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Thread: Fish finder/Plotter

  1. #1

    Default Fish finder/Plotter

    I'm looking at a Lowrance HDS 7 for Valdez and PWS area. Any thoughts on that?

  2. #2
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    I haven't got one yet but an HDS 10 with Structure Scan is on my gotta have list.
    I really like how expandable and versatile these new Lowrance units are. They even have radar that works with these units. The mapping is also awesome and you can get Sirius Weather broadcasts.

  3. #3

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    One of the most important aspects of a fishfinder is its resolution. The HDS 7 has a resolution of only 480 x 640 with a screen size of 6.4". The HDS 8 has a resolution of 600 x 800 with a screen size of 8.4". And the HDS 10 is even better. Better resolution gives you a better idea of exactly what is going on down there. Here's an extreme example, but think of which screen you'd rather view your favorite movie or sporting event on---a 12" computer monitor or a 55" HDTV screen?

    But of course with better resolution comes a bigger price. So one of the questions you have to ask is how much money you want to spend. If you have unlimited funds I'd spend more to get a better unit. But if you're on a budget I'm sure the HDS 7 will work fine.

    I use a Humminbird 787C2 which has a resolution of 640 x 640 and it works great. It would be in line with the HDS 5 series. And it was only a little over $700 when I bought it. But of course it doesn't have all the extra features that the Lowrance HDS series has such as chartplotting and StructureScan. I'd love to have those features, but I also don't have the bucks necessary to purchase them.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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  4. #4

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    I'm using smaller units from an open skiff, but I just switched from an HDS5 to an Elite 5. Too soon to be sure, but it appears to be at least as good, and I think I'm going to like it even better. Resolution is ample for navigation in the really tight places I sometimes navigate, and I definitely prefer the fathometer screen.

  5. #5

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    I have a Lowrance on my skiff. The FF is great. I mark kings/cohos with ease. The dual fq transducer is great for trolling.

    The gps sucks on that model. (520, and in all fairness it's 4 years old) My buddy has one too, and both of ours constantly lose reception. It's really annoying and I'll be upgrading soon.

    If Lowrance has it's GPS woes figured out, I'd go with Lowrance again in a heartbeat.

  6. #6
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    I have a Lowrance on my skiff. The FF is great. I mark kings/cohos with ease. The dual fq transducer is great for trolling.

    The gps sucks on that model. (520, and in all fairness it's 4 years old) My buddy has one too, and both of ours constantly lose reception. It's really annoying and I'll be upgrading soon.

    If Lowrance has it's GPS woes figured out, I'd go with Lowrance again in a heartbeat.
    My lowrance is an LMS 350 which is 12 or more years old and I don't have any issues with the GPS at all (external antenna). My guess is your machine has an internal antenna, right? There were some issues with internal GPS antennas with your vintage of machine. The HDS machines have an internal antenna but there is also an external antenna option which will solve any issues created by having the finder in an enclosed cockpit.

  7. #7

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    Yeah, mine is one of the early internal antenna models. I should have known better, but it sounded like a good idea at the time.

    Good to know they have the option of an external antenna on the newer models. I'll have to take a close look at the HDS models.

    I'm heading to to outside to fish here in a few minutes. I'll snap some pictures of the screen if I mark any kings for the OP.

  8. #8

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    I bought the HDS-8 / Structurescan / LGC4000 GPS antenna / Yamaha engine interface, and the latest Navionics Plat.+ Chip. I went with the LGC 4000 antenna as I have a hardtop and did not expect the internal antenna to operate properly. I have everything I need except the unit itself.It has been on backorder for almost two months now. If you go with the HDS, go to the Lowrance web site and download the latest software for it. The software addresses a few bugs and allows the use of the newest Navionics chips. (The Insight mapping included with the HDS unit is not the best for the areas you mentioned.) The HDS-8 and HDS-10 share the same resolution 800x600.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaM5 View Post
    I have everything I need except the unit itself.It has been on backorder for almost two months now.
    I'm betting you ordered from Cabelas. Their new name should be Backorder Specialists.

    Even when you see that an item is stock, it's going to show up on your invoice as backordered. And the more expensive the item, the more likely it will happen. Read that invoice CAREFULLY!!

    I hate to bear bad tidings with fishing season approaching, but you need to know. I ordered something last October that was backordered, but due to arrive within a week. FIVE MONTHS later I finally canceled the order. And meanwhile the item was in stock everywhere else, and immediately available. I don't think all is well in paradise at Cabelas. Starting to sniff a whole lot like Sportsmans Warehouse, whether you're online or in one of their stores.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1 View Post
    I'm looking at a Lowrance HDS 7 for Valdez and PWS area. Any thoughts on that?
    You could buy Fisher Price oops, I mean Lowrances newest, latest greatest fishfinder/plotter that will be around for a year or 2 till their next latest greatest unit comes along which is about the same time your warranty will expire and the unit will take a crap on you requiring $200 in repairs, or you could buy a Furuno and get years of trouble free service. Just my thoughts on it.

  11. #11
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AkKings View Post
    You could buy Fisher Price oops, I mean Lowrances newest, latest greatest fishfinder/plotter that will be around for a year or 2 till their next latest greatest unit comes along which is about the same time your warranty will expire and the unit will take a crap on you requiring $200 in repairs, or you could buy a Furuno and get years of trouble free service. Just my thoughts on it.
    Hmmmm, my 15 year old Lowrance LMS-350 is still working fine.
    The one I had before (X-16) this one was still working fine after 10 years when I traded it in on the new one.
    Same goes for the two Lowrance flashers I have had for 20 years or more.

    I guess I just got lucky with my purchases.

  12. #12
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    It's not just the resolution of the display that matters, you need to be concerned with the power of the sonar, the transducer and how the sounder processes the information.

    If you can swing it, getting a dedicated Furuno sounder is the way to go, and the FCV 585 w/ an airmar TM 260 element. The sound is deep enough to justify a 1kw sonar.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRIFTER_016 View Post
    Hmmmm, my 15 year old Lowrance LMS-350 is still working fine.
    Good for you, think I'll stick with Furuno though, atleast until I see a majority of the commercial salmon/halibut fleet step down to Lowrance.

  14. #14

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    I slammed em today.. I'll upload some pictures from my crappy lowrance here in a few.. Cell phone pics, but you'll get the point. They swarmed me.

  15. #15

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    OK, this is my Fishfinders 101 post. El Cheapo Lowrance was used today. I prefer a Furuno, but I"m to lazy to order one and install it.

    Anyways, went out at 8:30am. Ran 20 or so miles to a spot I haven't fished this year. Never saw another boat all day. Fished from 9ish to 1pm without a bite.. But, it looked really good. Flood was happening, and in my mind, I knew that if I stuck to that spot, good things could happen. Trolled back and forth, over and over again.

    Off the edge of the shallower flat I was fishing.. If you see this.. STAY!


    1pm, it came alive. Wide open alive.
    Single king coming up. Got him.

    3 kings coming up. Got 1. (1 rod down)

    Multiple kings chasing after my flasher hootchie. Got 1




    So, I hooked and released a dozen or so kings from 1-2:30pm. (kept my limit) I could have gotten you guys some better pics, but it was rather hot fishing, and my cell phone pics were taken with one hand fighting a king, the other trying to get a pic.

    Fish finders are cool, if you know how to use them. BTW, I think my gps coordinates are in the pics, if you are hard up for fish..(grin)

  16. #16

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    1 more pic that it wouldn't let me post..

    kings swarming my poor hoochie..


    Marked a bunch more too, i didn't take pictures of.

  17. #17

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    Great report 270, very similar to the report I got from the resort over the weekend, things are shaping up nicely. :-)

  18. #18

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    I hear good things too.. I lost a big one I'm still pissed about. Mighta been a hali, but I'm only trolling 30ft. I'm guessing Veta must be full of kings right now, and they are washing into the 'hole on the tide in those numbers. Took 3 hours of flood to get them there. I'm going to head back into Little Veta to look for a big one, if the lump goes away.

  19. #19

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    [QUOTE=BrownBear;736989]I'm betting you ordered from Cabelas. Their new name should be Backorder Specialists.

    Is not Cabelas. I ordered from and Right Coast Marine store that I have been dealing with for years. Very reliable.
    I think the problem is more with Lowrance not being able to keep up with the demand. They seem to have had some issues with the early units, with the new ones that I have seen with the software upgrade are right on

    Every major Marine electronic vendor has been showing the HDS-8 and 10 as backordered. I'm sure if I look around I can find a unit somewhere, but I'll remain loyal to my first supplier. TO A POINT!

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