Fish Finder with a Budget

Discussion in 'Fishing Electronics Review' started by savage308, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. savage308

    savage308 New Member

    Messages:
    399
    State:
    Victoria, Texas
    I'm in the market for a new fish finder. It will be used for salt & freshwater in depths less than 100'. Started haggling with my wife on my budget starting at $1200 and we ended up at a max purchase price of $600. GPS is not a big deal, this unit needs to be user friendly. What has been your experience??? I don't want to buy a lemon and be stuck with it for a while.....Remember my budget is $600...
     
  2. Katmaster Jr.

    Katmaster Jr. New Member

    Messages:
    4,644
    State:
    Wilmington, NC
    Well, I got a Humminbird Fishfiner "525" from Wal-Mart for only $125, and it is excellent in my opinion. I have also heard other people say good things about it.
     

  3. laidbck111

    laidbck111 New Member

    Garmin 250c, a user friendly device at a good price. i had one for a good long while but it went with the boat. I liked it and for the money was a good unit. I also hear good things about the Hummingbird 595
     
  4. savage308

    savage308 New Member

    Messages:
    399
    State:
    Victoria, Texas
    ty guys, Anyone else have a recommendation????
     
  5. laidbck111

    laidbck111 New Member

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][FONT=arial, helvetica]Lowrance X136DF Fish Finder
    [​IMG]
    Retail Price: $736.36
    Sale price: $419.89
    [/FONT][​IMG][FONT=arial, helvetica]Eagle SeaFinder 640c DF Fish Finder
    [​IMG]
    Retail Price: $779.98
    Sale price: $445.89
    [/FONT][​IMG][FONT=arial, helvetica]Humminbird Matrix 47 3D
    [​IMG]
    Retail Price: $734.68
    Sale price: $449.89
    [/FONT][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][FONT=arial, helvetica]Eagle FishMark 640c Fish Finder
    [​IMG]
    Retail Price: $791.98
    Sale price: $452.89
    [/FONT][​IMG][FONT=arial, helvetica]Humminbird 767 GPS Fish Finder Combo
    [​IMG]
    Retail Price: $734.68
    Sale price: $464.89
    [/FONT][​IMG][FONT=arial, helvetica]Lowrance X100C Fish Finder
    [​IMG]
    Retail Price: $736.36
    Sale price: $467.89
    [/FONT][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][FONT=arial, helvetica]Lowrance X102C Fishfinder
    [​IMG]
    Retail Price: $818.36
    Sale price: $467.89
    [/FONT][​IMG][FONT=arial, helvetica]Lowrance LMS-480M Large Screen Combo
    [​IMG]
    Retail Price: $999.99
    Sale price: $467.89
    [/FONT][​IMG][FONT=arial, helvetica]Garmin Fishfinder 340C
    [​IMG]
    Retail Price: $479.99
    Sale price: $449.99
    [/FONT]foound this link and it has a good selection for you to chose from and different price ranges from lower to higher this is the 400-500 range. www.fishfinder.com
     
  6. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    I'd get a depth finder with a GPS built-in and I'd buy the high-quality digital contour maps for the waters you fish.

    You'll soon find GPS and contour maps to be an indespensible tool in your fishing arsenal. Knowing the underwater terrain is worth it's weight in gold - sure, a depth finder will show you what you already went over, but it's better to know what you're heading into than where you've been. With the GPS, you can mark waypoints when you find a good fishing spot and find your way back to that spot later. Plus, the GPS will draw a nice black line on the screen as your boat travels - making for an easy way to find your way back to the dock in the dark; just follow the line back and you shouldn't hit anything you didn't hit on the way out.

    For $600 you can get a nice Eagle unit like the FishElite 480, along with the Fishing HotSpots Elite data card for your area and still have some change leftover. Make sure the waters you fish most frequently are represented

    Lowrance and Eagle are made in the same factory and work exactly the same. The only significant difference is that Lowrance units generally have higher power than the equivalent Eagle units. You might or might not notice the difference in power; I'm not sure I can.
     
  7. savage308

    savage308 New Member

    Messages:
    399
    State:
    Victoria, Texas
    Thanks Mr T.
    I've done some looking online at bass pro, Cabela's, and Academy and I'm a lil blown away at how many there are and all the different options available. Thanks for the help.
     
  8. savage308

    savage308 New Member

    Messages:
    399
    State:
    Victoria, Texas
    Anyone else have a opinion or view on one?
     
  9. borntocatfish

    borntocatfish New Member

    Messages:
    309
    State:
    NW ohio
    This spring they usually go on sale I'm picking one up then cabela's or bass pro shop cabela's have a nice display
     
  10. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    You can narrow the field quite a bit if you stick with Lowrance or Eagle, preferably Lowrance if the budget allows it.

    Garmin is a new player in the sonar business and I just don't think they offer much of a unit at this point - they're so far behind the long-time players that they'll never catch up. Humminbird is right behind Lowrance but I was never impressed with the Humminbird unit I had on my last boat.

    Once you pick a brand, then it's a matter of deciding on GPS or not, then color or grayscale. Spend some time tinkering with units at your local dealer so you can get an idea of whether you really want color or not. You already know what I think about GPS.

    After you've answered those questions, buy the unit with the most power and highest VERTICAL resolution you can afford. I personally wouldn't consider anything less than 480x480 resolution - units with lower resolution are either older models that are about to be closed out or low-end models that don't have much power and won't show you much other than the bottom.

    My next unit will be a high-resolution color Lowrance unit with GPS. Not sure which one at this point, but that's where I'm headed.
     
  11. Ol Man

    Ol Man New Member

    Messages:
    3,170
    State:
    Illinois
    Hope it ain't just me, but when I open this thread, it is 2 screens wide and I have to scroll to and fro just to read it. It is only on this thread...:crazy:
     
  12. Ol Man

    Ol Man New Member

    Messages:
    3,170
    State:
    Illinois
    Now it only shows up on the first page... I gotta get a grip...:lol:
     
  13. knapperheadmatt

    knapperheadmatt New Member

    Messages:
    129
    State:
    texas
    i use an eagle cuda 168 with a deer feeder battery to power the unit.the whole set up cost $98 . it works great but i wish i had a gps function.
    God bless,
    matt