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The Young Gun

What Electronics for my Kayak?

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Looking to add some electronics to my new Pelican Catch 120! Price must be under 500$, but i'm confused on if its worth getting side scan or side imaging. Or If its worth getting GPS or what I should all look for and whats a great unit? Thanks for the help

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For $500 I don't think you're getting side scan. Look at the lowrance hook series. I currently have a raymarine 5in model which I have had problems with. I'm planning on getting the Lowrance 7 Ti with structure scan. Electronics are a big part of bass fishing. I use to think they weren't necessary but that has changed. I would try your best to get a 5in model at the smallest. Gps is nice to mark spots. 

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I just took a new Helix 5 SI out of the box, $450 on Amazon. It has side scan. Looks like a really nice unit; haven't gotten it installed or used it yet.

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1 hour ago, Evan K said:

I just took a new Helix 5 SI out of the box, $450 on Amazon. It has side scan. Looks like a really nice unit; haven't gotten it installed or used it yet.

Ive got a Helix 5 GPS/Sonar and a Helix 7 GPS/Sonar/DI on my boats. I can't say enough for their toughness for the cost. Great stuff....

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$450 for a Helix 5 with side scan? That sounds like what you're looking for then. Humminbird Lowrance they're both good choices. 

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Helix 5 with SI fits, though I added a map chip.

 

 

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To those who have used side scan on their kayak, is there any issue with a speed you need to maintain to make side imaging functional? I have never tried it and I keep hearing different opinions.

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nope.  For the helix just adjust your chart speed to your boat speed and you will be fine.  I keep mine at 1 unless i am actively paddling then i will increase it to 3 or 4 and it seems to work well.

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15 minutes ago, flyfisher said:

nope.  For the helix just adjust your chart speed to your boat speed and you will be fine.  I keep mine at 1 unless i am actively paddling then i will increase it to 3 or 4 and it seems to work well.

Good to know! I know a couple of kayak anglers who are not inexperienced and they both had so much trouble with the side imaging on a Lowrance unit that they bailed on it. That was a couple of years back.

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Thanks for the replies! So is side imaging a worth it must have for fishing from a kayak?

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GPS is more a must have, but that comes with pretty much any decent unit these days.  I use DI along with the regular sonar more often than SI, though SI is a VERY useful tool when you're in search mode.

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I have an elite 4 hdi on a ram mount on my kayak. I glued the transducer inside my hull. It works great for how I use it 

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If you go SI, you cannot use the glue in hull method.

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Oh, I didn't know that! I think most of my fishing wont be on big bodies where search mode is needed! So my last question is, is the helix series the best way to go? Or lowrance?

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I've had units from Garmin, Loweance, Eagle, and Humminbird. This is just personal preference, but I get along with the menus on the 'bird the best.  I also have one of the original Dragonfly 5 units, and that thing was great straight out of the box and the stick with knob was really easy to use in rough water. 

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