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Thread: Depth Finder/Fish Finder recommendation?

  1. #1
    Member Lone Wolf1's Avatar
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    Question Depth Finder/Fish Finder recommendation?

    I've got an older Raytheon depth finder on my 28' Bayliner that I want to replace. It often loses a lock on the bottom at the most inopportune times -- even at very slow speeds. All of my boating is in PWS.

    I know there are literally hundreds of options to choose from (that's the problem).

    Here are my basic "must" criteria:

    - $600 max cost
    - Reliable depth indicator to at least 1000'
    - Quick "recovery" when encountering rapid changes in depth
    - Solid readings while underway at slow speeds less than 15 knots (assuming the transponder's properly set)
    - Reliable "fish" detection indicator

    Added "want", though not necessary, is an integrated GPS/Chart Plotter capability

    If you have any suggestions for units that may be suitable, I'd appreciate hearing your opinion. I'm sure some of you have got units you like, or can at least suggest major brands to avoid.

    Thanks in advance...

  2. #2
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    If you really want 1000'+ performance, you'll need a 1kw sounder and transducer, and that is going to blow your budget.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  3. #3
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    I found the Lowrance HDS-7 on the internet for $820 for the base model. Had to buy the trans and extension. Took it all to West marine and they matched it. Good unit to start with if you plan to expand.

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  4. #4

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    I have no use for 1k depth, and worse yet it comes at the cost of shallow water sensitivity.

    With that in mind, the Lowrance Elite-5 comes within reach of your budget, including blue charts for Alaska. Unbelievable machine, and I bet I've fostered sale of close to a dozen just by guys looking at mine on the water. They go right out and buy their own. The dealer thinks he was kidding when he says he should have given me mine for free, it's resulted in so many sales. I'm not kidding, I'm going to hit him up for a free one or a heck of a discount when it's time for a replacement.

  5. #5
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I have no use for 1k depth, and worse yet it comes at the cost of shallow water sensitivity.
    Can you expand on that, please? Are you referring to Cook Inlet shallow?

    Thanks
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  6. #6

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    I don't know Cook Inlet from Cooked Peaches. But there are generally choices between two transducers for Lowrance sounders- one for deeper water use and one for shallower. I don't recall the #'s but they spell out the depth ranges at their site and places like Cabelas where they're sold. The shallow version has been great for as deep as I care to fish, and especially good in waters less that 100' deep where detail matters a lot. The one time I was on a friend's boat with the "deep" version, the difference was immediately apparent on familiar waters, and I wouldn't have one on my boat for my uses.

  7. #7

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    I have a brand new in box Lowrance HDS-5x fish finder/echo sounder with a 50/200 kHz transducer. Specs say it is good to 5,000 feet. It is supposed to be a pretty good unit. It does not have gps. I paid $600 for it last year and would be willing to get rid of it for $400 if you're interested. I was going to install it on my rear helm, but reconsidered any additional hull penetrations.

  8. #8
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I don't know Cook Inlet from Cooked Peaches. But there are generally choices between two transducers for Lowrance sounders- one for deeper water use and one for shallower. I don't recall the #'s but they spell out the depth ranges at their site and places like Cabelas where they're sold. The shallow version has been great for as deep as I care to fish, and especially good in waters less that 100' deep where detail matters a lot. The one time I was on a friend's boat with the "deep" version, the difference was immediately apparent on familiar waters, and I wouldn't have one on my boat for my uses.
    OK. I think you are talking about the frequency and cone angle of the transducer not the power of the transducer. I suspect that you have a dual frequency unit with a 50 khz (wide cone angle for the deeper water) & a 200 khz (narrower cone angle for fast, shallower readings) or something close.

    I highly recommend the furuno sounders with the 1KW transducer. Spend your children's inheritance with them!
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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