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my experience is pretty much the same as Lefties. I will add that: you can buy the year old Navionics chip at a discount ($99 instead of the $150 new)...AND at any time, you can return an old chip to the company for the current upgrade for $50. This means the price of the new chip is the same as the price of the old chip PLUS the upgrade.
This helps if you are trying to get in more cheaply as you can get the chip for $99 then go current when you have the additional $50. The upgrade has more detail and any updates to ATON on the lake. The new chip also covers more lakes in New England than the old one did. I am still running on the 09 chip and will upgrade next year.
Hi Guys, thanks for the info. I'm also in the market. In your opinion, is the HDS5 worth the extra money as compared to the Elite 5X or even the Elite 5X-DSI? I'll spend the extra $50 bucks for the Navionices Premium HotMaps chip (1 foot contours) but can't seem to make up my mind on the unit itself. Basic internet product reviews claim the DSI doesn't really work very good in deep water (over 30 feet?). So, if that is true, then I guess I'm really trying to decide between the HDS5 to the Elite 5X. The retail price difference is about $150 between the two units. Does the Hi-Def really matter if one is using the chip anyway? Any input is appreciated. Thank you!
Hammer,that was my thing too elite5 vs hds5 reading reviews that for a little more $ you get a better unit capable of more.That being said I don't need color or HD just what is out there now.
John, you run Lowrance on the Barge,any comment on customer service good or bad???
Where are they selling the navionics for $99? What version is it, the premium? or the platinum?
$99 is only for the outdated model of the chip. New chips are $150. You may have to call around to find someone with the older chip (2009) but they are out there. Navionics will then upgrade you for $50 more to the newer chip (so the new chip is still $150 total cost...just you can "step" up to it).
I do like that the newer chip has 1 foot contours but, really, does 1 foot contour make a huge difference when trolling trout/salmon over deep water or even water over 20 ft? The big advantage is if you fish around New England a lot because the newer chip covers something like 7000 additional lakes and something like 500 more lakes in high def.
Ok, now I'm excited. I just pulled the trigger on an HDS-5 combo and also the premium hotmaps chip. It should arrive in a week or so. I just need the big snowbank to melt so I can get my boat out to install it. Shoot, more snow on the way. Darn it, I need to go fishing!!! I'm looking forward to the new world (to me) of electronics. For 1, I'll finally be able to know how fast I'm trolling... Next up on my list, G2's... Then a radio so I can buzz you and tell you that I'm still not catching anything in Squam. :-)
Hammer please post you likes and dislikes about the unit regularly,also where did you go to get it(best price)???