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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just had a pretty decent deal fall into my lap on a boat that I had no intention of buying, but such a good deal I couldn't pass it up. My first boat, but pretty experienced in mooching off of the folk's boats.
Are these cheap sonars worth anything like this one? http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=1545175&categoryId=0&parentCategoryId=0&subCategoryId=0&indexId=0&productVariantId=3310493&quantity=1&itemGUID=&destination=/user/wishlist.jsp
Would I be crazy not to get a little better one like this with GPS? http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=1545175&categoryId=0&parentCategoryId=0&subCategoryId=0&indexId=0&productVariantId=3310493&quantity=1&itemGUID=&destination=/user/wishlist.jsp
My dad has a similar combo and it doesn't seem to get used much to know just a spot, but I can certainly see how it could be used more. So, I would appreciate some advice, thanks.
 

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No to both. They wont have the wattage to be of much use, little globs of weeds and crap will give you false readings.

Wattage matters. My finder is 8000 watts. GPS is a HUGE bonus for a fish finder as well. My finder allowed me to plug in my garmin and use it with the finder. We've now got many years of koke catches all charted out, and year after year's data added on top of each other show some very obvious hot spots.

I dont like the new sideview highdef finders... I cant figure out what I'm supposed to be looking at. My finder has an array of individual sonar units all broadcasting multiple beams, so I can litterally see fish all around the boat in 3d. Its a older finder but I like it and it works plenty good enough for our use.

-DallanC
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That 3d view is sweet! I shopped around quite a bit and decided on a GPS combo. Lowrance has a pretty nice rebate and when combined with an open box deal I got a $300 unit for $110.
 

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Really depends on how much you want to spend and what your using it for. I have a side scan imaging unit (you can turn it off too if you don't want to use it or go into a different mode). The SS shows you stuff that normally is interpreted as something else. I looks like a photograph in pretty good detail. It is really just a very, very wide beam under the boat - same concept as the cone sonar device. You spend much less time doing a quick map of an area with it.

Whatever you decide, I agree, wattage matters and learn to use what you get.
 

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I picked up the Elite-5 with Chirp and it works pretty good. Sometimes though I'm not sure which is worse; not having a finder and not knowing the fish are there, or having a finder showing where the fish are but they aren't hitting anything you put in front of them.
 
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