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? for Thom or anyone else. Need advise on Furuno 600L

Old 12-15-2003, 09:54 PM
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Default ? for Thom or anyone else. Need advise on Furuno 600L

I live in Minnesota and fish walleye lakes that are 40 feet or less. Most of my fishing is done in waters of 15-35 feet. I thinking of running the Furuno 600L. How would this unit perform for my waters i fish? Looks like a great unit.

Thanks for any info.
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Old 12-15-2003, 10:39 PM
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Default ? for Thom or anyone else. Need advise on Furuno 600L

Certainly in the 15 to 35 range it will give you stunning results, though you may find that it doesn't suit your needs in very shallow water.

The things will give you depth picture and readout to about 4 fee all the time and down to 2 feet in my experience but the picture at those depths is basically worthless other than to keep you from dragging bottom.

Other than that you'd probably only be useing two of its range scales at most, which would be just fine. You'll love the color of course but something occurs to me.

I don't know why but I have it in my head that its always cloudy when you guys do that type of fishing. Of course that's not true, but its just my mental picture. I also seem to recall that you guy tend to have boats with protection from the considerable weather you face. If you have some sort of pilot house or a good top that gives you shade from direct sunlight you might want to give some thought to a Furuno 667. This is an older CRT model with less power than the 600L (they made it in various versions but they generally had about 250 watts RMS) with a 6 inch screen. Now the problem with them is twofold. The first is that as a CRT they have to be kept as dry as possible because they are not well water proofed, and if the sun shines on them you will never seen the screen, but if they are shaded and you can keep them dry they will knock your eyeballs out. I'm serious, it will be the best fish finder you have ever seen in shallow water - if you can use it.

Oh, while I think you are barking up absolutly the right tree please keep in mind that Furuno didn't do any tweeking to their software to create fish arches, so the last time you are ever going to see one is on the simulator (where they still show the silly things for no good reason). What you are going to see instead is little globs, sometime enlongated, that will be of different colors and sizes. These are what are going to become the targets, not arches.

Also, if you are familiar with what I believe Lowrance calls their greyline feature, or something like that, where you can give a distinct line to some level of sonar return, well wait to you see how you can do it with the Furuno. Basically you can change the color just below the target color to white so that the target color stands out like a lit match. This can be shockingly helpful to find bottom fish (I clearly don't know a thing about walleye, other than a guy at work tells me I'm nuts for not fishing for them).

Anyway I think it would be a good choice. I used one for a couple of years and was always impressed with it when we were in shallow water. Unfortunately it doesn't have the power needed to drive one of the new generation super transducers. They require 600 watts and you'd have to go to the 582L or higher to get that power in a Furuno.

That opens up an interesting possiblity though. If you are in the market for a GPS as well and you didn't mind spending a ton of money you might want to think about something like the Garmin 2006C or 2010C and then use their black box sounder connected to the Airmar M256 transducer (a shoot through optomized for shallow water operation). It would be an expensive package but mighty hard to beat. There are probably some other good options as well. A lot of folks like Lowrance gear for fresh water use. I do not care for their equipment myself and never recommend it to anyone. That's just my opnion though and its about been two model cycles since I gave up on them so they may be just fine these days.

Thom
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Old 12-16-2003, 04:56 AM
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Default ? for Thom or anyone else. Need advise on Furuno 600L

I just went and looked at your profile to see what boat you have an then did a search on it to see what you had to deal with. The 667 is out.

I think the 600L will do you just fine along with a transom mount transducer. You can not use a shoot-thru (in-hull mounted transducer) with an aluminum hull, but you probably already knew that. A stainless or plastic thru hull can be used but one would be impracticle for most folks because of the expense and the possibility of grounding problems. I'd stick with the transom mount.

I do now know what Lund uses to backup the transom on the 1800 (or any other model for that matter) but it would be to your advantage to first mount a mounting pad to your transom for transducer mounting. With your boat I would mount such a pad using stainless steel machine screws and nylock nuts on the inside along with 3M's 5200 as the sealer.

Congratulations on the new boat by the way. Have you taken delivery on it yet?

Something you need to keep in mind when moving up from the jumble of fish finders that are commonly used for the type of fishing you do up in those lakes is that while the Furuno is a much more sophisticated machine than most you see its also one with its own pecularities.

For one thing its very well water proofed but in order to do that it uses an array of push button controls that are not the fastest to use and also require that you come to understand what each is for. As an example the signal level control doesn't actually control power output (it attenuates specific levels of return to reduce clutter). In your case it will also be desirable to change the factor preset depth ranges. I'd set the first one at about 25 feet and the second one at about 45 feet. After that they won't be too important to you, but you will see where I'm comming from and if you need more coustom set ones they will be obvious to you. What I like to shoot for is to have the maximum depth I'm interest in to be about 3/4ths of the depth range. So if you are in 40 feet I like a 50 foot depth range, if you are in 75 feet I like a 100 foot range. The reason is that it give you the maximum view of the water column as well as enough bottom and beyond to get a very good feeling for structure.

Another thing that the 600L offers is a quite usable Automatic feature with both a fishing (maximum sensitivity) and a crusing setting. The automatic settings take control of the depth ranges (with the values you can preset), the pulse duration, the pulse repetition rate, the signal level, and the screen advance rate (which can be over ridden).

At any rate I think you are exploring a good choice. I used to visit one of the Walleye fishing board frequently. I have always thought it made a lot of sense to pay attention to how folks who target other species in other waters go about their sport. Lots to be learned about technique, equipment, and the application of equipment. Sometimes you can pick out some real gems. This board is made up mostly of salt water types, some inshore, some near shore, and some off shore fishermen. So lots of what you see talked about won't be of good applicability for you but some of our stuff will make a good fit. What you tend to find as well is that most of the stuff designed with the salt water fisherman in mind, as all of the recreational Furuno's are) will tend to be better water proofed, better protected from corrosion, better able to withstand shock, but typically a bit more demanding in their power requirements (factor a $20 Radio Shack power filter and a $2 Tupperware box to mount it in into your budget).

I'm just rambeling now, trying to anticipate some of your questions. I don't have a 600L anymore myself and don't even have a copy of the manual for one any more but I can remember a bit about how they worked. Of course there are a lot of guys here who currently have them so virtually any question you ask can be answered. These are great machines.

Thom

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Old 12-16-2003, 06:10 AM
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Default ? for Thom or anyone else. Need advise on Furuno 600L

Thanks for all the great info Thom.

I did consider a CRT but as you probably saw my counsole isnt large enough. A tiller boat would allow me to install a CRT but the lake I fish is 130,000 acres and its very windswept so conditions can be very rough so a wheel boat is most common.

I do fish shallow at times under 10 feet but I have a Vexilar flasher for that purpose.

I have read the manual on the 600L on-line and it looks to be what I'm looking for. I also like the fact that its not over-powering like the Lowrance units. In my opinion,anything over 1,000 watts is just too much for the depths I'm fishing. The Lowrance units seem to create too much noise which distorts resolution. Fish seem to blend in too much with other objects. I'm a firm believer in lower power high sensitive reciever finders.

Fishing walleyes on bottom requires a unit that will clearly define those targets. Color seems to be the best choice. Half of my lake bottom is cover with mud. Some spots are very soft. Our walleyes like to lay right in the stuff and a MT unit will not show these fish. The other half of my lake is made up of rock,sand and gravel. It can be tough to see fish with a very hard bottom as well on the MT units. The targets seem to blend in too much with the bottom unless the targets are moving or well above the rocks. I use to run a very old Micronar color CRT that did very well on my lake.

I fish in the worst of elements so I need a unit that is water-proof and not "weather resistant"

I pick up the new boat in April. I'm going to have the dealer install transducer boards on the transom.

I did many searches on the net on the 600L and finally found this site. Lots of great into here. Furuno is not very popular in my area. Most guys are using Lowrance. I think the 600L is a much better unit for the money.

Only 4 months to go until the ice is off our lakes!!!
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Old 12-17-2003, 11:53 AM
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Default ? for Thom or anyone else. Need advise on Furuno 600L

The furuno 600L per Power Boat Reports, is top of its class not only for feature function but ease of use. Compared to other units in it's price category it exceeded all. It has excellent resolution even in bright sun light!It was one of the few that actually was able to measure down to it's advertised max depth specification. The reports also said it's shallow water performace was excellent. Just about all of the units tested had problems below 4 ft.
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Old 12-17-2003, 12:07 PM
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Default ? for Thom or anyone else. Need advise on Furuno 600L

Oh, I think you have definitly made the right choice for all the right reasons. Those things are as waterproof as it gets and as easy to use as well. The picture is easily viewable in sunlight too. By the way, on that mud bottom, you will actually be able to penetrate into that mud to some extent and sometimes see stuff down in the ooze. No kidding. You'll see. You are in for some very pleasant suprises if you take the time to really get familiar with that machine.

You know, that brings up an entirely different matter but its something you allued to and I want to rant and rave about.

An awful lot of attention gets paid to certain perfomrance aspects of different depth finders that is basically meaningless. It seems that the only performance characteristics anyone is concerned with are how deep will it shoot and will it hold bottom at X miles per hour, with higher being better. Neither of those things has any real importance in comparison of the day's real work. Try to spot those flounder on that sand bottom, show us that little 3-foot hole in a bed of coral, or the set of stumps where they logged just before they filled this lake. Those are the thing folks should be concerned about, not if the dam thing can spot bottom in 4 feet of water at 85 mph. My interest is a lot greater in knowing if there is a bait pod 50 feet down and large echo returns down below them by another 100 feet. Now that matters to me, but not that the thing will shoot to 3,000 rather than another model that only makes claims of 2,500 feet.

OK, rant over. You did good.


Thom

A Wise Man Once Said: "That's EXACTLY why I try NOT to read manuals, I start trying all sorts of stupid things and wasting all sorts of time when I read manuals. Half the time I try doing things just because I read some retarded blurb about it in the manual fully realizing I would NEVER use such a thing, but because the manual stated it could do it, I have to try it!!!"

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Old 12-17-2003, 04:31 PM
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Well thats just what I wanted to hear.

Kevin: that report you mentioned is actually how I found out about the 600L. I like to read about unbias reports.

Thom. Thats what I'm looking for. A unit that will pull these fish out from the mud. Sounds like I found what I'm looking for. I contacted Furuno via e-mail get some answers about some specs on the 600L. They didnt return my e-mail, A live person actually called my house. That was impressive!!

I'm glad I found such good information exploring outside my region. There is only one Furuno dealer in my state and I dont think there are many people running this unit here. I'm sure this unit will get some attention on my boat.


A Wise Man Once Said " A fish finding machine is only as good as its operator"
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Old 12-17-2003, 08:05 PM
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Default ? for Thom or anyone else. Need advise on Furuno 600L

i beg to differ with thom.....i usually ALWAYS mark arches with my 600l...it all depends on how much of the fish passes under your t-ducer, boat speed, and water conditions...mine works down to 2 or 3 ft all day long... just use your common sense and pull back the power...heres a few pics for all the naysayers about arches... pics taken of REAL fish... not in the sim mode !...many arches.......arches at 50 ft.........bigun at 15 ft..........fish under riggers...........gang at 80ft...........under riggers 2.................bait and fish...........deep trees........... ..... sorry about the quality of the blown out pipc called many arches.....thats the best pic of all as far as arches go....but you can still see whats going on for sure.....nodoubt....
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Old 12-17-2003, 08:27 PM
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Great pics nodoubt. I take it your pretty happy with the performace of your 600L?
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Old 12-17-2003, 09:06 PM
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yeah derek.....best 800 bucks i spent on the boat for sure...over 3 yrs now of hard use and not a bad thing to say about it...think you will be equally impressed with it for what you are wanting to do....i can bounce a 1/4 ounce jig 6 inches off the bottom in 30 ft of water and watch it all day long...dropped a dime overboard 1 day in 180 ft of water and watched it on the screen till it hit the bottom...totally blew my mind...go ahead and get that sucker tommorrow and lets us know what u think in a few days !! youll love it i promise....nodoubt
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Old 12-17-2003, 10:19 PM
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another thing to think about is cone angle on the transducer. On some models the cone angles vary from 8 degrees to 20. You want the widest angle possible
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Old 12-18-2003, 04:06 AM
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Default ? for Thom or anyone else. Need advise on Furuno 600L

Thom: Didn't I buy your Furuno 600L over a year ago? I believe I did when you upgraded to the next model.

Anyway, I adore my 600L, especially in manual mode. She works like a charm.

John

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Old 12-18-2003, 05:34 AM
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Default ? for Thom or anyone else. Need advise on Furuno 600L

John,

You did indeed! I am so please that it is still working well for you (though there is no reason why it should not have).

Those picture are outstanding, undoubtedly the very best real-world pictures of a fish finder screen I've ever seen.

NoDoubt,

My friend Chris and I joke regularly about fish arches. Both of us swear we have never seen one, or at least the stylized version that the simulators and brochures show. The view I expect to see, or hope to see, is similar to the one you see on your 200 kHz side in the photo titled 'under riggers 2' and your picture 'bait and fish' is really the screen view that I expect to see most often. When I refer to "Blobs" that is the picture that shows the sort of thing that I'm talking about. They aren't the pretty symetrical things shown in the manuals or simulators, but very good targets. Anyway thank you so much for posting those pictures and I have to ask you if You'd mind if I copied them and maybe used them in the future sometimes when I try to answer questions? I'd credit you of course. The pictures are just so good that I'd love to be able to use them.

On those cone angles, there's not a lot you can do about them and they aren't nearly as important as they might seem anyway. The cone angle shot with a single element transducer, which is what you will get unless you are willing to pay a lot of additional money (and I'm not even sure a multi-element transudcer is available for the 600L), is a function of the diameter and thickness of the sound producing element. I can't remember how it works but its something like the thickness has a great effect the cone angle and the width on the frequency. Maye the other way around. Anyway what you get with the standard trasducers is something like 10 degrees on 200 kHz and 45 degrees on 200 kHz. You will see slight variations on that, sometimes they say 11 or 12 degrees, sometimes they say 44 or 47, but in truth there is no real difference. So don't get hung up on a couple of degrees one way or another. I'd just take a guess and say that there is more variability between individual transducers than there is between models of transducer (of those commonly available) for the unit.

Thom

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Old 12-18-2003, 06:56 AM
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Nodoubt, I take it that most of the pictures are done at split Freq 50/200 with 50 being on left side and 200k on the right. Nice to see what that unit actually puts up on the screen! Why on the 50k side does it always have a big target accross the screen at 30-40 feet? It doesnt show up on the 200k side and I do not believe it is really a fish, does that unit have seperate sensitvity adjustment for both freqs? just curious......
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Old 12-18-2003, 09:37 AM
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Default ? for Thom or anyone else. Need advise on Furuno 600L

quote:Originally posted by bobco:
Nodoubt, I take it that most of the pictures are done at split Freq 50/200 with 50 being on left side and 200k on the right. Nice to see what that unit actually puts up on the screen! Why on the 50k side does it always have a big target accross the screen at 30-40 feet? It doesnt show up on the 200k side and I do not believe it is really a fish, does that unit have seperate sensitvity adjustment for both freqs? just curious......

Bobco,
What you are seeing as a constant "line" is Nodoubts Downrigger weights. The 50k has a much wider cone angle and will show the downrigger ball while the 200 has a narrower cone angle and doens't pick up the downrigger weight. This is a common reason that Great Lakes anglers willl run a split screen and dual frequeuncy tranducer even if we are fishing in relatively shallow water.
Steve
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Old 12-18-2003, 10:58 AM
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Default ? for Thom or anyone else. Need advise on Furuno 600L

Derek, most of my fishing is for fresh water stripers and most of the guys around here use the X15's and love them. I went out on a limb and put a 600l on my CC and got a lot of funny looks with it until a couple of them went with me and started using the Furuno. I also have an old Eagle Mach 1 paper graph that I run sometimes just for comparison and as detailed as the paper graphs are the furuno shows the same things.
It will take a lot of trial and error and just plain playing around with but once you get the hang of it you would never want the monochrome screen anymore.
I purchased a video and asked a lot of questions here and both have helped 200%.
Most of my fishing is anywhere from 20-150 deep and I also use it when at my beach house in the saltwater. I figured anything that can hold up in a saltwater environement can hold up twice as well in a freshwater envir. {It is like a guy i fish with on the coast told me when I was a young fellow "son there are only 2 things the saltwater will not F up SALTWATER AND THE FISH".
On the video I purchased mine a W Marine for about $20

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Old 12-18-2003, 05:09 PM
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Default ? for Thom or anyone else. Need advise on Furuno 600L

Great replies guys. You saltwater guys got all the info I'm looking for.

tprice. How do you like your Suzuki? I will be running one myself for the first time next year. I got a new 150 EFI coming with my new boat. Not the most popular motor in this state just like the Furuno products.
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Old 12-18-2003, 06:06 PM
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thom....your mighty welcome to use any of those pics, anytime you would like to. All these were taken in fresh water and ill have to say that the times i do get to the salty stuff, the pretty " arches" diminish greatly...i have marked them before but nothing like i posted in the pics.. dont know if its the saltwater or what. Maybe the fish just swim faster out in the deep blue stuff !! heres a pic marking some fish around a few stumps im thinking. some are blobs, some half arches, guess you just gotta look at it long enough to be able to read whats going on..fish over stumps........ bobco....freebyrd hit it on the head....that line is my downrigger ball tracking on the 50hz side...dont think i could run my riggers now without seein them on the screen....very helpful info to look at...anyways....enough ramblin on here......glad you guys enjoyed the pics....it was my pleasure..gonna try and take some more this weekend if i can....nodoubt ...BTW thom...hows the new motor working out...bout time to go get some of those monster stripers down at the obx huh !! im thinkin about going down next weekend...
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Old 12-19-2003, 07:35 AM
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nodoubt-
Can't see the original pictures anymore. Can you send these to me or repost them. Thanks!

John
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Old 12-19-2003, 06:56 PM
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jvlII-
thank you very much for your post! i can't see the pics either! thought there was something drastically wrong with my pc. i'm vigorously considering the purchase of a furuno product and would like to see those pics.
nodoubt-
any of your friends using sidefinders to (sucessfully or unsucessfully !) locate stripers on days when they are close to the surface?

thanks, frank
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