Color Fishfinder opinions.

Discussion in 'Fishing Electronics Review' started by turtle1173, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. turtle1173

    turtle1173 New Member

    Messages:
    611
    State:
    Mayfield, KY
    Hi all,

    I've got between $350 - $400 to spend on a color fishfinder unit (thanks to some early Christmas presents). Maybe possibly I could go to $450 :roll_eyes:

    I was wanting to get some opinions from you all fairly quickly, as to the best bang for the buck.

    Right now I am seriously considering the Garmin 340C finder. I am willing to change my mind however, LOL.

    Looking for something with at least 3,000 watts (Garmin has 3200). I would like a decent sized screen (which the Garmin is on the small side- 3" wide x 4" tall). Good pixel count (again Garmin on the low side with 240X320).

    In Garmin's defense, however, it has 256 colors and a dual beam transducer. I was also happy with my first unit a few years ago, which was a Garmin 160.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    Shane, I would suggest you also take a hard look at some of the Eagle or Lowrance models. Nothing against Garmin, because I don't have any experience with them, but lowrance/eagle products are hard to beat. Eagle is made by lowrance but are usually less expensive. I've got an eagle fishmark 480 that has been a very good unit. Right now I'm using a lowrance lms 337c as well as an x-107c and they are great with the color screen, although they are a little above your budget price. They have other models that will fall into your price range, though.
    Regardless of what you choose, go for the most pixels,screen size, and power that you can afford.:big_smile:
     

  3. Catfishhunter

    Catfishhunter New Member

    Messages:
    332
    State:
    Lanesville, In.
    Shane check this depth finder out.Eagle SeaCharter 502c DF Sonar with Internal GPS. It has a 320x240 pixel and 4000 watts. It is $499...
     
  4. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    Garmin just never impressed me much. They certainly know how to do GPS but sonar isn't really their strong point.

    Invest your money in a good Lowrance unit and you won't go wrong. If the budget is really tight, Eagle is the same as Lowrance (same factory) but typically with less output power.

    If you don't need GPS, look at the Lowrance X102c - it's got a nice big screen, 480x480 color and 2400 watts. You won't be able to tell the difference between 3000 and 2400 watts. $489 at Cabelas. The Eagle FishMark 500 sells for about $350 and has the same 2400 watts at the Lowrance unit, however it has 320x240 resolution.


    Not sure what you need a dual-frequency transducer for - those are intended for saltwater users, not freshwater.

    In any case, I wouldn't purchase a unit with less than 480x480 resolution at this point - that's really the minimum that the "current generation" sonar units are offering.
     
  5. stephens

    stephens New Member

    Messages:
    235
    State:
    clarksville tn
    i would go with lowrance or eagle with the most power and resolution you can afford. i have both products and they have very good service. i wouldnt go with dual transducer.
     
  6. JAYNC

    JAYNC New Member

    Messages:
    1,312
    State:
    Newport N.C.
    I had to bring 3 of my lowrance x107's back to west marine because they shorted out from being out in the rain. One of them I could dump water out of it. It was a great depth finder when it worked. I finally said no more lowrance and got a garmin 178c gps/sonar and it is awesome. Not only do you know exactly where you are, but you know exactly whats under you also. This is IMHO the best finder/gps for the money. You wont be disappointed. The good thing about west marine is if you go online and find the cheapest price of any website all you have to do is print out the page and they will match it, and since there is normally no tax online they will match that to the out the door price. I got the 178c internal antenna and the 50/200khz triducer for $2 less than what they wanted for just the 178c by itself. I used to think lowrance was the best but now I know that they aren't for me. Maybe other people have better luck.
     
  7. slimcat

    slimcat New Member

    Messages:
    952
    State:
    marion kentucky
    Jimmy, does the eagle seacharter have a memory card for saving fishing areas??? I have been looking at the eagle fishstrike 2000c but the only difference in the two I can see is the pixel count and the size of the screens.
     
  8. tspergin

    tspergin New Member

    Messages:
    867
    State:
    newark ohio
    boatersword has the 2000c on sal;e for 499.00
     
  9. Mark R.

    Mark R. New Member

    Messages:
    186
    State:
    Rush Springs, OK
    Shane,
    I have spent a lot of time researching what to buy, I am going to buy a Lowrance X102c, I have a handheld GPS.

    What helped me make the decision was I was in the Bass Pro
    in Gurney Mills mall north of Chicago. They have a lot of units running side by side and very helpful sales people there.

    The X102c stood out of the non GPS pack by far, It will work in bright sunlight, one of the salesman used one him self and explained why he chose it and sold me on it.

    I wasn't going to spend that much on one but now I believe that model will do me well, Will be money well spent-just waiting on them to go on sale.

    Mark
     
  10. Catfishhunter

    Catfishhunter New Member

    Messages:
    332
    State:
    Lanesville, In.
    Yes Demetrius, There is a Santa Claus! I mean yes there is a mmc slot...LOL
     
  11. Doctor

    Doctor Member

    Messages:
    378
    State:
    Springfield, Ohio
    This year I switched from a Lowrance LMS350A to a Lowrance color unit, man what a difference, I would never go back to the monochrome, plus all the features on the new units are awesome, just realise that in a couple of years these things will be outdated, technology is moving so fast that they are coming up with better and neater stuff, couple of years I figure they will have the technology down to where humminbird is now with there side finder unit, what looks like a tree is a tree, but you will see the thing right on the screen without having to interperate it.

    The newer units are more powerful, the large screen make it tough to mount under the windshields on most boats but the companys that make the mounting systems are stepping up to consumer demands, and what we need to protect our investments.

    After talking with walleye pro Bruce Samson, you only need the dual transducer if your fishing in waters deeper than 100 foot all the time per his recomendation I went with the single transducer, the duals will cost you around $150.00 to replace compared to $70.00 for the single.

    With the Lowrance units from the first color model right on up to the top of the line mainly power and screen size are the only difference, the screens are pretty much set-up the same, some have internal GPS some are external.

    Mapping on the unit is very nice I like my mapping shows me where I am on the river and I can move forward or backwards on the screen to see what is ahead or maybe where there is a creek to get bait or catch fish,marking humps that are tough to find is another advantage to the GPS, again companys are stepping up to the plate with very good programs to help manage waypoints and being able to change headers is great, old unit gave me a number my new unit I can input a name so when I look at it on the computer I know which waypoint is which.

    Having the record function on the higher end units is a teaching tool in itself and again companys are providing maps and now aerial photos that can be downloaded onto MMC/SD cards and you can upload those to your unit, found out about that feature this week on mine kind of cool to see a PIP on the screen, plus now you can use a digital camera and take a picture of a landmark and that can be uploaded to the depthfinder, seems like the ideas are endless, all it takes is time with the unit.

    Good luck with your choice, I hope your as happy with the unit you pick as I am with mine...............Doc
     
  12. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    Tim, I'm curious. What mapping program are you using? I just replaced my garmin gps with a lowrance and I'm still trying to decide exactly which way to go for software.
     
  13. Doctor

    Doctor Member

    Messages:
    378
    State:
    Springfield, Ohio
    Couple of different kinds, ExpertGPS and Fugawi, the later one is really awesome, Bruce Samson uses it but he has it tied into a laptop that he carries on board prefishing then uploads everything before a tournament, I tried Mapcreate and didn't like it, Expert GPS is real user freindly you can download a 30 day trail at there website, they use maps and aerials from Terraserver, I use the expert GPS to manage all my waypoints and headers...........Doc
     
  14. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    Thanks, Tim. I'm not familiar with either one of those, but I'll do some research. I have to say, after using a garmin gps for several years, they appear to make it easier to get good software. Maybe I just need to be patient and learn the lowrance ways. haha The lake details are ok, but the programs I'm using don't contain as many lake maps as the garmin version, nor do they show roads and such as well.
    I will do some more research.
     
  15. slimcat

    slimcat New Member

    Messages:
    952
    State:
    marion kentucky
    SOunds like I am gonna have to step up and get one of the color units as well. I wish they could tell you what color the fish were and how much they weighed as well.LOL. Jimmy, Santa had better have a big back pocket this year.LOL
     
  16. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,447
    State:
    IN
    Name:
    Winston
    Doc,
    You guys are making my head hurt. Fishing is (was) my escape from all things computer. I am not to switched on with them and I constantly feel like a dinosaur at work as I am surrounded by computer whizzes. Now I have to sit out on the river feeling like a dinosaur too. AAAAGGGGHHHH...W
     
  17. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    Mark, You'll like that unit a lot, I think. I have an X107c which is the same unit, just a little more power. It works great.:smile2:
     
  18. Mark R.

    Mark R. New Member

    Messages:
    186
    State:
    Rush Springs, OK
    blackwaterkatz,
    Yes I believe it is the right unit for me, I don't need the extra power fishing the shallow water around here.
    I understand the X107c is a very large seller at one of the local big name stores locally.
    The color units will take over the market and with that bring down the price.
    Just kind of hard for me to spend almost as much on the unit as I did on the boat!

    Thanks,
    Mark
     
  19. savage308

    savage308 New Member

    Messages:
    399
    State:
    Victoria, Texas
    This thread is gonna cost me some money..... Gonna have to upgrade.... Anyone wanna call my wife and tell her???? lol
    Great thread...
     
  20. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    Just get someone to call and leave a message on your phone: "We have a terrific clearance on the sonar you've been wanting for christmas. A one-time mark down from $1,800 to only $500. Don't wait, I can only hold it for a day.":wink: