Fishin' buddy depthfinder woes

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by tippet, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. tippet hardcore flyfishing addict

    Posts: 113
    Spokane, WA
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    Has anybody else had trouble with the newer Fishin' buddy depthfinders from bottomline? I had an old Fishin' buddy II that I used with my pontoon boat and Super Fat cat for years and years, and loved it. It finally died and I replaced it with a Fishin' Buddy 4400. The second time I used it, about 3 hours after I started fishing, it would make a high-pitched noise, then the screen would go blank. I would turn it off, then turn it back on again and it would work for anywhere between 30 seconds to five minutes, then do the same thing. This was on a cool day with 100% cloud cover in late March. I tried it on my next trip to a lake, same story. I sent it back to Bottomline to have it fixed. They sent it back 4 months later, supposedly fixed, but it did the same thing.
    I sent it back to Bottomline and insisted on receiving a new unit. they sent me a new 4400 and it initially worked, but it malfunctioned in the same way the fourth time I used it. It will work for 10 seconds to 2-3 minutes, enough time for me to check a depth, then malfunction again.

    I bought a Fishin' Buddy 2202 to replace it. It stays on, but won't give an accurate depth. It says the lake is 4 feet deep when I am over 30 feet of water. whe I turn Surface Clutter Control (SCC) on, it will say the lake is 10-12 feet deep in 30 feet of water. I have adjusted the gain and tried everything I can think of, and have reset it to the original parameters numerous times, and still can't get it to function properly.

    Am I the only one having trouble with these newer units? Does anybody have a recommendation for a different type of unit for use on a float tube/pontoon boat? I like knowing the depth for chironomid fishing, and use it to pinpoint dropoffs, submerged islands, etc. It also gives you a general idea of whether or not there are any fish in the area.
  2. Gary Thompson dirty dog

    Posts: 3,891
    East Wenatchee, WA
    Ratings: +131 / 0
    I just bought a Fishing buddy and I haven't had a chance to use it yet.
    I have to custom a mount for the boat.
    I think I would take each unit that doesn't work right back until you get one that does work right.
    I believe Bottomline will stand behind their product.
  3. P-FITZ98 Member

    Posts: 257
    Spokane, WA
    Ratings: +14 / 0
    I have an old one,I beleive the first to come out,and only about half the screen works. It worked good for a long time,though.I would like to get a new one.Gary, I still have the clamp-on boat mount I will never use for it if it would work for you on the newer one.Pay shipping and its yours.
  4. luckybalbowa Member

    Posts: 325
    Kamas, Utah
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I work at a larger sporting goods store and every time someone tries to buy a fishin buddy, I try and stop them.

    Sure you might get one that works great for you, but I bet we get 2-3 out of 10 units sold back into the store because of defects.

    The fishin buddy might fit conveniently on a tube or toon, but the resolution is crappy and has low wattage. For the same price or lower you can get a much better standard type unit (eagle, lowrance, humminbird) and rig it to fit your needs.
  5. Dick Warnke was Pram-Man

    Posts: 761
    Federal Way Wa
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    OUCH!! Not a good thing to hear, I bought a 2200 awhile back but haven't used it yet....keeping my fingers crossed.
  6. Banzai FFing and VWs...Bugs & Bugs

    Posts: 786
    Bremerton, WA
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    I bought a Fishing Buddy a couple of years ago from a large box store. After a week of use I returned to the store for a trade up to the Sidefinder model (nonportable) that was a marked down display model for the same price. I use a small motorcycle battery and built a mount for the screen, transducer, and battery.It quickly clips or bungees to either the pontoon or the boat. Never had a problem with it, and if I run the Minnkota, I just hook up to that battery.
  7. tkww Member

    Posts: 467
    Ratings: +68 / 2
    I bought a 2200 or 2202 or whatever last season. Used it a couple days and it seemed to work fine. I did seem to _have_ to use the clutter control, which seemed odd. I'm looking forward to gving it some more use this year.

    I love the idea of getting a non-portable one and making it portable, but the battery issue just never seems fun (as it, clumbsy, heavy, etc.) But yes you can get a helluva lot better fish finder if you go that route.
  8. Chromer Defeat terrorism

    Posts: 371
    Newcastle, WA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    if this thing were to work properly, can it display fish or basically structure?
  9. tippet hardcore flyfishing addict

    Posts: 113
    Spokane, WA
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    When working properly, they display both fish and structure. I personally haven't found these units to be useful to catch a specific fish, but it is helpful to know if there are any fish in the general area and at what depth they are suspended, and to see the type of bottom structure.
  10. Chromer Defeat terrorism

    Posts: 371
    Newcastle, WA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    i thought that is what fishing was about - use flies and fishing rods
  11. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Posts: 5,663
    Somewhere on the Coast
    Ratings: +544 / 0
    I like my Humminbird Piranha 4 portable. It has a suction cup transponder mount, and runs on 8 AA batteries. Works great...never had a problem with it in four years. I got it for $90 plus tax.

    I was getting some weird readings from it last Sunday. The display was changing rapidly...then I noticed the suction cup had slipped off the transom due to the higher speed I'd been going, breaking in my new o/b motor.