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hookedupf7

Thinking about a new fish finder, any info

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I am thinking of buying a new sonar. I am up in the air between the hummingbird helix7 or the lowrance hook. I am going to get the sonar,gps, and di. Any info and feedback please?

 I am leaning toward the lowrance because you can buy it with the Navionics  chip together, but The Hummingbird looks like a nice unit also

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I'm a Lowrance guy, so my words might be a little bias, the main reason I didn't go with the some of the others, was the after market chips the other didn't accept One being Hummingbird and the Raymairine dragonfly, you were locked into what was in the sonar. They didn't accept the Navionics chips. Being on boats that had this setup and I really liked what I saw. At the time the Elite7 hdi you could choose from a boat load of cards for Lowrance units, only to find out the Elite accepts from the Premium on down, so no 3D for us, they used a lesser grade of a processor than the 7,8,9,hdi units that accepted the platinum chips. I don't think there is one unit that has everything one needs. This is in my own belief. Good luck finding a sonar that suits your needs, it's not easy!!

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For my 2 cents and only 2 cents, any of the three units mentioned will do what you need to for general Lake O fishing and are all quality units. Each has their own little feature to try to make them standout from the others in the bueaty pageant, basic functions they are all equal. Just need to figure out what your needs and budget allows.

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I was looking at the helix 7 but after playing with it last night at gander mtn. I won't be getting it. It was very difficult to switch through the different screens. I looked at the lowrance elite 7 hdi and it was alot easier to use. Just my opinion

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Hooked up, not that this is what you need out of it but thought you would want to know just in case, I've got the same unit and love it. But when I got the auto pilot thinking I could connect the Nema 2000 to it for mapping and control I was caught in a surprise. I needed the HDS model to do that. Everyone said you can until you contact Lowrance when you try and find out in fact it won't connect.

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Shade of Grey brings up a very important point in my opinion and that is the ease with which you can access the various functions on the screen in addition to being able to see screens in bright sunlight.  The non touch screen units have "nested" menus so you have to hunt for things and some of the desired items can be hidden within them sometimes several layers down and it can be a real pain and waste of time trying to access them when on the water and especially when you are in a hurry. Not all of these options or items are very intuitive either and although I am a Lowrance and Vexilar guy in terms of personal preference and experience but the Lowrance manuals (if you can call them that) totally suck.  The touch screens may offer a better experience in terms of quickness and ease of use but I have not used them  (yet) but this issue is certainly worth looking at closely in my view. Because the competition has been very keen in recent years all these major companies have been putting out good quality units ( e.g. Humminbird, Lowrance,and Garmin and at a somewhat higher end the Furuno's)) and you need to closely look at exactly how you will be using the unit you select and the specific transducer selection will be as important as anything too.

Edited by Sk8man

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I have a Raymarine A series.  Just another option - plus it interfaces with my autopilot via Nema 2000.  Since I use it only on Lake Michigan, I just use the free Lighthouse/NOA charts that you can download. 

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Les is spot on about the hidden options, last year somehow I got into a small sonar screen and the other 2/3rds was gps, I for the life of me I couldn't figure out how to get it back. After retuning to camp I got my I pad out to figure what the hell to do. Go here push twice scroll down hit this, BLA BLA BLA the direction books should 1/2" thick instead of nine little pages.

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I have an older lowrance gps model now. The unit does everything that I need, but it kept loosing signal last summer, then the Navianics chip stopped working. So I am thinking of going with the lowrance .

 

Do you guys use the DI a lot?

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Humminbirds menu's haven't changed in years. The menu on the new HELIX series is the same that was on their 7xx, 8xx, 9xx, and 11xx series which is called the "core" units. It's very user friendly with menu tabs. For example a Sonar tab, a Settings tab, a Navigation tab. I've used Humminbirds for 7-8 years and in that time frame I've fished with friends that had other brands. I haven't found one that would give me anything EXTRA that my Humminbird doesn't already give me. They all will show you fish, bait, and structure. It's the back end that really matters if any issues arise with your units, and I can tell you Hummibirds customer service is top notch.

 

If you, or anyone for that matter, have questions on running Humminbirds on the Great Lakes call me or shoot me a PM.

Edited by Yankee Troller

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I have an older lowrance gps model now. The unit does everything that I need, but it kept loosing signal last summer, then the Navianics chip stopped working. So I am thinking of going with the lowrance .

Do you guys use the DI a lot?

I have an hds5 gen 1 that was doing the same thing. Put the latest update in and it works great. It is now networked with a gen 3 hds7 to share waypoints.

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I am a weekend fisherman and wonder what benefit a depthfinder/GPS chartplotter combo has over a simple depthfinder on

Lake Erie and Lake Ontario?  I have charts of the areas I fish.  I also wonder if sidescan is of any value on these lakes?

 

Thanks,

Steeleman

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Here's something to think about. 10 years ago I bought a Furuno fish finder and a Lowrance GPS. Never had one issue with the Furuno unit...it's been bulletproof. The Lowrance unit gave me nothing but problems along with chip incompatibility issues. The last time I was going to send it back, Lowrance no longer supported that unit. THINK ABOUT SERVICE AFTER THE SALE. Lowrance is notorious for being of little help after the warranty expires ( heard this from numerous fishermen). I'd buy another Furuno but NEVER another Lowrance.

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I have an older Lowrance LMS 339 and it works great, but the SD card reader doesn't work, so I can't install the latest update.

I also have a Helix 5 DI GPS, 859ci HD DI GPS, and a Humminbird 698ci HD SI GPS. I prefer the Humminbird, but not by a large margin.

Edited by Todd in NY

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I have an older lowrance gps model now. The unit does everything that I need, but it kept loosing signal last summer, then the Navianics chip stopped working. So I am thinking of going with the lowrance .

 

Do you guys use the DI a lot?

I use my DI all the time, I'm a walleye guy and I want to know what the terrain is under me, very rocky I hope. I have a Elite 7 HDI. I like it I put the update in it before I ever mounted it in the boat. I never had a problem. Now they have the elite hook and the elite ti, which is a touch screen that's $200.00 less than I paid 2 years ago and the hook is the same price just double the unit in the functions. Good luck and use your own way of making the decisions, II will say other than the touch screens, you won't put a lowrance unit on and go fishing, it takes time to get the hang of it unless your very tech savvy and the manual is like a few little pages. I bought the extra power cord and played with it over the winter, and still needed the manual, but I really like it for the money.

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Pap,

 

Do you think there is a significant difference between DI and CHIRP while scouring rocky ledges for eyes? Also looking to upgrade this season. The more I read, the more confused I get and would like to her from someone using them.

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Pap,

 

Do you think there is a significant difference between DI and CHIRP while scouring rocky ledges for eyes? Also looking to upgrade this season. The more I read, the more confused I get and would like to her from someone using them.

 

DI and CHIRP are two totally different things.

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