Tube-mounted fishfinders

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Guy Gregory, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. Guy Gregory Active Member

    Posts: 453
    Spokane, WA.
    Ratings: +44 / 0
    I noticed in LCnSac's thread on his Scadden boat several of you have installed boat-style fishfinders. Most cool! Could you save me some research time and tell us all here how you installed it, how it is powered and if it is transferable between boats?

    I'd appreciate it...note also you can acquire a cupholder that fits into a Scotty mount...multitasking at its best, I think I may never spill a beer again!

    guy
  2. Blue Active Member

    Posts: 1,158
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Ratings: +111 / 0
    First off, yes mine is transferable. My FF is a an older Humminbird, but that really haven't changed.
    My transducer is mount to square aluminum tubing. I mount a bigger tube to the back of the deck on my X5
    Sorry the only pictures I have is the old mans boat and his sonar, but same mounting:

    [IMG]

    The Monitor is mounted using RAM hardware to the foot peg on the X5

    [IMG]

    Now to mount this to My Renegade, as I mentioned on LC's post, I use the ball mount for the Ram on a piece of plywood in one of the bags
    (the side that opens front to back)

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    The Transducer, I kept on the square tube. I bought some Nylon strapping (the one in the picture is one inch wide strapping but I use 4" wide). I put adjusters on the strapping and a quick clip that I bought at a Tent store.
    I put a bolt through the center of the strapping. (Smooth round headed bolt) I then put a washer. Then the square tubing, and another washer and then use a wing nut for easy adjusting. I put velcor on the back of the bolt that is next to the tube.

    [IMG]

    I am able to swing it up on shore

    [IMG]
  3. LCnSac John or "LC"

    Posts: 690
    Sacramento, CA
    Ratings: +163 / 1
    If portability and simplicity are priorities, I'd like to offer an alternative to a mounted fish finder--the Humminbird RF35. This finder has a wireless transducer and the screen is worn on your wrist like a watch.

    I have an $800 Lowrance Chartplotter and Fishfinder in the garage that I stripped off the Whaler when I sold her, along with an old Eagle ID 6300 and a Fishin' Buddy and this is my favorite. The Lowrance is a tech bucket but a mess of cables. The Fishin' Buddy is cumbersome and not that accurate. The Eagle is missing a transducer. Not only is the RF 35 a snap to set up--it's highly accurate especially in shallow water as it has a 90 degree transducer.

    The wireless transducer floats and has a range of about 150'(bankers can cast it to water to check for depth and fish), but I have it on 25# test line clipped to my footbar, about 3 feet in front of the boat. I've absolutely killed it in several lakes when my friends can't buy a strike because I see fish and structure in 8' depths when their 20 degree finders miss them. The display shows depth, temp, structure with pixels, and fish. When you're done, just put the tiny transducer in your pocket or in the bag. No cables, no transducer supports, no dissassembly. Great when you're packing the toon or traveling or swapping boats.

    The reviews are mixed, but I've never experienced any issues with mine. The transducer is four years old and still works great. They do have to be replaced every 500 hours or so. They work best in lakes without a lot of channels or sudden depth changes because the 90 degree transducer picks up so much and it can get confused. This weekend I was fishing the channels at about 25-40' sitting in 10' and the finder was going crazy switching between depths in the entire range. That doesn't happen often though.

    They run in the $70 range on Amazon.
  4. Driftaway New Member

    Posts: 29
    Scranton Pa
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    not only simplicity but also less weight as well
  5. Blue Active Member

    Posts: 1,158
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Ratings: +111 / 0
    How is it in the cold? I don't mean freezing but Fall water temps. I know two that have it say it quit working. They had to keep bringing it in and warming it up then send it out again. Just curious, sounds like you have been using it for awhile and I trust your feed back.
  6. LCnSac John or "LC"

    Posts: 690
    Sacramento, CA
    Ratings: +163 / 1
    I've used it in snow conditions in the Sierra and packed a float tube over ice to fish the opener at East Lake (OR) without fail. This weekend we'll be around Truckee where it should be pretty cold and I'll take some screen shots and report any problems. I do keep the watch battery fresh.
  7. Blue Active Member

    Posts: 1,158
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Ratings: +111 / 0
    Cool, look forward to that report. Thanks
  8. LCnSac John or "LC"

    Posts: 690
    Sacramento, CA
    Ratings: +163 / 1
    I did see a fair amount of negatives in some reviews. I got mine just after they came out, and it's possible the newer ones are presenting problems. I don't know anyone else who has one but it's been fine for me. It looks like virtually all the negatives are from bank casters. My transducer is never more than a few feet away from the finder and that may eliminate signal problems. I have been in some pretty choppy conditions too and it read fine. Maybe I got lucky or maybe there are some operational limits I haven't encountered. Never used it in moving water. I know some fly shops sell them and they may be a better source with more user input.
  9. Blue Active Member

    Posts: 1,158
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Ratings: +111 / 0
    The screen would be my only negative. I like looking over occasionally to see bottom structure....WITHOUT MY GLASSES>>>>LOL
  10. LCnSac John or "LC"

    Posts: 690
    Sacramento, CA
    Ratings: +163 / 1
    I'm in the same boat and have to wear cheaters for the computer and reading glasses for books. I can see structure and fish fine on the screen. I have to squint to make out the depth number though. I do like the wrist mount and am planning on strapping on a school room sized clock to my wrist in about five years;-)
  11. LCnSac John or "LC"

    Posts: 690
    Sacramento, CA
    Ratings: +163 / 1
    Here is a screenshot from this weekend. The camera does weird things. The fish look like fish to the naked eye but appear as squares here. You can also see the green thermocline line more clearly here. Depth is 10' and surface WT is 75.
    [IMG]
  12. Blue Active Member

    Posts: 1,158
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Ratings: +111 / 0
    Cool. I have seen these. My brother in law has one. Cool idea, but I will stick to the little fish on a 4" or 5" screen...LOL
    Oh, do these have the back light for night time?
  13. LCnSac John or "LC"

    Posts: 690
    Sacramento, CA
    Ratings: +163 / 1
    I *think* so.

    I guess the new Fishin Buddy is better than mine. That could be a thought for the future. It would be nice to have a larger screen. I think both have utility depending on the trip.

    I think I am going to sell my Lowrance Chartplotter and Fishfinder to raise some funds for a lesser one with internal GPS which I still need for the Delta although the iPhone is pretty adequate most times.
  14. Blue Active Member

    Posts: 1,158
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Ratings: +111 / 0
    GPS!!!! YES! I am hear of people on H that required them and Strawberry here right now is total fog in the mornings.
    GPS is a good thing for sure.
  15. Guy Gregory Active Member

    Posts: 453
    Spokane, WA.
    Ratings: +44 / 0
    Joni, great pics, thanks!

    How do you power it?

    I think the wrist thing is cool, but Dick Tracy had better eyesight than I....
  16. Blue Active Member

    Posts: 1,158
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Ratings: +111 / 0
  17. Duane J Member

    Posts: 82
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +9 / 0
    Thanks for the informative and helpful post to both Greg and LCnSAC! How do you power the RF35 and what kind of user time do you get? Duane J
  18. LCnSac John or "LC"

    Posts: 690
    Sacramento, CA
    Ratings: +163 / 1
    The RF35 wrist unit is powered by a replaceable watch battery. They are about 2 for $5 and readily available. The transducer has a non-replaceable battery and must be replaced about every 500 hours of use. The cost is about $25 and depending on your use, you will need to replace it every 2-4 years. My 2007 transducer is still OK but I'm going to replace it anyway as it's time.

    As mentioned, another option is the Humminbird Fishin' Buddy 120 which people seem to like. The FB 120 runs about $165.

    The problem is mounting to a pontoon as the included clamp down holder needs some mods for frameless pontoons. It's not difficult but won't work out of the box.
  19. Tracy Lauricella Active Member

    Posts: 318
    Lakewood, WA
    Ratings: +33 / 0
    I've got the Fishin' Buddy and am really happy with it.

    I've thought about getting this mount for my float tube:
    http://amzn.com/B0012IVHA6
    It'd probably work just as well on a pontoon, though I've not actually seen it myself in person to speak on the quality of the mount.
  20. Blue Active Member

    Posts: 1,158
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Ratings: +111 / 0
    They work great on any inflatable. Only thing I don't like is they don't swivel. You have to pull the fish finder out when coming to shore.
    I have an older FB mount that was literally just a big PVC pipe with a strap mounted. Same thing sort of, but easy to make.