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CrappieAttitude

Eagle FishMark 320

Question

CrappieAttitude

I am looking at getting a new fishfinder, and really liked the features of this particular model. I am not lookning at spending a boatload on one, but this one seems to be very reasonable in price, and has all of the features that I am looking for. Any of you guys out there own one af these and have anything to say about them. I would appreciate any feedback on the unit. Both pros and cons would be ok.

Thanks,

CA

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Questor

That's what I use. Buy it. I cannot say enough good things about it. My only tip is that you should go to Capras to get it because they are very accommodating about getting you the features like temperature and speed sensing. It cost me less there than through, for example, Cabelas too.

My horror story was that I bought my first non-canoe type boat and put a Bottom Line Tournament model in because I had been using a Bottom Line Fishing Buddy and was satisfied with it. The Bottom Line finder was an absolute horror to deal with. I ended up removing it and replacing it with the Eagle.

One great thing about the Eagle is that it uses a transducer that's really easy to adjust. The Bottom Line model required taking the boat out of the water to make an adjustment. With the Eagle you just reach over the transom and give move it a click or two.

After fooling with trying to get the Bottom Line model working for over a year, I wasn't too eager to hassle with trying a new model. The Eagle was a pleasant surprise. It worked right the first time I took it out. All I had to do was make a minor adjustment to the angle of the transducer.

You will need a way of mounting it. Capras had some models made by, I think, Jonnie Ray(?spelling?). It works great in my 14' aluminum boat. That mount has been very good because it has a quick release that allows me to transport the finder in my car and store it in my house.

The only thing I can carp about is that the pins on the connectors need to be CAREFULLY mated to the unit because they are easy to bend. I bent a pin once and was able to straighten it with a pocket knife.

I've had mine about a year and a half and it has been a great unit.

You should also go to the Eagle web site. They have a simulator that you can download. That was a great thing for me because I was able to learn the unit at home rather than on the water. By the time I got on the water the first time, I already knew how to get to the features I wanted to use.

Good luck!

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Daze Off

Not sure what the difference in price is between the 320 and 480 but it can't be much - go for the extra pixels, you'll never regret it. The 480 usually goes for under 2 bills these days and is a sweet unit.

I would be more than happy to keep mine but am upgrading to color units w/GPS.

Daze Off

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BoxMN

I agree - the little extra $$ is very well spent on the 480 ($199 everyday, everywhere). We have that, and just got a 642c (GPS and 640x480 resoulation, which is $512 right now, a great deal).

If you have the $$ I would suggest to go with color unit, but I would not give up pixels just for color. The 480 is an incredible value for the money, and it works great. FYI - the 480 and 642c use the same power and x-duce cables, which is cool, as we were able to just swap the units.

We have used Johnny Ray swivels for years, and still have it on one of 3 boats. We use RAM mounts on the other two, and I feel they are better mounts, but they do cost about double.

Good luck with whatever you choose. (BTW, we used to be Bottomline fans from about 15 years ago, and my old BL210f just died after 15 years of service or more, but we had a Tournament model and it still sits on a shelf in the garage after it died prematurely - I won't go to BL again after that expensive mistake.)

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Ringo

I have one of these units that I bought about five years ago when they were twice the price they are now. It is a very good locator for the price. I thought about upgrading, but it is a good proven unit that has always helped me locate fish. You will need to play around with the sensitivity a little to get it to read the way you want. The only bad thing I can say about it is the readings get a little choppy when I run over 30mph. Not sure if the unit is underpowered at higher speeds or if my transducer placement is a little off. Other than that, if it has the features you want I would say go for it.

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sparcebag

I have the Eagle CUDA,Fisheasy2,and the 320,as you see I keep going for more pixels,The CUDA is POOR so its on the same boat as the 320.its for the lady in front so she doesnt ask how deep is it.The fisheasy is my 14'lake jumper it works great but the 320 is MUCH better GET IT IF YOU CANT AFFORD THE EXTRA $50.00! my next I'll skip the 480 and go color.TRY the Eagle web site and check em out!

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gunflint

I think that the 320 is a very good unit, especially if it's your first one. It's a great learner.

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CrappieAttitude

One of the Reeds guys I talked to yesterday informed me that the 480 really isn't that better of a unit than the 320. Yeah there are more pixals, but in all reality the average guy wouldn't even know the difference. And in his mind the extra $50 could be better off spent on something else.

I would love to go color, but I am not sure that the huge increase in price is worth it.

When I was looking at a handheld GPS, I took the plunge and got the H20C over the H20, and love the color. I am curious as to what really are the benefits in having a color screen on a fishfinder? I can understand having color in a GPS/Fishfinder combo, but is it really worth the money to get a color screen in a unit that isn't capable of handling the lakemaster chips.

CA

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LuckyNorm07

If you go to there website.. you can download a program that is the fishfinder and you can use it with the demo mode to try it out on the pc and use it to see if you like it.. i purchase the 320 and like it for the price..

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BoxMN

CA, since you already have the h20c (good choice, BTW) then I see what you are saying about color. You don't needit on locator, the b/w is fine. BUT, the color is nicer on the eyes, and the different densities come in color, so a bit easier to see differneces. But the b/w will work just perfect for you.

As for the 320 to 480 difference, I would urge you to look at them side by side, and then you will walk away with the 480 would be my bet. Some people may not see the differnce, and some may not care. But when I go from the 480 to a unit with less pixels (x75 for example) it looks like a kids coloring book wink.gif compared to a digital photo. Don't take the Reeds guy, or my info for face value. Go and look at them side by side and you will be able to see if the $50 is worth it.

Since you have the h20c and Lakemaster chip, you show that you are not a novice user, and the 480 would be a great partner to the h20c. (for last 2-3 years we have used the 480 and the h20 with Navionics chip, and they worked great together. We just this year upgrade to the 642c, mainly for color and bigger gps screen.)

Good luck, and this was not meant to disagree with anybody, just to offer my experience with these units. We like buying the most bang for the buck, not necessarily the best or most expensive units, but certainly not the cheapest either.

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Questor

I went with the 320 with temp and speed sensors. I didn't think the 480 pixels was worth the extra money at the time. Maybe the price is closer today. Definitely get the temp and speed sensors, though. They are very useful.

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Gus

The pixle difference between the cuda and the 320 is huge. Between the 320 and 480 is much much less noticible. Personally I'd take the extra $50 and buy the speed sensor or a new reel.

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FL SNIPER

Check out the vexilar mounts as well for mounting your locater. They are similar to the Johnny Rays...but my buddies and I seem to like them better. Seem easier to swivel and put off and on. And I think they are a tad cheaper as well.

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gunflint

If you have the H20c, I wouldn't spend any money on a speed sensor. The GPS will be more accurate anyway.

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mtheis

I have enjoyed using an Eagle Optima for many years. This is a 240 pixel unit (B&W). I have looked at the newer 320 and 480 models, but have been disappointed at the screen brightness. They just don't appear to be easy to see in bright light. Also on my Optima the screen is too easy to scratch. What are your opinions on this? I thought the menu system was very easy (almost like my Optima), so I turned up the backlighting all the way. The other option would be to buy the Hummingbird 5XX series. Their screens seemed very bright and wouldn't scratch with my fingernail. Have any of you tried these out yet? The prices per pixel were very comparable.

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Questor

My 320 is easy enough to read in bright light. With the backlighting turned on, it's easy to read at night too. I haven't found the screen to be too easy to scratch, but I do keep it out of the way and haven't really bonked it hard yet (knock on wood!)

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Surface Tension

I said years ago the 320 was the best bang for the buck and still feel that way. The 480 is also a good sounder for the money, in fact I have the 480 DF(dual frequency) on my Lake Superior boat.

When you increase the pixels you increase resolution. You won't see a huge change but you will get a little more defined. That might mean the difference of telling the difference between a school smelt and a school of herring. Picking up fish on the bottom becomes a bit easier with more resolution also. I've been using sounders for going on 3 decades. Technology took a giant leap from then to the 320, still is and will always be a good sounder.

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zepman

I have owned them both and had one on the dash/one on the bow. I couldn't tell the difference between the two looking side by side and definately not out on the water. I really liked both units---nothing fancy but very practical. Never let me down out on the water. Compared to some of the prices of the units today they were and still are a tremendous value.

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Kyle Sandberg

I own the 480 and must say it's an awesome unit. The only draw dack I have with mine is when I get above 15 mph, I start to lose the reading. Workes at 13mph in 80 feet of water. Go color.

I guess I should add a little bit more. After reading Questors post, I realized mine behaves more like that. I can get a reading of depth but identfiying sturcture is hard becuase of the fuzziness. Usually when I go fishing, I have an idea of where the sturcture is and slow down around the area.

I don't know if you get this from every sonar but mine will pick up a 1/4 once jig 15' feet down and watch a fish come up and smack it.

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CrappieAttitude

Quote:

I own the 480 and must say it's an awesome unit. The only draw dack I have with mine is when I get above 15 mph, I start to lose the reading. Workes at 13mph in 80 feet of water. Go color.


Is this something that is pretty common with this unit? I have a 150 Merc on the back of my boat, and I want to make sure that I can get a reading at a higher speed than 15 mph. This is the whole reason why I am upgrading from my current one.

I had a different salesman trying to divert me away from this unit last night. He told me that if I wanted to get a reading while moving, I shouldn't go with any sounder that has less than 2400 watts of peak-to-peak power, and I needed to go color. I asked him to convince me why I needed to spend an extra $150 on a color unit. Basically his reasoning was it was a lot easier to see in the sunlight. The cheapest color unit was pushing $300 and it didn't have as many pixals as even the Eagle 320. Was this guy just trying to squeeze a little more money out of me?

I am not apposed to going color, but I don't want to trade pixal quality for color. This whole "easier to see in the sunlight" mentality that is going on nowdays has me totally confused.

It was said that the H20C was "hard to see in the daylight" Now all of these color sounders are easier to see in the daylight. I just don't know what to do... confused.gif

Thanks for all the responses so far!

CA

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sparcebag

Kdawg I hade the same problem with my Fisheasy & 320 HiSpeed lost reception! I reset the transducer 1/4" lower Problem Gone!

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Questor

CrappieAttitude:

My boat only goes about 25mph tops. I still get depth readings reliably at top speed, but I cannot reliably read the structure because of fuzziness in the image.

I hadn't thought of that when I recommended the 320 because speed is not an issue for me. You better research this if it's important to you.

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Gus

Like one of the other posters I just had to play with my ducer location until I found something that worked well at all speeds. I can read at 30mph without much trouble at all. And also like someone else posted, the detail isn't quite there, but it does show bottom and depth at speed.

I haven't had much trouble reading in sunlight unless the sun is directly glaring off of it. But I think any unit would have glare if the sun was hitting it really direct. It might not be the best out there but I do believe it is the best in the price bracket that it is in.

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BoxMN

We have 150 as well, and can read it right up up to 50 mpg gps speed. In rough water or even some small bumps you can occassionally lose it, but it is only from some air getting under the hull. You won't see fish at that speed, of course, but you can see the bottom perfectly. Its all about x-ducer placement.

You will like either unit, I will say I can see a difference in 320 vs 480, and I also see a difference from 480x480 to the 640x480 we now have. That doesn't make the 320 or 480 less useful, just depends on what if the $50 is worth it for you.

Have fun,

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Biggerfish

OK,

A quick question for you Eagle experts.

I bought a boat(Last Year) with the 480 on it. I like it but every time I get into shallow water(aroud 5 feet) it just starts flashing and keeps flashing 5 feet even if I'm in 25 feet of water. I thought at first it was a setting to save my motor? I have played with the settings and set it shallower, but still have problems? I have to turn it off and on to reset it. Also once in awhile mine goes to a supper deep depth and I know the lake is not that deep? So again I have to turn it off and on to reset it? I need to download a manual and read I quess. Any tips on what I may be doing wrong?

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BoxMN

My first guess is that you might have it set to manual depth ranges, then when the water gets deeper than your range, it doesn't change. BUT, there is no "5 foot" range, so that might not be it. But I have seen locators do that before (mainly the real old Hummingbirds used to for us).

It could be a bad transducer. Especially if you got the boat used, and the owner before dinged the x-ducer. Look at the sending unit and see if there are any nicks or cracks. My bro in law just changed x-ducers on a lowrance unit and it is now again working for him. His was flashing at 17' no matter what the depth smile.gif

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