on August 30, 2008
The Eagle Cuda 168 is a portable fish finder that runs on 8AA batteries. It features a plastic carrying case with a suction cup transducer mount. For the money, this fish finder works extremely well. It has a number of features that allows the user to customize their individual set ups. There are a few things to note when using this fish finder. It has a manual scroll speed feature, which when left on Max setting, moves (refreshes) so quickly that when you are using the Fish ID and Fish Tracking features it is difficult to read the individual depths over the fish. I turned the scroll speed down to 75%, which alleviated this small issue. It is also important to keep in mind, when you are trolling a lake or river, you will not be travelling at speeds over 2-4 mph, so adjusting the scroll refresh rate will not be a problem. The suction cup transducer can be tricky if not properly placed. It is best to wet the suction cup and the area it will be mounted to PRIOR to lauching your boat. This allows you to ensure the transducer is fastened in proper location and at the proper angle to the water. Also, the transducer bracket includes a "safety" cord which when attached to the boat and the mount prevents the transducer from being sucked into the motor prop if the transducer becomes dislodged from the transom. The suction cup must be mounted on a smooth surface to allow for proper "seating". On some boats, with irregular shaped or "lumpy" transoms (rivets, or other imperfections), this can be overcome with a piece of flat 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" metal, aluminum, or steel, that has been "glued" to the transom with marine adhesive/silicon. This solves any problems without having to drill holes in your boat and makes future placement of the transducer a breeze, since you already have the mounting plate in place.
What I do not like about the unit is it doesn't come with a speed reading capability, which really would be nice if you are using a Jon Boat or Utility boat with a tiller steered motor. I don't particularly care for the small numbers over the fish symbols with the fish tracking feature, as the numbers can be too small to read from a distance of 3-4 feet away, and the portable case will not hold the suction cup transducer and the base unit all in one package. I rectified this small annoyance with purchasing a small cheap laptop case for under 15 dollars to store all of the components in. One other thing that I didn't like is the viewing screen is tall, not wide, which makes viewing a bit more difficult. But you can get used to this, especially if it is your first fish finder.
All in all this is a good unit. It will put you on the fish in your favorite or unfamiliar lake or river. The unit will function at speeds up to 70 mph so the instructions say, but I wouldn't know about that. My 12 hp motor is lucky to see speeds of 12 1/2 mph, which the unit was able to keep up with. Light weight and portable are the major selling points of this unit, and well worth consideration on a limited budget.
on March 21, 2009
The Cuda 168 combines real portability with highly functional sonar capabilities. We use these units primarily on remote fishing trips in Canada and find them very useful the deep and highly structured lakes in which we fish. They are very portable and travel well in their stowed position, even on portages. They will run for several days on the AA bateries as well. Great product for our purposes. I give it my highest recommendation for use in these conditions.