Central Coast Kayak Fishing Reports

KAYAK RIGGING => Gear Talk => Topic started by: sloman1623 on June 30, 2014, 08:25 AM

Title: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: sloman1623 on June 30, 2014, 08:25 AM
  Hi everyone!  I have an OldTown Predator 13...Need to get a FF/GPS..Does anyone have suggestions for a useful/practical unit for my Boat?
There are so many models that it gets confusing...any help would be appreciated..thanks...SLOMAN
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: RipTide aka Cor-Dawg on June 30, 2014, 11:40 AM
I'm in the same position as you. I don't want to buy a crap unit so I've held off. And I don't want to overpay either
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: MikeinFresno on June 30, 2014, 01:38 PM
for a nice under $200 unit I use the Lowrance Mark 4. Its B&W, built in GPS, and has AMAZING screen clarity. You can easily see your lures go down and while jigging.
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: Dogpound on June 30, 2014, 05:40 PM
I have a lowrance elite 4,  same as the mark 4 just color.  I really like it, but there are a lot of good units out there, humminbirds are really nice as well.  Once you decide a budget,  then maybe you can narrow down a bit more
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: SeaWeed on June 30, 2014, 05:55 PM
Be careful when buying the elite 4 SDI and HDI. The SDI doesn't  work well in salt water over 60 ft. This was verified on the NCKA site and there is a guy who does classes for lowrance he verified what was said about the SDI. 
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: Dogpound on June 30, 2014, 06:59 PM
Good point, there was thread about this not long ago, would suggest reading it, had a lot of good info on finders, think it was in the product review section.
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: sloman1623 on July 01, 2014, 07:21 AM
Thanks for the feedback....my budget is , well, around 200.oo as it could get jacked up in the surf....havent rolled yet, but I'm sure it will happen
one day!
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: RHYAK on July 01, 2014, 07:48 AM
Thanks for the feedback....my budget is , well, around 200.oo as it could get jacked up in the surf....havent rolled yet, but I'm sure it will happen
one day!

If I have any I mean any feeling of rolling in the surf I pull my FF head going out and coming in.
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: Suckafish on July 01, 2014, 11:47 AM
Yeah I've tried to educate myself as well and I just keep getting more confused.  Frustrating. ..
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: SeaWeed on July 01, 2014, 09:50 PM
If you want some straight Information. Ask FishingForTheCure on the NCKA site. He does classes for Lowrance and is a straight shooter. I think he would be a good resource. He gets no commission, and used to Manage a west Martine store I think.
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: Dogpound on July 01, 2014, 10:00 PM
I think in the end there are a lot of good units out there, And you have to think Bout what features are really important to you and at what Price.  There is  lot of new technology out there, but personally I have been happy with a color ff/chart plotter without hdi, or dsi etc.  MYbe I don't know what I am missing, but .....I'm good with it.
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: Madcat on July 03, 2014, 08:41 AM
Check out the Hodges Marine site. Their prices are by far the lowest I found while looking to buy my FF/GPS. I seriously don't know how they are so damned low.
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: caliyak on July 03, 2014, 10:26 PM
SLOman, I might be new to the ff game and I'm not experienced with all the makes and models, but I love my Garmin. I know Garmin is not a well known ff company like hummin or low, so check out the EchoMap models.
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: Elkhornsun on July 11, 2014, 05:48 PM
Check out the transducer mounting options. I would expect that the Humminbird with the plastic thru-hull transducer that is designed for the Ocean Kayak angler kayaks' fishing scuppers may also work with your kayak. These are more expensive as the transducer costs $75 with the Humminbird exchange program or $130 otherwise.

Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: SteveR213 on March 14, 2017, 09:59 AM
Came across this and had a couple questions for you guys.  I have a BG2 and got the Humminbird Helix5 Sonar/GPS and the thru hull transducer for it.  Been looking at a few videos online as far the fishfinder goes and what it can do, but there isn't much for the GPS side. The offshore GPS stuff is all new to me.  Are you guys finding it pretty easy to navigate/chartplot with them? Let's say you head out, drift way off course, and want to call it a day.  I get setting a waypoint for the launch and all, but between the two there's a pretty big gap. 
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: mxnocean on March 14, 2017, 09:33 PM
I got a used elite 5. Not the dsi or newer fancy one. Just the the regular elite 5. I bought it used on ebay and it came with the mark 5x and the transducer. It works great. Color, 5 inch screen, and GPS. It was 210 bucks delivered. And love it. Just a thought. Especially for bugdet buys. All you really need. GPS. Depth and stucture  ;D
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: RipTide aka Cor-Dawg on March 14, 2017, 10:42 PM
Came across this and had a couple questions for you guys.  I have a BG2 and got the Humminbird Helix5 Sonar/GPS and the thru hull transducer for it.  Been looking at a few videos online as far the fishfinder goes and what it can do, but there isn't much for the GPS side. The offshore GPS stuff is all new to me.  Are you guys finding it pretty easy to navigate/chartplot with them? Let's say you head out, drift way off course, and want to call it a day.  I get setting a waypoint for the launch and all, but between the two there's a pretty big gap.
I have a Lowrance elite 4 and it tracks the paths that you travel.
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: H2joe on March 15, 2017, 01:17 PM
I have elite 4 and it would be impossible to get lost out there with this ff. It tracks where you've been and you can simply follow your tracks back to shore.
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: Big_Mac on March 16, 2017, 01:23 AM
I recommend the Lowrance 000-11827-001 Mark-4 Chirp Fishfinder/Chartplotter 50/200 455/800 Transom Mount Transducer. It is a great unit. This was also the first one since the last one I ever used back in the 80s. It used paper instead of a screen  :o. It hasn't even let me down. It is VERY sensitive. I can see my fishing line along with my jig bouncing off of the bottom. I bought the mark over the Elite because of battery usage. the color seems to eat up battery juice a little quicker. in hind sight I wish I would have bought the Elite and just bought a bigger battery with more amp hours. From what i have seen....the color screens seem to be a little better at differentiating the types of bottom I'd be fishing in. You can also see thermoclines a little better. the bigger transducer may pose an issue with your scupper/transducer area. It may be too big. I had to kind of Jerry-rig mine to make it fit. if you ever need help...let me know. I can send you pics for ideas if you end up getting the unit. Good luck in your search. i know all of the info out there can be a bit daunting.
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: GoBruins on August 28, 2017, 06:18 AM
Would a 7" fishfinder be completely ridiculous on a kayak?
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: Zodiacker on August 28, 2017, 01:45 PM
for a nice under $200 unit I use the Lowrance Mark 4. Its B&W, built in GPS, and has AMAZING screen clarity. You can easily see your lures go down and while jigging.

I have the same.

I Zod Out
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: Dogpound on August 28, 2017, 09:37 PM
@go bruins I don't think it would be.  There are lot of guys using them.  I tend to see them more with the guys that are mainly/only bass fishing, there are other guys using them too.  I think FlyYaker has a Raymarine Dragonfly 7.  maybe he will chime in.  I do know they will take more battery power  to run especially if you are using sidescan, down scan, etc.   
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: GoBruins on August 29, 2017, 09:36 AM
Thanks. I like the idea of having the nav/sonar split screen, and anything smaller than a 7" screen is annoying.
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: Life_is_Yak on August 30, 2017, 10:19 AM
Thanks for the feedback....my budget is , well, around 200.oo as it could get jacked up in the surf....havent rolled yet, but I'm sure it will happen
one day!
I have a Hummingbird 798 si.  It does side imaging and down imaging any so far I've rolled my yak twice in the surf.  I keep it in a box so my stuff doesn't go everywhere, but the box fills with water quickly.  The first time I rolled I found it floating inside my box about 30 minutes later (didn't realize the box would take that much water so fast).  Second time the box only got a little water.  So far no issues.  Just need to clean and grease the contacts.

I like side imaging because it tells me which side of the boat the bait balls are on and can help you find holes or big structure to the left or right.  It does take some getting use to and I don't think it will ever be super clear in the ocean because of action but I wouldn't want a unit without it after having it.  On still water you can pick out fish.  There are lots of great units in the $500 range and I would bet you could find an older unit like my for cheaper.

As far as battery life goes I can get 3 or 4 day out of a charge.  I'm using a battery that weighs about 5 lbs.  about the same as you would find in a sport bike.
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: Life_is_Yak on August 30, 2017, 10:26 AM
Would a 7" fishfinder be completely ridiculous on a kayak?
I would love a 7" personally.  One you can keep it further away and still see the small details easily and 2 you can watch more stuff at once and still see the detail.
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: GoBruins on August 30, 2017, 10:40 AM
Nice. Does it involve installing multiple transducers?
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: Life_is_Yak on August 30, 2017, 03:27 PM
Nice. Does it involve installing multiple transducers?
mine has a single compact transducer.  its roughly 2.5"x3.5"x1"  it also has they mounting bracket that sticks up about 1.25".

right now mine is mounted on an arm that swings out to the side of the boat.
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: GoBruins on September 01, 2017, 10:16 AM
Criminy - them Side View models at 7" are big $$$. They are literally 1/2 the price of the kayak itself, lol.
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: billydog on September 02, 2017, 07:17 AM
just got the lorance hook 7
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: GoBruins on September 04, 2017, 10:57 AM
Billydog - what are your thoughts so far on the Hook 7?
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: GoBruins on September 07, 2017, 10:07 AM
Took Life Is Yak's advice and got one with the sideview.

I went with the Garmin Striker 7SV. The one feature I really wish it had is a MicroSD slot for transferring data back and forth between other units and my PC. Oh well, it was about the cheapest sideview model with a 7" screen.

I think if money wasn't a factor, I would have gone with the Humminbird equivalent.
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: Life_is_Yak on September 08, 2017, 08:45 AM
Took Life Is Yak's advice and got one with the sideview.

I went with the Garmin Striker 7SV. The one feature I really wish it had is a MicroSD slot for transferring data back and forth between other units and my PC. Oh well, it was about the cheapest sideview model with a 7" screen.

I think if money wasn't a factor, I would have gone with the Humminbird equivalent.
Wow.. I just googled the Garmin Striker 7SV unit and it looks really nice.  I've heard garmin comes with some really good maps.  Post back on how you like it.  it makes me tempted.  I really like the 7" screens and I didn't know you could get a unit that size for $400.  Plus it has chirp which should really help pick out fish under schools of bait.  As long as their under the boat.

Report back once you've used it a few times
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: Zwaterman on September 30, 2017, 05:51 AM
I purchased a Dragonfly 7 pro from Prokayakfishing, just before Slam Down. I had a humminbird Helix 5 before this. Let me tell you what, this Dragonfly unit is lightyears better than the Helix. I love the huge screen. The charts are way better. And the function lets are far more user friendly.
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: GoBruins on September 30, 2017, 05:41 PM
Alrighty then - I've used the Garmin a few times. Here's what I learned. I've used Lowrance units in the past, so I can compare the qualities between the two.

1. The build quality goes to Lowrance. Everything just seems more robust: cables, the plastic housing. It's a notch better than the Garmin stuff.
2. User interface. Garmin is much more intuitive. Having a dedicated "back" button makes things *so* much easier. Navigating the menu system is light years better than the Lowrance (imo).
3. The GPS feature seems to be better on the Garmin. More sensitive and responsive. Makes a huge difference when you drift off a spot and want to quickly get back to it. Because the GPS is so sensitive, you can quickly get back on track, whereas with the Lowrance, you have to pedal/paddle some feet before it figures out which direction you're going. You spend more time going around in circles.
4. The sonar features appear to be about equal. I think the CHIRP is a nice feature to have.
5. Having the 7" screen is so very nice. It means I can have the map and sonar screens side by side (the two functions I use the most), and they're both readable. Invaluable.
6. I can't really comment on the Sideview yet. I do a lot of fishing in 150'++ waters, and the Down Imaging and Side Images simply don't come into play. It did appear to be working ok the one time i took it to a pond. The burning question is: is Sideview impacted by the fact that I have the transducer in-hull? I use Duct Seal to keep the transducer in place.
7. Again, the one feature I really wish the Garmins had was the microSD slot. But I suppose you can't have everything.

All in all, I'd purchase again. It's capable, easy to use, and easy on the wallet. As a matter of fact, I bought the little Striker 4" unit for my other kayak, and it works great, but for the small screen. Although splitting the screen really isn't feasible, you can put a compass banner strip on top of the sonar screen. It means you can focus on the sonar, and still know what direction you should be traveling. *Really* nice feature.


Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: lopezcador on October 01, 2017, 06:54 PM
Great info/ repot
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: GoBruins on October 02, 2017, 10:48 AM
I'm not surprised that Garmin leads the way in terms of GPS features and user interface. They obviously make tons of navigation related stuff. When i go backpacking/mountaineering, I put my faith in their handheld GPS units - not the fancy touch-screen units but rather the traditional-screen handhelds. They are rock solid. Batteries last a long time, and they can reliably grab a signal under canopies and canyons.

I'm still learning the fish finder things, but I have to say that by far the most frustrating thing for me is when i mark a spot and then subsequently try to get back to it. The Garmin units, by virtue of the GPS sensitivity and the user interface, makes it as painless as possible. Like I mentioned, if you can use a 4" screen to both do sonar *and* navigate (via the compass banner) at the same time, it's a winner.
Title: Re: Fishfinder GPS
Post by: GoBruins on October 02, 2017, 10:54 AM
Here is the compass banner tape I was talking about:

https://photos.google.com/u/1/photo/AF1QipP_S7048fezJvF0Tp62iYGNKCsLXU5HuIxMOsSx (https://photos.google.com/u/1/photo/AF1QipP_S7048fezJvF0Tp62iYGNKCsLXU5HuIxMOsSx)