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When researching the best fish finders on the market, you’ll definitely come across products from Garmin. This brand has been providing reliable quality for many years. And one of their most impressive fish finders is the Garmin Echomap Plus 73sv. It offers good sonar, GPS and other capabilities that give it a competitive advantage over other fish finders at its price point. And if you want to learn if this device is a good fit for your fish finding needs, keep reading our detailed Garmin Echomap Plus 73sv review.
Display and Control Features
What sets this unit apart from many other fish finders is its touchscreen display. This gives you quick and easy access to all the settings since you can use tapping, dragging and pinching for commands. The touchscreen display is also supported by a keypad on the side. It can be handy if you’re wearing gloves or if you prefer the traditional button operation.
The unit also offers a highly intuitive and beginner-friendly interface. You can customize it to your preference by choosing the most used applications to be displayed on the homepage. This would give you access to them with just one tap of a finger.
Another advantage of the display is its large size. It measures 7 inches in diagonal, offering you a wide view of the displayed information. It also has a high pixel matrix of 800×400, providing superior imaging quality. All this makes it easy to spot even the tiniest details on the screen.
To make it easier to read the screen in different light conditions, it also features backlighting. You can adjust it to your needs, so if you’re fishing and need to read the screen in direct sunlight, you can up the backlighting setting.
Due to the large size of the screen, it also has split screen capability. This can be beneficial for comparing different types of information and getting the best picture of what’s happening underwater. Moreover, the split screen capability allows you to watch the sonar returns while also keeping an eye on your boat’s position on a map.
The display of this fish finder also uses Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing you to sync the unit with your smartphone and use the ActiveCaptain application. And in this application, you can perform different functions.
You can upgrade your maps through the OneChart system and access the Quickdraw Community to share or find local maps. You can also set up smart notifications, getting them on the fish finder’s display, which would allow you to keep your phone safely away.
This fish finder also comes with a tilt and swivel mount and a flush mounting kit. Additionally, the kit includes a quick release cradle, which makes it quick and easy to remove the display and taking it with you.
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Garmin Echomap Plus 73sv includes the GT52HW-TM transducer, which supports 2D CHIRP, ClearVu and SideVu sonar. The transducer also comes with 20 feet of cable and a 12-pin connector. And it’s a transom mount transducer. So, if you have a trolling motor that you want to mount it on, you’ll need an adapter.
The 77/200kHz dual beam capability of this transducer offers coverage between 24 and 16 degrees. This allows you to choose if you want to scan a large area or get a more detailed image.
Using the CHIRP sonar, you can also modulate the frequency in the 150-240kHz range. The advantage of the CHIRP is that it uses more frequencies, which results in more sonar returns and more detailed sonar images. This provides clear target separation and an amazing definition.
In addition to CHIRP sonar, the transducer is also capable of ClearVu and SideVu sonar, which use 455kHz and 800kHz frequencies.
ClearVu sonar sends a beam with a very thin fore/aft down into the water right under your boat. This type of sonar is best for viewing the bottom and structure directly below your boat.
SideVu, on the other hand, sends sound waves to the sides of your boat. This allows you to scan more water quickly as the side beams can reach several hundred feet to both sides of your boat.
As for depth capability, this Garmin Echomap Plus 73sv fish finder can scan depths up to 800 feet in freshwater using the traditional CHIRP sonar and up to 500 feet using ClearVu and SideVu sonar. This makes it a perfect choice for freshwater anglers as it won’t scan deep enough in saltwater.
However, if you’re looking for a good saltwater fish finder, consider getting this Garmin Echomap Plus 73sv fish finder with a 50kHz capable transducer. This would increase the maximum depth capability to 2,300 feet in freshwater and 1,100 feet in saltwater.
This fish finder also features a Panoptix port, which means that it’s Panoptix sonar capable. However, for this, you would need to separately purchase a Panoptix transducer.
The unit also offers all the standard sonar features that you’ll find on most fish finders in this price range. They include Bottom Lock for zooming in on the bottom, Sonar Recording and Rewind for reviewing the images in the future, Fish Symbols that replace fish arches with icons, water temperature log and more.
Garmin Echomap Plus 73sv also offers chartplotter capabilities. It’s equipped with a 5 Hz GPS receiver, which provides accurate position tracking by updating it 5 times per second. On top of that, it calculates the speed of your boat, so you can keep track of if you’re going at the right speed for the lure you’re using.
This fish finder provides LakeVu g3 maps, which cover inland waters. These are detailed maps with 1 foot contours, so you get lots of detail of underwater features. In addition to covering over 17,000 lakes and rivers, these maps also include bridges, marines, camping grounds and other points of interest.
These maps also have the Shallow Water Shading feature. It allows you to assign minimum depth, so you see at a glance where the water is too shallow for your boat.
For those who would like to have off-shore charts, this fish finder is compatible with the BlueChart g2 and BlueChart g2 Vision charts. However, to get these, you need to purchase the upgrades. You can also get an upgrade for the inland lakes by purchasing the LakeVu Ultra, which offers more detail compared to the LakeVu g2.
This fish finder also offers the Quickdraw Contours feature, which is perfect for those situations when you find a lake that is not included in the LakeVu g2 charts. This software uses sonar and GPS information to draw a contoured map of the lake’s bottom. The created maps you can then either keep to yourself or share them with the Quickdraw Community.
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Garmin Echomap Plus 73sv Pros and Cons
- 7 inch screen.
- Touchscreen and keypad operation.
- Customizable homepage.
- Supports CHIRP, ClearVu and SideVu sonar.
- Panoptix sonar capable.
- Scans depths up to 800 feet.
- Sonar recording, alarms and other sonar features.
- Includes LakeVu g2 charts.
- Upgradable with other charts.
- Quickdraw Contours software.
- Micro SD card slot.
- NMEA 0183 ports.
- Wi-Fi connectivity.
- Easy to use.
- Easy to install.
- Since the user manual covers all models in Garmin’s Echomap series, you get instructions that are not specific to your particular fish finder.
- Though the fish finder is NMEA 2000 compatible, the adapter cable is not included.
In all, there’s a lot to love about the Garmin Echomap Plus 73sv. It offers outstanding sonar technologies and a highly accurate GPS system, making it perfect for both fishing and navigation. It’s a good choice for freshwater anglers, as it includes charts of lakes and rivers and it offers good depth capability. However, if you purchase the deepwater transducer, you can also successfully use it for off-shore fishing.