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Thread: Depth Finders? Need suggestions please

  1. #1

    Default Depth Finders? Need suggestions please

    Okay so I am thinking of getting my boyfriend and his roomie/my best friend a Fish Finder/Depth Finder for Christmas. Unfortunately they are the only fishermen I talk to so I have no idea what to look for! Something they can use all year round, obviously....but I don't know how they work, average cost, recommended brands, anything. So I was hoping you all could throw me some tips and suggestions on what to get them!

    Thanks Guys

    P.S. Any other gift ideas are also appreciated!! Guys can be hard to shop for.
    Thank God for people who don't fish!! Not much would get done without them =)

  2. #2
    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    Default a few Q's...

    First of all, you're a sweetheart! What a great present this can be...

    But, I can think of three important questions that would help people giving you advice:

    1- What kind of boat does he have? In particular, does it have an enclosed cabin or will this be mounted outside, where you would need something water/weatherproof? You also mentioned year-round use...do you mean something that can be removed from the boat and used when ice fishing?

    2- Where does he usually fish...fresh or salt water? Both?

    3- do you have a price range (or maximum) in mind?

  3. #3

    Default Great questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by MRFISH View Post
    First of all, you're a sweetheart! What a great present this can be...

    But, I can think of three important questions that would help people giving you advice:

    1- What kind of boat does he have? In particular, does it have an enclosed cabin or will this be mounted outside, where you would need something water/weatherproof? You also mentioned year-round use...do you mean something that can be removed from the boat and used when ice fishing?

    2- Where does he usually fish...fresh or salt water? Both?

    3- do you have a price range (or maximum) in mind?
    I agree with all of this.

    In addition, I would recommend anything Garmin. I have been most satisfied with the quality of the product, they are made in US and customer service is in US! My experience with customer service has also been excellent.

    Have fun with your quest.

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks =) I know he would love it. We were wanting to fish some of the no-name lakes out by Big Lake this weekend and he mentioned how he wished we had a depth finder.

    Okay so I forgot to mention he does not have a boat (when we go out on the lakes in the summer he just gets canoes and kayaks from his morale locker). It's in the works, but for now I think what he wants is something non-mounted that he can use primarily for fishing lakes, in the summer and winter.

    I'm sorry I am sounding so ignorant, but is it possible to get something that would work on rivers, too? Lakes are the primary, but I really don't know how these things work, so I'm not entirely sure of their capabilities.
    Thank God for people who don't fish!! Not much would get done without them =)

  5. #5

    Default

    Here are links to three of the major sonar manufactures. Eagle and Lowrance are basically the same company, with Eagle being lower in price.
    I've used most all at some time or another, I'm now using the FishMark 480 Fishfinder with good results.

    http://www.humminbird.com/
    http://www.eaglenav.com/en/Products/Fishfinders/
    http://www.lowrance.com/en/

  6. #6
    Member preed's Avatar
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    Default

    how about something like this? several ways it could be used, tie it to your line and toss it. ive actually thought of buying an rc boat and dragging it around. i havent gotten to play with one but it looks fun. sportsmans warehouse has them and im pretty sure they are cheaper than what is quoted at this site.
    http://www.hammacher.com/publish/72578.asp

  7. #7
    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    Default

    dont forget about marcum and vexillar flashers. these are geared mainly for ice fishing but you could mount the transducer to a canoe easy enough. they are spendier but i thought you should know about them.

    http://www.marcumtech.com/products/p...php?ProdCat1=1

    http://www.vexilar.com/

  8. #8
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default So, what's the deal with flashers?

    Quote Originally Posted by akriverrat View Post
    dont forget about marcum and vexillar flashers. these are geared mainly for ice fishing but you could mount the transducer to a canoe easy enough. they are spendier but i thought you should know about them.

    http://www.marcumtech.com/products/p...php?ProdCat1=1

    http://www.vexilar.com/
    I've always wondered: what's the big deal about flashers for ice fishing? I use a depth/fish finder which I can mount on my little jon boat too, but people seem to brag highly on their Marcums and Vexilars. Maybe someone who is a flasher afficianado can enlighten me.

    I like to see a "picture" of the bottom and little images of fish, myself.
    I use a Humminbird mounted on the base for an old flasher which contains 2 6v drycells. I made a sliding unit for my transducer which adjusts for ice depth. Works well.

  9. #9
    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    Default

    the more advanced flashers allow you to see the bottom, the fish, and your lure. so you can really dial in your fishing approach. i watched a video where this guy located fish and you could watch the lure drop and as soon as the fish light and the lure light met bam his pole bent over. was pretty cool. i won a lowrance green box on ebay, should be here soon and that will tie me over till i can afford a nicer unit.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    I like to see a "picture" of the bottom and little images of fish, myself.

    Anything that passes between your transducer and the bottom will show as "little images of fish", that is if you have the fish icon on. This includes weeds, leaves, lures....it kind of drives me crazy.

    That being said, I have and use both flashers and graphs and because I've been fishing with a flasher ever since the green box came out (sorry, not old enough to have the red box that Lowrance first introduced) I'm more confident in what I'm reading. I also like that flashers are on "real time" and read instantly. I run both a Lowrance graph/gps and Lowrance flasher when fishing on water but on ice I use a Vexilar flasher. Vexilar (and Marcum) are very dependable in below zero weather and are extremely sensitive. Not only will they read a bb splitshot on my line, they will also show an air bubble rising to the surface.

    Good luck AkCrimson.....whatever you decide on you'll definitely be in the running for Girlfriend of the Century.

  11. #11

    Default

    Sorry I have to be such an ignorant pain in the butt but I've never fished with anyone who used equipment like this. So I don't know what a flasher is...whats the difference? Do you think I could get a rundown from someone, or perhaps a link that explains how these things work? I've been fishing since I was in undies and puddle boots but I just don't know anything about depth finders.

    Oh and his birthday is in January so I was thinking about either getting him a cam, or somehow (it would take a miracle), getting a hold of the guy who tied his fly rod in Ohio and having a new tip made.
    Thank God for people who don't fish!! Not much would get done without them =)

  12. #12

    Default

    1 vote for a portable Humminbird...comes in a case with suction cup transducer. I`ve used one for just about everything and was never disappointed for the price (about $200).

  13. #13
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    Default Hand held

    I have used a hand held Polar Vision for years. You have to lay down a small bit of water to the top of the ice and press the sonar to the ice. Reads through the ice, canoes, and other small boats. Works well enough to not have to drill a bunch of holes to test depth. About $100, looks like a blue flashlight. I have seen them cheaper on Ebay.

  14. #14

    Default

    Polar Vision is good for reading depth but will not tell you anything about fish, weeds, bottom content, etc. It's strictly a depth finder and not a locator.

  15. #15
    Member Stanly's Avatar
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    Default What I would suggest

    is a Hummin Bird Fishn Buddy. Go to cabelas.com, on the left side of the page, click on "Fishing", in the right column towards the bottom you will see a "Boating Electronics" section. Click on "Portable Sonars and Flashers". Look for "Humming Bird Fishn Buddys". There are 4 different models there. The most expensive one is $269.99. I would suggest you get him a gift certificate for Cabelas and that way he can get the one he wants, you're still a hero, great future prospect for a lifetime mate and you will both feel great! Hope this helps. Take care...

  16. #16
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stanly View Post
    is a Hummin Bird Fishn Buddy. Go to cabelas.com, on the left side of the page, click on "Fishing", in the right column towards the bottom you will see a "Boating Electronics" section. Click on "Portable Sonars and Flashers". Look for "Humming Bird Fishn Buddys". There are 4 different models there. The most expensive one is $269.99. I would suggest you get him a gift certificate for Cabelas and that way he can get the one he wants, you're still a hero, great future prospect for a lifetime mate and you will both feel great! Hope this helps. Take care...
    The "Fishing Buddy" Sonars are actually made by Bottom Line not Hummingbird.

  17. #17
    Member Stanly's Avatar
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    Default If you look

    at the Cabelas website, the ones they have listed are made by Humminbird "Humminbird Fishin Buddies". I was just at Sportsman's Warehouse and they have them there, that will save you from having to wait and pay for shipping.

  18. #18
    Member karandas72's Avatar
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    Humminbird acquired the Fishin'Buddies from Bottom Line.

  19. #19
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karandas72 View Post
    Humminbird acquired the Fishin'Buddies from Bottom Line.

    Ahhhhhhh, that explains things.

  20. #20
    Member barleydog's Avatar
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    Default

    AKCrimson,
    If he's only needing a "fishfinder" for ice fishing, perhaps you could narrow it down to 3 choices. Vexilar, Marcum, and Lowrance have very good proven records, and come in a portable form complete with a rechargable battery. The reason flashers are so popular is due to the sensitivity and real time action required while fishing in one place. Flashers allow you to fine tune the bait which you are jigging while watching interested fish your targeting. A 1/32 oz. jig is not impossible to read on these units making them great for panfish/trout. THese units are designed for ice fishing and can even be used for summer fishing as well. The Lowrance Ice Machine has both a graph and flasher built into the unit making it, (IMHO) a better dual season unit! You can utilize your graph feature during the summer which gives you a little history of the water you traversed and the fish you marked while you were there. These 3 companies all have a good rep, and you can't go wrong with any of them. I wish there was more history on the Hummingbird units, but they just got back into the ice fishing game as of late. Good luck with your decision!

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