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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:28 pm 
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OK so I know there are a ton of threads on this and tons of information from a google search. I have read through so many posts, but I havent found what I am looking for.

I want a color fishfinder with DSI but my only concern is that it is only good up to 200'. Normally this would not be a problem because I will be mostly in lakes, bays and creeks. Some offshore spots will be more than 200', what then? I does not appear that you can switch to normal sonar that would scan to more than 200'. Hummingbird has a model that you can switch from DI to normal sonar but I really had my heart set on Lowrance.

Also, is the GOS function really worth it? Do yall use it that much? I think it would be useful when marking hot spots for the day and specific structure you want to try at a later date. I have researched other handheld GPS units and they are very expensive. Getting the fishfinder/GPS combo seems to be the much cheaper route.

Please give me some feedback.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:26 pm 
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i might be missing your question, but you are aware you can switch your unit from DSI to SONAR, by simply changing from the DSI page, to the SONAR page.

cheers.
drew

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:18 pm 
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Drew - the Elite 4 DSI is down-imaging only. It does not have regular sonar.

frnklwrnr - I think you will be hard pressed to get imaging capabilities for extreme depth. The tech is just not there really especially at Elite 4 costs. You need the lower freq ducers for extreme depths(50 or 83Hz). All the imaging stuff is higher frequency and has limits.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:51 am 
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pa14naz wrote:
Drew - the Elite 4 DSI is down-imaging only. It does not have regular sonar.

frnklwrnr - I think you will be hard pressed to get imaging capabilities for extreme depth. The tech is just not there really especially at Elite 4 costs. You need the lower freq ducers for extreme depths(50 or 83Hz). All the imaging stuff is higher frequency and has limits.


Thanks.

Its too bad it doesnt have both :( It would be rare for me to fish in 200+ feet right now, but when I move to England I have know idea what I am getting into. Hummingbird has a model that has DI and sonar but I do not want to spend more than $350. Is the DSI really all its cracked up to be or is sonar all you need?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:14 am 
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Location: vero beach, fl
Check out page 15, from the operations maual for the E4.
Maybe I'm wrong. Never owned an E4, but E5 and E7 switches between, and operations manual for E4 indicates you can with that unit as well.

http://www.lowrance.com/Root/Lowrance-D ... 53-001.pdf



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:14 pm 
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At this price point, I personally would go for GPS and the strongest 2d sonar you can get. The fish show up as dots with DI instead of possibles arches for regular sonar. The DI will help distinguish the structure on the bottom a little better but it kind of sucks at pointing out fish. My opinion. I rarely fish straight down so SI has more worth in my book vs DI. With that being said, the lower price / small screen units typically have less power and don't produce the awesome Side/Down imaging stuff you see from the $$ units. My advice is get the biggest screen size you can afford. No shame in buying used either. Check the for sale area on some of the larger fishing sites like bassboatcentral. Everybody has been spending their rebate checks on newer stuff and dumping their older units. Nothing beats time on the water though. This guy that float tubes with me(while i yak) knows the bottom of the lake better than most fishfinders just from time spent.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:11 am 
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pa14naz wrote:
At this price point, I personally would go for GPS and the strongest 2d sonar you can get. The fish show up as dots with DI instead of possibles arches for regular sonar. The DI will help distinguish the structure on the bottom a little better but it kind of sucks at pointing out fish. My opinion. I rarely fish straight down so SI has more worth in my book vs DI. With that being said, the lower price / small screen units typically have less power and don't produce the awesome Side/Down imaging stuff you see from the $$ units. My advice is get the biggest screen size you can afford. No shame in buying used either. Check the for sale area on some of the larger fishing sites like bassboatcentral. Everybody has been spending their rebate checks on newer stuff and dumping their older units. Nothing beats time on the water though. This guy that float tubes with me(while i yak) knows the bottom of the lake better than most fishfinders just from time spent.


Great tips. The more I research, the more I want a bigger color screen with regular sonar and GPS. Sure, I only fish in shallow water now, but I move a lot and never know where ill be fishing. I have been looking used and I def dont have shame...haha I havent found much though. I am never in one location long enough to ever figure out the bodies of water I fish, which is why the need for a good depth finder and GPS.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:13 am 
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I ordered an Elite 5 with standard sonar and GPS. I should have it in a few days.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:43 pm 
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Location: Portland, Oregon
I find the GPS extremely valuable for finding my crab traps and getting back onto hot spot. If you don't have separate GPS, get one on your FF.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:30 am 
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sherminator wrote:
I find the GPS extremely valuable for finding my crab traps and getting back onto hot spot. If you don't have separate GPS, get one on your FF.


I agree. I went out a couple days ago and wanted to mark a location, but couldnt because I didnt have my fishfinder installed.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:07 pm 
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How does the Elite 5 DSI compare?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:22 pm 
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I currently have and use a humminbird 597hd di. I've had it a few years now. The di is an attractive feature, but I've found that it is only really useful in shallower depths. The detail fades with depth. After 50-60ft, it has to be a big structure for you to see any real detail. You'll probably see a tree or something like that if your in fresh water. But, anything around 100ft or deeper and the regular sonar is going to be better. If I were to do it again, I wouldn't get it. The regular sonar and gps features are way more useful.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:11 pm 
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Captain Yak wrote:
I currently have and use a humminbird 597hd di. I've had it a few years now. The di is an attractive feature, but I've found that it is only really useful in shallower depths. The detail fades with depth. After 50-60ft, it has to be a big structure for you to see any real detail. You'll probably see a tree or something like that if your in fresh water. But, anything around 100ft or deeper and the regular sonar is going to be better. If I were to do it again, I wouldn't get it. The regular sonar and gps features are way more useful.


I have the same unit. I love that thing, but my previous sonar was 20 years old so the upgrade was tremendous. I find the DI has proven to be helpful down to 150' (deepest I have tried). I can see boulders on the river bottom and distinguish bouldery bottoms from bed rock and things like that. Detail is certainly better in shallower water, but I have found that the DI provides a lot more detail than 2D at any depth.

I agree that DI is not there to mark fish. I would definitely get it again, but I would definitely not buy a DI only unit.

The view I use the most is the DI/2D split screen. When returning to previous spots I use the split GPS/2D. When trying really hard to see fish or watch my lure I switch to 2D only mode or split zoomed in 2D mode. I almost never run in DI only mode. I think that the DI provides a lot more information about what I am looking at.

Here is an example. Many times if you are passing over multiple trees with a several branches each, on the 2-D sonar some of the branches look like fish arches (because the enter and leave the cone without you ever seeing the tree to which they are attached). With the wider DI view I can see that instead of fish it is just tree branches connected to a tree that is out of the 2D cone (this is the only time I switch to DI only mode). If the tree shapes "match" on the 2D and DI views and I see arches I look hard for dots on the DI screen. I know I am definitely seeing fish then.

FYI, on the HB support page they list the DI as being good to 350' and the 2D sonar being good to 600'. That is for freshwater. I am not sure what the equivalent is for saltwater. That is more than good enough for me.

CY, If you are losing resolution on your DI maybe you either have a bad transducer (not completely broken but not operating efficiently), imperfect transducer install (tilted a fair bit or some air bubbles if in the hull) or perhaps your settings are not optimized (you may have done this, but I figured I would toss it out there).

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:03 pm 
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pdxfisher wrote:
Captain Yak wrote:
I currently have and use a humminbird 597hd di. I've had it a few years now. The di is an attractive feature, but I've found that it is only really useful in shallower depths. The detail fades with depth. After 50-60ft, it has to be a big structure for you to see any real detail. You'll probably see a tree or something like that if your in fresh water. But, anything around 100ft or deeper and the regular sonar is going to be better. If I were to do it again, I wouldn't get it. The regular sonar and gps features are way more useful.


I have the same unit. I love that thing, but my previous sonar was 20 years old so the upgrade was tremendous. I find the DI has proven to be helpful down to 150' (deepest I have tried). I can see boulders on the river bottom and distinguish bouldery bottoms from bed rock and things like that. Detail is certainly better in shallower water, but I have found that the DI provides a lot more detail than 2D at any depth.

I agree that DI is not there to mark fish. I would definitely get it again, but I would definitely not buy a DI only unit.

The view I use the most is the DI/2D split screen. When returning to previous spots I use the split GPS/2D. When trying really hard to see fish or watch my lure I switch to 2D only mode or split zoomed in 2D mode. I almost never run in DI only mode. I think that the DI provides a lot more information about what I am looking at.

Here is an example. Many times if you are passing over multiple trees with a several branches each, on the 2-D sonar some of the branches look like fish arches (because the enter and leave the cone without you ever seeing the tree to which they are attached). With the wider DI view I can see that instead of fish it is just tree branches connected to a tree that is out of the 2D cone (this is the only time I switch to DI only mode). If the tree shapes "match" on the 2D and DI views and I see arches I look hard for dots on the DI screen. I know I am definitely seeing fish then.

FYI, on the HB support page they list the DI as being good to 350' and the 2D sonar being good to 600'. That is for freshwater. I am not sure what the equivalent is for saltwater. That is more than good enough for me.

CY, If you are losing resolution on your DI maybe you either have a bad transducer (not completely broken but not operating efficiently), imperfect transducer install (tilted a fair bit or some air bubbles if in the hull) or perhaps your settings are not optimized (you may have done this, but I figured I would toss it out there).



My transducer is possibly bad. I used to get depth readings beyond 600ft. Now the depth flashes at 216ft and won't read beyond it. It will only show the contours of the ocean. I've tried everything but a new transducer.

The di has displayed shipwrecks over 100ft, and can read the bottom over 300. I just don't get a lot of detail, even with it cranked up. For me it hasn't been worth it. If I fished more fresh water lakes, I would probably get more use out of it. I'll try a new transducer and see if it makes a difference.

What type of depth do you fish and do you typically mark fish? I haven't marked a fish unless it's right below my kayak.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:04 pm 
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Captain Yak:

Isn't that because that's where the transducer beam points.... down?


Last edited by FishIt on Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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