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Lowrance verses Garmin need purchase advice

T.granthamT.grantham Posts: 14 Deckhand
Want a gps/bottom machine. could be 2 separate units. Which do you think would be best? Why? Need units for nearshore reefs, towers, 40 mile bottom.

Can spend 1200.00, looking at Lowrance HDS 7 Gen 2 w/ side scan gen 2. Also looking at Garmin 740s. Not locked in to these, just looking for the best bang for the buck. Have a Garmin 178 sounder, will be kept on the boat for backup unit.

Help advice needed.


  • SRQ Hunt and FishSRQ Hunt and Fish Posts: 51 Deckhand
    I did the same thing last summer between units... I upgraded from a garmin 498 and really liked the idea of sidescan. After messing with a few friends units on the bottom i usually fish, I realized it (sidescan) was nice, but was not something i would use all the time. I really like my 740 and the upgraded sounder on the unit is pretty good for the money. I would like a 620L at sometime but realistically, my set up now is ideal for my boat and the west coast florida fishing I do now. Not to mention, Garmin GPSmap is soo much easier to use and cleaner.
  • avmechavmech Jupiter, FLPosts: 1,373 Officer
    I went with HDS8 Gen 2, third Lowrance unit, which I originally went to from Garmin many years ago. Changed because of cartography issues (blue charts and other Garmin charts).

    Not running sidescan either, have no need for it.
    Joined: Oct 7 2002
    Member #10822
  • Ketch-upKetch-up Posts: 305 Officer
    Sidescan is not much good in water over 60 or 70 feet. I have the 178 Garmin and put the Lowrance Hds7 beside it. I love the set-up.
  • larrywittlarrywitt Posts: 2,778 Moderator
    I find garmin easy use,have had many through the years. I now have a 3210 the 10inch screen is great, just added a 546s next to it..Great combo for me.. I can navigate to a location with the 546 and use the 3210 as the sounder..The garmin 740 looks like a nice unit..Just my 2 cents worth..
  • temmortemmor Posts: 74 Deckhand
    I used Lowrance for years but went to Garmin for one reason - SERVICE!Unless something has changed, if you have a problem with Lowrance you cannot have it fixed locally. In fact you cannot even buy parts. This has happened to me twice with Lowrance. The products failed, once after only three years of use, and I call them and they tell me the unit is no longer produced and no longer being repaird. As I said, one unit was only three years old and they no longer serviced the unit! An electronics dealer told me they have a program to replace units, at a reduced price, that cannot be repaired. I called Lowrance back and they told me my unit did not qualify for the reduced price replacement program.
    In a way they did me a favor because I bought a Garmin unit and in my opinion the quality was as good or better than Lowrance and it is more intuitive so it is easier to use. This is especially true if you need to use a function that you have not used for a long time.
  • Reeltight79Reeltight79 Posts: 70 Deckhand
    Garmin all the way.
  • johnalkijohnalki Posts: 514 Officer
    On advice from my friend eric (plane fishin) who is a pilot and knows about electronic navigation;i recently bought a 740s garmin touch screen from the GPS store while it was on sale and added a transome mounted transducer for $1050..Later found out west marine had the same sale going on for that unit.I love it and can read the bottom at 750ft deep dropping
  • heavychevy15heavychevy15 Posts: 838 Officer
    love garmin, easiest to use in my opinion
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