Garmin has introduced a complete new range of modestly priced fishfinders called the echo series. Priced at just $79.99, the echo 100 is the baby of the range. It has a 4-inch grayscale screen and a 100-watt single-frequency output that Garmin tells us will be good for depths to 600 feet.
For an extra $20, the echo 150 adds a second frequency and doubles the power to 200 watts allowing it to penetrate depths to 1,300 feet, while the echo 300c takes the power up another notch to 300 watts, for depths of up to 1,500 feet. The most significant feature of the $219.99 echo 300c though is its 3.5-inch color display, which makes it much easier to pick out important details such as bottom structure and thermoclines.
The echo 200, 500c, and 550c all have 5-inch screens—a grayscale screen and 1,500-foot maximum range in the case of the $159.99 echo 200 and color screen and 500-watt output (good for 1,900 feet) in the echo 500c and 550c. The difference between the $349.99 echo 500 and the $449.00 echo 550c is screen resolution: The more expensive unit has a 640x480 pixel display with more than four times as many pixels as its stablemate.
This article originally appeared in the April 2011 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.