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MinnesotaMongo

Help on GPS decision

23 posts in this topic

Just picked up a different boat that has a Bottomline 6500 in it. A little older unit - but very nice, looks down, left, right, etc. Even has GPS - although it can't use the new nav chips, as far as I can tell.

I want to pick up a stand alone GPS. My boat has an electronics locker, if that makes a difference. I stopped in the local fishing emporium in 'Kato tonight, and they were pushing me toward an H20 - instead of a Lowrance GPS - because I could use it for hunting, driving, etc. But the screen is SO small - do any of you use H2O's for fishing. I like the idea of using it for other things - but a nice 5 inch color screen is also VERY appealing.

Any advice would be helpful. Thanks.

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I own a H2O which I use on my 4 wheeler in the winter and when I'm traveling anywhere. On the boat I have a Lowrance 532 which has the GPS and sonar. The H2O I have mounted up front by the trolloing motor along with another Lowrance non GPS sonar. So, with the one by the dash and the handheld mounted up front with the lowrance unit they all work fine.

The only issue with the H20 is it is a very small screen but it is a very versatile unit. It does accept both lakemaster and Nav chips.

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If you can swing it I'd do both. They take the same chips and like Harvey said the H20 is nice for all the other things like the front of the boat and Ice fishing.

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I have the hand-held H2O with Lake Master chip and wouldn't have it any other way.

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If you can swing it financially, get at least a 5 inch screen. You won't be disappointed. I have a H2O, but it's pretty worthless in the boat. Way too small of a screen, it also eats batteries. Okay for the ice, but I'd recommend a 5 inch screen at the console and bowmount trolling motor (powered off crank battery). I wouldn't have it any other way.

Humminbird discontinued all the Bottom Line units (the Bottom Line brand altogether).

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The screen is small but on the front as an extra it works without breaking the bank. One can also use the 12v plug in so you dont have to use batteries. if you do buy batteries use either the rechargeables or I like to use the Lithium as they last quite awhile.

It would be great to have a nicer unit at both locations, but you will need to spend alot more money and wont have the portabillity of the H20 for a wheeler, snowmobile or your vechile. The screen is small but it does work and with a 12v line hooked up with the cord one would not eat up to many dollars in batteries.

Another option would be to purchase the Explorer as it has all the options of the H20 and a few more ta boot. Granted I have another GPS/sonar at the dash but I wouldnt give up the other handheld up front as you can also use it so many more places.

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I'm with T,O and H,L on this one. The hand held if you don't want it for the boat only.

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It all comes down to money. I don't mind paying for my fishing toys. Like I said, I have a H2O. It only gets used a few times per year on the ice. I may sell it and put the money towards a Garmin Street Pilot for the truck. (Depends on the Black Friday sales.) And that's another option, unless you need the gps right away. There may be some black friday sales coming up at Gander, Cabela's, or Scheels.

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Great replies by everybody. Thank you.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do now - because I do like that big screen. It's nice to get an overview on a lake before you start - something you can't do with an H2O - because the screen is so dang small.

I'll keep on looking and checking out the holiday specials. I'm sure there will be some sales when the sports shows come around as well.

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I fish Winnie, Gull, Mille Lacs, Madison, Tetonka, Elysian, etc, etc with the hand-held and love nothing more than scoping out the lake prior to fishing in my motel room or parents' basement before going out. Like I said, I have the hand-held H2O and wouldn't have it any other way. I love having the H2O in my pocket, peaking at it from time to time, but fishing most of the time. A person doesn't need a 5+" screen to show you how you're trolling run is going.

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My H2Oc is all I need. I dont think I'd spend the $$ for a bigger screen. With the lakemaster chip, I examine the lake before I hunt it.

I dont leave home, or go fishing without it.

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I have a H20 I like it I also have a 334c Icemachine you put a 12v battery in it and you now have a portable fish finder/gps In summer i mount it on the bow and winter I take it out to lake it is easy to read because of bigger screen and you can use it for a depth finder. they don't make 334 any more it got replaced by I think 522.... there is also a new product crossover XOG http://www.lowrance.com/Products/Automotive/XOG.asp

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I find it virtually impossible to scan more than a very tiny bay or piece of structure with any resolution/detail on the H2O without having to keep panning the screen around the bay/structure. By panning, you may lose the "big picture" so you zoom out further, but then you lose the detail of the chip you paid for. Now if you have the H2O on the console, add the fact that you may be moving at 30+ mph going from spot to spot. It is also nice to see the "spot" you are headed to as well as your current location while running across the lake. The tiny screen makes it impossible without zooming so far out that you again you lose the chip detail. (Besides the fact that squinting at a few inch screen may also lead to safety concerns while driving.)

If you are on a tight budget (or just frugal), require a multi-functional unit for hunting/ice fishing that you can also use on the boat, or don't spend that much time on different bodies of water just about any handheld unit with chip capability will suffice. If you have the money and fish a lot in the boat, there is nothing better than a bigger screened combo unit that allows you to see a larger portion of the lake or specific structure in full chip detail.

Many pro's (not local tourneys, the touring pros) are running 2 LCDs at the console. 1 for sonar and 1 for GPS. They also have at least 1 combo unit at the bow. (Some run a flasher besides the LCD combo up front.) Most of us can't afford this, think it is overkill, or just aren't in the hurry the big tourney guys are (they only have so much time to spend pre-fishing for any one tourney), but there are very good reasons for larger and multiple GPS units. All these tools have their place to make make a more enjoyable time, dissect the water more quickly, navigate more safely or quickly, etc...

I have never heard any one that has ever regretted the bigger screen. H'bird is coming out with a 10"+ screen for next year (Lowrance may be, also?) because the market is requesting it. (The TV size screen will also help to split the viewing between GPS and sideimaging, but H'Bird will be making the same size unit w/o SI.)

Black Friday is just 2 weeks away. I'll bet there will be some terrific deals out there on obsolete/last year's units.

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For the better part of two years I used the H20 exclusively to find my way way around the waters I was fishing. For the most part it did what I needed it to do for me. What I like best about the H2O unit is it's portability to use it on the ice and in the woods as well. This spring I bought an LMS 520 and put it on the console of my boat. It's been the best $$ I've spent in upgrading my equipment in years. I think KatoGuy stated things very well and agree with everything he had to say. I like this unit so much that my next investment is going to be a full size GPS unit for the bow of the boat as well. Really though, both units will provide the same information and are both very helpfull for what we do. In my opinion, going for the bigger screen is a no-brainer.

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H2O for me as well. 3 years now. I'm in the woods or on the water an average of three to four days a week. wouldn't be without it. If you stop into Scheels in Kato they have some of the 5" color GPS up and running and a couple killer deals on some 5" Black and whites. For the money you"ll save on that 4800 you might make your mind up in one stop. If it was my money H20C is what i would get!

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Quote:

I may sell it and put the money towards a Garmin Street Pilot for the truck.


Hey Katoguy, I would be glad to take that too small H20 off your hands if it isn't working for you. You let me know.

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It was a gift, so I may not unload it. I do use it a couple time a year to set up on the hotspot during darkness for ice fishing. (I load my boat waypoints onto the H2O.) If I do decide to sell it, I'll let you know. I don't really need the cash for the Street Pilot.

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Well you can still load all those hotspots on there if you decide to sell it. Then if you need them, just look for my Frabill portable and you will know you are in the right spot!!!! Let me know what you decide or else I think the checkbook might open for a new one at the ice shows! Gotta buy myself a xmas present this year!

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WOW!

Mark a Waypoint and get back to it later in the least amount of time...........

What else is it for?

From what I have seen with lake maps is that, they give you kind of an idea of what the bottom looks like. Nothing more.

What I have seen with GPS is the bottom is not always the same. Always changing in some ways.

Let the GPS, depth finder, your lure and the fish tell you what is going on down below. Don't get loss in details.

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WOW - On days where fish aren't just jumping in your boat every place you stop. Details ARE usually the answer. Isn't that the idea of your GPS, depthfinder, lure, etc...! They are all tools to find the details that will get you more fish.

Even your hand GPS allows you to do much more than you think. There are books you can read if you need more info on the subject. It has multiple functions, just one of is nav charts. If you don't want a chip, don't buy one.

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I didn't.

How big does the screen have to be when your 1/16" away from a waypoint when your zoomed in at .02 miles?

I do wish the numbers for the ground speed were bigger on my hand held. The numbers on my old one were.

90% of the lakes I fish are not on the lake map card. The 10% that are on the card, I don't need maps for. The key breaks and points are waypoints. Inside turns, outside turns, rock bars, transitions and such. I even have some old clothes line poles, old farm equipment and cinder blocks marked out.

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I agree the maps on our S. MN. lakes are not very detailed. (The lakes don't have a lot of structure, though.) I spoke with Jeff at Navionics about this a month or so ago and gave him my wish list for local lakes with 1' contours.

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Let's hear the list. grin.gif

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