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I have a garmin, but no where near what you can do with $600. More will chime in, but I will bet most will recommend the HDS.
 

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I'm in the market for a new sonar too... thanks for posting and standing by for responses!
 

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How much are you lookin to spend?
I think $500ish is a good target for me. Though, I do need to get the radon gas mitigation system on the house fixed first :) Letting the kids grow up with radon in the house while my fish arches look better is probably not such a great clinic in fatherhood. Probably looking to spend money on this over the summer.
 

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I find the dual frequency (50/200 Hz) feature very useful. On my Furuno 585 at 30 mph I get a clear picture at 200 hz. When I am trolling I put it in dual frequency mode like is shown on the picture of the HDS model above. The 200 hz gives me a clear picture of the type of bottom I am over and the 50 hz side shows the fish arcs clearly.

Also you can usually get a paddle wheel speed feature in the tranducer as well. The paddle wheel measures the speed of the water going under the boat. SOG on your GPS tells you how much distance over ground you are covering. The paddle wheel helps me keep the lure speed constant depending on whether I am going with or against the current.
 

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I got a Humminbird 787c2i Chartplotter/FF Combo from the Bargain Cave at a Cabela's store awhile ago for maybe less than $400. Model 788 is the new version of it. The website has some bargains, but the store seemed even better.
I chose Cabela's because I had credit card rewards to burn and Humminbird because I already had a mount for it. It's a great unit though with frequent firmware updates.
The 597 model is comparable and closerto the $500 mark.
 
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