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Double Barrel

Hummingbird vs. Lowrance

11 posts in this topic

I've had Lowrance depth finders for most of my life. After looking at Hummingbird and their side imaging I was wondering if that is the way to go. I was just wondering if anyone had any advice to which is better. I do mostly walleye fishing in northern Minnesota. The lake's water at the lake we go to is very dark. I don't know if this would affect the side imaging or not. Thanks

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Water type won't matter. I too have been long time Lowrance/Eagle guy, with a stint of Bottomline in there, and due to recent experiences with Lowrance customer support (horrible for us) and the fact that Hummingbird has made leaps in recent years from their earlier crappy products (we had some of those crap units) I think we will try Hummingbird. Wow, that was a run-on sentence wink.gif

The side imaging looks pretty darn cool, and they have good aftermarket software for it that looks pretty useful. As does Lowrance, but the support (or lack thereof) I got from them turned me off. Good luck.

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A big player in this (in my mind anyway) are if you're also talking about GPS - and the ability to use map chips. If you're not I'd say it's a toss up. I've heard a lot of good things about the side imaging, although I haven't seen it myself.

I've always been a big fan of Lowrance, but also hear you on the poor customer service, or in a lot of cases, how difficult it is to get a hold of customer service rep. It seems like once you actually get one on the line they're not too bad, but it's still a headache.

Anyway, back to the map chips. I believe Humminbird can use Navionics chips, but can't use lakemaster chips, which IMHO Lakemaster chips, especially the ones they've mapped themselves are pretty good and are worth the chance of poor customer service in the long run.

Either way you're in good shape I would say.

marine_man

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The last depth finder I bought from Lowrance kept freezing up on me. It was very hard for me to talk to a rep. The second one they sent me did the same thing. Finally the third worked. I've never had any other problems with this depth finder. I just think Hummingbird has better technology and looks cool too!

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It seems that humminbird is headed in the right direction, that's for sure. But, for me, it would still come down to wether you were looking at a depthfinder or a depthfinder / mapping unit. If you're looking for a mapping & depthfinder not being able to run Lakemaster chips for me would be a big deal.

marine_man

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I've been using Lowrance for many years, I can tell you the next will be a Humminbird. The main customer service center is in Mankato, I can always run there to get anything and their service is excellent. Humminbird is owned by Johnhson Outdoors which owns also MinnKota and Cannon.

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I really like my GPS. I think I would like to upgrade to using Navionics. Is there a difference from Lakemaster chips and Navionics? Can you use both in a Humminbird? Thanks.

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I think Humminbird makes better sonar units than Lowrance. I have a 777C2 and it is nice. Humminbird uses Magellan gps and they only take Navionics. I use a Lowrance hand-help gps and use the Lakemaster or Navionics chip in it. I like having separate units since I like the full screen for the sonar. I have had the 777C2 for 1 1/2 years but when I upgrade I'll take a serious look at the side imaging.

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I just upgraded from a humminbird to a Lowrance. Granted I went from a B&W to a color, but I find the Lowrance to be a much better unit. The flexibility of the software to set it just how you want it is great. Also, I find that it creates a much better picture of the bottom. I get a lot more detail, and a more accurate picture with the Lowrance.

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I used to run Lowrance units also. I now have 2 Humminbird units in my new boat. A 787 in the bow, and a 997SI on the dash. These are my 2nd and 3rd Humminbirds. The first was a 937. And I'm not looking back at Lowrance. Yes it's true, you cannot use the Lakemaster Chips in the Humminbird units, but I think the Navionics mapping chips are every bit as good. (IMO) The dark water up north will not affect the side imaging at all. The SI adds a whole new dimension to the structure you see from a traditional depthfinders perspective. And if you like to bass fish the docks in the summer, it is amazing how it will pick up things beneath the docks that you wouldn't see with a normal depth finder.

Until Lowrance improves dramatically, like I said, I ain't looking back.

Beak

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In terms of sonar (graph) performance, I think they're equal. Lowrance was the clear leader for a long time but Hummingbird has had some good sonars too the last few years. If the SI is of interest to you then HB is better, if no interest in SI then I'd call the sonars equal.

If you want to combine GPS or the NMEA network, then I'd give a strong vote to Lowrance.

You will hear of more problems with Lowrance units ..... but there are probably 20 times more Lowrance units out there right now than HB, Garmin, and everyone else combined. I've had at least 5 Lowrance units over the last 5 years and have only had a minor problem with 1 of them, which was quickly taken care of by their service department. I did an on-line return authorization --- if you call their 1-800 number you can expect to wait on hold grin.gif

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