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Dick

Fish Finder Questions

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I've searched through and read all the topics on fish finders I could find and just want to get some updates on the models you guys are using.

 

I'm almost ready to make the purchase and I only want to do this once..smile.gif

lets hear some opinions, PLEASE

Vexilar?

Bottomline?

Garmin?

Lowrance?\ nWhich ones da best?

 

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What's your budget? There are units out there that cost more than your yak with everything on it. They'll do everything but fetch the paper. So far, for $100 my Bottomline Tournament 1200 with Sidefinder and temperature guage is doing just fine.

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Hummingbird 200. My last trip on the lower James River I discovered that it was in fact a fish finder. I cast to 3 alerts and caught three fish. Just luck perhaps, but before this I thought of it a "a depth finder". Mounted the transducer inside the hull. FYI, my biggest issue was securing the battery.

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They all work. Doug had a Pirahna 2 on the Cape Cod trip and it worked great. For $90 its hard to beat.

 

If you want the side scan option for shallow water then the Bottomlines are the ones to get. I have a couple of the 1200s left so if you want one let me know.

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JonS - Doesn't the side scan ceate a drag to the yak making you go left or right depending on which side you have mounted it?

 

I'm also in the market for a finder (being a new yaker biggrin.gif) but don't know what to do. I'm trying to keep gear to a minimal and I really don't feel like lugging a 12V battery around regardless of its size.

 

What to do ... what to do ???

 

 

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Two lantern batteries in series have lasted well over twenty hours for me so far with no sign of quitting for my Bottomline Tournament 1200. They weigh about 4 pounds and I duct taped them together and around the front two scupper posts in my Explorer. There is additional drag but like all drag it increases with the square of the speed. When I only want to move I rotate the transducer up out of the water. At slower speeds, trolling for instance, the drag is hardly noticeable.

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Rich / In2Bass,

 

Your answer then is the Vexilar Boundary Waters portable. It operates on 8 AA bats and lasts for a week on these. You need nothing else. The vexilar comes ready to fish-with suction cup Xducer. Pop the batteries in and go fish. It weighs 2.5 pounds and fits in the palm of your hand, is rugged and hi-tech as they come. Important to me; Vexilar customer service is fab. Call Ben to chat some time.He is in Minnesota at their factory at the service desk. He can help you get all the accessories dialed-in. Owning a Vexilar also alows you to modify the rig to your hearts desire later if you want. I am not one to drop names, but I know barrell and JonS ain't thowing their's in the dumpster. and Max Chavez like Vexilar software for sensing fish. He doesn't speak highly of some other brands. I know of a few more SOL'ers that have Boundary Waters too.Maybe they will speak-up.

 

The Pirhana portable, which also runs on 8 AA's is way to big, and cumbersome when compared to the elegant package of the Boundary Waters model. I agree that the value is there for the Pirahna series and I hear lots of good things about the new Garmin Blue water series too; they hit a sweet price point too.

 

So I am going to steer anyone asking to the Vexilar first, then the Garmin, then the Pirhana I guess cuz they are cheap enough to pitch if they bust. The Vexilar Boundary waters is in a class of its own, and I use them exclusively and they work very well.

 

I have used Raytheon sonars in the past and they worked well too. They are pricey.

 

All that said, you can run a small fish finder on a small 2,4 AH battery(the size of 2 cig packs) for several days. I can get them surplus for $3.00. Those are not hard to rig below decks. Just a tupperware container, a small hole in the hatch or deck and some duct tape or velcro does it. Cinchy man....

S1

 

 

[This message has been edited by sharp1 (edited 06-27-2002).]

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Why yes there are:

http://www.****stuff.com can get em,

 

Barrel can too I believe...

 

The factory sells them directly-but at full buck-Hint: look deep in their site to see a list of speacial reconditioned omodels at a deep discount. Some of these were demoed at shows, or returns to stores.

 

Cabelas had them a while back,

 

The factory site has a dealer list-

 

I'd look at the sites above for all the poop

and then buy from a SOL sponsor if you want the very best Karma.

 

Only the Boundary waters model is suitable for our kayaks. Their flashers are not as water resistant. Too bad. Flashers rock for trolling. You could always put one in a camera bag I guess.

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I also have the Boundry Waters lc10 model.I love it.I only had a little prior experience on a friends boat with ff's in general but I was surprised that the vexilar has actually picked up Fluke on the bottom.I did have a problem with the suction cup twisting when I was paddling but I made up my own bracket with some info from Vexilar's customer service which fixed the problem...

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Yes, I am very pleased with the Vexilar LC-10. My situation has me using several kayaks and this unit is by far the most portable and compact unit around. It suits what I need it to do. Your situation may be different. Its not cheap but it is so simple to move between kayaks that virtually no thought is involved. I have mine on a RAM mount and simply place RAM balls on the various kayaks that I paddle which are all my demos. When it marks fish there are fish that bite me lures, usually.

 

As I said earlier the regular Pirahna 2 worked great up at Cape Cod and it gets my reccomendation too. If you have just one kayak and want a simple unit that works, take a look at it.

 

All the other portables on the market, besides the Vexilar, while less money, are extremely bulky. You could put the entire LC-10 in their battery compartments. There isn't a comparison.

 

This is how compact it is.

 

LC-10-Closed.jpg

 

Here's the whole setup.

 

LC-10-system.jpg

 

I've also set up a Bottomline system that's very similar to Ken L. I just haven't gotten a battery for it yet so I haven't used it yet. I will bring it Saturday so people can see what I've rigged.

 

I feel that the Bottomline offers another dimension to the kayak fishermen, especially here in the east where we have a lot of shallow water. There are many occasions where I have spooked large fish on the flats. It happens all the time in shallow water. If I could have been forwarned that they were there I would have simply fired off a cast to long before they knew that I was there. Once the fish know that you're there in shallow water they are extremely difficult to catch. Also up at the Cape we were fishing for schools of fish in the ocean. Lots of water to cover. We could have had a concentration of fish off to our sides and not have known it with our standard down looking FFs. There is a bit more to mounting a sidefinder but I think the advantages outweigh the extra effort. Keep in mind that rigging the system for only one kayak is much simpler than my situation and I think that its worth it. For app. $100 to get downward and sideward viewing, and a temp guage too, that's hard to pass up.

 

There isn't any profit in electronics as the markup ups are ludicrous. The reason I got several in was to live with them and provide info.

 

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JonS-

 

I hear you one the advantages of the sidefinder option. For some moronic reason, I didn't thinkg the unit was that cheap--givn the added benefit of a temp guage, etc. To be honest, I'm just scared S#$TLESS to attempt to install one for fear of makng a mess of everything. I wish I could come to the Demo day to check it out. frown.gif

 

Umm...errr....Hmmm...Got any in stock? wink.gifI'm sooo bad.

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My total installation on the Bottomline involved two holes for bolts, one for the power cable and two pop rivets for the transducer mount. The arm for the transducer was a little complictaed but no big deal. I actually installed the transducer arm in front of me at first and then moved it behind me. That meant filling two 1/4 inch holes with silicon. No biggie.

All in all, the jury is still out for me on the Sidefinder but the reports from others suggest I am behind the curve. Under the worst of circumstances I got a useable FF with a temp guage for $100.

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