View Full Version : Humminbird vs. Lowrance questions

08-06-2009, 01:26 PM
Humminbird vs. Lowrance ???

Upgrading my finder GPS combos this year. I am looking for opinions on combo units, functionality longevity and overall options. I have always had Humminbird and would not mind staying with them to link one of the units I have now. I would much rather only have to buy one, but while I have the freedom to invest some cash I would much rather do it right. If there is a huge clear cut difference one way or the other that is most likely the way I will go. At the same time I am not looking to spend $3k on a set of finders either.

Any help is appreciated.

I currently have the 08 Navionic Gold XL9 - 14XG chip and also a Garmin GPSMap76Csx handheld with Bluechart... if this makes a difference.

The Stik
08-06-2009, 01:50 PM
In my opinion Humminbird.

It does not have sun and moon information, that's the only thing I wish mine had. All other items are much easier to use, you can zoom the gps in further, and it's much easier to understand the functions and use them. Not to mention you can upgrade everything on the internet.

Just my opion.


08-06-2009, 02:25 PM
i agree. i have both and link humminbird better. Easier to actually use the features. also works at higher speeds on my boat far better than my lawrance.

08-06-2009, 02:36 PM
What models is everyone using? Interested in that too.

5" screens seem to be the mark for me.

The Stik
08-06-2009, 03:25 PM
I currently have a 788 on the front of the boat and a 1197 on the console.

The 788 has about a 5 inch screen? You will be able to see enough with the screen, the larger models just make viewing things easier.

You will enjoy it for sure.


08-07-2009, 02:38 PM
I've been asking this question and ended up going with Lowrance and am very disappointed. I really wish I'd bought a humminbird large screen instead.

My less than 2 month old unit flashes over weeds and loses it's GPS position constantly. Tried some troubleshooting tips to no avail and it's now been 3 weeks since I last contacted their customer service and I have never gotten a response. Tried twice with email and sat on the phone on hold for over 1.5 hours on two occasions before giving up.

Never again.

08-07-2009, 05:09 PM
Don't you like Garmin units? I have them and think the units are well made, software updates are easy to do, and their customer service exists (unlike Lowrances) and it reliable.

Coach Rob
08-10-2009, 04:39 PM

I have had both of the problems you had with my LCX28.

I solved the GPS issue by moving the puck. It was too close to the head unit and was getting intereference. I had the Cabela's plate to mount the puck to the unit itself.

Try just detaching the puck and temp mounting it in a different location and see if that helps.

Lower sensitivity helps with the weeds issue, but it is a pain so I do not bother.

Don't like the weak signal on plane. I have to go less than 8 mph to read fish.

Good Luck

08-10-2009, 06:48 PM
Had the same problem with a Lowrance 522, flashing over weeds. Lowrance does have a downloadable fix from their web site. I have downloaded it but not been out on the water since. Here is the url.



08-12-2009, 02:13 PM
Nothing but headaches with my humminbirds. I have 3 of them and the interfrence problems I'am having are beyond believe. All humminbird says it is the way it is with some units. Just turn one off. So which one I ask the 3000 dolllar one or the one you soaked me 2 grand for. No help and a bad product if there is 2 in the same area.

08-12-2009, 02:44 PM
I've been through the troubleshooting of relocating the puck etc, it's something with this unit.

I've done the software updates, it still flashes over the weeds constantly. I'll be off the break in 18 feet, drift into the 8-9 foot range to parallel the wall of weeds, it will start flashing, and i'll have to drive back out to 15+ feet to know where I am depth wise. Can't just go out to 12 where the weeds stop and can't tell where the wall is then. Makes night fishing really fun...

POS units and software, support is even worse. Sounds like the guy with humminbird problems at least got to talk to someone....

EDIT:, they JUST released a 2.5 update that's suppose to take care of the flashing depth, i'll be trying it out tonight.

The Stik
08-13-2009, 06:20 AM
I have heard with the Humminbird the "link" componet can provide some difficulty. I've never heard any problems like stated above?

Also the Humminbird will let you change the shaded depth of the lake when running a chip. It's awesome when fished different bodies of water. You can change the graph/chip color change from blue to white in any depth you prefer.

I use it for highlighting the weedline. If it's in 8 feet, change the graph to 8 feet and all the irregular parts of the weeedline stick out and if you prefer a deeper clearer body of water. You can change it to 15 feet.

Another very cool feature


08-13-2009, 02:51 PM
That is what I like most about the hummingbird options, being able to change shaded depth coverage areas. I think i am going to go with the 788c2i (internal gps) and continue to run my transducer splitter.

As for the interference comment, I was told not to run 2 of the same frequency transducers off the back of the boat at the same time. There is a potential for the signals to bounce off of each other. I am no expert on this, but relaying what I was told.

08-13-2009, 03:13 PM
Quote from OZZY:

"Just turn one off. So which one I ask the 3000 dolllar one or the one you soaked me 2 grand for"

That is funny...if it wasn't about a 5k investment.

Lowrance = deplorable service, product experiments on the customers $$$ and time, units not yet ready released to the retail market with the idea that "updates later" will fix the problems, Am I not happy with them you bet...I have about 6k in electronics on my dash that only work sometimes and take 6-8 weeks and hours of phone time to get problems resolved if it does at all....and they do not care period.

Can't anyone just make something that WORKS... I am sick of spending 1-2k on a unit and then crossing my fingers just to see if it works out of the box (50/50 at best on that BTW)

08-13-2009, 10:01 PM
I'm running older Humminbird and Eagle units, noting the Eagle 480 has been rock solid, but the Humminbird 27 (dual cone transducer... 20 and 60 degree) doesn't seem to work right as far with the replacement transducer I recently received, noting it doesn't seem to pick up a jig/shad any further away from center of the cone on 60 degree than 20 degree, but it does read pretty much the same as my Eagle when on 20 degree. (actually it's better and worse... it'll read thru a school of baitfish, whereas the Eagle will not, but it goes crazy in shallow weeds, giving whacko readings of hundreds of feet of depth)

My neighbor has a couple of newer Lowrance combo units and had a lot of trouble with both of them, noting one now works after firmware was recently upgraded.

Sounds to me as though there's room for another major vendor to take market share from both of these companies.

08-14-2009, 07:52 AM
Does anyone else find it odd that in the past there were several makers of sonar units, but now things are pretty much dominated by Lowrance and Humminbird. They got that huge market share by offering quality products and good service. Now that they have it, and almost all others have gone under, the quality of products is diminishing and customer service, at least with Lowrance, seems almost nonexistent.

I guess sometimes when the cream rises to the top is starts to sour!

08-14-2009, 08:11 AM
I have a Humminbird in dash flasher, a big dash mounted airguide compass, a old Eagle gps about 15 years old cost new $199, and a vexlar flasher in the bow that I take off in winter and use for ice fishing, total cost about $600 I never have a problem fishing any lake. I prefer a hand held paper type lake map anyway.

08-14-2009, 09:12 AM
Love my Lowrance iGPS 522. Good unit and screen.


08-14-2009, 11:27 AM
bturg et al, I share the lowrance annoyance. If I didn't already have so many of them in the boat (3 520s and an x67c), I'd be looking to h-bird instead just to try something new and hopefully better.

Recent fun experience: One of my 520s went down. Verified it was indeed the unit. Called Lowrance, sat on hold for about 35 minutes. CS rep gets on the line, gives me an RA to send it in and then informs me that they have a set fee to fix or replace at their leisure and it will cost me $212.00.

This is a 1.5 year old unit so out of warranty by 6 months.

Are you kidding? I have to cough up a fixed rate fee to get this right (maybe) that equals about 33% of the new retail cost of the unit? AND the problem is their mfg defect, not owner abuse? AND they don't even know what the problem is but they already know what it costs?

I know now why they make stuff that breaks...they have quite the gig going at $212 a pop to fix them! Anyone else think $212 flat fee for service is ridiculous?

I'm totally frustrated and wish I could talk to one guy at Lowrance who cares and could make a difference instead of someone who is just doing their job answering phones with no real power to influence.

As a consumer, the message I get from lowrance is "we don't care".

I politely told the CS rep that I know its not her fault so, if she could, please tell the powers that be that lowrance status quo is unacceptable and a lot of people feel that way.

One way or the other, this elephant is going down. The only question is the threshold for critical mass when the market turns its back. Good luck lowrance, I want to love you but I can't. If money were no object, you wouldn't be in my boat anymore. I'd replace you.

Jon Olstadt

08-14-2009, 02:12 PM
Thanks for the advice,but already gave it a shot no better. The big problem with the graphs is the 1197 has side imaging on it. This graph will not work on plane. The 997 is smaller. Pain in the back side changing settings all the time. Humminbird customer service does sound a lot better then what you guys are dealing with at lowrance. I think that counts for something but in the end if the product is still not working all the service in the world won't make me feel much better. Anyone else got suggestions on the interfrence issues please throw them my way. Thanks

Steve Heiting
08-14-2009, 03:16 PM
Hi Oz:

Do you have two transducers for the 1197? Humminbird recommends two for SI units, simply because the SI 'ducer is so big that back-of-the-boat turbulence can affect it. You should have a puck transducer shooting through the hull (if you have a glass boat), or another transducer off the stern if you have aluminum. Choose the non-SI transducer (50/200) in the Sonar drop-down menu and use that for most applications, and switch to the SI transducer if you want to scan something.

Re: interference, I get some when fishing water in excess of 30 feet but it's minimal. I have a 788 in the bow with the Universal Sonar (US2) transducer selected, and the 50/200 transducer selected (when I'm not side-scanning) for the 997 that I have on the console.

Re: Humminbird's customer service, I had an issue with my 788 last week for the first time in the five-plus years I've used Humminbird products. I shipped it Tuesday and received it back today, and it's fixed.

Steve Heiting


08-15-2009, 02:33 PM
Thanks Steve,
I do have a extra traducer glassed in and have tried switching them around. Same problems. There is no doubt this is strictly a interfrence problem. Both graphs work great when the other one has the sonar turned off. I do a lot of walleye fishing and like to run one graph with the 83 degree cone and the other graph on the 200 setting. Hopefully something will be fixed. I sent a email last week explaining the problems in detail. Hopefully this will get to the right folks and they can help me out. As I would guess the folks answering the phones are mostly just reps reading from a trouble shooting manual of one type or other. Once again thanks for the suggestion.

08-15-2009, 03:35 PM

Have you checked: http://www.xumba.scholleco.com/ for the same issue? I'd try that, and/or post your question there. Lots of knowledgeable HB folks there (including some HB staff.)

08-15-2009, 04:33 PM
>I've been through the troubleshooting of relocating the puck
>etc, it's something with this unit.
>I've done the software updates, it still flashes over the
>weeds constantly. I'll be off the break in 18 feet, drift
>into the 8-9 foot range to parallel the wall of weeds, it
>will start flashing, and i'll have to drive back out to 15+
>feet to know where I am depth wise. Can't just go out to 12
>where the weeds stop and can't tell where the wall is then.
>Makes night fishing really fun...
>POS units and software, support is even worse. Sounds like
>the guy with humminbird problems at least got to talk to
>EDIT:, they JUST released a 2.5 update that's suppose to
>take care of the flashing depth, i'll be trying it out

You need a new transducer. I'm on my 3rd one in 2 years.

08-15-2009, 05:12 PM
Thanks Waldo,
I will give it a try.

08-17-2009, 07:19 PM
The straw that broke the camel's back. Last night out fishing trying to follow a weed edge in the dark, the unit shut it self off 8 times in 30 minutes. Combine that with the update not taking care of the weeds flashing depth, game over. 'birds or bust from here, networking might not be the best, but I don't link units typically.