Fishfinder/GPS Combos

AK_BigO

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Setting up my new (river) boat and am wondering which most of you prefer, seperate GPS and fishfinder or the combo units? Any experience with any specific brands/models would be helpful. Looking at a Garmin 178C, but the pricetag is a little hefty, so I'm also looking at an Eagle Cuda 250 (more affordable).

Pros/cons of just getting a mount for my handheld GPS and then mounting a fishfinder??

I'd appreciate any info/experiences you have.

Thanks,
AK_BigO
 

AK_BigO

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Oops...double post

Oops...double post

Not sure why that happened.
 

SeaULater

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Get the best you can afford...

Get the best you can afford...

Color monitors are easier read under most light conditions. The combo units make for a quick read which helps when you are on the river. Our friend just got a color Furuno DS and it is the best I have seen yet for the price. If you have lots of dash space you can go with seperate units and upgrade as needed. We used a Garmin 45XL with a dashmount and hardwired for years; it was just hard to read. Right now we run a Garmin 238 Combo Sounder and have a small Humminbird DS for backup. Regardless, get a DS unit with a beefy transducer and mount or it will be toast in a couple of years. If you are happy with your present handheld then dashmount it and spend the bling for a good DS. Good Luck, SeaULater
 

Akboondocker

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You get what you pay for and your life depends on it. Go Garmin, you will not be disappointed, I promise.
 

GunsmithRob

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Seperate

Seperate

The problem with the dual units is the screen size is half what it would be in a single unit, also if the unit fails you loose both functions. You want the largest screen size you can afford. In a side by side comparison, the Garmin software (Blue Charts) for the 178 wasn't nearly as accurate as the Navionics software that Lowrance/Eagle use for the Kodiak area. Some of the reefs we were fishing were plotted 50-100 yards off on the Garmin unit while the Lowrance was dead on. There were also several rocks missing from the Garmin software.
 

AkBillyBow

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I have the Garmin 498C Sounder. I think it is great, but do not have too much time with it yet. Some of the things I like about it are: Color screen that is viewable from a large side angle, can pull up many different screens, or split the screen with fishfinder/map, has map page, sonar, flasher...so you have many options to view. The unit can be hooked to a laptop so you can upgrade the software version (free from Garmin) with a seperate cable, has internal memory that comes with US Costal maps (BlueChart with AK !!), and take an additional memory stick where you can load other software (like the Garmin topo of the entire state of Alaska) and add more space for storage of routes, waypoints, ect., comes with DSC - which allows you to hook the GPS to your VHF radio, and is used to send out your boat's/radio's unique (also availible free to pleasure boats) identification number and exact location if you need to send out a distress call, .....and on and on.

I feel that Garmin is the best, but you have to decide what you like, what fits into your budget, and so on. Bottom line, I like the combo unit btter than I had antisipated. I have a 20' jet boat, and can see the screen easily from the back of the boat when fishing...which was my biggest concern.

Good luck...do your homework, that's half the fun!!

AkBillyBow
 

AK_BigO

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Thanks

Thanks

Thanks for the inputs. I'm headed down to Sportmans to do some shopping.

AK_BigO
 

Akboondocker

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I too have the Garmin 498 and love it. When you zoom in far enough everything seems to be on target. Just my opinion.

Try www.byownerelectronics.com for the best prices on electronics bar none. I saved a ton of money buying through them. They are on the East coast but will ship overnight free with certain order amounts and have excellent customer service record.
 

profishguide

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I use a Lowrance GPS and seperate FF because I have lots of Ceiling/dash space for them. I also keep a hand held Garmin GPS in glove box in case of failure.
 

K.P.

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http://www.gpsspecials.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=21

This site has the best price for the 178C that I have seen. It lists for $478.00. You need to check on the transducer, I don't think that it is 200/50. I have not dealt with her, but have spoken to her on the phone. Nice lady.

I have bought from this guy with good results. www.onlinemarine.com

http://www.onlinemarine.com/cgi-loc...78c.htm?L+scstore+nzqq1985ff134c13+1150724681

Both sites have $14.95 overnight DHL shipping.

I looked at the 178C at the sportsmanwarehouse and it was nearly $800.00. WoW!!
 

AKdutch

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Garmin

Garmin

Ditto on the www.gpsspecials.com
I bought a 498c with int ant and transducer for $802 including shipping. Couldn't beat that anywhere I could find. I went through ebay. John
 

K.P.

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My GPSMAP 498C is on it's way from the GPS lady. I skipped E-bay and just used her store.

Hope I can get installed before Friday morning. On the way to Valdez for the weekend...
 

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