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Author Topic:   Fishfinder?
dgp posted 01-17-2001 10:23 AM ET (US)   Profile for dgp   Send Email to dgp  
I'm in the market for a new fishfinder. What brand and model do you recommend and why? This is a new installation so I don't have to deal with mounting holes and old x-ducer.
Thanks, Don
stagalv posted 01-17-2001 10:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for stagalv  Send Email to stagalv     
Don, there are certainly quite a few out there and many have great features. I recently bought a Garmin 160 which has a good pixel count and has the transom transducer with temperature sensor. If you dont have a GPS or other instrument to tell speed you could get the Garmin transducer which tells speed and temp. I am paying $196 through a local marine electronics store. Rex
Steve Leone posted 01-17-2001 11:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for Steve Leone  Send Email to Steve Leone     
Hummingbird makes a standard 100SX that is a wide screen and easy to read. Has most of the popular functions and the transducer can be mounted in the stern. Very straightfoward installation. Sells for about 99.00 and some places offer a $10.00 mail-in rebate. Good Luck, Steve.
triblet posted 01-17-2001 01:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
It's Humminbird, not Hummingbird. Put
in the G and search engines find a software
company (who also makes good stuff and used
to have a hilarious link to the fishfinder
folks on their home page).
http://www.humminbird.com/
Garmin is at http://www.garmin.com .

I used to have a Humminbird Wide Optic, which
is about the same as the 100SX, and it was
fine. I upgraded it to a Wide 3D Paramount
early this year, and the Wide Optic is still
running fine on a buddies inflatable.

If I were looking for a non 3-D depthfinder,
I think I'd take a hard look at the Garmin
160.

I don't like combined GPS depthfinder units
because when I'm looking for a dive site,
I want lots of resolution on both.

Chuck

andygere posted 01-17-2001 04:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I just intalled a Garmin 240 fishfinder in my Montauk and I think it is an outstanding device. I have the temperature transducer but not speed. The screen is large, the resolution is great, it works well at planing speeds and has very easy to use software built in. It was a gift, so I don't know what the purchase price was.
Mark Gallagher posted 01-17-2001 05:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mark Gallagher  Send Email to Mark Gallagher     
I have an APELCO that I like. I think Raytheon bought them out. If I was giving a recommendation it would be a Lowrance x-65 or x-85. Nice units, a little pricy, just like a Whaler. Definately get speed and temp feature. I have friends that are serious fisherman and they swear by Lowarnce. I'll get one next time around.
Mark
Dick posted 01-17-2001 06:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
I have the Raytheon L365 on my Montauk. It works OK but I am definatly going to upgrade to a Garmin.
Dick
sr posted 01-17-2001 07:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for sr  Send Email to sr     
humminbird platinum ID here, would not recommend (but am sure newer models are superior) and am soon upgrading. I am considering the lowrance x85 and the zercom liquid paper graph 2000 anyone with experience in salt water with these units?
sr
Tom Byrum posted 01-17-2001 10:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom Byrum  Send Email to Tom Byrum     
I wouldnt waste any money on any of the cheap units. Wait till you can afford a Furuno 600 or a 552. Huge difference between a Furuno and most anything else.
dgp posted 01-18-2001 02:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
Tom, how does the Furuno color LCDs perform in direct sunlight? I've read that many of them need some sort of shade to be seen.
My Montauk is totally open, no flytop or suntop. Don
stagalv posted 01-18-2001 02:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for stagalv  Send Email to stagalv     
Sure the Furuno FCV600 is a better unit. It costs about $850. My Garmin is fine for the type (and amount) of fishing I do. Rex
bigz posted 01-18-2001 03:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Donald, I see ya looking for a fish finder! Have yeah thought about a Portuguese Water Dog --- here tell they are great at finding fishies and make pretty darn good pets to --- at least if nothing else you'd have something to talk to while fishing the day away --- those electronic gizmos ain't very sociable --- Tom

PS we use an Interphase Advantage --- fine compact unit --- see Lowrance has introduced a few new units check out their offerings under 2001 products ----

dgp posted 01-18-2001 05:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
Tom (bigz) although I have looked seriously at a PWD for a pet, dunno about them for finding fishies, but for communication purposes I have a VHF radio. I need a good fishfinder! Don
Tom Byrum posted 01-18-2001 09:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom Byrum  Send Email to Tom Byrum     
I have a Si-tex color Profish ll that retails for around $750 or so. One of my fishing buddies has a Furuno 600 that costs around $800. The Furuno is three times better than my Si-tex. Now my other buddy has a Furuno 552 that costs around $1500. The 552 is three time better than the 600. If you want to mark salmon and tuna you need one of the furuno's. My Si-tex is ok in the sun but the Furuno's are brighter. Get them on ebay for a lot less. I almost had enough saved until my trim/tilt motor went out. Oh yeah, and a couple new reels.
Tom Byrum posted 01-18-2001 10:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom Byrum  Send Email to Tom Byrum     
After rereading some of the questions I figured I better add a little. The crt fishfinders do not work in the open sunlight. The new LCD units are the ones I am referring to. The furuno's I mentioned before will read the water temperature breaks. I think it's called a thermocline or something. Anyways the fish like to hang near these temperature breaks. My Si-tex wont show this, even though it is a pretty good machine.
Ed Stone posted 01-18-2001 10:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ed Stone  Send Email to Ed Stone     
Hey Tom,
When you say 3times better,do you mean better
sight in the sun,separates fish from the
bottom or operates at high speeds.
Generally I look for a variation in the
bottom,ledges,rocks,or fish.
Ed Stone
Tom Byrum posted 01-18-2001 10:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom Byrum  Send Email to Tom Byrum     
Hey Ed
If you get a chance to go with someone who has a good furuno take a test ride with him. It's kinda hard for me to explain. They just work real well at everything including ease of use.
They show fish on the bottom two and three hundred feet down. They are much brighter. But the thermocline deal is the best part. Most of the real serious fishermen all have a furuno. If you are like me you will keep upgrading until you end up with a furuno. Also my si-tex will read fish at 30 mph but both the Furunos wont read anything after around 15 mph. I think a little dish soap and transducer adjustment might fix it though.
Tom Byrum posted 01-18-2001 11:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom Byrum  Send Email to Tom Byrum     
Stagalv I have a Garmin 180 GPS. It is a killer little GPS. I havnt seen their fishfinders.
dgp posted 03-22-2001 06:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
Since I started this thread, FWIW, I thought I'd end it. I bought a Lowrance X85. Good resolution, high power and very good customer service. Besides, they're made right here in town and have a walk-in customer service dept. Don
B Bear posted 04-13-2001 10:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
Alright here's the question Lowrance and Eagle..... what is the difference between the two. It is like Raythone and Alpeco, or GMC and Chevy.
My Eagle 128 Strata is a twin to the Lowrance X-49 in features, same case, same power, and is $100 less.
I was looking a Raythone L-365 with a side looker sonar for $300 and now I see that Dick was not that impressed. It has 240X64 pixels. And it is rated at 300 RMS VS 75 for Lowrance/Eagle.
I'll look at Garmin just to be sure.
Bear
B Bear posted 04-14-2001 01:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
How about reopening this thread and keeping the prices under $500.
The Furunos mentioned are $1000+, way too rich for me.

Right now I fish the Cheasapeake Bay so the depths I fish range from 7 feet to 90 feet.


Looking at all the specs from all the home sites, Garmin, Humminbird, Lowrance,and Eagle, the major differences seem to be the size of the units, number of beams used, pixels, power, split screen. Once the price is around $300 things get really close between the better units in all the brands mentioned above.

For those that have these units, do you like them? Are they easy to use? What would you think you would like to have on them that you do not have now?

Don why is the Raytheon L365 just OK?

Chuck, do you like the 3-D humminbird? I have not heard much either way with thier fishfinders.

Maybe someone has a fishfinder that they have upgraded from yet is still killer for sale.

Thanks,
Bear

Tom Byrum posted 04-14-2001 01:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom Byrum  Send Email to Tom Byrum     
I just upgraded and have my old Sitex Profish II for sale. Email me if interested.
Tom Byrum posted 04-14-2001 02:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom Byrum  Send Email to Tom Byrum     
By the way you can get a Furuno under $500. LS6000 I think is the model. I have never used it but I have heard it is a great little unit as long as you dont need to see over 200 feet deep in salt.
triblet posted 04-14-2001 10:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
I like my 3D Humminbird, but my requirements
are a good deal different from yours. I
don't care about fish at all. I'm looking
for dive sites. It's found me a couple of
new (to me) sites that have been real
interesting.

I have no idea how good it is at finding fish.

I don't care for the Interphase 3-D finders.
They have really small (in pixels) screens
and don't have the wire-frame view that the
Humminbird has.

Chuck

bigz posted 04-14-2001 11:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Found for the money the older still produced Interphase Advantage is an excellent unit -- dual freq. plus surface temp., and speed --- it also can receive data from your GPS it is compact so you folks with limited space might find it attractive --- the new 27 WA has a Raytheon color sonar V-820 which is a number of years old and I really don't know much about it yet -- heard it was a top model way back in the mid '90's --- can't wait to give it a try out --- heard the Yellowfin are running heavy already off NC --

One thing about fishing though -- I here you still do have to have a line with a hook and some bait in the water to catch them --- heh heh

whalernut posted 04-14-2001 03:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
When I bought my `16 Currituck it came with a Hummingbird 100 SX, the cheapest fishfinder Hummingbird makes. First impresions is that it is very clear, but screen is small, it does work, but very little options, thus the $100 price tag. One question though, it has a single beam as opposed to all of the rest of Hummingbirds line which has dual beams, can anyone tell me the difference between the two? Regards-Jack Graner.
Tsuriki BW posted 04-14-2001 04:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     
My boat came with a Humminbird Paramont 3D which works well. But I'm trying to find a way/place to mount the Furuno 667 I still have new in the box. Being a color CRT unit rather than LCD, mounting poses additional chalanges on the Dauntless 14.

Want to use the Furuno in Puget Sound for salmon and bottom fishing.

Tsuriki

FISHNFF posted 04-14-2001 04:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for FISHNFF  Send Email to FISHNFF     
I have personally used Lowrance x-70's on my last 3 Whalers. I use a Garmin 160 as my bow unit when fishing freshwater bass and it is nce and clear. For a reasonably priced unit I would give Garmin 160 Blue a serious look. I understand it is not out yet (end of April) but its improved screen, dual frequency, and 500 Watts RMS seems like winner. The Furuno GP1650DF on my Grady is sweet, but approaches the $2,000 mark. The Lowrance X-15mt should be nce too.
whalernut posted 04-14-2001 08:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
FISHNFF, I have seen one of those Garman 160 Blue`s. I think they look interesting and even before seeing you`re post was considering purchasing one of those models. I hope when someone gets one here on the forum that they post a report on the quality and workability of this Blue model. Regards-Jack Graner.
B Bear posted 04-15-2001 12:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
Jack here is something I found and it will explain alot about fishfinders (sonar).
[urlwww.eaglegps.com/tutorial/sonar/default.htm[/url] This site will also explain the coverage (cone angle) for different frequencys and how they are determined.
By the way the Humminbird Paramount 3-D has 6 beams. Also Jack there is a 3-D image of the Garmin 160 Blue on their site.
Chuck the bottom features are important to fishing, that is were alot of them like to hang out.
The Garmin Blue is within my price range, the thing that it offers is 4 colors to help indicate bottom hardness and structure. By my reading thermalclines effect sonar and can hide fish. Subs have used them for the same reason.
Tom does the Si-tex profish II indicate theramlclines in color?
I had a Garmin GPS/Fishfiner unit that I had shown thermalcines when I sold my WA it went with the boat.
The other things are speed, I can see where this indicator would be useful in trolling since the GPS only tracks your movement on the surface of the water and a speed sensor would give your speed relevent to the water and current.
Temperture seems to be important in that many fish are sensitive to it, but is really that important if it is reading only the surface temp?
Bear
B Bear posted 04-15-2001 12:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
Let me try again
[url]www.eaglegps.com/tutorial/sonar/default.htm[url]
B Bear posted 04-15-2001 12:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
www.eaglegps.com/tutorial/sonar/default.htm
Arch Autenreith posted 04-15-2001 12:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
About 2 months ago I talked to a tech guy at Garmin about the 160 vs. the Blue. I can't remember most of what he said but after listening to my needs he said the Blue almost certainly wasn't for me. It had something to do with not working very well in < 20 feet. That became a big consideration as I do a fair amount of fishing in the Chesapeak and it's often that shallow.
B Bear posted 04-15-2001 05:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
Arch
That is very interesting. I went down to the boating store once agian and looked at the latest sonar.
I felt the Raytheon L360 was a contender but with the display at 64 pixels wide the split screen did not seem worth it.
I looked at the Garmin 160 and asked about the 160 Blue. The Blue has 100 more watts RMS, and is a dual freq uint,50 & 200 khz same as the Raytheon L360 while the Garmin 160 and 240 are single 200 kHz units.
From what I have learned so far, it is the higher freq. that is better for shallower water and the lower that has the penatration for deep water, so in a dual the 200 kHz will show you the fish in shallower water while the 50 kHz will give you exceptional bottom detail. The cone angle is given two ways in power @ -3 and -10, the latter will say the cone is twice as big then if -3 is used. The greater the power the better the defination and better depth penatration and for use in salt water. It is the number of vertical pixels that also help in defination since for a certian depth it would be a ratio of depth (feet or inches)/pixels.
All this had me pointed to the Garmin 160 Blue. I thought it would be able to see a decent amount of the bottom given the dual freq. that the bottom structure would really stand out with fantastic difination and that there enough pixels for a very detailed look within the depth of water I would be fishing in.
If some of these are not that important for the Cheasapeake I would really like to know.
Eagle offers a tri-beam that has 150 degrees of coverage with depth (max 200 ft), 75 watts RMS.
Humminbird stats look alright but the displays are none to good.
Lorance and Eagle are 198 kHz units.
Anyone tell me where my thinking has gone astray!
Bear
Arch Autenreith posted 04-15-2001 06:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
B Bear.
Your argument(s) are compelling. Now I wonder if I heard him (Garmin) correctly. I thought I did my homework before purchasing the 160 but now I may have to rethink it. I didn't install it yet so I know they won't have a problem exchanging. I'm going to use what you wrote and call them again. I know all tech people aren't always right. Me thinks I may have relied too much on what they said instead of learning myself and making my own decision. I'll let you know what they said. I'm almost finished with varnishing so fishfinder installation is next. Thanks for your thoughts.
whalernut posted 04-15-2001 09:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
B Bear, thanks for the info. and the link, very informative! I fish 100% freshwater, so the wide beam is the one they suggest for me. That will be a baseline in choosing a Fishfinder. Regards-Jack Graner.
B Bear posted 04-15-2001 10:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
Arch
I'll be waiting to find out I too would like to know. Thanks

Jack
Thanks also, Freshwater does not need all that power so Lowrance, Eagle, Humminbird are contenders. I even considered the Eagle tri-finder if I decide to stay in the shallower water around here, 150 degrees of viewing (left,right and center),75 watts RMS only 128 pixels but the ratio would be fine about 3.75" /pixel @ 40 ft. it says it can show thermalclines in the arch mode. $189
The other consideration is that with the higher powered units there is a larger draw on the battery.
I would like to know what you end up with.
Bear

jameso posted 04-16-2001 08:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for jameso  Send Email to jameso     
Guess I am from the age of Dinosaurs,,but for shallow water (less than 60-8-0) I and several bass pros that I know still use the flasher,,,I have a Humminbird Super 30, and would like to buy another since it is no longer made. Recently fished with a friend that has a LCD type that displays the data like a flasher, made by Zericom an off shoot of the Mann Humminbird dynasty.
Thanks for letting me put in my 2 cents worth, Jim Armstrong
triblet posted 04-16-2001 10:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
B Bear: Why do you say the Humminbird
displays are none too good? I've had two
and the displays have been fine.

jameso: I'll bet you can find a flasher on
ebay.

Chuck

Chesapeake posted 04-16-2001 11:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
Still not very much response from folks speaking in favor of or against the Lowrance X-series fishfinders. Any thoughts from the X-75 or X-85 crowd??

Thanks, in advance.

Bob

bigz posted 04-16-2001 12:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Bob, the X85 from what I hear is an excellent unit (professional saltwater fly fishing guide I know uses it down on the Chesapeake and he has friends who also use them )but it is a little pricey.

One has to judge for themselves what is going to be the primary use area and then make a decision based on the offerings and their own economic situation.

I still use an older Humminbird wide 100 portable when I fish the local reservoir, in our 14 Mirocraft with a 9.5 hp Johnson and it works fine and spots fish (max hp on the reservoir 10)--- now if I can figure out how to talk them fish into attaching themselves to the end of my lines I will have it made.

B Bear posted 04-16-2001 12:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
Chuck
The way Humminbird has it's cover on the display tends to fog up around here. You don't have the humidity and heat there like it is here. You live where the averge temp is 67 degrees and the humidity is around 33% a mediteranian climate. That is not the case here.
Humminbird is a good sounder.
Bob
dgp posted 04-16-2001 12:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
Chesapeake Bob, if you scroll up to my post of 3/22 you'll see my comments on why I bought the Lowrance X-85. In addition to the points mentioned, I like the cold cathode florescent lighting VS the electro-luminescent lamp lighting offered by most other mfs. The cold cathode has a much longer life and is brighter than the EL lamp.
Don.
bigz posted 04-16-2001 01:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Hey Don did it sort of fall off the back of a truck as it was leaving Lowrance!! ---- hah hah --- just kidding --- just kidding --- couldn't pass it up yeah know ---

Well one can always get a fish caller --- that way they come to you --- ;)

B Bear posted 04-16-2001 01:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
Big Z
Yes the Lowrance X-85 is a good unit, a single freq. 192 kHz and 375 watts RMS with a great pixel count of 240 X 240, This is a saltwater unit $470 with speed&temp. It's equilivant would be the Garmin 240 with 400 watt RMS, 200 kHz and the same pixel count $340 with speed&temp and is $130 less.

You are right about picking a fishfinder for your needs. That is why I decided that the Furuno, Si-tex and Interphase were not for me since they are way more money than I have to spend, and I don't have the size of boat to do any true deep sea fishing. That is the reason I am looking at $500 or less, I really don't want to go over $300 but in some cases it might be better to pay a little more. I do fish about 2-4 times a week during the season.
Yet the fresh water and some of the less expensive salt water sounders will do a good job for me.
The thing about the salt water sounders is that they will allow me to go near offshore in the Atlantic if I decide to later on, where the freshwater sounders would be fine for the bay. This is where a dual frequency fishfinder would become more economical to purchase.
Another thing I found out is that the higher the freq. the more detailed the reflected image also the shorter the depth it would work at.
I believe the Humminbird Wide Paramount 3D has a couple of it's beams at 450 kHz, and has 6 beams in all. It is pricey also at $400 with a discount. Then there is the Eagle I mentioned at $260 with speed&temp.
The Eagle 128 Strata ($100) I have now has worked and I never have been skunked, but I just found out that besides the 128 pixel count it is only 35 watts RMS, single beam at 198 kHz which is really limited, and makes me wonder how much better off fishing I would be with a better unit and how much more I would be able to do later.
Sorting through all this has shown me that more expensive does not mean better, that dual beams with power can mean versitallty in fresh and salt. And as you said it comes down to what kind a fishing you do you do - bottom, fresh, casting, trolling, fresh, salt. It is like boats, cars, trucks and motorcycles - there is always model one made perfect for an individual situation or condition, there is no perfect model that will do it all perfectly. In the end I would like to end up with a good quality unit that will allow me to try other kinds of fishing when I am read for them without going out and buying another sounder, after all I just like to fish for fun.
So Big Z all this has left me with a few guidelines to make my decision on, and I hope that through my plight that others will find their guidelines too, like Jack.
Bear

bigz posted 04-16-2001 02:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Bear congratulations you have proved a point which I felt would eventually come out at some point from this long threaded discussion.

That is do your own homework based on your own needs --- when questions of this nature are posted it is fine to receive input from others, the bottom line it is you who will be using it for the uses you intend and not necessarily what someone else finds useful for their needs ---

That is not saying these discussion post aren't good they just have to be kept in perspective --- which you did ---

Now after saying all that which one are you going to purchase Bear?

Best,

Tom

dgp posted 04-16-2001 03:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
Tom, actually it was at night that the unit fell off the truck on it's way from Mexico to Tulsa, lucky for me was that cold cathode light that allowed me to find it. ;-)
Bear, my Lowrance x-ducer is the freshwater version 192 kHz 20 degree cone angle. They make a Saltwater Series that comes with a 192 kHz 8 degree x-ducer. The mounting bracket is SS.
The display head is waterproof and nitrogen- filled prior to sealing to displace any humid Mexican air.
From what I've seen Cabela's in NE has the best deals on Lowrance and Eagle products. BTW, the original marketing plan was for the Eagle products to be sold through the mass merchandisers (Kmart, Walmart) and the Lowrance brand through speciality marine and fishing retailers. It seems the Eagle products use a different display but dunno if any difference exists in the electronics.
My power cable comes with a 3 Amp fuse so this unit can't use too much power, probably milliamps. Don
Chesapeake posted 04-16-2001 04:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
BigZ and Don: Thanks for the info, particularly on the Lowrance. Now, if one of those trucks out of Mexico would just make its way through Chicago...

Bob

Ventura16 posted 04-16-2001 07:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ventura16  Send Email to Ventura16     
Cabela's has a tremendous deal going on the Humminbird 300TX at the moment. I just bought one (for exclusively freshwater use...don't have any idea how it would perform in saltwater). The 300TX is a triple-beam, dual frequency unit with 300 watts RMS power output...supposed to be good to 600'. The 300TX was $189...then I got a free Speed/Temp sensor (had to pay $5.95 shipping from Humminbird but the sensor is usually $79)...plus I got a $40 gift certificate from Cabela's and a free Cabela's nylon tackle box ($49 value)...net price of the 300TX was $149 + freebies! I'm going to install it this weekend...as soon as I get the boat in the water, I'll make a full report.

Tom

B Bear posted 04-17-2001 12:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
Ventura 16,
Good Deal! I am going to take a better look at Humminbird. I'd like to hear what you have to say since the promotion at Cabelas ends April 30.
Bigz
I have narrowed the field down to:
The Humminbird 300TX and the 400TX (yes Chuck the those were older units that I heard about with the fogging and the new ones are water proof),
Raytheon L365 & L470,
Garmin 160 Blue & 240,
Lowrance X-65, Eagle Tri-Finder & Ultra Classic Plus.

I have decided I do want speed and temp, I am going to do a little trolling for Strippers this year also I will be doing a fair amount of bottom fishing and I am going to expand into Bass and Fly fishing later.
Now I am going to a store and play with the displays and read their manuals and call their tech people.
Bear

B Bear posted 04-17-2001 06:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
Arch,
I found out that Garmin with dual freq. 50/200 kHz is an automatic select by the unit. It will switch over to 50 kHz when the depth reaches 500 ft. So the tech was correct in telling you that your Garmin 160 was fine for the Cheasapeake. In this case there would be no need for dual freq since the 50 kHz would never be used. So you are good to go.

Don,
The basic difference between Lowrance and Eagle is in the transducer, and at the X85 and up a big power difference, and some menu features. They both use the cold cathode lighting.

Bigz
In the end I bought an Eagle Accura 240 (it is almost the same as the Lowrance X65 same size and power), it is not the most powerful only 75 watts RMS, 240 X 240 pixels (decent size with good defination), the cone angle can be changed from the unit menu to and from 20 and 60 degrees as needed (it was this feature that made the difference for me), single beam 192 kHz, speed and temp., split screen, zoom, bottom tracking. The depth is supposed to be good to 600 ft. that should be plenty for the Chesapeake and near shore fishing I do. It certainly is not "killer" or the best, it is what will do a very good job for me and in the end that is all that counts. I'll look for another if and when I buy a bigger Whaler.
Bear

Arch Autenreith posted 04-17-2001 07:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
B Bear. You are good! Thanks for the info. Now all I have to do is install everything. Again, Thanks. Arch.
B Bear posted 04-18-2001 12:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
I changed my mind I am joining the Lowrance X-85 crowd. I am going with the greater power.

Also I have learned that this rule of thumb:
For a 20 degree cone angle the amount of bottom coverage would be a diameter of 1/3 the depth. So if the depth is 21 ft. with a 20 degree cone angle the amount you would see on the bottom would be a diameter of 7 ft.
Good fishing to all.
Bear

bigz posted 04-18-2001 01:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Bear -- smart choice

Might I say though you can get a refurbished Interphase Advantage for $450 including the transom mounted dual freq. transducer with speed and temp which gives you an astounding 1000 watts rms and 8000 peak to peak --- has a cold cathode tube, adjustable power settings, and NMEA GPS or Loran interface just something to think about when you reach the $400 level --

Heh heh just had to throw another bone out --- the Lowrance is a fine unit enjoy --

Tom

bigz posted 04-18-2001 01:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Bear -- smart choice

Might I say though you can get a refurbished Interphase Advantage for $450 including the transom mounted dual freq. transducer with speed and temp which gives you an astounding 1000 watts rms and 8000 peak to peak --- has a cold cathode tube, adjustable power settings, and NMEA GPS or Loran interface just something to think about when you reach the $400 level --

Heh heh just had to throw another bone out --- the Lowrance is a fine unit enjoy --

Tom

B Bear posted 04-18-2001 03:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
Thanks - that bone hit me between the eyes, my head hurts now....
Eric posted 04-18-2001 09:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
This has been a really informative topic. I will be replacing the old paper recorder, and am limited in funds. I was wondering about availability of refurbished marine electronics, as noted above. Where are these available?
bigz posted 04-19-2001 06:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Eric,

Not all electronic firms offer refurbs direct, in fact few do --- however Interphase does through their on-line store --- go to the site and select it from the menu you'll see the listings http://store.interphase-tech.com/

Jersey Jim posted 04-19-2001 09:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jersey Jim  Send Email to Jersey Jim     
Pardon my profit motive, but I have a Zercom LPG 2000 for sale with both the high speed and puck tranducers. I used it for one season
on the Chesapeake Bay and at times off shore. Unit works well- I took it off the boat to move to a combo unit. I don't know the technical details but you can find details on www.zercom.com or Cabela's or Bass Pro. I paid $599 for the unit and $50
for the puck 'ducer. Don't know what used equip is worth, but email me if interested.Unit is back in the box with all manuals.
simonmeridew posted 04-22-2001 11:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for simonmeridew  Send Email to simonmeridew     
Just finished reading the tutorial from the Eagle units.
How critical is it to select the 20 deg. transducer for fresh water and the 8 deg. transducer for salt water. I fish both. The tutorial talked about plankton and air bubbles and such in salt water. If you don't fish in salt water deeper than 50 or so feet would a 20 degree unit, assuming enough power, operate properly and give good info?
simonmeridew
B Bear posted 04-22-2001 03:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
Simmonmeridew,
From what I understand a 20 degree would be fine for you. The 8 degree is used for deeper water since the cone angle would cover a larger area the deeper it goes, in shallower water, like the 50 feet you mentioned, you would have some real tunnel vision (very narrow beam) with the 8 degree cone angle.
It is the sensitivity that will allow a 20 degree transduser to pick fish up to almost 60 degrees.
Another interesting note is that for many dual frequency units the 192 - 200 kHz ( used for depth less the 500 ft) usually has a narrower beam than the 50 kHz used for 500+ feet. This sounded backwards to me.
Bear
where2 posted 04-24-2001 10:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
Now I know ya'll use your fish finders for finding fish, but if you ever track shallow depths with it, you may find this interesting. Eagle is the only one that will reaslistically read less than 3' of depth. My father outfitted his latest boat with a Humminbird ($130 version). After mounting and using it for a couple of months, he finally noticed that it never would read realistically in anything less than 3' of water. He fiddled with the sensitivity, and all the other controls. Then called the Mfg. They said they never designed ANY of their units to read that shallow. So, he started searching for something to point out how shallow it really is. Eagle was the only Mfg to recognize that _some_ people care about the difference between 3' and 1' of water. An Eagle 128+ will tell you quite readily that the lower unit of your engine is about to have the paint sanded off it on that sand bar under you. For $180, it also tells me speed, and water temp.
Some day, I'll have to do some testing and see how deep it will read. The gulfstream is only 3 mi. offshore, so deep water is right outside... Lowrance's show arches, Eagle's show fish symbols.
"Where2"?
B Bear posted 04-24-2001 11:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
Where2,
hey I just got my Lowrance X85 today. Interesting enough it uses the same transducer as my Eagle 128 Strata. Both units will show arches or fish symbols. I'll see how good the Lowrance works in the real shallow stuff. I went out of the Corsica Sunday and Monday the channel markers are gone and it was low tide, there were times I only had 1'4" under me, that was with the Eagle, I'll see how the Lowrance does next weekend.
Bear
Irv Mac Dowell posted 04-25-2001 10:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for Irv Mac Dowell  Send Email to Irv Mac Dowell     
Anyone know anything about the new line of Liquid Paper machines by Zercom? Priced at $230 for the smaller screen and about $500 for the larger.
Whaler15 posted 04-25-2001 10:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whaler15  Send Email to Whaler15     
Mine is a Raytheon L365 and it's OK but I wouldn't buy another one. It locks up and gives irratic readings at high speeds. My previous one was an Interphase Sportsman, the best depthfinder I ever had but it is no longer made.
B Bear posted 04-30-2001 10:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
Where2
I went out on the Corsica at low tide yesterday with the new Lowrance X85, and it did a fantastic job. The unit sounded an audio alarm it also has a keel offset (which my Eagle 128 Strata did not have either feature) at the depth I had set it for and it also read the shallows (1' to 3') without any problem. The Lowrance and Eagle are almost identical. The Lowrance is a far better unit, with a far bigger price tag. I am very happy with this choice and would recommend it to anyone who uses it in the same conditions I do.
Bear
lorenzo1 posted 08-07-2003 09:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for lorenzo1  Send Email to lorenzo1     
We just now briefly tested an Eagle "TriFinder2", Fishfinder about $240.

The shallow water alarm was too weak to be of any help to me; So I am returning it.

Otherwise it will probably be OK, although at high chart speed it is hard to read the fish distance, which is shown as bold and clear in the presentations.

If side finding is important this may get it done.

My old 1994 Eagle Supra II is still limping along providing everything I need except shallow Alarm beeps (broken), also the off switch quit working. If some one has an old "Eagle Supra II Plus" or "Eagle Supra Classic with speed"that still works I will pay $20 plus shipping. Maybe I can retrieve the Beeper! My transducer and speed units are still operating.

Email lorenzo1@wyoming.com

The old Eagle had a sidefinder attachment. When I pointed it at large visible fish in clear water it did not pick them up on the chart; However when trolling if fish showed up on the side screen We got strikes in that area!

QUESTION---------

How loud is the Shallow Alarm on your fishfinder Model? And is it volume adjustable?

I can sympathize with the guy who could not get his five year old model repaired.

With electronic equipment: The conventional wisdom is that if it works for 30 days it may run till you are too old to lift it.

SO DO THIS:

Use any new electronic gear steadily during the warranty period; After that baby it.

Good Luck,

Lorenzo

The answer to broken fishfinders is to find a second similar model and try to use the parts to put one good one together.

The problem the manufacturer has is that EVEN they can not get parts after a year or two!

They could give a substantial credit for a dead machine; that would not hurt them and would be good advertising.

See Leupold Optics for outstanding service.

My first FishFinder was a Coastal Navigator, It was taken over by "Bottom Line".

When it conked out--Bottom LIne had a fixed $49 to repair. AND they told me too bad it was not an original Bottom Line as they would have shipped me a replacement machine that day and accept the broken bottom line when it arrived at their factory, again for a nominal fixed repair cost.

I have heard from fisherman who were treated poorly by Himminbird some years ago.

Doe not make sense. A $500 machine probably leaves the factory at a cost of $100 to the factory. So they could have an attractive repair - replacement policy at a reasonable cost.

Good Luck,

Lorenzo

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