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how to pick GPS unit


Justfishing

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What should a guy look for when buying a handheld GPS unit. The primary use is for fishing. My budget would be less than $200.

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My suggestion would be a garmin model. They are easier to use than the maggelians. If your price range is 200 and under, I would suggest either the Legend or the 72.

The legend is waterproof, has 8mb of memory to be able to download too, and a basic map built into them.

The 72 has no memory to download to, is waterproof and floats, has a larger screen, stores 50 tracks instead of the standard 20, and has an audible alarm. There are other features but these are the basics.

I would suggest going to Sportsman's Warehouse in ST.Cloud or Coon Rapids. They have knowledgeable sales people and good prices on GPS.

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Tennessean is right on, I think the 72 has WAAS, I would go with that. Garmin's website has a nice comparison tool. Check that out to weight features.

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Most GPS owners have a unit that is WAAS enabled and NEVER actually get connected to a ground based antenna. If you are in any kind of tree cover, forget WAAS. It is not needed and will use up battery. Besides, 25 feet or 70 feet, at that point you'll see your car, house, boat launch, tree stand, etc, etc, etc......
And as far as fishing with a hand held, get yourself close with the GPS and then turn it off and turn on the trust old locator....

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I stopped at the store last night. I liked the Sportstrak and the 72. Both have WAAS and are waterproof.

The Sportstrak floats, I dont know about the 72. I dont know how long it would float but hopefully at least long enough to let you grab it before it goes out of sight.

How does everyone use theirs. The guy at the store says he mostly uses his to map the route back to the tournament launch site and to mark his path through somethings like an area of summerged stumps.

I thought people would use it to find their way back to a fishing spot - combined with sonar of course. How does everyone use theirs when fishing.

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I know the Garmin GPS 12 doesn't float, they sink real slow! frown.gif I had a fast bite going on Lake Erie last year and I kicked the live well lid open to throw in a fish, plop, into the water. Before I realized what it was, to late! All my waypoints gone, and no way to know my exact speed pulling crawler harnesses, I now keep two in the boat.....ON DUMMY CORDS!!! can it be luck?

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A lot of people like to download lake maps like fishing hotspots or realbottom maps, so you might want to consider a unit that is compatable with these also.

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Applications for GPS? First thing you do is mark in the boat launch, could save your life. I can say the GPS has saved me twice when fishing the great Lakes. Large storms and 6-10' waves,hail,rain, I had know idea which way to go to avoid the wave pounded rocky shoreline, GPS held my hand and walked me home. If fishing large lakes with islands,turns,and unfamiliararity, leave the GPS on and it will track your moves. Similar to a breadcrumb trail. Just follow it back home. I use it for large lakes that make it impossible to use landmark features as referance points. I troll a lot. when I troll the GPS marks my track and I mark my fish as wayponts when caught. By panning down the screen, you will follow in your same troll route when fish are tight to specific areas, thus keeping on top of them. Speed is critical to trolling. The GPS will give you accurate readings, takes away the guesswork. can it be luck?

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Can it be luck

That what I am afraid of. It going overboard and having to watch it sink out of sight. Waterproof is nice but having it float is nicer.

What is the slowest speed a GPS will give a reading.

How about the compass featur found on some.

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Less than 1 mph. Dont they all have compass? Aren't they a compass so to speak?

[This message has been edited by can it be luck? (edited 08-05-2003).]

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Maybe they do now but a few years ago I read that they didn't.

I think of them as an endless piece of string that leads you back to where you came from or an endless supply of breadcrums marking your path.

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they all have a compass ijn them but they need you to be moving in order for them to work. Some models have a digital compass that will work without you having to be moving. The 72 does float. The drawback to the sporttrack though, is that you cannot turn off the waas. it is always on no matter what. You can turn it on and off on the Garmins.

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I have the Sportrak Map and I still placed a high quality compass ( with a light in it) on my console. The reason being it is easier to establish a heading to your next waypoint when your GPS is right next to the compass. As I view my GPS map, the only compass reading is in degrees (thus, I have to convert to N, NE, NNE, etc)and the GPS compass does not change until my heading actually changes. By looking at my compass I can spin the boat on a dime and run a straight line to my next waypoint. My compass degree readings coincide exactly with my GPS so that's nice assurance that all is well.

------------------
...Now, if I only had more time off!...
Dawg

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Waas is on both the legend and the 72. Is also on the vista, 76, 76s, geko 201, geko 301, and rino 210. Waas is nice if you spend alot of time on the water, or on new water.

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I use mine in conjuction with the lakemaster software to find humps, bars and other pieces of structure underwater. For example, I was on big sandy last weekend (lots of humps and bars) and the unit worked perfect. Saves lots of time guessing on where the bar would be.

I also use it ice fishing...works great on big lakes like mille lacs and red when it is easy to get turned around and you don't know where you began.

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Tenneesean

What would be the benefit of turning off WAAS.

After looking into it more I think what I read was that with some units the compass didnt work when staning still and that the new feature was a compass that worked while stopped.

I like the idea of a unit being waterproof. But it should float. Has anyone tested their unit to see if it really floats?

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My garmin 76 fell into an ice hole last winter, and it floated. I forgot it floated though for a second and just about gave myself a heart attack. I went to dive for it, but it just sat on top. Wheww.

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SeaBass, that's funny! I can picture that happening! smile.gif Ice fishing big lakes, the Gps will find your honey holes or get you off the lake. I use mine religiously when venturing out on Red or Winni or any big lake for that matter. Blinding wind blown snow will cut visibility to zero! This is not the time to be "looking" for the access, could mean BIG trouble! can it be luck?.....Ps: As far as floating, dont throw it in the water! My boat motor or a lot of other tings in my boat dont float including me. Careful is the name of the game. Put some water wings on it. wink.gif

[This message has been edited by can it be luck? (edited 08-06-2003).]

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Some Garmin models have an electronic compass, most magellan have a feature that shows the position of the sun and moon relative to your position, and therefore give you n/s/w/e. Any compass will give you compass heading provided you are moving a minnimum of 1 mph. I can handle that..........

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what about the amount of memory in the units, is it more useful to have one with more or is it not really a necessary? am looking at being able to get lake maps mostly one of lake superior.

thanks
opsirc

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