Good value, reliable and easy to use. Quality product with color display and high technical specifications.Cons
Tilt mechanism design causes some problems with mounting. Best result in lakes or shallow water.Verdict
Ideal for small boat fishing on lakes - recommended.
REVIEW: Garmin Echo Fishfinder (300c, Dual-Beam)
So your average fish-hunter was left way behind, unless s/he was blessed with extra-special instincts or X-ray eyes.
But with the huge advances in consumer electronics you can now buy very decent products for a reasonable price.
And this doesn't mean that they are substandard or shoddy. Garmin are well known for producing a range of GPS enabled technology for the general consumer, and so it's no surprise that their fishfinders have a good reputation amongst anglers and sportspeople.
The Garmin echo 300c Dual-Beam Fishfinder, at $178.49, represents excellent value for money. According to Garmin it is the, 'only color, dual-beam fishfinder on the market at this price.'
For this price you get a sunlight-readable color display with 'exclusive Garmin HD-ID™ target tracking technology... designed to make catching fish a cinch.'
The echo 300c also comes with Garmin Smooth Scaling™ technology, which means you won’t lose sight of the sonar history in different depth ranges.
'One of the most intuitive fishfinders on the market,' say Garmin. And easy to install using the quick-releast tilt mount.
Your unit will come with the mount (with tilt and swivel), plus a power cable, transducer with mounting bracket plus hardware and documentation.
'Amazing level of detail on fish returns, structure and bottom contours,' say Garmin. And they also promise great resolution on the screen, with the sonar offering bottom detail up to 1500ft in fresh water and 600ft in saltwater. Plus, a 300-watt (RMS) sounder offers a viewing angle of up to 120 degrees.
'You'll see through the water like never before.'
And the customers out there echo these claims about the Echo.
'By far the most bang for the buck,' said one buyer. 'Easy to operate and, so far, reliable. Buy it.'
The reviews indicate that this product is a 'best buy' for recreational anglers who fish primarily in freshwater lakes. 'The transducer provides excellent coverage in shallow waters,' said one.
Like most electronics you have to work on getting your settings ideal for your individual situation.
'Bought this unit to try out the color scale type unit,' said one customer. 'It works well once you figure out which settings are the best for your type of fishing. Would recommend it for the color scale and clarity.'
And the consensus is that this is a user friendly product that generally performs well.
'An ideal choice for a smaller boat or budget,' said one buyer, who had undertaken considerable research before purchasing. 'Don't allow the smaller screen size discourage you from considering this unit. The color images are sharp and clear even from a distance and in the brightest sunlight. Navigation is incredibly simple, yet unit has many of the same features as those that are substantially more expensive. And installation was a snap. Very pleased so far.'
A few customers were didn't like the tilt mechanism design - in fact this was the 'only thing' a lot of reviewers felt could be improved.
And one reviewer reported that the product is advertised to show boat speed in the display. 'The only problem with this,' he continues, is 'that you will have to fork out an additional $40 to get the sensor and install it.'
But overall for the recreational fisherman the Echo 300c is a great product. Simple and easy to use, backed by solid technology and a good company that has a reputation for excellent customer support and back up.
So now you have no excuses; if the fish are there you will find them.
I'll heat up the barbeque, you go get dinner!
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