Garmin Striker Plus/EchoMap VS Humminbird Helix VS Lowrance

Rich MRich M Posts: 961 Officer
I'm looking for a decent downfinder/sidefinder unit and don't want to spend over $1,000.

Was looking at the Striker Plus 7SV and Helix 7 units at BPS. Staff had no personal experience with the sidefinder units. They knew how to work em, just never used them.

$500 Garmin was easier to mess with in that it had less options to fish thru. $850 Humminbird seemed to have better fine tuning ability but lots more screens to weed thru.

I run a 17 CC with 55 hp - like to fish snapper on the reefs on calm days. Not worried about charts - wanting a unit to find fish balls & structure in less than say 200 ft.

Can anyone lend an opinion or two?

Replies

  • Alex from GAAlex from GA Posts: 1,165 Officer
    IMO the Lowrance units are the best fish locating units and Garmin has the best GPS. I've used the Helix 7 and it does both things well but, as you say, the Humminbirds have a mess of screens to go through until you get the ones you want.
  • Knot LeftKnot Left Posts: 72 Greenhorn
    IMO the Lowrance units are the best fish locating units and Garmin has the best GPS. I've used the Helix 7 and it does both things well but, as you say, the Humminbirds have a mess of screens to go through until you get the ones you want.

    Best in what respect? Comparing one to the other for the same approximate price points, the units are all about the same in terms of their accuracy and what they can do with respect to GPS. Its just one person's preference on a menu selection and user interface vs a different set up. They both do exactly the same thing with slightly different key strokes. Once you learn them, they is no huge difference in working the unit and as far as the capability of the GPS itself they are equal. One is not hugely more reliable than the other. The accuracy is the same. Its just personal preference like new Ford trucks Vs. Chevy trucks or Mercs vs. Yamaha.
    There are differences in the sonar capability and I agree on that Navico is better overall, particularly in shallow water. But forget the units, the maps that run in them are different and that is what you stare at GPS wise all day. Garmin clearly has the worst maps so just based on that Garmin is the worst choice. And that is not opinion on the maps. They just are what they are and side by side Garmin maps are horrible compared to others and especially near shore.
  • mikenavmikenav Posts: 647 Officer
    Lowrance tend to be very easy to use, very idiot-proof, if you will. Garmins seem to be a little more difficult in that sense. Everybody points to Garmin as having the best GPS, but we're to the point where my watch has a GPS now, I would think that gap has probably closed quite a bit. Lowrance uses Navionics maps, which can be updated as often as you'd like. Garmin does not, so far.

    Personally, I prefer Lowrance units, but you're mostly right when you say it's a Ford vs Chevy thing. You go with what you know.

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