Report on how Fish Finders work plus 6 F/Finder Reports

Lowrance X65

I have a Lowrance X65 sounder, and for the shallow waters I fish (around 150ft maximum) and find it to be a slick, effective unit, though looking at the manual, I suspect its depth capabilities may not be up to fishing sea lochs (400ft plus in places).
Not a lot of frills given that it was fairly pricey, and the screen could do with more pixels (160 x 160) but this is a flaw that has been rectified on newer Lowrance models. It picks up fish arches, though not consistently. But a very solidly-built unit that looks like it will go on for years - unlike some sounders I've had (Eagle Magna II being the last).


Eagle Ultra Classic

I bought the boat with this fish finder installed. I have found it quite good but I have only known this model so I am unable to compare against others. Looks similar to the Lowrance X65.
It has an exstensive menu and the picture quality seems good in most daylight conditions.
160 x 160 pixels, 600 watts output, 192kHz frequency and 4 x zoom


Lowrance X23

By Jim

Fitted to our first boat an Orkney Fastliner.
This is a relatively cheap set with poor screen resolution. Also our sounder had been on a marina boat and had become fogged up.
That said it operated OK given its limitations and told me the depth. It lost track of the bottom around 40 m.
It was difficult to detect differences in the bottom Sand/Mud/Rock but obvious features could be made out.
The zoom feature on it was good, though as it is a compact screen sounder this did not split the screen.
Overall cheap and cheerful


Hummingbird 3D portrait
This was also fitted to our Fastliner.
The big feature of this set was 3 cones sent down to the bottom which indicated which side of the boat the fish were on ( Port, Starboard or underneath).
This was better at tracking down the bottom to about 50M and had a power output of about 1400 watts.
A very useful feature was the zoom split screen and the bayonet mounting which meant it was very easy to remove from the boat for storage at home.
The down side was screen definition was not that great as it had 128 & 128 pixel so not wonderful but adequate. Final quibble was sensitivity of the set to power fluctuations caused by dodgy wiring.
So overall reasonable set which looked more impressive than what it actually was.


Lowrance X29
Similar in size to X23, and came installed on newly acquired second hand warrior 150.
Set has better screen resolution than X23 hasn't fogged yet and provides reasonable bottom tracking down to about 50m.
Zoom feature works adequately within depth limitation and has usual lowrance features such as Fish ID and numerous different alarms.
Has proven to be completely useless for bottom tracking on deep water marks around Oban but continues to read depth OK to about 450 feet.
Plan to replace with a newer Lowrance either X88DF or X97 as funds allow.
Overall OK and almost as good in my mind as Humingbird 3D portrait.


Lowrance X87

By Dave

Display - 5" Screen
Resolution - 320 x 320 pixels with 10 grayscale definition
200kHz sonar
1500 watts peak to peak / 188 watts RMS
Depth capability - 800ft (244 meters)
Depth display - continuous
Surface water Temp
Audible alarms - Shallow/Deep/fish/zone
Auto bottom track
Split screen zoom

I have only just purchased this unit and still getting to know how to get the best from it.

The screen display is much better than I am use to, previously I had a fish finder with a display of 160 x 160.
It shows the bottom so much clearer and I am seeing things I would have missed previously. Traveling at speed it still shows the bottom well and I am able to pick things out.

I have set it up so that it shows the water tempreture as well as the battery voltage as I use two batteries on the boat, one for running the electronics and the other just for starting the outboard.

Although it is not a colour model it appears clear but I am still awaiting to see the fish arches as shown in the users handbook or even identifing the differance between fish and weed!

As I have said earlier, I am still learning to get the most out of the unit so I may well add to this report soon.


Lowrance X88DF

By Jim

Display - 5" Screen
Resolution - 320 x 320 pixels with 10 grayscale definition
50/200kHz sonar
4000 watts peak to peak / 500 watts RMS
Depth capability - 1700ft (518 meters)
Depth display - continuous
Surface water Temp
Audible alarms - Shallow/Deep/fish/zone
Auto bottom track
Split screen zoom

The X88 DF sounder is a nice piece of kit being almost identical to the X87 with the exception that the X88 DF has a dual frequency transducer.

I've used this sounder several times now and feel a lot more confident being able to interpret what it is telling me.
The screen clarity is ace with 320 * 320 pixels.
The Fish ID function seems quite accurate in identifying fish like Pollock though I've still to progress to switching the fish ID off and looking for arches.
In shallow water fishing, this is easily the best fish finder I've used. There are numerous software features on it that I've only scratched the surface but would still buy an other of this type.
The software simulator is very good for letting you see the sorts of displays you can get, also the press button Zoom in and Zoom out buttons are useful when trying to find the edge of a smaller structure.

Installation was easy, though the dual frequency transducer is substantially bigger than the surface skimmer used on the X87 model and needs 4 screws to fix it to the transom.

The way this sounder works is like having two different frequency transducers in the same housing and you can see the return from both transducers on a split screen or you can view the two signals separately. What is doesn't do is combine the two signals together onto the screen.
For deep water areas such as loch ettive the sounder accurately tracks to the bottom and follows it, so quite impressed so far.
One downside of the higher power output/different frequency is that it produces more electrical noise for the VHF to pick up.



405SX Single Beam Fishfinder
160 Vertical Pixels Speed & Temp Included! 150 kHz transducers allows for multiple units to work without interference
Water Surface Temp Included!
Find More Fish with Water Temperature Variation

Big 3" x 4" High Contrast FSTN Display
Provides Clear Viewing At Angle and In Tough Lighting
Exclusive Quick Connect Tilt & Swivel Mount
Easy & Adjustable Mounting - With No Cables to Plug In

160 Vertical Pixels with 4 Level Grayscale
High Resolution Reveals Greater Underwater Detail

2400/300 Watts (PTP/RMS) Output Power Maximizes Bottom, Fish & Structure Definition

Total Screen Update
Updates Bottom Image as Depth Ranges Change
Selectable Fish IDTM Target Identification
Identify Fish Targets & Their Depth or View Sonar Data

Depth Capability: 600 feet
Display Matrix & Size: 160 V x 160 H Pixels, 3" V x 4" H
Display Type: FSTN Liquid Crystal Display
Unit Size (installed): 7.75" H x 7.875" W x 4.25" D
Power Requirement: 12 VDC
Operating Frequency: 150 kHz
Sonar Coverage: 24 degrees @ -10db
Transducer (Standard): Single Beam XT-6-24 with 20 foot cable
Speed/Temperature: Speed and Temp Included
Power Output:2400 Watts (Peak to Peak), 300 Watts (RMS)
Made in U.S.A.

I was in the market for a powerful single beam.
My priority was to have a powerful transmitting sonar with a single beam transducer. With that I could better identify the ocean floor (bottom) directly beneath my kayak.
Whether it was sandy, rocky or stacked thick with kelp, I wanted a bigger, better picture with greater detail to view it.
I turned to Humminbird's 405SX to get that enhanced sonar performance.

The 405SX transmits a more powerful beam than what I was previously use to.
I immediately noticed the difference in detail as I paddled out towards the kelp beds. When I was directly over the kelp bed, the display was showing the individual columns of kelp. The images reflecting the shape and structure of the kelp columns were easy to interpret. With the larger display size to accompany the enhanced performance, I was in for a greater sonar experience.

I set the fish id and the fish alarm at various settings to see how it interpreted the sonar data. It seemed to perform well. Usually I set the fish alarm to only sound for larger fish. Though it depends on what type of fish you're targeting. When I'm searching for larger schools of baitfish, I set the fish alarm to sound for all objects the 405SX interpret as fish.

There are some other features which were new to me.
The True Zoom feature got me off of the fence when I was trying to decide which fish finder to go with. You can zoom right up on the ocean bottom. I like to get up close and personal with what's going on at the bottom. As I stated earlier, what I really wanted out of a fish finder was a good reading of the ocean floor.
The True Zoom with Auto Zoom feature allows you to view a small area of the ocean floor without giving up your perspective of the entire water column beneath you.

Other features include speed control, sensitivity, depth alarm, bottom black, enhanced diagnostic, fish id and alarm (as previously mentioned) and more.

I like the freedom the quick connect tilt and swivel mount offer. You can launch and land your kayak with the 405SX safely stowed below deck since the unit easily connects and disconnects from the mount.

The 405SX is waterproof but it isn't bullet proof. Take extra care of it and you may not have to send it into service for repair. Salt water and electronics don't mix well together sometimes. I recommend purchasing the extended 2 year factor warranty just in case. From experience, Humminbird has a fantastic service department with a minimal turn-around time. They'll get your sonar back in shape in no time.

I am very pleased with the performance of Humminbird's 405SX. Though I still haven't seen the kind of resolution the pictures on the box and web site depict, overall I am still very satisfied with how the 405SX performs. It's an excellent unit and value for the price.


Eagle Seafinder 240 DF

By Ian


4" (10.2 cm) diagonal screen
Film SuperTwist LCD
High-definition 240x160 resolution
Backlit screen and keypad
Depth capability to 1300 ft* (457 m) with 2400 watts of peak-to-peak power
High-performance, low-profile 50/200 kHz Skimmer® dual-frequency transducer with built-in temp sensor delivers an extra wide angle of fish detection area with high sensitivity settings - Operates at boat speeds up to 70 mph (61 kts)
SP-U transom-mount sensor included for precise trolling speed/distance log readings
FishReveal™ feature uses 10 levels of gray tones to expose fish targets hidden in surface clutter, weed beds, thermoclines, and other types of underwater cover
HyperScroll™ feature locates and displays fish targets at higher boat speeds
Advanced Signal Processing (ASP™) automatically adjusts your settings for the best sonar picture
Patented GRAYLINE® separates fish from nearby structure and bottom
Advanced Fish I.D.™ shows underwater targets in different sizes of fish symbols
FishTrack™ displays target depth readings above fish symbols
Surface water temperature readings come from a built-in temp sensor in the transducer
Zoom with zoom bottom tracking and easy zoom-in/out control
Selective on/off sonar alarms: Shallow, Deep, and Fish

The echosounder unit's a dual frequency model by Eagle. (We often feel that it's inclined to show us non-existent fish to cheer us up a bit!) I think there's an identical model sold under the Lowrance badge, X59DF.

Neither of us are expert at reading the screen yet. That'll take bit more experience of using the thing, but it seems to "do what it says on the box", more or less.
We fish a variety of depths, from perhaps twenty feet into the odd foray to over a hundred feet in the Firth of Forth. Mostly depths are 40-60feet.
The shallow-water alarm isn't loud enough for me - my hearing's not good, and its fairly feeble beeps are sometimes not too noticeable. I think that a feature like this that's essentially one to provide for the safety of the whole crew should be capable of being set to foghorn-volume! Well - louder than this, anyway...
While nobody should use such a feature to replace eyes or ears, or indeed commonsense safety procedures at sea, the fact that it's there - but so quiet - seems to me to be a poor point of design.

Another small gripe - I don't like the shiny screen surface - at the wrong angle it reflects light and so hides what the display's showing till you move position. A matt surface would reduce this, although it might complicate the construction for all I know.


Navman 4500

By Ian

Easy to view Color TFT 5" daylight viewable screen.
600 watts RMS power optimizes overall sonar performance - depth readings to 3300 ft (1000 m).
Dual Frequency operation (200/50 kHz) that allows both signals to be mixed on one screen or split and viewed side by side.
High resolution screen for clarity of sonar returns (320 x 234 pixels)
Fully variable zoom function allows you to zoom in on any portion of the water column.
Adjustable split screen allows you to customise the screen.
Standard with Transom mount dual frequency transducer with speed and temperature built in and 33 ft (10 m) cable for ease of installation. Through hull plastic and bronze transducers are available.
Built-in fuel computer software provides fuel flow, fuel used, fuel remaining, fuel economy, estimated range functions (Requires optional fuel transducer kit).
Useful alarms including Low Battery, Too Shallow, Too Deep, Water Temperature and Temperature Rate of Change to ensure you stay in those warm currents.
Engine Hours counter to help you maintain your engine.
Fully waterproof with an IP67 rating (immersed in 3 ft [1 m] water for 30 minutes).
Unit operates in both 12 v and 24 v systems.

The 5 inch Fish 4500 was the main reason for getting this package, and it is a superb unit, with really high power that locates stacks of fish, and lets you work out what they are with practice! I can tell coalies from mackerel, though demersal fish are tricky as they are hard to separate from the bottom...typically you will only see cod etc if there are lots about, and even then only odd ones that have swum up a little in the water...

The screen frequently shows leads dropping, released fish swimming back to the bottom, loads of detail that will let you know this is no bog-standard sounder! It also clearly shows kelp beds...

It has a choice of colour schemes, and I like white for daytime and black for evening/night for ease of viewing...

The zoom display is very useful for fishfinding, and I like to set up a split screen with part of the bottom in zoom, and part normal...the proportions are variable, though obviously the unzoomed section shows a bigger area...

The unit performs well at all depths I've fished (450 ft max), though even in deep water I've yet to find a situation where 200KHz gives a worse picture than 50KHz...

The one area where this sounder performs worse than my old one (75W as opposed to 600W) is when 'pushing my luck' when entering a shallow area, like St Andrews harbour - it gives up at about 2ft, which can be disconcerting as the boat will float in 1.7 ft...perhaps there is too much power for such small depths? I believe this is adjustable, but can't see myself fiddling with it when trying to get back onto my mooring on an outrushing tide!

One final point - though you can purchase expensive bronze through-hull transducers, I find that fitting the regular transom transducer in the bilge with silicone sealant gives a perfect display, while avoiding the problems of attaching to the stern, i.e. damage from floating objects, and weed growth and/or mud on the transducer face...


Raymarine DS400X

Measuring just 150x127x81mm, with the bracket fitted for bracket mounting on a console shelf, or to the cabin roof, it's ideal for smaller boats or for centre-console craft with limited console space to house their electronics, as well as for general fishing craft. You can also flush-panel mount it directly into a console fascia.

The display screen is three and a half inches square, offering 256 colour TFT display with digital high-definition fish imaging that can automaticly adjust 220 sonar parameters per second. The digitally adaptive transmitter/receiver technolology minimises surface clutter on screen, giving a better, more detailed readout and colour separation of fish, with more-precise target echoes. The screen is certainly distinct with easy-to-read lettering and symbols. The screen is backlit for lowlight conditions, but is also transflective offering direct sunlight visability, so you can still read the screen data with sunlight shining directly onto the screen display. This is essential if you are working from an open boat.

It features five push-button keys that are easy to identify and use. These are a simple PWR to power up, ENTER button with up/down and sideways options, MENU, PAGE and QUIT buttons. It's dead easy to use if it's your first fishfinder. The push-button keypads are again backlit for using in low-light levels.

It also showes speed, trip and log data plus battery voltage, and fish are identified by a proper fish symbol at their specific depth in relation to the bottom feature. You can also choose x2, x3 or x4zoom-in to better highlight sea-bed features.

It offers 50/200kHz daul frequancy for working shallow inshore water and deep-water work offshore, and with an NMEA0183 interface you have the position, compass-bearing data, range and travel time to desired target areas available to you. The nominal power output is quoted as 500W and the typical hourly power consumption as 10W.

The unit is designed to be submersible and conforms to IPX7 standard and can withstand being under water for at least 30 minutes to a depth of one metre. It weighs just 1lb.

The impressive DS400X looks to be an ideal fishfinder for centre-console boats and open dinghies, plus has the performance to warrant consideration for a much bigger craft.


Eagle 320c FishEasy

The Eagle 320c FishEasy Fishfinder offers a diagonal screen 3.5”, 320Vx 240H Pixels, and is a 256 colour Active Matrix TFT (Thin Film Technology) type to give better definition between ground feature and fish using a choice of colour display modes.
It is said to have the brightest most readable colour display when viewed in bright sunlight, which makes it ideal for centre console craft being used for bass fishing over reefs and for estuary work, as well for use in cabin craft further offshore.
The screen is also backlit for use in low light conditions.

The MENU/POWER key is positioned centrally, but the surrounding function keys are ovalised and laid horizontally giving a much wider finger tip target area that many users prefer.
Using the set is simple with UP and DOWN arrow keys, plus an INTER PAGE key. Again the keys are backlit for low light and night usage.

Power output equates to 800watts peak-to-peak power with read out up to 600-feet depth, and the low profile 200kHz Skimmer Transducer offers 60 degrees of ground coverage with high sensitivity settings and a capability to operate at boat speeds up to 70mph.
It also has a built in sensor to give you the sea’s surface temperature.

For locating fish there is Adjustable Ping Speed with Hyper-Scroll facility aiding better display of fish targets at higher boat speeds.
You get sonar real-time and relative strength of the target return from the Fastrak vertical bar flasher, and ASP (Advanced Signal Processing) automatically adjusts the settings to give you the optimum sonar picture.
It has instant screen updates for continuous smooth viewing on screen and has an internal back-up memory for key sonar settings.

The Colorline facility separates fish from ground feature and highlights bottom composition and hardness of the seabed, with the Advanced Fish ID system showing underwater targets in different symbol sizes to illustrate the size of fish within the reading cone, and FishTrack shows the depth of the fish above the symbol.
It also sports a selective sonar alarm setting to warn of shallow or deepening water and to signal fish, and has Zoom on Zoom bottom tracking.

The unit is fully waterproof in a fully sealed case and comes with a one-year warranty.


Lowrance X-110c

Good things are being talked about the Lowrance x-110c Enhanced Recording Sonar unit. This is a high performance sonar packed with features that will appeal to anglers running bigger craft looking for maximum feature reading and navigation performance.

This powerful set features a massive super-high-resolution 10.4-inch diagonal 256-colour screen sporting SVGA technology, plus Thin Film Technology liquid crystal display with sunlight viewing capability. The pixel count equates to 600V x 800 H resolution.

It carries a programmable colour palette, 6 sonar display colour choices, offers multiple full and split-screen sonar/GPS viewing, plus has advanced cold cathode screen and key pad backlighting for ease of night and low light condition key selection and screen reading.

The power output is a massive 8,000 watts peak-to-peak (1,000 W RMS). It has a depth reading ability down to 3,000-feet plus, and can read water temperature, speed and distance log too.

The FlashGraf facility combines a scrolling sonar target graph with a digital LCD flasher with GRAYLINE or COLOURLINE for better fish finding. Adjustable ping speed automatically engages HyperScroll to better locate fish targets at high boat speeds.
Advanced Signal Processing automatically tunes the set to give the best signal and the clearest definition of underwater targets. COLOURLINE separates fish and rising bottom structure from the seabed contour and separates hard seabed from soft seabed feature.
Fish I.D. interprets the sonar return to highlight fish targets and displays these in four different sizes of fish symbol allied to fish size. In conjunction with Fish I.D. Fish Track has a digital depth shown above each relevant fish symbol, plus you have multi-zoom options, sonar alarms and back up memory.

There is a 12-parallel channel GPS plus WAAS receiver, and you can store up to 1,000 waypoints and 1,000 event markers and 100 routes with 100 waypoints per route. It has 100 saveable plot trails with 10,000 points per trail and 37 zoom ranges.

You obviously have full navigation chart access with two waterproof MMC/SD memory card slots for mapping, recording and upgrading. Also advanced digital recording playback of sonar graph and GPS details, plus custom map uploading options.

It offers networking facilities via NMEA, audio output for remote speakers, a high-impact screen cover, plus is sealed and waterproofed for saltwater. You also have the option of a dual-frequency 50/200kHz, or single frequency 200kHz Skimmer (low profile for high speed working) transducer with built in temperature sensor.


Garmin FF160

Good, basic budget model. Easy to use, adequate performance.


Garmin FF100

The Fishfinder 100 is a full-featured 200 khz sounder with temperature that's both waterproof and affordable.
On the outside, the unit comes packaged in a case that measures 5" w x 4.9" h x 2.5" d.
The 2.5-inch diagonal display that makes detecting fish easy on the eyes, and it delivers the big picture thanks to a blue/green, LCD, STN display with 160 x 100 pixels.
You don't have to worry about this unit getting splashed because it was designed to withstand immersion in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes.



Another addition to the comprehensive Garmin range of marine electronics is the 250C Colour Fish Finder which is proving a popular buy amongst the more experienced small boat angler.
The set measures 12.4cm high, 15.5cm wide and 6.1cm deep giving a slim profile which makes it a good choice if you want to position the unit on a narrow console shelf if room aboard is at a premium.
The display screen height and width are 4.5-inch or 8.4cm. It offers viewing in 16 Colour Thin Film Technology via 320 x 320 pixels giving a clear sharp image, even when viewed in bright sunlight. The screen can also be backlit for night time viewing and is adjustable to limit the amount of light emitted.
The function keys are the rubber round type with simple UP, DOWN, Left and RIGHT symbols on the keys, plus ENTER and MENU keys. These are positioned horizontally down the right side of the unit making for simple operation.
It can be mounted either flush in a console, or dash mounted using the unique quick-release bracket which also offers a tilt and swivel option to set the 250C at an angle for comfortable viewing when at the helm.

The set can be bought with either a single frequency transducer or a dual type, most choosing the dual 50/200KHz producing 500 watts (RMS), 4000 watts (peak-to-peak) output and reading shallow depths of just a couple of feet right up to depths of 1500-feet.
The 250C features See-Thru technology to better separate fish from thermoclines (water temperature depth change level), as well as fixed seabed structure such as rocks and weed beds, plus Depth Control Gain which provides the best detailed images of seabed structure and also identifies soft and hard seabed’s clearly. You also have a depth reading displayed on the right side of the screen.
You can split the screen to view data fields covering depth, water temperature, speed and bearing, plus there are options for Adjustable Range Setting, Gain, Zoom and Bottom Lock. In addition you can connect a Garmin GPS receiver (sold separately) to the unit to record waypoints directly off the Fish Finders keypad.
Fish identification is by different sizes of fish symbols to indicate the size of fish, plus you can set the alarm to identify small and large fish as you pass over them.
It comes standard with a separate dual-frequency speed sensor, has an internal memory back-up to permanently store user setting when the set is switched off, plus a temperature log to graphically record and store water temperature data.
You also have alarms to warn of shallowing and deepening water, drift and water temperature, plus low battery voltage warning.
The unit also complies with IEC529 IPX7 standards meaning it remains fully waterproof when submersed to a depth of 1-metre for 30 minutes.



Fishfinder 120
Power cable
Swivel-mounting bracket
Owner's manual

240 x 128 pixel, four-level, grayscale FSTN display
Three-level adjustable incandescent backlighting for display and keypad
3.3"W x 3.3"H (4.5" diagonal) viewing area
6.1" x 4.9" x 2.6" (WxHxD) unit dimensions
Internal memory backup for user settings with power disconnected
Graphic whiteline provides clear image of bottom hardness and structure
Alarms for shallow water, deep water, battery voltage, and fish
Waterproof, Adjustable range, gain, zoom, and scroll speed
Limited one-year warranty

Display options: Auto ranging, 2X and 4X auto and manual zoom, bottom lock, 3 fish symbol sizes, adjustable menu
Alarms: Deep water, shallow water, fish, low battery
Transducer auto-sense: Automatically displays temp data without menus
See-Thru(tm) technology: Shows weak/strong returns simultaneously
Depth Control Gain (DCG(tm)): Automatically adjusts fishfinder sensitivity according to depth
Power-down backup of setting: Customer setting not lost when unit is turned off

Power output: 100 watts (RMS), 800 watts (peak to peak)
Frequency: 200 kHz
Depth: 600 foot max depth*
Physical Display:
240 (H) x 128 (W) pixel, 3.1" x 3.2", (7.9 x 8.1 cm)
High-contrast 4-level, grayscale FSTN display
Size: 6.1" (W) x 4.9" (H) x 2.6" (D) (15.5 x 12.5 x 6.6 cm)
Weight: 1 lb 2.9 oz
Case: Fully gasketed, high-impact plastic alloy
Keys: Backlit
Temperature range: 5°F to 158°F (-15°C to 70°C)
Waterproof: Waterproof to IEC 529 IPX7 standards, submerged to 1 meter for 30 minutes
Power Input: 10 to 18 Vdc with high-voltage protection
Usage: 8 watts max
Nominal power: 12 Vdc at 0.5 amps

The Garmin Fishfinder 120 Review

The Fishfinder 120 builds on the highly successful Fishfinder 80 as a feature-rich, affordable sonar device.
It has one of the largest and highest-resolution displays of any fishfinder in its class, providing better separation and contrast for the recreational angler.
The Fishfinder 120 allows you to view and change settings without leaving the sonar screen.
It also has an internal backup system that automatically saves your settings and an "uninterrupted operation" feature so your sonar won't stop while you're changing settings.

Packaged with the Fishfinder 120 is Garmin's innovative 360-degree swivel mount and quick-release mechanism to increase utility and security.
Also included with the unit is a temperature-sensing 200-kHz transducer, which transmits at 800 watts (peak-to-peak) and 100 watts (RMS) to a maximum depth of 600 feet. The patented transducer design allows for mounting on either the transom or trolling motor.

Garmin Echo 100


Screen Size - 4 in / 102 mm
Screen Resolution - 160 x 256 pixels
Display Type - 8-level grayscale FSTN
Imaging - 2D
Transmit Power - 100W RMS 800W Peak-To-Peak
Sonar Frequency - 200kHz
Maximum Depth - 600ft


When it comes to selecting the perfect fishfinder for all your fishing needs, value is everything. This is where the Garmin Echo 100 comes into play, as a strong fishfinder packed with all the important functionality but nevertheless light on both the frills and your wallet. The benefits of the Echo 100 start with its crisp 4 inch display (with a pixel resolution of 160 x 256 and an 8 level grayscale FSTN screen) and quickly extend to include its single 200kHz beam transmitter, which brings up details hidden under as many as 600 feet of fresh water. There is a significant amount of sonar power in that beam (100 watts).

Garmin Echo 100 is a reliable companion as it eliminates much of the guesswork. It has Fish Symbol ID, to help you track the fish you want to catch, and AutoGain Technology to help you avoid being distracted by clutter or noise in the water. There is also a water temperature sensor so you can make sure you are in the same temperature bands as your favorite fish reside.

Because of the compact sizing, the Garmin Echo 100 is perfect for small to mid-sized boats and will not crowd your limited space. Everything you need comes in the box, including the fish finder itself, a tilt and swivel mount, all the proper power cables, transducer and instructions. This makes installation a very easy matter, once again saving you time. What this fishfinder lacks in flashy features, it makes up for in reliable, efficient performance, speed and of course, excellent value

Garmin Echo 150


Screen Size - 4 in / 102 mm
Screen Resolution - 160 x 256 pixels
Display Type - 8-level grayscale FSTN
Imaging - 2D
Transmit Power - 200W RMS 1600W Peak-To-Peak
Sonar Frequency - 77/200kHz
Maximum Depth - 1300ft


While Garmin Echo 150 qualifies as one of the budget models, appealing to the cost-sensible fisherman, it has numerous features and qualities which make it feel like a top of the line system. For starters, there are its excellent dual beam capabilities. Making the most of its 200 watt sonar power, the beams go down 1,300 feet in fresh water, relaying back superb detail. And, there is a viewing angle of up to 120 degrees, so you can see far and wide. The Echo 150 also boasts Garmin HD-ID technology, which provides more detail and definition on your compact but bright 4 inch screen.

Useful in all weather conditions, the Echo 150 is waterproof and can be wiped off with a simple cloth. Other amenities of this model include Ultrascroll technology (so you can travel the speed you want to without sacrificing results), AutoGain technology to improve visual clarity, a water temperature sensor to help you track all the right fish, and 1,600 watt transmit power, peak to peak.

The best way to experience the benefits of this model are to just set it up and try it out for yourself; luckily, the mount and go capabilities made that a piece of cake to accomplish. As is standard with many fishfinders, it has a quick release mount; and, can be easily set up on any boat, tiny to large, due to its relatively small size. And of course, you do not have to reach too deeply into your pockets to make the purchase possible, as the Echo 150 is (somewhat surprisingly) an economy model fishfinder

Garmin Echo 200


Screen Size - 5in / 127mm
Screen Resolution - 320 x 480 pixels
Display Type - 16-level grayscale HVGA
Imaging - 2D
Transmit Power - 300W RMS 2400W Peak-To-Peak
Sonar Frequency - 77/200kHz
Maximum Depth - 1500ft


The Garmin Echo 200 offers you a device that is both affordable and able to increase the success of your angling experience. The ease of use becomes apparent from the moment of installation with the quick-release tilt mount. You will have the fishfinder and the included transom mount transducer set up and ready for action in no time at all.

The Echo 200 features Garmin HD-ID technology that allows you to see clearly what is lying below the boat. You will be able to locate, view and distinguish the contours and structures underneath the water like never before. See exactly where the edges and drop-offs are located so you can find where the fish are hiding. Target the fish you want. Watch your drop as it happens to see anything below the surface that could hinder your success.

Your viewing area is expanded with the Echo 200 and the dual-beam transducer that is included. Powered by 300w RMS sonar you can see accurate detail below the boat at depths of up to 1500ft, making deep water fishing a viable alternative. For those shallow water excursions, the sonar gives a wide angle view of up to 120 degrees to allow you to see fish, structures and contours even in a lower water depth.

Garmin’s Smooth Scaling technology ensures that you always have access to your sonar history during your excursion. Even as you alternate between water depths you can view the history to see where you have been and what spots you have covered. This feature also allows you to rewind your sonar history as needed. Know in an instant where those previously visited hotspots were located.

Every detail gathered by the Echo 200 is brought to you on the 5” screen. The 480 X 320 grayscale display will allow you to see and target the fish you want clearly and effectively.

Garmin Echo 300c


Screen Size - 3.5 in / 89 mm
Screen Resolution - 320 x 240 pixels
Display Type - QVGA, 256 colors
Imaging - 2D
Transmit Power - 300W RMS 2400W Peak-To-Peak
Sonar Frequency - 77/200kHz
Maximum Depth - 1500ft


Designed with absolute simplicity in mind, Garmin Echo 300c is one of the most perceptive and affordable fishfinders on the market. It features Garmin’s exclusive HD-ID tracking technology which allows you to see flawlessly through the water on a 3.5 inch sunlight readable color display.

The Echo 300c offers dual-frequency compatibility that performs in both shallow and deep water; the sonar can operate up to 1500ft in fresh and 600ft in salt water. The depth of operation depends on factors like the salinity of water, the condition of the bottom and the temperature. The angle of vision has a dual beam; it can be set to operate at a limited range of 60 degrees or 120 degrees. You will get an uninterrupted view of the images relayed by sonar as it operates continuously transmitting signals to the display unit even when the depth changes. The sonar operates at frequencies ranging from 200- 277kHz. The operating voltage has a range of 10 to 28 volts.

The Echo 300c boasts a split-screen zoom and fish symbol identification which clearly separates fish from thermoclines and a real time display of fish passing through the transducer beam. AutoGain technology also minimizes clutter and maximizes targets with 300 watt transmit power, further highlighting its proficiency at such an affordable price.

The model is fully waterproof, you can accidentally submerge it in water and you won’t suffer from problems afterward. This is because it comes with specially designed rubber buttons that are water-resistant. Hence, even with regular use on your many fishing trips, you can rely on this fish finder to do the work that it was intended to do.

Installation is also extremely straightforward, using the quick-release tilt mount and transform-mount transducer which are included. All necessary cables for supplying power are also provided. Mounting brackets, fixing clamps are part of the equipment and makes the installation a simple matter.

The price, the supreme features and quick installation makes the Echo 300c an obvious choice for the angler wishing to progress to the next level.

Second Review

Fishing is truly an engaging sport. What most first timers find difficult is having to stand around for hours just anticipating a catch, even for most recreational anglers, this has become a problem. They find that some waters and fish could wear down their extremely abundant patience, when that happens, there will be one effective answer to resolve such an issue—use of a sonar fish finder such as the Garmin echo 300c.
This model is not fairly new to the Garmin series much less the instrument being a commonly used device in small boats by recreational fishers. Of course, as with all products, there are some impressive highs as well as weak lows for this device.
To start, there are many amazing features that started with this model that fits and serve well for expeditions, maneuvers and fish tracking equipped in small boats that are situated in lakes and seas. Remember that this comes most highly recommended for freshwater use only as it comes as an old model, however, people still find that it comes very handy especially if you are only looking for a small solution both in terms of size and price. The compact built touts off a brightly colored, 3.5 inch, 320 vertical by 240 horizontal pixel resolution, QVGA screen. This will come in as an adequate pair of eyes even if there is not much lighting around or if your angling activities have reached the dim of night especially with the fish tracing HD-ID technology.

Another significant aspect would have to be the sonar capabilities, the transmitter power is 150 to 300 watts for RMS and 2400 watts for peak to peak power output. With these features, you will be able to get a clear display of the surrounding environment that can reach to a depth of 1500 feet when in lakes, rivers or other fresh water bodies and viewing angle of 120 degrees. However, if you choose to take it to the ocean, you will only get a significantly lessened depth of only 600 feet.
The frequency is in 200/77 kHz and 10 to 28 volt input, this means that you will have the most in terms of power capabilities and you will be able to enjoy the capabilities of the Garmin Echo 300c providing a clear picture as well as an accurate temperature reading.
For extreme anglers, you will also find that the water current speed will also be a helpful feature to assist you in proper positioning and locating.

All of these features come in a handy waterproof design. As previously stated, it suits small crafts because of its size. The installation will also be easy even more beginners with simple to understand manuals being provided whenever making a purchase. It will be as simple as the tilt and swivel mount as well as the transom and trolling transducer.
The Garmin echo 300c also comes as an international fish finder with languages available in English, French, Spanish and Portugese. Again, this is an ideal purchase for those people who are only beginning in recreational angling or for those fishers who are on a tight budget.

Garmin Echo 500c


Screen Size - 5in / 127mm
Screen Resolution - 640 x 480 pixels
Display Type - VGA, 256 colors
Imaging - 2D
Transmit Power - 300W RMS 2400W Peak-To-Peak
Sonar Frequency - 77/200kHz
Maximum Depth - 1900ft


Brand new for 2011 is the Garmin Echo 500c. The unit is perfectly designed for those looking for a fully capable and powerful sounder with a very small and space efficient footprint. It’s easy on the eyes as well; the 5 inch full color QVGA monitor boasts 256 colors, high resolution, and provides plenty of brightness for direct sunlight viewing.

The Echo 500c is rugged simplicity defined. Garmin has addressed potential water immersion concerns by designing the Echo 500c to conform to IPX7 standards. An IPX7 designation means the GPS case can withstand accidental immersion in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes. Additionally, the 500c benefits from a design that allows for quick and easy installation; using the quick-release tilt mount, the control unit can be positioned in minutes.

Monitor the underwater dwellings with the dual beam 500 watt (4,000 watt peak to peak) transducer. Depths of up to 1900 feet in freshwater and 700 feet is saltwater are achieved with the 200 kHz narrow beam. The unit can be programmed to switch to the wider angled beam for views of structures and fish targets around the boat periphery.

Many specialty image processing features from Garmin are built into this device. Ultrascroll displays fish targets even at high boat speeds; Fish Symbol ID clearly identifies targets with graphical icons; and Smooth Scaling technology helps retain historical sonar information when switching depth ranges. Various sensors provide vital information such as water speed and water temperature which can be logged and graphed for analysis.

The Garmin Echo 500c has it all in a compact and intuitive package. 2011 looks like a good year for the electronic angler.


Garmin Transducers work with a wide range of Garmin Fishfinders, GPS map Plotters, and depth sounders. Select the transducer mount for your application; choose from thru-hull, Transom, Trolling and In-hull styles and choose a plastic or bronze transducer appropriate for your application.
All Garmin Transducer kits are supplied with comprehensive installation instructions.

Review the compatibility chart below to determine the correct transducer application.

1. GMN-0101010700 -- Bronze, thru-hull mount transducer with depth. Operating frequency of 200 kHz. Beamwidth of 12 degrees.

2. GMN-0101011900 -- Plastic, thru-hull mount transducer with depth. Operating frequency of 200 kHz. Beamwidth of 12 degrees.

3. GMN-0101019201 -- Plastic, transom mount transducer with depth, temp and speed. Operating frequency of 200 and 50 kHz. Beamwidth of 12 degrees at 200 kHz, 45 degrees at 50 kHz.

4. GMN-0101019301 -- Bronze thru-hull mount long stem transducer with fairing block. Provides depth, temp and speed data. Operating frequency of 200 and 50 kHz. Beamwidth of 12 degrees at 200 kHz, 45 degrees at 50 kHz.

5. GMN-0101024900 -- Plastic, transom mount transducer with depth and temperature. Operating frequency of 200 and 50 kHz. Beamwidth of 12 degrees at 200 kHz, 45 degrees at 50 kHz.

6. GMN-0101024900 -- Plastic, transom mount transducer with depth and temperature. Operating frequency of 200kHz. Beamwidth of 20 degrees.

7. GMN-0101032700 -- Plastic, in-hull mount, adjustable 12/45deg, transducer 200/50KHz.

Check the chart below to find the compatible transducer for your Garmin device.

Garmin Equipment Transducer
Fishfinder 100, 160, 160C, 240 1, 2, 6
Fishfinder 100 Blue, 160 Blue, 240 Blue 3, 4, 5, 7
Fishfinder 250, 250C, 320C, 340C All
GPS 125 Sounder 1, 2, 6
GPSMAP 135, 168 Sounder 1, 2, 6
GPSMAP 178, 178C All
GPSMAP 185 Sounder 1, 2, 6
GPSMAP 188, 188C, 198C, 235, 238 Sounder 3, 4, 5, 7
GPSMAP 298, 398, 498 Sounder All
GSD 20, 22 3, 4, 5, 7
GSD 21 All


Disclaimer: Everything written in these reports are based on personal experience and the individual's opinion only. I have tried my best to present the facts correctly, but I/we take no responsibility for any mistakes or omissions.