Fishin' Buddy portable fishfinder with side-scan

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by u2ill, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. Starman77

    Starman77 Active Member

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    I use the Fishin' Buddy all the time, and like the others I have found it very useful for determining the depth and water temperature. If you're trolling, it really helps you stay on the bottom contour that you want. It is not very good for spotting fish straight down due to the narrow transducer cone angle. The SideFinder View is very useful because it can give me an idea if there are fish in a certain area and whether I should spend time trying to catch the fish in that area. If the area is devoid of fish, I won't spend much time there and move on. When exploring a new lake, the Fishin' Buddy is a time saver in learning the bottom contours.

    However, I have had a lot of problems with the Fishin' Buddy and have returned it 5 times. My friend has two units and he also has returned them several times. The main problems have been moisture problem with water or condensation getting up into the electronics. You'd think they would have made the electronics waterproof considering where the unit is used. I have found that after every use it helps if I open the battery compartment/handle to allow the inside electronics to dry out. The keypad controls also aren't of good quality.

    I'd think that the Hummingbird acquisition of BottomLine will be an improvement in the quality control department, so I'm looking forward to upgrading in the near future. I especially like the color screen on the high-end model. I'd recommend you buy the Hummingbird model, not the old BottomLine models.

    Rex
     
  2. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

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    The "stealth body trout" I fish for will reject your radar! :rolleyes:
     
  3. sportsman

    sportsman Active Member

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    To Wayne Kohan: For some reason you took offense to my reply to "u2ill".... Your response: Originally Posted by sportsman
    I think some people have problems with them because they don't read the manual .

    I have read my manual multiple times and it says to play around with it to figure it out. Seriously! So don't give me the "read the manual garbage". ????? Seeing how we have never met, nor do I remember you posting about Fishing Buddies, my response would be somewhere between an "apology" and you've confused me with someone that gives a S... what you think! I'll just chalk it up to your having a bad day. Starman 77: I have a friend who has had the same problem with condesation, but he always left the batteries in it and would lay it "flat' in his truck. I always remove the batteries after using it and transport/store it vertically.
     
  4. SuperSecretCIA

    SuperSecretCIA Be Like Mike!

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    I have used a Fishing Buddy since 1994, and my original unit is still going strong. Condensation was sometimes an issue, so I simply gather some of those little silicate packets that you get with some electronics or even in shoe boxes, and toss them inside the unit. I have been very careful when transporting the Fishing Buddy, and always put a protective cover over the top of the unit.:ray1:

    I strongly believe that the Fishing Buddy is a very valuable piece of equipment. I find the depth, bottom texture, and the temperature functions more important than the fish finding function.

    My unit has a transducer with a narrow (9 degree view angle). In side view you see approximately 10 feet down at 60 feet out, 20 feet down at 120 feet out. So if you are sitting in water with a depth of 20 feet and you mark a fish out to the side at 60 feet, that fish is somewhere between the surface and 10 feet down. Also note that the side view is worthless in shallow water let say 5 feet or less.:thumb:
     
  5. yellowlab

    yellowlab Active Member

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    I used to think it was cheating by using a fish finder but its a much better way to determine depth versus using hemostats to drop the fly down each time I moved locations. After using my fishing buddy a few times now, I don't know what I did without it. Its an invaluable piece of equipment if you're going to chironomid fish. I bought my basic buddy from GI Joes for $130.
     
  6. tyenflies

    tyenflies Life is good living on a lake!

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    I travel for work, and have found it great on new water. One trip arround the lake and I have lots of information about the shore and surface from observation and the bottom from watching the sonar. Mine does well on showing bottom types, as you can see hard flat bottom or weeds. I have also picked up fish hanging at depth. It is great for chron fishing too.

    The side finder seems to pick up all kinds of stuff, but sometimes fish too, as I have watched rising fish appear on it from time to time. I do not put much faith in the side finder readings in general though.

    The moisture is a bit of a problem, but I take the batteries out and leave the handle off now and that helps. I also carry an extra handle with me in my truck, as the little plastic threads broke on my first handle and then it would not work.

    D
     
  7. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

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    fish finders are useful for the following:

    Depth
    Bottom Type
    Finding submerged structure
    Locating suspended bait balls

    for targeting individual fish they are pretty useless, but if you can interpert the stuff listed above they can help you catch more fish
     
  8. Steve Birrer

    Steve Birrer Active Member

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    I used a FB for years (and still have it) but last year I got a larger unit (Humminbird 343C). The issue I had with the FB is that it the depths I typically fish the cone angle was so narrow that I really didn't think I was doing anything more than marking depth.

    After I got the Humminbird I am now convinced that was the case. The abilty to find dropoffs is WAY better now. The FB is great for portabilty and ease of use but the transudcer cone on the older ones is really to narrow. The new version made by Humminbird has got to be better. For you technical types (ok I am an engineer) do the math. The originall Bottom Line FB has a transducer cone angle of I believe on the order of 9degrees. My 343C has a dual cone with the outer cone being a 60 degree.

    Not a knock on the FB but once you look at the difference it is amazing how much more you can really see with a wider cone.

    Now whether or not that really "helps" us flyflingers is open to debate.:rofl:
     
  9. Dick Warnke

    Dick Warnke was Pram-Man

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    I bought a Bottomline FB 2202 last June amd never had a chance to use it until last week at Dry Falls. Got out in the Pram, set the unit up, got out the instructions and away we go.....WRONG!! it is stuck in the simulator mode and won't come out.! Called Humminbird, who now owns Bottomline. They told me to send it back for repair. It is now in UPS hands. Be interesting to see if it works when I get it back. To say the least right now I'm not to impressed. :(
     
  10. Rob Ast

    Rob Ast Active Member

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    I just purchased the new 130 from hummingbird, got a chance to play with it at cady lake yesterday. Interface is very easy, and I had no trouble just jumping in and figuring it out on the fly. I would agree that it is much better as a temperature sensor and depth gauge than as a fish finder. When side scan showed a fish it was definitely there, but both fish I caught didn't show up on the side scan even though it was pointing right at my fly. As for the longevity and condensation issues I think we'll have to wait and see. I have to say even at a lake I've fished many times it was interesting to see the bottom contours (much deeper than I thought in some places, much shallower in others). For Chironomid fishing I'm sure it will be invaluable.
     
  11. Starman77

    Starman77 Active Member

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    I sure do agree that the old Bottomline Fishin' Buddies had too narrow of a cone looking straight down. My Bottomline Fishin' Buddy would very rarely spot a fish looking straight down. The new Humminbird Fishin Buddies don't have that 60 degree cone that your 343C has, as the specs for the 110, 120, 130 and 140c models all specifiy a 34 degree cone, which is still much better than the old Fishin' Buddies.

    I'm thinking about buying the Humminbird Fishin Buddy 140c model, but I noticed that the 6 AA batteries only last 16 hours versus 30 hours for the B&W models (and that's without the backlighting). So it does appear that the color screen uses up about twice as much power. One of the reviewers on the Cabela's web site said he only got 11 hours from one of the B&W models while using no backlighting.

    Another thing that I noticed while looking over the online user's manual for the 140c is that there are two external wires that connect the back of the screen to the battery case. If you hike around in the sagebrush as I often do, you have to be careful that those wires don't get caught on something.

    I stopped by Cabela's the other day to try to take a look at the 140c, but there apparently is a delay with Humminbird delivering the units to the stores. That store in Lacey has 5 on order.

    Rex
     
  12. Rob Ast

    Rob Ast Active Member

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    The two wires connect the power and transducer (both housed in the shaft) to the screen/computer (independently mounted unit). The connection seems pretty sturdy, but if you are concerned you could easily disconnect them, wrap them, dismount the screen, or any other number of options. The wires are not overly long/floppy. If you were to get them snagged I think you would be banging the computer on the ground/sage-brush anyway. If it was carried upright with the screen facing out there is really no way the wires could get caught.
     
  13. Starman77

    Starman77 Active Member

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    That's good to know from your personal experience with the new units. Thanks!

    Rex
     
  14. Steven Green

    Steven Green Hood Canal Pirate

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    I started to accumulate so much fishing crap (no fish finders yet) I bought a tiny day pack and now I only use what I can fit in there :thumb:

    Steven
     
  15. SeanM

    SeanM member

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    Has anyone tried the BottomLine Fishin'Buddy 1101 model? I noticed there is a pretty good sale out there on that particular one - but based on some of the comments above - I'm curious if its one of the "troubled" ones.