Best Fish finder/Plotter

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fishing Forum' started by Stizzla, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. Stizzla

    Stizzla Well-Known Member

    This summer I installed a Garmin striker 7 in my 17' Double Eagle. It has a very nice picture, but I got tired quickly of not having charts with depths etc. It has a white screen gps with waypoints, but it's just not cutting it.
    Question is, if I were to upgrade, what is my best option? $1000-$1200.

  2. ericl

    ericl Well-Known Member

    For great bottom contours you will probably need a unit that accepts a map chip. The chips are around $300 - $400. Certain brands of chips (Garmin/Cmap/Navionics) map offer better coverage depending on the region covered.
    That gives you $800 for the unit. If you need depth sounder good transducers are around $300.

    Depending on your expectations you may need to up the budget. Back in the day we did not have electronic charts; we used paper charts. I think you can run some cheap charting apps on a phone/tablet. This would not be my choice as it's too much fooling around distracting from fishing.
    Stizzla likes this.
  3. SteelyDan

    SteelyDan Well-Known Member

    Lowrance gen 3 units are now discontinued. Look for them to be discounted soon.
    Stizzla and CBsqrd like this.
  4. CBsqrd

    CBsqrd Active Member

    Harbour Chandler had the Lowrance HDS 7 Gen3 with charts and transducer (not sure which model/frequency) on sale for Black Friday for $1,200, which is a great combo for your budget. Regular price was $2,000, but if you are not in a rush, might be able to get a Boxing Day or boat show deal. Also keep an eye out for factory rebates from Lowrance which are common - you might not see $1,200 on the sale price, but might be able to get there with a rebate. I think the HDS Carbon is replacing the Gen3, but Gen3 will still supported for years.

    Going down a level, the Lowrance Elite 7 or 9 would be in the $1 - $1.2k price range if you don't need the features of the HDS series. I'd hold out for a deal on a HDS Gen3 model.
    Stizzla and Rayvon like this.
  5. Sir Reel

    Sir Reel Well-Known Member

    Wait for the Vancouver boat show. It's only a little more than a month away.
    You'll get great prices and be able to play with all the different models. Talk to the reps too.
    Last year a I got a 7" Garmin plotter/sounder(not chirp) for $729 with Canada maps. They (Radio World) shipped from Calgary so no tax either. With your budget you might find a 9" display model. And they all will match prices.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
    Stizzla likes this.
  6. Trophy

    Trophy Active Member

    A low end garmin sounder came with my used boat, very poor. Upgraded to a lowrance elite 5 gps sounder, alot better but sounder images not the best. Upgraded lowrance transducer to a Airmar P66 transducer....huge improvement in target recognition. Now I’m looking at upgrading again, undecided too...keep the 5 inch for maping and add another medium size lowrance for sonar or go with one big 12 inch lowrance. With newer models every month and options ever changing, whatever you do is an improvement on what you had, thats the price of this great sport.
    Stizzla likes this.
  7. tubber

    tubber Well-Known Member

  8. saanauk

    saanauk Active Member

    habberdasher likes this.
  9. wildthing

    wildthing Well-Known Member

    best bag for buck is upgrading to used quality items ...
    have done it with most of mine and now have a pretty good setup

    a good hds 10-12" gen 2/3 with a p66 is still a good item....
  10. Rayvon

    Rayvon Active Member

    I would agree with others that your best option is the Lowrance gen3 or Simrad Nss7 with the P66 transducer.You probably won't find a better price than Harbour Chandler at boat show time.You can phone them and they'll deliver.
  11. tubber

    tubber Well-Known Member

    Which has a better image of bait and fish? An older higher end unit with a P66 or better transducer or a cheaper new unit with Chirp?
    I have an Elite 5 with a skimmer, the other boat I fish on has a very high end Garmin. The FF on each is just okay.
  12. habberdasher

    habberdasher Member

  13. fishin_magician

    fishin_magician Well-Known Member

    Depends on what the older unit is and how well it's built and what it is built for.
    Both units work together and must compliment eachother.
    Garmin is definitely your solution...P66 will suit most people's fancy.
    Chirp units are good for target separation and work well in shallow water with the supplied transducers.
    Where are you fishing?
    If you're in the Lower Strait of Georgia contending with run off, freshet, algae blooms etc....many days even the P66 doesn't cut it. You're trolling around blind.

    Airmar P66 at the minimum.
  14. ziggy

    ziggy Well-Known Member

    A lot of people underestimate the value of a good transducer. You can have the nicest display in the world but without a good transmitter/ receiver paired with good signal processing you'll never get a good picture. I'd always recommend you get the best transducer you can that works with your display that suits you.
  15. Waterwolf2230

    Waterwolf2230 Well-Known Member

    Stay with Lowrance or Simrad and learn to use C-Map Genesis to create your own maps that are incredibly accurate. The areas I fish are so well mapped now that I don't need a Navionics chip.
    bones likes this.
  16. Stizzla

    Stizzla Well-Known Member

    Wow...This site is awesome! I turn my head for a couple of days and I get quite a few good bites! Thanks for all of this helpful info everybody!
  17. BCROB

    BCROB Member

    Anyone know if Navionics + is the way to go for bc coastal waters and interior lakes.....
  18. Resinrider

    Resinrider Member

    Keep your Garmin for a depth sounder. Get a cheap 7" Android tablet and download the standard Navionics app. for less than $20. You only need the HD Navionics app for larger screens and it is much more $$. The detail on the Navionics app is far better than anything you will get on a chartplotter unless you spend over $3000
    Rain City and Stizzla like this.
  19. Stizzla

    Stizzla Well-Known Member

    That's a good idea! i have the app on my iPad mini. Im sure theres a mount I can get so it's up on the dash. I might shell out for the HD version. Then I'll have a nice 8" gps screen and a very solid 7" fish finder.
  20. bigbruce

    bigbruce Crew Member

    Your original post asked for "best". An app on your iPad will give you a unit that is ill designed for the marine environment that will be of little use on a sunny day because of screen glare. I have the garmin blue chart app on my iPhone but only consider it a back up - not a prime navigation device.
    Trophy likes this.

Share This Page