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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I am buying my first boat and would like some input on combo gps/FF units. I am torn between the Garmin 498, Lowrance 337DF and the Hummingbird 787c2. It appears that Garmin enjoys the best reputation for ease of use and reliability and built in g2 charts. Lowrance offers better resolution and transducer but questionable reliability and service. Additionally, the 337 with the internal antenna seems to be the most problematic with regard to signal loss. The Hummingbird has the higher resolution and good transducer power but I would need to buy the Navionics chip. I am leaning towards the Hummingbird but would like some more input on there customer service and reliability before pulling the trigger. Thanks in advance.
DR
 

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I have used Hummingbird since 1990 and have not been disappointed, but am buying a new boat and will be putting a Lowrance in it. A friend had a Lowrance product go bad on him, sent it back to the factory (out of warrenty) and they repaired it and returned free of charge. That is pretty good customer services.
 

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I have the Humminbird 777C2. The 787C is the combo version but I already have a GPS. The 777C2 is really nice. Excellent detail in the 256 color hi-res display. Johnson Outdoors via Minnkota is building up Humminbird to compete with the big boys and the new line of products seems very good. I've always used Humminbirds and never had any problems with their products. I suspect that once they start getting recognition as a result of new ownership the prices will start going up more in-line with the other manufacturers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the input. I have settled on the Hummingbird 787c2. Once I get some experience with I will post some thoughts about it. Happy fishing.
 

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Mine took some tweaking., especially in shallow depths. I had to set the Max depth to about 100ft or the thing would try to read through to China. The shallow depth reading is the only issue I have but it's easy to change the Max depth setting to stop the thing from producing multiple echo's. The few times it gives erroneous readings I don't worry about it since I 've been fishing the mostly the same areas for 25 years. Don't play with several settings at the same time. Set the system for salt water, set max depth to 100ft and give it a try. I first set mine up based on the Humminbird 400TX the 777C2 was replacing and I was reading 1200ft at a 3ft ramp. Take the time to learn the system. After about 3 trips I came to really be impressed with the 777C2 unit.
 

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I have a Lowrace 334Ci, I don't need a DF transducer for the water I'm in. Never had a problem with the internal GPS antenna...but I also DO NOT have it under a hard top.

I found that if the x-ducer is disconnected from the unit the GPS likes to drop into simulator mode and loose position if you don't make a setting change to keep this from happening.
 

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I would recommend the lowrance. I have used lowrance units for 10+ years and never had any problems with them. Prior to that I had a hummingbird and was never a fan of their units, but the newer ones look ok. Lowrance fish finders are top of the line at all product classes and thier gps units are comparable to garmin. Just my $0.02.

Jason
 

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Whatever you buy remember if you get a combo unit and something goes bad (usually the power supply which in this case will be common to both GPS and depthfinder) then you will lose the ability to see the bottom as well as your location. On separate units, if the depthfinder goes bad you still know where you are......... good in fog. [wink]
 

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I agree with Sandtiger, if you can afford the space and money of seperate units, it is the better way to go. I don't have the space for seperates but I throw a little Garmin handheld GPS in my tackle bag just in case.
 

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Seperate is good. I have a Garmin GPS and the aforementioned FF. One goes, at least the other isn't trash also. Plus, moving from the different screens is a pain IMHO.
 

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If you can swing the $ and have the space why chance loosing the function of both units?
 
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