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Lowrance hds7 or garmin 740s

Been weighing which of these machines is going to be the better bang for my buck. I've used the lowrance hds8 on our towboat and it is a pretty good system all the way around once you learn to navigate it. It has all the bells and whistles with the sonic hub, radar w/ overlay, and side scan. We also have the google chip which puts out some great images. All said and done this comes out to a pretty expensive setup.

On my buddies ride is the garmin 740s. It is a typical garmin, easy to use and the sounder paints a pretty good image of the bottom.

Looking for input on pros vs cons of each system. It will be going in a 24 trophy hardtop, and will most likely also be used in the flats boat when I'm running up in new areas.
www.SaltyFishingCharters.com 33 Ft World Cat Tournament Edition Catamaran
Offshore Fishing Charters FT Myers, Sanibel, Captiva, Cape Coral
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Replies

  • Capt Dan MedinaCapt Dan Medina Posts: 795 Officer
    What I am looking for mostly is a good all around nav/sounder. I will be doing alot of exploring and probeing and want the machine that is going to maximize the potential. Will be looking for grouper holes, rock piles, etc,

    Thanks
    www.SaltyFishingCharters.com 33 Ft World Cat Tournament Edition Catamaran
    Offshore Fishing Charters FT Myers, Sanibel, Captiva, Cape Coral
  • perlman1234perlman1234 Posts: 1,449 Officer
    Best bottom fishing machines in my opinion are furuno and raymarine. Some may argue about the side imaging but I have had the hds. As far as bottom reading deep the others just do not compare. If I only could choose between the two and they were being used for both inshore and offshore I would go lowrance. Thats onky because of those factors. Do your self a favor and get thru hull transducer no matter what for the offshore boat.
  • Capt Dan MedinaCapt Dan Medina Posts: 795 Officer
    Thru hull is def the way I am going. Most of the fishing will be done is less that 200 ft of water. The occasional trip to Miami/keys is not out of the question.
    www.SaltyFishingCharters.com 33 Ft World Cat Tournament Edition Catamaran
    Offshore Fishing Charters FT Myers, Sanibel, Captiva, Cape Coral
  • SJCSJC Posts: 2,571 Captain
    Best bottom fishing machines in my opinion are furuno and raymarine. Some may argue about the side imaging but I have had the hds. As far as bottom reading deep the others just do not compare. If I only could choose between the two and they were being used for both inshore and offshore I would go lowrance. Thats onky because of those factors. Do your self a favor and get thru hull transducer no matter what for the offshore boat.

    That Raymarine you have is ****
    The Beatings will continue until moral improves!
  • capeanglercapeangler Posts: 586 Officer
    I agree with Perl 1,000,000 Percent.

    Before you sink the money into a Garmin or Lowrance Unit; go out and fish with someone with a Ray Marine or Runo and see how their sounder/Transducer operates. If you are going to be doing a lot of bottom fishing; your sounder and your transducer will be far more important than chart plotter /GPS Functionality. Garmin’s are highly regarded in the world of GPS/Chart Plotters (Not any better than RM’s & Runo’s) but they are not in the same class as RM & Runo in Sounder Technology and Functionality.

    Many of your inshore & near shore guides use Garmin’s & Lowrance; I suspect mostly because you can get a lot of screen for the money. They are also attractive to many recs because of ease of use and all the bells & whistles. I run a friend’s late model Edgewater with a new 12” Lowrance and I absolutely HATE IT. The ability to distinguish bottom features in 80 - 100’+++ water is nearly impossible. You can’t distinguish between bait, fish and structure! The only time you can see a show is if it’s 15’ high! The Garmin is more detailed. The Runo’s and RM’s are off the chart. A good friend of mine has an HDS7 on an inshore boat….that’s where it belongs IMO…..LOL

    Also keep in mind other uses for the machine as you do more and more offshore fishing, i.e.; the ability to transfer and manage waypoints on other software (Nav Planner, etc.), integration with other MFD (Twin screens) and devices (XM with Chart Overlay); waypoint memory, etc., etc. As you spend more time offshore, you’ll be constantly adding to your electronics.

    I run twin Ray Marine MFD’s. If did not already start with Ray Marines, I’d have two Furunos, which in my opinion are even better. But pricewise, RM’s are a little less pricey.

    One of the best deals on the net is a 14” Ray Marine C140, new in the box with a warranty directly from Ray Marine for $999! Last year’s model, but still bad **** and only a cple hundred dollars more than the Garmin you’re looking at. These units were going for over 3k when they were first introduced.

    https://www.raymarinestore.com/index.php/chartplotters-mfds/e62115-us.html
  • perlman1234perlman1234 Posts: 1,449 Officer
    Thats a hell of a deal..... As far as the actual gps function of raymarine, the garmin is better. But its not like you are sacrificing anything because its not that much better.
  • Capt Dan MedinaCapt Dan Medina Posts: 795 Officer
    Capeangler, lmk when you have an opening. I am not opposed to the other brands, just have not had the experience using them offshore. Most of my fishing has been inshore, where I use the chart plotter more than a sounder looking for bottom. I'd rather spend the money once vs buying cheap and having to buy again.
    www.SaltyFishingCharters.com 33 Ft World Cat Tournament Edition Catamaran
    Offshore Fishing Charters FT Myers, Sanibel, Captiva, Cape Coral
  • perlman1234perlman1234 Posts: 1,449 Officer
    Then listen to what both cape and I have said and spend it wisely. Raymarine or furuno is the way to go.....
  • Capt Dan MedinaCapt Dan Medina Posts: 795 Officer
    The ray marine in the link looks like a nice buy, and the screen size is impressive. Not that I don't value your guys opinions, as i obviously do, otherwise i wouldnt be asking. But I'd still like to see the difference in person. It's like they say, seeing is believing
    www.SaltyFishingCharters.com 33 Ft World Cat Tournament Edition Catamaran
    Offshore Fishing Charters FT Myers, Sanibel, Captiva, Cape Coral
  • perlman1234perlman1234 Posts: 1,449 Officer
    I get it... big investment. Go to your nearest westmarine and check them out. I have the e7d hybridtouch and it is amazing... The hds is great for down/side imaging however if what you do is bottomfish in 70-300ft or any offshore fishing really the raymarine or furuno is what you want. If you know what to look for when searching for grouper/snapper you should be able to tell the difference in machines just by looking at them at westmarine.
  • capeanglercapeangler Posts: 586 Officer
    But with Garmin and Lowrance you have an option of turning on “Fish Symbols”………………..if that tells you anything.

    Seriously though, if you run down to the Marinas, you will notice EVERY Charter Boat, Commercial Boat and Government Agency equipped with Furuno and Ray Marine (Mostly Furuno) Bottom Machines and Radar. You are seeing more and more with Garmin Chartplotters. But as said, the bottom machine is far more important than the charplotter. If you only had the physical or financial room for one Multi-Function Display, then the emphasis is placed on bottom recognition. These days, you are seeing more commercial and professional offshore boats equipped with Garmin Chartplotters, BUT they will not sway away from Furuno & Raymarine bottom machines & Radar.

    Personally, I like everything to match, and have chosen twin Ray Marine Units.

    I don’t have experience with side scan, structure scan, etc. I’m not confident the technology has a place (And capacity) in deep water bottom and fish recognition. Ray Marine recently introduced an inexpensive Dragon Fly Unit to compete in the entry level market with Lowrance, Hummingbird, etc. IMO, and perhaps I am old school, but it’s Bass & Freshwater application being applied to big boy fishing. I guess it’s ok if you’re fishing in 15-30 foot of water and you can’t read a machine, and you need to know you are looking at a rock pile and not a bait ball, but I’ve never even heard of any of the professional and certainly commercial operators subscribing to the technology.

    The Garmin and Lowrance will run you around $900. The comparable Ray Marine A Series around $1,100 and E Series around $1,600, Furuno basic 7” MFDs will start around $1,500, a lot more once you enter into the Nav Net realm, plus you have to add transducers to all of these units. You’ll want at least a 500W thru hull. 1K if you are fishing deep (100’+) and/or want to be able to clearly define the bottom at cruise speed.

    Either way, go to WM in FM. They have a pretty good selection of screens to look at. Then it’s best to fish with a few people with the units you are considering and see them in action. They all work well in 50-60 foot of water. You want to see them in action in 100’++ of water, especially if you have a boat capable of fishing those depths.

    Dan – Sent you a PM.
  • perlman1234perlman1234 Posts: 1,449 Officer
    A 600w thru-hull will do ya fine. I think cape was talking 1,000 feet for the 1k. I think all now use airmar transducers which are great. The b119 bronze thru-hull is perfect for what we do.


    Edit.. I have the b60 20 degrees because of the deadrise of my boat.
  • FinsfanFinsfan Posts: 604 Officer
    I got an HDS-8 love mine with a SonicHub system.
  • FinsfanFinsfan Posts: 604 Officer
    capeangler wrote: »
    But with Garmin and Lowrance you have an option of turning on “Fish Symbols”………………..if that tells you anything.

    Seriously though, if you run down to the Marinas, you will notice EVERY Charter Boat, Commercial Boat and Government Agency equipped with Furuno and Ray Marine (Mostly Furuno) Bottom Machines and Radar. You are seeing more and more with Garmin Chartplotters. But as said, the bottom machine is far more important than the charplotter. If you only had the physical or financial room for one Multi-Function Display, then the emphasis is placed on bottom recognition. These days, you are seeing more commercial and professional offshore boats equipped with Garmin Chartplotters, BUT they will not sway away from Furuno & Raymarine bottom machines & Radar.

    Personally, I like everything to match, and have chosen twin Ray Marine Units.

    I don’t have experience with side scan, structure scan, etc. I’m not confident the technology has a place (And capacity) in deep water bottom and fish recognition. Ray Marine recently introduced an inexpensive Dragon Fly Unit to compete in the entry level market with Lowrance, Hummingbird, etc. IMO, and perhaps I am old school, but it’s Bass & Freshwater application being applied to big boy fishing. I guess it’s ok if you’re fishing in 15-30 foot of water and you can’t read a machine, and you need to know you are looking at a rock pile and not a bait ball, but I’ve never even heard of any of the professional and certainly commercial operators subscribing to the technology.

    The Garmin and Lowrance will run you around $900. The comparable Ray Marine A Series around $1,100 and E Series around $1,600, Furuno basic 7” MFDs will start around $1,500, a lot more once you enter into the Nav Net realm, plus you have to add transducers to all of these units. You’ll want at least a 500W thru hull. 1K if you are fishing deep (100’+) and/or want to be able to clearly define the bottom at cruise speed.

    Either way, go to WM in FM. They have a pretty good selection of screens to look at. Then it’s best to fish with a few people with the units you are considering and see them in action. They all work well in 50-60 foot of water. You want to see them in action in 100’++ of water, especially if you have a boat capable of fishing those depths.

    Dan – Sent you a PM.

    I still can't get my father to turn off those stupid fish symbols....I sigh every time I see that depth finder.
  • Capt Dan MedinaCapt Dan Medina Posts: 795 Officer
    The fish symbols remind me of the movie hot rod Johnson.
    www.SaltyFishingCharters.com 33 Ft World Cat Tournament Edition Catamaran
    Offshore Fishing Charters FT Myers, Sanibel, Captiva, Cape Coral
  • Jason117Jason117 Posts: 57 Deckhand
    I have an Elite 7 HDi and it's okay for the money. I wish I knew about that Raymarine deal about 7 months ago!
  • capeanglercapeangler Posts: 586 Officer
    A 600w thru-hull will do ya fine. I think cape was talking 1,000 feet for the 1k. I think all now use airmar transducers which are great. The b119 bronze thru-hull is perfect for what we do.

    Edit.. I have the b60 20 degrees because of the deadrise of my boat.

    I also have a 600W on my bay boat. Does well here in the west coast. However, when fishing the east coast and the keys, which I do several times a year; the 1KW is necessary. I had a 1KW on my former offshore boat, and I could see a Pinfish talking to Nemo at 80 feet sitting on top of a conch shell doing 25 MPH.
    Jason117 wrote: »
    I have an Elite 7 HDi and it's okay for the money. I wish I knew about that Raymarine deal about 7 months ago!

    Ray Marine direct is always blowing out “Last years” models at stupid low prices. I find it hilarious that you often see people on craigslist selling their used C & E Series models for 60-75% of new, when you can get brand new for 25-40% of new direct through the manufacturer.
  • KeepCruzingKeepCruzing Posts: 58 Deckhand
    The Garmin 740s is half the price of the Raymarine E7D.

    Buy the Garmin 740s (or 740), AND buy a Furuno FCV627. You will have one of the best chartplotters and one of the best sounders on the market for the same price as that Raymarine.

    Trying to look at one of those 7" screens in split-screen mode is useless.
  • capeanglercapeangler Posts: 586 Officer
    The Garmin 740s is half the price of the Raymarine E7D.

    Buy the Garmin 740s (or 740), AND buy a Furuno FCV627. You will have one of the best chartplotters and one of the best sounders on the market for the same price as that Raymarine.

    Trying to look at one of those 7" screens in split-screen mode is useless.


    Ray Marine A77 (7.5” MFD; used as depth only) $1,046
    Ray Marine A75 (7.5” MFD, without built in sounder) $847
    Ray Marine B60 Thru Hull Transducer $250
    Total $2,143.00

    Furuno FCY 627 (5.7” Screen) $710
    Garmin 740 ($800)
    Furuno 525T-LTD(B60) Thru Hull Transducer $200
    Total $1,710

    I agree, there is nothing like twin screens. I am always messing with my sounder and plotter. Much easier with twin screens, plus the redundancy if you lose operation in one.

    I still would go for the twin Ray Marine “A” Series. Two identical 7” screens. Both touch screen, blue tooth, etc. If I am drifting and my screens are not in view of where I am fishing from, it’s nice to be able to look at my smart phone and see what kind of bottom I am drifting over; enabling me to quickly find bottom when a show appears. I can also control my Fusion with my Ray Marine units. The “E” Series without a doubt has more functions, but they are pricier.

    One very important detail to compare is warranty period. Garmin has 1yr, Furuno 2 yrs and Ray Marine has 2 yrs + an additional year if you register the product within 90-days of purchase.
  • namanutnamanut Posts: 66 Deckhand
    whoa!!! u can see your screens via blu tooth? also i dont know about the others but furuno customer service and warranty are excellent
  • capeanglercapeangler Posts: 586 Officer
    namanut wrote: »
    whoa!!! u can see your screens via blu tooth? also i dont know about the others but furuno customer service and warranty are excellent

    I don't like to move much....lol.

    When jigging or drifting with live bait, i'll often lean up against the side of the console where I cant see my screens that are flush mounted in the box. I'll put my droid on the seat so I always know what bottom I am going over. It allows me to quickly pick up slack and redrop when a nice show appears. Not sure, I think I may be able to also control them with my phone. I know I can transfer numbers, etc. and do all kinds of other stuff via blue tooth.
  • Capt Dan MedinaCapt Dan Medina Posts: 795 Officer
    Looking at the c140, I am leaning more and more towards it. I'd like to get the 1kw transducer as it will be used in Miami and the keys a couple times a year. Looks like a pretty good bang for my buck
    www.SaltyFishingCharters.com 33 Ft World Cat Tournament Edition Catamaran
    Offshore Fishing Charters FT Myers, Sanibel, Captiva, Cape Coral
  • capeanglercapeangler Posts: 586 Officer
    Looking at the c140, I am leaning more and more towards it. I'd like to get the 1kw transducer as it will be used in Miami and the keys a couple times a year. Looks like a pretty good bang for my buck

    Careful when budgeting; these are only displays. You will need a transducer ($225 B60 - 600W or $670 B164 - 1KW) and you will also need a DSM 30 (600W) or DSM 300 (1KW) which is around $430 and $650 respectively. All in for a 14" MFD with 1KW you will be at $2,320. new this set up was close to 5k with the DSM and Ducer. The C140 is the 2nd Generation Platform, and unlike the 1st, you will not need a separate antenna.

    The new 3rd generation C Class, you can buy with the built in sounder module, avoiding the requirement and installation of a separate DSM. But then again, the new C 12" screens will run you $2,000 for the C125 (No sounder) and $2,200 with the built in sounder module (On line prices)..... or $2,870 with the built in sounder and a 1KW transducer. RM no longer makes a 14" screen in the C Class (Third Generation). If you want a 14" screen, you have to jump up to E165 (15.4"), which is a whopping $5,300 plus $670 for the transducer. Then you would definitely be balling right alongside the guys with the commercial grade Furunos.

    I've got the 3rd Generation C97s. I purchased in June of 2012, when it first came out. I think I was in it for $1,860 + TX at West Marine (Price matched it online); original price was just under $2,300. WM sells now for $2,200, so there was a slight reduction in price. With some of the new crap coming out for 2014, I would not be surprised if you see further reductions to the new Generation RM's if that is the route you go. The deal on the C140 however, expires in 5 days, and once RM is out of inventory, you wont have a choice but to look at the new generation stuff.
  • perlman1234perlman1234 Posts: 1,449 Officer
    Yeah say what you want about the 7" screen I produce on mine and use split 90 percent of the time. Plus I just hook it up to the tablet which is 10.6" and do it that way. The new features of the raymarine are outstanding. No need for any separate modules which you will have to buy for structure scan and two if used in separate boats. Don't get me wrong having two is definitely better than one hands down. But you were saying two boats and transferring machine. When you are adding up costs make sure you take into account the cost of two separate structure scan kits. Your inshore boat it is not as important to have the thru hull on so you may save a few dollars. I'm not saying anything against furuno but for what you want to do with them a raymarine might suit you better.
  • capeanglercapeangler Posts: 586 Officer
    Yeah say what you want about the 7" screen I produce on mine and use split 90 percent of the time. Plus I just hook it up to the tablet which is 10.6" and do it that way. The new features of the raymarine are outstanding. No need for any separate modules which you will have to buy for structure scan and two if used in separate boats. Don't get me wrong having two is definitely better than one hands down. But you were saying two boats and transferring machine. When you are adding up costs make sure you take into account the cost of two separate structure scan kits. Your inshore boat it is not as important to have the thru hull on so you may save a few dollars. I'm not saying anything against furuno but for what you want to do with them a raymarine might suit you better.

    I never understood the purpose of a depth finder for inshore............
    a. Charlotte Harbor? For what, you are not bottom fishing in the harbor
    b. So you don't run aground? Look over the side
    c. To mark fish? If you cant see the threadfins from the top, their probably too deep to throw the net on anyways (This is the only reason I've ever used a depthfinder anywhere in Pine Island Sound & Charlotte Harbor)

    If Dan picked up a new A, C or E Series with the built in sounder; he can conceivably just buy a 600w transom mount ($140) for the inshore boat (Maybe to fish the pass, etc.;) and a 1KW thru hull for the offshore boat and swap units on a trunion mount. 14" screen is pretty sizeable on any small boat.

    Personally, I would not put money into a low end Furuno. Still much better than a low/mid grade Lowarance or Garmin, but still entry level nonetheless.
  • perlman1234perlman1234 Posts: 1,449 Officer
    capeangler wrote: »
    I never understood the purpose of a depth finder for inshore............
    a. Charlotte Harbor? For what, you are not bottom fishing in the harbor
    b. So you don't run aground? Look over the side
    c. To mark fish? If you cant see the threadfins from the top, their probably too deep to throw the net on anyways (This is the only reason I've ever used a depthfinder anywhere in Pine Island Sound & Charlotte Harbor)

    If Dan picked up a new A, C or E Series with the built in sounder; he can conceivably just buy a 600w transom mount ($140) for the inshore boat (Maybe to fish the pass, etc.;) and a 1KW thru hull for the offshore boat and swap units on a trunion mount. 14" screen is pretty sizeable on any small boat.

    Personally, I would not put money into a low end Furuno. Still much better than a low/mid grade Lowarance or Garmin, but still entry level nonetheless.


    I agree cape, but in tampa you need one. We catch gags and snapper here in the bay and have deep dropoffs with structure everywhere. A 14" screen on an inshore boat might be overkill.... lol. However on an offshore boat it is necessary... 1kw or 600w... do whatever you like. 1kw is def more sensitive than the 600w but I will tell you I have no problem with mine at all and I read bottom at 30+mph. Cape is right on everything though do not just buy cheaper good gear. It never works out great for you in the end. If all you want is an offshore set up dual machines is of course the best bet. If you want an all around set up please do your research and you will find the lowrance and garmin are sub par for a bottom fishing machine. Of course this is only my opinion
  • capeanglercapeangler Posts: 586 Officer
    [/B]

    I agree cape, but in tampa you need one. We catch gags and snapper here in the bay and have deep dropoffs with structure everywhere. A 14" screen on an inshore boat might be overkill.... lol. However on an offshore boat it is necessary... 1kw or 600w... do whatever you like. 1kw is def more sensitive than the 600w but I will tell you I have no problem with mine at all and I read bottom at 30+mph. Cape is right on everything though do not just buy cheaper good gear. It never works out great for you in the end. If all you want is an offshore set up dual machines is of course the best bet. If you want an all around set up please do your research and you will find the lowrance and garmin are sub par for a bottom fishing machine. Of course this is only my opinion

    Yes, I agree. I've fished Tampa Bay / Egmont several times and that's offshore fishing to me.....lol. Charlotte harbor is all sand with the only breaks, etc. toward the hill and obv BGP. The artificial reefs in the harbor are all marked and hold nothing but junk fish.

    I know I have a hell of a time distinguishing bottom in 250-400' with current, using the 600w in the keys & east coast. Kinda looked like reading my friend's 12" Lowrance in 110 foot of water...lol.
  • perlman1234perlman1234 Posts: 1,449 Officer
    capeangler wrote: »
    Yes, I agree. I've fished Tampa Bay / Egmont several times and that's offshore fishing to me.....lol. Charlotte harbor is all sand with the only breaks, etc. toward the hill and obv BGP. The artificial reefs in the harbor are all marked and hold nothing but junk fish.

    I know I have a hell of a time distinguishing bottom in 250-400' with current, using the 600w in the keys & east coast. Kinda looked like reading my friend's 12" Lowrance in 110 foot of water...lol.


    Thick glasses may help... but please leave the cane at home. lol
  • capeanglercapeangler Posts: 586 Officer
    [/B]

    Thick glasses may help... but please leave the cane at home. lol

    I'm going to find (Or will take one) a screen shot of this 12" HDS in 100+' of water.........you need good numbers with the ability to position anchor right on the number because you aint making sense of what's bottom and what's fish, etc.; even if you adjust the machine to zoom in on the last 30 foot of water.
  • perlman1234perlman1234 Posts: 1,449 Officer
    Prob would look like this..... other than the bait ball **** is this? Lava?
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