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Thread: Sounder/Plotter under $800.00, opinions.

  1. #1
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    Default Sounder/Plotter under $800.00, opinions.

    This winter/spring I intend to purchase a sounder/plotter for the boat I bought last summer. I would like some opinions from those who have a unit that has been used out in PWS or Ress. Bay etc.

    Likes/dislikes for Garmin, Hummingbird, Lowrance. Keep in mind this will be going in an inboard jet boat, meaning it is not going in a dedicated blue water boat by any stretch, one more reason for the limit on the $$.

    Thanks for the input

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Will you have a canopy, so that you can be out of the sun? I have a friend that is using a chartplotting app on his iPad and it works great! Less than $800, plus you can use it outside the boat.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  3. #3

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    hi 338.....well, i run a 18 ' with outboard jet...have used it on the lakes and the chuck last summer!....highly recomend the garmin 420s..chartplotter and sounder!..i bought a g2 visions card for it , also!!....i would use it for the new build, but it wont alloow networking and the radar..otherwise it would be hardwired in the boat!!..i stick the transducer over the back transom on one of those "legs"....works good, and if i do hit bottom, it is set to rise up easily.....good luck!....larry

    oh yah,,,,i think i paid 450$ for it

    also, i see they have upgraded to the 421s!...here the link of the 420s anyway
    http://www.gpscentral.ca/products/garmin/420.htm


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  4. #4

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    I can`t complain about the Lowrance Elite 5 I put in mine last year...about $700 with mapping software. I wanted something user friendly `cause I run a 18' inflatable at pretty good speeds and like to have my hands on the wheel.


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  5. #5

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    I'm getting ready to take the Elite 5 plunge. I'm a huge fan of Lowrance Fish Finders, due to the ease at which I can see kings on them.

    How does the Elite 5 GPS do?

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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    I'm getting ready to take the Elite 5 plunge. I'm a huge fan of Lowrance Fish Finders, due to the ease at which I can see kings on them.

    How does the Elite 5 GPS do?
    Not so fast big fella! Lets back up to the seeing kings w/ that lowrance fishfinder......How does it work in shallow water? say anywhere from 6 to 30 feet?

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    I'm getting ready to take the Elite 5 plunge. I'm a huge fan of Lowrance Fish Finders, due to the ease at which I can see kings on them.

    How does the Elite 5 GPS do?
    It reads very well for me...fast recovery when moving the cursor and such. This unit is soooo much easier than their past units...and with more clarity. I`ll see if I can find a pic of a screenshot.


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    I don't have any experience with the brand new Lowrance, but I have the previous model, 525DFC, I am real happy with it, and I imagine that the new models would be improved versions. I imagine the garmins are good too, from what I have heard the garmin has better gps features and lowrance has better sounders, it's probably like comparing ford and chevy or arctic cat and polaris
    Responsible Conservation > Political Allocation

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    Not so fast big fella! Lets back up to the seeing kings w/ that lowrance fishfinder......How does it work in shallow water? say anywhere from 6 to 30 feet?
    Does pretty good in shallow water. I've marked kings in as shallow as 20ft of water. This is what they look like. (chasing my gear) I rarely catch a salmon trolling without marking it.


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    The units I have found and am trying to choose from : http://www.marinedeal.com/product_p/39494.htm
    http://www.marinedeal.com/product_p/33661.htm
    http://www.marinedeal.com/product_p/36363.htm

    I have found many reviews on the Lowrance, much of them negative concerning both hardware or software issue.

    The reviews I have found on the Hummingbird were mostly positive, but not many to be found.

    As for the Garmin model, zero reviews... but I have never heard a negative word about a Garmin product.

    That being said, most people are inclined to make a negative remark about something rather than say anything positive, so I have to keep that in mind. Each unit has something to offer over the other but the most noticable aspect to me is the imaging of the Lowrance unit.

    As for
    fullbush
    Originally Posted by 270ti
    I'm getting ready to take the Elite 5 plunge. I'm a huge fan of Lowrance Fish Finders, due to the ease at which I can see kings on them.

    How does the Elite 5 GPS do?



    Not so fast big fella! Lets back up to the seeing kings w/ that lowrance fishfinder......How does it work in shallow water? say anywhere from 6 to 30 feet?
    Is there an experience you can relate to this comment, Fullbush ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    Not so fast big fella! Lets back up to the seeing kings w/ that lowrance fishfinder......How does it work in shallow water? say anywhere from 6 to 30 feet?
    Jeff (Fullbrush) you ain't gonna see them kings on the flats the beam of the machine doesn't open up enough in 6' or even in 30' and salmon have a very small swim bladder and thats what gives you the echo on the machine. Back in 84 when i was fishing in Bristol Bay i tried using my Elac fish scope( it was a $5000 item back then) that i used back east gillnetting to try to see kings in the Nush, i figured if i could see striped bass between rocks with it i'd be able to see those kings well i didn't see one single fish i could ride over the tenders anchor chains and see them but not a single king. Another example is that i could see bluefish & tell what size they were with that thing right in the middle of bait balls but in the spring when the blues were up on the surface in pre spawn mode i couldn't see a fish even tough they were finning all around me. I respectfully must say that i don't know what the other guy is seeing but i doubt he's seeing kings.
    One other thing, about 10 years ago one of the guys in my group installed a real sonar on his bowpicker, he had to weld in a 10" tube in the bottom to be able to lower the transducer down below the keel, thinking he could see all those dogs at esther and just ride around till he saw a big enough ball of them and just circle them up & get'um all well he spent a lot of time before openings riding around and not seeing many fish and took that sonar off after the first season. This guy is/was a real good fisherman over there and he now is running a factory boat so he's not some flash in the pan wannabe gillnetter. Some day when we're face to face remind me and i'll give you more details.

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    Quote Originally Posted by potbuilder View Post
    Jeff (Fullbrush) you ain't gonna see them kings on the flats the beam of the machine doesn't open up enough in 6' or even in 30' and salmon have a very small swim bladder and thats what gives you the echo on the machine. Back in 84 when i was fishing in Bristol Bay i tried using my Elac fish scope( it was a $5000 item back then) that i used back east gillnetting to try to see kings in the Nush, i figured if i could see striped bass between rocks with it i'd be able to see those kings well i didn't see one single fish i could ride over the tenders anchor chains and see them but not a single king. Another example is that i could see bluefish & tell what size they were with that thing right in the middle of bait balls but in the spring when the blues were up on the surface in pre spawn mode i couldn't see a fish even tough they were finning all around me. I respectfully must say that i don't know what the other guy is seeing but i doubt he's seeing kings.
    One other thing, about 10 years ago one of the guys in my group installed a real sonar on his bowpicker, he had to weld in a 10" tube in the bottom to be able to lower the transducer down below the keel, thinking he could see all those dogs at esther and just ride around till he saw a big enough ball of them and just circle them up & get'um all well he spent a lot of time before openings riding around and not seeing many fish and took that sonar off after the first season. This guy is/was a real good fisherman over there and he now is running a factory boat so he's not some flash in the pan wannabe gillnetter. Some day when we're face to face remind me and i'll give you more details.
    Really Steve, so thats why every time i set the net on some color in Softuk I end up w/ a deck load of hooligan? sheesh! Those kings are dang ghost fish I tell, one time on the way out for the 1st opener I set up the downrigger and flasher and I trolled from Pt Whiteshed to Steamboat markers right down the middle of the home channel. When I started it was an hour before high slack and when I got to Copper sands it was low water I caught change of tide and the flood up to Steamboat. Didn't even get so much as a nibble, I used about 10 different lures and trolled from the bottom to the top. The next morning was a low water opener and I wasn't too optimistic, it was blowing about 35, not much gear, I laid my net across the deep part of Steamboat below the marker and waylaid 112 kings, I was tickled! Sockeyes and silvers aren't bashful but I'll be darned if I can get a bead on them kings.
    Merry Christmas

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    Merry Christmas to you also my friend! Man we must be pretty sad cases to be typing about fish on Christmas day . Yup i've never been able to see anything i thought or could prove were salmon on the flats or even in the sound, dogfish maybe?? but i was always lucky on the flats that i never loaded up on the dogs. I never fished inside on the flats, it just scared me too much to knock off a drive and still not catch anything so i always just took my lumps fishing outside though fishing on those color changes and the koke mud was a favorite of mine. Maybe some of the newer digital machines can see salmon . I want the machine that can see shrimp antena's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by potbuilder View Post
    salmon have a very small swim bladder and thats what gives you the echo on the machine.
    I'm not sure so sure it's a swim bladder that gives the echo. I mark kings, cohos, pinks all the time. Shallow/deep, full stomachs/empty stomachs. I actually took Lowrance Rep out fishing with me that told me I couldn't mark kings.. I showed him some kings, caught them, and he left scratching his head.

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    Back in the day of the paper graph I had a Lowrance 1000 and it would mark,salmon, ling cod, and sharks. I have never been able to do the same with color charter plotters.

  16. #16

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    Ling don't make a big mark. They show up as thin squiggly lines. We get schools of them on the inside during the winter. Troll through those thin squiggly lines, and you load up your lines with lings.

    Halibut make a great mark, if you can find them off the bottom. Otherwise, you need a sounder with a bottom lock if they are laying on the bottom. Furuno is the only sound I know with a bottom lock. (not to be confused with a bottom zoom) Sometimes you'll be in an area with a bunch of halibut, and not mark any with the bottom lock. Other times you'll be marking a bunch of them. It's weird.

    Yellow Eye is the only fish I really don't have figured out. I can't say I know what they look like.

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    270ti, can you post any screen shots of what they look like? I am pretty certain that I have been marking halibut with my furuno unit. I am really impressed with that 1kw transducer!
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    Yellow Eye is the only fish I really don't have figured out. I can't say I know what they look like.
    I gave up fiddling w/ the dang things, every time I try to get into some snapper I end up feeding the birds w/ bloated by-catch

    Quote Originally Posted by captaindd View Post
    Back in the day of the paper graph I had a Lowrance 1000 and it would mark,salmon, ling cod, and sharks. I have never been able to do the same with color charter plotters.
    Ah the old paper machines

    Captain something tells me you've been in a wheelhouse or two in your day

    Merry Christmas

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    Quote Originally Posted by spoiled one View Post
    270ti, can you post any screen shots of what they look like? I am pretty certain that I have been marking halibut with my furuno unit. I am really impressed with that 1kw transducer!
    Dude would you get rid of that avatar till my birthday hangover subsides....for the love of God!

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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    Dude would you get rid of that avatar till my birthday hangover subsides....for the love of God!
    Happy belated B-day! Hair of the dog, my friend!
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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