Author Topic: fish finder/GPS questions  (Read 2986 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline edoubleu

  • Shiner
  • **
  • Posts: 78
  • Applause: +3/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • THIS is my last cast
    • View Profile
  • My Biggest Bass: 7.25 lbs (LMB) in South Carolina
  • My Boat: 1995 14' Sundance (panfish-style w/stick-steer); 25hp Evinrude
fish finder/GPS questions
« on: March 24, 2015, 06:31:07 PM »
I have been using an Eagle Magna 2 fish finder for several years now. I believe it's from late 90's / early 2000. I'm upgrading this spring and have a budget of $325ish. I don't have any other experience with these things and wonder if there is really is any difference between the major manufacturers. I know they all have their own 'technologies', but are the results pretty much the same across the board?
The down imaging looks great online and in print, but is it worth the price?
GPS is important but 90% of my fishing will be in CT, MA, RI. How is the map coverage in our area?
I'm sure I'll some more questions, but this will get me started.


Thanks,
Eric

Offline Joe P

  • Moderator
  • Largemouth Bass
  • *****
  • Posts: 2274
  • Applause: +106/-0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • My Biggest Bass: 8 lbs 11 oz RI
  • My Boat: 2015 Stratos 186 VLO - 135HO Evinrude Etec
Re: fish finder/GPS questions
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2015, 09:56:13 AM »
Depends on what size screen you want. The new Humminbird Helix models give a lot of features in your price range.
They are smaller units and are selling as fast as they can make them so finding them in stock might be tough.
Map coverage is good for this area and DI is worth it IMO 8)


http://www.tacklewarehouse.com/Humminbird_Helix_5_Sonar/descpage-HX.html

Offline edoubleu

  • Shiner
  • **
  • Posts: 78
  • Applause: +3/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • THIS is my last cast
    • View Profile
  • My Biggest Bass: 7.25 lbs (LMB) in South Carolina
  • My Boat: 1995 14' Sundance (panfish-style w/stick-steer); 25hp Evinrude
Re: fish finder/GPS questions
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2015, 10:08:40 AM »
the Helix 5 (DI or DI GPS) is definitely on the list. I like to fact that the screen is bigger than Lowrance Elite 4 CHIRP or Garmin EchoMAP 43dv which are in that same price range.
Have you used any of the smaller screen units?

Offline Joe P

  • Moderator
  • Largemouth Bass
  • *****
  • Posts: 2274
  • Applause: +106/-0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • My Biggest Bass: 8 lbs 11 oz RI
  • My Boat: 2015 Stratos 186 VLO - 135HO Evinrude Etec
Re: fish finder/GPS questions
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2015, 10:28:01 AM »
I had older 5 series Humminbirds with similar sized screens and it was fine.  The new Helix units have a wide screen which is better for DI and SI.

Garmin is coming out with some nice units also. They would be my second choice right now.

 Here is a overview video of the Helix

Offline Curt - RI

  • Forum Admin
  • Administrator
  • Largemouth Bass
  • *****
  • Posts: 10190
  • Applause: +149/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Fish On!
    • View Profile
    • CurtSnow.com
  • My Biggest Bass: LMB - 9 lbs. 2 oz. (RI) 9 lbs. 14 oz. (California Delta) - SMB 5 lbs. 10 oz. (CT)
  • My Boat: 2007 G3 HP180 Yamaha 150 HP
Re: fish finder/GPS questions
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2015, 12:34:25 PM »
I have a Humminbird 788 and a 798, which are both fairly small units and they work fine for DI and SI. And having GPS is definitely something I won't be without again.

Down imaging is definitely really nice too. I wouldn't say it's earth-shattering, but it is definitely nice to have.

If you end up ordering your new unit from Bass Pro or Tackle Warehouse, please be sure to use the banners here so the site will benefit from the sale  ;)

Offline edoubleu

  • Shiner
  • **
  • Posts: 78
  • Applause: +3/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • THIS is my last cast
    • View Profile
  • My Biggest Bass: 7.25 lbs (LMB) in South Carolina
  • My Boat: 1995 14' Sundance (panfish-style w/stick-steer); 25hp Evinrude
Re: fish finder/GPS questions
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2015, 10:09:08 PM »
Joe, thanks for the video. Gave me some good basic info. I found a few others like it, but nothing showing it in action on the water. 'm


Curt, why do you say won't be without GPS ever again? Do you use additional mapping files for contours?
I'm considering getting one without the built-in GPS. If I need GPS I could use my phone. I've been trying a few apps for fishing that aren't too bad.

Offline Joe P

  • Moderator
  • Largemouth Bass
  • *****
  • Posts: 2274
  • Applause: +106/-0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • My Biggest Bass: 8 lbs 11 oz RI
  • My Boat: 2015 Stratos 186 VLO - 135HO Evinrude Etec
Re: fish finder/GPS questions
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2015, 10:56:17 AM »
Nice to have it all in one unit so you can mark waypoints . With the Navionics card you get all the contours and Lake details 8)

Offline Curt - RI

  • Forum Admin
  • Administrator
  • Largemouth Bass
  • *****
  • Posts: 10190
  • Applause: +149/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Fish On!
    • View Profile
    • CurtSnow.com
  • My Biggest Bass: LMB - 9 lbs. 2 oz. (RI) 9 lbs. 14 oz. (California Delta) - SMB 5 lbs. 10 oz. (CT)
  • My Boat: 2007 G3 HP180 Yamaha 150 HP
Re: fish finder/GPS questions
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2015, 11:46:05 AM »
Joe, thanks for the video. Gave me some good basic info. I found a few others like it, but nothing showing it in action on the water. 'm


Curt, why do you say won't be without GPS ever again? Do you use additional mapping files for contours?
I'm considering getting one without the built-in GPS. If I need GPS I could use my phone. I've been trying a few apps for fishing that aren't too bad.

@edoubleu Having the GPS in the unit allows me to mark and save specific pieces of cover or structure for later reference. For example, if I find a small rock pile in open water, I can save a waypoint to the GPS for that rock pile and then go back to it repeatedly, with very little effort. This alone is worth the price of buying a unit, at least for me.

Offline edoubleu

  • Shiner
  • **
  • Posts: 78
  • Applause: +3/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • THIS is my last cast
    • View Profile
  • My Biggest Bass: 7.25 lbs (LMB) in South Carolina
  • My Boat: 1995 14' Sundance (panfish-style w/stick-steer); 25hp Evinrude
Re: fish finder/GPS questions
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2015, 09:47:23 PM »
I've definitely decided to get a unit with GPS. It's not worth messing around with another device. I would rather sacrifice a little on screen size to stay in my budget so I can have the GPS built in. I'm leaning towards the Lowrance Elite-4 CHIRP. I found it on Amazon with the Navionics+ mapping software for around $325. Does Dick's Sporting Goods have most of these popular unit out on display? Be nice to them up close.


Curt, if I didn't have a bunch of Amazon gift cards to use up to get this, I would have gotten it through BPS. I'll keep it in mind for other purchases.


Offline Joe P

  • Moderator
  • Largemouth Bass
  • *****
  • Posts: 2274
  • Applause: +106/-0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • My Biggest Bass: 8 lbs 11 oz RI
  • My Boat: 2015 Stratos 186 VLO - 135HO Evinrude Etec
Re: fish finder/GPS questions
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2015, 10:36:31 AM »
Dicks doesn't have much on display, they might have that unit though? That's a good price if it comes with the Navionics card.

My boat came with a Lowrance Elite 3X, same size as the 4X. Nice little unit but the screen is not much bigger than a smartphone. i Swapped it out with a Hummingbird i already had, I like the wider screens better !

Offline Curt - RI

  • Forum Admin
  • Administrator
  • Largemouth Bass
  • *****
  • Posts: 10190
  • Applause: +149/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Fish On!
    • View Profile
    • CurtSnow.com
  • My Biggest Bass: LMB - 9 lbs. 2 oz. (RI) 9 lbs. 14 oz. (California Delta) - SMB 5 lbs. 10 oz. (CT)
  • My Boat: 2007 G3 HP180 Yamaha 150 HP
Re: fish finder/GPS questions
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2015, 12:16:30 PM »
No problem @edoubleu I understand completely!

Glad you found something you like within your budget  ;)