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Your choice of open water electronics


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Just got done restoring my boat, but in the process i realized my finder broke in the last 2 years during storage(it was dump anyway). I'm lookin for sonar in the $200-400 range, any input is welcome. I'm leaning toward Humminbird or Lowrance. At this price range is it worth it to make sure I get color? Nothing but good things to say about my handheld Lowrance GPS, which is why I am considering going the same route with the sonar. Thanks in advance smile

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You probably can't go wrong with either a Humminbird or Lowrance, but one of the reasons that I went with Humminbird is that Humminbird, Lakemaster and MinnKota are all owned by the same parent company. So if you really like the Lake Master chips or perhaps have a newer MinnKota trolling motor you might want to go with the Humminbird. You can already see by the news release of the iLink that there is going to be some pretty cool technology being worked out within that group. With that said, the locators you're going to get in the $200-400 ranger probably won't be able to take advantage of all these things so it might be a moot point.

To address your other questions, I think color is a great feature to have. It is much easier to identify fish hugging the bottom with color than it is with black and white. Also fish in the weeds will stand out much easier too. I would try and get a unit with a GPS as well if you can spring the cash for it.

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Either one will be a good choice. I personally have used Lowrance my whole life so that is what I like but I have friends that have H-birds and they like them as well. You won't get into a Lowrance HDS for under $400 but you might find a good used unit as many guys are upgrading to the HDS units and selling their old ones.

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if u can afford anther $50, u may be able to get a HB 597 series with larger screen, color, gps, & HD that you could add a chip later on down the road, a very decent deal & units in that price range

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if u can afford anther $50, u may be able to get a HB 597 series with larger screen, color, gps, & HD that you could add a chip later on down the road, a very decent deal & units in that price range

You can certainly get a 587 at that point. A 586 would be within your budget...a high definition color model, but no GPS.

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Used or closeout HDS 5 would be my suggestion. To keep the screen size decent, you could mount the handheld GPS for charting next to the HDS 5 for sonar. A HDS 5x is sonar only and might be a tad cheaper as well.

You will love the 2D sonar in this unit (could upgrade to side and down imaging later on if you choose)

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You can certainly get a 587 at that point. A 586 would be within your budget...a high definition color model, but no GPS.

I bought a H-bird 587ci HD DI Combo for 430+tax after it was all said and done a few weeks ago. Free shipping and free soft cover. They are no longer that good of a deal. But with the season coming to an end there are still some good deals out there. Only problem with buying my humminbird was my lowrance chip no longer worked so I have to purchase one.

I used my handheld lowrance for years mounted next to my finder. A color finder is key though. I would never get a fish finder that wasn't color 2c

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