Advice on GPS/Sonar Units

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Jeff Dodd, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. Jeff Dodd

    Jeff Dodd Active Member

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    Yes, my Eagle head unit has quit working while we were in Chelan this past week, so I'm starting to shop for a replacement. I hear the unit working, but the display is blank most of the time. Also, my 2004 model Eagle is not compatable with the newer eagle/lowrance plugs, so I am looking advice on Garmin, Lowrance or ?

    Any benifts of one brand over another? Are the base maps better in Garmin?

    Thanks!
     
  2. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    I'm looking for one of the new Lowrance 10 inch HDS units with sidescan. Humminbird though has the 360 scan. Main thing is deciding which brand you think the best of.
     
  3. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Just got a lowrance elite 4 for my kayak. Not installed and tested, but others highly recommended this unit.
     
  4. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    Ed, I have that one installed on my Tarpon 140 SOT right now, and am able to transfer it to my john boat. I have the grayscale, and my only complaint is that its sometimes hard to read with the small screen when its covered with water droplets or salt spray, where I now have it mounted, way out there by my feet. My Cocoon polarized glasses sometimes make it a little tougher to read, too, especially with any salt spray or droplets on the screen and/or on my lenses.
    In order to alleviate these dissatisfactions, I am going to get a mount with an extension, which will put the unit closer to my eyeballs.
    I do really like the "down-scan imaging" or DSI.
     
  5. Bruce Baker

    Bruce Baker Active Member

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    I have a Lowrance HDS5. I thought about the Elite, but liked the feel of the buttons better on the HDS. I had also thought about getting a Hummingbird, but I liked the Lowrance's screen display better.
     
  6. The Gen 2 has the faster processor speed but pretty spendy for the HDS8 around $1500 and $2200+ for the HDS10. I run dual GPS on the boat, have a Garmin 188c which is older, but does the job for basic GPS, but gritty sounder resolution. I also acquired a used HDS5 Gen 1 as I had that on my previous boat and liked it very much, if you can find one on closeout might be worth looking into, the best price I could find locally was about $600 from Outdoor Emporium for the HD5S with Nautic Insight. The Elite 5 has better charts and I believe you can get it with the Gold Navionics chip for around $550. All a matter of choices and budget, keep in mind that based on the locations where you'll need charts there are units tailored to your desired fishing locations. The HDS5 versus the HDS5X or Lakes will show differences in the lake or salt topography. You may have to buy a separate chip if you plan to use it in both salt and freshwater, and of course into Canada. The newer GPS units are easy to install, don't require the use of a speed wheel, just use one mount for the transducer, one plug in for the power, and you're set. The also don't require the install of an auxilliary antennae as its built in. As I mentioned, I like to run dual charts and or one screen with chart, one with the bottom line and have a smaller sounder only unit to use as a filter for false negatives. I know when there are bait balls and Kings feeding from underneath and Coho slapped the bait from the top. Even with all the technology is no guarantee of success, but every bit of information helps.
     
    JesseCFowl likes this.
  7. Jeff Dodd

    Jeff Dodd Active Member

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    Great. Thanks for the responses guys. I have lots of homework to do on these new products and map choices.
     
  8. vanvgj1

    vanvgj1 Yak fisher

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    Hi Jeff -
    Surprised to see the all the kayak responses above so I had to toss in my 2c. I've just finished setting up and testing a Humminbird 170 for my kayak. Been out with it the past two weekends. I'm impressed even though it's greyscale it seems to be easy to see even as far away as my feet and with some glare and spray. I've attached a couple pics. Economical too - installed and running for $180. Another factor I like is that it's quick and easy to unmount the head, unplug the battery and take it away. And I mounted the transducer underneath the tandem seat so it's out of the way. Best thing is - now I know where not to fish. Worst thing is - now I can see the fish but still can't catch them! Check out the parade of fish in the close up Saturday morning at the end of flood around Elger Bay. Only 15ft. deep and I still couldn't get a take.
    Good luck choosing yours - there's way too many choices.
    Greg
    BrownsPoint_FishFinder_071412.JPG ElgerBay_Fish_072112.JPG
     

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