Questions about Fish Finders

Discussion in 'Fish Finder Review and Study' started by DeerHunter01, May 14, 2006.

  1. DeerHunter01

    DeerHunter01 New Member

    Messages:
    2,113
    State:
    Kentucky
    This section will be just for Questions about fish finders, if you have a question please post or if you have the answer for someone then please post your answer to there question.

    Please remember when you post your question will not show up until its been approved to be posted, the reason this is set up to make sure we don't get other stuff inside one section.

    Thanks BOC Staff
     
  2. bigfish

    bigfish New Member

    Messages:
    432
    State:
    Dunbar WV.
    i have two ? 1 ive heard you say you can use your finder and set right down on catfish and tell the differance between them and the log or rock their beside. all i see is blobs. 2 is it bacause im using a $100 finder, do you have to invest more money in one to realy be able to get good use outa it.
     

  3. Doctor

    Doctor Member

    Messages:
    378
    State:
    Springfield, Ohio
    bigfish,

    The higher end units will give you much better resolution but with some tweaking you can get your unit to read much better, there are a few things I do each and every time I hit the water.

    First always check your transducer, they seem to get bumped around while trailering and the angle may be wrong, I like for the transducer to be angled just a tad from the front to the back with the back a little lower than the front, each and every boat is different because of the angle of the transoms or ribs or chines on the bottom, most times when people are not getting good pictures on there unit it is because the angle is incorrect.

    Second take a wet rag make sure it is wet and wipe down you transducer, it is amazing what those things will gather on the bottom side when you travel down a highway and if it is mud or dust and it sticks to the face of the transducer then when the crystal vibrates inside and sends out that sound wave that dirt or dust will redirct that sound or block it then you see these weird echoes on your unit. if you use a dry rag then you may scatch the surface of the unit and that will change the sound pattern.

    Remember when you here that click sound out the back of the boat the sound goes down to the bottom bounces and returns back to the unit then it is processed and the picture is painted on your screen, happens thousands of times, anything that gets in the way is painted on the screen and that includes sticks, leaves, air bubbles, grass and fish and turtles and anything else that swims or crawls under your unit.

    Time on the water and trusting what you unit is telling you are great to boost your morale, marking a fish and then anchoring down and catching that fish is one of the greatest thrills you can have..................Doc
     
  4. DeerHunter01

    DeerHunter01 New Member

    Messages:
    2,113
    State:
    Kentucky
    Posted from : Aftercats


    Good info, I have been working on my boat today and had check out my transducer. What happens if they mounted it flush with the bottom of the boat?
     
  5. DeerHunter01

    DeerHunter01 New Member

    Messages:
    2,113
    State:
    Kentucky
    Aftercats:

    alot of times you will not get a correct reading from your unit, it will not get a flow of water thru the unit to be able to read properly and therefor you could have problems reading the arches or showing alot of lines in the unit while moving trying to locate fish.
     
  6. Aftercats

    Aftercats New Member

    Messages:
    236
    State:
    Tennesse
    Thanks I will check that out in the morning, Does it matter where on the transome the transducer is mounted?
     
  7. DeerHunter01

    DeerHunter01 New Member

    Messages:
    2,113
    State:
    Kentucky
    This is a reminder if you have any questions please post them in this thread as we fill in the other areas there will be no post allowed until its completed all post will have to be copied and posted here for now.

    Remember when you post it wont come up right away it will have to be approved to this section, this is just so we can get this built and maybe put in these posts what your asking about.


    Thanks BOC Staff
     
  8. DeerHunter01

    DeerHunter01 New Member

    Messages:
    2,113
    State:
    Kentucky
    Aftercats :

    I always have put mine on the drivers side of my boat, I try and keep it about 14 to 15 inches from the motor prop wash. but it has to be mounted down like in the one picture I showed in the digram that I did on the X135. and you should be ok then.
     
  9. Doyle

    Doyle New Member

    Messages:
    582
    State:
    Illinois
    I do almost all my fishing in 6 to 12 ft of water. My lakes max depth is 30 ft. I think my readings in the deeper water are better than shallow. How are your experiences in shallow water. I dont think that I get very good readings no matter how I adjust the sensitivity.
     
  10. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    Messages:
    4,339
    State:
    West Tn

    Doyle what unit do you have? And a little info on it? Like what transducer does it have?
    My humminbird 987c Si or the Humminbird 400TX tri Beam will work great even in 5ft of water. But then again there is more then one beam at work there. I do have to turn down the power when in that shallow of water.

    I plan on doing some research on mine do find out what it will do in shallow water.
    But remember in 6ft of water your lucky of your seeing less then a 3 ft circle more like a 2ft circle . So its not giving you much feedback.
    Here is what I do. mine will track a jig to over 40ft and separate targets within 2 ½ inches!
    So I plan on seeing if it will track my bait in 5ft of water down to XXXX depth. I do know it will track a 4/0 hook rig.
    If yours will not track that small of a jig or hook. Switch to a 20 Oz coke bottle that has weight in it to sink. And tie that to your rod. With the unit running move back until it shows up and then measure from that spot on the boat back and you will know what your unit is covering in that depth.

    Pete
     
  11. SubnetZero

    SubnetZero New Member

    Messages:
    1,619
    State:
    Sherman IL
    Working in the PC world, Sonar/Fish finders appear to be like computers, they look to be out-dated quickly with all the new advances/bells/whistles,etc comming out all the time.

    I am a complete newbie when it comes to dealing with sonars. The two I have were already mounted on the boat when I bought it last year.

    I have a Lowrance X25B mounted on my console, transducer mounted on my transom. I also have an Eagle Cuda 128 mounted up front with the transducer mounted on my trolling motor. The Eagle seems to give me a better picture than my lowrance, but it is also a newer unit.

    The specs on my Lowrance:
    Dimensions ...................... 5.9" W x 5.35" H x 3.4" D
    Input Voltage .................... 10 - 15 vDC
    Current Drain ................... 350 ma (lights off)
    ........................... 500 ma (lights on)
    Transmitter
    Frequency.......... 192 kHz
    Output Power ..... 600 watts (peak-to-peak)
    ........................... 75 watts (RMS)
    Display ........................... 100 pixels (H) x 65 pixels (W)
    ........................... Supertwist Liquid Crystal Display

    At what point is it worth spending the cash to upgrade to a newer unit.
    I realize spending $2k with give me picture like shots of the bottom, but that is just not affordable for most. I am wondering, is it worth spending the $500-$600 to upgrade to a mid to low-high end sonar or just keep what I have ? ...
     
  12. DeerHunter01

    DeerHunter01 New Member

    Messages:
    2,113
    State:
    Kentucky
    These are small computers (lol) and sometimes they can be a pain in the rear when trying to learn them and how they work. The biggest thing is making sure it is set up just right to give you the maximum usage out of your system that you have.

    1. On upgrading your unit , that will be your choice, you will know when its time, if your using your system to find structure and depth then that unit will due well for that, If you are going to try and target your fish and see and I.D. different things in the water then you should move up to a 3000 Watt or above peak to peak power, and at least a 480X480 Pixel system.

    Right now I would love to Upgrade to the system that Pete has but just don't have the money to do it with, but there is systems that can give you 4000 watts peak to peak power and good pixel range in black and white for around $400.00 Now if you move up into a Color system to get the 4000 watts peak to peak your going to get into the 600.00 to 700.00 range real quick.

    If you fish all the time and want to expand on your fishing then its worth the spending of that money, but if your happy with what your seeing and catching fish then I would stay with what you have until you can afford to get a little bit bigger of a unit. As I have said in many of my posts about fish finders its hard to tell someone they should upgrade. Here is the best I can tell you to do find someone in your area that has a bigger system with the higher watts and go with them and watch there system you will see a big difference and it will tell you then to upgrade or not.

    I hope this helps and you understand I am not pushing to sell any of these just trying to help everyone understand there units better.
     
  13. DeerHunter01

    DeerHunter01 New Member

    Messages:
    2,113
    State:
    Kentucky
    From :

    primitivefrn

    jim wainwright Join Date: Aug 2005
    Location: collins mo
    Posts: 102
    Rep Power: 2
    39

    102 lowrance

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thanks for input, just bought one.
    jim
     
  14. Bigmagic

    Bigmagic New Member

    Messages:
    382
    State:
    Edwards Missouri
    Tim ultimately it is a personal decision, but for me I like a Finder with at least 3000 watts. I think a lot of "bells and whistles" are added to attract impulse buying from fisherman. I know someone who still uses and old Lowrance paper graph unit and it works great. I have three sonars on my boat, one I use just for its GPS(LCX-15-MT) one to locate catfish(Lowrance X-97) and one to locate shad(Hummingbird 3D Paramount). I didn't set out to have three sonars on my boat. The 3d unit came with it and I added the X-97 from my old boat. I got a deal on the X-15 from ebay.

    From using units from two different manufacturers I have learned a lot about sonar. Being able to compare what the 3D unit "sees" with the Lowrance units has provided me with a great learning tool. My 3D unit fires six beams in different directions so it always "sees" more fish than either of the Lowrances. It quickly identifies shad schools and shows location of fish in all directions in relationship to my boat. The Lowrances with their single beam show a much smaller area but have arches and great detail(very useful). I often have fish or structure showing on the 3d that are not on the Lowrances (due to single beam) but I can repostition the boat to view the same stuff with the Lowrances. This has proved invaluable in my quest to get become a better catfisherman.

    When I first fired up the Hummingbird I thought it was a useless piece of junk.(After using the X-97) I have since come to appreciate it as another tool in my arsenal.

    In the end upgrading depends on your budget,expectations and personal preference. If your unit has the power and detail but lacks the latest "bells and whistles" stay with it. But if you've got a depth finder thats under powered or only offers minimal detail and bottom information by all means upgrade and get a professional unit and learn how to use it.(VERY IMPORTANT) Unless you have experience with a higher end depth finder allow yourself some time for learning and like Eric has already said "leave the rods at home". See ya on the water!
     
  15. Doyle

    Doyle New Member

    Messages:
    582
    State:
    Illinois
    I have the Hummingbird 400TX, it is the one I think is not doing well in shallow water. One thing I did… I shortened the cable when I redid the wiring on the boat rather than leaving it rolled up. Is there a possibility than these cables are tuned and not to be shortened?
     
  16. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,456
    State:
    IN
    Name:
    Winston
    I am not sure that the computer analogy is fair in the case of sonar units. The problem with computers, I think, is that to run the programs and applications currently available you often need to upgrade. Trouble is that when the 'puters become more powerful the software people produce programs and applications that require even more power.
    Fish, on the other hand, are not constantly evolving and inventing new ways to avoid being seen by sonar.
    In my humble opinion upgrading is not a necessity if you have a good unit in the first place. If your unit does a good job at showing what you are looking for, be it structure or fish, then a newer unit with more bells and whistles is not necessary. I used to run a Lowrance X70-A and I think that it was the best unit I have owned. The only reason I upgraded was that Lowrance no longer had parts to repair it when the screen went bad.
    Now, if you have a "low-end" unit that you got perhaps as an entry level unit or maybe it was already on the boat when you bought it, then by all means get a good unit, one that is as good as you can afford. Do not however fall into the trap of thinking that the next year's model will do a better job of showing what you want to see. There are, from time to time, quantum leaps in technology that really do set new standards but for the most part, if your sonar shows you what you want to see today, it will show you those same things next year or in ten years.
    A $200 unit that is properly adjusted and being used by a guy who actually knows how to interpret what it is showing is much more prefereable to a $5000 unit in the hands of someone without a clue. It's just a tool and as with most tools the person using it is what makes the biggest difference
    ...W
     
  17. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    Messages:
    4,339
    State:
    West Tn
    I hope that it was only the power cable. and not the transducer cable. As when you cut a transducer cable it will at times not work as good.

    But I have 2 of the 400TX units. and still use them both on the 17ft war-eagle and on the trolling motor on the 20ft boat. And have not problem with shallow water on them.
    Are you running yours in factor mode? If so take it and play with it. Use the setting and get a lot more out of the unit.
    Pete
     
  18. DeerHunter01

    DeerHunter01 New Member

    Messages:
    2,113
    State:
    Kentucky
    katfshn50

    George Ostrom
    Location: Brooklawn N.J.



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I have an Eagle 320 fish finder. I have read the book time and time again and am having trouble with the sensativity settings. I am always getting what the manual refers to as clutter. It is not constant yet it exhists and scrambles what I am tryin to read as far as markin fish is concerned. What may I be doin wrong. And don't say tryin to use it. LOL!
    __________________
    BIG GEORGE/ MEMBER SINCE NOVEMBER 2003
     
  19. DeerHunter01

    DeerHunter01 New Member

    Messages:
    2,113
    State:
    Kentucky
    SeedTick
    Greg Rettig

    Location: Conway Arkansas

    Thank you guys for this much needed new forum!

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hey Pete, What is the meandering line that kinda connects the beds?

    ST
     
  20. Bigmagic

    Bigmagic New Member

    Messages:
    382
    State:
    Edwards Missouri
    Winston, I agree with your point that upgrading an already useful and working unit isn't needed but I think the computer comparison was a fair one in that a computer only manipulates data. A computer in the hands of the right person is a powerful device and yet some people have one gathering dust on their desk.

    I love the new Lowrance sonar units like the X-111 or the X-110 but are they enough of an upgrade for the money? In some situations for some fisherman the answer may be yes, for me though I have not one but three solid useful sonar units(my wife thinks thats two too many) and the $2500 dollar price tag will keep me using them for a while. If your a serious fisherman there are a number of units in the $400 dollar range that are very good units.

    Maybe we need to talk about "what features make a great sonar unit" so we can find some common ground. For me it starts with power, the additional detail that comes with units with at least 3000watts is worth the difference in price. Vertical resolution goes right along with power in my book. Wouldn't do much good to have power and not be able to display it. Dependabilty is always a consideration as well. I need a rugged unit to withstand the abuse it will get fishing nearly everyday. What's your criteria?