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Looking for advice

I am looking to add a fish finder/ GPS unit to the kayak. I've never looked into these and was wanting some expert advice. I want to try and keep it under $300- $400. I've done several searches but don't really know what I want. :banghead Are color displays something that I'll probably wish I had? Is the DSI worth the extra $? I plan to use it mainly inshore and freshwater. What do you guys use, recommend and why? Thanks in advance for the advice.

Replies

  • lckirklckirk Posts: 87 Greenhorn
    Walmart has one for 99 bucks. I think it is the hummingbird, my brother-in-law has one and it works just fine. It is a b/w display, But for the money you can't beat it. This is just a finder no gps. They have apps for your smart phone if you have one, that are great gps app.
  • Captain YakCaptain Yak Posts: 679 Officer
    Check out the Lowrance® Elite-4 Color Fishfinder/Chartplotter Combo.

    Bass Pro has it for $299, but you won't ever need to upgrade it for a Kayak. You can also get it in B&W for $199. Personally, I like the color which I feel it's the best bang for your buck. It has a color screen with preloaded maps and fishing spots. Humminbird makes a fishfinder geared towards kayaking (385ci) which is $400. It is more money and only has basic maps... You get more with the Lowrance.

    It's a huge benefit to have preloaded maps!! I have a Humminbird 597 HD DI ($650) which only has basic maps that would need to be upgraded for $200 to compare to the $300 Lowrance... The only minor drawback to the Lowrance is that the maps are not upgradeable. IMO this is only a drawaback if your running a charter boat or travelling where you would always need the most up to date navionics. Then again they are $200 to upgrade...

    Check it out and go look in person. There are many different kinds out there, but for a Kayak they basically come down to Price, Picture, Size, Maps...

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    If you don't lose, you will eventually win.
    - Helio Gracie

    Links:
    YouTube - SoFlo Kayak Fishing
    Valente Brother's Jiu-Jitsu Fort Lauderdale
  • FLATS BROKEFLATS BROKE Posts: 2,060 Captain
    If you are only fishing inshore & freshwater save your money.
  • thefuzz253thefuzz253 Posts: 57 Deckhand
    If you are only fishing inshore & freshwater save your money.

    I may go offshore if the chance came up. I've just never been and wouldn't attempt it without a guide. Most of my fishing has been out of Mudd River area south of Homosassa. I'm going to look at an Elite-4 today at Old Salt Marine. They said they'd match BP's price.
  • quatinquatin Posts: 598 Officer
    If offshore is even a question, get a GPS/Sonar combo. Hummingbird 381 has great reviews and is very popular with kayaks, because they offer a kayak mounting kit. It should be right in your price range around $300. Lowrance also has an entry level GPS/Sonar combo a bit cheaper if you can find a deal.

    I find color to be a bad option. It takes more battery life, plus it doesn't give you more information than gray scale. DSI looks like a neat option if you can get it, but I don't see it as being necessary.
  • BobbkkatBobbkkat Posts: 141 Officer
    Humminbird has a unit that runs about $150 and does not need any mounting. Its the smartcast series and i think is overlooked by most kayak anglers. It is a green bobber that is casted out and sends a signal to a wireless unit that is actually pretty detailed. It is in a portable little carry box and can go anywhere, and is great for easily storing in my kayak. I fish inshore usually but when i fish deep channels or offshore i can simply tie the bobber to the side of my kayak and the screen is in front of me. Ive had it for a few years now and i really enjoy it.

    Tight lines,
    Coby Pawlowski
  • thefuzz253thefuzz253 Posts: 57 Deckhand
    Thanks guys for the advice. I picked up the Lowrance Elite-4. I'm waiting on a few more parts and then I'll get it installed. I picked up a battery today for it. Now I just need to find some foam blocks to cut and use as a cradle to mount the battery
  • Captain YakCaptain Yak Posts: 679 Officer
    thefuzz253 wrote: »
    Thanks guys for the advice. I picked up the Lowrance Elite-4. I'm waiting on a few more parts and then I'll get it installed. I picked up a battery today for it. Now I just need to find some foam blocks to cut and use as a cradle to mount the battery
    I think you made a good choice. Did you get the color or B&W?

    Look at my thread about my Tarpon 140 in the kayak section of the forum and you can see an easy way to mount the transducer. It is less than $2 and has no issues.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    If you don't lose, you will eventually win.
    - Helio Gracie

    Links:
    YouTube - SoFlo Kayak Fishing
    Valente Brother's Jiu-Jitsu Fort Lauderdale
  • thefuzz253thefuzz253 Posts: 57 Deckhand
    Thanks Captain Yak. I really liked a lot of the features it came with. I bought the color model. I kept hearing about how hard the B&W's were hard to read in the sun. I didn't want to regret not getting it later. I've seen that install method somewhere else. I think that is the route I'm going with mine. I've heard to many horror stories about air bubbles getting in the epoxy and marine silicone causing lots of problems. I'm planning on doing the install on Sunday.
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