specifications.