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What is the best GPS/sounder for my uses?

Old 09-28-2014, 09:27 AM
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Default What is the best GPS/sounder for my uses?

I recently solicited information on an upgrade from my older Lowrance B/W GPS/Sounder and learned that I'd need to replace the existing transponder so I realized I don't need to be brand loyal, and I'm now asking for opinions on the best combo by any manufacturer that suits my needs:

I have a 22 foot bay boat and use it 90% of the time in or around Tampa Bay. I fish primarily for snook, redfish and trout, and catch the occasional incidental cobia, snapper, etc, but there are times I fish the rocky edges of the shipping channel for grouper as well..

Best I can tell I'll never need to have engine parameters displayed on the unit.

I need something in the 8" to 9" (maybe 10" if affordable) size and one with a bright display since I fish almost exclusively in the daylight hours. It's not important that I have a touch screen. I also don't anticipate any kind of networking of devices in the future.

Please let me know your thoughts on what brand and model will give me what I need for the most reasonable price.

Thank you!

Tony

Last edited by WildBlueUnder; 09-28-2014 at 10:32 AM.
Old 09-28-2014, 09:31 AM
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I gotta tell you the new Garmin's are the bomb. I have a 1040xs so I'm bias.
Old 09-29-2014, 07:35 AM
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You have a lot of good options. I would get something with side scan. Garmin 840xs with GCV10, or Lowrance HDS9, or Simrad NSS9, or upcoming Lowrance HDS gen 3 later this year. Those would be my choices with details of what features you want. Another thing you might want to do to your boat would be add a MotorGuide Xi5 GPS trolling motor (it's awesome, I have one on my 24' Pathfinder). It will interface with Lowrance later this year and allow you to do neat stuff with your trolling motor through the GPS.
Old 09-29-2014, 07:40 AM
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For price features and functions is hard to beat the 840xs/1040xs
Old 09-29-2014, 07:51 AM
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I'm partial to lowrance, but I say that because I think it is important to have a system you are familiar with rather than always saying you are learning your device. If you are already familiar with the garmin that is a strong argument to stick with garmin.

Now for the size, I personally prefer two units side by side. I have two HDS5 Gen2. A friend of mine brought a hds7 gen2touch along side, and there is no comparison in the functionality of the screen. I run one on sonar and one on chart. When you split up the 7 (which cost more than twice the two 5") you have a nice product but it is not as functional IMO.

now an 8,9,10 I am sure is more space. But I would suggest looking at how many 7s can you get for the price of a 10 or something like that.

Mine are mounted about a half inch apart and I do find myself occasionally looking at the wrong screen, but I've only had it setup this way for a few trips before that I had a single 5, and the screen was definitely too small on split.

Good luck.
Old 09-29-2014, 09:03 AM
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Humminbird 8" 998 or 999 SI. I used them for years in Tampa Bay. They are a perfect fit. A single transducer will give you 200kHz, 83kHz, side scan and down scan. (The only reason I no longer use one is I wanted Broadband radar, touchscreen, networking, and a few other things that you have no interest in). The 1198/1199 is the 10" model. It can be connected to your wireless MinnKota as well.

Knowing where you fish, CHIRP won't be of any benefit. Nor have I found downscan to be particularly useful in the bay. BUT You will definitely be blown away by side scan (be it Humminbird, Garmin, orLowrance). Get the unit that gives you sidescan and the screensize you want for the lowest cost.
Old 09-29-2014, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by stiletto View Post
You have a lot of good options. I would get something with side scan. Garmin 840xs with GCV10, or Lowrance HDS9, or Simrad NSS9, or upcoming Lowrance HDS gen 3 later this year. Those would be my choices with details of what features you want. Another thing you might want to do to your boat would be add a MotorGuide Xi5 GPS trolling motor (it's awesome, I have one on my 24' Pathfinder). It will interface with Lowrance later this year and allow you to do neat stuff with your trolling motor through the GPS.
Stileto~

I have had an Xi5 for several months and it's possibly the best thing I've added to my 22' Pathfinder! My anchor sits in the anchor locker now because I haven't used it because the Xi5 is so convenient and just plain easier than deploying and retrieving the anchor. Thanks!
Old 09-29-2014, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by mrlullabye View Post
I'm partial to lowrance, but I say that because I think it is important to have a system you are familiar with rather than always saying you are learning your device. If you are already familiar with the garmin that is a strong argument to stick with garmin.

Now for the size, I personally prefer two units side by side. I have two HDS5 Gen2. A friend of mine brought a hds7 gen2touch along side, and there is no comparison in the functionality of the screen. I run one on sonar and one on chart. When you split up the 7 (which cost more than twice the two 5") you have a nice product but it is not as functional IMO.

now an 8,9,10 I am sure is more space. But I would suggest looking at how many 7s can you get for the price of a 10 or something like that.

Mine are mounted about a half inch apart and I do find myself occasionally looking at the wrong screen, but I've only had it setup this way for a few trips before that I had a single 5, and the screen was definitely too small on split.

Good luck.
Mr. Lullabye~

Thanks for your input. I would have never considered using separate units for GPS and sounder before seeing your post. It's something I'll definitely explore. I do know from experience that a single combo 5 would be too small with the screen split but side by side just may work.

Thanks!
Old 09-29-2014, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by tonynoriega View Post
Stileto~

I have had an Xi5 for several months and it's possibly the best thing I've added to my 22' Pathfinder! My anchor sits in the anchor locker now because I haven't used it because the Xi5 is so convenient and just plain easier than deploying and retrieving the anchor. Thanks!
Go Lowrance then. You'll be able to interface it with your trolling motor (eventually) and life will be good. Go with an HDS7 Touch, and get two
Old 09-29-2014, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by tainted View Post
Humminbird 8" 998 or 999 SI. I used them for years in Tampa Bay. They are a perfect fit. A single transducer will give you 200kHz, 83kHz, side scan and down scan. (The only reason I no longer use one is I wanted Broadband radar, touchscreen, networking, and a few other things that you have no interest in). The 1198/1199 is the 10" model. It can be connected to your wireless MinnKota as well.

Knowing where you fish, CHIRP won't be of any benefit. Nor have I found downscan to be particularly useful in the bay. BUT You will definitely be blown away by side scan (be it Humminbird, Garmin, orLowrance). Get the unit that gives you sidescan and the screensize you want for the lowest cost.
I know absolutely nothing about sidescan but on your recommendation I'll check it out. The name seems to imply the Xducer shoots sideways from the boat? Thanks, and I'll know more in a day or two.
Old 09-29-2014, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by tonynoriega View Post
I know absolutely nothing about sidescan but on your recommendation I'll check it out. The name seems to imply the Xducer shoots sideways from the boat? Thanks, and I'll know more in a day or two.
Side scan creates image likes pictures of the bottom structure. It does shoot out to either side of the boat. It is built into the HDS Touch, you just have to add a structure scan transducer. You can get an HDS Touch packaged with 83/200, and structure scan transducer.
Old 09-29-2014, 01:31 PM
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HDS7 Touch with Transducers

Second unit, no transducers
Old 09-29-2014, 07:36 PM
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If you go with an xi5 it will interface with lowrance.

The iPilot I believe is Hummingbird/Garmin, maybe someone can correct me it is one of those two.

Don't feel like the lowrance is your only option for gps integration though.

I think the side by sides are pretty slick. Plus I got the Lowrance Link-8 so my GPS is tied to my VHF. It's pretty slick when it is all working together. That NMEA network (not exclusive to lowrance) gives you a lot of nice touches. My next add will hopefully be a fuel flow meter.

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Old 09-29-2014, 07:59 PM
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iPilot is Humminbird. He already has the Xi5 which will give the Lowrance a few capabilities the other brands won't be able to give him. At least for a few years anyway. The iPilot is exclusive to Humminbird because they are owned by the same parent company. The MotorGuide and Lowrance are exclusive for a few years because Lowrance is doing the interface and controls for Motorguide so once the agreement runs out perhaps other brands will be able to implement similar trolling motor controls with the Xi5 as it is connected via NMEA2000.
Old 09-29-2014, 08:04 PM
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MinnKota and Humminbird are owned by the same company. That's why they interface with each other.

Definitely look at the Lowrance interface for the Xi5. I don't think it would provide much benefit near the mangroves given oyster beds and other boats, but it might be useful fishing the channel ledges.

Glad that you are looking at possible side by side units. But if you go with a single unit, go with 8" minimum. Both 5" and 7" left me wanting much more screen space. I find 8" to be accommodating.

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