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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just trying to do a little research on these and hopefully get some advice. Right now i've got one Eagle Fishmark 320...which I plan to mount on my bow, and i've got a cuda 168....which does the job, but its nothing fancy. I was pondering on hopefully upgrading sometime a little later on(at least a couple months probably) and not sure what I wanna do. I like the idea of having a GPS, but i'm not sure if I would be better off getting a handheld GPS unit and just get a quality regular DF, or save up and get a depthfinder/gps combo? Because I think I could get a descent hand held gps unit between 150-200 and a good depthfinder for 200-250 bucks. Whereas a good lowrance gps combo unit runs well over $500+. I can't really afford to spend a whole lot, but if I buy one, I plan on getting a pretty good quality unit. Just not sure how you guys felt about the hand helds...are they still as good, or what?
Just kinda looking for some advice because I dont really know much about the GPS deals.
 

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I've got the Eagle 502c internal gps/sonar on my boat its a good unit and i've been happy with it but I wish I would have spent a little more and bought the Lowrance 520. You might consider something like the 520 w/out the gps antenna and then add that on later. I think they can be bought that way for 420-450 or so. My preference would be to have it all in one unit, so you'd have less to worry about. If I was going to fish Norris most of the time, i'd focus on the sonar, color would be my pick and then get as many watts and pixels as you could afford in whatever unit you choose. Then if you can throw the gps in there or add it on later that'd be a plus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What do you guys think as far as color or not? I know color would be nice, but dang....most of them are nearly at least $150 more. Is it really worth that much more?
 

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Snoot's got a good point there about the gas. I'd take the same approach to buying a unit as you did with your boat, find something your happy with, can afford and buy it. If you've got your heart set on a color gps/sonar, save the pennies and wait instead of buying a 250 grayscale unit that you're really not satisfied with and then it's worth half price when you go to upgrade next time. After having color it would be the only way to go if I could swing the price, but not everyone likes them. Watch the BBC electronics board, there are alot of good entry level units, X125's 135's etc that come standard in these new boats and the first thing guys do is pull them out and upgrade. Many of them go cheap compared to what brand new cost.
 

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I agree with Otis... save up and get what you want. Otherwise every time you look at it you will think to yourself, "wish I had waited."



As for the unit... I personally am a Garmin Guy. I've had 5-6 of them over the past 6-7 years and they have all done really well. I've never had any issues with them. The one thing too is the fact that they have units with built-in antennas which saves you from having to drill or cut holes in your boat. I personally love that feature because it allows me to take them out of the boat and use them in other places if needed. Oh yeah... and the color unit is the best way to go.



Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys. I'm not worried about something thats gonna show a wart on the side of a smallmouth....haha, just something thats gonna show what I need it to and not have any problem being able to read it and make out whats what. As far as the color units, What are the advantages to them over a regular grayscale unit?
 

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I ain't gonna get too technical on this one, because quite frankly i'm not capable, but with the color unit, you will see different colors which should enable you to better differentiate different types of structure, fish, bottom material, etc while the gray unit may do the same thing but you are looking at different shades of gray which are harder to tell apart. Some people say the color units are difficult to read in direct sunlight but i've not had a problem with mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So if you guys were tight on money, and $150 was quite a bit to you at the time, Would you spend the extra money for a color unit, or just get a good quality grayscale?
 

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BUBBA!I RUN GPS ON MY BOAT BUT THE REASON I PUT IT ON THERE IS TO RUN WHEN IT FOGGY,TO GET ME IN A OUT OF SHOLLOW WATER.SOME PLACES I GO AT NIGHT YOU GO IN AT DUSK BUT YOU DON'T COME OUT TILL DAYLIGHT.NOW I CAN COME OUT OF THOSE PLACES AT NIGHT WITHOUT TARRING THE BOTTOM OFF OF IT..BUT IF I YOU RUN A LOT OF DIFFERNT WATER.I WOULD BUY A GOOD ONE.I HAVE EVEN BEEN LOSE ON A LAKE I HAVE BEEN ON FOR YEARS.THEY ARE THE TRICK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
BUBBA!I RUN GPS ON MY BOAT BUT THE REASON I PUT IT ON THERE IS TO RUN WHEN IT FOGGY,TO GET ME IN A OUT OF SHOLLOW WATER.SOME PLACES I GO AT NIGHT YOU GO IN AT DUSK BUT YOU DON'T COME OUT TILL DAYLIGHT.NOW I CAN COME OUT OF THOSE PLACES AT NIGHT WITHOUT TARRING THE BOTTOM OFF OF IT..BUT IF I YOU RUN A LOT OF DIFFERNT WATER.I WOULD BUY A GOOD ONE.I HAVE EVEN BEEN LOSE ON A LAKE I HAVE BEEN ON FOR YEARS.THEY ARE THE TRICK.




Yeah, Thats one thing i'd like one for, and i'd also like one to be able to mark various brushpiles, drop-offs, humps, etc I happen to run across that are underwater. I'd like to get one, But I think I may have to wait awhile to be able to afford one.
 

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If Lowrance is a little too steep, go with Eagle basically the same unit made by the same company. I have color and really like it but it is not a necessity.
 

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Bubba,

I installed a Lowrance 522Ci GPS in the dash of my boat. When I bought it the price was way up there and it has been an unreal unit to have to fish new waters. I noticed on Ebay last night there were several of these units "BUY NOW" at around 450.00, but you can not buy them for less than 700.00 in stores. With the ability to update software, and the powerful built in GPS receiver I have to give this unit an A+. The ability to come home after fishing and upload the entire trips data, fast forward or revers through the entire day, add waypoints where you caught fish, and even mark those downed trees you missed while messing with your line can be seen and marked at home for the next trip. Lowrance has many models and I would recommend one to anyone that is looking for a combo GPS/Sonar. The unit I have is color, and it does help when the sun is very bright to see the unit, but other than that the color really does nothing for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What do you guys think about the Eagle FishElite 502C? They sell for $469.99 @ BPS. Also, Do I want an Internal Antenna or External?




According to the reviews on BPS website, is that the only downfall is that the pre-installed mapping isn't very good? But they said you could upgrade later, but a new chip would run around $100? Is this pretty normal for any of these combo units?(as far as the pre-installing mapping not being great?)
 

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That is a good unit. A buddy of mine has it. Go with the External around here for sure. It will rarely loose signal like the internal ones.



The pre-loaded mapping will not be very detailed but will get you were you want to go. The cards really show the river/creek channels and contours lines. They show other things but the channels is what I really like.
 

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good thread here! I'm pretty much in the same situation you are, Bubba. Been looking to buy a good depth finder but i really don't know that much about them and i also dont have that much money to spend. I've been doing some research and if you want a great sonar at a good price, check out the Lowrance X96. Its not color but there are other units in the Lowrance X series that are in color. From what i have seen, Lowrance is best for me. Check out my thread under the General Discussion forum
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
good thread here! I'm pretty much in the same situation you are, Bubba. Been looking to buy a good depth finder but i really don't know that much about them and i also dont have that much money to spend. I've been doing some research and if you want a great sonar at a good price, check out the Lowrance X96. Its not color but there are other units in the Lowrance X series that are in color. From what i have seen, Lowrance is best for me. Check out my thread under the General Discussion forum




Yeah, I have been reading your thread as well. I've got a Eagle Fishmark 320(which I think is basically the same model as a X96) that i'm gonna hook up sometime this week and try it out this weekend. I'm gonna run it on my bow, then save up and get a good GPS combo color unit to mount on my dash. You can buy those Eagle 320's for 159.99, where as the X96's are 199.99, so You may wanna look at those as well.....Basically the same unit for $40 bucks less.
 

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I have and Eagle 320 on the console, a 480 on the bow, and a Lowrance iFinder H20c handheld GPS. The thing I like about the iFinder is the portability. I have been able to use it in friends boats and it is excellent for marking structure. BUT, if I had it to do over I would have saved up for the combo unit with internal antenna for the portability factor as well. It would be nice to have them in one unit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have and Eagle 320 on the console, a 480 on the bow, and a Lowrance iFinder H20c handheld GPS. The thing I like about the iFinder is the portability. I have been able to use it in friends boats and it is excellent for marking structure. BUT, if I had it to do over I would have saved up for the combo unit with internal antenna for the portability factor as well. It would be nice to have them in one unit.




How do you like that Eagle 320 SJK? Hoping to get to try mine out this weekend.
 

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Yeah, I have been reading your thread as well. I've got a Eagle Fishmark 320(which I think is basically the same model as a X96) that i'm gonna hook up sometime this week and try it out this weekend. I'm gonna run it on my bow, then save up and get a good GPS combo color unit to mount on my dash. You can buy those Eagle 320's for 159.99, where as the X96's are 199.99, so You may wanna look at those as well.....Basically the same unit for $40 bucks less.




Yep, they are pretty much the same unit. Make sure you let us know how how it does after you try it out! I've heard they are good units. I've looked at the Eagles and even though they are about the same, I've always been partial to Lowrance.
 

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I had a Fishmark 320 also. Sold it to my friend and bought another 480. I have a 480 on the Bow and on the Console now. I Love mine. I Liked the 320 also, no complaints there. Just wanted to update to more pixel, which made a big diffrence for me. I heard the color units are pretty bright for the night fishermen, even if you turn the brightness all the way down. Until I am able to fish out of a boat with the color, I guess I'll stick with my grayscale.
 
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