What's New in 2015
2015 brings a new crop of fishfinders that are better than ever - both in value and in technology. Here's the quick rundown of what's new this year, see our fish finder reviews to find out which fishfinder will be best for you:
Hummibird intruduced a new series - Helix 5. All models in the lineup feature a new display - 5 inch with 800 x 480 resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio. There are several models in the series - from 2D sonar only to GPS/side-imaging combo.
Garmin is making a strong push to become the leader in the recreational sonar market. They are offering new gps/fishfinder models that have great features at very competitive prices. echoMap 43dv will be a popular choice among budget fishfinders, it offers 4.3inch display and down imaging. There are also new 5inch and 7inch down imaging models. echoMap 73sv provides not only down imaging but built-in side imaging as well. At the top of the echoMap lineup there is 93sv with a 9 inch screen and side-imaging priced at $1199. This model seems to be a sure hit among anglers looking for a high end model.
Lowrance is upgrading their HDS series by adding CHIRP support for the 2D sonar and faster processors. They also introduced the new Elite 9 CHIRP model with an 9inch screen and a similar set of features as the Elite 7. There are also new Elite 4 CHIRP and Mark 4 CHIRP models that provide quasi-CHIRP support and 4.3inch screen.
The freshwater sonar market has become very competitive in the last couple years with Garmin and Raymarine becoming major players. If you’re looking for a fishfinder/GPS combo for under $700, you have three great choices: Lowrance Elite-7 HDI, Garmin echoMap 50dv and Raymarine Dragonly. Let’s put them all to the test and find out which one is the best.
It’s Saturday morning, very early. It’s quiet, enough to hear a pin drop in your boat. The lake is like a mirror, and you marvel at the silent beauty as you float along. But wait, there’s something missing in this scene, something quite important. Where are the fish? If your instinct can’t find them, don’t panic–technology can.
Our Editor’s Choice Award for the Best Side-Imaging Fishfinder goes to the Humminbird Helix 5 SI GPS. The Helix 5 series offers anglers a range of pricing and options to fit any need without breaking the bank. No other manufacturer can match theses versatile units on functionality and value.
Our Editor’s Choice Award for 2015 goes to the Raymarine Dragonfly 5PRO. We feel that the new Dragonfly offers superior CHIRP imaging capability that surpasses other units on the market. The wide spectrum CHIRP sonar pulses across multiple sonar frequencies simultaneously. With more sonar pulse entering the water, the Dragonfly can see
Technology is giving anglers everywhere a great advantage when it comes to dominating the outdoors. Honing in your skills can now come with knowledge of water depth, temperatures, current, and advanced underwater imaging. Any fisherman looking to put these abilities on their side should work with the best equipment available at the most competitive prices.
The Garmin echoMap 53dv has a 5 inch high-contrast color display with keypad control and a MicroSD port. The LakeVu cartography and mapping solution provides you with instant access to over 17,000 lakes and rivers throughout North America.
Lowrance Mark-4 CHIRP is a great choice for everyday anglers who are looking to gain an upper hand on gamefish without spending a lot of money. The new Mark 4 is an inexpensive addition to any angler’s toolbox. However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with some excellent fish finding features.
New for 2015 is the Garmin echoMAP 73sv fish finder/chartplotter. The unit comes with the power/data cable, a quick-release and flush mounts, a protective cover, the GT 40-TM, 12-pin transducer, all of the necessary hardware and an owner’s manual. The quick-release mount is exclusive to Garmin and enables anglers to permanently install the swivel mount and cable.
Raymarine recently introduced the Dragonfly 4PRO in the latest generation of affordable fish finders. Though new to the market, the product has already garnered attention. Pacific Yachting recently awarded the Dragonfly 4 “Best in Show” at the Vancouver International Boat Show.
Combining GPS with sonar and detailed mapping, Garmin has created a fishfinder unmatched by any rivals in its price range. With the Garmin echoMAP 93sv, the challenge of guessing where the fish are is virtually at an end, and the fisherman can focus on the real sport of getting the fish to take the bait.
The Helix series features affordable, compact fishfinders that offer all of the features of the larger, more expensive models at the fraction of the cost of similar, older units. The Humminbird Helix 5 DI GPS in particular comes loaded with features that rival the Humminbird 859.
echoMAP 43dv is the new addition to the Garmin’s growing line-up of sonar products. Upon opening the box, anglers find the head unit, the power and data cable, the quick-release mount, GT20-TM/4-pin transducer, a trolling motor mount and all of the necessary mounting hardware in addition to the manual.
Dragonfly 5PRO is Raymarine’s latest offering and it comes with all sorts of bells and whistles such as CHIRP sonar. CHIRP is a wide spectrum sonar technology. It basically means more signals are sent into the water, resulting in better detail coming back to the unit. The end result is better clarity to help you distinguish what you are seeing.
Lowrance recently announced the addition of the affordable Elite-4 CHIRP series of fishfinders to the company’s lineup. The Elite 4 CHIRP comes equipped with all of the bells and whistles of the Elite-4 HDI series with the addition of CHIRP. CHIRP emits a modulated pulse via the transducer.
Every angler would rather be fishing than messing with equipment or trolling around looking for a good spot. Thankfully the folks at Lowrance kept this in mind when they designed the Elite 9 CHIRP fish finder and chart plotter. The simple set up, bright HD display, and easy operation make it a huge time saver.
In November 2014 Humminbird introduced a new series of fishfinders – Helix 5. The units feature a brilliant, extra-wide, 480 x 800 resolution display that depicts 256-colors on a 5-inch screen complete with backlighting that ensures clear, crisp images in all types of lighting conditions day and night. The new display is essentially the main innovation in the Helix series, the transducers and the software are borrowed from the predecessors – 800 and 600 series.
Using precision sonar, the Humminbird PiranhaMax 197c DI makes aquatic environments as clear as day. The fish will never rest easy again. A compact device measuring roughly 5.6 by 3.9 inches on the front and just over 1.3 inches deep, the new PiranhaMax features a 3.5-inch LCD monitor with 320 by 240 pixel resolution.
Lowrance Elite 3x comes equipped with an 83/200 kHz dual-frequency Broadband Sounder transducer that also features an LED-backlit color display. With a 240×360 pixel resolution, the screen is easily viewed from any angle. The dual-frequency functionality provides maximum visualization beneath the vessel.
Lowrance Elite 5 CHIRP combines the best of sonar, GPS mapping and Downscan Imaging. Using CHIRP sonar technology, the Elite 5 has been equipped with the tools to make it extremely sensitive to locating fish while providing an improved target resolution and noise rejection, making it much easier to see bait fish and game fish targets.
Garmin created the Echo 501c for quick installation and implementation into a fishing arsenal. Whether a novice, weekend angler or tournament professional, the user-friendly unit capably finds the fish. A power, directional/menu and enter button are all the controls needed to operate the device. Initial set-up merely requests that the user choose the desired language,
The processor found in the Elite 7 CHIRP is faster than that of its predecessor. The upgraded motherboard and processor along with the CHIRP software provide clearer views of bottom surfaces, plant structures and fish in greater detail, clarity and in real time. Equipped with advanced signal processing the Elite 7 CHIRP allows anglers to spend more time catching fish than having to focus images.