View Full Version : Opinion on GPS / Fishfinder

07-16-2010, 06:26 PM
I'm looking to replace my Lowrance X10 fishfinder which is mounted on my console. It's one of the old $99.00 ones that came equiped with the boat. Thinking of moving up to a combo unit without spending the big bucks.

Been looking at the Humminbird 788ci ( $599.00 ) and the new Lowrance Elite 5 ( $549.00 ) that's new for this year.

I spend about 15-20 days a year on the water in the Hayward area. Can't afford to get to crazy with my wifes dollars. Any suggestions or opinions are appreciated.

Thanks, Tim

07-17-2010, 06:09 AM
Well, I don't know jack about either unit you mention (not knowing anything never stopped me from posting before!), but you may have answered your own question when you said:
"that's new for this year". Esp. with Lowrance, it's usally best to give them a year to 'ripen'. Good luck, m

07-17-2010, 06:13 AM
Lowrance has been having some issues with their customer service in the past couple of years. Hummingbird has had good reports on their service department. I have Lowrance units on one boat and Garmin on the other. But I am considering Hummingbird in the future because of the good reports I've been hearing on their units.

Semper Fi
Bob Pieske

07-17-2010, 06:27 AM
> Can't afford to get to crazy with my wifes dollars.
>Thanks, Tim

Tim, I don't know much about those units you post, but what I would like to know, does your wife have a single sister???:D :D :D :D

Jim L
07-17-2010, 07:10 AM
If you can find one still available the Eagle GPS/color locator is good at a decent price. I got mine for about $450. http://www.eaglenav.com/Products/Fishfinder-Chartplotters/FishElite-642C-iGPS/

07-17-2010, 07:28 AM
if you have a Droid or and IPhone you can download Navionics Lakes North and have your gps/maps combo on your phone for $9.99. next one will have hdmi capability to send to a monitor if you can't see like me.

this way for as many days you can just get a cheap sonar and use the gps/map on the phone and let momma keep the cash.

Jolly Roger
07-17-2010, 08:43 AM
How much is a Droid, or an I-Phone though???

I have an old LG flip phone, will it work with that????

Otherwise, that's a very cool, brilliant feature with these new phones today. And a good suggestion.

However, all said and done, I would probably just man up and buy a good H Bird or Lowrance unit that you could afford....... and buy what's best for your ship.......you'd be surprised at how your skills may improve because of that........

And save the phone for calling honey when you are on your way home......;)

07-19-2010, 06:07 PM
Probably going Humminbird based on all the info I've been gathering.

Thanks All !!

07-19-2010, 06:48 PM
I got the 788ci new this year. Lakemaster features for lake level, depth highlights, etc, are incredible. Highly recommended.

07-19-2010, 10:43 PM
My buddy and I sprung for the Elite 5 when we got our new rig, and I really like it. The only thing that I don't care for with it is that while the GPS will automatically find your location, it won't bring that lake up on the screen. You have to zoom out and scroll/move to the lake that it has your icon on. But that's really the only complaint that I have with it. Split screen is great for the GPS and depthfinder. Also has a pretty accurate compass and flasher built in, so you won't have to have those taking up room on the console. It's extremely easy to remove from the mounting bracket and take with you, so that nobody tries to help themselves to it. I've heard people saying that lowrance's help lines aren't all that great, but (knocking on wood) as of yet, we haven't had to use it.
We bought the Navionics North chip for it, and it works great! The HD mapping on certain lakes (Chippewa Flowage, LCO, ect.) helps out a lot, and even the regular mapping for the rest of the lakes is in superior detail to what the regular Lowrance unit can pick up. I'll probably be getting the Navionics East chip in a bit, because of how well the other chip works.
I'd definitely spring for the Elite 5 again if I were to do it again, and I'd strongly suggest you get the Navionics chips for it as well, they're well worth the $150 a piece price tag for the Premium chips (the only ones that the Elite 5 can use).

07-19-2010, 10:50 PM
Oh, and in regards to Sled's comments on the Droid/IPhone Navionics app. You may run into trouble if you can't get a 3G signal to your phone. My buddy has a Droid, and his GPS kept cutting in and out because it would loose the 3G signal. He didn't have the Navionics app for it, so I couldn't give you an honest answer on how well that app worked, but, if it runs off a 3G signal, you may have trouble with it in some of the more rural areas, or even out on the lakes themselves.

07-20-2010, 06:56 AM
If i had to do it all over again, i would go humminbird. i have lowrance on my boat today, i have had serveral issues with firmare, GPS and most of all customer service. Customer service has NOT improved IMO. Humminbird on the other hand has been excellant. I had 2 color units on the boat i just sold. they were great, and when i needed some questions answered, Humminbird CS was there to help.

07-20-2010, 07:52 AM
Lowrance has the worst customer service of any company I have dealt with EVER. That is a bold statement but it it completely true. I'm not much for sitting on hold for 30+ minutes and then being treated like an idiot by one of their customer service representatives. I will never buy another Lowrance unit and would encourage all to do the same.

Hodag Hunter
07-20-2010, 07:55 AM
Putting Humminbirds on the boat yesterday and today. Hopefully will be on the water today to check them out.

Had Lowrance in the past and decided HB was the next move.....

Went 998 w/ side imagining and a 788 at the bow.

07-20-2010, 08:01 AM
the customer service part of the lowrance story doesn't scare me as much as the constant updates required along with stories of the units leaking etc... it wreaks of sourcing problems and makes me think they are reeling in the wake of a major supply-chain change. i'm spooked from them now and don't want to buy one.

that said, i need a big-screen unit and it will likely be an HB

07-20-2010, 08:45 AM
Humminbird customer service rocks!!! Nuff said!! :D

The dock is in
07-20-2010, 03:28 PM
Listen to what Nate said. I was on hold 1/2 hour, then they did not have a unit with same software as mine to test. I backed up my unit to a new SD card, yet could not reload the Lawrance 332c unit after a restart. It keeps telling me that the software is incompatible with SD, even though backup and loading are with same software. I've lost 5 years of trails. My Lawrance unit also does not accept the software upgrade, so I could not update the unit even if I wanted to.

Greg Ide
(my phone plan has unlimited minutes...luckily)

07-20-2010, 05:23 PM
Gee I wonder if Lowrance will even be around in a couple years. After all, wont the "free market" consumer driven "controls" see such a company go out of business while some new start up takes their market share by developing new technology and providing better service?

Isnt that whats supposed to happen? Will it?

07-20-2010, 05:33 PM
I don't want to hi-jack this post, but it is kind of related. When everyone is talking about service issues, what is everyone having trouble with on your Hummingbirds? I have a couple older Lowrances and they have been trouble free. I was thinking of updating the console unit and have the same concerns about operation and service.


07-20-2010, 11:20 PM
Hi Jeff,

well said; didn't mean to stir up customer service issues with product quality. At the same time they do go together. Sorry to here about so many poor lowrance customer service issues. I work retail and customer service is #1. Have to have a good product to back up your service as well.

Thanks for all the responses.