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I built a FS18 and am weighing my options for a sonar GPS combo. I fish lakes and rivers in the Midwest and want something with side imaging capabilities. Based on what I have heard so far I would say Garmin is out because their maps suck and there’s no way to add better charts. I’m looking for solid unbiased advice from people who can site their sources and provide rationale. Please no “Ford vs Chevy” type bullshit.
 

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The Simrad GO7 seems to be the most common for small skiffs, and what I plan to run on mine that’s similar to an FS18. You can get it with their total scan transducer that will give you the imaging you want. Not sure what the other map options are besides FMT, I think the Navionics Platinum Plus is probably a workable alternative for other states.
 

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The Go7 can be found at west marine on sale with the total scan for like $499.
Wish I would have waited...
 

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Go7/Go9 user and find it to be a fine setup for the money. Side scan is decent with the TotalScan but it won't blow you away.
 
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