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View Full Version : Bow depth finder - need to upgrade questions



Potatoe
05-18-2018, 09:13 PM
I am running a very small Garmin depth finder up front on a very old Minn Kota trolling motor. I keep bending around to look at small Helix 5 to see waypoints or map.

I am wondering if I should just get 2d sonar with mapping for up front with G2N capabilities if and when I upgrade my trolling motor. I am thinking the money is better spent on the depth finder than the trolling motor.

Do you need SI or DI up front, I have it at the helm but do not understand SI enough to locate fish.

I am thinking a Helix 10 if I can swing the funds. with 2d sonar and mapping.

Thanks for any input

Gator2
05-19-2018, 06:49 AM
I just put a Helix 10 on the dash and thinking of a Helix 7 for bow and Im told it can be rigged with an Ethernet cable to the 10 and you can get SI on the 7 w/o buying a 7 unit with si.
The 7 will be easier to see but I think DI would be a must.


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crappiepappa
05-19-2018, 06:56 AM
I run an old 998 up front but hardly ever use SI. I primarily split with DI, 2D and lake master to see contour lines

Potatoe
05-19-2018, 08:10 AM
thanks for info, the units with DI and SI are certainly more money. I need something I can see without my readers also, old age has taken my vision

vfourmax
05-19-2018, 11:11 AM
I am in the same boat so to speak and will be upgrading the bow unit on my jon.

I personally like the Side Imaging and had an older model on a different boat a few years ago.

Side imaging allows you to see so much water coverage at once compared to the DI. Also find it with the SI and mark it and then if you like the DI better go check it out closer with the DI.

It does take some time to learn to interpret the info on the screen with the SI but once you start to understand exactly what you are seeing on the screen then it is awesome. The units also give you down imaging as well.

From past experience with SI get the biggest screen you can swing as size matters in seeing the details of the image shown.

I am leaning towards the Helix 10" as my first choice. Not only does it have a larger screen than the 9" but also a better pixel count and better hd image to make the details sharper on the images.

Now I just need to talk myself into paying the added cost of entry over the 9"!

Even though these units are not inexpensive if you look at the features included on the current models they are not priced that bad.

I have gotten to where I fish more electric only lakes which there is no mapping chips with contours available. With these new HB units I can create my own maps of the lakes I fish including contour lines. For myself this mapping technology and ability will add a lot of value to the unit.

I will also be upgrading the bow mount trolling motor on this boat and again will get a unit that will link and take advantage of utilizing the graphs way points and tracks.

As far as technology is concerned and ease of boat control goes then today is a good time to be a fisherman. But it does all come at a cost unfortunately!

skeetbum
05-19-2018, 12:37 PM
I had a pair of 798's. Seldom used the SI up front and am looking to increase screen size and go to a DI unit up front. I seldom search with the front of the boat but use DI and GPS all the time.

eagle 1
05-19-2018, 01:44 PM
I have a helix 9 at the rear and a lowrance elite 5 up front . Locate everything from rear, throw out buoy, then confirm with 5 inch . May not be everyone's cup of tea but no lack of fish at my house . When the elite 5 goes it will then become a helix 7 linked, but till that happens I can't see throwing away a unit that works . 303437

lowe rider
05-19-2018, 07:14 PM
You need to rotate some of that 5 year old fish out of that freezer. :dono

Dutchman
05-20-2018, 08:54 AM
Go with biggest Down Image unit you can afford on bow . Side Imaging doesn't work as well on trolling motor as it does on transom . If your planning on linking to a Terrova in future, make sure new unit will be compatible.

vfourmax
05-20-2018, 10:00 AM
Go with biggest Down Image unit you can afford on bow . Side Imaging doesn't work as well on trolling motor as it does on transom . If your planning on linking to a Terrova in future, make sure new unit will be compatible.

Depending on how you fish can easily determine on whether you feel the SI does not work as well on the trolling motor or bow mounted versus transom mounted.. There are also stand alone mounts for the transducer for mounting on the front of the boat that would eliminate the "blur" due to turning the trolling motor on that option of transducer mounting.

But once you get used to the trolling motor mounted differences of SI then you can actually look what is around your boat within 150ft in a 360 degrees circle versus the DI that in shallow water is only looking at perhaps a 12 -20 ft cone directly under the boat.

Check out some of Doug Vahrenbergs videos on using the SI and understanding what you are seeing or how to adjust the unit. I will link one below that he talks about SI mounted on the trolling motor.

Again everyone is different, likes different things and fishes in different places and conditions but like in my case fishing electric lakes mainly I spend most of my time at the bow and the SI opens up a much wider picture of what is going on all around my boat and further away than what the DI offers.

I just happen to be one that prefers the range and water coverage that SI offers at the bow over not having that option regardless of what may be residing at the console. As I am fishing the majority of my time is spent at the bow. Even using a gas motor I am only at the console getting to the area I want to fish.

Yes there is a place for DI as well and if I want to check out something a little closer in deeper water then I can just switch the unit to DI and have that advantage as well. But with the DI only unit I am stuck with just the downward view.

This may not be a big deal to someone that uses a larger boat and has SI at the console and the bow unit will be secondary only but if you are only going to invest in one "nice" unit in my opinion make sure it will do SI as well.

https://youtu.be/vT8nArMGwPA

Potatoe
05-20-2018, 03:57 PM
Good video thanks for posting link, still deciding what to do.

Pnut
05-22-2018, 12:38 PM
I like to have my transducer on my trolling motor but I added an extra mount up front and just move my unit from console to bow when Im fishing. Works well and only a little extra wire on floor of boat

Hanr3
05-23-2018, 11:39 AM
DI up front, SI at the council, link them. Your hunting fish while on the main motor and fishing while on the trolling motor.
Locate fish on SI, mark them, then go to bow and fish the mark. TM should have I-pilot, link not needed. That spotlock is a game changer. So is setting a coarse and speed and let the TM do the work while you fish.

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vfourmax
05-23-2018, 03:07 PM
DI up front, SI at the council, link them. Your hunting fish while on the main motor and fishing while on the trolling motor.
Locate fish on SI, mark them, then go to bow and fish the mark. TM should have I-pilot, link not needed. That spotlock is a game changer. So is setting a coarse and speed and let the TM do the work while you fish.

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"Your hunting fish while on the main motor and fishing while on the trolling motor." Right now the electric only lakes I am mainly fishing the troller is the main motor! lol!

I agree, I have owned one of the spotlock trollers in the past and it is one of the best additions to a boat I have made. Unfortunately it went with the jet drive boat it was on when I sold it.

My understanding is that by adding the "link" to the I pilot is that then you can program the troller with the depth finder but the big kicker is access and use the depth finders saved way points and even better use the depth finders maps and you can get the trolling motor to follow a certain depth contour line which fishing the edge of a drop off or maybe a creek or river channel in the lake could also add another game changing hands free tool to the arsenal.

At least that is my understanding of the link and just some of what it can do. I do like the concept of hands off following a depth cfontour even down a bank line without manually always adjusting course to maintain a certain depth.

Again adds a fair amount of dollars to the price and I am trying to decide just how much I want to spend in upgrades to both the troller and the depth finder.

I will buy either the SI helix 9 or 10 just not sure which one yet.

Troller WILL have at minimum spot lock, I know I sure do miss having it right now. Maybe link as well if I say what the heck.

Hanr3
05-23-2018, 04:07 PM
Agreed. The link has some nice features. Caution about following a contour, doesn't work that well on flats. [emoji3]

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Pithon
05-25-2018, 10:13 AM
Agreed. The link has some nice features. Caution about following a contour, doesn't work that well on flats. [emoji3]

Sent from my XT1710-02 using Crappie.com Fishing mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=87936)That's what I was wondering about. Arkabutla is a pretty flat lake with very little contour. Does it just kinda roam around in the flats if you have it set up for following depth lines?

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