Looking for Fishfinder Recommendations

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fishing Forum' started by Alex, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. Alex

    Alex New Member

    I'm in the market for a new fishfinder/chartplotter and wondering what you guys recommend.

    I'd like to spend max $1000. I've been looking at units such as the dragonfly 7 and elite 7ti. Am I on the right track?

  2. chromatose007

    chromatose007 Member

    Arguably the transducer is more important. If your current FF is Airmar compatible, go that way with a thru hull. gl
    easydoesit likes this.
  3. Alex

    Alex New Member

    Yeah no doubt the transducer is a huge part. I'd like to upgrade the unit as well to get chart capability and colour haha. Time to get out of the 2000's!

    Thanks for the input
  4. baddogg

    baddogg Active Member

    Just bought a Dragonfly 7. Haven't had a chance to use it on the water yet. Great reviews.
  5. Sir Reel

    Sir Reel Well-Known Member

    I really like my 7" Garmin EchoMap 75DV. got it for $699 at the Vancouver boat show last year from Radio World.
    The fish finder images are amazing and I see way more than my older Lowrance Elite 5. Seems like a really well made unit too.
  6. ziggy

    ziggy Well-Known Member

    I had a Dragonfly for two years and liked it until the pins on the display unit broke off. I contacted Raymarine and they told me to toss it out as it wasn't fixable. After going online and finding the problem was quite common and in fact they designed a new connector collar because of it, I contacted them again to see if they could offer a deal on a new one, since the previous model was obviously defective. The deal they offered was a new one for slightly more than they were selling for locally and they claimed the unit wasn't defective, people were too hard on them. Asked the technician if that was the case why the redesign?Bought a new Lowrance after that experience with Raymarine's after sales service.
  7. baddogg

    baddogg Active Member

    I have the new and improved model. I would not have been happy with that customer service either.
  8. ericl

    ericl Active Member

    Seeing as a good chart chip costs over $300 and at least $250 for a good transducer I'd re-think the budget a bit.
  9. kaelc

    kaelc Active Member

  10. fishin solo

    fishin solo Well-Known Member

    Call harbour chandler. They can get you into something decent for that price range with a airmar transducer and nav card
  11. Wild Bill

    Wild Bill Active Member

    Does the age of the transducer matter? Model numbers typically on the transducer? My boat has a through hull, looks like the pictures of Airmar transducers however I haven't removed it.
    eldplanko likes this.
  12. N2013

    N2013 Active Member

    Good call going with a 7". You'll appreciate the bigger screen. Harbour Chandler would be my recommendation for you if you're looking at a Lowrance (depending on your location). Great customer service. I got my Humminbird 7 from Trotac and am very happy with mine. They set it all up for me before I walked out of the store so all I had to do was install it when I got home. Wish the transducer was a little better though and with there were more resources around for tweaking it, but it does exactly everything I need it to do. Paid around $740 I think.
  13. casper5280

    casper5280 Well-Known Member

    As far as I'm concerned if you are by electronics Harbour Chandlers is the place to go best prices and the best costumer service. Not only that but they know what there talking about. I've had the odd problem and I just phoned them and they walked me though it over the phone and it was fixed. I bought the whole set-up (radar/HDS chartplotter/VHF/flowmeter) though them and they walked me though the whole setup.
  14. Alex

    Alex New Member

    Thanks for the replies everyone!! Didn't realize transducers and a card doesn't necessarily come with the unit.

    I'm in the marine industry and believe I can get a great deal through my work since we have access to wholesalers. If not for that I'd definitely be going to harbour chandler - I've heard nothing but good things about them.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017
  15. wildthing

    wildthing Well-Known Member

    or do the good used route and get nice setup for the 1k mark
    i just sold my Simrad gen 1 8" touch screens to upgrade to a 12" evo-2
    a pair of elite 7" HDI's and a P66 would be a good budget setup
    casper5280 likes this.
  16. ericl

    ericl Active Member

    Depends on the actual unit. Depends on what your expectations are. I have a Garmin Chartplotter/Fish Finder combo. It comes with a built-in worldwide map. The map would be OK for navigation but fairly useless for most fishing as there is a lack of detail on bottom contours. My Garmin map chip has bottom contour lines every foot from Puget Sound to just north of Vancouver Island. If you only fish one area & feel like you know the bottom like the back of your hand, you probably don't need this. All I can say is that my Garmin chart shows structure that i have't found from other sources.
    I was able to buy my unit without the "usually included" base transducer & get a package deal with an Airmar TM150 Medium range CHIRP transducer. I have had various F/F since 1985 & before this one none would reliably show Salmon - bait yeah but not Salmon. Then a few years back I was at the Boat show & at the Simrad booth they had a unit showing some charter operator in AK using a Simrad unit that was marking Halibut on the bottom. Being a computer & electronics professional I started to investigate. What you need for this is a transducer that has a low "Q factor". The Airmar web site explains this. Until CHIRP came along, you'd pay $1K+ US for such a transducer.

    Dunno what you have invested in your boat/gear/fuel/time, etc but driving around in circles for hours cuz you saved $500 does not sound good if you like to eat fish.
  17. Alex

    Alex New Member

    I'm familiar with the areas I fish but still would like to have the bottom contour map to see all my options. I haven't been to the airmar site yet so I'll definitely check it out!

    I'm aiming to get this purchase right and if that means spending a bit more than my initial budget so be it.
  18. tubber

    tubber Well-Known Member

    My buddy has a fancy Garmin that works great for most functions, but the map chip does not show typical Navionics/Canadian Hydrographic Service contours. No Rat's Nose, Turtlehead etc... It just takes some time to mark your spots through use or copying lat/longs.
    And in some places offshore, the fishing chart depth and actual depth sounder readings can be off by 75 feet or more. I've only used the one Garmin, so maybe it's just his.
    Agree with Harbour Chandler as a good place to shop for great service, prices, and knowledge.
  19. Waterwolf2230

    Waterwolf2230 Active Member

    If I were you I'd go with a Lowrance that has self mapping options through Insight Genesis. I've found that all maps that come on a chip to be very unreliable. They show contours that don't exist and can be off by 50' or more. Here is an example of the Wilby Shoals near the Green Can in Campbell River. You can see the difference in detail between Navionics. There is a Social Map that you upload your maps too and they build over time. They aren't extremely useful the first few times you go out but after a few trips you begin to fill in the spaces and it paints a true picture of what is below. It makes trolling or jigging contours a dream. This video shows how you can see fish swimming withing a school of bait. Definitely a reason to get a Chirp model...

    Attached Files:

    Alex likes this.
  20. cj6530

    cj6530 Member

    For charting/mapping/bottom contour.......use your smartphone and the 5 dollar Marine Navionics App. The bottom Contour functionality for fishing is better on that than anything from Garmin or Raymarine. In short....I use my iPhone for navigation and bottom contour and my Sounder/Chartplotter combo as basically a stand alone Sounder unit for marking fish and bottom.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017

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