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Thread: Finder/GPS combo

  1. #1

    Default Finder/GPS combo

    Looking at purchasing a combo GPS/finder unit; want to stay under 400.00 if possibe. See Cabela's has a sale on a Fish Eagle Elite 642 for 369.00 and a Lowrance 768 for a little less. Anybody have experience with these types and/or brands of units? Reason we want a combo unit is limited space. Only need to read clearly to about 300 ft and the GPS is only to mark fishing/bottom spots, fishing buoys, etc. Don't need it for navigation purposes (as in safety issues of finding port, etc.).

  2. #2


    I have a Fish Elite 642 on the bow of an Alumacraft Trophy, I use it on Lake Superior and have no problem seeing bottom contours at that depth. I don't know how well it holds onto the bottom at speed because the transducer is mounted on the bottom of the electric trolling motor which is stowed while under way. At that point I am using the dash mounted Lowrance.
    Its GPS works great. The only problem I had with it was, I would take it with me in the truck while traveling and the GPS would lose its position at highway speeds. A soft ware up date fixed it. This problem was only with the internal antenna models, according to the factory person I talked with.
    It uses Navionics Hot Maps, I bought their 3D version awhile back and was Disappointed! Out of 3000+ maps only about 8 were 3D, their answer to this was the others are in the making, thanks for your money. It took me weeks to get them to take it back and give me a different version.

  3. #3

    Default Jonsboat

    Just curious how you powered your unit while in the truck? Also, what did you pay for your unit? I don't think I need the 3D version so probably okay there!

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim View Post
    Just curious how you powered your unit while in the truck? Also, what did you pay for your unit? I don't think I need the 3D version so probably okay there!
    I used a power cable hooked to the cigar lighter for power and the internal antenna for GPS signal.

    I used a mount that I just rotated back to set it on the dash. Like a picture standing on a shelf.

    I bought mine when they first came out and don't really remember what I paid.

  5. #5
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    I won't go into the details of why I don't like the combo units (I have one) but will say that I like the gps side of my garmin combo unit.

    I'd also recomend try to increase your budget to get a color unit with a reasonably sized screen. If the display is too small, the unit is difficult to use as you'll constantly be fidddling with zooming in and out instead of keeping your eyes peeled ahead. The Garmin gpsmap 430s isn't too far outside your budget from what I've seen with online prices.

    IMHO, spending a little bit more yields alot more unit. And it's a bummer to go bottom dollar unit, and then find out it just doesn't work for your use. I'd also recomend getting a unit that is rated for more water depth then you plan on using it, as silt in the water and other conditions will reduce the depth it will perform to.

  6. #6


    That 642 for 369.99 at Cabelas is a 642c which is color with a 5" screen, the Garmin 430 is a 4" screen.

    If you ordered the 642 from Cabelas make sure it includes the transducer at that price, if it does it's a kick it out the door price.

    If you think it might be short on power for the sonar (1500 watts good to 800ft) they offer the Sea Charter version for 549.99 (4000 watts good to 1500ft)

    The Garmin is a 1500 watt, it is weather capable, the Eagle is not.
    Here's a sight that has the weather capable version for 499.99

    My 2cents, That Eagle really is a good unit for the money

  7. #7


    jonsboat, by "weather capable" do you mean able to handle getting hit with the elements? If so, that's definitely what we need as the unit will sit on the steering console of an open center console skiff, getting salt spray regularly.
    Good thing is that I have some time in which to send the unit back to Cabela's if it doesn't perform as advertised.
    I realize the Garmin may be a higher quality unit, I'll look into that too but it needs to handle getting wet.

  8. #8


    By weather capable I ment you can get the Garmin set up as an XM weather reciever.

    My Eagle sets on the bow, I use it in the rain, hose it off after traveling dirt roads, and it has never been a problem. I have a vinyl cover I put on for protection when not on the lake

    I do not live near the salt so I don't have any experience there. Maybe some day


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