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MichBassMan

Need New Depth Finder

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It's time to replace the lorance X85 that I bought in 1997. I loved the sensitivity and clearness. The screen has been getting empty areas for a couple years and now I ripped the transducer cable in half on a stump. It's time for an upgrade. Side scan is not an option , I'm too rough on transducers (I fish stumps and wood ALOT). I trust and value the opinions and advice I've gotten from the good people on this forum, so again I'm seeking help. I'm looking for a depth finder with or without gps that gives a good downward display of whats on the bottom and will also display baitfish. I'm looking to spend $400 to $600. I've had humming bird, Eagle, and Lorance in the past and was pleased by them all. I'm not brand loyal but do need something pretty durable. I fish like I have 4 wheel drive. Please let me know what you all have on your boats and how you like them. Thank you all for taking time to read this post. I hope to see some replys soon.I need to buy in a couple weeks at the latest.

Thanks again

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I'm not going to suggest one brand or another, but I WILL suggest that you purchase a transducer guard if you're in that many stumps, etc. Mine is a WeeVee from TransducerArmor.com . It's a good unit.

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X2 on the xducer protector. I have one from transducer shields and savers.

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are you talking about a transducer for the tm? I have a Lowrance Elite5 dsi on my tm. I love it and the tm adapter makes it hard to hit anything. I got the adapter from LEI.com for 20.00.

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Nope not my bow mount unit. It takes a beating to but is still working. It's my transome/dash unit that need to be replaced. Thank you for the tranducer guard sugestions, that is a good idea.

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What material is your boat made of? There are solutions for most boat types.

3dees, you made your transducer cable vunerable to impact damage, turn it around if it will function correctly that way.

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I was working on the boat today and noticed that. I need to make sure I dock the motor the right way.

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I was working on the boat today and noticed that. I need to make sure I dock the motor the right way.

I ment reposition the transducer on the motor the other way so the cable won't get direct impact if you crash into something.

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Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to reply and give me transducer saving advise, I will for sure try and protect it much better in the future. However no one as of yet has given me any input as to a make or model that fits in with my original post asking for advise. It's difficult to go look at a store, the nearest place is 75 miles and it's a gander mtn. The sales people there no more about piano playing and golf than they do about marine electronics.

Thanks again

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If i was buying new I would definatly recommend down scan. I would buy a Lowrance HDS5 dsi unit for that price!

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the HDS5 is not a downscan. you would have to add the lss which would be another 550.00 or so. the Elite 5x is downscan, but a stand alone unit. can't network or add sidescan.

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I ment reposition the transducer on the motor the other way so the cable won't get direct impact if you crash into something.

Wayne, I see what you mean. I'll change that today. thanks for the heads up. the dealer installer should have seen that.

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the HDS5 is not a downscan. you would have to add the lss which would be another 550.00 or so. the Elite 5x is downscan, but a stand alone unit. can't network or add sidescan.

my mistake...thats what I meant, an Elite 5x dsi unit. They are awesome units and the dsi on them is really neat!

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Wayne my boat is aluminum.

Sorry for the late reply, I've been traveling to get to a good spot to fish, Lake Fork.

To take care of your concerns with damage to a transducer, purchase an Alumaducer for whatever unit you get, even the one you have now. The Alumaducer is a shoot-thru transducer for aluminum hulls (I use one with my Tracker). You would have to get the adaptor that fits your sonar unit. It is not available for the imaging technology, just regular sonar.

Any unit in your price range will do a good job of showing depth, fish, and bottom features after you learn how to use it properly.

As far as which unit, every company makes good stuff or they wouldn't still be in busines.

Take a look on some on-line catalogs like Cabelas and Bass Pro Shops and see what appeals to you and your wallet. Then ask here about a specific unit (pros, cons). To get the best price, do a web search for that particuar brand and model number. The before mentioned general sporting goods places sell suggested retail. Lots of other suppliers sell below SRP. Places that deal specifically with marine electronics have better prices.

If you want some specific suppliers, send me an e-mail to purdum43@aol.com after you decide what you want.

Generally, Humminbird units are easier to learn how to use and if you are the computer geek type, you may prefer the Lowrance units. Garmins are kind on in-between.

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Wayne, thank you for the detailed reply, I really appreciate it. The Alumaducer is defenitly something I'll look into. Rigt now I'm leaning toward Hummingbird 597 ci hd. Anyone have input on that unit?

Thanks again to everyone.

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The HD in the model number refers to the screen resolution. It has the highest pixel count per square inch display in the industry.

It should work well for you.

There are two 597 units, one of them is the 597ci HD DI which has Down Imaging as well as regular 2D sonar.

All the new Humminbirds with HD in the model number have that screen type.

The "c" in the model number means Color Display

The "i" in the model number means Internal GPS Antenna.

"Combo" in the unit description means it is sonar and GPS.

The Humminbird units have a 50 channel GPS antenna which gives better accuracy.

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I'll throw in my humble 2 cents here and place my vote for the Humminbird units. I'm not anywhere close to the expert level of knowledge that Wayne provides here, but I have been studying sonar units for going of 2 years, and have been an owner of an 1197c si for a few months.

I could not be happier with Humminbird for several reasons. Not the least of which is their customer service. In a word... Excellent.

The unit itself is very easy to use. There are some very good forums online to answer even the most technical questions.

You can purchase a used unit, and upgrade the software to get the latest version...for free.

Also, I (or Wayne) would need to see a pic of your transom to be sure, but I believe you can mount a transom Side Imaging transducer in a way that nearly eliminates the chance of ripping it off on a tree or stump. You might reconsider the Side Imaging option. It's definitely worth the money. Lightly used 798's have been selling online for around $700.

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I'll throw in my humble 2 cents here and place my vote for the Humminbird units. I'm not anywhere close to the expert level of knowledge that Wayne provides here, but I have been studying sonar units for going of 2 years, and have been an owner of an 1197c si for a few months.

I could not be happier with Humminbird for several reasons. Not the least of which is their customer service. In a word... Excellent.

The unit itself is very easy to use. There are some very good forums online to answer even the most technical questions.

You can purchase a used unit, and upgrade the software to get the latest version...for free.

Also, I (or Wayne) would need to see a pic of your transom to be sure, but I believe you can mount a transom Side Imaging transducer in a way that nearly eliminates the chance of ripping it off on a tree or stump. You might reconsider the Side Imaging option. It's definitely worth the money. Lightly used 798's have been selling online for around $700.

Yes, you can install an Imaging transducer above the hull bottom to protect as much as possible from impact damage, but it will not provide on-plane depth readings in that position (I have mine about 1' above the hull bottom). Most fiberglass bass boat owners that have imaging equipment mount the transducer above the hull bottom and use a shoot-thru transducer for faster-than- idle-speed depth readings.

I am fishing this week at Lake Fork with a guy that has Humminbird Side Imaging and his SI transducer is mounted on a hole shot plate on his jackplate. Two others here have the Lowrance HDS with LSS-1 and the Structure Scan transducer mounted on their jack plate. All of them have a shoot-thru 2D transducer.

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Thank you all again for your replies. I'm pretty settled on the 597 CI HD, now I just have to decide where on line to buy it from. I'm open to suggestions on this also.

As far as mounting transducer above water line for protection; where I beat-up my transducers is getting into thick wood and backing into junk when trying to get back out. For me it's worth the cost of a tranducer every couple years if I can get a few big bites where other guys won't go.

So where do you all shop to get your electronics on line?

Thanks again,

Bruce

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These guys have a pretty good reputation...597 DI HD

I bought mine used from that forum's swap-n-sell.

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Look here for no tax + free shipping...google shopping

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If you are interested in buying used, here's a good example of the deals that can be had. 6 Hours run time. Bought in April '11. $399.

see for yourself... 597 HD DI

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