alan tani @ alantani.com fishing reel repair rebuild tutorial Fishfinder help
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jurelometer
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« on: December 21, 2018, 04:42:13 PM »

I'm looking for some help in picking out a new fishfinder for a panga fisherman in Baja (Sea of Cortez side).  I know nothing about this stuff, and could use some guidance.

A bit of history:   He has an old Humminbird 757 that was he was proficient using and it met his needs, but the GPS antenna and transducer have died.  He would like to get all the waypoints off the old device, but Humminbird, in their infinite wisdom decided to make that menu inaccessible if it can't talk to the antenna.    The compatible antenna (AS GR-16)   has not been available for quite awhile. Used units show up occasionally on the auction site, but are usually pretty trashed looking.  If anybody has a line on a AS-GR-16 or AS GR-50 Antenna that works- I would greatly appreciate a PM!

Capabilities I think we are looking for in the new unit:

  • Reasonable depth:  Bottom fishing to 300 feet, and finding mackerel when making bait from 30 to 150 feet.  Scanning deep bluewater contours is not very important, but finding bait and fish in open water down to about 200 foot would be useful.
  • Down imaging:   I'm thinking he would like this.
  • Side imaging:    Less useful because of the depth limitation- water is pretty clear, so it is better to be looking in the water than at the fishfinder in the shallows.   Does anybody find side scanning useful for checking out kelp/sargasso paddies?
  • CHIRP- not sure
  • GPS:  marking waypoints is the only hard requirement.   I think he may like sonar chart making. No desire for e-charts of any kind-  he knows where everything is.
  • Ease of use:   In addition to ease of  navigating the screens and tuning the settings, being able to backup waypoints without some silly phone app/wifi configuration- community cloud program junk-  a simple SD card backup would be nice.
  • Small console top mount.    The unit would be mounted on top of a small console with no windscreen, so smaller is better.  I am thinking a 5 inch unit is best, but no more than a 7inch. 
  • Transom mount transducer.   Durable mount is better.   My friend fishes hard and  is tough on the gear.
  • Spanish language documentation:  Preferred but not a deal breaker.

So  far, I have been looking at the Humminbird, Lowrance and Garmin units.  Several good deals on the previous models now that 2019 models have been announced.

Any advice, plus any tips on where to get unbiased comparisons would be appreciated.

-Jurelometer
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oldmanjoe
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2018, 08:03:51 AM »

     I have ran into a simular problem with a humminbird  .      the antenna and transducer run in  separate boxes , each with there own power /fuse holder .
   I have found after checking the fuses and had power that the wire leaving the fuse holder was rotten for both unites , what are the chanches of that happening .
    Two out of three fuse holders were bad .         And like anything else make sure the pins on the plugs are clean .     
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2018, 09:15:25 PM »

It's a difficult decision,,,,hummingbird sister company Minn kota,,,,so thay work great with each other and has mega imaging,,,very sharp,,,but lowrance is easy and faster to use,,I'm looking for one too Grin
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2018, 09:51:23 PM »

I think side imaging is very useful, especially for finding bait and structure.  Not so much for marking fish, but it can be done(works better in deeper water).  I have a Garmin Echomap 74sv, and the side imaging is a game changer in shallow water.  Traditional sonar, and even down scan are all but useless in the 2-5' of water I usually fish.  But side imaging lets me see structure 50+ feet to each side in those depths. 

The echomaps are not cheap, but if you dont need charts, you can get the striker series, which still has gps, tracks, routes, and waypoints.  They are both very good units, the echomaps offer more features, but it may not be of much use depending on what you want out of it. 

If you want side imaging, you cant get it in anything smaller than 7" from Garmin.  Humminbird offers the helix in 5" with side imagine, and the Lowrance hook2 and elite TI are available in 5" with side scan capabilities.  You can get a pretty good deal on the elite TI models now, as a TI2 just came out. 
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jurelometer
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« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2018, 03:56:50 PM »

Thanks for the good advice!


I did some more reading, and contacted the manufacturers with some questions. 

Garmin:   No data backup for the 5 inch Stryker!   Garmin doesn't point this out on the web site.   On the 7 inch models , no  SIM cards or data ports.  They instead requires a wifi network and the new ActiveCaptain app  on a compatible phone.   Until recently, Garmin used a different app that is no longer available or supported, a bad sign.   No way that my friend is going to set up networks, load apps, do software updates ,etc.   I guess that backing up waypoints with a pencil and paper isn't that bad.   Stryker has map making and down imaging, as Adam mentioned.

Spanish language manuals are available, and good reviews for function, usabilty and durability- so I hate to rule Garmin out.   The biggest complaints seems to be around map purchase,   which is not an issue for my friend.


Humminbird:   Just came out with a 2019 model , so some good prices on last years's Helix.   SD card support for backup,   and my friend is already familiar with the brand.   No Spanish language manuals.  Good tech support.  Backup to SD card, but the capabilities are limited and a bit risky (no special warning if you select delete all instead of download all,  only one backup per SD card).  All the desired features available on 5 and 7 inch units.  With the bundled tranducer the unit has about the same frequencies as the ccompetiors, but the unit is capable of supporting the lower frequencies for greater depths (e.g 50hz for 2D).   Not sure if this matters since the Humminbird is 500 watts, same as the competitors (frequency vs power- not sure how this works)


Lowrance- Some good deals here too.    Backup to SD.  They seem to get more than their share of early death and DOA units based on online reviews,   but online reviews are not a terribly accurate measure of quality. Spanish manuals.  A little less range in the frequencies, but I think I need to build a spreadsheet and learn a bit more before I can figure out if there is a real difference.

If anybody has an opinion on 2D and down imaging depth capabilities with  these models, I would be grateful.


I found this site which seems to have some useful data: http://fishfindersadvisor.com/


Editorial comment:    At least at the low end, it seems like the manufacturers have no problem treating waypoints and other data that is very important to the customer  like s**t.     From the my friend's 757c that requires a working external GPS antenna to allow a backup, to the new Garmin units -some that have no backup capability and others that require a wifi setup and a cellphone app.  Not too mention the new Humminbirds that make it wayyyy to easily to accidentally purge all your waypoints during a backup, and so on.   They all seem to have no problem investing in cloud storage, phone apps, community data sharing, blah blah blah-  that is destined to get mostly ignored and die quickly but still screwing over the few most loyal customers  that will use the stuff.  How about getting a simple solid reliable backup before developing a cloud app that lets my fishfinder share sonar maps with a friends toaster?   Angry


-J
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Gobi King
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« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2018, 07:46:38 AM »


Juro,

Garmin is your best bet,

Humminbird - Run, stay away from Humminbird, they have a lot of "features" and 9d CHIRP, but features are worth anything if they actually work.

I have 2 Onix 10 SI Touch Screen in my boat, I bought em new couple of years back when I bought my boat, see pic.

The sonar units have NEVER worked correctly ever, every update something or the other broke.

You will do fine with a Garmin 93sv, get the plus version if need the touch screen, I would get 2 73sv, one to use as fish finder and other to use a navigation chart.

I bought a echomap 73sv with built in charts and I am will check after I post this if it has maps of the Sea or Cortez.

here is garmins overview of the extra maps and areas it covers
https://www8.garmin.com/marine/brochures/BlueChartHD-Availability.pdf

Getting 2 little units is a better solution that buying 1 larger one,  garmin strikers are not recommended from what I have read.

Backup of data - Garmin echomap backs everything up on the SD card, very simple format, even the live mapping data goes on the same card. I will double check again.


* humminbird.jpg (193.07 KB, 887x665 - viewed 60 times.)
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Shibs - aka The Gobi King
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« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2018, 10:03:56 AM »

My Garmin echoman 73sv CHIRP map with maps preloaded (big savings, as maps are nearly $200), I paid $399 new for this unit last year. This is the not the plus version, aka no touch screen.

Map - Looks like it has navigation charts for the area (see pic)

Backup - I am not sure, I need to research this, I have looked at the raw data on the sd card which my buddy has, and it has the actual gps coordinates in a plain text file. I will post the instruction to back up and import later.

Mounting - The garmin comes with mounting HW for deck or flush mount.

Quickdraw - You want the quickdraw feature, which is also called autochart etc. Basically you make 10 mph passes in a chess board grid and you will get the actual bottom contour. Sharing this with other garmin owners is as easy as copying the folder to your SD card. This is the most important feature in my books if you fishing structures etc.
 


* garmin_echo_73.jpg (149.62 KB, 885x493 - viewed 59 times.)
« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 10:04:57 AM by Gobi King » Logged

Shibs - aka The Gobi King
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« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2018, 11:23:47 AM »

Thanks Gobi!

For this installation, we have about 24x18" space on the top of a bare console, so the smaller the unit that can get the job done, the better.

No need to buy charts.    The better panga captains can locate  as  accurately  as the charts by  lining up landmarks and observing swell patterns.  Plus they can be looking at the water instead of a screen.   Where we fish, the best way to find fish is often by using your eyeballs.   Very few captains even use electronics.   The whole point of this style of fishing is minimalism.   

Th smallest Echomap is the 6.5,  and it does have an SD slot.  So I think it could be a candidate.  The Stryker series  doesn't have memory slots. It looks like its WiFi/phone app or no backup at all   Shocked  if the unit does not support  WiFi.


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« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2018, 11:45:47 AM »

You are welcome!

Which model, can you post a link?

Side imaging feature is the most valuable in large bodies of water in my books. I will explain later tonight. I have to run right now to volunteer.

That is plenty space for 2 small units  Grin. Yes SD card is your friend.
One thing we did at your Spoonplugger Club (structure fishing von Buck Perry) is that we all bought a Garmin so we can share contour maps of bottoms of lakes.

Do you guys fish structure?


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Shibs - aka The Gobi King
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« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2018, 12:34:38 PM »

I'm not familiar with the Hummingbird 757 but if it can be networked with a Hummingbird Helix he should be able to get his waypoints.


I prefer Garmin electronics but I also use 2  Lowrance HDS Chart/Plotters (A Gen 2 HDS5 and a Gen 3 HDS7 touch screen with G-3 Radar) and a HDS 5s sonar I got for upgrading others electronics.  The company I occasionally do boat wiring for went with the Hummingbird Helix chart plotters because their boat operators are as simple minded as the operation of these sonars.  I am not thrilled with the Hummingbird machines for a few reasons but they work well and are extremely east to operate, unlike the Lowrance machines that are a PIA to run unless you do it often.  So far the "crew" hasn't broken one in 3 years.   They have sunk 1 boat and ran another into known rocks.

Do you guys fish structure?
Only when I want to catch fish.

« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 12:36:05 PM by Keta » Logged

Hi, my name is Lee and I have a fishing gear problem.
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jurelometer
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« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2018, 03:40:49 PM »

You are welcome!

Which model, can you post a link?

Side imaging feature is the most valuable in large bodies of water in my books. I will explain later tonight. I have to run right now to volunteer.

That is plenty space for 2 small units  Grin. Yes SD card is your friend.
One thing we did at your Spoonplugger Club (structure fishing von Buck Perry) is that we all bought a Garmin so we can share contour maps of bottoms of lakes.

Do you guys fish structure?




https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/592924/pn/010-01888-00  (international chart - no transducer)
https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/592993/pn/010-01889-01#  (us lakes- bundled transducer)

Seems like they are otherwise the same, but there are some deals out there on
the model with lake maps.    Garmin doesn't provide much data on the web site.

The bottom fishing (80-300ft),  is structure driven.  Sometimes the yellowtail are holding in midwater.   The bluewater is either spotting billfish in open water or working weedlines and seaweed paddies for dorado.

For the shallow stuff: it is more like flats fishing where you need to be using your eyeballs to spot fish coming in hot as opposed to looking at a screen. if we are fishing the rocky shallows (mostly fields of jumbo boulders), there is often tons of fish around, but maybe not the ones we are looking for.  Usually tossing out a couple live baits will get things fired up and show us where to cast.  I don't think this is a place where he will be using a fishfinder much.

If he puts two units on his console, he will have the only two fishfinders in the local fleet.   I don't know if he could withstand the ribbing Smiley 

From what I have read, until moving up to big boats and commercial sonars, side scanning doesn't seem to work that well in the ocean.   The rec units requires fairly calm waters and if the boat is rocking much, the image gets hosed.  But I am still wondering if on a calm day, it might come in handy for cruising along the weedlines at 8-10 knots trying to to sniff out where the dorado are hanging.

I'm not familiar with the Hummingbird 757 but if it can be networked with a Hummingbird Helix he should be able to get his waypoints.

The 757c is an old model.  It doesn't network with anything.  I talked to Humminbird.  The 757c won't let you get to any of the navigation menus unless it has passed the GPS startup which includes syncing up with the external GPS antenna- which has to be model AS GR-16 or AS GR-50.  Very lazy design work on their part. 

Quote
I prefer Garmin electronics but I also use 2  Lowrance HDS Chart/Plotters (A Gen 2 HDS5 and a Gen 3 HDS7 touch screen with G-3 Radar) and a HDS 5s sonar I got for upgrading others electronics.  The company I occasionally do boat wiring for went with the Hummingbird Helix chart plotters because their boat operators are as simple minded as the operation of these sonars.  I am not thrilled with the Hummingbird machines for a few reasons but they work well and are extremely east to operate, unlike the Lowrance machines that are a PIA to run unless you do it often.  So far the "crew" hasn't broken one in 3 years.   They have sunk 1 boat and ran another into known rocks.
.

Thanks for the laugh Smiley     

...and the good feedback.

I am starting to look past Lowrance at this point.   Some smoking deals on the Humminbird Helix  out there.  About 25-30% more to go up to the 6-7 inch Garmin Echomaps.

My friend fishes hard and frequently. He will fish the unit until it dies.  No upgrading to latest and greatest.   Do you think that the Garmin will hold up appreciably better?


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« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2018, 08:16:57 AM »

There are a few AS GR 16s on e-bay but they are close to $200 with $50 shipping.  Someone has to have a used one for cheep he can use to get his data but finding it will be hard.
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Hi, my name is Lee and I have a fishing gear problem.
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« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2018, 08:04:26 AM »

Lee, lol, we had a few boats ride the break waters here also. Yes, most boat owners go with humminbird here due to their integration with Minnkota electric trolling motors.

Juro,
Both units of that size (6 inch) do not come with side imaging. You want this, I will post some links on side imaging, it took me  while to get my head wrapped around this. I am behind in my side imaging fishing cuz of the issues with my Humminbird Onix.

Get the combo please, with the sonar, better value. My unit came with lakevu hd maps but looks like it has international basic map too. Which is good enough for rudimentary navigation (others can chime in here, most my fishing within line of sight with shore line even on lake michigan).

"Plus" = more $$$? I am not sure if you can get the older non-plus model

Side Imaging  vs down imaging
Down = looks down, imagine a cone pointed down, there could be Mody Dick swimming beside your boat 50 ft to the right and you will never see it.
Side imaging = side view say up  to 300 ft (depends on frequency), and you can see vegetation, structure, fish, dead bodies  Grin

In all you an cover more ground with side imaging, say you are looking at weed line, or you are looking for structure.

watch this video pls:


I would get the cheapest unit that has combo sonar with side imaging.

Longevity: I went with Garmin as the guys who fish a lot  was using them, (Roger who had 5000 hours on his honda outboard, he got a new suzuki) and Tom who fishes everyday (retired lives on a lake), both have been using Garmins and they are going strong! They are out fishing rain or shine and are even on the river when it is 28F outside. The units never come off the boat.

But I would look into access to service centers in your area and find out how long it might take.

« Last Edit: December 26, 2018, 04:26:52 PM by Gobi King » Logged

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