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Lowrance VS Hummingbird [FACE-OFF]

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Based on your opinion - which company provides more options and features?

 

For example, is Lake Masters better than C-Map?

 

Does Lowrance also have an i-Pilot link or something similar?

 

Which unit kicks the others ass basically is what I'm asking. If I buy Lowrance, am I gonna be ticked? If I buy Hummingbird, am gonna throw it in the lake?

 

Which one would YOU buy and why? Thanks in advance for the feedback! 

 

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What's your budget? That makes the difference. At the end of the day it's a Chevy vs Ford debate. The higher end of each brand including Garmin has something the other doesn't. The lower end units are a little more equal, but still each has something the other doesn't. 

 

The best thing for you to do is figure out your budget and decide what is important to you. Do your research, the more you inform yourself the happier you'll be with your decision. 

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3 minutes ago, 12poundbass said:

What's your budget? That makes the difference. At the end of the day it's a Chevy vs Ford debate. The higher end of each brand including Garmin has something the other doesn't. The lower end units are a little more equal, but still each has something the other doesn't. 

 

The best thing for you to do is figure out your budget and decide what is important to you. Do your research, the more you inform yourself the happier you'll be with your decision. 

Yea I should have mentioned that in the post - I'm willing to spend $2000 for a unit on the dashboard of the boat and $1500 for one in the front. Figure I won't be buying any more electronics for a while so might as well fork it out. 

 

If this was similar to your budget - $2k at the wheel and $1.5 in the front, what would you personally buy? 

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15 minutes ago, Fishing Master said:

Yea I should have mentioned that in the post - I'm willing to spend $2000 for a unit on the dashboard of the boat and $1500 for one in the front. Figure I won't be buying any more electronics for a while so might as well fork it out. 

 

If this was similar to your budget - $2k at the wheel and $1.5 in the front, what would you personally buy? 

A typical bass angler (assuming you are) spends the majority of their time on the trolling motor so I'd spend more up there. If it were my money I'd buy a Garmin Echomap 93SV Plus and a Livescope transducer up front. At the helm I'd go with another Echomap 93SV. And just like that you just blew $3500 maybe more on electronics that will be 'outdated' by the end of 2019 😂.

 

Another option would be to get a couple Humminbird Helix SI units and add 360 imaging at the bow. 

 

I'm not too familiar with Lowrance so I can't comment on them. These are my opinions. Like I said before, the best thing for you to do is research what each one does. Livescope is pretty new and pretty d**n cool! 360 imaging is pretty awesome too. See what best fits you. 

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7 minutes ago, 12poundbass said:

Another option would be to get a couple Humminbird Helix SI units and add 360 imaging at the bow.

I could be mistaken about the Helix’s,  but with the “numbers” units you’d only need one SI unit, networked to say, a sonar only model to view SI on either screen.  Saves a lot of cash.  A DI model can’t view composite DI from a SI model but a SI model can view the true DI from a DI model.  Just can’t run both transducers simultaneously. 360 is shared through the network. 

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2 minutes ago, Arcs&sparks said:

I could be mistaken about the Helix’s,  but with the “numbers” units you’d only need one SI unit, networked to say, a sonar only model to view SI on either screen.  Saves a lot of cash.  A DI model can’t view composite DI from a SI model but a SI model can view the true DI from a DI model.  Just can’t run both transducers simultaneously. 360 is shared through the network. 

As far as the networking and what can be viewed on what unit is way beyond me. My thinking and I don't know if it can be done ( I assume it can be), was to have SI and 360 up front. Maybe that would be redundant? 

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7 minutes ago, 12poundbass said:

As far as the networking and what can be viewed on what unit is way beyond me. My thinking and I don't know if it can be done ( I assume it can be), was to have SI and 360 up front. Maybe that would be redundant? 

Yes you can have that configuration. I think I read that when you turn 360 on the SI is turned off?  I could be wrong though. 

 

But you shouldn’t need to have 2 SI units though,  the SI would be shared to other heads, as well as the 360 while networked together. 

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13 minutes ago, Arcs&sparks said:

Yes you can have that configuration. I think I read that when you turn 360 on the SI is turned off?  I could be wrong though. 

 

But you shouldn’t need to have 2 SI units though,  the SI would be shared to other heads, as well as the 360 while networked together. 

You're right that you don't need two SI units. I don't know how well I'd like having my only SI transducer on the transom and it being 20' away from where I'm looking. I get you could drop a waypoint and go back and fish it, but I'd like one on the TM too, that way you can turn your TM if you wanted and see in front of you or to the side. 

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I outfitted a new boat last spring and this is why I choose Humminbird Solix.  First was the Lakemaster charts.  They are fantastic and will help you catch more fish hands down.  This only matters if there are high definition Lakemaster maps for the lakes you fish.  Like you I'm in middle Tennessee.   There are HD maps for all of the Tennessee River lakes,  Barkley,  Old Hickory,  and Percy Priest.  There are not maps for Center Hill and Dale Hollow.  You can check the web site if there are other lakes you are interested in.  Make sure they are high definition maps, the lower definition maps are made from the same old public info that has been used in paper maps for years.   The second reason I went with Humminbird is 360 imaging.  I wanted it and I like it.  It's a great concept but the implementation has a lot of room for improvement.  It gives you a view similar to side imaging but while you are fishing and with MUCH lower resolution.  The low resolution can be frustrating but the information it provides is still very helpful and I catch more fish because of it.  The third reason I went with Humminbird is the i-pilot link.  I have a Minn-kota Ultrex and I'm a very big fan of i-pilot. The integration that i-pilot link gives you with Humminbird is very nice but I woundn't say it alone is reason to go with Humminbird.  I very please with my decision to go Humminbird.  If Lakemaster maps were not available in my area and if I was not planning to spend the money to add 360 imaging,  I would probably have gone with Garmin.

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24 minutes ago, 12poundbass said:

You're right that you don't need two SI units. I don't know how well I'd like having my only SI transducer on the transom and it being 20' away from where I'm looking. I get you could drop a waypoint and go back and fish it, but I'd like one on the TM too, that way you can turn your TM if you wanted and see in front of you or to the side. 

Ah yes, on older models a TS3 transducer switch would take care of that,  won’t work with MEGA though. I agree, probably better off with 2 SI’s.

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1 hour ago, Tennessee Boy said:

I outfitted a new boat last spring and this is why I choose Humminbird Solix.  First was the Lakemaster charts.  They are fantastic and will help you catch more fish hands down.  This only matters if there are high definition Lakemaster maps for the lakes you fish.  Like you I'm in middle Tennessee.   There are HD maps for all of the Tennessee River lakes,  Barkley,  Old Hickory,  and Percy Priest.  There are not maps for Center Hill and Dale Hollow.  You can check the web site if there are other lakes you are interested in.  Make sure they are high definition maps, the lower definition maps are made from the same old public info that has been used in paper maps for years.   The second reason I went with Humminbird is 360 imaging.  I wanted it and I like it.  It's a great concept but the implementation has a lot of room for improvement.  It gives you a view similar to side imaging but while you are fishing and with MUCH lower resolution.  The low resolution can be frustrating but the information it provides is still very helpful and I catch more fish because of it.  The third reason I went with Humminbird is the i-pilot link.  I have a Minn-kota Ultrex and I'm a very big fan of i-pilot. The integration that i-pilot link gives you with Humminbird is very nice but I woundn't say it alone is reason to go with Humminbird.  I very please with my decision to go Humminbird.  If Lakemaster maps were not available in my area and if I was not planning to spend the money to add 360 imaging,  I would probably have gone with Garmin.

I think it's a matter of time before we see MEGA 360, or something similar to Livescope from Humminbird. 

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19 minutes ago, 12poundbass said:

I think it's a matter of time before we see MEGA 360, or something similar to Livescope from Humminbird. 

My use of the words "low resolution" to describe 360's limitations may not be the best way to describe it.  It's very good in 5ft of water and worthless at 30ft.  I'm usually fishing in around 15ft with shallower water on one side and deeper on the other.  It's great at showing me where the structure is in relation to the boat which is why I love it.  It's hit or miss at showing me breaks on the structure depending on how deep they are.  I'm sure the technology will only get better and I'm looking forward to it.

 

I have not seen Livescope in person.  It scores very high on the cool factor.  I'm not sold on the concept of having to point the beam at what you want to look at but I'm sure it would come it handy at times.  I like glancing at the screen and being able to see what's around me.  Sometimes I'm suprised to find something in a place that I would never have looked with Livescope.  It would be great to have both but that's not very practical.

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25 minutes ago, Tennessee Boy said:

My use of the words "low resolution" to describe 360's limitations may not be the best way to describe it.  It's very good in 5ft of water and worthless at 30ft.  I'm usually fishing in around 15ft with shallower water on one side and deeper on the other.  It's great at showing me where the structure is in relation to the boat which is why I love it.  It's hit or miss at showing me breaks on the structure depending on how deep they are.  I'm sure the technology will only get better and I'm looking forward to it.

 

I have not seen Livescope in person.  It scores very high on the cool factor.  I'm not sold on the concept of having to point the beam at what you want to look at but I'm sure it would come it handy at times.  I like glancing at the screen and being able to see what's around me.  Sometimes I'm suprised to find something in a place that I would never have looked with Livescope.  It would be great to have both but that's not very practical.

I've never used 360 or Livescope or seen them in person. 

 

From my untrained eye the 360 images are sometimes difficult to make out and almost look smeared for a lack of better words. Everything has a learning curve and take some tweaking and getting used to. I think once you get it dialed in and used to it, it would be a deadly tool to have. 

 

Livescope I can see where it could be a very useful tool and be a load of fun. I can see where it would be very very useful crappie or bluegill fishing. 

 

The technology that these units have is unbelievable compared to even a decade or two ago. Like I had said to the OP each brand has something the other doesn't. A guy with deep pockets and patience sure could have a nice set up it he went with a couple brands or all three in their boat. Of course that could get expensive and probably frustrating learning the difference units and switching back and forth several times a day. 

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I've had both brands...And I liked them both.  Each one has a few things they do a little better than the other, but the gap is not so much that you're really 'losing' anything.  

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Reading this gets confusing, transducers only work in the water and front sonar units have TM mounted TD's. Your console units TD is in the back of the boat stern mounted and is usually the unit networked. Scanning sonar TD's are larger then 2D TD's and not usually TM mounted up front because the TM motor turns to manuever the boat.

I am not familiar with Garmin units. Lowrance traditionally has better target separation technology and Humminbird better side scanning technology, both use the share equal DI technology.

It comes down to Product support, user friendly operation and users skill level reading what is being displayed. Product support includes on the water lessons to learn how to use the sonars features. $3,500 budget will buy more then most recreational bass anglers need using sonar units. 9" screen is big for split screen front location, 12" more then needed at the console, using multiple features at the same time.

I use Navonics 1'elevation lake maps availble for both Lowrance and Humminbird GPS sonar units.

Tom

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Personally I don't think one "kicks ass" over the other!

 

Most guys I know are running two in the console & one in the bow. The two in the console are running maps, side scan, down imaging, & 2D. The one on the bow is set on down imaging.

 

I personally spend more time idling & scanning than I do on the trolling motor.

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24 minutes ago, Catt said:

I personally spend more time idling & scanning than I do on the trolling motor.

I love doing scanning trips, even in the kayak.  It's the only way to find the spot on the spot.  Even after I've thoroughly fished a spot, I'll do a complete scan to try and figure out why it held fish.

 

For OP, pretty much every company is offering great features.  Lowrance always seems a little on the high end, price per feature.  My advice is to go play with them in person, and see which menus and user experience works best for you. 

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On 12/5/2018 at 10:58 AM, 12poundbass said:

I think it's a matter of time before we see MEGA 360, or something similar to Livescope from Humminbird. 

 

This is why I’m holding off on getting a current 360 - I’m also thinking if HB follows their recent trends that the new 360 (or whatever it ends up being) won’t be backwards compatible with older units - the new line of Low Q transducers that they just released are not compatible with the Gen 1 or Gen 2 Helix, or the Gen 1 Solix either.  They will only work with the newest Gen 3 Helix or Gen 2 Solix.  That’s a real bummer if you ask me, it stopped me from adding a 12” helix Gen 2 to my bow at a great price - I want the newest transducer (Low Q) and I’m afraid that they’re going to drop an updated 360 very soon that will have the same compatibility issues.

 

Personally, I have more money spent on electronics at my console than I do at the bow.  I can see both sides of the argument, but generally when I’m truly searching for fishing locations I’m on the big motor- trolling motor is for minor adjustments around the fishing ground that I found with my console units.  There’s times where this isn’t the case, especially on smaller lakes, but I don’t necessarily agree that every bass angler should have a better (or even equal) graph up front than the one at their console.  Just have to decide what suits your fishing style best...

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3 minutes ago, Janderson45 said:

 

This is why I’m holding off on getting a current 360 - I’m also thinking if HB follows their recent trends that the new 360 (or whatever it ends up being) won’t be backwards compatible with older units - the new line of Low Q transducers that they just released are not compatible with the Gen 1 or Gen 2 Helix, or the Gen 1 Solix either.  They will only work with the newest Gen 3 Helix or Gen 2 Solix.  That’s a real bummer if you ask me, it stopped me from adding a 12” helix Gen 2 to my bow at a great price - I want the newest transducer (Low Q) and I’m afraid that they’re going to drop an updated 360 very soon that will have the same compatibility issues.

I think the 360 is due for upgrade so it may be smart to wait.  Keep in mind that the 360 is not just a transducer.  It connects via ethernet to your network or the ethernet connection on your fishfinder.  I would be surprised and ticked off it a new 360 did not work with any of the newer networkable Humminbird units.

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In my opinion I would hold off if you can.  With the Panoptix coming out and the Lowrance Live coming soon I'm sure Hbird will follow.  I wouldn't drop the cash at the moment.

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5 minutes ago, Tennessee Boy said:

I think the 360 is due for upgrade so it may be smart to wait.  Keep in mind that the 360 is not just a transducer.  It connects via ethernet to your network or the ethernet connection on your fishfinder.  I would be surprised and ticked off it a new 360 did not work with any of the newer networkable Humminbird units.

 

Thats a good point regarding the network connection vs. transducer cable connection - the 360 even requires its own power source if I remember right?  Either way I’m not taking any chances on older units, regardless of their close out pricing.  

 

Im an all Helix guy by the way - Helix 10” CHIRP Mega SI G2N and Helix 7” CHIRP SI G2N at the console, and I’ll be installing a Helix 9 or 10 Mega DI G3N at the bow this winter.  All units are networked together via the Ethernet switch, the Ultrex ipilot link is also networked to all of the units. Networking with the Humminbirds isn’t exactly cheap or straightforward, but the results are very much worth it in my opinion.  

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1 hour ago, Janderson45 said:

 the 360 even requires its own power source if I remember right?  

Yes it has it's own power connection.  Mine is connected to my network switch and can be controlled from the bow or console.

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4 hours ago, Janderson45 said:

 

This is why I’m holding off on getting a current 360 - I’m also thinking if HB follows their recent trends that the new 360 (or whatever it ends up being) won’t be backwards compatible with older units - the new line of Low Q transducers that they just released are not compatible with the Gen 1 or Gen 2 Helix, or the Gen 1 Solix either.  They will only work with the newest Gen 3 Helix or Gen 2 Solix.  That’s a real bummer if you ask me, it stopped me from adding a 12” helix Gen 2 to my bow at a great price - I want the newest transducer (Low Q) and I’m afraid that they’re going to drop an updated 360 very soon that will have the same compatibility issues.

 

Personally, I have more money spent on electronics at my console than I do at the bow.  I can see both sides of the argument, but generally when I’m truly searching for fishing locations I’m on the big motor- trolling motor is for minor adjustments around the fishing ground that I found with my console units.  There’s times where this isn’t the case, especially on smaller lakes, but I don’t necessarily agree that every bass angler should have a better (or even equal) graph up front than the one at their console.  Just have to decide what suits your fishing style best...

I saw today that Humminbird is releasing MEGA+. It's supposed to be able to see deeper up to 240' I believe and 240' to the side. The image is supposed to be more clear as well. So with that coming soon and the Gen3 release I really wonder if they're going to introduce a new 360. 

 

Time will tell

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3 hours ago, 12poundbass said:

I saw today that Humminbird is releasing MEGA+. It's supposed to be able to see deeper up to 240' I believe and 240' to the side. The image is supposed to be more clear as well. So with that coming soon and the Gen3 release I really wonder if they're going to introduce a new 360. 

 

Time will tell

The MEGA+ was released with the new generation of Solix and Helix units.  

 

MEGA+ SI is able to “see” further to each side (200’ per side vs 125’ per side) and the MEGA+ DI is able to “see” deeper (200’ vs 125’).  These distances/depths were already more than attainable with previous Humminbirds, just not at the MEGA frequency and the level of detail that comes with it.  Humminbird also boasts an additional 20% more detail on MEGA+ images, this is because Humminbird is introducing MEGA+ through a new (supposedly proprietary) transducer.  The new transducers are quite a bit larger than current generation MEGA transducers and have a different sized connection to plug into the head units.

 

There is the problem for those of us with current G2 MEGA units - the new transducers, which also feature “Dual spectrum CHIRP High Wide Low-Q” - essentially magnifies the CHIRP affect (perhaps quite significantly from what I’ve seen) and increases 2D sonar image quality/target separation - are NOT backwards compatible with previous generation MEGA SI or MEGA DI units (G2 Helix, G1 Solix).   The only new transducer that Humminbird came out with that is backwards compatible is the straight 2D transducer,  none of the SI/DI models.  

 

I’ll probably grab the 2D transom transducer to throw in my network somewhere, but it’s too bad that I can’t upgrade to the new MEGA transducers, especially considering I spent a considerable amount of money on my units only a few months ago.  A similar situation happened to me with the Ultrex, I purchased mine brand new just a few months before Minn Kota released the new Ultrex with integrated MEGA DI transducer.  I realize this is part of the game, and I don’t feel burned, but I really don’t want a similar issue by upgrading to a 360 or adding an outdated graph when it only makes sense that some sort of upgraded 360 or front facing sonar is on the horizon for Humminbird. 

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