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Lowrance vs. Garmin-- Need some help

Old 02-25-2015, 07:35 PM
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Default Lowrance vs. Garmin-- Need some help

Looking for a new 7" touchscreen Chart-plotter/Sonar and I could use some help. I'd like to stay between Lowrance and Garmin, but not sure what model is right for me.

Factors to consider:
-20ft CC
-Mostly striper fishing in greater Boston area, so 10-100ft of water
-Transom mount transducer
-Simple to use. I'm pretty tech-savvy, but don't want to memorize a 200 page manual.
-Budget $1k all in, give or take a few hundo or take based on features/benefits

Questions:
-What frequency transducer do I need?
-Are CHIRP and Sidescan really worth it for the type of fishing I'm doing?

Looks like the Lowrance HDS7 might be a good fit, but unsure of gen 2 or 3. The Garmin 70dv looked perfect, but sounds like that model is being disco'd?

Would welcome some input from you folks.

Thanks!
Old 02-26-2015, 04:28 AM
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Gen3 & 741xs with tm 150 will have you past 1k. The TM150 is a great transducer for you.
Old 02-26-2015, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by BoemarineBrian View Post
Gen3 & 741xs with tm 150 will have you past 1k. The TM150 is a great transducer for you.
Thanks for the info. What makes the TM150 better than the others available? What is the difference between the Garmin 741xs, and the EchoMap units they offer?
Old 02-26-2015, 07:25 AM
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741xs has a CHIRP capable sonar like HDS Gen3. TM150M is a CHIRP transducer. CHIRP will give better resolution. EchoMap don't support CHIRP 2D sonar.
Old 02-26-2015, 08:01 AM
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Side scan yes absolutely worth it, especially if you like togging in the rock piles. Personally i would take garmins Panoptix Forward Fishfinder over chirp. I would find it more usefull in the shallows looking for the lumps. Lowrance offers forward looking, but i dont think its quite on the level of garmins yet.
Old 02-26-2015, 03:52 PM
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If you get any garmin you are stuck with their map. No options at all other than that.
Right there is enough to disqualify Garmin if you like mapping options. Some people get their map and find a problem and they are screwed. If you are one of them and find yourself shown on land when you are really in a canal or off in the stream when you are really on the edge of the reef, no options for you. There are plenty of threads with noted mapping issues like this. The other mfg. all provide mapping options. With respect to all of the other areas of consideration between the units, Garmin has no advantage in any area. It's a tie at best. With respect to sonar consideration, unless you fish mostly in water deeper than 10' Garmin can't compete with the others. They have always been playing catch up with the Sonar.
Old 02-26-2015, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Egret&Lab View Post
With respect to all of the other areas of consideration between the units, Garmin has no advantage in any area. It's a tie at best. With respect to sonar consideration, unless you fish mostly in water deeper than 10' Garmin can't compete with the others. They have always been playing catch up with the Sonar.
I'll give you your mapping point, but luckily the Garmin maps work well for me.

As to your opinion on the other areas of consideration.....opinions are like ass....

I owned several Lowrances and most recently a Lowrance HDS 7 Gen 2 for a year.... Could not wait to get rid of it!

Purchased Garmins and would NEVER go back! If you care at all about user-friendliness, you won't be happy with Lowrance.
Old 02-26-2015, 11:08 PM
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User friendliness is highly subjective, so every new user should go to a boat show or shop and try out a few candidates. HDS Touch, HDS Gen3 and Simrad NSS Evo2 which all share the same touch interface, but have different button configurations are among the easiest units to use without ever opening a manual. They are also very fast to operate due to short and logic menu paths.

HDS-7 Gen2 which ejthomp is referring to has a compleatly different interface than the newer Navico units, but is still by many considered user friendly (you just have to understand the logic behind the user interface)

I know people which have removed Garmin touch units and replaced them by HDS Touch or NSS Evo2 due to the user interfaces.
Old 02-26-2015, 11:45 PM
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Why not include raymarine in your search?
I feel you get more for your money with raymarine and there are some awesome deals on the non wifi versions right now.
can get the a68 for $450, the a78 for about 800, and dragonfly 7 for under 550. Thats with chirp transducer down vision and base navionics packages.
Old 02-27-2015, 02:47 AM
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Because you need to add the very expensive CP450 or CP470 black box sounder to get good CHIRP performance with Raymarine. CHIRP without a low Q-factor transducer does not make sense for anyone looking for very good sounder performance (Currently only Airmar offers low-Q CHIRP transducers, a couple of more alternatives will be available from Garmin in near future). What Raymarine is doing is getting decent performance from a low quality transducer with their CHIRP technology, not using a good transducer to give excellent performance as the competitors do. aX8 and DrogonFly sounders are more comparable with Elite CHIRP (they are probably a bit behind Elite CHIRP in performance as well), not with HDS Gen3, NSS Evo2, and Garmin xs and xsv series which all offers "true" CHIRP performance using high quality Airmar transducers.
Old 02-27-2015, 03:21 AM
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Good advice Thank you. Please continue discussion.
I am considering upgrade to 7" screen ("old eyes"). To be used on 18' skiff fishing mostly shallow water, nothing deeper than 50'. Maps very important. Maybe (do I want) side-scan? Would prefer transom mount ducer... not required, room in bilge for thru hull.
thoughts? Thanks.
Old 02-27-2015, 04:01 AM
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Originally Posted by JohninFla View Post
Good advice Thank you. Please continue discussion.
I am considering upgrade to 7" screen ("old eyes"). To be used on 18' skiff fishing mostly shallow water, nothing deeper than 50'. Maps very important. Maybe (do I want) side-scan? Would prefer transom mount ducer... not required, room in bilge for thru hull.
thoughts? Thanks.
personally i would go with the hds gen3 lowrance 7. but if you wanted to save some dollars look at the humminbird 899ci. both offer down imaging and side scan. both are compatible with navionics mapping.
Old 02-27-2015, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Egret&Lab View Post
If you get any garmin you are stuck with their map. No options at all other than that.
Right there is enough to disqualify Garmin if you like mapping options. Some people get their map and find a problem and they are screwed. If you are one of them and find yourself shown on land when you are really in a canal or off in the stream when you are really on the edge of the reef, no options for you. There are plenty of threads with noted mapping issues like this. The other mfg. all provide mapping options. With respect to all of the other areas of consideration between the units, Garmin has no advantage in any area. It's a tie at best. With respect to sonar consideration, unless you fish mostly in water deeper than 10' Garmin can't compete with the others. They have always been playing catch up with the Sonar.
Really? I'm selling my Dragonfly to go back to Garmin as the sonar is so crap (as well as the reliability). The fish arc's and separation are terrible - if this is Chirp then you can keep it.

As for charting - the Navionics are no better than Bluecharts as far as I can see. Their crowd sourced SonarCharts are nice but not that much of a deal to me than a decent sonar.
Old 02-27-2015, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by JohninFla View Post
Good advice Thank you. Please continue discussion.
I am considering upgrade to 7" screen ("old eyes"). To be used on 18' skiff fishing mostly shallow water, nothing deeper than 50'. Maps very important. Maybe (do I want) side-scan? Would prefer transom mount ducer... not required, room in bilge for thru hull.
thoughts? Thanks.
Read my post. Same situation.

http://www.thehulltruth.com/marine-e...ub-bundle.html

You can get that bundle without the chirp tranducer and just the 83/200 ducer for around 800 after rebate.
Old 02-27-2015, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Egret&Lab View Post
If you get any garmin you are stuck with their map. No options at all other than that.
Right there is enough to disqualify Garmin if you like mapping options. Some people get their map and find a problem and they are screwed. If you are one of them and find yourself shown on land when you are really in a canal or off in the stream when you are really on the edge of the reef, no options for you. There are plenty of threads with noted mapping issues like this. The other mfg. all provide mapping options. With respect to all of the other areas of consideration between the units, Garmin has no advantage in any area. It's a tie at best. With respect to sonar consideration, unless you fish mostly in water deeper than 10' Garmin can't compete with the others. They have always been playing catch up with the Sonar.
Garmin has made excellent advances in their sonar. The 740s and GSD22 were mediocre at best sonar. The GSD24 was considered very good. The Garmin CHIRP sonars are very well regarded. So in the past perhaps you are correct, but as of today this is no longer true, unless you are buying on of their lower end units or the GSD22.
Old 02-27-2015, 07:00 PM
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Of course the charting depends on where you boat. For my purposes (Both Gulf of Mexico and West Coast, including Canada and Alaska), as well as some of the inland lakes, I find the Garmin Charts are equal to Navionics, (I compare the Navionics, using the I pad). In the past, I have found Garmin easier to use, especially for the novice. But again, it is what you are used to. 8 years ago I was using all Lowrance products--today all Garmin.

All of the units of today, are far better than we had a few years ago. The 3/4 G radars do have an advantage in discrimination for close range work. I find the newest Garmin depth sounders to be far better than in the past, and the equal to Lowrance.
Old 02-27-2015, 07:18 PM
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I would warn you about getting touch screen. They are not user friendly in big water. Buttons work better. Get Gen3 it's touch and button.
Old 02-27-2015, 07:56 PM
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Easy choice..... Garmin.
Old 02-27-2015, 08:11 PM
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I've been in the same situation for the past couple of weeks. Trying to decide what to upgrade to from the Garmin 740S. Similar to you I'm primarily looking for something to read bottom good at 100 to 150'. I haven't purchased one yet but I'm going to buy the Garmin 741xs with the tm150 transducer. You can get the combo for $1195 shipped from Gil on THT. Should be an excellent bottom machine.

I have personally never had an issue with the touch screen on my 740S in rough seas but that's just me.
Old 02-28-2015, 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ejthomp View Post
I'll give you your mapping point, but luckily the Garmin maps work well for me.

As to your opinion on the other areas of consideration.....opinions are like ass....

I owned several Lowrances and most recently a Lowrance HDS 7 Gen 2 for a year.... Could not wait to get rid of it!

Purchased Garmins and would NEVER go back! If you care at all about user-friendliness, you won't be happy with Lowrance.
I switched away from Navionics HDS7, HDS8 and SS-1 to Garmin echoMap 70dv, Garmin 840xs and GVC-10 black box. No regrets and Mapping way, way better then whats being offered by Navionics/Lowrrance for my freshwater needs. Will not go back either. Garmin is just that much better. Freshwater side: Navionics mapping is dated and can't compete vs LakeVU Ultra HD MaxDef. Why would I want to use dated map software.

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