Garmin or Lowrance

Anything and everything related to fishing tackle. If you cannot find the sub-category for your topic, go ahead and post it in here!
Post Reply
Carruth8
Angler
Angler
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:07 am

Garmin or Lowrance

Post by Carruth8 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:54 pm

I'm finally done with & ready to move on from Humminbird. I'm currently looking at either a Garmin Striker 7sv or an Lowrance Hook2 7 x gps. I should also say that I'm coming from using a Humminbird Helix 5 DI GPS G2 in my kayak and will be using one of the two brands that I just recently mentioned for mainly side scanning on a few small-to-medium sized local lakes. I've only ever owned or used Humminbird units, so I'm completely ignorant when it comes to those other units & would like to know if anyone might have working knowledge or familiarity with these?

User avatar
y2k88
Platinum Angler
Platinum Angler
Posts: 1089
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 11:41 pm
Location: Australia

Re: Garmin or Lowrance

Post by y2k88 » Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:05 am

I had the Helix 5 DI G1, then tried a Garmin Striker 5CV (downscan), then tried a Hook2 5 tripleshot (with sidescan).
Now I've gone sort of full circle, Helix 7 MSI G3.

I really got used to the Helix 5. Very customisable in terms of scan/scroll speed, panel size, sensitivity. I used it in a thru-hull install. No regrets buying it.

Because I didn't have GPS on my old Helix 5 (and made do for a while with a spare phone), decided to upgrade to a unit with GPS, and bought the Gamin. When I started using the Garmin, I can't remember exactly now, but I didn't like how it manages scroll speed. The image I got from it, whilst generally clear, sometimes appear to miss things (also thru-hull install). I also watched a video where it explained how Garmin achieves its downscan images (overlapping sidescans) because of a patent infringement issue otherwise - that got into my head also. The good thing about Garmin though is you probably get the most feature for the buck, and can build your own contour maps right off the unit without purchasing anything/subscriptions. I eventually sold it to try the Lowrance Hook2.

The Lowrance is the worst of all the ones I've tried. The Hook2 is marketed as the lower end model, and it felt that way. Not as much customisable in the settings compared to the Humminbird - but if you're not one to change settings often, maybe it'll work for you. Image clarity was fine, long transducer though (the sidescan transducer). To create your own custom maps, I think you have to have a maps card/subscription to c-maps to keep the maps private. Eventually, the inability to control some settings annoyed me, and a 5" screen is just too small to be using sidescan in a multi-panel layout, so I sold it.

Now I'm using a Helix 7 MSI G3. Happy now with what i can do with the settings. Still on a learning curve with the sidescan. Mega SI is only useful generally in shallower water, so if you're working in deeper water, the G2 without the 1xxx kHz mega (just 800 kHz) will probably work fine. Without a branded map card, the Humminbird can store 8 hours of contour data before it self erases - which is annoying and its another expense. But I'm happy with the image, works for me.

Carruth8
Angler
Angler
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:07 am

Re: Garmin or Lowrance

Post by Carruth8 » Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:31 pm

Thanks for the input! I really like everything you just mentioned about the Humminbirds, but ever since I bought the Helix 5 Di GPS G2 it's had problems reading the correct depth, especially in less than 4ft of water where it will start showing that I'm in 33ft of water. They repaired my first unit 3 different times & then sent me a completely new unit and Im still have the same problems. As much as I would like to just upgrade to a side imaging Humminbird model, Im worried that the same problems will continue. Plus Humminbirds customer service is the worst.

User avatar
y2k88
Platinum Angler
Platinum Angler
Posts: 1089
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 11:41 pm
Location: Australia

Re: Garmin or Lowrance

Post by y2k88 » Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:05 pm

Well the Hummingbird G3 still does it. Sometimes double the depth in less than say 4 ft water. In real shallow like 2 ft, it gets real confused but i think that may be any brand. The depth finder is probably not that useful in such shallow depths anyway.

The Lowrance was worse then the Hb with the issue you're concerned about, especially picking the depth in weedy areas, and I've had instances where sidescan returns will for no apparent reason get stronger so the top section of the sidescan screen will be 'brighter' than the bottom until it scrolls off the screen. From memory, you can't change the scroll speed in the downscan or sidescan, and the sonar is normal speed, and the next increment is 2x which is too fast.

If i couldn't pick Hb for my next spunder, i would go Garmin.

Carruth8
Angler
Angler
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:07 am

Re: Garmin or Lowrance

Post by Carruth8 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:53 am

y2k88 wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:05 pm
Well the Hummingbird G3 still does it. Sometimes double the depth in less than say 4 ft water. In real shallow like 2 ft, it gets real confused but i think that may be any brand. The depth finder is probably not that useful in such shallow depths anyway.

The Lowrance was worse then the Hb with the issue you're concerned about, especially picking the depth in weedy areas, and I've had instances where sidescan returns will for no apparent reason get stronger so the top section of the sidescan screen will be 'brighter' than the bottom until it scrolls off the screen. From memory, you can't change the scroll speed in the downscan or sidescan, and the sonar is normal speed, and the next increment is 2x which is too fast.

If i couldn't pick Hb for my next spunder, i would go Garmin.
I do like that the Helix 5 is one of the few units that offer SI in a 5" unit. The wildly inaccurate shallow depth readings is not a deal breaker for me, it's how the sonar & DI screens will freeze once the depth starts bouncing around in shallow water. Worried the same thing would happen with the Helix 5 SI once I'm in shallow water, rendering it useless. Buying a Garmin would require getting the 7" model & all new mounting hardware. 1st World problems I suppose & it could always be worse, like not having a kayak to dish out of or not having a fish finder at all. I appreciate your input, it's helped a lot!

Post Reply