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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:09 pm 
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I just purchased a 2014 lowrance ready revolution 13 and I'd like to add a fishfinder. I know there's an installation kit for lowrance ready so I'm OK with the install but what model fishfinder would everyone recommend for a beginner fisher. I was looking at the Lowrance x4 pro but I'm concerned that I'll have to replace it for a colour one when I begin to fish more often...How well does the x4 pro work for finding the depth and locating fish?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:51 pm 
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I can't speak to that model specifically, but many people will tell you color isn't a requirement at all. A lot of people simply use the FF to find depth and drop offs, for them color is just a waste of money. I personally did buy a color model, last years Lowrance Elite-4 (before they added HDI). But that was just a preference and I honestly haven't spent the time learning to really use the FF very well so the color is mostly lost on me besides it looks cool. I know people who are far better fisherman than me and get by just fine with a cheap BW FF.

What I am surprised I like so much about the FF is the GPS. I think that is a much more important feature than color. Many people speak about having a separate GPS so if your FF fails you still have your GPS. I think that's just a load of you know what. On a kayak with limited space, a multipurpose unit makes so much more sense. Being able to see your speed and location is really important especially in big waters like oceans or bays. Really comes in handy to make sure your trolling or drift speeds are right as well as letting you know how much progress you are making against wind and current.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:26 pm 
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One thing to determine is which HDI transducer to get as there are two options and depending where you plan to do most of your fishing one will be better than the other. For general ocean use I would recommend getting the more expensive 50/200.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:29 pm 
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Location: High Point, NC
I have replaced all my Lowrance/Eagle units with Garmin 301dv's. Night and day difference. I won't go back.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:30 pm 
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Location: Missoula, Montana
For some kinds of fishing, such as casting in shallow water, sonar won't be much help. For other kinds of fishing, such as jigging, trolling, and downrigger trolling in deeper water, sonar is invaluable. I find color sonar very helpful, as the color provides a lot of information which you don't get from a black-and-white screen. For example, color can help you distinguish between a rock, a clump of weeds, and a fish sitting on the bottom. If you're fishing away from shore at all, GPS can be extremely helpful, as it allows you to go back to structure or to places where you have found fish, provides your trolling speed, and can help you navigate. I haven't been very impressed with down imaging sonar, which hasn't been useful for the kinds of fishing which I do, but for fishing in shallow water with a lot of weeds, logs, and other such obstructions it might be more helpful. I'd like to try sidescan sonar, but a major disadvantage of sidescan sonar on a kayak is that the transducer has to be mounted below the level of the keel of your kayak, which pretty much means you have to mount it on a boom next to your kayak.

In general, if you like to do kinds of fishing where sonar and GPS will be helpful, I suggest that you not go too cheap. You'll probably be unhappy with a bottom-of-the-line fish finder, and when you finally upgrade to a better fish finder, you'll wish you had done so years earlier. I suggest you consider buying a fish finder in the medium price range which has sonar, GPS features, and a color screen.

I have a 2014 Revolution, and the transducer pocket is great. It completely protects the transducer without degrading the performance of your fish finder. The kayak comes with a bracket for Lowrance transducers, but if you buy a fish finder made by another manufacturer, for a couple of bucks you can get brackets for transducers made by other manufacturers. A minor issue to be aware of: if you land in sand or mud, the sand or mud can pile up on the cover of the transducer pocket and interfere with the performance of the fish finder, so wash out the transducer pocket periodically. A sidescan sonar transducer won't work in the transducer pocket.

Mount the fish finder unit where you can reach it easily. If you mount it in front of your feet, or someplace else where it's awkward to push the buttons, you won't end up using the features of the fish finder as effectively.


Last edited by pmmpete on Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:14 pm 
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Having built for a friend in 1960 a Heathkit flasher style depth finder (not to date my age) and owned both Humminbirds and Lowrance GPS/sonar/fish finders since then, my favorite are Humminbirds as they have been the most reliable/trouble free in my experience.
I mirror pmmpetes comments about the GPS capability as I use my Humminbird 768 to mark underwater trees/obstructions so I don't lose tackle while I am down rigging as I troll.
Its also nice to know how fast I troll (not too fast) and the distance covered which is normally 8.5+ miles in 5+ hours.
I was lucky to have picked up my Humminbird 768, a $500 unit on sale for $200 at Bass Pro Shops, on line 3 years ago when they ran a special closing out the 768 model......it has been flawless in operation as was my old Humminbird LCR400 (1990 version).....
Last year I bought a 2013 PA-14 after selling my 2010 Outback......moved the Humminbird 768 to the PA and only needed to buy the $10.00 Hobie/Humminbird transducer mounting adapter and it works great!
So, don't feel that Lowrance is the only fish finder that will work in the "Lowrance ready" fish finder transducer mount, in your Hobie Revolution kayak.

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Dr.SteelheadCatcher
Hood River, OR


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:12 pm
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Location: Columbia, MD
I've been using the Lowrance X-4 Pro for about 3 years. I think it's a fine, compact, reliable, durable basic unit. I didn't want to spend more than $100 & it fits the bill. I really use it mostly for depth & temperature readings. For $100, if I trash it I'm not going to feel too bad.

I fish in waters less than 12' 90% of the time & usually 5' or less. At those depths you're not going to see many fish arches. A "fish finder" is really a "likely fish holding spot finder" until you get into much more sophisticated & expensive units, so I'm really just looking for changes in bottom composition, depth, temperature, structure & the occaisional bait school.

I do wish I had a color unit just because they're a little easier to read.

Bear in mind that the more powerful units also require MUCH more battery power to operate. I can run the X-4 Pro for ~8 hours on (8) AA batteries. You'll need at least an 8AH battery to run the larger units for any length of time. That's a significant cost to factor in.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:02 am 
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I dont have your exact model, but I have the Elite4 and it has held up surprisingly over the last 2 yrs. If yours has the nav chip port at the bottom like mine though, (or if you end up upgrading to an elite4 model) seal that up as well as you can, because that's the first part that rusted out on mine.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:12 pm 
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Gas Yakker wrote:
I've been using the Lowrance X-4 Pro for about 3 years. I think it's a fine, compact, reliable, durable basic unit. I didn't want to spend more than $100 & it fits the bill. I really use it mostly for depth & temperature readings. For $100, if I trash it I'm not going to feel too bad.

I fish in waters less than 12' 90% of the time & usually 5' or less. At those depths you're not going to see many fish arches. A "fish finder" is really a "likely fish holding spot finder" until you get into much more sophisticated & expensive units, so I'm really just looking for changes in bottom composition, depth, temperature, structure & the occaisional bait school.

I do wish I had a color unit just because they're a little easier to read.

Bear in mind that the more powerful units also require MUCH more battery power to operate. I can run the X-4 Pro for ~8 hours on (8) AA batteries. You'll need at least an 8AH battery to run the larger units for any length of time. That's a significant cost to factor in.


Not really. I get batteries that are general purpose and made to replacement UPS and wheel chair batteries. A 7 Ah sealed lead battery sells for $15 and a 12 Ah battery sells for $28. And they are rechargeable and can be recycled, unlike using $4 with eight AA batteries each day.

After 6 days the person with the AA powered fish finder is still spending $4 each day but the 7 Ah battery cost has been recovered and the battery can be recharged for less than 25 cents worth of electricity after each day of use.

Disposable batteries may be more convenient but they are always the most expensive and least green way to go.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:28 am 
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Fair enough. I switched to a 4800mAh Li Ion battery a couple years ago. This runs the X-4 Pro for a few days easily. Fits in a small dry bag I keep near the unit.

My point about the AA batteries is that you can run the unit on about 800 to 1000mAh batteries for a long time. Also nice to know you can grab some from the grocery store if you forgot to charge the main battery, or simply for backup.

The more powerful batteries, lead acid in particular, can be heavy & bulky, or expensive if you go the Li Ion route. You also may start to get into waterproof battery boxes, especially in saltwater, which add expense. Most guys seem to be moving up to at least 9.8mAh batteries with the bigger, more powerful units.

Not endorsing using disposable batteries...


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