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Looking for a fishfinder around $150 nothing special just a basic fishfinder for my kayak, I've been looking at the lowrance elite 3x, any good? I just need basic functions.

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I've used a Humminbird Fishin Buddy 120, a portable depth finder, for about 6 years & it works well on a small Pond Prowler.  It is no longer made, but there are a few newer models with color screens for under $200.  The advantage with these on a Kayak is no need for a battery, they run off of 6 AA batteries.  I find I get 4 or 5 full days of fishing (8 hrs plus) before I need to replace the batteries, although rechargeable batteries could be used.

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I have a humminbird piranha max 197c di for my kayak and really like it. I have been using it for about two months and was planning on writing a detailed review after a few more months of use. This past weekend while dropshoting using my fish finder I watched a fish dive down after my bait as I was dropping it the the bottom. I closed the bail half way down and had a fish on. I have heard people say drops shotting with a fish finder is like playing a video game and always thought they were just old guys trying to act young, but they are right.

 It only draws about 200 milliamps so you can run it for multiple days on small 12v battery. It took me a few days of catching fish using it to realize what is a fish and what isn't. Fish two pounds and up show as nice arches, anything smaller will show up as a few dots. It has enough power that you can see your bait fall while dropshotting down to about 40 feet, if you drop down right under the transducer. The display is easy to see in the sun with or without polarized glasses. It is also easy enough to operate that I didn't need to look at the manual to figure it out. The display is small and light so you can easily make a mount for your kayak. I turned the fishing rod holder that came with my kayak into a removable mount for the display. My transducer is mounted to shoot through my kayak hull. 

 

I don't really use the down imaging function because I can normally figure out what is on the bottom using the normal sonar function. I almost always use the 200hz beam with the sensitive set to the max, chart speed at 4 and the filter on to clean up some of the clutter. I would recommend getting the model without down imaging because I never use that function and the non di model is a deal at $100. With the non di model you can get the fish finder, a battery and everything you need to mount it for under $150. I considered the lowarance elite 3x, but have heard that humminbird tends to be more user friendly  

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12 hours ago, CenCal fisher said:

I have a humminbird piranha max 197c di for my kayak and really like it. I have been using it for about two months and was planning on writing a detailed review after a few more months of use. This past weekend while dropshoting using my fish finder I watched a fish dive down after my bait as I was dropping it the the bottom. I closed the bail half way down and had a fish on. I have heard people say drops shotting with a fish finder is like playing a video game and always thought they were just old guys trying to act young, but they are right.

 It only draws about 200 milliamps so you can run it for multiple days on small 12v battery. It took me a few days of catching fish using it to realize what is a fish and what isn't. Fish two pounds and up show as nice arches, anything smaller will show up as a few dots. It has enough power that you can see your bait fall while dropshotting down to about 40 feet, if you drop down right under the transducer. The display is easy to see in the sun with or without polarized glasses. It is also easy enough to operate that I didn't need to look at the manual to figure it out. The display is small and light so you can easily make a mount for your kayak. I turned the fishing rod holder that came with my kayak into a removable mount for the display. My transducer is mounted to shoot through my kayak hull. 

 

I don't really use the down imaging function because I can normally figure out what is on the bottom using the normal sonar function. I almost always use the 200hz beam with the sensitive set to the max, chart speed at 4 and the filter on to clean up some of the clutter. I would recommend getting the model without down imaging because I never use that function and the non di model is a deal at $100. With the non di model you can get the fish finder, a battery and everything you need to mount it for under $150. I considered the lowarance elite 3x, but have heard that humminbird tends to be more user friendly  

Wow! the non dsi model sounds like a great deal to me, might have to look into that...

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DSI is a discontinued Lowrance model that is just Down Scan.

Humminbird has DI (Down Imaging) models.

Units with no imaging are Sonar models (2D). Those would be the least expensive. All brands have those.

 

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I have the Humminbird PiranhaMax 197 and Iike it a lot. I decided on it last year after going through reviews of $100-150 range FFs, it seemed to be the best liked. The ones with a 83 kHz frequency wide cone setting seemed to have complaints about accuracy and display detail. I think you have to be realistic with these budget fish finders and expect to really only use the 200kHz frequency more narrow cone. The Piranhamax has a 28 degree wide cone at this frequency but the Elite 3x has a 20 deg. Seems like a good compromise to me.

Fish just about every size show up well. I can't really say how close size on the FF correlates with actual fish size. I tend to ID species by where they are, if they're moving and if they're in a school. Below are definitely lake trout and probably around 24"

161md1x.jpg

Then these are likely bass half that size

qyafxi.jpg

I completely agree with CenCal about the $100 197c vs $140 197di version. The down imaging is kind of useless on basic little FF like this, I just use the sonar.

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Even on the bigger ones, I run a Humminbird Helix 5DI on my kayak and use just the sonar probably more than 80% of the time. If you know how to interpret a sonar, save some bucks. I only switch over if I see something odd that I would like more clarification about. Then usually right back to sonar or the sonar/gps split depending on where I am. If I had to do it again, I may have opted for just the sonar and saved money and not missed much. Sorry, rambling

I had a Lowrance 3x on my old kayak. I liked it ok though often wished the screen was a little bigger. Otherwise, I had no complaints. Might want to look at the new Garmin Striker units too. Folks that have them really like them

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I have the elite 3x on my kayak and I don't have any complaints. It doesn't take up very much space and will run on a 12V battery for days.

Also I just read about the Garmin striker 4 which has GPS along with sonar, seems like a pretty good deal for 120 bucks .

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