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12/07/2017 01:43PM
I've been looking for quite a while for a simple, fairly inexpensive, multi-purpose fish locator. After watching all the Youtubes and reading all the reviews, I picked up this unit yesterday. It has a flasher setting for ice fishing, and it seems decent size to take on canoe trips (need to make a new battery pack). I'm still playing with the GPS part. The booklet has poor directions, but I'm figuring it out.
Anybody else have/use one and what do you think of it?? Any advice on open water use, ice use (I also bought the ice fishing ducer for it), or the GPS function.
Thanks ahead of time.
 
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WhiteWolf
distinguished member(5104)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
12/07/2017 02:53PM
I'am also interested in any feedback. I know technology and especially electronics come down in price over time-- but this seems like almost too good to be true, especially with the Striker Plus series which always you to make your own contour maps. I remember looking at similar feature with Hummingbird 2 years ago and it was at least double the price. Plus Side View?> (in the larger screen sizes?) I can't keep up anymore on the advances. What am I missing? Always liked Garmin sonar- thought they got the shaft by Lowrance and Hummingbird-- but what do I know?>

HMG
Guest Paddler
 
12/07/2017 03:21PM
I picked this up this spring at a local store for $90 and used it this summer on the canoe quite a bit. Really impressed with the sonar part of it, and it shoots through a Kevlar canoe really well if you put the transducer in a small bag of water (or use a cut peanut butter container with a bag or balloon over one end so it forms to the bottom of the canoe). The GPS works well for marking spots, and has a dedicated one press button to do so. The only thing I don't like about the GPS is it doesn't actually show the outline of the lake/river, it's just a big white screen. I've used a much more expensive Lowrance in my uncles boat and he had a lake chip with contour lines and all, but mostly it was nice be able to see the whole lake and look for other spots, this unit doesn't do that. Built a 10 AA battery pack for it based on recommendation on this site (Thanks everyone!), and it does quite well on rechargeables, despite having a colored screen and GPS. I just made a simple bracket out of Poplar and used two U-bolts to secure it to the thwart, then use a short piece of PVC, that clips into the mount as well, attached to the transducer to keep it perfectly upright in the cup of water. I also built a bracket that hung over the edge of the canoe and used pvc to submerge the transducer, but this creates too much drag in a canoe in my opinion, and I didn't seem to loose any function just shooting through the hull. Really looking forward to using the flasher function through the ice, but it's been far too warm here in central Iowa for that. Got this bag off of Amazon (though for only $4.22 a couple months ago, I would NOT pay the $28 they want for it now), then built a base out of wood to attach the finder too and hold a small tackle box. I can let you know how the flasher works compared to a friends humminbird flasher once we get some ice. flasher

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016O5IA74/
12/07/2017 04:21PM
Thanks for the input. I'll share my thoughts on the flasher soon too......hopefully. Should make some ice tonite!
Kokanee Killer
Guest Paddler
 
12/13/2017 11:36AM
I have one and use it for backcountry Canadian fishing on my 12' aluminum. We take them on small lakes and camp on islands and such.

It is a great unit. Sonar works really well. Easy to use.

As for the GPS, I knew going in that there would not be any basemaps so I can't complain about that. The GPS does work well and I like it to be able to mark offshore spots and the speed function when trolling.

For the price, it is a very good unit. Highly recommend it.
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(13213)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
12/13/2017 04:21PM
Looks like a very nice depth finder Doc. This will be a good setup for any canoe.
Let us see your battery pack and mounting setup when you can.
01/03/2018 10:30PM
Update. Finally got to use this unit on the ice today. I thought the flasher worked great! Nice to know what depth the fish were at and when they were interested in my lure. 15 nice gills. Super cold so I threw a handwarmer on the battery. Unit performed without a glitche. Ran for about 5 hours and battery recharged in minutes when I got home. Now to research battery pack and mount for canoe.
Tony
distinguished member(2077)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/04/2018 07:13AM
Savage Voyageur: "Looks like a very nice depth finder Doc. This will be a good setup for any canoe.
Let us see your battery pack and mounting setup when you can. "


+1 I would love to see your canoe set up when we get some soft water again.

Tony
jbreeggs
member (22)member
 
01/12/2018 08:24PM
Got one for Xmas. I’ve used the ice ducer a few times and it seems to work fine. I made a battery pack option last summer to run an old hummingbird on AAs but I’m thinking I’m just going to use the battery that came with the unit as it should provide about 35 hours of operation.

One thing that would be nice is a lake map option. I think you have to upgrade to the next most expensive unit though. This one is GPS capable but the way point map is just a blank background.
01/13/2018 09:03AM
I’ve been eyeing it too, the fact it can be used as a flasher is a bonus. Does it look and act like a vexilar?

T
jbreeggs
member (22)member
 
01/13/2018 09:10AM
It does look like a vexilar flasher but in a digital output on a rectangular screen. Interestingly when I’ve been ice fishing I enjoyed using the traditional split screen view over the flasher view... gives me a bit of a time history view so I can watch the path of the fish and lures.
01/13/2018 09:50AM
Cowdoc, I do not have that unit, however, based on the comments above about waypoints on a blank screen I assume it works like any other Garmin GPS device and you have to purchase the Ontario Canada TOPO for Quetico or Great Lakes/ Minnesota TOPO chip for BWCA trips to have the back ground mapping show on the screen. You might even be able to get a Lake navigator chip for the BWCA. This mapping includes lakes, land contours, etc. I do have and use a Garmin GPS unit and the Ontario TOPO chip for Quetico trips. Without the right topo chip you’ll be a tracking line or waypoint on a white screen. BTW, your Northstar Northwind is all set up to drop your transducer in the foam mount. Just a handful of water in the foam before you set the transducer in to eliminate any air between the transducer and the hull/Lake.
jbreeggs
member (22)member
 
01/13/2018 11:14AM
Actually I’m not sure if you can purchase/upload maps to the basic Striker series. I think you have to upgrade to the echoMap or PLUS series for background map options. Tried calling customer service to confirm but after sitting on hold for 20 minutes I figured I’d check back later.
huntbigb
 
03/08/2018 11:59AM
I just picked up a Striker Plus 5CV and plan on taking it to the BWCA in June. It has a feature where you map lake contours and store it on the device. I plan on mapping as much water as possible. Supposedly you can upload saved maps to Garmin in file sharing format. No clue if this is true.
03/08/2018 01:39PM
BnD: "Cowdoc, I do not have that unit, however, based on the comments above about waypoints on a blank screen I assume it works like any other Garmin GPS device and you have to purchase the Ontario Canada TOPO for Quetico or Great Lakes/ Minnesota TOPO chip for BWCA trips to have the back ground mapping show on the screen. You might even be able to get a Lake navigator chip for the BWCA. This mapping includes lakes, land contours, etc. I do have and use a Garmin GPS unit and the Ontario TOPO chip for Quetico trips. Without the right topo chip you’ll be a tracking line or waypoint on a white screen. BTW, your Northstar Northwind is all set up to drop your transducer in the foam mount. Just a handful of water in the foam before you set the transducer in to eliminate any air between the transducer and the hull/Lake."


Yeah....no uploading maps. I did notice the foam well for the transducer. Hope to try it out soon. The unit did work great for ice fishing in the flasher mode. I guess I never tried the split screen.......might have been helpful. I'm probably going to leave the ice ducer on for the canoe. Seems less clunky than the boat ducer and should fit nicely into the foam well. I would like to make a smaller battery pack to run it. Something that mounts easier to a thwart and is less bulky.
 
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