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Fish Finders


GLF

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I consider a good fish finder is a critical piece of equipment. With some fish finders, you can see the thermocline. What does everyone use and how do you like it?

I basically replaced all my electronics last year (except the radio), and with your question your going to get a bunch of different opinions. I bought a combo unit GPS fishfinder (lowrance 337) and so far I love it. I think reguardless of the brand of F/F you decide on, I believe just about everybody will agree the Navionics Chip or similar brand is a very wise investment.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Having had seperate Bottom Line fish finder and Garmin hand held GPS, I couldn't wait to get the new color combos from Eagle or Lowarance with memory chip capabilities. However, once I saw the screen size and began imagining what I like to watch as I'm either fising or running and then coupled that with wanting a hand held for hunting and use in a vehicle, I had a change of heart. I ended up getting a Lowrance iFinder H2OC and an Eagle Seafinder 640C. The hand held is portable, can utilize the chips for maps and I can run my auotpilot off of it as well.

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I have the Eagle Seacharter 480df. Love the detail and picture quality, but not sure how well it works picking up the thermocline? At times I think I have picked it up, but most of the time, I don't. Had one problem with it the year I bought it (2004) and they (Eagle) replaced the transducer no questions asked.

I would really like to upgrade next year and was thinking about another Eagle. I like the looks of the seacharter 642. I too would like to hear what sonar's pick up thermocline.

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One thing to note on seeing the thermocline on your fish finders. From the factory they all come set to a default setting. Grab your owners manual and read about how to adjust the sensitivity and other features it has. You might be suprised at how many of them actually will pick up the thermocline.

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The sensitivity or gain on your finder is probably the most important feature on it. The higher that this is set the better picture you will get on your finders screen. Too much though will result in "clutter" showing on the screen.

The finder needs to be run in manual so the fields can be custom "tuned" so it will show what is really down there. If set up right a good finder with adequate power should be able to show small fish. Not all fish will make a nice fish "arch" as most expect. A small block or blob can be a part of a fish. This depends on where the fish is in the transducer's cone or it's direction of travel.

The thermocline usually appears as a faint line on the screen. I have even seen a double thermocline in some instances. Once it is picked up it will fade in and out and not always be a consistant line. The line will wander up and down in the water column also. I belive some finders are designed to show the thermal breaks more defined than other units.

I use a Garmin 240 monochrone and have had really good results with it. On some of those slow action days adjust your finder by scrolling through the menus and see what is available to be setup on your finders.

Good fishing!

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I have been running Raymarine for 1 1/2 years and really like them. The color is incredible, even in full sunlight. I have had a couple small issues with a connector but Raymarine dealt with it perfectly and took care of it with a brand new unit, no charge.

I have the Raymarine DS600X fishfinder and a Raymarine 435i GPS Chartplotter, both are mounted on nice Ram mounts.

I will be upgrading for next season. If anyone is interested shoot me a e-mail or PM.

Dave

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  • 6 months later...

Rick and i have aded to the boat this season a Lowrance x515c df fish finder (about $550.00) and a Lowrance global map 5300c again (about $500.00) we looked at many combo units but decided that we liked the fact that with 2 units we would not have to split the screen.also we also reasoned that if one of the units were to (breakdown) that we wouldn't lose both until we got it repaired,the cost is about the same for many of the other quality combo units but not many of those come with a 10" screen. have only used them once as it turns out there was something wrong with the gps and it would always return to demo mode but we exchanged it for a new unit no hassles.the fish finder was awesome.(side note:a combo unit may have been thrown overboard that day!)

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  • 2 months later...

i have a three year old eagle deepfinder 320.and the only way to see thermoclines is to run in manual mode.i also change the power setting once I'm in 70ft plus.

when fishing in 130-200ft,and if not fishing the bottom,you can also set your depth range,say fish is running 100ft or less,set your depth at 100ft,this allows for a larger area to be seen,as your only showing 1ft to 100ft range.on smaller screen units like mine this works best for me.

i had trouble with this unit not showing Arch's,and eagle finally sent me another unit,past warranty,and still stood behind it.It took some emails but they did stand behind it,Jim

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  • 8 months later...
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I am currently running the Garmin 2010 monochrome chartplotter (new..$900) with the GSD 20 black box fishfinder ($239.00). I have had this set up for four seasons now and absolutely love it. Never one issue with it other than stepping on the power connection for the GSD 20 in the bilge and breaking it off. Garmin sent me a brand new GSD 20 for $75. I had it in two days after the phone call. Just had to sent the broken one back in the postage paid box they sent with the new one. That was excellent service!!

I would really like to play with some of the new Garmin stuff (Radar, autopilot, etc..) and see if it's worth upgrading..

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This is going to seem incomplete but we run a Garmin Fishfinder. It is similar to the 340 C but I'm not sure the model 3. It is very sensitive refreshes quickly and shows great detail and it's black and white. I'd love to have a color unit. We have had zero problems in three years of heavy use and being stored outside with no cover on a Center counsole. Very rugged.

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