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Everything posted by HONDAM

  1. Lowrance has unveiled a new program called the Advantage Program. It is a warranty and service program designed to provide better a better warranty and premium service beyond the warranty period. Some key points include: -Standard 2 year warranty on most products -Factory offered trade in offers during warranty process. -Replacement of failed units outside warranty period (for a fee) -Available warranty upgrades including Onboard service (we come to you) Basically to qualify for this program you must have your unit installed or inspected (installed yourself or by a non certified dealer) by an Lowrance Advantage certified dealer. We offered the inspections for free, the inspection also include an orientation with the unit so its a great way to quickly familiarize yourself with the product. Now to elaborate on the details with examples (prices are just examples, not quotes): Say you have a HDS-5 and it goes bad in the warranty period. You can have this unit replaced free of charge OR for $200 they will send you back a HDS-7 instead. Say that HDS-5 goes bad in 3 years (and up to 5 years) you can replace it for $399 instead of the $699 it retails for. Also if you have a tournament coming up they offer a 24 hour swap program. Where you call up and leave deposit and they have you a new unit the next day. Assuming they get your defective unit and it is a legitimate warranty claim you get your money back. Now another neat feature of the program is say you drop you HDS-5 on the concrete and it breaks to pieces, destroying it and you are still in the warranty period. You can have it replaces for $399 instead of the $699 they sell for. Or you can upgrade to an HDS-7 for $200 more. The whole purpose of this program is to provide options to current Lowrance customers who are having problems and try to maintain their loyalty by offering deep discounts on upgrades for units in warranty and deep discounts on replacement for current Lowrance users out of warranty so that they remain customers. Another big part of the program is on the dealers side. They are trying to establish an qualified and educated dealer base by training and testing those dealers. Therefore when you have an issue, warranty or not, all you need to do is look up your nearest certified dealer and then you will have some to deal with face to face rather then the standard phone tree of the past. I will admit Lowrance has not been my brand of choice in the past but this new program is truly groundbreaking. Its really an honest effort to try and take care of their customers and I cant fault them for that. IF you already have an HDS, its less then 5 years old, and want to take advantage of this program you can, just get it inspected and your in. This program also applies to Simrad and B&G products, not just Lowrance.
  2. I've been using Garmin for the last 5 years and before that Raymarine for a year, and before that was all Hummingbird stuff. Out of the things you asked for Ease of use stuck out because there is where there is probably the biggest difference in the units. They all make big screens these days, fairly even on reliability, and decent customer service, Lowrance does lag somewhat behind on the last two but they have come a long way. By far the easiest unit to use is going to be a touchscreen Garmin. Humminbirds are easy too and Raymarine isn't impossible to figure out but Garmin is really known for their user interface. Garmins downside used to always be their sonar, it was always just mediocre. But 2 years ago they came out with the HD-ID technology on their new GSD24 and GSD26 sounds and that has really re-established them on the top of their market. Their GSD-26 CHIRP sounder is even considered to be better the Furuno CHIRP. Although that being said that GSD26 and a suitable transducer is $3000. Most of us a not going to spend that on a sonar. And what works best to you really comes down to first budget because if your spending $600 vs $900 vs $2500 for example I would recommend 3 totally different brands and once you have your budget it normally narrows it down to 2 or 3 specific models then your just pick the features you value most.
  3. For the smaller holes I use something comparable to 5200 but for the larger holes I usually use MarineTex. Its more of a putty like epoxy and a little easier to work with in larger quantities, it also dries hard so it can be sanded and painted if needed, but either one will work. I also highly recommend a transducer mounting board (which is made out of a plastic material) to both cover those holes after you have sealed them and to mount the new transducer on so you don't have this same issue next time you change electronics. Here one I did a long time ago with a Lowrance HDS 8 and Structure Scan transducer.
  4. I have a ton of experience with the Lowrance HDS especially now since I live down in TN and Lowrance is huge down here. All the HDSs are about the same as far as function and are great units, so both will do radar/chart split like you want. I like the 8 because of the buttons across the bottom that make It quick and easy to change settings. And your exactly right about the Structure Scan, doesn't do us lake trolling much good, although there is a $300 rebate on the bundle right now so you get it for very little that is the only reason I would consider it. And whichever unit you buy it is usually worth while to buy the built in maps, you really get a lot for your money with those and more maps then you can buy for that price. It would serve you good although I would caution buying a unit that is soon to be discontinued from Lowrance, if something does wrong with it 2.5 years down the line you will be forces to buy another because they most likely wont service it. I would strongly recommend you look that the Garmin 741xs too, it is an entry level CHIRP sonar that is touchscreen and does radar and honestly blows everything that Lowrance does away(No Structure Scan but that doesn't matter anyway). CHIRP is the future of sonar and has previously been only available as a $3000 add on to high end units. It is a couple hundred more then the HDS-8 but its not available until may so gives you a couple months to save up the extra cash.
  5. A lot of different equipment will mount to the universal downriggers base. I don't know if it will save you any money although it would be the easiest solution.
  6. Price is good as long as my distributor doesn't change it and the units are available. So I'd imagine at least through the end of the year but I don't have any control over it,
  7. That unit qualifies for the $150 rebate. The good: Excellent sonar, built in charts, structure scan, 7 inch screen, most likely no need to change skimmer transducer or power cable since they are probably the same you are currently using. The Bad: Not most current model and likely discontinued soon. That rebate can be used from any retailer, not just cabalas so it would be appreciated to buy from a sponsor of this website. www.CalumetMarine.com MSRP - $1499 Calumet Marine Price - $1375 ($1225 after rebate) PS - If you don't need structure scan there is also a sale going on the Garmin 740s right now for $950, great price and even better unit. MY personal preference would lean towards the Garmin over the Lowrance because it is faster, much easier to use, way better GPS, and I love the touchscreen. The Garmin has a much more powerful sonar but Lowrance does have a great sonar so I wouldn't consider that an advantage for the Garmin but again Garmin does not have the ability for structure scan.
  8. I was getting up to date on my Evinrude certification and can across a very useful at home test you can do to figure how much Ethanol (type of alcohol) is REALLY in the gas your buying. So I thought id share because its very easy. If anyone wants the printable PDF version just leave your email below and ill send it your way.
  9. If your looking for something to ride in with the wife and a total fishing machine and one of the most efficient, reliable, and cost effective boats on the lake. My dads world cat is up for sale. Its 8.5 wide so you can still trailer but twin hulled so its still extremely stable. Toilet and fridge for the wife too. Won the 2006 Salmon Unlimited Indiana tournament series too, so you know it can fish.
  10. If you dont have a speed and temp, the fish hawk TD is a neat little tool althoughy will probably need to spring another $25 since they run about $125
  11. I dont have any experience with the humminbird radar But one thing to keep in mind a Furuno stand alone units start out at about $1300 with a 15" dome and $1600 for the 18" I do have experience with those and they work great. As far as the broadband, i only have experience with the 3g and not the new 4g. The 3g lacked the power to shoot through moderate to heavy fog and rain (when you really need radar). The target seperation was amazing in fair weather but you dont buy radar for fair weather. I hear they upped the power significantly on the 4g which is what it desperately needed although i would still stick with the more proven technology and stay with a traditional radar unless someone chimes in here with experience with the 4g in thick fog.
  12. I do not recommend skeg gaurds. They might save you in the short run but when you knock something good enough with it you will take off a lot more then just the skeg $$$. Then instead of costing you about $100 for a new skeg to be put on, it may be looking at as much as $2000 for a whole new lower unit Having a new skeg put on is definitely the answer.
  13. Here is a picture of mine You just twist it together and I put a small piece of very small shrink tubing over it. It a weird size like 3 or 5/32nds that fits best. You need to get it tight so it doesn't hang up in the guides. The swivels and tubing is available on calumetmarine.com webstore
  14. I would hold out, might be deals to be had. Calumet Marine is considering doing a trade in program, keep an eyes out for an announcement on that in the calumet marine subforum.
  15. Fish Hawk is coming out with a new system in the spring, so wait till then and pick up someones used X4 at a good price. Because ive used the depth raider and it was a really good unit that works great but HATED the coated cable and extra wires on the downriggers.
  16. Check to make sure the big 1 1/16th nut at the end of your steering cable is tight. That can sometime be loose and cause loose steering. You can tell its loose without taking a wrench to it by having someone turn the steering wheel in either direction and watching the cable near the nut and the cable should not move, not even a little. It if moves the nut is loose and if it doesn't your tight and it's most likely in the helm.
  17. Not on a c120 The only sonar that will be able to do this is the new Humminbird 360 imaging.
  18. If you puncture the package before they thaw there will be no blood so I guess it is still possible they did thaw because with the problems you are having it kind sounds like it. There are 2 other possibilities on is that it is really really old, or not actually herring. Either way it shouldn't be falling apart like that. Brine turning red normal. My last point of not actually being herring ties into the last post. Yes, people have tried many many other baits. Smelt, alewives, anchovies, salmon strips, ect. They all seem to be missing something, most are actually tender then the herring, and even if they hold up people then add herring oil. Why? Herring is proven and easily available. You can get just about anything to work, and some of it will be fairly successful but the attributes and track record of the real thing are what makes it what it is. I would also like to add that the herring strips don't need to stay frozen. They are heavily brined and treated before they are even put into the package and much more temp tolerant. Been shipping them without ice for years, left them sitting in boats for days, 5 years ago when there was a shortage using bait that was over 2 years old, always staying tough. Now under normal circumstances we keep the strips frozen but emphasizing how tough properly treated herring can be.
  19. A tell tale if it's been thawed and refrozen is blood in the package, there shouldnt be any. If there is blood in the package then it has definately thawed. If it is just semi thawed it's still fine but if it completely thawed and wasn't brined then it may spoil. Also the shipping is not overnight, it's 2 day ground with enough dry ice to justify that to most dealers some of those who sell more or it have it derived by 18 wheeler. Usually it's not the ups fault though, power outages at the bait shop is usually the culprit. We a dedicated generator specifically for that purpose, good thing we do cause a week or two ago our power went off for about 18 hours and our freezers were running the entire time.
  20. If you like running deeper divers like i do you can take the 107 wieght and put it on the 124 (mag) for your outside diver. I dont have any 107s on my boat anymore just put whichever wieght i need on the 124. Helps a ton to get the right seperation. This is really the same thing as putting a mag ring on a standard diver but then you dont have to mess with the rings. I believe you can buy just the weights too, when i made the transition i just took the weights off the 107s i already had so im not sure.
  21. Here is a link to his youtube channel with all of his videos. make sure you subscribe!: http://www.youtube.com/user/meatfishing Here is this video everyone been talking about, pretty much the same meathod for green and blue, just less trimming needed with the green then the blue to fit in the meathead. If anyone needs to buy bait online you can do it here: http://calumetmarine.3dcartstores.com/Bait_c_9.html
  22. The green you filet most of the time. The red you run whole You definately need to brine it, either meathod works good.
  23. No you do not need to brine strips, depending on what type of strips you are using some will benefit from brining more then others.
  24. I deal in a salmon fishing bait, mostly herring with a little ballyhoo and alewive. With the way the herring works is certification is more about where the herring is harvested then testing. Almost all of the certified herring is coming out of Flordia which has no history of VHS disease. Even if herring is test VHS free and it comes for the puget sounds it can not be certified because of the VHS history in that body of water. Herring that comes out of Washington/Oregon/Western Canada is not certified. Although unlikely, it is very possible to transmit this devistating disease to the waters where you fish. As far as how certifying the bait has affected the price, i dont think it really has. I believe fuel and shipping prices have much more to do with the rising bait costs, every year it seems to go up about a quarter per pack. Im my opinions its a no brainer, no difference in cost and taking care to no infect the natural resources in the area, ill go with certified bait every time. There are plenty of bait shops that carry non certified bait out there, its just irresponsible in my opinion. Certified bait is very easy to find, just make sure you look on the package i believe most baits say on the package where they come from. My store does a ton of bait sales and if you have any additional questions email me: [email protected]
  25. Here is a video showing a very easy/inexpensive home made brine. ACkCnytcEZ4
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