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slabchaser

recomendations on sonar

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hello, im new to the website and was looking for some good advice on sonar. I use a vex for ice fishing and I find it very trust worthy, when it marks fish or bottom structure I trust it. I have used the vex in the summer but I was wondering if there is something else that would be better for open water fishing. I think the side imaging would work well but its fairly expensive. Anyone have a sonar they trust or should i stick with my vex? All opinions are appreciated. thanks

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Your going to get a lot of resposnses on this one... There are quite a few who prefer to use vex year round. They like the instant updates theat you get with a flasher. I myself, love flashers for ice fishing, but thats about it. I much prefer a liquid crystal graph. I like to be able to see what I have gone over without having to look at the graph every single second. I myself prefer the lowrance products.. I have a LMS 480 on the drivers console and an X97 up front. But there are plenty of other manufactures that make great units as well..

Figgure out what bells and whistles you want your unit to have and then go to a reputable store to check them out.

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You are right, the side imaging is the way to go right now, but yes it has a big price tag. I’m a lowrance guy myself but I’m starting to like them units. A vex is by far the best real time locator there is, it doesn’t have any delay like the lcd units have. If you can read a vex (which im not the best at in open water) in open water then I would never take it off my boat. I would have it up front on my trolling motor, and maybe have an lcd unit next to it. The vex will give you the best reading for rocks, throw weeds and stuff like that, but it’s nice to have a unit like a lowrance next’s to it so you can see the brake of the structure. Deitz is right you need to find out what you want in a locator, GPS, color screen, how big of screen and stuff like that.

If you want to find out some information on the side imaging check out the bass page, there is a post on there that has some good information about them units.

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We all do things a little bit differently.

Like Deitz, I have a 480 on my console. I use my Vexilar up front. However, This spring I think I'll be switching things up a bit and moving my vex to the console and the 480 up front.

Normally, I fish lakes that I'm fairly familiar with. So, when I'm running I want the instant upgrade for depth right in front of me. When I get to where I'm going I either drop down the trolling motor or drift. This is when I want to be looking at the 480.

Unlike Deitz I don't own a totaly fancy huge boat with a gabillion HP motor that can run at the speed of sound. I think it's safe to say my running across the lake is at quite a bit slower speed. The vex on the console would serve my needs plus I already own it so the price is right. The time I REALLY want the graph display is when I'm on the bow.

Once again, we all do things differently. You're going to get some good info from other members on this topic.

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LOL @ Boilerguy--- dont be a pretty boat hater now!

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Dude, I'm not hatin. Little jealous......just a little. grin.gif

Mine, however, is paid for. grin.gif No clue about anyone elses.

Back to sonar, I mention the high speed thing on purpose. If you're on a lake that you arn't that familiar with, instant depth upgrades are a serious plus as you are flying across, up on plane with only the prop in the water, and you are heading up a shallow underwater reef that you don't know about. IMO- that's not the time to know depth of where you've been 300 feet ago.

I've been cruising across a couple of lakes, watching the depthfinder, and "OH BOTHER" time to turn......quickly.

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But in that case sometimes the worst thing you can do is bring your boat off plane. Although I catch myself doing this exact thing everytime. I guess if I hit something at 20 it will do less damage then at 50.

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True. A rock is a rock is a rock and no sonar is going to let you know it's there until you hit it.

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Even with instant updating, by the time you see it on the screen and react you've already crossed over so....tooo late!

Bob

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hey thanks for all the info guys. I think i will stick with my vex. There are other more important things to buy.

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I think one of the best features of newer models is the GPS with map programs that will show your shallow areas when your crusing through a area at a gazillion mph or will show your tracks overlaid on a map of the lake as you work a reef. HTB

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That leads me to another question. Would it be better to invest in say a h2o rather than a depth finder?

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If your more of a summertime fisherman, getting the GPS/Sonar combo would be the way to go. They are easier to use together and the space you would take up installing a ram H2O would get a little cramped. Now if you like to do a lot of winter fishing, get a H2O so you can use it out on the ice.

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