A couple of new transducers from Furuno have found traction with fisherman looking for more precise target species identification and 3-D sounder mapping.

Matt Wood, Furuno’s national sales manager, said while his company’s recent progress has been held up by the pandemic, Furuno has managed to add to the number of transducers they are producing, with the most growth coming from 3-D transducers. In particular, he pointed to two new high-performance, pocket mount combination transducers in the 3-D market, the 165T/265LH-PM488 and the 165T/275LHW.

“By combination, we mean these transducers feed the multibeam sounder for the DFF-3-D but then it also provide the low/high CHIRP frequencies for our CHIRP Fishfinder. That’s the CHIRP Fishfinder that’s built into our TZT3 multifunction display and is available in our network sounder for the earlier models as well,” Wood said.

Wood said boats in the 30- to 60-foot range are taking an interest in the 165T/265LH-PM488 transducer.

“We have definitely seen some of the Delta-style boats up in Alaska start gravitating in this direction. CHIRP fishfinding has kind of taken the world by storm pretty much everywhere, and we’re seeing it in just about any kind of commercial fishing,” Wood said.

The CHIRP fishfinders are especially popular in fisheries where precise target discrimination is important. The other transducer, the 165T/275LHW, is a larger pocket mount unit with a wider beam angle, allowing for even better species target identification.

“In some CHIRP sounders and conventional sounders as well, if you have too narrow a beam angle, the fish targets look so small that sometimes it’s hard to even understand that what you’re looking at is fish,” Wood said.

The wider beam makes the fish targets distinguishable, while the transducer’s low-end frequency allows for users to see deep, and the high frequency shows the top of the water column.

Wood said that the pocket transducer model has been especially appealing for the fiberglass boat market because the transducer is installed in a pocket that sits inside glass hulls.

“They really become integral to the hull. They have proven very popular in go-fast center-console boats, especially in stepped hulls where you really can’t have a transducer aft of the step. This is an opportunity for guys to have really good fishfinder coverage on the CHIRP side but also getting mapping performance in excess of 30 knots. So it’s both a multipurpose and a special purpose transducer,” Wood said.

And while the pocket mount works best in fiberglass boats, the pockets can also be installed in steel or aluminum hulls.

Wood suggested buyers get their orders in early, citing customer interest as well as covid-related supply chain viscosity.

“These have been very well received and, no surprise, they’re on perennial back order,” Wood said.

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Brian Hagenbuch is National Fisherman's products editor, a contributing editor to SeafoodSource and a Bristol Bay fisherman. He is based in Seattle.

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