Garmin Echo 551dv Worldwide with Transducer


Being able to see underwater would be an amazing superpower for an angler. HINT: That’s exactly what the Garmin Echo 551dv Worldwide with Transducer will do for you!

Having the ability to see where the fish are, where the bottom of the water is and to be able to see what sort of objects lay below. A sunken log that may be a great ambush spot for an aggressive bass, or perhaps a rock formation you did not know was there where a nice fat lake trout is waiting on a hot summer day.

The Garmin Echo grants that wish and gives you those superpowers without having to be exposed to a freak science experiment gone wrong. With its full color display that gives you precise pictures of the depths below making it easy to identify the bottom and objects below at a nearly photographic level. The fish arch returns are some of the clearest and cleanest possible. You have no doubts where they are and what they are near.

This gives you, the angler, a lot more time spent catching fish and a lot less time spent wondering where they are and why are you not catching them. Seeing the structures below the surface as well as seeing the floor with such detail makes for finding those hidden honey holes in areas you never even knew where there.

Garmin Echo 551dv Features

This convenient device will be able to provide a Garmin ClearVü scanning sonar, as well as an All-in-one HD-ID. It will also have a VGA color display that will be 5 inches high, making it easy for you to see what’s on the screen. It also includes a mount that will be able to release quickly as well as swivel into whatever position you need as well as a motor mounting kit that will be low-profile while still allowing you to get a good look at what’s beneath your boat.


This bad boy is SUPER user friendly. Once installed the unit has only a few buttons which makes learning how to use it very simple. You can be on the water fishing with a few button presses and be all set. You do not need to have a class in sonar to use this fish finder.

The Garmin Echo produces some of the best quality pictures of the bottom that I have ever seen. Being able to see EXACTLY where fish are, is exactly what this little guy was made for. From catching a nice snapper off the coast of North Carolina in 80 feet of water, or cruising down the Columbia river chasing after salmon you are going to be able to know where the fish are. With the ability to operate in over 2300 FT of water there are not many places most anglers cannot see.

Being able to see the bottom of the water with such detail and precision is hard to believe, but it works just like a live video feed of the ocean floor/river bottom/lake bottom. You can see structures down there as well, such as trees, rock formations, reefs…it really is a video of the bottom. Now with this new information you can see spots that you did not know existed. Now areas you thought were tough to fish are more zeroed in and you are slaying monsters with everyone else passing by wondering what they are doing wrong.

The fish are easy to see on the display as well, no squinting your eyes and saying to yourself “Is that a fish or…rock…or what?” When you see a fish come back on the return, you know it is a fish. You know its size, and where it is in almost real time. The guess work is GONE, and with such a wide arch you are not just covered the area under your boat but you get a good range outside as well. You are able to focus that cone to be more precise as well to really zero in on those questionable areas.


 The Echo does have its drawbacks, nothing is perfect after all. The cable that it comes with is only 20′ long and the extension needed for larger boats is 10′ but comes at an extra cost. Which makes setting it up a bit of a pain and a bit more of a hit on the wallet, but overall it is not THAT hard to install.

It is extremely user-friendly and pretty much is just plug and play once its hooked up properly. However, it is maybe a little bit too user-friendly, with no manual options to make adjustments. If you are used to more advanced fish finders you will be a little disappointing by the Echo.  For all of its power it is bottle necked in performance by your inability to make those adjustments.

The fish returns from the sonar are great in open water and deeper water. However, when you are fishing in areas that are a little more shallow say 6 feet or less with lots of heavy grass, it has a hard time telling what is a fish and what is grass. You tend to get a lot of false readings. Works fine in deeper water away from the grass, but it is quite annoying when you are fishing those more grassy areas.

Final Verdict

The Garmin Echo delivers on its promises to give you an accurate read on where the fish are and what the sub surface floor looks like. For salt or fresh water, the echo works well. It has a couple of draw backs like its inability to work well in shallow and grassy waters, however it more than makes up for that in its ability to work well in deep water.

Being able to see a detailed image of the water below is essential in finding and locking down those honey holes that produce the biggest fish. The Garmin echo helps you find those spots and helps exploit areas you never thought possible.

Catching fish is half of the fishing equation and the Echo will put you on fish. This is perfect for a beginner or someone that wants an easier to use fish finder. If you are looking for something more advanced with a lot of manual options, you will not find it with the Echo. However, if those features are not important to you, then this is perfect.

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