The Garmin Echo 150, for the money, is a great little fish-finder. Install it, turn it on, and let's go fishing!
I bought mine for $99 at my local big-box store...you can find them cheaper online. I was looking for a sounder that had depth and temperature readings, and was pleased to find both in an affordable unit.
Included with the Echo 150:
- Quick release mount with tilt and swivel
- Power cable
- Transducer w/ mounting bracket, hardware and trolling motor clamp
It was very simple to install - did in in less than an hour. The footprint of the mount is small, and it was easy to find a spot on my kayak to place the Echo. I was very happy to see an in-line fuse included with the power cable - one less thing to worry about. The power cable and transducer will run into the back of the unit...these plugs are easy to tell apart, and they fit snug into the Echo. I take mine off everytime I use my kayak, so they get plugged and unplugged frequently, and the plastic has held up to this abuse very well - so has the mount. Holds the head-unit tight with no wobble. I have driven my kayak on a trailer many miles, with the Echo still in the mount on the kayak, and it hasn't failed.
The dual-beam transducer is made of plastic, but it has a nice weight to it, and doesn't feel flimsy. Plenty of cable for transducer installation on your boat or kayak...the power cable is much shorter - which is great for a kayak install...
Speaking of install - here's how I did the transducer, also the head-unit and cables, and finally the battery.
Using the Echo:
You power it up the first time, and it runs you through a quick setup, like language and auto/manual settings, and you are done! Go fishing!
The Garmin Echo 150, with it's dual-beam tranducer and 200 watts of power, boasts a capability of 1300' of readings in freshwater - well, I don't have anything around Charleston that is that deep, so I will take their word for it. I have used it in freshwater and salt, and it has performed admirably in both.
For having a 4" screen, the detail is terrific. I could clearly see bottom details, like oyster rakes and vegetation, as well as bait pods and bigger fish echoes. The screen also has a backlight for those night or early-morning trips.
This unit's size is perfect for a kayak, or any small boat. Doesn't take up much space, as you can see from the picture above. The grayscale screen is very visible from my seat position.
If you look at the face of it, it doesn't have a lot of buttons - which is a good thing. More buttons mean more stuff you can push and screw-up. I turn the Echo 150 on, and it is good-to-go. Let it run in automatic mode and you'll be fishing in no time.
Why can't Garmin offer GPS/maps in a smaller unit, like Lowrance does? This unit does not have that, and it would be great if it did...C'mon Garmin - make it happen...
It is waterproof! I hose it off after every saltwater trip - no problems with water getting into the unit. Hadn't had any problems so far with corrosion - of course, I am a nut about washing everything down after a fishing trip...
The Garmin Echo 150 is a very affordable dual-beam fishfinder. No frills, like GPS/maps, but solid performance from a smaller unit. I recommend it to those fishermen wanting to see stuff under their boat without spending an arm and/or leg.