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BlaenBlack
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I have a Fishing Buddy 1200 - no GPS unfortunately, but it does have sidescan, which is useful when working the shoreline. It's also quite thrilling to be stripping your line in, and marking a fish following it toward you.

 

Being a one piece unit its very easy to get set up on the tube and get out on the water. It's also very versatile, as it works equally well on a boat or canoe.

 

I don't believe the 1200 is available anymore, but they have a 4200 out now... with a larger screen, wider scanning cone, and I'm sure a few other improvements (still no GPS I'm afraid)

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I have a fishin' buddy as well. Forget exactly whjich model, but it has the side looking feature. Works best at finding the dopoffs and depths where the fish are holding. I use it on my canoe and zodiak. One problem with them is that you can't leave them in the water when cruising at speed as they rattle around a lot, but that's not a problem for a float tube.

Not sure why you want a combined fish finder and GPS for a float tube, unless you're hunting walleye. If you want one for stream fishing then it's best to get one that doesn't incorporate a depth finder as they are smaller and easier to carry about.

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Best advise is to buy seperate units. The GPS should be a good quality unit with a topo map feature. I think these are the best bang for the buck.

 

In terms of the fishfinder....pick the cheapest unit you can get because the only thing you'll see for sure is the lay of land....so to speak. You want to know where drop-offs are, where humps are and the composition of the bottom. People claim they can find fish with them but for the most part I don't believe they can. Any and all chunks of wood or big weeds floating about show up as a fish.

 

Vince

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Good point Vince... the most useful aspect of the finder is definitely getting 'the lay of the land' - the drop offs etc...

 

There have certainly been many times where the finder isn't marking anything below me, and I'm catching fish, or the inverse.... where fish are being marked like crazy, yet I'm not catching anything (that's likely my skillz though ;) , or lack of :P )

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Guys thanks for the speedy replies. I did ask at the fishing store and the attendant thought that most float guys used the Fishing Buddy. It looked big and clumsy to me? Am I missing something? <_<

Add to that the fact that recently I have been using the car to go fishing (high cost of gas). The down side of that has been inflating /deflating and loading up the float tube every time. Plus what about if your favourite spot requires a little hike in and a guy’s trying to add as little weight as possible to the load?

Dave, I was thinking of the GPS more for fishing/ice fishing (lake trout) on larger lakes. Is that a bad idea?

Tuber, the sidescan feature sounds great is the Fishing Buddy the only unit with that?

Vince how cheap is cheap? Got any models in mind?

Thanks in advance

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When I'm carrying all my 'stuff' to the water, I just slip the Fishing Buddy into one of the carrying straps on my tube... not much trouble at all, and keeps it out of my way. For a big hike, it would really depend, I would probably consider just leaving the unit at home. If weight is a real concern, a finder is certainly an optional piece of equipment... nice to have, for sure, but definitely not a necessity.

 

You might take into consideration the batteries...their weight & bulk. I believe a lot of the portable finders use a larger cell for power. Not sure what these weigh... but the 1200 uses 3 C cells, which will last for about 40 hours of use.

 

Added to that, with it mounted in the float tube holder, the screen is more out of the way I think, compared to a 2 piece portable finder, where the finder screen would be sitting on top of the tube.

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I bought my first sonar in 1982 and all it was a a screen and a red light flashing henced called them flashers........i have been usuing a sonnar in a tube for probably 12 years plus.........over the years i have learnt that for a tube all u need is a cheap one like the one i have now which was like $129 at cnd tire.......i use it for finding the shelves and the depth of the lake...it is nice when u do mark fish on it but not the use for me.....the battery i use is a closed cell from battery world over by labatts brewery cost me $15 and lasted like 6 or 7 years and it is nice and light.......i feel naked if i don't have my sonnar on my tube....just my 2 cents

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Cheap is about 100 bucks or less...I've seen some Cuda's at about 90 plus change. As far as the battery goes don't go for the big guys...I use a battery that is about 1 inch wide by 1 1/2 high by about 4 inches...weighs nothing and lasts days.

 

Vince

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Cheap is about 100 bucks or less...I've seen some Cuda's at about 90 plus change. As far as the battery goes don't go for the big guys...I use a battery that is about 1 inch wide by 1 1/2 high by about 4 inches...weighs nothing and lasts days.

 

Vince

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