View Full Version : Advice on Depth Finder Setup

09-21-2016, 08:26 AM
Let me start by expressing my gratitude for the wealth of information that is shared on this site. I have learned several tips and tricks and saved countless hours of trial and error on the water by reading the advice and instruction of so many experienced crappie fisherman.

Here is my situation. I have a 1648 tiller steer jon boat that I use for everything from trotlining to crappie fishing. I currently have a very inexpensive depth finder on the boat that is used only to give depth readings, and to this point it has served me well. I am looking to upgrade my electronics to aid in locating structure/cover as well as crappie that are in brush or suspended in the lakes I fish. After reading a great deal about my options I have come up to a place where I would like to get some advice from fishermen/women who have on the water experience with various depth finders.

Before I go any further letís talk budget. I have a budget of about $1,300 at this time. I donít really want to exceed this but I could if necessary.

I plan to spider rig(eventually) and cast jigs as well as single pole tight line brush piles and other structure I find.

I have no brand loyalty but have studied more about humminbird than lowrance so I am currently leaning toward humminbird helix models.

Options I am considering:

1. helix 10 si/gps and upgrading to the hdsi and swivel base so I can view it from bow $1,300 plus transducer upgrade
2. helix 7 di/gps trolling motor helix 9 si transom $1,335
3. helix 7 di/gps trolling helix 7 si transom $1,020

These prices are based on bbgmarine, so I will have some shipping etc. to figure into the cost but this is a ballpark figure.

Does anyone have a similar setup? Any advice on what would word best? Is there anything else I should consider or am overlooking?

Thanks in advance for your help.

09-21-2016, 08:52 AM
PM sent

09-21-2016, 09:29 AM
PM , MRDUX or Ricky on the Kentucky board. Both are a wealth of info.

09-21-2016, 10:27 AM
I only can say go with the best and biggest screen sonar that you can afford. With everyone up grading lately you can always pick up another sonar(core model) to go with that one at a fraction of the price later.:twocents

09-21-2016, 01:36 PM
HELIX 10 SI already comes with the better HDSI (XHS 9 HDSI 180 T) ...

HELIX 9 comes with the lesser SI xducer (XNT 9 SI 180 T) ...

I would suggest to consider the future and look at units compatible for Ethernet sharing ...

This eliminates any HELIX 7 (or HELIX 5) from your current list ...


09-21-2016, 02:48 PM
Thanks for the advice so far. I forgot that the helix10 comes with that transducer.
I haven't read up on the advantages of connecting units via Ethernet, can someone enlighten me?

09-21-2016, 05:56 PM
Thanks for the advice so far. I forgot that the helix10 comes with that transducer.
I haven't read up on the advantages of connecting units via Ethernet, can someone enlighten me?

Ethernet allows sharing Waypoints, xducers, and Accessories ...


09-26-2016, 07:38 AM
I like your option #2 with one change, Helix 9 DI instead of teh Helix 7. Then you can link the units together like Rickie mentions.
Upgrade #1- Plus, down the road you can add a trolling motor with I-Pilot Link. It will link to the Helix 9 units and allow you to follow contours or go from spot to spot, or follow a route you map out. Etc.
Upgrade #2 is a 360 transducer mounted on the transom. With the pair of Helix 9's and ethernet connected you can pull 360 imaging from the bow of the boat and fish out in front of you while trolling along. Would also be good for spider rigging.

I have seen where there are specials when you buy the Helix 9 SI and the 360 as a package. Not sure who posted it or who is selling the combo package. If memory serves me correctly, the deal was about $1,300.

I didn't think you needed to upgrade transducers unless you wanted to fish deeper water. I don't see the need to fish deeper than 50', why would I upgrade to something I'll never use?

09-26-2016, 08:57 AM
Your going to Love dealing with Brian. I have ordered all my electronics from him. Shipping I believe will be like $8 unless something has changed. R u planning on going with 2 different units for $1300? Or just one. If your going to just have one unit it is going to hurt your neck and back turning back to look at your graph while your spider rigging. Order your helix 10 and buy an additional BASE and trolling motor transducer. And move your unit with you when your in the front of your boat. That way all you have to do is look straight forward. Easier to keep an eye on all your poles too. But If you went with Helix 9 SI GPS and upgraded the transducer BEFORE removing transducer out of the package for just $75 additional money. Then you should still be in your price range or dang close to it to buy the Helix 9 SONAR GPS for your trolling motor. That way you can link those 2 units together. Have mapping. Waypoint sharing. The entire shebang. I HAVE the HD DI capabilities in my boat but for spider rigging I almost NEVER use the HD DI. ALL sonar for me on the front of the boat.

If brian is out of your home state then there should be no taxes on your items either. So your gonna save at least 10% there.

If it were me.....I would go with 2 units if they were in my budget! Save ya alot of swapping back and forth OR turning around backwards.

Good luck buddy. There will be other opinions and help coming. Take all advice into consideration before deciding. Get what ya want the first time and it will save ya money later.

09-26-2016, 02:49 PM
Thanks for the advice. I would love to have two units so I don't have to swap anything or turn around to see the depth finder but I may get the 10 and just wait for a good used unit to add to the front later. Thanks again

09-26-2016, 03:26 PM
Seriously look at the differences between the 10 and 9 before you buy. Is that 1/4" per side worth $500 more? Add another couple hundred and have two Helix 9 units.

09-26-2016, 03:42 PM
Can have the same transducer as the Helix 10 for just $75 more.

Cane Pole
09-26-2016, 04:34 PM
Get a HDS it is more sophisticated.

I talk