How Much To Spend On A Fish Finder?
Posted June 27 2012 - 10:54 AM
Now it’s time for a new fish finder.
What can I get for $500 that I can’t get from a $100 unit?
What can I get from a high dollar unit that I can’t get for $500?
Most of my fishing is done on a handful of lakes that are around 1,800 acres. I don’t tourney fish so there’s no way this unit is going to “pay for itself.”
I’m really out of my element here and would appreciate any advice.
Posted June 27 2012 - 11:17 AM
Color or Gray scale display.
Regular sonar or imaging sonar, or both.
After you decide on the features you want, then you decide how much you are willing to spend to get what you want.
Posted June 27 2012 - 11:41 AM
I know color is easier to read, but I don't know much more than that.
GPS...so I can mark waypoints, check my speed, use maps? That would be helpful.
Display size? I see 5" screens with a lot going on. Is that too small?
Regular sonar or imaging? This seems to be where the dollars come into play. I noticed a Humminbird with Down Imaging for $650. Sounds like a nice unit.
Posted June 27 2012 - 04:19 PM
All GPS units create and save waypoints, show speed, show the track as you navigate, BUT not all have good mapping and some have no background mapping. Units that have no mapping of any type are called Track Plottters, units with some type of mapping and/or have the capability to add mapping are called Chart Plotters.
What you may want is a media card reader built-in that you can add digital mapping.
Some Lowrance units are available with some good mapping software already built in at a extra cost (Insite)-- check the unit specs in your search to see what is available.
Very important when you decide what unit to get is ask about the mapping and what it includes that you can use. Don't assume that the waters you fish are contained on any digital mapping software whether built in or media card added.
Display size is most important when having more than one view displayed at one time. Bigger is better in that case.
That "bigger" is the budget buster. The "rule of thumb" is get the largest display unit you can afford with the features you want.
Units that have or can support imaging that looks left and right will benefit with a larger screen. Those would be the Humminbird Side Imaging units and Lowrance HDS units with the accessory Structure Scan.
Any of the imaging technology units cost more than units that don't have that technogy in the same display sizes.
I use the imaging technology and can say that will change the way you fish and perceive what is "down under".
Down Imaging or Down Scan is a good introduction into that technology at a lower cost.
I assume the Humminbird 597ci HD SI Combo is the one you are referring to in the $650 range. That cost can be beat by some creative internet shopping. $650 is MSRP.
The Humminbird DI units have Down Imaging and regular 2D sonar and the Lowrance DSI units have Down Scan only.
The higher end models from both mfg will give you StructureScan/Side Imaging, Down Scan/Down Imaging, and dual frequency regular 2D sonar.
Garmin has some good equipment with sonar and GPS, but they don't have any models with the imaging technology.
As suggested by several others when this topic is discussed, visit a store that has a lots of units on display and push some buttons to see which you are comfortable with. Bass Pro, Cabelas, Gander Mt. etc. have several brands and models on display. After that ask for an opinion here or on some similar forum about the exact unit you are considering.
More than likely someone will have the same one and can help you decide.
Posted June 27 2012 - 04:58 PM
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users