Garmin Echomap 73SV Review: Keep it Simple

As someone that has owned Garmin products for many years, I can personally attest to their quality and durability. Garmin’s fish finders are also popular among anglers for their CHIRP technology and user-friendly interfaces.

When you purchase a Garmin product, you can be reasonably sure that you will get value for your money, which is especially the case with Echomap 73SV with its large screen, triple sonar transducer, and connectivity options.

In this Garmin Echomap 73sv review, we’ll take an extensive look at this fish finder’s features, benefits, and drawbacks. Hopefully, this review will prevent you from wasting money on a unit that may not meet your requirements.

Things to Know Before Buying a Fish Finder

If you are out fishing on a boat, one of your biggest challenges is finding the best fishing spots. Underwater vegetation, rocks, and timber can sometimes be home to specific fish species that you may want to target. The problem is that you can’t see these locations or the fish around you.

With a fish finder like the Garmin Echomap 73SV, however, your fish finding frustrations belong to the past.

Before you rush off to buy a fish finder, make sure that you purchase the correct model for your fishing preferences. Portable fish finders are great for fishing from a boat. If you are a shore or surf angler you’d need something different, if you like the frosty icy spots, you need something else totally. There are fish finders that have their own screens, and some that you connect to your smart devices.

Other things you have to consider before buying a fish finder include the following:

  • The depth of the fish species you typically catch
  • Your navigational requirements when you are out fishing
  • The time of day and light conditions
  • The watercraft you have and its mounting points
  • The information you need when you are out fishing, for example, the water temperature, time, GPS speed, latitude and longitude coordinates.
  • The imagery you need when fishing — for instance, down imaging and side imaging

 

Considering your typical fishing setting before reading this Garmin Echomap CHIRP 73SV review will help you determine if this product will meet your needs.  

My Garmin Echomap 73SV Review

The 73SV is a high-end fish finder from Garmin that comes with a wide range of features, including a 7” screen, trolling motor transducer, 500-watt RMS power, and LakeVü HD preloaded maps.

With the 73SV, you can detect fish at a depth of 2,300 feet in freshwater and 1,100 feet in saltwater, thanks to the three wide sonar frequency ranges that also makes detailed shallow water information capturing possible.

In addition to detailed side and down imaging, the 73SV provides extensive navigational benefits. The built-in GPS with internal antenna allows you to store 5,000 waypoints and 100 routes.

The 73SV has a higher price tag than the highly comparable Humminbird Helix 7, but this is because the 73SV offers a WVGA display where the Helix 7 has a 256Colors TFT display. The 73SV can also store more waypoints and routes than the Helix 7. Another significant difference is that the 73SV’s maximum depth is about 800 feet more than that of the Helix 7.

The 73SV offers comprehensive value for a wide range of fishing settings. However, if you need a fish finder for kayak or canoe fishing, the 72SV may be too bulky.

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Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Unite features a ClearVü, SideVü, and high-wide CHIRP sonar for comprehensive imagery
  • Sonar recording storage and rewind capabilities
  • Sizeable 7” touchscreen with WVGA display and keypad control
  • MicroSD card reader for adding maps
  • Sonar features include bottom-lock, fish symbols, split-zoom, and A-scope

Cons

  • The user manual covers all the models in the Echomap series
  • Numerical readouts may not be accurate at high speeds
  • The NMEA 2000 adapter cable is not included

Features and Benefits

Transducer and Sonars

The Echomap 72SV’s CV52HW-TM transducer supports three sonar types, namely 2D CHIRP, SideVü, and ClearVü sonars. The transducer is also fitted with a thermometer, a transom mount, and a 12-pin connector.

The CHIRP 2D sonar emits a conical beam with a frequency range between 150 kHz and 240 kHz, and the beam has a conical angle between 24 degrees and 16 degrees. The control unit can also produce 2D sonar frequencies at 50 kHz, 77 kHz, and 83 kHz for added depth coverage.

ClearVü sonars emit high-frequency beams to provide high-resolution representations of the bottom structure and fish below the boat. SideVü refers to beams on each side of the boat that extends for several hundred feet. These sonars emit beams at 455 kHz and 800 kHz for detailed imagery.

Sample ClearVu-SideVu image.
Via Garmin.com.

Auto-guidance

If you find yourself in unfamiliar territory, you can use the 73SV in combination with the Garmin app to reach a location while avoiding sandbanks, underwater rocks, and other dangerous areas. The app will automatically plot the shortest and safest route for your watercraft. You can also use this feature to create your paths.

 

LakeVü Maps

The 73SV comes with an HD mapping system that consists of more than 17,000 rivers, lakes, and reservoirs in the United States. You can use a Micro SD card to store your preferred locations or to upgrade an existing mapping system.

 

Sample LakeVu image.
Via Garmin.com

Quick-Draw Mapping

Quickdraw Contours Software allows you to create custom maps of water bodies. This is a handy feature for fishers who like to fish in remote settings.

Control Unit

One of the most prominent features of the control unit is its 7” touchscreen display that is supported by a keypad on the right side.

The control unit’s interface is intuitive, customizable, and user-friendly. You can even customize your homepage with quick access to the applications you use regularly. The display also offers several split screen options, and you can add up to three applications per view.

The control unit is fitted with NMEA 0183 ports and features NMEA 2000 and Wi-Fi connectivity options. The 73SV is compatible with the Active Captain app, and you can sync your fish finder with your smartphone or tablet for added functionality.

General User Impression

Anglers who have been using the 73SV to find fish are vocal about the versatility that this product has to offer. Features that users like the most include side-imaging, GPS with waypoint plotting, and sizable screen.  

Another popular feature of the 73SV is the auto-brightness function that allows the user to see the screen clearly, even in direct sunlight.

 

FAQ’s

What is Included with the 73SV?

You receive several essential items with the unit, including a power and data cable, a Gimbal mount that tilts and swivels, a Flush in-dash mounting for your boat, and a user manual.

Can I Use the 73SV for Shore Angling?

The Garmin Echomap 73Sv is a portable fish finder but is not suitable for fishing from a shore. You need a castable fish finder for shore angling.

Where Should I Install the Sonar?

Install the transducer you receive with your unit to the exterior of the transom. Try to install it in a place where it will be well below the surface of the water to ensure the quality imagery.  

Our Opinion

There is a lot to love about this high-end fish finder. The control unit’s design allows for optimal usability and customizability to reduce the learning curve and eliminate frustration. If you like to review your fishing activities, the sonar recording and rewind feature is also incredibly valuable.

Like most other models in this range, the 73SV has CHIRP technology that provides the best possible clarity, definition, and target separation.

The built-in GPS is also a high-value navigational feature that many other fish finders in this price range don’t have. The GPS doesn’t only provide you with your location, but you can also use it to find your favorite fishing spots safely with the auto-guidance function.

Another benefit of this fish finder is that setup and installation is quick and easy, even if your watercraft doesn’t have mounting points.

Generally speaking, the 73SV is an excellent addition to the boat fisherman’s gear. It has a large screen that can accommodate up to three applications at once, it is rugged, and it has all the features you need to find fish to a depth of 2,300 feet.

The Garmin Echomap 73SV does have a few drawbacks. Water depth readouts are sometimes inaccurate, especially when the water is shallower than four feet, if the bottom structure is hard and non-porous, or if the watercraft is traveling at high speeds.

Another issue is that the user manual covers all models in the Echomap series and not the 73SV specifically.

Take a closer look at it here:

Final Words

How many times have you returned empty-handed from a fishing trip? The 73SV has everything you need for fishing in any body of water, in any setting, and all conditions. This fish finder comes with CHIRP technology for added depth and clarity, a large 7” screen, and a GPS to meet your navigational needs.

After reading this Echomap 73SV HD review, you hopefully have enough information to know if it is the right option for you. 

Want to see more fish finder options? Here are our thoughts about Garmin Striker 4 and our best fish finder picks.

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