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 Post subject: Fishfinder upgrade
PostPosted: 13 Oct 2016, 23:53 
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Joined: 14 Aug 2016, 22:25
Posts: 1115
Location: Clayton California
I’m in the market to upgrade my fishfinder and am hoping to get some advice from folks that have a lot more experience than me.

My boat came with a Humminbird Piranhamax 143. This is a pretty basic 4” grey-scale unit. I would like a larger display and some advanced features. I would like to stay below $600.

Practically all of my fishing consists of trolling with downriggers in freshwater lakes for trout. Most of the time I’m nowhere near the bottom. My bottom-line basic need is to identify where fish are hanging in the water column.

I’ve done some online research and am not ashamed to admit I’m a little bewildered with the terminology and number of different features available. Some of the features are very cool but I question how useful they would be to me. For example, side-scan is amazing, but I’m not sure I would find it that useful for trolling in deep water.

I’ve kind of focused on the Humminbird Helix 7DI/GPS, Lowrance Hook 7 HDI, and the Raymarine 7 PRO. Some of these have deals for free maps. I read some reviews that the newer Hook 7 units had some screen refresh problems. It was only a few out of many other positive reviews so not sure how much weight to put on this. I also looked at some Garmin models but got so confused over added cost for upgrades that I took Garmin off my list.

Sorry if this got a little long winded. Am I on the right track? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks.



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 Post subject: Fishfinder upgrade
PostPosted: 14 Oct 2016, 05:58 
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Joined: 12 Oct 2015, 20:13
Posts: 254
Location: Ohio
I recently purchased the Hummingbird 7 with SI/DI. Really like it. I have had it on the water for about 3 months, so far so good. I am still learning the use of some of the features, really more than I need, but is fun for me to tinker with. Most of my fishing is for bass......:)


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 Post subject: Fishfinder upgrade
PostPosted: 14 Oct 2016, 10:38 
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Joined: 17 Apr 2014, 15:39
Posts: 478
Location: Cullman, Alabama
If you troll a lot with a trolling motor rather than an outboard, Humminbird has a model that is compatible with Minn Kota's ipilot TMs and you can set it to follow depth contours from your map card. I think that option is available on the Helix 9 and up. If I almost exclusively trolled, I would look into it.



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 Post subject: Fishfinder upgrade
PostPosted: 14 Oct 2016, 15:55 

Joined: 19 Feb 2013, 15:33
Posts: 371
i'm pretty stoked on the Simrad GO7, it easily picks up balls of shrimp in the harbor at 30-40' depths, and the chirp is straight up photographic when ID'ing structure, i also like the display color options to go red during nighttime, i got it for $550 on a blowout @ west marine, but i think now the only one you can get under $600 is the GO5 which is the same unit but a smaller screen



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 Post subject: Fishfinder upgrade
PostPosted: 16 Oct 2016, 01:10 
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Joined: 14 Aug 2016, 22:25
Posts: 1115
Location: Clayton California
Thanks all for the feedback. I think I'm at the point where I am overthinking things.

WMK-- I use my outboard for trolling. Don't have a trolling motor. Out of curiosity I looked at the iPilot linkage you mentioned. I can see how that would be a very useful feature. I think they make a similar autopilot interface, but that would probably end up costing more than my boat!

Chevyrulz -- I took a quick peek at Simard's units. You got a great deal on the G07. Impressive features.



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 Post subject: Fishfinder upgrade
PostPosted: 17 Oct 2016, 09:29 
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Joined: 13 Dec 2006, 00:13
Posts: 10583
Location: Bucks Co., PA
For what you are doing you need not invest in an expensive and high tech unit. You will need a basic unit (color is nice) and learn how to adjust the gain and contrast to show you the thermocline and where the fish are in relation to top bottom and theromocline

I would take a look at used units - maybe put up a wanted on the buy sell forum right here at TinBoats.


Good luck



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 Post subject: Re: Fishfinder upgrade
PostPosted: 17 Oct 2016, 22:26 
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Joined: 22 Jul 2015, 20:46
Posts: 220
Location: Buffalo NY
I'm pretty much in your boat also and have been playing the wait and see game till Black Friday.
What I've found is this, I love the lowrance touch screens, right now in cabelas bargain cave you can get a touch 7 refurbished for 550 that's a steal. The best picture I've found is the garmins. I really like the price point for the strikers but the map on it really doesn't exist. What I think I will probably end up doing is using the navonics app on my phone/iPad for the topography charts and buy a garmin striker 5 for sonar.

All in all, after playing with them all in store only the only unit I was turned off by are the Helixs. Just didn't like the feel, but everyone has preferences.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


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 Post subject: Fishfinder upgrade
PostPosted: 20 Oct 2016, 00:57 
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Joined: 14 Aug 2016, 22:25
Posts: 1115
Location: Clayton California
I ended up getting the Humminbird Helix 7 with down image and maps. While my needs are pretty basic at this point, I decided to get as much technology as I could for my budget. It does not have the touch screen like the Lowrance mentioned above, but hopefully I’ll me able to master the menu system without too much grief. At least I won’t be getting fish slime all over the screen. Hahah.



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 Post subject: Fishfinder upgrade
PostPosted: 26 Oct 2016, 23:40 
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Joined: 20 Sep 2014, 21:26
Posts: 381
Location: Omaha, NE
I'm one summer in with the lowrance elite 4 hdi, GPS, hdi scanning....I love it



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 Post subject: Fishfinder upgrade
PostPosted: 27 Oct 2016, 10:04 
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Joined: 15 Mar 2014, 16:57
Posts: 1697
Location: CT
Damn - too late to suggest you go with a Helix 5 & side imaging. I've got a 798 with side imaging for the first time with this boat and it's phenomenal. I'd love it on a wider format screen of the Helix units.



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 Post subject: Fishfinder upgrade
PostPosted: 27 Oct 2016, 19:48 
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Joined: 14 Aug 2016, 22:25
Posts: 1115
Location: Clayton California
Thanks all. I installed it yesterday. Pretty straight forward install. Only been through the simulator mode so far. For the type of fishing that I do, I expect that I'll be using the basic sonar most of the time. Good thing because the features are mind boggling. Between rain forecasts and a short trip with the wife to the Grand Canyon, it looks like I won't get back on the water until about this time next week.



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