Serious Tools for Serious Saltwater Anglers
With the recent rollout of Raymarine’s Axiom 2 Pro multifunction displays, serious anglers and guides such as Florida captain George Gozdz can rig a dream suite of fishing electronics. Aboard his new Caymas 281HB, Gozdz—who also hosts the Unfathomed fishing show—runs two 12-inch Axiom 2 Pro units, a 4-foot open-array Raymarine Cyclone Pro radar, and a FLIR M300C visible-light camera.
“The ease of use of the Axiom 2 Pro is one of the things I like most about these units,” Gozdz says. “The speed of the processing is super-fast. I’ve also noticed a nice improvement in the sonar capabilities, especially the SideVision clarity.”
This second generation of the Axiom Pro features a six-core processor, compared with the four-core chips used for most marine displays. “To put a number on it, the Axiom 2 Pro is 40 percent faster than the previous version,” says Jim McGowan, Raymarine/FLIR marketing manager. “To users it’s very responsive. You’d almost think it has a premonition about what you want. Tap a link, and boom—it’s there.”
The new Axioms come in 9-, 12- and 16-inch sizes, and in two versions: Axiom 2 Pro S and Axiom 2 Pro RVM. Most anglers like Gozdz gravitate toward the RVM (RealVision Max) model, which includes built-in CHIRP DownVision, SideVision, RealVision 3D and traditional sonar.
Raymarine bumped up the RVM’s performance, increasing its ping rate 25 percent, which translates to better detail and clarity. Larger elements in the high-frequency CHIRP transducer also deliver increased sensitivity and a better footprint of the bottom. RealMax features 600 watts of power, but the RVM model also comes with a 1 kW dual-channel CHIRP fish finder. Anglers can expect to see targets at depths of 1,200 feet.
To his RVM units, Gozdz has networked his Cyclone Pro radar. The 4-foot open array is paired with a 110-watt transmitter. “I went with this unit because of its ability to find birds,” he says. “I spend a decent amount of time in the Bahamas hunting yellowfin tuna, and having a radar that can find birds is a must for a successful day.”
McGowan says that the unit’s bird mode has picked up flyers as far away as 6 miles. The solid-state pulse-compression system can function in Doppler tracking mode while also in bird mode, which means approaching birds track in one color while birds moving away track in another, making them easier to spot.
Gozdz rounds out his electronics suite with FLIR’s M300C visible-light camera. In fact, he uses the camera to film his fishing show. “The M300C, I think, is a great value option for inshore and nearshore navigation, where there’s some visible light present. The amount of light the camera can take in, along with the clarity and zoom features, is incredible.”
In fact, this nonthermal FLIR needs only the slightest amount of ambient light to pick up targets. It switches from color to black-and-white modes in minimal light conditions, and it comes with pan, tilt and zoom, as well as gyro-stabilization.
The M300C costs $6,995; the 4-foot Cyclone Pro costs $8,999.99; and the Axiom 2 Pro RVN ranges in price from $3,049.99 to $6,449.99.
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