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Garmin GT 52HW TM Real World Review

Old 03-14-2016, 11:07 AM
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Called Garmin today, they said the GT52 is the best transducer for my target depth (less than 100ft saltwater, mostly fishing between 30-70ft).

I mostly do wreck/bottom fishing, so bottom detail is very important for me... Does everyone still agree with the Garmin recommendation?

Last edited by TogReaper; 03-14-2016 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:57 PM
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Im really confused about this. Why would a weaker transducer be better? Everything we've ever been told on this forum is that more powerful always results in better returns.

Are we being told that the GT52HW is better because it's cheaper , therefore is better because it's enough to do a shallow water job?

Other than cost, wouldn't the GT51M be better? Is the GT51 available with the 94SV yet?
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Old 03-14-2016, 01:42 PM
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John, this is how Garmin described it to me when I asked that question, hopefully I understood it correctly -

They had mentioned to me that the cone angle and high wide chirp produced by the GT52 was optimal for the depth that I fish, whereas the GT51 puts out a wider cone angle and lower frequency (hence why it requires more wattage)

So if I was fishing much deeper water I'd require a lower frequency/wider cone angle to cover more area and more wattage.

It comes down to focusing 250W in a narrower beam, compared to throwing 600W on a much wider beam (meant to cover more area in deeper water)...

Gil, do I have that correct?
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Old 03-14-2016, 02:04 PM
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I look at it in simpler terms...

If one fishes mostly less than 150' the GT52HW will save a bit of $ and do the job.
If one fishes shallow..but also needs to go deeper ..lets say 300' to 500' etc..then the GT51 is what I would use.

Both are excellent shallow.



.
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Old 03-14-2016, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by TogReaper View Post
Called Garmin today, they said the GT52 is the best transducer for my target depth (less than 100ft saltwater, mostly fishing between 30-70ft).

I mostly do wreck/bottom fishing, so bottom detail is very important for me... Does everyone still agree with the Garmin recommendation?
I asked a Garmin Rep at the AC boat show,he said the 52 was for fresh water use.I asked him a few other questions about the 94sv and the 52 and he acted as if I was bothering him.I just went with Gil's recommendation and ordered the 52 ducer. I'll never be fishing in anything more than a 100 feet or so.
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Old 03-14-2016, 07:37 PM
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The Garmin website even states that the 52 is for freshwater but I just ordered one from Gil earlier today with the intentions of using it strictly in saltwater around 100 to 150'.

I honestly feel like Gil has more experience than some of the Garmin folks so hopefully I made the right decision.
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by wmflyfisher View Post
The Garmin website even states that the 52 is for freshwater but I just ordered one from Gil earlier today with the intentions of using it strictly in saltwater around 100 to 150'.

I honestly feel like Gil has more experience than some of the Garmin folks so hopefully I made the right decision.
I just installed one on a Grady last week that Gil sold to a customer of mine. That is a perfect transducer for this area, since it's a 50 mile run to get to 200'. The HIGH CHIRP with the wider cone is the best, certainly a much better choice than the MED frequencies. And even for the occasional trip o the Keys some of my customers here will make each year this will do the job! You made a great choice!
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:26 PM
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But how about the side and down vu? There was a post by kmoose that compared the 50 and the 51 and the 51 appeared noticeably better at all depths. The 52 has the same side and down vu as the the 50, except weaker power, how can that be better than the 51 in side and down vu?

Doesn't the greater sensitivity of the 51 in traditional mode also make it a better choice? From a pure performance spec standpoint with cost not a factor, wouldn't the 51 be the best all around performer. I'm in the northeast, the water is dingy greenish blue and the seas usually choppy to somewhat rough. Given those conditions to Garmin customer service with a depth greater than 100' and they will tell you the 51.

Last edited by dadoe; 03-14-2016 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:46 PM
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I decided to get the 51 but I am getting cold feet and think maybe I should swap before I even take it out of the box.
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:47 PM
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Tog reaper, I fish eastern LIS with a couple of trips to block island and montauk on nice days.. Sea bass and late season fluke get me out to over 100'.
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Old 03-15-2016, 08:54 AM
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Dadoe, I'm never north of 100' so I think the GT52 would be ideal for me...Plus I trust Gil's experience and recommendation. It's a perfect balance between greater target separation on trad chirp (high-wide), and enough power for the sidevu/downvu at my depths...

I did call Garmin again today (to check their consistency) - same thing they agreed the GT52 is perfect for me.

Since I'm nowhere near the max depth limitations of the GT52 the wattage difference is moot...

I'm banking the money saved on the GT52 towards radar
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Old 03-15-2016, 09:19 AM
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Gil said it and I will state the same..... up to 150' you will not notice any difference in performance between the 52 and 51. That said, in my personal experience with both the 52 has better target separation in shallower depths 5-60'. Don't overthink ducer performance. The people getting the most of any ducer must put the hours in using it and becoming very familiar with the MFD or bottom finder it is hooked to. The learning curve is directly relative to time spent on the water vs. quality of imagery and performance.
Spending your first day on the water with the new equipment going to known spots will help immensely as you are comparing known imagery. Leave the fishing rods at home as you don't need any distractions for the shakedown run.
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Old 03-15-2016, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by kmoose View Post
Gil said it and I will state the same..... up to 150' you will not notice any difference in performance between the 52 and 51. That said, in my personal experience with both the 52 has better target separation in shallower depths 5-60'. Don't overthink ducer performance. The people getting the most of any ducer must put the hours in using it and becoming very familiar with the MFD or bottom finder it is hooked to. The learning curve is directly relative to time spent on the water vs. quality of imagery and performance.
Spending your first day on the water with the new equipment going to known spots will help immensely as you are comparing known imagery. Leave the fishing rods at home as you don't need any distractions for the shakedown run.
Could you post a few less than 100' images of the 51 and 52 even if they are imaging different spots? Side and down vu, too?
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Old 03-15-2016, 09:36 PM
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To sum it up, in less than 60' the GT52 traditional chirp when compared to the GT51 in blue green saltwater conditions off the southern New England and Long Island coasts, including around Block Island, will:

Have better bottom detail,
Better fish detection,
Better target separation,
No noticeable difference from 60' to 150',
Functional to at least from 150' to over 200'.

For side and down vu:
Better less-than-60' imaging
No noticeable difference from 60' to 150'
Functional to 200'

Please, Semper or KMoose or other adjust my numbers if needed
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Old 03-16-2016, 01:27 AM
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It's all about compromise and trade-offs with transducers. Some other points for you to consider...

On paper, the 51 should give you better Sidevu range - being able to distinguish objects further to the side of the boat.

In the case of traditional sonar, it should also give you a little improvement in bottom detail (narrower beam at the high kHz end but same width at the low end), possibly better bottom type discrimination too due to better power/sensitivity. You are also likely to also get better bottom holding at higher speeds.

I haven't seen them side by side though so maybe kmoose can clarify whether the theory stacks up on those points.
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Old 03-16-2016, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by dadoe View Post
Could you post a few less than 100' images of the 51 and 52 even if they are imaging different spots? Side and down vu, too?
Here is a link to a thread where I posted images from the 51:
http://www.thehulltruth.com/marine-e...ld-review.html
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Old 03-16-2016, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by dadoe View Post
To sum it up, in less than 60' the GT52 traditional chirp when compared to the GT51 in blue green saltwater conditions off the southern New England and Long Island coasts, including around Block Island, will:

Have better bottom detail,
Better fish detection,
Better target separation,
No noticeable difference from 60' to 150',
Functional to at least from 150' to over 200'.

For side and down vu:
Better less-than-60' imaging
No noticeable difference from 60' to 150'
Functional to 200'

Please, Semper or KMoose or other adjust my numbers if needed
Dadoe, I don't have any experience in your neck of the woods so I can't really say if your area would pose different results. If you are having any concerns of range then I would just go with the 51 and you won't be disappointed. Going with the 52 will likely leave you wondering as I have before with some purchases. Pull the trigger on the 51 and you will be good.
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:32 AM
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Guys, I'll have my boat in the water in a couple weeks with the GT52 on a 7610xsv, will post a bunch of screenshots up.

Dadoe, we're fishing pretty similar water conditions (NY/NJ) so it will be a good test.

I think the cabin fever is driving us guys in the northeast xducer crazy!

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Old 03-16-2016, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by TogReaper View Post
I think the cabin fever is driving us guys in the northeast xducer crazy!

We all are susceptible to the same disease.
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Old 03-16-2016, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by TogReaper View Post
Guys, I'll have my boat in the water in a couple weeks with the GT52 on a 7610xsv, will post a bunch of screenshots up.

Dadoe, we're fishing pretty similar water conditions (NY/NJ) so it will be a good test.

I think the cabin fever is driving us guys in the northeast xducer crazy!


It's the personality trait combination of anal retentiveness coupled with indecision . Not a good combo. My install is the 1st week of April so hurry up and get out on the water .

Gil, I was told that Jack Dainiels Honey Jack is quite awesome. I will be giving that a try.
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