Marine Electronics Forum - Best GPS/fish finder under $1000???

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03-28-2012, 08:14 PM
In your opinion what's the best gps/fish finder under $1000

03-29-2012, 07:20 AM
Okay I'll bite - best for my boat, depths, target species, fishing technique, water, mounting location, etc might not be best for you. Most of the major manufacturers have models in your price range that are competitive with each other. Tell us more about your situation and folks will give advice.

03-29-2012, 10:41 AM
i fish in cape cod bay and Stellwagen for striper and Bluefin, 90% of the time im trolling. I’d like to have it on a bracket. Is there a difference between external and internal antennas with reception?

03-29-2012, 11:12 AM
Hds7 is a good one.

03-29-2012, 04:49 PM
i fish in cape cod bay and Stellwagen for striper and Bluefin, 90% of the time im trolling. I’d like to have it on a bracket. Is there a difference between external and internal antennas with reception?

I fish striper and bluefin in the Chesapeake and MD/VA portion of the Atlantic in a 24 sea hunt. I bought all new electronics this year and chose Simrad NSS8 + structure scan for the following reasons:

- it was the only system that offered both structure scan and the ability to upgrade to chirp black box as funds permit if I become a more serious canyon instead of near-shore lump fisherman.
- there was a sick boat show $300 rebate if you bought them together, plus the unit was on special for under $1900 (several hundred cheaper than I'd seen it)... felt like I got structure scan for practically free.
- NSS offers touch screen or button/rotary knob adjustments... I like the choice.
- for inshore fishing for stripers (identifying structure), I think structure scan is invaluable. Sidescan may be helpful for seeing where a school of fish/bait have moved (can't report on that yet).

My second choice would have been Lowrance (side scan but no chirp), third would have been Garmin with a GSD 24 (chirp but no sidescan).

03-29-2012, 05:26 PM
The best combo unit within your budget (a bit above if you go for a version with built-in charts) is Lowrance HDS-7 with a P66 transducer.

I have a lot of experience with HDS-5, HDS-8 and also Simrad NSS-7 which shares technology with HDS. For my HDS units the chart zooming has been fast since software version 4.0 was released, but the Gen 2 models sold now is much faster, but the big speed difference between the original HDS and Gen2 is the response speed of the menus.

The HDS/NSS fishfinder is very good, I have also Furuno FCV-620 so I have a good reference for comparison. I'm using B60 transducers on both my boats, this is a trough hull flush mounted model. The transducer element is the same as P66 so at least at lower speeds the performance will be identical.

With HDS you can later add StructureScan which is excellent for fishing at 100' and less. With the Gen2 version you will then also get StructureMap.

03-29-2012, 06:01 PM
What's the best transducer and kHz for the HDS-7. I normally fish in less then 100ft but will sometimes be in 300ft for cod fishing. I assume I want a wind bean transducer like 45 deg. I also read the p66 is bad in less then 40ft. and what transducer will still hold bottom at WOT.

03-30-2012, 12:30 AM
For 60' and less i prefer 83/200' transom mount over P66 due to coverage area. The angle is 20 degrees at 200kHz and 60 at 83khz. The angle of P66 is 12 degrees at 200kHz and 45 degrees at 50kHz. 50kHz gives a bit limited resolution at shallow water due to the low frequency. For 30' and less the angle of P66 at 200kHz is in my opinion too narrow to show much fish.

For Cod fishing at 400' the 83/200kHz is close to useless.

You should probably do what I've done, I have both 83/200kHz and B60 (P66) on my boat. Since I have two units on my boat, both transducers are connected and I can do the transducer selection from a menu, but manual swapping depending of type of fishing is OK as well, just remember to switch off the head unit first.

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