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The Raymarine Dragonfly is a combination of GPS and fish finder, making it an ideal tool for those who want a bit more fishing success even in unfamiliar waters. At just over $700 at most retailers, it is still considered an “affordable” model, and is packed to the gills with features. The most relevant to the average angler is going to be the sonar feature. The device’s “DownVision” technology helps to bring in remarkably clear images on the 5.7-inch screen, allowing the user to get a good look at where fish might be hiding. Also of note is the GPS acquisition—it picks up signals quickly and has a fairly large library of US coastal and inland waters upon which you can rely.
The DragonFly brings a new technology – CHIRP – that until now was only available on high-end fishfinders that cost thousands. Unlike traditional fishfinders that use single or double frequency, the new Raymarine model uses a range of frequencies at the same time. CHIRP stands for Compressed High Intensity Radar Pulse and is considered by many the future of sonar fishfinders.
The other major feature that should get users excited is the screen itself. It has remarkably high resolution for a screen of its size, even when the sun is shining directly onto the screen. Coupled with the slightly larger than average screen size, this makes for an intriguingly useful device for the price point.
The Dragonfly is frequently compared to finders in the the Lowrance HDS Series. All three devices are in the same price bracket, and all three function in a remarkably similar manner. The Dragonfly’s main edge over the competition is its screen size (5.7 inches versus 5 inches) and in the fidelity of the screen. The Garmin series tends to have a slightly better GPS function and the Lowrance might be a few dollars cheaper, but the Raymarine does tend to be the best of its class when actually taken out on the water.
The Final Word
The Raymarine DragonFly 5.7 is one of the better GPS/Fish finder combinations available at its price point. Its fish finding core is more useful than one would expect in a lower-priced model, while the GPS is just useful enough to help you stay on course no matter what happens. While there are certainly more sophisticated fish finders available, there are very few that are going to give you the same kind of value for your money. Whether you are experienced at the sport or looking to head out on the water for the first time, the Raymarine DragonFly will make you a bit more successful than is otherwise possible.
|Garmin EchoMAP 50s||Raymarine Dragonfly||Lowrance Elite-5 HDI|
|Screen Size||5 in||5.7 in||5 in|
|Screen Resolution||480 x 640 pixels||640 x 480 pixels||480 x 480 pixels|
|Display Type||Color VGA||Color VGA||256 Color TFT|
|Imaging||2D||2D and Down Imaging||2D and Down Imaging|
|Transducer Type||Transom Mount/Trolling Motor||Transom Mount/Trolling Motor||Transom Mount/Trolling Motor|
|Transmit Power||500W (RMS) / 4,000W (peak to peak)||500W RMS|
|250W RMS, 30,000W Peak to Peak|
|Sonar Frequency||200/77 kHz||200 kHz Sonar/350 kHz Down Vision||(50/200 kHz or 83/200 kHz) 2D
455/800 kHz Down Scan
|Maximum Depth||1,900 ft fresh water / 700 ft salt water||600 ft in both DownVision and Sonar modes||1000 ft/2500 ft 2D
300 ft Down Scan
|GPS Antenna Type||Internal||Internal||Internal|