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Old 10-12-2020, 09:12 AM   #1
chris138
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5 Things You MUST Know Before You Buy A Fish Finder!

In this video I cover 5 crucial things you must know before you purchase your next fish finder. They are:

1. Understanding frequencies and which frequencies do you need to fish La Jolla for yellowtail.

2. Considerations for mounting your transducer.

3. Figuring out which battery you will need.

4. Economies of scale... how much should you spend?

5. Don't let your fish finder stop you from getting on the water!

Hope you like it!

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Old 10-13-2020, 09:20 AM   #2
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Well done video, some good points, and interesting perspectives. The boom arm over the side is too much drag for my tastes. The fishfinders that I have been using are auto chirp units, and I have not felt a need to manually adjust frequencies. I usually focus my fishing in the 50-300ft range and typically can watch my 4oz jig drop down to about 180- 250ft before it fades out of view. I would have a hard time going fishing without the FF as it is a major part of the entertainment.
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Old 10-14-2020, 06:30 AM   #3
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Would love to have seen

You share some of those coordinates.

Well Done. Not sure how you scripted or rehearsed, but the video had really good flow. Im hoping I can get out this fall/winter to work on some of these new tips you provided in your last two videos. See you at the launch. Thanks Chris.
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Old 10-14-2020, 03:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by TJones View Post
You share some of those coordinates.

Well Done. Not sure how you scripted or rehearsed, but the video had really good flow. Im hoping I can get out this fall/winter to work on some of these new tips you provided in your last two videos. See you at the launch. Thanks Chris.
Thanks TJones. No script and no rehearsal. The flow is probably mostly a product of postproduction and editing. I just kinda thought up the 5 things that morning while I was out there, then kinda rambled them off while I was on the water on a pretty slow day. Granted, the 5 things are all things that we have talked about here on the forum over the years, but really I just had an idea that I wanted to make a "5 things" list video about sonar.

Glad you liked and that you get something out of the videos. Cheers Bro!
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Old 10-15-2020, 03:17 PM   #5
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Yo, the home made sunscreen thing is a game changer. I cant stand normal sunscreen. I wear contact lenses and it eventually runs into my eyes and makes everything blurry so I just don't wear it on my face. If I can find something that doesn't cause the blurry-ness, and that protects the fishery AND my skin I would be stoked.
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Old 10-16-2020, 09:40 AM   #6
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Thanks TJones. No script and no rehearsal. The flow is probably mostly a product of postproduction and editing. I just kinda thought up the 5 things that morning while I was out there, then kinda rambled them off while I was on the water on a pretty slow day. Granted, the 5 things are all things that we have talked about here on the forum over the years, but really I just had an idea that I wanted to make a "5 things" list video about sonar.

Glad you liked and that you get something out of the videos. Cheers Bro!
Useful video Chris

Do you have any recommendations on the best bang for the buck midrange fish finder right now?
Lowrance Elite 7 like you have?

I'm still looking for a good deal on a used kayak but figured with Black Friday and a lot of sales coming around, I should be on the lookout for a fish finder as well.
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Old 10-16-2020, 09:56 AM   #7
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Useful video Chris

Do you have any recommendations on the best bang for the buck midrange fish finder right now?
Lowrance Elite 7 like you have?

I'm still looking for a good deal on a used kayak but figured with Black Friday and a lot of sales coming around, I should be on the lookout for a fish finder as well.
I thought I saw a Elite 7 Ti2 for around 500 now...

If you use this link, you will be helping out my channel. I get a small commission if you use my link. Make sure you get the HDI transducer to save some money. The total scan or 3 in 1 transducer has sidescan and is more expensive, and is harder to mount unless you have the hobie guardian system which is ready to rig for sidescan.

https://amzn.to/2T06bpF
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Old 10-16-2020, 05:14 PM   #8
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Great video, thanks for posting! I have the older 5Ti with the side scan. So far I haven't found it useful in the salt. Has anyone found a use for it?
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Old 10-20-2020, 05:07 PM   #9
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I am sorry Chris, but I have to disagree. One of the top 5 has to be buy the extended warranty. Because you are going to need it unless you only fish on the blue moons.
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Old 10-20-2020, 09:51 PM   #10
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I am sorry Chris, but I have to disagree. One of the top 5 has to be buy the extended warranty. Because you are going to need it unless you only fish on the blue moons.
Or if one does not mind going without their FF for the 2-12wks while waiting for the MFG to honor the original warranty and do the repairs.

West Marine sometimes has good sales, does price matching, and has the best-extended warranties in my area. Regardless of the fine print, every time I have brought one in, it has been a hassle-free exchange for a brand new replacement. If the unit is no longer carried, a credit towards a newer unit.
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Old 10-21-2020, 09:58 AM   #11
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I am sorry Chris, but I have to disagree. One of the top 5 has to be buy the extended warranty. Because you are going to need it unless you only fish on the blue moons.
What are the failure modes and failure rates you see or expect to see on fishfinders used on kayaks?

I'm at 60 trips, ~350 hours on the water with my Elite 5-Ti in just over 4 years with no issues from the FF or transducers. I guess I fit into your bluemoon / weekend warrior category. Had my battery terminals oxidize quickly which lead to poor connections as my only major issue. I typically launch with the FF in my dry bag and connect on the water once through the surf. Keep the connector on the transducer side lubed with dielectric grease and capped for the launch.


Thanks,

C
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Old 10-21-2020, 10:05 PM   #12
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I am sorry Chris, but I have to disagree. One of the top 5 has to be buy the extended warranty. Because you are going to need it unless you only fish on the blue moons.
These are pretty important to consider. I never launch with my FF installed, always stowed in drybag below deck. So as far as damage to the head unit itself I haven't had too many issues. Not the case with my Raymarine dragonfly several years back, which had water ingress issues just from splashing on the water.

The most common failure mode I have is corrosion of the power supply cable. The Elite Ti units I use have the "red plug" which I will replace every season or 2. The unit wont turn on, and you have to kinda fiddle with the power cable, and often you have to like partway unplug it to get it to turn on when its getting corroded.

The west marine warranty is pretty awesome though, and you're right it should definitely be considered carefully. Another thing to realize is that these devices for sure have a limited lifespan in a kayak application. It's really quite sad, that the companies can't make a fully submersible headunit, with a wireless power supply. Or better yet, why not make one with an internal LiPo like an iPhone and have it charge wirelessly at home. I think it would be pretty easy to have a transducer that used their ANT bluetooth tech and be fully wireless. If Garmin stepped up their fishfinder game to where their watches and submersible GPS devices are, I would change over to them in a HEARTBEAT.
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Old 10-22-2020, 12:39 AM   #13
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Or if one does not mind going without their FF for the 2-12wks while waiting for the MFG to honor the original warranty and do the repairs.

West Marine sometimes has good sales, does price matching, and has the best-extended warranties in my area. Regardless of the fine print, every time I have brought one in, it has been a hassle-free exchange for a brand new replacement. If the unit is no longer carried, a credit towards a newer unit.
This plus one. For all the coin we throw at our fishing pursuits, I go out of my way to purchase from WestMarine on FF at the very least, and I always buy the warranty. I got two years out of my Lowrance and took it to WM just outside of manufacturer warranty when it completely bricked (Screen got all weird and finally just died).

The manager reinforced my decision by explaining they ask ZERO questions about the unit when you bring it in. They didn't troubleshoot my head unit. They didn't even check to see if the transducer was in the box or if the navionics chip was with it. You can literally say "I decided I wanted a better unit, and I'd like full credit toward my purchase on the new model that just came out" and they do it.
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Old 10-22-2020, 07:49 AM   #14
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These are pretty important to consider. I never launch with my FF installed, always stowed in drybag below deck. So as far as damage to the head unit itself I haven't had too many issues. Not the case with my Raymarine dragonfly several years back, which had water ingress issues just from splashing on the water.

The most common failure mode I have is corrosion of the power supply cable. The Elite Ti units I use have the "red plug" which I will replace every season or 2. The unit wont turn on, and you have to kinda fiddle with the power cable, and often you have to like partway unplug it to get it to turn on when its getting corroded.

The west marine warranty is pretty awesome though, and you're right it should definitely be considered carefully. Another thing to realize is that these devices for sure have a limited lifespan in a kayak application. It's really quite sad, that the companies can't make a fully submersible headunit, with a wireless power supply. Or better yet, why not make one with an internal LiPo like an iPhone and have it charge wirelessly at home. I think it would be pretty easy to have a transducer that used their ANT bluetooth tech and be fully wireless. If Garmin stepped up their fishfinder game to where their watches and submersible GPS devices are, I would change over to them in a HEARTBEAT.
Fully sealed including replaceable battery, wireless charging and fully submersible. Sign me up
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Old 10-22-2020, 08:12 AM   #15
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Another thing to realize is that these devices for sure have a limited lifespan in a kayak application. It's really quite sad, that the companies can't make a fully submersible headunit, with a wireless power supply. Or better yet, why not make one with an internal LiPo like an iPhone and have it charge wirelessly at home. I think it would be pretty easy to have a transducer that used their ANT bluetooth tech and be fully wireless. If Garmin stepped up their fishfinder game to where their watches and submersible GPS devices are, I would change over to them in a HEARTBEAT.
Many mfgs are not even supplying plugs to cover the wires when the head units are disconnected. It's like they want the FF to go bad so you will have to buy a new one. How sweet it would be to have water proof units with internal LiPo batteries and no wires in the hull to corrode!
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Old 10-22-2020, 09:08 AM   #16
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Many mfgs are not even supplying plugs to cover the wires when the head units are disconnected. It's like they want the FF to go bad so you will have to buy a new one. How sweet it would be to have water proof units with internal LiPo batteries and no wires in the hull to corrode!
There are several available on amazon for around a hundred bucks with sealed LiPo batteries. Just not from any of the big name sonar brands...
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Old 10-22-2020, 02:46 PM   #17
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Yes, the main issues deal with water intrusion. Through the connectors, the unused ports, the SD slots and even the heads themselves. You can mitigate most of the issues taking the steps mentioned above during launch and landing. But there are still rogue conditions that can get your unit wet well away from the launch.

Another consideration is that most of these units are not designed to be connected and disconnected each outing. There is wear and tear involved with all of that.

Not ever going to be able to get to fully wireless units due the the transducer being in the water. But I would love to see the waterproof head and rechargeable internal battery and storage, as long as it has capacity.

I too love the West Marine warranty, and buy all of my electronics from them with it. Not only do they replace your unit under their extended warranty, they will replace the unit under the manufacturers warranty and return it themselves.
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Old 10-22-2020, 03:13 PM   #18
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they will replace the unit under the manufacturers warranty and return it themselves.
Wow, thats great customer service. I will have to keep that in mind next time I buy something.
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Old 10-22-2020, 05:04 PM   #19
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Yes, the main issues deal with water intrusion. Through the connectors, the unused ports, the SD slots and even the heads themselves. You can mitigate most of the issues taking the steps mentioned above during launch and landing. But there are still rogue conditions that can get your unit wet well away from the launch.

Another consideration is that most of these units are not designed to be connected and disconnected each outing. There is wear and tear involved with all of that.

Not ever going to be able to get to fully wireless units due the the transducer being in the water. But I would love to see the waterproof head and rechargeable internal battery and storage, as long as it has capacity.

I too love the West Marine warranty, and buy all of my electronics from them with it. Not only do they replace your unit under their extended warranty, they will replace the unit under the manufacturers warranty and return it themselves.
I have noticed some pins bending in the connectors, great point.
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Old 10-23-2020, 04:30 AM   #20
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they will replace the unit under the manufacturers warranty and return it themselves.


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Wow, thats great customer service. I will have to keep that in mind next time I buy something.

West Marine has great customer service. When the price match that I found was not within the now required 50mile radius from the store, they did find me a comparable price match. The extended warranties have some fine print that store by store is disregarded subject to the location. I would inquire with the store to confirm their warranty policy. The largest West Marine in the US(Ft Lauderdale) encourages the extended warranty because then one can bring it back to the store for an exchange, instead of having to go to the manufacturer. That is also the selling point for buying their brand of certain products.
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