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Garmin Fishfinder Review: echo 550c

written by: Misty Faucheux•edited by: Shawn S. Lealos•updated: 5/31/2011

Garmin offers different types of fishfinders, including the freshwater fishfinder the echo 550c. This finder gives you a clear view of what's beneath the water, helping you to quickly find fish. But, learn whether it's worth the price tag in this GPS review.

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    The Garmin Fishfinder

    The Garmin echo 550C is a marine fishfinder that attaches to your boat. It helps you pinpoint exactly where the fish are in the water. This fishfinder is specifically for people that fish in freshwater. As you move along the water, the fishfinder shows you a sonar image of everything beneath the water, including terrain, obstacles and ,of course, the fish.

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    Rating Average

    This is a pretty impressive GPS device. The screen is large at 2.9 inches wide by 4 inches high. The whole device is 6 inches wide by 5.9 inches high by 1.8 inches deep, and it only weighs 17.6 ounces, making it relatively lightweight. The display resolution is 480 by 640 pixels, and it displays items in 256 VGA color.

    The fishfinder comes with the following accessories:

    • Power cable
    • Two-frequency dual beam transducer
    • Mounting bracket
    • Quick release mount
    • Trolling motor clamp
    • Hardware

    One of the standout features of this device is that it has a trolling motor mount. Many fishermen use this type of motor, and the inclusion of this mount makes the echo 550c standout from the rest of the devices.

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    Rating Average

    echo 550c The device comes with the Garmin HD-ID technology, which is specifically for tracking items. It helps you clearly see what’s beneath the water. The dual bean transducer is for searching through deeper waters while still providing you with a clean image. It also gives you a wide scanning angle (120 degrees), and you can scan items up to 1,900 feet deep. While this type of transducer is made for deep waters, it works just as well in shallow waters.

    Another amazing feature of this fishfinder is that you can keep track of your sonar history even if the depths keep changing. Further, you can rewind the history if you suspect that you just passed a school of fish.

    The mount easily tilts or swivels for optimum viewing and, the device is waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about getting it wet. Other features include an A-scope, bottom lock and a zoom lens. The RMS power is 500 watts and the frequency range is between 77 and 200 kHz.

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    Potential Con

    Rating Average

    Perhaps the only major downside of this item is the price. It’s nearly $450 while most fishfinders are usually around $150 to $200. But, the device just came out in the second quarter of 2011. So, the price will drop the longer that the device is on the market.

    Try it out and see if you like it before you buy the fishfinder. You may find that you can't live without it even if it is a little more expensive than the rest of the market.

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    Bang for Buck

    Rating Average

    Overall, the Garmin echo 550c is a pretty impressive fishfinder. It can handle different depths. And, perhaps most importantly, it attaches to a trolling motor, increasing its usefulness. The screen is large and full color, and you can easily rewind your history.

    The only major hiccup is the price. But, if you just wait a little while, you can probably get it on sale pretty soon.

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