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Which sonar to buy?

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My son just bought a bowmount trolling motor with I Pilot.  Which good reasonably priced sonar with down imaging and GPS that is compatible to his trolling motor should he buy?

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Humminbird is the only one that works with i-Pilot.   Tell him to check out the Helix series.

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I run two Helix 7 DI units and LOVE them.

Highly recommend them to anyone!

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not to mislead you at all, i have been so into the helix series that i could tell you every single thing about every model...ive been obsessing over them for the last year. I personally run two helix's myself!

 

There is a big difference between simply having a minkotta with ipilot, and one with ipilot link and networking capabilities.

if the trolling motor has ipilot link, then you will be able to network with any Helix G2N series chartplotter. (7 series and up, not available on 5's)

Please note that a Helix G1, and Helix G2 are not compatible with the ipilot link system.

Also...in order for the link system to communicate with your G2N unit, you will have to be running a lakemaster card. You are in luck because lakemaster Ontario just came out last month! it would be worth contacting humminbird directly to ensure that the lakes that you like to fish are included in the charts. If not, your other option is to get a zero lines card and chart the areas that you want to run the link system on yourself.

 

The important part of this is that navionics does not work with the N link system. So your investment might actually be a lot more than youd expect. If thats the case, dont bother linking it together and my recommendation is to just buy a G2 model helix. Also note that any helix 10, or 12 is automatically a Networking capable unit! Any more questions let me know!

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Ark has given you some good advice. I wouldn't get caught up to much on the Networking of the trolling motor to the fish finder imo. Navionics+ and a line zero card (if sitcking with humminbird) for mapping uncharted lakes and you should be good to go. Also get the largest screen you can afford. 7" and under you won't like side imaging on split screen.

Good luck.

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Hummingbird if you have iPilot Link, i don't think the compatible Hummingbirds can be called "reasonably priced". If iPilot Link is not important to you, Lowrance sonars are reasonably priced (Hook 7 in the current or previous generations are reasonably priced. Or Elite TI for touch screen.

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10 hours ago, riddickulous said:

Hummingbird if you have iPilot Link, i don't think the compatible Hummingbirds can be called "reasonably priced". If iPilot Link is not important to you, Lowrance sonars are reasonably priced (Hook 7 in the current or previous generations are reasonably priced. Or Elite TI for touch screen.

i would argue that the Helix 7 G2 is very competitively priced in comparison to the hook 7 and i think many would make the argument that it is a superior chart plotter. I have heard a lot of negativity about the graph load speeds on the hook series. 

HDS is a whole other ball game.

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https://www.minnkotamotors.com/support/compatibility/i-pilot-link

i never used the fish finder to control ilink. I found the remote did everything real easy.  I did not have a lake master chip so could not do some things

but I found the hummingbird unfriendly. The lowrance seemed much easier to use everything was right where I thought it should be

i did not find that with the hummingbird 

so if I was to do it again I would not buy the ilink. Just the ipilot. And lowrance or garmin  units.  

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You are right AK. I tend to favour the Lowrance, like Terry. I was blown away when comparing prices for HDS vs Solix.

Personally i went with Lowrance+MotorGuide vs Hummingbird+MinnKota. I would have loved Lowrance+MinnKota but these companies play hard ball.

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If you're not looking to break the bank I would suggest a Helix 7. I recently bought another helix 7si g2n to go with my i pilot terrova. No complaints they pair well together. 

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On 7/19/2018 at 9:11 AM, AKRISONER said:

Also...in order for the link system to communicate with your G2N unit, you will have to be running a lakemaster card. You are in luck because lakemaster Ontario just came out last month! it would be worth contacting humminbird directly to ensure that the lakes that you like to fish are included in the charts. If not, your other option is to get a zero lines card and chart the areas that you want to run the link system on yourself.

 

You mean in order to follow contours you need the Lakemaster card.    The iPilot and HB links up just fine with any map card..   Communication between the units is completely card independent.

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Only i-Pilot Link navigates you automatically on any depth contour, bottom hardness or vegetation line you choose. Use Follow Offset to choose how far away you want to be from a depth contour, shoreline, bottom hardness or vegetation line. Follow Offset will automatically keep you that distance away while you troll, so you can cast to it. Note: These features require Humminbird LakeMaster® Charts or AutoChart® Live.

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37 minutes ago, Terry said:

Only i-Pilot Link navigates you automatically on any depth contour, bottom hardness or vegetation line you choose. Use Follow Offset to choose how far away you want to be from a depth contour, shoreline, bottom hardness or vegetation line. Follow Offset will automatically keep you that distance away while you troll, so you can cast to it. Note: These features require Humminbird LakeMaster® Charts or AutoChart® Live.

Exactly.  If you wanna follow the contour you need the Lakemaster card.   It's been like this for a while.  (Or make your own maps with Autochart live)

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33 minutes ago, BillM said:

Exactly.  If you wanna follow the contour you need the Lakemaster card.   It's been like this for a while.  (Or make your own maps with Autochart live)

nailed it...he needs to have both an minnkota with ipilot link, and an networking capable unit for this to work. The Helix G2 and G1 series are not network capable units and therefore do not allow for this feature.

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I won't own another hummingbird unit. Every one I've owned crapped out on me. Just quit working. I have 4 lowrance graphs, 2 real old, that work perfectly every time.....I use on the hardwater.

All this auto stuff is for rookies. Nobody needs that crap. Just more toys to play with. It really doesn't help catch any more fish....Just my opinion. No need for it.  Maybe I'm getting old, and set in my ways, but I find a lot of that stuff more of a pain in the arse than its worth. 

S. 

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19 minutes ago, Sinker said:

I won't own another hummingbird unit. Every one I've owned crapped out on me. Just quit working. I have 4 lowrance graphs, 2 real old, that work perfectly every time.....I use on the hardwater.

All this auto stuff is for rookies. Nobody needs that crap. Just more toys to play with. It really doesn't help catch any more fish....Just my opinion. No need for it.  Maybe I'm getting old, and set in my ways, but I find a lot of that stuff more of a pain in the arse than its worth. 

S. 

I have to disagree good sir!

All of the "auto" features help you catch more fish.

Auto-anchor (aka spot-lock) keeps you locked in place without fighting waves, wind, and of course the anchor. It saves you the grief of even carrying an anchor, untangling the rope, etc. That's more time spent fishing and less work.

Follow the contour keeps you at the depth you know fish are at. It helps you dodge shoals which you'd otherwise run into. This translates into more fish, and more fishing. Fewer snags, etc.

Auto heading keeps you in a straighter line than any driver ever will. 

While the trolling motor drives for you, you're at the rear checking lines, re-baiting, casting, setting riggers, netting, tidying the boat, scenting plastics, etc etc etc. 

By the way, my grandfather had the same opinion on the FIRST generation of fish finders. 

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If you can't do all that on your own without interfering with fishing, I think your doing something wrong. Leaving your fish catching to electronics says nothing of your abilities.  What do you do when it suddenly shuts down and never turns back on again?? UH OH.....

 

S. 

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5 minutes ago, Sterling said:

I have to disagree good sir!

All of the "auto" features help you catch more fish.

Auto-anchor (aka spot-lock) keeps you locked in place without fighting waves, wind, and of course the anchor. It saves you the grief of even carrying an anchor, untangling the rope, etc. That's more time spent fishing and less work.

Follow the contour keeps you at the depth you know fish are at. It helps you dodge shoals which you'd otherwise run into. This translates into more fish, and more fishing. Fewer snags, etc.

Auto heading keeps you in a straighter line than any driver ever will. 

While the trolling motor drives for you, you're at the rear checking lines, re-baiting, casting, setting riggers, netting, tidying the boat, scenting plastics, etc etc etc. 

By the way, my grandfather had the same opinion on the FIRST generation of fish finders. 

After re reading, I found some pretty silly things in your response, and I couldn't resist. 

 

Dodging shoals you would otherwise run into?? Really?? Maybe you should just stay on shore? I dunno....I've never hit a shaol in my life. 

I NEVER troll straight lines. Ever. 

 While your trolling motor is DRIVING FOR YOU, I am actually controlling my boat and watching whats going on around me.....you know those shoals you mentioned earlier?? Ya, I watch for those with my own eyes. Imagine that eh? 

Spot lock is great, I agree, but I wouldn't count on it to save my arse if something bad happened in bad weather, so I ALWAYS have an anchor, and plenty of rope. Relying on electronics to save your life will end up in bad trouble sooner or later. 

 

My grandfather was a commercial fisherman. He never used an electronic device in his entire life. Lived until he was 93, and fished all those years one way or another. Born and raised on the north atlantic.  The only device he used was a compass. Never once lost at sea, and always caught his quota before most others with high tech gear did. You can say what you want, but when someone knows how and where to catch fish, they will catch them with out all the fancy gizmos and learn a whole lot more too. 

 

Anyways, those are my thoughts on it. 

 

S. 

 

 

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Sinker said:

If you can't do all that on your own without interfering with fishing, I think your doing something wrong. Leaving your fish catching to electronics says nothing of your abilities.   

What I'm saying is that you get to spend more time actually fishing and not driving and setting anchors etc. Same could be said about depthfinders...

8 minutes ago, Sinker said:

If you can't do all that on your own without interfering with fishing, I think your doing something wrong. Leaving your fish catching to electronics says nothing of your abilities.  What do you do when it suddenly shuts down and never turns back on again?? UH OH.....

Buy a Garmin :thumbsup_anim:

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A buddy of mine just sent his back because it just up and quit working. Flashed 3 times and never turned on again. So now he has no graph, no maps, nothing......my lowrances are all working ticketyboo......I do like the garmins, but I think I will be waiting a while before I get one. Lowrance has always been my go to, and I've never been let down. 

 

S. 

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2 hours ago, Terry said:

And otherwise  get ipilot and any sonar that suits you

 

There's a lot more then just follow the contour that's useful.   

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1 hour ago, Sinker said:

After re reading, I found some pretty silly things in your response, and I couldn't resist. 

Dodging shoals you would otherwise run into?? Really?? Maybe you should just stay on shore? I dunno....I've never hit a shaol in my life. 

I NEVER troll straight lines. Ever. 

 While your trolling motor is DRIVING FOR YOU, I am actually controlling my boat and watching whats going on around me.....you know those shoals you mentioned earlier?? Ya, I watch for those with my own eyes. Imagine that eh? 

Spot lock is great, I agree, but I wouldn't count on it to save my arse if something bad happened in bad weather, so I ALWAYS have an anchor, and plenty of rope. Relying on electronics to save your life will end up in bad trouble sooner or later. 

My grandfather was a commercial fisherman. He never used an electronic device in his entire life. Lived until he was 93, and fished all those years one way or another. Born and raised on the north atlantic.  The only device he used was a compass. Never once lost at sea, and always caught his quota before most others with high tech gear did. You can say what you want, but when someone knows how and where to catch fish, they will catch them with out all the fancy gizmos and learn a whole lot more too. 

Anyways, those are my thoughts on it. 

I didn't mean physically running the boat into a shoal, rather, inadvertently driving over a sunken island or a shoal that is a few feet above your trolling depth. Saves some grief with cannonballs or lures snagging when trolling just over bottom. 

We could probably go round and round all day with this... most people who's used these electronics will agree that they bring tremendous value and put more fish in the boat.

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For the weekend warrior, where fishing time is like gold, electronics can mean a world of difference - especially if exploring new waters.

Having waypoints on my Navionics app is the single best invention i've discovered - makes ice fishing a lot easier on the arms.

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Grampa used to catch fish without a graphite rod too. Doesn't mean they're not useful or better than the old technology. But I agree, if you're not going to bother to learn how to use the technology or feel it's unnecessary, don't buy it.

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