Install a fishfinder or ... buy a new kayak?!

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    Posted: 19 Jul 2012 at 7:34am
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So I'm looking for some advice. Currently, as some of you may remember, I'm a novice. I've been out a few times around the Hibiscus Coast area, don't really know what I'm doing, but have come back nearly every time with 3 or 4 pannies. Which I find satisfactory, but occasionally read all of your reports and think, "Hmmm, wonder if I could do better?!

Now I have the impression that most of you fish with a fishfinder, which I don't have. So I'm wondering, would buying a fishfinder improve my chances of bringing home more fish (and bigger fish) markedly? One of the factors that makes me a little reluctant is the yak I'd be installing it in - my old Ocean River Largo. Hey, I bought it years ago when I didn't know any better ... Embarrassed I shouldn't knock it, it's got me where I want to go and it holds the fish and the rods.

From what little I know, I'd have to drill some holes and butcher the Largo in order to install a FF. So do I spring for a FF now and put it in the Laugho - knowing that eventually I will probably want to upgrade - or save my pennies towards a decent yak? Thoughts welcome!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Muppet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2012 at 8:41am
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g_man if your fishing in close next to structure or among birds a fishfinder isn't really needed.
 
But if you are exploring over wide areas especially on sand etc they are essential imo.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Bob.f Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2012 at 10:07am
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I would save money towards a new kayak.  Keep doing what you are doing.  You are obviously finding fish without the finder.  When you have a new?decent kayak, then maybe you will want to look further afield, head to slightly deeper water?  Look for those hidden reefs/structure then a FF sounder is an essential
Si ego cado is est non terminus
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Big Manly Yaka Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2012 at 12:20pm
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g_man, like you I'm a relatively newbie to yak fishing. Wife and I bought 2 Ocean Scrambler II's a few years ago to see what it would be like. I'm now fully hooked on fishing from the yak and my Wife's has cobwebs on it. Would love something a little better suited to the amount of time I spend on the water but hey its working for the moment. Back on topic - I just recently bought a Lowrance Elite 4x FF, and its been quite a revelation. Unlike you I struggled to get much success on the rods other than with lots of burley and cut baits, I even bought a small setline just to keep me and the missus fed, and not damage my masculinity further by continuously coming home empty handed. Since I got the FF, I have had 1 zero day out of the last 6 trips with bait or sb. Its amazing what I had been paddling 'over' to get to my so called fishing spots, it really helped me get results quicker and more efficiently.
However - I saw the good deal on the FF and rushed into buying it without fully investigating the mounting options on the Scrambler. Long story short - a bit of drilling, cutting, sanding and lots of Selly's all clear was needed to get get the transducer installed. It was definitely not best practice digging holes in the hull but I figured I could use the FF in the next yak (or boat) I upgrade to as I'm starting to realize the limitations of the Scrambler.
I know there are guy's here with loads of experience on these matters but IMO get a FF no matter what you're fishing out of, even if its a black and white one, it will help you see so much more down there that you may not have been aware of.
By the way I live in Big Manly and usually fish out from the beach, around to Tindalls Reef and also Army bay, if you're looking for a weekend buddy.
Cheers
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Chip'n Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2012 at 5:16pm
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I have my transducer clamped to a scupper tube & sitting on the inside of the hull so it shoots through the hull & it works fine, just no water temp. The only drilling you need to do is to bring the wires/plug through some where approx 12mm hole through a gland. Can post a pic if you want. Also check threads out here on the  kayak site.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote g_man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2012 at 9:08am
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Hey thanks to everyone for their advice. I never realised you could mount the transducer inside the hull - I thought it had to be on the outside. But if it works ok, then that might be one solution to my less-than-perfect yak-butchering skills ... Wink

At the moment I'm probably in a similar place to you a few years ago, BMY. I get out occasionally and enjoy it, wish I could get out more. So I would probably have more luck persuading she-who-must-be-obeyed Heart to free up some funds for a FF rather than a new yak. I will see how it goes - wish me luck!

And thanks for the offer to accompany you. A couple of others have also offered, and I do appreciate it. Truth be told, I'm a bit shy about my lack of skills, but if you don't mind a newbie who can't paddle very far accompanying you in a Largo LOL then maybe one day I will shoot you a PM. I'm also studying for an exam at the moment (at my age!), but maybe in a couple of months ...

Cheers all!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote g_man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2012 at 9:08am
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Hey Chip'n, would be keen to see a pic of your setup if you don't mind.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Chip'n Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2012 at 2:25pm
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Chip'n Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2012 at 2:29pm
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Okay so that was a pic of my transducer clamped to the supper tube. Luckily the shape of the hull lends itself nicely to the transducer shape, I normally rub a bit of vaseline between the trans & the hull as well. The clamp is on a ratchet type arrangement (standard) so it just flicks up to clean it & re vaseline it as required. By the way the pic is best viewed with your head to the left side as I never rotated the pic before posting sorry. Dale
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote g_man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2012 at 3:26pm
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Chip'n, just to clarify - when you say "the scupper tube" - looking at your photo, it looks like you have some sort of tube or pillar/post running down inside your Yak from top to bottom. Is that right?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Chip'n Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2012 at 4:24pm
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Yes most sit on kayaks have scuppers, a hole that goes right through your kayak, makes you wonder how they float doesn't it. If you don't have one don't panic, there are several other options available, including gluing the transducer down, or making a mould out of foam & setting the transducer in it either with water or without. Dale
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote hunt&gather Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2012 at 6:07pm
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I'd go for a sounder over a new yak for sure. You can pick one up that'll do the job for pretty cheap - I had a garmin echo 100 that was shooting through the hull. Cost me $100 from Harvey Norman from memory and really improved the fishing experience and success. You're fishing blind otherwise, plenty of vids on YouTube showing different installs, mine was pressed into a pool of all clear. Worked sweet and temp was roughly accurate once the hull cooled to sea temp.

That was on a Viking tempo too which is a tank. Learnt the ropes on that and saved up, now have a profish 400. Just upgrading the sounder on that as heading further afield as I get more experienced. Has been an enjoyable process and learning curve and an addictive sport.

I live in Wellies and we anchor and berley a lot. Might be less of a need if your just softbaiting the wash zone. Head out with the local guys that have offered though - best way to learn and you push your own limits a bit with a buddy
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Big Manly Yaka Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2012 at 9:03am
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Hey Chip'n, thats interesting your install is only sitting in a bit of vaseline, I read various reports on through hull mounts (before installing mine) on boats and yaks and there seemed to be conflicting opinions regarding the sensitivity loss through the hull. A lot of installs suggested sitting the transducers in a pool of something like All Clear 'or wetboxes' but expressed the importance of ensuring there were no bubbles between the transducer and hull. I did consider a through mount install but was concerned I wouldnt be getting the best performance - and not being able to tell the difference being such a newbie.
But your idea of simply sitting the transducer in a bit of vas would have been a great option to try first before cutting a bloody great hole in my hull. Do you think you loose any sensitivity? do you use quite a thick layer of vas and is the transducer actually pushed hard against the hull in the vas? Just curious  in case my Lowrance transducer doesn't fit properly in my 'next' kayaks transducer cavity.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Chip'n Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2012 at 12:19pm
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No I only use a smear of vaseline, & it ratchets firmly against the shape of the hull. I have seen my jighead/softbait on the screen in approx 20m of water so it has done what i expected of it for the cuda 168. If i up spec I would look at using the scupper adaptor that Marine deals have in stock assuming it would not be an issue under the hull as far as wiping it out as not sure how much protection it would have. dale
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Big Manly Yaka Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2012 at 1:00pm
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yeah that was my concern, I couldn't see a position anywhere else on the outside bottom of the hull where it wouldn't be in danger of getting scraped or knocked by rocks or on the beach. The scupper positions on the Scrambler would leave it hanging quite precariously.
The other option I thought of (after the surgery) was mounting it on the stern. It would just need a bit of modification of the metal bracket to bolt around the flat thin keel part (where a rudder would normally be).
Unsure of what sort of turbulence affect this would have on performance?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote gollyfish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2012 at 8:21pm
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could try getting somebody to weld a strap to the  bottom of the yak like my old one...worked well
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