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I have been reading every forum I can find and everything I can find on the internet but still struggling with purchasing a finder for my new boat. If you were going to buy a new finder right now for $1200 or under what would you buy and why.

 

More info of how I will use it. It will be on a Lund Tyee 1900 which I will use to perch fish and bass fish with my kids. I will also troll and jig for walleyes on the St. Lawrence river and Lake Ontario or Oneida. Also would sporadically troll for salmon on Lake Ontario or finger lakes. Navigation is important to me and I will be putting a minn Kota trolling motor on the boat. Thank you in advance for you advice. This will be my first purchase but I have some experience with finders but I am definitely a novice.

 

 

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I think one of the things to think about  regardless of brand is just how easy is it to operate out on the water. Although I don't currently have a touch screen model I believe I will be looking at them next time. I have had many Lowrance models without the touch display and I can tell you that for them at least the menus are "nested" and it takes some searching on them for some functions and when you are out on the water trolling the last thing you care to be doing is searching for some function that is hidden in nested menus. Another important thing to consider is: How good is their tech support and servicing? This can be very important if  things don't go according to plan with the unit. A user manual should be user friendly and comprehensive.In my view Lowrance sucks in both servicing and the manual:lol: I'd look at these things BEFORE selecting a unit regardless of brand.

Edited by Sk8man
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I think one of the things to think about  regardless of brand is just how easy is it to operate out on the water. Although I don't currently have a touch screen model I believe I will be looking at them next time. I have had many Lowrance models without the touch display and I can tell you that for them at least the menus are "nested" and it takes some searching on them for some functions and when you are out on the water trolling the last thing you care to be doing is searching for some function that is hidden in nested menus. Another important thing to consider is: How good is their tech support and servicing? This can be very important if  things don't go according to plan with the unit. A user manual should be user friendly and comprehensive.In my view Lowrance sucks in both servicing and the manual I'd look at these things BEFORE selecting a unit regardless of brand.

That is good sound advice! I too have a sounder that is a frustrating, scrolling to the next page, looking for the function I want....and seems I never can remember how I got there the last time! Arrrrgh! Absolutely frosts me to feel so lost on the thing and the air will turn blue in about 30 seconds of "monkeying" on it.
Touch screen will be my next system, but it better be intuitive so it sends me in the right direction in the process of finding a function or setting. Plus screen visibility with my eyes getting older a five or seven inch screen ain't gonna cut it anymore.
I know that screen size really cranks up the price of any unit, and I don't know why, but that is gonna cramp my wallet more than anything else. Once screens go over 9 inches the price goes up like a rocket. By the way, the unit I'm using works really well, but as I said, frustrating to set, and it was inexpensive because it is discontinued, and I got it refurbished. There is a good chance you could get a quality refurbished touch screen for 1200 bucks that would have a decent size screen. Worth a look around the Internet for that. There are plenty good units out there, but as Les points out, service is a big importance to consider. I was in a Cabela's and saw they had humminbird and lowrance as main displays. I asked the desk manager there about which had better support. He said, "Well, the service rep for humminbird comes in about once a week sometimes twice, lowrance...maybe every 6 months". That kinda echoes what Les was having trouble with. High definition and target separation would be a good thing to prioritize in a bottom unit looking for fish that hug the bottom.
Mark

Money doesn't buy happiness,
but it does buy horsepower....
I've never seen a sad person in a boat haulin' A$$...!

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I think I have decided on hummingbird helix 10 di. Don't think I really need the chirp and SI for what I am doing.


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

I think you made a very good choice! Nice 10.1 screen and high resolution compared to the smaller versions of the Helix. Although not touch screen, it should have nice smooth scrolling and hopefully be intuitive enough to find the settings that you want quickly. Should work well for a lot of different types of fishing. One of the things I noted before about finding bottom hugging fish like perch should be no problem for that unit with a 2.5 inch target separation. Has good interface with many other systems including the I pilot for navigation and autopilot trolling with an electric motor.
Good luck with it! Let us know how you like it!
Mark

Money doesn't buy happiness,
but it does buy horsepower....
I've never seen a sad person in a boat haulin' A$$...!

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I may be mistaken but I think the Switchfire Max mode is using standard CHIRP technology

Edited by Sk8man
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Humminbird will always get my vote bought a used pontoon that came with a decent bird unit. Died two weeks later they fixed no charge one week turn around in summer. Awesome customer service.


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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