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I was in a large Marine supply store looking at Fish Finders. The fellow who was helping me steered me away from the $100 - $150 ones saying that they were really made for fresh water and would not work as well in the salt (eg a Garmin 140). He was indicating that my money would be better spent on a $260.00 Garmin that was designed to work in the salt water. What do you think? I would rather not spend the extra $100 if I don't need to, but on the other hand I do intend to use it in both fresh and salt water, both as a depth finder and a fish finder. Comments?

Thanks
James
 

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I have a low end Humming Bird and it is far from good. If the water is layer or has a algea bloom it does not work well. It will only find the bottom after 150' feet if the water is uniform and the bottom hard. Many times I have to fiddle with it because the auto adjust bottom level will pick out, fresh/salt water diivide, thermocline, or other water edges between water density as the bottom.
You get what you pay for... years ago I had a mid rang Bottom Line with two frequences, it rocked. I would find the bottom running at 30kt. at 600ft. The only time I had problems with it was in tidal rapids.
Have fun, Jason
 

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Jay,
You do get what you pay for but with smaller boats your limited for room. I wish I also could afford the larger better units but where does it end. I picked up a Cuda 240 GPS/SOUNDER combo 2 years ago from Rauer Electronics in North Van. for $325.00. Nikka wanted $419.00. This has been a great unit for me and yes it shows fish well. It's screen is not huge but again where does it end. I fish mostly Van waters, Gulf Islands and also use it well off shore 21 to 27 miles off Van isle seaching for Hallie's and springs in dense fog. For the money I have been very happy with it but would certainly like something bigger and better if I could. It has over 150 page manual with it so you can imagine all it can do, check it out it's made by Eagle, which is Lowrance.
 

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Sounder disc setting help

Speaking of cheap sounders, High tide, I lost my old Lowrance X-40 manual, and dont know what the disc - (discrimination I think) setting does. I have had it set at 0 for a year, but tried changing it up to 5 the other day off T10 when the bloom was causing problems. The digital sonar - bottom depth reading would not work. Same thing happenned last May out there. I dont know if changing the disc will help the digital sonar to read through the bloom or not, but anyway... anyone feel like explaing the disc setting function to me.
 

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High ....... $300.00 to $400.00 is probably a fairly decent gps/finder ....... and I don't think it is bare bottom end unit.

Quite a diff. from the $100.00 - $150.00 ones that Phoneguy Canuck was looking at.

GOFISH
 

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i use the Matrix 17 from humminbird, lots of tools plus you can add to it, never had a problem with it. for 200 bucks good deal.
 

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Does anyone have an opinion on GPS/Sounder combo's? Obviously the ultimate is a plotter but hey that's at least a $1000 and that's just to get in at the bottom. Anybody had good success with the $400 range combos. High Tide....have you had any problems with your setup? I mainly boat in the gulf islands and have no use for charts over here with my 18' boat so a good sounder/gps would be perfect for finding the bottom and my traps. I have however recently become hooked on the west coast and and worried that I will regret not having charts over there. Even though I really only need waypoints to get out and to get back.

thanks,

Brian
 

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bottom end sounders: eagle put one out (cant remember the model #) that was grey and red for about $260. have one one the boat for the back sounder and must say that it is better than most sounders ive had, works as well as the sitex colour sounder in the front
gps/sonars lawrance puts them out with cmap starting around $400. mind you the chartts are about $300
 

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Breiber,
As I said I have an Eagle 240 GPS/sounder and am very pleased with it. It ran me just over 300 bucks from Rauer. I have traveled all around Van. and Gulf Islands, outside west coast finding banks and shoals far off shore, searching for Hallies and springs, traveled in dense fog out and back. It has been very dependable, it has to many features to mention here. As stated you do get what you pay for but when space and money is an issue a guy has his limits. You can not add chips to this unit to show you exact plotting for specific area's as those units are far more expensive as are the different chips you need for various area's. Check them out on Eagle's web ste, they are made by Lowrance.
 

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ht, does that sounder show the depth when in gps mode? was looking at one for the back of the boat?
(oh yeah) the charts for the lawrance plotter for $270ish are for east/west van isle plus puget sound, the one i was looking would have been around 700 w/charts and 7 inch screen
 

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I would reccomend going and seeing the guys at Rauer electronics in North Van. Eagle/Lowrance put out great sounders for a good price. we have an Eagle Seafinder 480DF in our boat and it retails for under $400. The guys at Rauer will steer you in the right direction. It has been my experience that sounders under $300 are generally geared towards smaller lakes and slower boats (i.e. they don't work at high speeds).
 

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This post is going to go against the grain of most of the others............

I have owned two Humminbirds since 1990 :shock:
Both have worked just fine for us. I don't rely on it's fish marking qualities as much as it's structure seeking attributes but it does sound my balls at 100' plus.

The first one went with the boat when I sold it and the second one has been working on it's replacement for the last 6 years. It would have to be an extremely cold day in hell before I gave it up.

BTW. It does sound bottom (deep) all the way to 50 knt's. :shock: :shock: :p
 

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Just another thought.
As of three years ago, a person whom I hold in high regard when it comes to electronics, claimed that you could do better for the same money by buying other than a Garmin sounder. In his opinion, they do better in the field of gps....

Again this was three years ago. Things may be different now.
 
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