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Old 01-29-2013, 06:06 PM   #1
Northwoods33
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Default Fishfinder: Lowrance Elite-7 HDI

I am probably looking at one of the last fish finders I will buy.
I'm looking to Kokanee fish Merwin and salmon fish Puget Sound.

What do people think about the Lowrance Elite-7 HDI?
Is it worth the $650-700 price?
Any alternatives to consider?

I'm planning on shopping the Outdoorsman Show in Portland early next month
so an info/advice will be appreciated

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Old 01-29-2013, 06:13 PM   #2
1952ford
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Default Re: Fishfinder: Lowrance Elite-7 HDI

I would stay clear of any of there products. I have own a few and had nothing but problems with them. There customer service is terrible if you can get ahold of them. I would buy anything but a lowrance. That's just my opinion.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:52 PM   #3
scrminbanshee
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Default Re: Fishfinder: Lowrance Elite-7 HDI

I like them so much i bought one today. went back and forth between it and the hds 7 gen two a while and finally pulled the trigger. Im going to get it all mounted up tomorrow.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: Fishfinder: Lowrance Elite-7 HDI

Quote:
Originally Posted by Northwoods33 View Post
I am probably looking at one of the last fish finders I will buy.
I'm looking to Kokanee fish Merwin and salmon fish Puget Sound.

What do people think about the Lowrance Elite-7 HDI?
Is it worth the $650-700 price?
Any alternatives to consider?

I'm planning on shopping the Outdoorsman Show in Portland early next month
so an info/advice will be appreciated
HumminBird 598ci HD SI Combo is a $700 unit.

5series = 5 inch screen
c= color
i= had internal gps antena
HD= high definition screen
si= side imaging
combo=maps, charting and gps
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:58 AM   #5
lamb3947
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Default Re: Fishfinder: Lowrance Elite-7 HDI

I just put the HDS GEN2 in my boat along with a new radio. I had a Lowrance before that also. Love them. Now that Navionics purchased Lowrance it is a new company. Customer service for me has been great. I didn't buy an elite mostly because of price, I got a great deal at Cabela's. I take it out in the salt mostly. Performs great.
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: Fishfinder: Lowrance Elite-7 HDI

I run in a 16ft lund an mostly fish either for kokes or for salmon out in the sound.I went with the elite seven because i didn't think the side imagining would be worth it. I also will prolly never use the networking capability or the radar that you can on the HDS. The main thing about the HDS that i did really like was it came with some better base maps but for most of the lakes that i fish it didnt seem all that different. The HDS is a bit more expensive and it didnt come with either the down imaging or the side imaging for a decent price point for me. Now if you running a bigger boat and use all the feutures then the HDS is the way to go but to me the Elite was all i needed. Anyways just my
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:53 AM   #7
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Default Re: Fishfinder: Lowrance Elite-7 HDI

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Originally Posted by lamb3947 View Post
I just put the HDS GEN2 in my boat along with a new radio. I had a Lowrance before that also. Love them. Now that Navionics purchased Lowrance it is a new company. Customer service for me has been great. I didn't buy an elite mostly because of price, I got a great deal at Cabela's. I take it out in the salt mostly. Performs great.


HDS In the Salt with a 50/200 Transducer, If you have the $ Get the Structure Scan also..
PM Me if you want the name of Who I would buy from

HDI is a fresh water unit I think
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:06 AM   #8
KirtH
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Default Re: Fishfinder: Lowrance Elite-7 HDI

Navico owns Lowrance not Navionics, Navionics is a mapping company BTW Navionics makes the best mapping out there
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:14 AM   #9
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Default Re: Fishfinder: Lowrance Elite-7 HDI

I like having my mapping separate from my sonar and thus have a Furuno FCV 585 mounted side by side with a HDS 7m. The Furuno is awesome but does step up the price a bit.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:31 AM   #10
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Default Re: Fishfinder: Lowrance Elite-7 HDI

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Originally Posted by Doc_Rhen View Post
I like having my mapping separate from my sonar and thus have a Furuno FCV 585 mounted side by side with a HDS 7m. The Furuno is awesome but does step up the price a bit.
I'm curious, why do you like to have them separate? Not like I can afford two pieces anyways... just wondering
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:46 AM   #11
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Default Re: Fishfinder: Lowrance Elite-7 HDI

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Originally Posted by The Likes View Post
I'm curious, why do you like to have them separate? Not like I can afford two pieces anyways... just wondering
One screen for sonar, one screen for chartplotting, easier viewing from 16-18 feet away, controls for each dedicated to their use, if something goes out I don't lose both, I really like Furuno Fish Finders and Furuno does not make combo units under about $3500.
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:45 AM   #12
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Default Re: Fishfinder: Lowrance Elite-7 HDI

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Originally Posted by The Likes View Post
I'm curious, why do you like to have them separate? Not like I can afford two pieces anyways... just wondering
Two pieces can be cheaper than one. Look at the screen real estate uplift with finders/plotters. It is far cheaper to have two HDS-5 than it is one HDS-10 and run split screen. It's actually the same price as one HDS-8. Now that I run my GPS/mapping off of a (very cheap for 10") tablet, I can dedicate the HDS-5 for downscan and a new (yet to be purchased) HDS Gen2 for structuremap/sidescan. I still have my Furuno for 2D sonar, which was the first purchase.

I like to dedicate units to the things they are best at. Anything can be a decent GPS if you have the map data and screen brightness. I'm not wasting my expensive HDS for that. HDS Gen 1 can't do structuremap, which I really want for finding slots in river fishing, so that's the impetus for a new Gen 2 purchase. I may even splurge and get an HDS-7. I don't need structure map for kokanee (pretty much only salmon and steelhead, stuff I would anchor for) so I would be running sidescan on the larger Gen 2 the whole time to find schools to jig. Last piece would be to add a second LSS-2 transducer and put it on the Minnkota a la the Lucky Duck, so I could do a poor-man's 360. I could use the transom mounted xducer for my 0-180 degree view and the Minnkota for the 90-270 (or wherever I decide to aim it).

Yes, I'm a geek who catches technology more than fish.
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:16 PM   #13
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Default Re: Fishfinder: Lowrance Elite-7 HDI

I have owned Lowrance, Hummingbird an Eagle cheapo and a Furuno. Never had a problem with any of them. I currently have a Lowrance color which is my third Lowrance and it has worked flawlessly. I like the idea of one screen for sonar and one for chart plotting but it is cost prohibitive for me. Whatever you get make sure you share your experience with us dreamers that will not be upgrading anytime soon.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:04 PM   #14
Northwoods33
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Default Re: Fishfinder: Lowrance Elite-7 HDI

The Hummingbird 598ci HD SI--has side imaging. The Lowrance Gen 2 does not unless you spend another $600 for Structure Scan.

Have people had much experience with side imaging. It seems it would add a lot but does that hold up on the water??

Hummingbird 598ci HD SI.....or.... Lowrance HDS-5 Gen 2??????????????????
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:14 PM   #15
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Default Re: Fishfinder: Lowrance Elite-7 HDI

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Originally Posted by Northwoods33 View Post
The Hummingbird 598ci HD SI--has side imaging. The Lowrance Gen 2 does not unless you spend another $600 for Structure Scan.

Have people had much experience with side imaging. It seems it would add a lot but does that hold up on the water??

Hummingbird 598ci HD SI.....or.... Lowrance HDS-5 Gen 2??????????????????
I want LSS-2/Lowrance HDS Gen2 specifically for StructureMap. In general, I prefer Humminbird/Johnson to Navico based on years of problems with my Lowrance products and their repair cost. However, last time I had an issue with my HDS-5 they took care of me and made it right. It took intervention from the local rep to make it happen, however. I doubt that support model scales very well.

I'm locked into Lowrance for a few reasons. All the Lowrance-specific map cards I own and the fact I use Dr Depth software to make my own maps from my sonar logs. There isn't any way to make your own proper contour maps with Humminbird, you can only use track lines. Most people won't care about this. Humminbird/Johnson now owns Lakemaster, whose maps are the best, by far, for the lakes they survey. It is quite probable that they will cease to make maps for Lowrance (I fish in the midwest often, so that matters to me). Navionics isn't even close to as detailed and accurate as Lakemaster. But Lakemaster only surveys the midwest for now.

LSS-2 is more sensitive than the Humminbird sidescan transducer. I doubt this will make a difference to most people as Humminbird is certainly good enough. Lowrance doesn't have a 360 version yet. Humminbird is doing crazy things with iPilot, since they own Minnkota. I feel almost like I need to have one of each now.

So lots of pros and cons to either. I think if I didn't want to spend a ton and I was just starting out, the Humminbird would be the best deal.

If you really want to geek out about this stuff, the side imaging soft forums are filled with people who do crazy things with sidescan (like using LSS-2 with their Humminbird head units).
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:52 PM   #16
Northwoods33
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Default Re: Fishfinder: Lowrance Elite-7 HDI

Quote:
Originally Posted by SGIndigo View Post
I want LSS-2/Lowrance HDS Gen2 specifically for StructureMap. In general, I prefer Humminbird/Johnson to Navico based on years of problems with my Lowrance products and their repair cost. However, last time I had an issue with my HDS-5 they took care of me and made it right. It took intervention from the local rep to make it happen, however. I doubt that support model scales very well.

I'm locked into Lowrance for a few reasons. All the Lowrance-specific map cards I own and the fact I use Dr Depth software to make my own maps from my sonar logs. There isn't any way to make your own proper contour maps with Humminbird, you can only use track lines. Most people won't care about this. Humminbird/Johnson now owns Lakemaster, whose maps are the best, by far, for the lakes they survey. It is quite probable that they will cease to make maps for Lowrance (I fish in the midwest often, so that matters to me). Navionics isn't even close to as detailed and accurate as Lakemaster. But Lakemaster only surveys the midwest for now.

LSS-2 is more sensitive than the Humminbird sidescan transducer. I doubt this will make a difference to most people as Humminbird is certainly good enough. Lowrance doesn't have a 360 version yet. Humminbird is doing crazy things with iPilot, since they own Minnkota. I feel almost like I need to have one of each now.

So lots of pros and cons to either. I think if I didn't want to spend a ton and I was just starting out, the Humminbird would be the best deal.

If you really want to geek out about this stuff, the side imaging soft forums are filled with people who do crazy things with sidescan (like using LSS-2 with their Humminbird head units).
Thanks SGIndigo,

That is great insight and a big help. Mostly for cost reasons I will probably go with the Hummingbird 598ci HD SL. But I will be checking both out at the Sportsman Show. See if Lowrance can make a good sales pitch and bargain who knows? I probably will be happy with either.

Thanks again
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:53 AM   #17
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Default Re: Fishfinder: Lowrance Elite-7 HDI

I have a Lowrance 113lcxhd and a Humminbird 898si. I like them both for different reasons. The Lowrance works better in deep water has a bigger screen and has a decent chartplotter. But their tech support is awful and IMO their prices are high, I think they are living off their history of being the best. IMO most of the others have caught up with them and past them in many areas, (side imaging for one). The Humminbird is fantastic (especially the 360 transducer), the down side is the size, and I have found their tech support is not as good as it use to be, but still far better than Lowrance. IMO down imaging is near worthless, you can get more accurate info from the side image and the standard screen. I to am kind of a tech freak and rely on my electronics to catch fish. FYI when chasing kokes I have both screens split, (and sometimes split again). Chartplotter, front transducer, back transducer, side image or 360. These schools often move fast and if the wind is blowing it is difficult to stay with them, I need all the help I can get. FYI when I replace my Lowrance it is highly unlikely I will buy another Lowrance. Go get em.
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:47 PM   #18
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Default Re: Fishfinder: Lowrance Elite-7 HDI

I've got even less reason to purchase a Lowrance Gen 2. It looks like the Dr Depth software now has the ability to create maps in real time on Android devices, so I can more easily create my own "Structure Maps". It uses the microphone port of your phone/tablet to receive NMEA data from the Lowrance/Humminbird/Garmin. I can still use the sonar log for the sidescan data and create mosaic maps. 10 bucks on google store, Dr Depth Nomad. Will need to fashion a 1/8" microphone jack -> NMEA cable, I imagine. I'm trying to find a way to not bring a laptop on the boat, but I don't think I'll be able to resist the urge.
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