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  #11  
Old 04-02-2016, 07:33 PM
fishnfood fishnfood is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeeter012 View Post
You certainly did not run the same Garmin I am running. Maps are superb, menus are easy, marking waypoints super easy. It sounds to me like you were more put off by the Garmin rep than the actual electronics. In fact I would go as far to say that maybe you never used them at all.

Everything you list as weak spots on Garmin are far superior to my last eight years of running HB.

Do not miss my HB one bit, nor integration with the ipilot. I would put my 7610 against an Onix unit any day.
Actually the Garmin rep was a super nice guy. Considering the fact he drove 12 hours to spend the day with me I would say we both pretty serious.

We compared 7612 and Onix images all day. Don't bet on the two! Side by side on the same targes you don't have a snowballs chance if you do.....

One thing I learned long ago. When folks spend serious money on an object they will sing its praises no matter how they really feel about it.
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  #12  
Old 04-02-2016, 08:52 PM
skeeter012 skeeter012 is offline
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Yep I had an Onix, sold it in the classifieds. Bought the 7610 and never looked back. Best decision I ever made. Feel like I am out from under that dark cloud that hovers over Eufaula, Alabama.
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  #13  
Old 04-02-2016, 10:38 PM
LWinches LWinches is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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Default Not an easy decision

I understand your situation. A lot of us have faced it and actually faced it repeatedly as the technology has continually changed. I started with Humminbird, added Vexilar, switched from Humminbird to Lowrance and now have added Garmin.

How you fish, where you fish and what is important to you may not be the same as for me. For some mapping is their number 1 priority. For me, it is zero priority. If mapping is important, then it is necessary to investigate the mapping options for each company lake by lake for the lakes you fish. For creating your own maps, real time, on your own unit, Humminbird and Garmin have the edge.

For some people, especially if they spend a lot of time trolling, and it is important for your electronics to control your trolling motor, Humminbird comes in first, Lowrance second. I don't think Garmin has an offering in this area.

Another consideration is how many units you will be operating at the same time and whether you want them to all show the same thing from the same transducer or whether you want them to show different things from different transducers. On this I would rate Garmin #1, Lowrance #2 and Humminbird last.

On performance issues, usually 2D sonar is a high priority. This is a bit of a mixed bag. IMO Garmin is clearly superior. They have an especially clean screen, great target separation and the best interference rejection currently available. The test of this is when you run two transducers on the same frequency in deep water. I've done this repeatedly with Hbird, Lowrance and Garmin. Garmin is #1. There is not a close second. The mixed part of the bag is the Lowrance set to 83 kHz as single frequency operation. This is a very wide cone and gives excellent performance from shallow to 150 ft. The problem with it is that it shows you fish you don't know where they are and can't catch. It's that wide. I am not saying you can't catch fish with Hbird 2D. I'm just saying that Lowrance is better and Garmin best. When I went from Hbird to Lowrance I gained a cleaner screen, full frequency control, and the ability to manually set the ping speed. When I went from Lowrance to Garmin, I got still a cleaner screen, better interference rejection, kept the frequency and ping controls and added manual controls for TVG, Pic Advance, echo stretch, power control, and filter width. It works well on the auto settings, but if I want to fine tune it, it is just a more sophisticated system. No masquerade here. The 7610 is a top tier performer with great deal of research gone into the controls and user interface. I have easily seen a 5/16 oz jig at 200 ft.

Side sonar was made popular by Hbird and IMO they still have the edge on performance, with Lowrance and Garmin being very close and very functional, but not the same. This is primarly due to what is apparently a patented Hbird feature providing an adjustment for sharpness. You don't find that on Lowrance or Garmin. It also means having to spend more time on the water fiddling with the adjustments to get that better picture. If you are not going to spend that time and effort the possible advantage is academic. Until I got the Panoptix the Lowrance StructureScan was quite important. Now, not so much. If side viewing sonar is your single most important consideration, Humminbird is the choice.

360. Only Humminbird has 360. I have not used it. For a couple of years not I have planned to add it to my boat. It's been out for a while and clearly it has its advantages. IMO the advantages are only realized on a big unit. The total cost along with what I felt were sacrifices on the 2D held me back. I'm glad it did. Now that I have the Panoptix, I'm no longer interested in adding 360.

Down sonar. There may be a difference here. Many claim there is. Dragonfly has its followers. I don't see it. On this I call it a draw.

Panoptix. Only Garmin has this. There is nothing like it. It is not marketing hype. It is for real. I've spend the last month crappie fishing and it has been a blast. See where the fish are, how far away and how deep. See my review on this board of the PS21.

Networking options. Multiple units offers advantages and complications. On some systems networking adds the ability to see the same thing on multiple units. Often it also requires that all the units look at the same 2d transducer. Garmin is much more flexible. The viewing selections of each unit are independent.

On my boat I currently have and use: Garmin 7610xsv, Garmin echoCHIRP 93sv, Vexilar Edge3, Lowrance HDS 10,8, 5 (all Gen1) with LSS1. I fish 4-5 times a week, year round. Except for this time of year when I'm crappie fishing, I walleye fish. The walleye are shallow now and usually range to 130 ft deep by late fall. I do not troll. I jig for walleye.

If tomorrow I started all over, the first unit I would buy would be the Garmin 7610xsv, GT52 transducer, and Panoptix PS21 or PS31.

IMO the Garmin 7610xsv is the most sophisticated, most capable unit available with an easy to use user interface. The echoMAP and Striker units are cheaper and do not have the same feature sets or capabiities.
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My wife asks if I'm going to fish everyday. I can't fish every day. Some days I might be sick.
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Last edited by LWinches; 04-03-2016 at 07:15 AM.
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  #14  
Old 04-03-2016, 08:09 AM
fishnfood fishnfood is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LWinches View Post
I understand your situation. A lot of us have faced it and actually faced it repeatedly as the technology has continually changed. I started with Humminbird, added Vexilar, switched from Humminbird to Lowrance and now have added Garmin.

How you fish, where you fish and what is important to you may not be the same as for me. For some mapping is their number 1 priority. For me, it is zero priority. If mapping is important, then it is necessary to investigate the mapping options for each company lake by lake for the lakes you fish. For creating your own maps, real time, on your own unit, Humminbird and Garmin have the edge.

For some people, especially if they spend a lot of time trolling, and it is important for your electronics to control your trolling motor, Humminbird comes in first, Lowrance second. I don't think Garmin has an offering in this area.

Another consideration is how many units you will be operating at the same time and whether you want them to all show the same thing from the same transducer or whether you want them to show different things from different transducers. On this I would rate Garmin #1, Lowrance #2 and Humminbird last.

On performance issues, usually 2D sonar is a high priority. This is a bit of a mixed bag. IMO Garmin is clearly superior. They have an especially clean screen, great target separation and the best interference rejection currently available. The test of this is when you run two transducers on the same frequency in deep water. I've done this repeatedly with Hbird, Lowrance and Garmin. Garmin is #1. There is not a close second. The mixed part of the bag is the Lowrance set to 83 kHz as single frequency operation. This is a very wide cone and gives excellent performance from shallow to 150 ft. The problem with it is that it shows you fish you don't know where they are and can't catch. It's that wide. I am not saying you can't catch fish with Hbird 2D. I'm just saying that Lowrance is better and Garmin best. When I went from Hbird to Lowrance I gained a cleaner screen, full frequency control, and the ability to manually set the ping speed. When I went from Lowrance to Garmin, I got still a cleaner screen, better interference rejection, kept the frequency and ping controls and added manual controls for TVG, Pic Advance, echo stretch, power control, and filter width. It works well on the auto settings, but if I want to fine tune it, it is just a more sophisticated system. No masquerade here. The 7610 is a top tier performer with great deal of research gone into the controls and user interface. I have easily seen a 5/16 oz jig at 200 ft.

Side sonar was made popular by Hbird and IMO they still have the edge on performance, with Lowrance and Garmin being very close and very functional, but not the same. This is primarly due to what is apparently a patented Hbird feature providing an adjustment for sharpness. You don't find that on Lowrance or Garmin. It also means having to spend more time on the water fiddling with the adjustments to get that better picture. If you are not going to spend that time and effort the possible advantage is academic. Until I got the Panoptix the Lowrance StructureScan was quite important. Now, not so much. If side viewing sonar is your single most important consideration, Humminbird is the choice.

360. Only Humminbird has 360. I have not used it. For a couple of years not I have planned to add it to my boat. It's been out for a while and clearly it has its advantages. IMO the advantages are only realized on a big unit. The total cost along with what I felt were sacrifices on the 2D held me back. I'm glad it did. Now that I have the Panoptix, I'm no longer interested in adding 360.

Down sonar. There may be a difference here. Many claim there is. Dragonfly has its followers. I don't see it. On this I call it a draw.

Panoptix. Only Garmin has this. There is nothing like it. It is not marketing hype. It is for real. I've spend the last month crappie fishing and it has been a blast. See where the fish are, how far away and how deep. See my review on this board of the PS21.

Networking options. Multiple units offers advantages and complications. On some systems networking adds the ability to see the same thing on multiple units. Often it also requires that all the units look at the same 2d transducer. Garmin is much more flexible. The viewing selections of each unit are independent.

On my boat I currently have and use: Garmin 7610xsv, Garmin echoCHIRP 93sv, Vexilar Edge3, Lowrance HDS 10,8, 5 (all Gen1) with LSS1. I fish 4-5 times a week, year round. Except for this time of year when I'm crappie fishing, I walleye fish. The walleye are shallow now and usually range to 130 ft deep by late fall. I do not troll. I jig for walleye.

If tomorrow I started all over, the first unit I would buy would be the Garmin 7610xsv, GT52 transducer, and Panoptix PS21 or PS31.

IMO the Garmin 7610xsv is the most sophisticated, most capable unit available with an easy to use user interface. The echoMAP and Striker units are cheaper and do not have the same feature sets or capabiities.
Good post but I assume you have mapping in your area or you don't place importance on it. the only lake we have mapped in detail is a normal stop on the FLW and BASS circuit. Even then when they scanned it a 1 mile wide by 10 mile long arm was missed???? How the heck does that happen??

I have no issues with Garmin units and by far they protect their dealers better than others. I would love to demo and sell their product. I just can't make that investment with their level of mapping and their seeming unwillingness to work with well established mapping companies. We all know the back story but my customers don't care, they just want mapping when they need it.

Did a software update fix the Di? After 8 hours comparing an Onix, Gen3 and 7612 the 7612 was a distant 3rd unless the targets were very large. Even on the Si the details were lacking. I assumed it was software so maybe they have it fixed now.

The Panoptix is another animal all together. A 360/Panoptix combo would be killer in my book. I just wish they made a unit that would only run Panoptix and I would give it a shot!!
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  #15  
Old 04-03-2016, 09:07 AM
LWinches LWinches is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishnfood View Post
Good post but I assume you have mapping in your area or you don't place importance on it. the only lake we have mapped in detail is a normal stop on the FLW and BASS circuit. Even then when they scanned it a 1 mile wide by 10 mile long arm was missed???? How the heck does that happen??

I have no issues with Garmin units and by far they protect their dealers better than others. I would love to demo and sell their product. I just can't make that investment with their level of mapping and their seeming unwillingness to work with well established mapping companies. We all know the back story but my customers don't care, they just want mapping when they need it.

Did a software update fix the Di? After 8 hours comparing an Onix, Gen3 and 7612 the 7612 was a distant 3rd unless the targets were very large. Even on the Si the details were lacking. I assumed it was software so maybe they have it fixed now.

The Panoptix is another animal all together. A 360/Panoptix combo would be killer in my book. I just wish they made a unit that would only run Panoptix and I would give it a shot!!
The only detailed maps I've found for the lake I fish are by Navionics. At first glance this was a big negative for Garmin since Garmin won't allow Navionics to run on their units. I used the map to select 3 places to fish. The map had 1 ft contour intervals. This was a complete disaster. The map would not have been accurate even if reduced to a 10 ft contour interval. So that left me with no way to determine where the map might be accurate. 3 for 3 failing does not inspire confidence. I know a lot of people are very happy with Navionics. I am not one of them. So Yes, I do not use mapping. I know of no detailed maps available for the lake I fish (Fontana, NC).

I concede the detail on the SI to Hbird. I've not used Onix but I base this on posts that people make where they are deliberately trying to paint the best picture they can. The best ones I've seen are Onix. I also have a lot of confidence in what Jason reports. I've not used the LSS2. It's longer and so I expect the detail for structure would be better than what I have. I'm currently running some experiments with Hbird, Low, Garmin transducers paired with competitors units. The idea came from using an Hbird Quadrabeam transducer but the unit setting set to SI transducer and I was impressed with the difference the software made. Inconclusive at this point and looks that way overall. Probably a waste of time and money.

The settings I use for DI (on all of them) do not allow me to make the comparisons you do. I run brightness and contrast at 90%+ so the bottom is bleached out and suspended fish jump off the screen. On the last update, the change log that accompanied it made no mention of changes to DI. All brands of DI work well for my purposes. That being, when I see suspened fish on it, I know precisely, from a front to back perspective, where those fish are. I do not care what the bottom looks like. The technical specs of the transducers show them as capable. GT50 ( [email protected], 0.7x [email protected]) GT52 ([email protected], [email protected]). I have the 50,51 & 52 and switch from time to time. Often I use the 52 on the trolling motor.

The Panoptix will do for Garmin what SI did for Hbird. Total game changer.
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My wife asks if I'm going to fish everyday. I can't fish every day. Some days I might be sick.
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  #16  
Old 04-03-2016, 09:11 AM
LWinches LWinches is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishnfood View Post
One thing I learned long ago. When folks spend serious money on an object they will sing its praises no matter how they really feel about it.
Well, a lot of the time. I look at it differently. When I spend the money I don't feel like I owe them anything. I already paid them. They owe me that the product mostly match the hype and marketing.

It's okay to like a product, but don't drink the Kool-Aid.

I appreciate you sharing your experiences and would like for you and anyone else to point it out when/if they think I have exaggerated any products performance or unduly criticized another. I want the best product I can have and I don't care who makes it.
__________________
My wife asks if I'm going to fish everyday. I can't fish every day. Some days I might be sick.
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Last edited by LWinches; 04-03-2016 at 09:15 AM.
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  #17  
Old 04-03-2016, 09:57 AM
TheWoodenBoy TheWoodenBoy is offline
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Thanks for sharing your insights and perspectives on this. Your in-depth and detailed assessment of the current units. It really has been immensely helpful to hear this information.
After reflecting on this some more, I am leaning towards installing a 7612 at the Bow with a Panoptics, and then placing a Helix 12 SI at the helm. I figure then I can always add a tablet at the helm to mirror the Garmin if I find that I need that information there as well. I am told that Garmin allows any tablet to mirror the 7612 and offers full control in a mirrored state. I guess that this would also enable me to setup the Garmin display from the helm without having to hunch over at the bow all the time. This would keep the cheap (non-water proof) tablet behind the windshield.

With this combination then I should have my bases covered and allow integration with the Ulterra as well.

Is there anything that I am missing or any complications that you see with this plan?
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  #18  
Old 04-03-2016, 10:21 AM
skeeter012 skeeter012 is offline
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Get a life proof case for your tablet. No need to worry about it getting wet.
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  #19  
Old 04-04-2016, 10:05 AM
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SHOTGUN RUSS SHOTGUN RUSS is offline
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QUOTE: If tomorrow I started all over, the first unit I would buy would be the Garmin 7610xsv, GT52 transducer, and Panoptix PS21 or PS31.(LWinches)

Maybe in a new thread can you elaborate on why the 52 instead of the 51? Also If you have time at some point can you do a review of the 93SV and the GT52 vs GT51. How is the performance of the 93SV vs 76XXsv series. I know I am so demanding, but there is still so little real customer feedback on Garmin's new products. Thanks in advance!!!
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