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2017 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: VHF Radios, what do you use?  (Read 1794 times)

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Ad

  • Sand Dab
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I'm thinking about picking up a Cobra VHF Radio... I'm trying to stay under $100. What do you all use and how has it been working out for you?

http://www.amazon.com/Cobra-Compact-Waterproof-Handheld-Channels/dp/B00126K8BM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1342019324&sr=8-1&keywords=cobra+waterproof+radio


CGN-38

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 :smt006

  This subject has been covered, try a search, lots of informtion will come up.  Having mentioned that, I would recommend getting one that floats, or get a float capable of keeping the radio on the surface,for one you do get if it doesn't float.  At a minimum, have a clip on it's leash and use it. 
   Some units now have gps and if you get into trouble, a simple push of a button sends your location to CG.
  Others will chime in soon....


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FishingForTheCure

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AD...  A lot of it somes down to how much you want to spend and what type of quality you want.  The cheaper units may only be water resistant or poor waterproof quality which then means your spending another $20 for a good waterproof pouch.  Look for a radio with a JIS Waterproof rating (military spec).  Drop by the West Mari ne in Rocklin and talk to Scott (if he is still the manager there).  I have the older West Marine VHF 250 and am happy with it.  Compact, GREAT battery life and has VHF, AM, FM, FRS and Aviation channels built in.  Other radios also have the GPS feature which can be nice in an emergency.  There are a number of radios out there that are PROVEN GREAT radios if you are willing to spend a little more.  West Marine, Standard Horizon & ICOM to name a few....


Mienboy

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i have a standard horizon.whichever one you get make sure it floats.i was busy about worrying about price and that its submersable i didnt even bother to check if it floats,well mine doesnt i thought it did :smt012
My biggest worry is that my wife(when I'm dead)will sell my fishing gear for what I said I paid for it


FishingForTheCure

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Good point ... floating is a bonus! :smt044


ken jan

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I had a cobra, mic failed, I do not recommend that brand.

I got myself a standard Horizon.  Much better all around!
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 09:56:23 AM by ken jan »


Ad

  • Sand Dab
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Thanks for all the real good info! I will stop by the West Marine in Rocklin and check out the ones you recommended. Thanks again!  :smt006


Lee

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The standard horizon hx290 runs $130 and floats.  My fiancée uses that model.  I have the hx 851 with gps and oh shit button.  The only thing that I've had trouble with is the submersible microphone.  It took a few waves to the face on a 5 foot swell surf launch, and stopped working.  Works intermittently now.  I bought unit and microphone second hand, and now the separate Mic never leaves the garage.

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FishingForTheCure

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I'll chime in again ...  I have the mic (made by Uniden) for my W.M. VHF 250 and it failed too...  seems to be a common theme among the micraphones by all manufacturers.  The ONLY one that I have great experience with under harsh conditions in the ICOM stuff (10 years working with West Marine, you see ALL the faulty stuff).  The ICOM seems to have it together when it comes to HARD CORE quality since they were/are the chosen manufacturer of the US Military for their marine radios with JIS ratings.


EWB

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-1 on the cobra as well....failed as soon as it got wet. I use a standard horizon. I have a small section of bungee that attaches it to my PFD.  Why would you NOT have it attached to you. If you happen to fall in and get separated from the boat the only think floating (away) will be your yak AND radio.
-Eric Berg


FishingForTheCure

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... if you do go by W.M. in Rockin and Scott is there there, tell him Bill from Stockton/Fresno says HI :smt006

Haven't seen him in years since I left the company.  First clue he's there will be a blue Corvette in the parking lot.  TRUST me, the pay isn't great!   :smt044


LoletaEric

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I had a Uniden for a few years and it was solid - until I failed to notice that the waterproof pouch I got with it had a hole, so condensation got in there and killed it.  Oops.   :smt009

Since that one died I got two Cobra models - the one you showed a link to ($50 out the door and works very well if it's not broken...) and a larger, floatable one.  BOTH have had the speaker die, and I sent both in at different times to get them fixed on warranty.  Cobra honored the warranty and now I have both units working fine - I make sure to not let them get wet.  I agree that having a more reliable unit is a priority, and I need to get one like the ICOM or SH or another Uniden.  For a backup though, you cannot beat $50 out the door for that little Cobra.
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FishingForTheCure

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I love the FRS frequency on mine so I can chat with family/friends on the beach, etc. and not tie up a VHF line with chatter.


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I'm new to kayak fishing and my first VHF radio was the West Marine VHF155, which you should avoid---IMHO, it's got a serious design flaw. See my comments here:
http://www.norcalkayakanglers.com/index.php?topic=38619.msg417525#msg417525

I replaced that one with the Standard Horizon HX751 (about $150). This one seems to be a keeper. I haven't used it a lot, but it's taken some abuse already (for example, I crash-landed on the beach returning from my last outing) and is still in brand-new condition.
Len Tukwila, Driftwood Sculptor


FishingForTheCure

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Not too sure about the 155.  It came out after I left the company.  My 250 has a clip holding in the battery but it is tough as nails.  The new SH seem to be good radios from what I've seen.