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BigRoy

Fishing Guides-what sonar unit is in your boat?

28 posts in this topic

I want to take a poll to see what sonar units are in the boats of the people who fish for a living. I want to upgrade this spring and I am looking for the best unit for the least amount of money. So far the Garmin Fishfinder 240 seems to be the best deal out there. The unit puts 4000 watts into the water, I assume this is a powerful unit. Should I looking at a unit with a dual frequency transducer? Most of my fishing is 40' and less with the trip to the trout lake a couple times a year. I am looking for a unit that will give me a detailed look at whats under the boat.It might be to early to be thinking about open water, but I have the bug already. confused.gif Thanks for your help. LeRoy
ljlgruwell@cs.com

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Vexilar has been my choice for some time. Had Bottomline but it was a pain.

In 2003 I will be running a FL-8 SLT or my FL-18 flasher, plus the new Vexilar CLC-200 color graph.

fl8slt_150px.gif

FL18_90px.gif

clc200_90px.gif

Vexilar..See what you have been missing!

www.vexilar.com

ed-logo.jpg

backwtr1@msn.com

[This message has been edited by Backwater Eddy (edited 01-31-2003).]

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Regardless of what all of the guides on this site use you will find that almost every brand of depth finder makes a higher end unit which will help you tremendously. Garmin, Lawrance, Vexilar, Bottom Line, Hummingbird, Si-tex and Pinpoint for example all have decent models. I would also be willing to bet that some of us guides would like to upgrade some of our electronics. Do your home-work and check them all out, see which one gets you more bang for your buck and go with it. Just my thoughts.

------------------
First Choice Guide Service
The Cass Lake Chain
no_spam.com
Phone: (612)730-no_spam

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Hello BigRoy, Your purchase will depend on you how much you can spend. Most locators are "get what you pay for". Garmin does say their 240 has a 240x240 pixel count and lots of power, but when I ran one, I wasn't impressed. They are mass produced in Taiwan to make them affordable. If a unit has high output power but a weak, low quality reciever, it will not perform as good.
The dual frequency transducer options are made for deepwater off shore applications.
Take a look at the Vexilar Edge

lc-507_b.jpg

http://vexilar.com/products/lc507.html
This unit uses dual frequency with two transducers that work simultaneously. You have a wide cone to cover more area and display better fish targets. You have a much better chance of seeing fish with the wider cone because the fish is in the cone longer giving the fish more time to register. The narrower cone helps to reduce "dead zone" that most units produce. The Edge also helps you see transitions areas better by producing double and triple echos. No more messing with grayline adjustments.The Edge is also one of the most user friendly units on the market.
Your locator should be one,if not, the most important investment you make. A high quality unit will only help you learn more which will make you a better angler.
My advise is to save up and not waste your money. You will be much happier.

Good Luck


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MILLE LACS AREA GUIDE SERVICE
651-271-5459 http://fishingminnesota.com/millelacsguide/
click here

[This message has been edited by Derek Johnston (edited 01-31-2003).]

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I use the LMS-350A. When considering depth finders there are two things to look for, power and pixals. The more power you have the stronger the signal, the more pixals you have the better the definition. The LMS runs 3000 watts of power and 360 X 360 pixals. Pixals are the number of lines per inch your depth finder shows on your screen. The new Lowrance X15's run 420 X 420 I believe. As was stated before "you get what you pay for" you won't find a depth finder with 360 pixals selling for a hundred dollars.

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Like the info. on the vex. Edge, I am thinking of getting one of those this summer.
Anyone know the price range on these?

Also, how does the Edge compare to the colored one Eddy is talking about in his post above?

thanks

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Thanks for all your replies, I guess I have a little more home work to do. Dano-the edge is 699 if you buy it direct from vexilar.Today was the first time I had even heard about this unit,looks pretty cool. I was down at Cabelas today shopping around and had a fps(famous people sighting).Gary Clancy was "hunting" for a deal in the bargain cave. Was going to say hi but I figured he gets enough of that.Anyways they have lowrance x91S on sale for 298.00 and I was thinking about it for a long time but the sales guy did not know how it performed on the water.So now I am having a real dilema, its the lowrance x91 with 3000 watts of power with 240x240 pixel or the garmin 240 with 4000 watts of power(but mass produced overseas)with 240x240 pixel or the "new" choice of the edge by Vexilar,which is double the price but looks like it is well worth it. I currently have an fl-8 and use it for both winter and summer fishing. I think I will have to take a closer look at "vex" thanks for all of your input. LeRoy

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I'll give a vote for the Edge2 also, a great unit, easy operation and high target seperation. For me it was a close call if I should go with the Vexilar CLC-200 color graph, or the EDGE2.

All them purdy "Kewl" colors must have swayed me? Plus I can rig Vexilar CLC-200 color graph on my Pro-Pack for a fast portable unit, that had something to do with it too I guess.

wink.gif

Vexilar..See what you have been missing!

www.vexilar.com

backwtr1@msn.com

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If you really want to fish like an expert, learn how to read your Flasher--it's real-time feedback, not painted Icons.

The computer chips in these units are programmed to draw fish icons not other anomilies--they do show fish, but not always.

A flasher, like a Vex, will give you a real-time idea of what's directly below your Transom, the graphs that draw pictures are slow, depending how fast you are moving, what shows on your graph screen could be 100 feet behind you.

I use an LMS350 in GPS Plotter Mode constantly and rely on my Flasher to tell me what is below me, e.g. depth, bottom content, transition areas and especially, active fish that show up on your flasher the same as when you are ice fishing--these are typically feeding fish. If you target Walleyes primarily, you want to put your bait in their face. you can make adjustments to your presentation based on how high off the bottom these fish are cruising or suspending.

I would'nt spend a lot of money on fancy color graphs. A quality GPS with a Plotting feature and a good flasher is my preference.

The plotter allows you go back over specific fish holding spots and mark these areas with a quick-save button on the GPS/Graph, e.g. LMS350, X15, etc...

------------------
Chells

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I guess I have to put my 2 cents in I had the 350 by lawrance and it was a good unit. I upgraded last year to the x-15 with gps and I want to tell you it was quite a differance. I love the x-15 it separates from the bottom well it gives a clear detailed picture of what is really under your boat. It has the p[ower and the pixels.If you can afford one I would get it. I am on the water 90 plus days a year and it hasnt failed me in the lasttwo years.
Jason

------------------
fishing fever guide service
fishingminnesota.com/fishingfever/
phone 218-327-2191
e-mail boser@grandrapidsmn.com

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I guess I have to put my 2 cents in I had the 350 by lawrance and it was a good unit. I upgraded last year to the x-15 with gps and I want to tell you it was quite a differance. I love the x-15 it separates from the bottom well it gives a clear detailed picture of what is really under your boat. It has the p[ower and the pixels.If you can afford one I would get it. I am on the water 90 plus days a year and it hasnt failed me in the lasttwo years.
Jason

------------------
fishing fever guide service
fishingminnesota.com/fishingfever/
phone 218-327-2191
e-mail boser@grandrapidsmn.com

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I am leaning more towards the new fl-18 by Vex. I have the fl-8slt and use it for ice fishing and as a back up in my boat.I like the real time reading it gives me on the ice, so I guess its time to play with it a little more in the summer.So now its going to be in between Vex and the Marcum, I have not had a chance to read threw cny tims post on the Marcum yet though. I got a look at the Marcum last weekend down at Cabelas, the colors seem to blend together. I think Vex is going to be my choice, primarly because of the customer service I have read about on this site. LeRoy

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Go for the x91 over the Garmin 240. I own the Garmin and am looking to get rid of it. We ran the x71 AND 91 in our demo boats last year. Thay worked much better than my Garmin.
Brian

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Roy, what seperates Vexilar from other companies is the use of low power and a high quality receiver. Wether it be a flasher or LCG, Vexilar technology is to send not as much power and to rely more on the receiver to display the information. The receiver is the most important part of any locator. The unit relies on the receiver to display the information. Some companies use high power to send the signal in hopes that it will return quality targets to the receiver. Testing has showed that high power units can spook fish, especially in shallow water. So keep in mind that high power doen't always mean better.

------------------
MILLE LACS AREA GUIDE SERVICE
651-271-5459 http://fishingminnesota.com/millelacsguide/
click here

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I have been using the FL8 slt for 7 years now. but am switching to the FL 18 this year for the brighter display and bottom lock. Can't wait!

Happy Casts

Cyb

www.gemfishing.org

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Past few years it has been a lowrance x 85 and a fl8 vexilar flasher out in the back of the boat where I spend 99% of my time, added genetron last fall, think im really gonna like that unit even if it is a little big. Next boat the genetron and the x 85 are coming with with the addition of a new x 97 lowrance. Ya just cant have enough eyes.. :::-). Never ever shortchange yourself on electronics. Then get really familiar with them... Paul

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Paul Rohweller
Pine to Prairie Guide Service
218-962-3387
http://fishingminnesota.com/pinetoprairie

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Derek, Thanks for clearing up the watts=superior sonar thinking I was having. I was assuming that if a sonar unit had a very high number of watts it was putting into the water(3000-4000)that it was a superior unit. That is not the case however,even if a unit put out say 10,000 watts it wouldnt matter, because you need a quality receiver to "read" whats coming back. The only thing 10,000 watts would be good for is stiring up the sand on the bottom and chasing the fish away. Thanks for clearing that up for me. LeRoy

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Currently running a Lowrance 350-A and a Pinpoint 7800 up front.


If/when I sell my Warrior replacing it with the 20 foot backtroller, I'll run a Lowrance x-15 and the Vexilar LCD model.

------------------
Kevin Neve's Devils Lake Guide Service
fishingminnesota.com/kevin-neve-guiding/
e-mail: kneve@stellarnet.com
Phone: 701-473-5411 or 701-351-4989
Minnewaukan ND

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personally i would take a trip to the cabelas outlest or back room store ,, you can find the top of the line units there at a very discounted price at times , for me i have run Interphase sportsman unit for quite some time ,, liked it alot ,, but now all i use an old Hondex Flasher unit . same thing as the fl8 vex ,, just older ;-).. love it ,, i have played with the fl18 of a few buddys ,, was strongly considering it before i got a chance to play with the new marcum lx3 , the lx3 does happen to be the next finder i use ,, no pro here and on a budget ,, ,, my tip is look for the best you can get and use it till it is dead ,, just like my old hondex.. good luck

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