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Thread: Looking for a new sonar, confused on options

  1. #1
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    Default Looking for a new sonar, confused on options

    Hi all, I've been running an LCD sonar for over 20 years. I started off with a Huminbird unit that worked well at the time, but was soon outdated resolutionwise. I replaced it with a series of Eagle/Lowrance units over the years because i found they provided better bottom contact when quickly scanning for humps, etc.

    That being said, all units thus far have been single frequency, bottom imaging units with relatively low resolution.

    A friend of mine has a Humminbird unit with GPS, side imaging and AutoChart capabilities, that he is upgrading when he upgrades his boat in the spring.

    I would like to get a Humminbird with autocharting se we can share data.

    My questions now become, are other brands compatable with the Humminbird data?

    How useful is side imaging?

    I see CHIRP technology being offered, but I don't really understand the tech or more importantly, the purpose or benefit to it?

    Also, are dual frequencies useful to the average angler?

    At this point I am probably looking at a Helix 7 or 9, I just need to figure iut the benefits to some of these features to find the particular unit.

    Thanks in advance.
    Learn all you can about nature. What we don't understand, we fear and what we fear, we destroy.
    Teach a young person to hunt and fish, after all, someone taught you.

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  3. #2
    Has too much time on their hands

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    You won't be disappointed with a Helix. I had a Helix 5 and loved it. As far as side imaging goes, it depends on where you fish. I fish Erie, and really didn't see a benefit. But, if you fish lots of cover, docks brush etc, it would be worthwhile.
    I would get the largest screen you can. I found the 5 inch was a bit small for my old eyes !! For my fishing, I don't find the dual frequencies an issue.
    As far as your other questions, there is tons of stuff on the net to read, and lots of tutorials.

  4. #3
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    I have/had a hummingbird with side scan, didn't like it, yes it is cool on seeing objects to the side, but I never could see the fish. I now use a lowance as was having troubles with hummingbird but have since figured out the problem but still use the lowance, with just the down scan and with the double cone. I will not go back to the SC as not worth the money IMO.

  5. #4
    Getting the hang of it

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    I have had a 997 Humminbird with sidescan for almost 10 years. Most of my fishing is done on the lakes of Haliburton. I find the sidescan great for locating structure that I would not normally see but probably hold fish. I have never used Lowrance so can't comment on it but I have never had any issues with Humminbird and have just upgraded to a Helix 10SI. I looked at and compared the unit with Chirp and the one without. They say the Chirp has a better picture, I couldn't tell the difference and felt the extra $500 wasn't worth it. This is a good time to buy. Bass Pro has a promotion on the Helix 10Si right now. Good luck.
    AA

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabmgb View Post
    I have/had a hummingbird with side scan, didn't like it, yes it is cool on seeing objects to the side, but I never could see the fish. I now use a lowance as was having troubles with hummingbird but have since figured out the problem but still use the lowance, with just the down scan and with the double cone. I will not go back to the SC as not worth the money IMO.
    I rarely see fish with my current unit, but use it for depth, structure and bottom type. I fished with my biddynlast summer when he was using side imaging and couldnt see any fish, although we were pulling them out of the scanned area. One of the main issues with my surrent unit is screen resolution. I only have 128 LCD vertical pixels, compared to the high resolution colour of most recent units.
    Learn all you can about nature. What we don't understand, we fear and what we fear, we destroy.
    Teach a young person to hunt and fish, after all, someone taught you.

  7. #6
    Leads by example

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    x2 on the Helix systems - I'm very impressed thus far (only picked it up in august of last year). I get great detail and so far very reliable. These systems are auto-chart compatible and seem to meet the requirements listed above.

    FishFrenzy

  8. #7
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    I talked to a guy at the local tackle shop. We discussed options and brands, etc.

    I've pretty much decided to get a Helix 5 or 7 with DI, SI, GPS and AutoChart. The question now is price and when i can save up enough coin. With four kids, 2 of them in university and living primarily on my income at the moment, it probably wont happen until late summer or more likely next year.
    Learn all you can about nature. What we don't understand, we fear and what we fear, we destroy.
    Teach a young person to hunt and fish, after all, someone taught you.

  9. #8
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    When you decide to buy I would suggest you look at Radioworld for prices. I purchased a Helix 5 from them at the Fishing Show last Sunday . I also ordered a back order ice transducer and it arrived on Friday .Good guys and the price was right.

  10. #9
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    To me, the Helix 7 G2N models are the best value. Slick little units that can be networked. I'm not sure of the impact on the MicroSD.

    I have a Gen 1 Helix 10 SI. Thought I'd go hog wild on one and then just opt for another basic GPS model to share the data through the Ethernet... I use AutoChart Live a lot. SI not so much if I'm being honest. DI all the time. I'm not sure what CHIRP will do nor what Mega Imaging will do.

    I feel like I'm getting to the point that I'm fiddling with and/or staring at too much of the electronics... Add in some guests where I play host and I'm barely fishing.

    I'm not a fan of the Helix 9 as it is the same size as a Helix 10 with just a smaller screen inside the unit... I wish it was a smaller overall unit. That would be a good comprimise and probably a nice seller.
    Last edited by Part9; February 27th, 2017 at 03:46 PM.

  11. #10
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    What are you fishing for?

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