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Thread: Chartplotter/Fishfinder combo

  1. #1
    Member Ronster's Avatar
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    Default Chartplotter/Fishfinder combo

    I know that there is another thread right now on portable units but I will be in the market for a new setup this fall. I dont need the biggest and best but I dont want to skimp either. I run a lot of interior rivers but will be running Valdez and Seward 3-4 times a year. I have been looking at the Humminbird 858C combo unit as a reference, is this a good unit or should I be looking at other brands or units? I should note that I am currently running a 595 Humminbird and a seperate Garmin handheld gps unit, this will be an upgrade and I really want a plotter.

    Thanks for any advice!

  2. #2
    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    Default

    I have a lowrance LMS 525DC, I like it a lot, they don't make it anymore, it is an older model, but the HDS 5 would be the newer version of the 525.

  3. #3

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    I have a Humminbird 787C and I think it is great. You might actually want to consider the 788C which is essentially just a scaled down version of the 858C and actually has better vertical resolution than either the 858C or the much more expensive Lowrance HDS 5. The more expensive ones have a few more "bells and whistles" to them, but they are things I couldn't care less about. To me, I want the most pixels per inch vertically that I can get. The more pixels, the better the resolution and the better you can distinguish what those targets you are seeing down there are.

    But whatever you do make sure you get the Navionics card that is available for it, and then the "Fish 'n Chips" chip that you can get, too, which shows you extremely detailed bathymetry contours of what the bottom looks like. I can't live without it.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  4. #4
    Member Ronster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    But whatever you do make sure you get the Navionics card that is available for it, and then the "Fish 'n Chips" chip that you can get, too, which shows you extremely detailed bathymetry contours of what the bottom looks like. I can't live without it.
    You lost me here... Arent these the two cards that come with all new plotter/finder combos? Also, with the gps built into these units will I need an external antenna?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronster View Post
    You lost me here... Arent these the two cards that come with all new plotter/finder combos? Also, with the gps built into these units will I need an external antenna?
    The Navionics card does come "built in" in some models, but I had to buy my Navionic card separately and then send away for the special "free" offer of the Fish n' Chips card. I haven't shopped for them in about a year or so, but with a quick look at Cabela's right now it looks as though you can buy them as a package deal with the Navionics Gold and Hot Maps card info pre-loaded. Though it looks as though the Fish 'n Chips card is not part of that offer and you may have to send for that separately. The Fish n' Chips info to me is what makes it the most valuable thing because it offers superior bottom detail you don't get with just the Gold or Platinum. I'd ask about that when you buy it.

    I have an external GPS antenna on mine. I would imagine you'd need an external antenna as I doubt you'd get very good reception with an internal one. But you do need an antenna, if that's what you're asking.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  6. #6

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    A gps is only as good as it's chip. Talk to the guys who are good at fishing your area and see what chip they are running. Some chips only work in certain gps units, and some chips have better detail in some areas an not in others.

    In my area, believe it or not, nautic path is my favorite, other than noble tech, which requires a lap top. I've used navionics, and just couldn't warm up to it.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    A gps is only as good as it's chip. Talk to the guys who are good at fishing your area and see what chip they are running. Some chips only work in certain gps units, and some chips have better detail in some areas an not in others.

    In my area, believe it or not, nautic path is my favorite, other than noble tech, which requires a lap top. I've used navionics, and just couldn't warm up to it.
    I guess it works better in K-Bay. I can see every single fathom contour for every square inch of K-Bay, Cook Inlet, the Gulf of Alaska, etc. I can pinpoint every single pinnacle, mound, drop off, pit, etc., that exists out there. I guess they must have left out the POW area.

    And the Navionics chip works in just about every major unit you can buy, but do make sure it is compatible with what you buy if you want to get it. I can't live without it.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    A gps is only as good as it's chip. Talk to the guys who are good at fishing your area and see what chip they are running. Some chips only work in certain gps units, and some chips have better detail in some areas an not in others.

    In my area, believe it or not, nautic path is my favorite, other than noble tech, which requires a lap top. I've used navionics, and just couldn't warm up to it.
    Second the Nautic Path, If the new HDS series still used the same charting as the LCX series I would have upgraded.

  9. #9

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    Does Nautic Path show the same bottom detailing that the Fish n' Chip shows---as in bathymetry? I'm just curious because I am thinking of adding a sonar/GPS to my boat and have been considering my options, too. I don't really care about the navigation aspects of the chip I have because there isn't a whole heck of a lot of navigational things you have to worry about out in K-Bay or Cook Inlet where I go.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  10. #10

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    I'll snap a few pictures of the screen for you next time I'm out on the boat so you can see what Nautic Path looks like. it looks different than navionics. I like it. You might not.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    I'll snap a few pictures of the screen for you next time I'm out on the boat so you can see what Nautic Path looks like. it looks different than navionics. I like it. You might not.
    I've gone to the Nautic Path page on the Lowrance website and they've got screen shots there, but I just wonder how it compares to the Navionics charts.

    What I find interesting is that if you go to the Lowrance website they play up how great their "new" product "Nautic Insight" is, but it doesn't extend up into Alaska---just the west and east coasts of the lower-48. Then they also talk about how great the Navionics stuff is. No mention at all of the Nautic Path chip. In fact to find it you have to go to their "Legacy Mapping" page. Looks as though it's "old stuff" now and they're phasing it out in favor of "Nautic Insight" and hopefully will bring Alaska into the fold soon.

    Looks good, though. Might just have to go with one of their HDS systems to compliment my 787C.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  12. #12

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    Talked with Navionics earlier this week and was told the latest version of the "Fish-n-Chip" doesn't cover Alaska.....he didn't know if/when it would.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_enviro View Post
    Talked with Navionics earlier this week and was told the latest version of the "Fish-n-Chip" doesn't cover Alaska.....he didn't know if/when it would.
    Hmmm. That's kind of weird that the Nautic Insight doesn't cover Alaska and that the new Fish n' Chip doesn't either. What's up with that? Though I'm pretty happy with my "old" version of the Fish n' Chip.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  14. #14

    Default The buying of a GPS/Fishfinder Game

    I have just gone through this whole new GPS/Fishfinder deal. Researched the deal over the winter and bought the Lowrance HDS-8, the external antenna, Structure Scan, and engine interface.
    1. The fishfinder works great, will hold bottom even at speed.
    2. The Structure Scan option is outstanding. opens up a whole new ball game when searching structure. It is almost picture quality what you see on the screen. It is so good that if someone threw some milk crates into PWS and I drove over them I would be able to ID them. (300' seems to be the limit so far with out of the box performance)
    3. The Side Scan feature..Have not even tried it out yet. Looks 280' to each side. May be useful trolling for silvers??
    4. Insight Mapping.... The preloaded mapping for Alaska stinks.(Lowrance is sending a free chip that will supposedly help with the detail that is missing.)
    I did buy the Navionics Platinum+ chip for Alaska. All the bells and whistles including Sat. Overlays. I also have my old Lowrance Nautic Path chip. My unit has two chip slots and have been switching back and forth.

    If anyone orders this unit, MAKE SURE THEY ARE IN STOCK. I waited two months for my unit. Funny I had all the accessories in two days and nothing to plug them in to.

    Lowrance Customer Service use to have a bad rap. No so now. Needed a tech rep with my install, 15 min. later problem solved.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaM5 View Post
    I have just gone through this whole new GPS/Fishfinder deal. Researched the deal over the winter and bought the Lowrance HDS-8, the external antenna, Structure Scan, and engine interface.
    1. The fishfinder works great, will hold bottom even at speed.
    2. The Structure Scan option is outstanding. opens up a whole new ball game when searching structure. It is almost picture quality what you see on the screen. It is so good that if someone threw some milk crates into PWS and I drove over them I would be able to ID them. (300' seems to be the limit so far with out of the box performance)
    3. The Side Scan feature..Have not even tried it out yet. Looks 280' to each side. May be useful trolling for silvers??
    4. Insight Mapping.... The preloaded mapping for Alaska stinks.(Lowrance is sending a free chip that will supposedly help with the detail that is missing.)
    I did buy the Navionics Platinum+ chip for Alaska. All the bells and whistles including Sat. Overlays. I also have my old Lowrance Nautic Path chip. My unit has two chip slots and have been switching back and forth.

    If anyone orders this unit, MAKE SURE THEY ARE IN STOCK. I waited two months for my unit. Funny I had all the accessories in two days and nothing to plug them in to.

    Lowrance Customer Service use to have a bad rap. No so now. Needed a tech rep with my install, 15 min. later problem solved.
    Thank you very much for that info. Very helpful.

    You didn't mention if you had the Navionics "Fish n' Chip" chip. It vastly improves on the Platinum +. So much so that I don't even use it and just rely on the Fish n' Chip.

    Sounds as though the "upgrade" for the Insight will be pretty much the same thing as adding the Fish n' Chip to the Platinum +.

    BTW---If you're in Homer and looking for the HDS series I know the Gear Shed has the HDS 10 in stock, but I'm not sure about the lesser models. I seem to remember seeing the HDS 8, but I'm not sure about that. Worth checking if you can't find one in stock.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  16. #16

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    From what I read, the Fish n Chip is East Coast or west coast,excluding Alaska
    On the Insight mapping thing. Seems Lowrance uses multiple venders to produce their mapping. Evidently one of the venders mapping was not up to snuff. Lowrance then offered owners with the lesser mapping the option of sending their units back for the upgrade. (was going to take too long for me) or they would send you an SD card with up to date mapping. Only problem with the latter was you had to keep the card in the slot. Since there were two slots and switching back and forth is just a few key strokes I did not see this as a big issue.
    Whether the new upgrade chip will include better mapping for AK???? I will find out in a few days hen it arrives.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaM5 View Post
    From what I read, the Fish n Chip is East Coast or west coast,excluding Alaska
    On the Insight mapping thing. Seems Lowrance uses multiple venders to produce their mapping. Evidently one of the venders mapping was not up to snuff. Lowrance then offered owners with the lesser mapping the option of sending their units back for the upgrade. (was going to take too long for me) or they would send you an SD card with up to date mapping. Only problem with the latter was you had to keep the card in the slot. Since there were two slots and switching back and forth is just a few key strokes I did not see this as a big issue.
    Whether the new upgrade chip will include better mapping for AK???? I will find out in a few days hen it arrives.
    Actually the Fish n' Chip is the same way as the Insight thing---you can't have the Platinum + chip in there at the same time, so sounds similar. I'll be very anxious to hear what you have to say about the upgrade.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  18. #18
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    Hey Mutley, I am thinking that my Fish N Chips SD card that I use in my LCX series is origanally for a Hummingbird? You may want to check into this if you are considering a new HDS. Perhaps you can use your existing Fish N CHip SD card.

    As far as the NAutic Path compared to Fish N CHips, really there is no comparison, the Fish N Chip will show 500 times more detail. Although I preferred the Nautic Path over the Navioncs card.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by tillerdemon View Post
    Hey Mutley, I am thinking that my Fish N Chips SD card that I use in my LCX series is origanally for a Hummingbird? You may want to check into this if you are considering a new HDS. Perhaps you can use your existing Fish N CHip SD card.

    As far as the NAutic Path compared to Fish N CHips, really there is no comparison, the Fish N Chip will show 500 times more detail. Although I preferred the Nautic Path over the Navioncs card.
    yeah, the Fish n chip card is not specific to any particular fishfinder. It's just an SD card with software on it and that software is not proprietary. So it would work.

    The problem is I am thinking of buying a second fishfinder because I want to install one on my back deck underneath the overhang of my cabin, so I can stand back there and see what's going on down there. So I'd need two of them anyways.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  20. #20
    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronster View Post
    I know that there is another thread right now on portable units but I will be in the market for a new setup this fall. I dont need the biggest and best but I dont want to skimp either. I run a lot of interior rivers but will be running Valdez and Seward 3-4 times a year. I have been looking at the Humminbird 858C combo unit as a reference, is this a good unit or should I be looking at other brands or units? I should note that I am currently running a 595 Humminbird and a seperate Garmin handheld gps unit, this will be an upgrade and I really want a plotter.

    Thanks for any advice!

    You are already using a Garmin product...if satisfied with the unit your using then move up to product from the same manufacturer, thus allowing your products to all be accessed with same program. Also you will be familiar with most of the mapping products and you could still keep handheld for backup and both can easily cross referance.

    I am not familiar with the smaller/newer units from Garmin but I am betting if they are anything like my, now old technology, GPSMAP3210 they are well worth their investment. The only thing I hate about my 3210 is I preordered, waited forever to get it and then they came out with the 4000 series that fall which started using the G2 vision cards. I have both Blue charts and Topo maps loaded so I can preview a hike area/sheltered bay before arrival and plan the day from the Captains chair using the remote while under way. Then I just download thru the card to the handheld.

    The newer units also no longer use Garmin Data Cards.....now just ordinary Sd cards.

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