The Garmin Echo 551dv is a fantastic finding unit for those who aren’t interested in spending big money but still want something of a reasonable size. This one comes equipped with Garmin’s DownVu technology and boasts a healthy screen which is sure to give you the information you need.
The display on Garmin Echo 551dv fish finder comes in at 5” and has a resolution of 480×640 pixels. It’s also in full-color, making for even easier readings. The impressive resolution and moderate size will keep things sharp and easily focused on and makes for a remarkably user-friendly experience overall.
Display Rating: 7/10
The finder comes with the usual 77/200 kHz transducer. It also has a peak-to-peak power rating of 4000W, which will allow you a view down to 2300’ in freshwater. It’s perfectly adequate for lake fishing, and while it may not be suitable for blue water it’s still fine for almost any marine application.
The key feature of this finder is the DownVu setting, which will allow you to see the bottom beneath your boat in almost picture-perfect detail. You’ll be able to quite easily figure out where the fish might be hiding, and where the best place to cast might be.
You’ll also be able to rewind your findings in case you missed something. This can be an essential feature for figuring out which exact areas fish are moving in. You can also simply pilot your craft over a wide area and look at the readings in order to scout large areas without having to focus on the finder the entire time.
System Rating: 8/10
There’s no GPS or additional features on this option, unfortunately. It does have the industry standards to measure speed and temperature, however, but for a unit at this price, it’d be nice to have at least rudimentary GPS technology.
It does feature a split screen, however, so you can view both types of sonar that your unit uses at the same time. This comes in handy since you’ll be able to see the water column from more than one perspective.
Extras Rating: 6/10
Ease of Use
The Echo 551dv really shines in this area, the unit is quite simple and easy to use because of it. While the lack of extra features is unfortunate, even a complete amateur will be able to quickly and easily use this unit to maximum effectiveness.
The mid-sized screen is also easy to read and sharp, making for even easier usage. It might take a few minutes to figure the whole thing out, but you’ll be using it like a pro in no time.
You’ll also find that the Echo 551dv is remarkably easy to install. You’ll be up and running in such a small amount of time you won’t believe it. This easy installation only adds to the user friendly nature of the entire unit.
Ease of Use Rating: 9/10
The Garmin Echo 551dv is a great mid-range unit for those who prefer Garmin’s products. It’s probably most suitable for the freshwater fisherman, however, the lack of GPS functionality may be a turn off for the average marine angler. If you’re okay with the lack of GPS and you’re looking for something easy to use and of moderate price, take a close look at this one and see if it meets your needs.
Overall Rating: 8/10