If you are in the market for a sonar fish finder that has all the superb features of the high-end models at a much smaller price, then you don’t have to look any farther than the Garmin 400c and Garmin 300c Fishfinders. With either of these two models, you will can find all the fish – and have a great time doing it! Each of these models will work in either salt or fresh water and, although the units are very much alike, they do have some subtle differences, which I will outline in this product review.
While both Garmin Fishfinders work well in both lakes or oceans, the 400c is really exceptionaly strong in saltwater because of its capability to reach depths of 1500 feet with instant accuracy. The 300c has the ability to reach an impressive 900 feet deep. The secret lies within the sonar equipment called transducers. The 300c uses a dual-beam transducer, while the 400c offers the ability to use both a dual-beam transducer or a dual-frequency transducer. I know, this can be confusing; let me see if I can explain it. The dual-beam (standard for 300c) uses a cone system that you can set to send out sonar beams at either 15 or 45 degree from the craft. Essentially, this allows you to see the contours of the ocean bottom and fish that are not directly under the boat. If I could draw a picture, it would look like a cone with the pointy end starting at the bottom of the boat and the wide end on the bottom of the lake or river. The dual-frequency transducer (an optional for the 400c) sends out a single beam but has two settings: high frequency, which allows for higher resolution in deep water, and low frequency, which is suggested for shallower waters.
Each of these Garmin Fishfinder models has a 256-color, high-resolution (240 vertical by 320 horizontal pixels) screen, designed to be readable even in direct sunlight. This means an striking color readout that is crystal clear, making it simple to distinguish fish from debris. The 300c screen is 3.5 inches and the 400c is 4 inches. Both has a night mode, which gives excellent readability even in low-light conditions. And, while we’re on the subject of low-light viewing, the keypad on both units is backlit making it easy to operate at night without the use of a flashlight.
Both units has what is called, Ultrascroll. This gives you instant sonar updates that show fish even when you are cruising across the water. No more passing over a school or fish while you are cruising to your favorite fishing hole! Another fantastic feature is called whiteline, which shows whether the bottom is hard or soft. It also allows you to know whether the debris on the bottom is really a fish or just an old boot. Fish Symbol ID is factory issue on both Garmin 300c and 400c Fishfinders. This helps you to tell the different sizes of fish so you are not chasing minnows instead of bass. Also, both models come with A-Scope. This lets you to see real-time display of fish passing through the transducer beam. Both of these wonderful sonars have an auto gain feature. This automatically controls the sensitivity on the sonar depending upon the density of the water, or fish, and also has three settings to give you even more flexability. Both of these units also have audible alarms that can be turned on and off. They can be set to alert you of low battery power, shallow water (of any depth you want) and, of course, the presence of fish. This means no more sudden dead batteries, no more aggravating damaged props, and lots more fish in the boat!
Both models feature a split screen function allowing you to completely take advantage of all the real-time data these fish finders offer. Data such as the depth of water and its temprature, water speed for river fishing, voltage readings plus many more choices of other data. On the opposite side of the screen, you can view real-time fish traffic, including determining large from small fish, bottom density, and even the ability to tell if fish are hovering over the bottom. Both models allow you to zoom in on targets — both 2x and 4x. Of course, if you just want to see the fish you can simply toggle the rocker switch and the split-screen is disabled. Both units also have the automatic settings save feature. Once you have your model set the way you like it, when you moor the boat for the evening, just turn the unit off and your settings will be remembered.
This is where the Garmin 400c is different from the Garmin 300c. The 400c is CANet-compatible. CANet is a communication sytem that facilitates a faster transfer rate of data. This means you can share sonar data with other plotters in your boat making this part of your GPS Navigation system system, not just a awesome fishfinder. One satisfied customer said, “I have a Garmin GPSMap 496 and I use it right along with my 400c. The two units work together well. Even way out in the middle of the seas I can never get lost!” Another customer says “I recently bought a Garmin fishfinder and was very surprised to find it works with my chart plotter.” Where to purchase the Garmin 300c and the Garmin 400c for the cheapest price is Amazon.com
Now I would like to invite you to learn even more about the wonderful world of Garmin 400c or about the Garmin 300c. Also published at When looking for a fishfinder is Garmin 300 or 400c the correct unit right for you?.