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MEGASLAM

Need help! Lowrance or Humminbird?

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I've been looking to upgrade my electronics for awhile and still cannot figure out the best value. I've done some research on the basics for sonar but there are sooooo many choices I'm dizzy.

I want a GPS/Sonar combo for less than 1k and larger screen (7in). I mainly fish familiar waters in MN less than 100ft.

I don't want this to turn into a "ford vs chevy" type discussion but looking for your input on what you use (or want) and what you like and dislike.

Mega

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I have a lowrance LCX28cHD, and love this unit. with the GPS, its around 1k, great locator functions, and the biult in land and lake maps make even better. I have it set up with my bow mount 520 for a network. they both use the same GPS antenna, and you can get a cord to hook up transducers, were you can switch back and forth to you bow mount ducer, to the one in the back from either unit.

hummindbird has some great stuff out also, but there price is a little high for me.

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Thanks for the reply Bass. I'm glad you brought up the side imaging. I hung out with a friend for a week of fishing. I'm not sure of the model numbers but his boat was outfitted with a huge screen humminbird and linked to a smaller screen humminbird. Anyway, he had the side imaging, but we ended up not using it too much. Seemed to be the most productive to use "the chip" and graph to locate where we wanted to fish.

Can you share some examples where you find the side imaging invaluable so I can help justify it with santa?

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Side imaging is great for finding structure. Boulder piles, logs, stumps and other things that are not on "the chip". When fishing, I usually don't use side-imaging that much. More of a scouting, or finding out what the deal is with a certain area because you are catching fish, marking lots of fish or some other notable thing. I particularly like using the SI while trolling the weedline, you can basically see were the weeds are and troll off them the distance desired.

The newly designed 700 series SI (797) is sweet. It has many new features and the highest resolution screen per inch of any of the Hbirds..

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Megaslam,

Hopefully, you will find this helpful.

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard of guys with the side imaging technology and not using it. It truly baffles me. My 997 never leaves the side imaging screen, except for switching to the GPS (navionics chip) and moving to a different spot, then its right back to side imaging. I use my LCX 15 for depth and gps while im fishing.

Heres 3 submerged cars in 20 fow:

S00059.jpg

Heres the base of a bridge foundation in 22 fow:

OACOMA%20BRIDGE%20PILING.jpg

Will your sonar/gps show you this in 7.5 fow? Thats 9 walleyes on the left side of the screen, and 4 on the right,(possibly more) if you dont recognize what side imaging can show you.

S00014.jpg

If your buddy doesnt use his side imaging, maybe trade him his unit for a new 1K unit that will do everything he needs it to do.

Yes, its alot of coin, and you should buy as much screen as you can afford, because thats where the real pictures come from. I would love a 1197, heck, Id love a 1797, but it just isnt going to happen on my fishing budget.

I can tell you that side imaging has shown me many, many things that I probably had seen on conventional sonar, but you are simply guessing what is happening unless you are using sonar in conjunction with a camera. Will it put you on fish everytime? It hasnt for me, and probably wont for you either, but I can tell you one thing for sure, I have learned something new EVERY time I have been on the water with it, irregardless of how knowledgeable I was on that particular piece of water to begin with. Plus, if your just out for a family cruise, its very entertaining to watch while you are just dinking around.

I'm not saying that LEI doesnt make a good unit, because I believe they do, In fact, Im probably going to spend some more jingle and buy a new gps/sonar that will run my Navionics chip, (because my LCX15 doesnt) so I can stay on side imaging all the time.

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Heres another reason,

You see the rock pile to the left of the center of the screen, (which is also the center of the boat if youre not familiar with SI technology. You can drag your cursor over to the corners of the rock pile and dump a waypoint on top of the corners, without ever going over top of it.

S00006.jpg

PS, I am in no means an expert on Si technology, I got my 997 C SI last year about this time. Installed it as the book said, and went fishing. Yes, I logged alot of time on the water, from Dec - April with it, (havent fished since a little after Easter)

Are they without problems, no, but I have not had any problems with mine, other than drifting (in current) into a slightly submerged tree and shearing off the transducer. Not just a Humminbird problem, because it sheared off my X5 transducer also and the speed wheel. I guess the stars were aligned that day for a catastrophic failure of my equipment.

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WOW! Thanks for sharing reddog. We must of been doing something wrong. We only got good images going from about 5-7mph. I see you were going well below that. I like you're idea about getting him to sell his grin

Any tips on how to mount it on the transom (outside of what's in the manual)?

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Don'T forget Garmin don't mean to make the decision even tougher.I bought a Garmin 530c and I love it. The 3d imaging of the bottom contour is awesome and the display is out of this world. It is also capable to pick up weather radar with an added antenna. Accepts lakemaster chip. Has internal antenna with option of adding external one, gets great reception so I dont need an external.

Many to choose from and it is hard decision to make good luck and do a lot of research. Witchever brand you end up with I think you will be happy.

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Questions like this come up a lot and are hard to answer, because they're all good units. Really good units.

If there are features like Side Imaging that you really want, or really don't want, then that will help you narrow down your choices. Same if you are really for or really against a particular brand (or particular map chip).

But for most of the features and functions, each unit has a few pluses and a few minuses compared to the other units, and none really rise to the top or fall to the bottom. They're all good units.

The best thing to do is figure out what you will do with the unit, or which features are the most important to you, and start from there. Good luck and let me know if I can be of more help.

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WOW! Thanks for sharing reddog. We must of been doing something wrong. We only got good images going from about 5-7mph. I see you were going well below that. I like you're idea about getting him to sell his grin

Any tips on how to mount it on the transom (outside of what's in the manual)?

Like I said earlier, I did what the manual said I should do, as far as mounting my transducer. Nothing more.

Excelllent post PJ.

I must add that the pictures I posted are pulled from the best of the best. ( if you follow the properties of the pictures, you can look into my online album of all of my screen captures) I wish it showed me fish like that every time out, but it doesnt. I can be trolling a pattern and catching fish and not see any on the screen, which baffles me also how that can happen.

Hbird doesn't really promote the unit as a fish finding machine, in regards to side imaging, but more of a structure finding unit. Conventional sonar with the bird will show you everything that any of the other units will, as mentioned, theyre all good.

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IMO choose by the quality of mapping availible first and depthfinder second.

For me, I will take my gps on a high def lake (1 or 3ft contours) over a depthfinder anyday. Side imaging or not... it doesn't matter. It all matters the lakes that YOU fish, not what other people like in my oppinion. Humminbird can only take the Navionics chip (they are trying to get the rights to lakemaster but they haven't yet or at least they hadn't the last time I checked. When they do get the rights, I will switch but until then it's all Lowrance for me.

Post the lakes that you fish and have the guys talk about what chip they like better and go from there. Some lakes Navionics did a great job on and some they didn't. Navionics is a little slow and it doesn't have alot of roads which I like when I am scouting lakes and trying to find one that I have never been to.

Humminbird doesn't have near the technical problems that lowrance has which is certainly nice but I, like many fisherman will deal with the problems so I can have a better map chip.

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The other thing to consider is that Lakemaster chips won't work with Humminbirds... so if your favorite lake is only on a lakemaster chip or a high def lakemaster chip you either have to give up using the chip, or stick with lowrance.

I do agree though, it is difficult to make the decision... lots of good equipment out there!

marine_man

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