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Thread: Depth/Fishfinder

  1. #1
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    Default Depth/Fishfinder

    For the average person is getting a depth/fishfinder over 600ft really needed?

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    No. Most people don't need anything beyond 300ft. Some really good products out there these days, for not much money.

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    If the fish are deeper than say 350', I don't care cuz I ain't crankin that far. Probably the one thing I don't miss about Ketchikan, fishing buts in deep water. I usually don't have mine set too read the top 200 for halibut and the top 100 for salmon. It all depends on how deep you want to fish

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    The only time I care about reading depth 600ft and deeper is when I am shrimping, I find it useful then, but rod n reel fishing, I don't fish that deep
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    The thing is some sonars rated at 600' don't end up reading that deeply when working in our silty glaciated waters. Also it's not just the rating of the sonar, it's the quality of the sonar and especially the transducer.

    If say you're comparing a Furuno FCV 585 and 620, also consider the screen size. If you can swing it, the 585 would be the better choice, but hard to swallow at pretty much double the price when you equip both of them with a quality Airmar transducer.
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    I do agree if there really over 250 dont want to reel that up have before cant say it was a blast. Also about the shrimping i would like to get more in to it and most ppl the way it seems dont drop in over 400 unless there searching hard. Also which ones are easy to up grade cards and stuff like that. How many ppl are running radar, it would be nice seen the fog bad in valdez but lots of money to spend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    The thing is some sonars rated at 600' don't end up reading that deeply when working in our silty glaciated waters. Also it's not just the rating of the sonar, it's the quality of the sonar and especially the transducer.

    If say you're comparing a Furuno FCV 585 and 620, also consider the screen size. If you can swing it, the 585 would be the better choice, but hard to swallow at pretty much double the price when you equip both of them with a quality Airmar transducer.
    If you had a little extra money is it worth it for the plotter and sounder all in one. Like 1720 or1920

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I currently have a plotter sounder and honestly don't like it. When you split the screen it gets much smaller, so then you end up toggling back and forth. I like to be able to look at the chart and sonar when fishing, especially when checking out new areas. When you look at the effective screen size of a larger unit split in half vs. two stand alone smaller screen units the price can be in the same ballpark, plus if one unit dies you aren't completely out of the game.
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    I currently have a plotter sounder and honestly don't like it. When you split the screen it gets much smaller, so then you end up toggling back and forth. I like to be able to look at the chart and sonar when fishing, especially when checking out new areas. When you look at the effective screen size of a larger unit split in half vs. two stand alone smaller screen units the price can be in the same ballpark, plus if one unit dies you aren't completely out of the game.
    That makes since I have only been using a hand held gps. Is it easy to find plotters with AK maps.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoythunter View Post
    That makes since I have only been using a hand held gps. Is it easy to find plotters with AK maps.
    Most times you will need another chip/software to get comprehensive mapping....Another $100-$300 depending on unit/software.


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    Thanks everyone for the help and answers it will be next year before i get the electronics and install to try them out. This sumer is out of the question for playing.

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    The output of the transducer and the quality of the recevier in the sonar has much more to do with the quality of the image that you see in your boat. I have a sounder that can track the bottom at 10,000 feet at 25 knots....I never fish that deep but the quality of the target seperation and definition at 300 feet is 1000 times better than a sounder that only goes to 300 or 600 feet.

    The output power ( 3KW) in my case is really not as important as the ability of the sounder to take the sonar return and interpret what it gets back. If you have a ton of power and your transducer and receiver are only average...then you get an average image on your screen.
    I have had best luck with commercial grade transducers - stacked ceramic that is encased in plastic. The bronze tranducers that are entry level airmars are no where near as good. Dig a little deeper on the airmar website or look at the Simard Combi C 38/200 transducer to see what I am talking about.

    More on this on Friday and Saturday at the Sportsman Show at my seminar

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    My boat had a Humminbird when I bought it and I never could get it to work right. I also had a hand held Garmin that I suction cupped to the windshield to work as a plotter. I did a bit of research this winter and ended up with a Garmin 546s plotter sounder with a Airmar TM260 transducer. I went this route because I wanted a decent plotter/sounder (I dont have room for two units in my small boat) and I wanted to be able to see 600' for setting pots. The 546s has 1kw sounder capability and the TM260 is rated to 1200'.

    Lots of reviews out there, some like the garmin maps but not the sounders, lots of people like the Furuno, Simerad, and Lowrance units for their sounders but dont like thier maps, and radar is a whole new bag of worms. If you think you will want radar in the future go with a unit like the 740s from Garmin.

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    the new Garmin stuff is really some of the most innovative around. I checked it out at a show this winter and was really impressed. They are coming on strong in the recreational boaters market.

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    I will look around at all options. The transducer part im going to look into more i had no idea about 90% of the stuff you all were talking about so i learned a ton of good information thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKCAPT View Post
    the new Garmin stuff is really some of the most innovative around. I checked it out at a show this winter and was really impressed. They are coming on strong in the recreational boaters market.
    If i get away from my booth at the show i'd like to meet you and take in your talk. Do you think any of that stuff will come close to a good Furuno unit?

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    The latest Chirp stuff looks to be some pretty amazing stuff but the pricing is keeping it in the rich man and business mans ballpark. I too would like to hear your seminar but I doubt that you are coming to the Fairbanks Outdoors show. If you are, please let me know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronster View Post
    The latest Chirp stuff looks to be some pretty amazing stuff but the pricing is keeping it in the rich man and business mans ballpark. I too would like to hear your seminar but I doubt that you are coming to the Fairbanks Outdoors show. If you are, please let me know.
    I'll be in F'banks stop by my booth, if i get to the talk i'll pass on any info i have. Maybe they could set up a webcast??

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    Ill be there Steve. It would be cool to get a webcast if they could put one together in time. Looking forward to picking up a couple more pots too.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronster View Post
    Ill be there Steve. It would be cool to get a webcast if they could put one together in time. Looking forward to picking up a couple more pots too.
    I'd guess a guy with one of those fancy new phones could do something like that??? any volunteers? I'll see ya in F'banks in a few weeks.

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