What deep finder should I get for a...

TinBoats.net

Help Support TinBoats.net:

KrazyAboutTin

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2021
Messages
17
Reaction score
0
Location
Miami,Fl
Hi there
I am almost done with the refurbishing of my 1977 Starcraft 16.
I need a deep finder and I am not sure what to look for.
Could someone help please.
Thanks a lot
 

airshot

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 18, 2009
Messages
350
Reaction score
167
Go to your nearest bass pro, cabelas, or other sports store and lokk at alk you have to choose from. Those foljs xan help explain all the different features availiable. What body of water, how deep, etc are all considerations when choosing one. Bring your wallet as good ones are not cheap !!
 

LDUBS

Well-known member
TinBoats Supporter
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
4,444
Reaction score
259
Location
Clayton California
If you are new to them, it is hard to fully understand the different features and terminology. For me it was like I was reading a foreign language. Airshot's advice is sound. Doing some online research before talking to the guys at the big sports stores will make the visit a lot more productive.

If all you want and need is sonar and gps charts, then your cost will be significantly less.

The big brands for our style boats are Lowrance, Garmin and Humminbird. I'm sure everyone has a preference. I wouldn't avoid any of those brands. Go for at least a 7" screen if budget and space allows.

My boat is used 99.9% for fishing. I have a Humminbird Helix 7. It has down imaging that I never use. I would guess I look at the gps/charts as much as the sonar. Of course, they are both on the screen at the same time, so the info is all there all the time.
 
Last edited:

MrGiggles

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 12, 2017
Messages
799
Reaction score
62
Location
Springfield, MO
As mentioned it depends on what you're looking for. There's four "main" types of sonar, standard 2D sonar, down imaging, side imaging, and forward facing. In addition to that, most graphs nowadays have some sort of GPS capability, allowing you to plot a track, save waypoints, and view them on a map.

2D sonar is what we have had for ages, fish will give a good solid return, but it is more difficult to identify various types of structure, it usually just shows up as blobs.

Down imaging is similar to 2D, but is much better at showing bottom composition and types of structure, and not as good at showing fish. It only works when the boat is moving.

Side imaging shoots to the sides of the boat, how far depends on the depth of the water, rule of thumb is 3x the depth. So in 15ft of water you will likely be scanning 45ft to either side. It will give you a very good view of the lake bottom and any structure that may be there. It will also show fish pretty well when it's set up right. Many people will run side/down imaging in split screen and scan an area at idle speed, doing this you're covering a 100+ foot swath of the lake, eliminating a lot of dead water. Similarly to down imaging, it also only works when the boat is moving.

Forward facing sonar gives you a 135* live view forward, down, and slightly to the rear of the transducer. It's still pretty expensive but nothing else really compares. It's almost like having a camera.

Best bang for your buck right now is the Garmin 93SV for $699. It has everything mentioned and the capability of running forward facing sonar should you decide to add it later.
 

Makaw

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 17, 2019
Messages
63
Reaction score
12
Location
Michigan
WEBSITE
https://instagram.com/starcraft_seafarer?igshid=Zj=
LOCATION
Michigan
Go to your nearest bass pro, cabelas, or other sports store and look at all you have to choose from.

I third this, like airshot and ldubs have mentioned. Getting hands-on experience with different units and brands made a big difference when I was choosing, compared to simply researching units online. In the store they all run on demo modes, so you actually play around with them, get a feel for different interfaces, and generally just experiment with all the various settings. I went to Cabelas and the guy working that section was highly knowledgeable and helped me a lot with questions I had about differences between brands and unit features.
 
Last edited:

sonny.barile

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 20, 2015
Messages
308
Reaction score
24
Location
Secaucus, New Jersey
LOCATION
Secaucus, NJ
I went from a simple 2d sonar to a gps/2d/si/di just this past summer. It’s a real game changer as far as being able to read the water. It’s not that I see lots of fish…….it’s that I now understand the topography where I fish much better…..which results in more fish.
 
Last edited:

thill

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
490
Reaction score
125
Location
Virginia, USA
What you get really depends on what you plan to do. If you only need depth, a $79-$99 unit from Walmart will work fine, as long as you install the transducer properly, according to the instructions. Mount it wrong, and you won't read depth when moving at speed.

Basic unit:
https://www.walmart.com/ip/HOOK2-4x-Portable-Fishfinder-with-Bullet-Skimmer-Transducer-4-Screen-Size

This Lowrance 5" is a great starter unit for $100. This is what I would buy for simple depth and fishing:
Lowrance Hook Reveal 5x Portable Fishfinder Splitshot with Down Scan Imaging

Move up to the $99-$129 range, and you should be able to get one with GPS plotting. The Garmin Striker4 and the Lowrance Hook2 work well for the money.

Here is a refurb unit for less than $100:
https://www.amazon.com/Garmin-Striker-Built-Certified-Refurbished/dp/B07DNKS5YF/

Here is a regular, new unit, $129:
https://www.cabelas.com/shop/en/garmin-striker-4-sonar-fishfinder-and-gps-plotter

Then of course, you can move up in features and $$$ up into the thousands of dollars, if desired. A VERY popular unit is the Garmin Echomap 93SV or 94SV. Full charts with contours, down scanning, side scanning and more. This is what I finally moved up to when on sale for $599 and I love it. I found a used Livescope system locally and that thing is amazing. As everyone says, it's a game changer

Unfortunately, you just missed all the black friday deals, but hopefully, you find something that works well for you
 
Last edited:

Skunked again

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 8, 2011
Messages
56
Reaction score
15
Location
Highland, Illinois
What all the above said! Get your hands on each unit in your budget, see which user interface works for you.
Are you wanting mapping? Want to map the lake yourself? Other features?
I highly recommend getting the biggest screen you can afford.
Get on YouTube, it’s full of videos on the differences and how to set the units up.
Look up Benjamin Nowak, 1 cast 1 fish, fish the moment, to name a few that I’ve found helpful.
 

LDUBS

Well-known member
TinBoats Supporter
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
4,444
Reaction score
259
Location
Clayton California
What you get really depends on what you plan to do. If you only need depth, a $79-$99 unit from Walmart will work fine, as long as you install the transducer properly, according to the instructions. Mount it wrong, and you won't read depth when moving at speed.

Basic unit:
https://www.walmart.com/ip/HOOK2-4x-Portable-Fishfinder-with-Bullet-Skimmer-Transducer-4-Screen-Size

This Lowrance 5" is a great starter unit for $100. This is what I would buy for simple depth and fishing:
Lowrance Hook Reveal 5x Portable Fishfinder Splitshot with Down Scan Imaging

Move up to the $99-$129 range, and you should be able to get one with GPS plotting. The Garmin Striker4 and the Lowrance Hook2 work well for the money.

Here is a refurb unit for less than $100:
https://www.amazon.com/Garmin-Striker-Built-Certified-Refurbished/dp/B07DNKS5YF/

Here is a regular, new unit, $129:
https://www.cabelas.com/shop/en/garmin-striker-4-sonar-fishfinder-and-gps-plotter

Then of course, you can move up in features and $$$ up into the thousands of dollars, if desired. A VERY popular unit is the Garmin Echomap 93SV or 94SV. Full charts with contours, down scanning, side scanning and more. This is what I finally moved up to when on sale for $599 and I love it. I found a used Livescope system locally and that thing is amazing. As everyone says, it's a game changer

Unfortunately, you just missed all the black friday deals, but hopefully, you find something that works well for you

I went to the international sportmen's exhibition in Sacramento yesterday and got a demo of the Livescope. I couldn't agree more. It is amazing -- game changing amazing.
 

thill

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
490
Reaction score
125
Location
Virginia, USA
Oh yeah... It's exactly what everyone says. It doesn't make the fish bite, but it sure saves time finding exactly where they are. Pull up to a bridge and start scanning pilings. Nothing on piling one.... A few on number two... THERE they are, a big school of crappie on number four, 12 feet down.

Then it's up to you to fool them. Watch your bait hit the water and watch how they react. It's pretty amazing.
 

Ray Clark

New member
Joined
Jun 6, 2021
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
Location
Treynor, Iowa
I have an old Lowrance on my Lund 14' boat. If all you really want is depth, water temp, and some basic capability, you may be able to find a used unit for very low cost. Even new in basic fish finders is not too bad.

For me, I want to improve the down image ( like I can already see on my Lowrance), and want to add side imaging. I also want a bigger, brighter screen that I can see with my sunglasses on and one that is better in bright sunlight. I am looking at a Humminbird CHIRP 7 G4 or Lowrance equivalent, and I should be able to get one onto the boat in the range of $700-$800 all said and done.

I'll move my old Lowrance up to the front of the boat and hook it to the US2 on my trolling motor. The new finder will be midships on a swivel mount.

I saw a demo of the Livescope a few weeks ago. Fun to watch, but not happening for me in this lifetime.
 
Top