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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
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      Looking for a new fishfinder     

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02/26/2021 04:51PM  
Given it seems my unit has passed it's useful age, I'm again in the market for a fish finder. So many awesome models out recently. I'd like to have the following features.

Ability to load lakemaster chip or compatible
Side imaging
Down imaging
Light and portable for the BWCA
GPS
This last one may ask too much but one with a battery that can be charged via the Goal Zero solar pad and small 4 cell battery pack (power station) I bought probably 7-8 years ago. It's out of production but I think it was called the nomad 10?

For suggestions know that I don't care the cost. I want a top of the line product.

Thanks guys in advance.
 
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CRL
senior member (63)senior membersenior member
 
02/26/2021 05:39PM  
I really like my Hummingbird Helix 5 with GPS and down imaging, but not side imaging. I have a Nocaqua 10 Ah battery. I'm not sure if it could be recharged with your charger. If I had unlimited funds, I could be convinced to try a Helix 7 with side imaging and a Dakota Lithium battery... I picked this unit to balance price, weight, and function. Photos of my setup attached.
 
02/26/2021 05:59PM  
CRL: "I really like my Hummingbird Helix 5 with GPS and down imaging, but not side imaging. I have a Nocaqua 10 Ah battery. I'm not sure if it could be recharged with your charger. If I had unlimited funds, I could be convinced to try a Helix 7 with side imaging and a Dakota Lithium battery... I picked this unit to balance price, weight, and function. Photos of my setup attached.

I've been checking out the helix 5's actually. I love your tiny battery pack. That is ideal.
 
02/26/2021 06:46PM  
When I saw you mention lakemaster and down/side imaging....I was thinking Helix all the way. Now that they're up to Gen3 on the 5's and 7's, the earlier generations are getting sold every day on Facebook or traded into dealers and such. (and still good units)

SI on a 5 inch screen is not ideal just given the screen size...but it works. A 7 would be much nicer for SI but are you just using it on canoe trips? A little overkill for that probably. Also using it on a boat the rest of the season? Then not I'd say.

I have.....3 Helix 7's right now. I love them haha. One on my jon boat (or two) and another for my fishing kayak and I take one for a rental boat in MN for a week.
 
02/26/2021 06:51PM  
Oh, I missed the don't care the cost line.

In that case, go for a G2 or G3 Helix 7 with Mega SI, Mega DI, and GPS. The sonar picture is clearer/better on Mega than the earlier generations of SI and DI. I have no idea how well your charging setup will do on a battery for it.

And lithium batteries are super light and amazing, but they require a different charge vs the standard. So I'd look into something that can charge lithium if you go that route...
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(1056)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/26/2021 07:22PM  
I had a 5 inch lowrance with SI and it was tough to read detail on that size screen. The other issue with SI units on canoes is transducer size and mounting. Do your homework so you won’t be surprised is all I’m saying.

I thought I wanted a bird unit, especially for lake master maps, but over the last few years I have read countless stories of software issues with HB. I ended up going with a Garmin for that reason.
 
02/28/2021 09:06PM  
Ok so far I hear 7" for SI otherwise 5" is fine for DI and sonar. I still haven't heard from the lowrence/eagle or garmin crowd other than gopher. Is hummingbird the clear winner?
 
02/28/2021 09:40PM  
thegildedgopher: "I had a 5 inch lowrance with SI and it was tough to read detail on that size screen. The other issue with SI units on canoes is transducer size and mounting. Do your homework so you won’t be surprised is all I’m saying.


I thought I wanted a bird unit, especially for lake master maps, but over the last few years I have read countless stories of software issues with HB. I ended up going with a Garmin for that reason."


What model and how do you feel about it?
 
GickFirk22
distinguished member (173)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/01/2021 03:49PM  
Following...In the exact same position. Been strongly leaning to the Helix 7 with SI et al. Nearly all the folks I know that have a 5 wish they got the 7. I'm unsure yet about what batteries/power system I'll go with. Likely some sort of "ammo can" power unit for ease of portability and ability to chain lithium ion batteries together when I'm taking it to and from my cabin etc. Would like to check out the ducer for the SI to make sure it isn't too massive!
 
03/01/2021 04:36PM  
I'm leaning to the helix 7 with max di gps 3gn only (no side imaging). Add lithium battery 12v 10ah for $70-ish for about 2lbs of weight in the battery. If I had that unit on say .. 4-5 hours a day, with that battery, how long would it last without a charge and the gps on sometimes? Do the amp hours change because of less draw?
 
GickFirk22
distinguished member (173)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/01/2021 04:41PM  
okinaw55: "I'm leaning to the helix 7 with max di gps 3gn only (no side imaging). Add lithium battery 12v 10ah for $70-ish for about 2lbs of weight in the battery. If I had that unit on say .. 4-5 hours a day, with that battery, how long would it last without a charge and the gps on sometimes? Do the amp hours change because of less draw?"

Are you going with the DI so you can shoot through the hull in your canoe instead of having to have the ducer on the outside of the boat? Or is it a battery life consideration...or both? This is probably the crux of my decision making as well...
 
03/01/2021 05:23PM  
GickFirk22: "okinaw55: "I'm leaning to the helix 7 with max di gps 3gn only (no side imaging). Add lithium battery 12v 10ah for $70-ish for about 2lbs of weight in the battery. If I had that unit on say .. 4-5 hours a day, with that battery, how long would it last without a charge and the gps on sometimes? Do the amp hours change because of less draw?"


Are you going with the DI so you can shoot through the hull in your canoe instead of having to have the ducer on the outside of the boat? Or is it a battery life consideration...or both? This is probably the crux of my decision making as well..."


Honestly I don't think the side imaging is worth it in a canoe for the extra 200 bucks. I'm not concerned with the weight as much with the lithium battery. Given that they have suction cup mounts, I'd probably give those a try before siliconing the transducer to the bow floor.
 
03/01/2021 06:00PM  
Yeah, I think the SI is nice but not really for canoe country unless you're in super calm water. Mega DI would be awesome for picking out rocks vs weeds vs fish and stuff. I have no idea how it would do going thru a hull.

I have a Helix 7 G3 Mega DI GPS, what do you want to know about it? I also have a G3N Mega SI, DI, GPS so if you need to know transducer size or something I can get that too very easily.

Never had a software issue in any of our birds going back to the old 758ci my grandpa still runs a lakemaster chip in on his fishing boat.

I'm going to sell my Gen1 Helix 7 here sometime if someone wants a DI, GPS one.
 
03/01/2021 06:38PM  
cyclones30: "Yeah, I think the SI is nice but not really for canoe country unless you're in super calm water. Mega DI would be awesome for picking out rocks vs weeds vs fish and stuff. I have no idea how it would do going thru a hull.


I have a Helix 7 G3 Mega DI GPS, what do you want to know about it? I also have a G3N Mega SI, DI, GPS so if you need to know transducer size or something I can get that too very easily.


Never had a software issue in any of our birds going back to the old 758ci my grandpa still runs a lakemaster chip in on his fishing boat.


I'm going to sell my Gen1 Helix 7 here sometime if someone wants a DI, GPS one. "


I'm really surprised at the rate that these things get better. 8-10 years ago I bought a top of the line lowrance unit and while it still works, the screen is small and maps are not even compatible anymore.
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(1056)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/01/2021 07:45PM  
okinaw55: "thegildedgopher: "I had a 5 inch lowrance with SI and it was tough to read detail on that size screen. The other issue with SI units on canoes is transducer size and mounting. Do your homework so you won’t be surprised is all I’m saying.



I thought I wanted a bird unit, especially for lake master maps, but over the last few years I have read countless stories of software issues with HB. I ended up going with a Garmin for that reason."



What model and how do you feel about it? "


I got the garmin 93sv UHD, but it’s for my fishing boat and not for a canoe. I’ve played around a lot with the maps at home, can mark spots on the phone app and they sync to the Garmin which is convenient. Haven’t had it on the water yet since it was purchased mid-winter.

Bird makes a good unit I’m sure; I just got scared reading about issues. Software upgrades gone awry, not finding bottom, poor performance in shallow water, etc. I’m told their mega SI is a step above everybody else’s tech FWIW.

If this is primarily a canoe unit i would skip the SI. My 2 cents.
 
03/01/2021 08:50PM  
thegildedgopher: "okinaw55: "thegildedgopher: "I had a 5 inch lowrance with SI and it was tough to read detail on that size screen. The other issue with SI units on canoes is transducer size and mounting. Do your homework so you won’t be surprised is all I’m saying.



I thought I wanted a bird unit, especially for lake master maps, but over the last few years I have read countless stories of software issues with HB. I ended up going with a Garmin for that reason."




What model and how do you feel about it? "



I got the garmin 93sv UHD, but it’s for my fishing boat and not for a canoe. I’ve played around a lot with the maps at home, can mark spots on the phone app and they sync to the Garmin which is convenient. Haven’t had it on the water yet since it was purchased mid-winter.


Bird makes a good unit I’m sure; I just got scared reading about issues. Software upgrades gone awry, not finding bottom, poor performance in shallow water, etc. I’m told their mega SI is a step above everybody else’s tech FWIW.


If this is primarily a canoe unit i would skip the SI. My 2 cents."


Yeah I plan on skipping it especially since the price goes up 200 and I doubt I would ever be comfortable using it. I've watched videos and the whole rock, ledge, vegetation, and fish "shadows" would just be too much work in a canoe.
 
Reke0402
senior member (67)senior membersenior member
 
03/02/2021 09:55AM  
okinaw55: "I'm leaning to the helix 7 with max di gps 3gn only (no side imaging). Add lithium battery 12v 10ah for $70-ish for about 2lbs of weight in the battery. If I had that unit on say .. 4-5 hours a day, with that battery, how long would it last without a charge and the gps on sometimes? Do the amp hours change because of less draw?"

Check out energized outdoors site below they have different graphs showing estimated usage with different battery options

https://ampedoutdoors.com/pages/humminbird%C2%AE
 
CRL
senior member (63)senior membersenior member
 
03/03/2021 05:28PM  
Though I only have experience with a Helix 5 with GPS and DI, I just saw a Helix 7 Chirp Mega SI G2N advertised for $499.97, normally $799.99 from a Bass Pro Shops/Cabela's flier. Thought you may be interested.
 
03/03/2021 06:32PM  
CRL: "Though I only have experience with a Helix 5 with GPS and DI, I just saw a Helix 7 Chirp Mega SI G2N advertised for $499.97, normally $799.99 from a Bass Pro Shops/Cabela's flier. Thought you may be interested."

I noticed the same thing before I tossed it in the recycle bin last night. I'm surprised they still have the G2's around. That's a hell of a price for a 7 with Mega and SI with networking capabilities. If it does AutoChart that would be fun too for BW lakes especially if you like to go back to the same lakes.
 
03/04/2021 08:44PM  
CRL: "Though I only have experience with a Helix 5 with GPS and DI, I just saw a Helix 7 Chirp Mega SI G2N advertised for $499.97, normally $799.99 from a Bass Pro Shops/Cabela's flier. Thought you may be interested."

Thanks for the heads-up guys. Much appreciated.
 
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