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Old 02-10-2013, 11:13 AM
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Default Sonar ?

For you folks that use float tubes and other small craft to fish with...what is a good , easy to understand and view, sonar fish finder that would not break the bank.

I was looking at this one on Youtube,,seemed to be easy to understand,,had some options..and not overly expensive.

Now, since I know VERY little about sonar, I'm just using this example as a jumping off,,err,,,jumping IN point. Would appreciate any advice.

Humminbird PiranhaMAX 170 8-30-11
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:33 AM
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Default Re: Sonar ?

I think sonar with a tube might be a little impractical. Most float tubing is done in shallow water, and you can't move very fast in a tube. Both of these combine to make a fish finder pretty ineffective, as they really only provide good readings in a very narrow field, which gets narrower as the water gets more shallow and even more so if you don't cover a lot of water.

The finder won't show you the fish at the spot you are casting to 40 ft away.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:37 AM
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Default Re: Sonar ?

My mistake. I didn't provide enough info.

I'm going to use this on a Pelican two man pontoon 'pond crawler' boat. I'll be fishing lake and river both. So, a decent 'boat' type sonar would be what I think I'm looking for. I might even use it,,or a second one, on my 16ft jon boat at times.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:48 AM
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Default Re: Sonar ?

have you thought about the humminbird 160?

Though the best fish finder is definitely just plain ol experience... Never needed one in my life.. And I'm still able to find fish... weird
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:50 AM
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Default Re: Sonar ?

FYI, sonar on a tube is very practical. AND, not all float tubing is done in shallow waters, in fact I'd say it's just the opposite. If you find fish under you, it take a few kicks to move away. Plus you know how deep they are and can adjust for that by using different lines.
I've had sonars on tubes, kickboats and a 14' aluminum boat since the early '90's.
Most tubers and kickboaters I know use them.
The main reason is not finding fish, (although if you know how to read a sonar, you'll find them), but seeing what the structure is below you. If you know what the bottom structure looks like, how deep the water is, seeing thermoclines, it becomes an invaluable tool. Joni has an older Humminbird, I have a newer one and have another on the tin can. All were purchased for less than $200 each. Look for sales and get the best one you can afford.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:18 PM
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Default Re: Sonar ?

Mojo said it better and with fewer words than I can and I really don't mean to pile on. But, for what it's worth.

The term “ Most “ anything always bothers me.

So when someone say's that most float tubing takes place in shallow water? Maybe where you’re at, but that is certainly not the case here, never has been.
The assumption that sonar isn’t effective in shallow water? I think we need to define the words shallow and ineffective.
Think of all the money that could be saved by glitter boat jockey’s if they knew going in, that those side finders and wide beam transducers weren’t effective. Seems there’s an entire industry built up around the use of sonar in shallow waters.
No one will ever convince me that moving a sonar beam slower, will somehow provide a less accurate portrait of objects, than it would be if that the transducer was moving at forty miles per hours.

There are countless western anglers who safely fish enormous lakes and reservoirs that would take issue with these statements along with some well known anglers who made their mark and their living doing both.

As for the use of sonar, ask a guy like Dan Blanton if he’s ever called his shots ( casting to and hooking a specific target ) with a side finder, even one as simple as a fishin’ buddy.
I’ve done it and demonstrated it numerous times in land-locked striper and black bass clinics, from float tubes, pontoon boats, prams and skiffs. Not drawing a strike doesn’t mean the sonar’s not working, it means your presentation isn’t working. I’ll put my money on the sonar’s ability to locate large gamefish over some anglers ability to catch fish, almost every time.

Look around this site, you’ll find old photo’s of Del Canty a pioneer in float tubing on large deep western reserviors with fish that’ll simply blow your mind. Run a search on-line for the float tubing practices and successes of Lee Haskins on large and deep, San Luis reservoir.
The usefulness of sonar as an adjunct to a fly fishers arsenal is well documented.

Click the image to open in full size.

Those two black objects leaning on the float tubes are fishin' buddies. While they're very good at locating structure, they're also very good at finding schools of baitfish. They've accounted for thousands of Stripers and other gamefish and many of those were from calling my shot, with a single large target on my side finder in waters from 8 to well over 100 feet deep.



All the best, TT
mojo, mcnerney, Guest1 and 2 others like this.

Last edited by trout trekker; 02-10-2013 at 01:43 PM. Reason: the fingers sometimes move faster than the eyes.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: Sonar ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by itchmesir View Post
have you thought about the humminbird 160?

Though the best fish finder is definitely just plain ol experience... Never needed one in my life.. And I'm still able to find fish... weird
I use mine more for depth and bottom contour.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:18 PM
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Default Re: Sonar ?

Add me in as one more vote for finder. Depth, bottom contour, structure, fish..... all good to know.

While I'm at it, a good mapping GPS preferably with the chip for where you are is also good.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:46 PM
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Arrow Re: Sonar ?

I use a Garmin Echo 100. Only $69 shipped from Amazon using Prime. Nothing fancy, but does everything I need it to do!
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:01 PM
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Default Sonar ?

I used to float tube San Luis In the early 90's, barely had enough money for a fly rod and float tube, no sonar. I used topo maps of the lake to look for stripper areas and depths. But, I did get into a few nice strippers deep for me 25-45 feet, I still remember being dragged around the lake by a 18 pounder. I am looking to get a sonar myself to go with my new tube.
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