TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


By DanS
#2247701
What wattage do most of your VHF radios have? I won't be going BTB frequently, but I would like to go out every once and a while and be safe and able to communicate with others on the water. It seems like the higher the wattage, the more expensive the radio. I've read a few reviews that said 2.5W will give you a range of 5 miles or so, but I have no idea if that's true. Five miles seems like plenty of range.
Also, side question, if anyone is wanting to upgrade their radio, I'm in the market for one, please let me know.
By DanS
#2247735
Thanks heatstroke! Do you usually use it on the 5w setting or 1?
User avatar
By kickingback
#2247765
I have the HX300. Mine is as it was out of box. Don't know if it's high or low but I have had no issues contacting the Coast Guard BTB once and talking to friends on 69 at least 4 miles away. I hardly ever have to charge it as well. It lasts forever!
User avatar
By earthshipman
#2247787
I have had an HX290 for about 4 years now. It is good but not perfect. Yes it is waterproof but try to keep it dry. Once I could transmit but hardly receive because water was dampening the sound out of the speaker. Be sure to take the battery off, rinse with fresh water and store separately out of the heat. I neglected to do so and had to buy a new battery this year.
User avatar
By titanic2
#2247794
Anyone not use theirs anymore and would like to sell me one? :D I have no problem with used if it works fine!
User avatar
By Heatstroke
#2247796
titanic2 wrote:Anyone not use theirs anymore and would like to sell me one? :D I have no problem with used if it works fine!


Hahaha

That hx300 is $99 and you get a $20 mail in rebate.. soooo $79 for a nice new unit aint bad!!
By Yakety_Yak
#2247840
Heatstroke wrote:
titanic2 wrote:Anyone not use theirs anymore and would like to sell me one? :D I have no problem with used if it works fine!


Hahaha

That hx300 is $99 and you get a $20 mail in rebate.. soooo $79 for a nice new unit aint bad!!



Don't skimp out on price as this is something that is supposed to save your life when you need it. If you pay less just to save a few bucks, you may end up learning a hard lesson down the line. There are three models I would suggest you keep your eye on: Standard Horizon, ICOM, and Uniden. Those are not listed in any kind of order. Other name brands I would stay away from. Some people like to use Cobra which can be found at Academy but I have seen many times where this has come back to bite them. I could get into the issues with Cobra but I will stick with the name brands I have listed.

The five things you want to look for in a good quality radio are:

1) needs to float
2) needs to be water proof
3) needs to have a good range (min 5 miles)
4) needs to have NOAA weather radio
5) needs to have a good battery life from charged to drain each use

I personally have a Standard Horizon HX300. Sometimes people will get the HX290 just to save a few bucks but the reason why I went with the HX300 instead of the HX290 is because the HX300 has a longer battery life than the HX290. I have been known to hit the water at sunrise in the summer (6:30 am) and not be off the water until as late as 7:00 pm. With that being said, many radios won't last that long in a day. The HX300 has survived all day for me. I've had a few friends roll on a BTB trip with me and they had to turn off their radio later in the day until the trip back to conserve on battery. At that point, they would just stay close fishing for communication purposes. Those few people have HX290 radios. Don't get me wrong, the HX290 is a good radio (especially if you are doing just a HI run). It just has a little less of a battery life span in a use than the HX300.

Now of days, the HX300 is not that expensive as they used to be awhile back. As you have found, after discount the radio becomes the cost of a Cobra. This is awesome and I wish this option would of been available to me back in the day, lol. I would of snagged it up in a heartbeat.

I've had to use my radio twice to call coast guard of which the radio worked both times. Both times I was fishing out at Surfside. The first time I was approximately 3 - 4 miles out and the second time I was around 9 miles out (I was just barely in state waters). Both times boats almost hit me and I reported it to the coast guard as the situation was happening. The first time I was in my Outback (fishing with a group but we were all spread out) and the second time I was in my TI. The time I was in my TI, Living Waters was with me. I don't want to get into this story right now because I would be getting away from the topic at hand which is VHF radios.

I've obviously used the radio for non emergency use on channel 69. This is great to have as there have been times where people can communicate to each other to help others out in regards to there location as they are on fish. Others may not be having as much luck and so everyone moves to that location to share in the wealth of fun. Of course who doesn't love jumping on the radio as the sweet sound of the reel goes off screaming and you say "FISH ON!!"

I hope the five items I've listed has helped you to pick a good quality radio. It sounds like you are looking at a HX300 and that certainly is a good choice to pick (and you found it at a great price as a bonus)! If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to post or you can give me a call, Dan. Until then, tight lines!
By DanS
#2247843
As always you go above and beyond to help us Newbies,. Thanks Yakety_Yak!
By Yakety_Yak
#2247853
Dan, if you happen to see the link to the mail in rebate, can you post up on here so that others can take advantage of that. Thanks.
User avatar
By Heatstroke
#2247900
Yakety_Yak wrote:
Heatstroke wrote:
titanic2 wrote:Anyone not use theirs anymore and would like to sell me one? :D I have no problem with used if it works fine!


Hahaha

That hx300 is $99 and you get a $20 mail in rebate.. soooo $79 for a nice new unit aint bad!!



Don't skimp out on price as this is something that is supposed to save your life when you need it. If you pay less just to save a few bucks, you may end up learning a hard lesson down the line. There are three models I would suggest you keep your eye on: Standard Horizon, ICOM, and Uniden. Those are not listed in any kind of order. Other name brands I would stay away from. Some people like to use Cobra which can be found at Academy but I have seen many times where this has come back to bite them. I could get into the issues with Cobra but I will stick with the name brands I have listed.

The five things you want to look for in a good quality radio are:

1) needs to float
2) needs to be water proof
3) needs to have a good range (min 5 miles)
4) needs to have NOAA weather radio
5) needs to have a good battery life from charged to drain each use

I personally have a Standard Horizon HX300. Sometimes people will get the HX290 just to save a few bucks but the reason why I went with the HX300 instead of the HX290 is because the HX300 has a longer battery life than the HX290. I have been known to hit the water at sunrise in the summer (6:30 am) and not be off the water until as late as 7:00 pm. With that being said, many radios won't last that long in a day. The HX300 has survived all day for me. I've had a few friends roll on a BTB trip with me and they had to turn off their radio later in the day until the trip back to conserve on battery. At that point, they would just stay close fishing for communication purposes. Those few people have HX290 radios. Don't get me wrong, the HX290 is a good radio (especially if you are doing just a HI run). It just has a little less of a battery life span in a use than the HX300.

Now of days, the HX300 is not that expensive as they used to be awhile back. As you have found, after discount the radio becomes the cost of a Cobra. This is awesome and I wish this option would of been available to me back in the day, lol. I would of snagged it up in a heartbeat.

I've had to use my radio twice to call coast guard of which the radio worked both times. Both times I was fishing out at Surfside. The first time I was approximately 3 - 4 miles out and the second time I was around 9 miles out (I was just barely in state waters). Both times boats almost hit me and I reported it to the coast guard as the situation was happening. The first time I was in my Outback (fishing with a group but we were all spread out) and the second time I was in my TI. The time I was in my TI, Living Waters was with me. I don't want to get into this story right now because I would be getting away from the topic at hand which is VHF radios.

I've obviously used the radio for non emergency use on channel 69. This is great to have as there have been times where people can communicate to each other to help others out in regards to there location as they are on fish. Others may not be having as much luck and so everyone moves to that location to share in the wealth of fun. Of course who doesn't love jumping on the radio as the sweet sound of the reel goes off screaming and you say "FISH ON!!"

I hope the five items I've listed has helped you to pick a good quality radio. It sounds like you are looking at a HX300 and that certainly is a good choice to pick (and you found it at a great price as a bonus)! If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to post or you can give me a call, Dan. Until then, tight lines!


I don't know about saving a few bucks by buying the HX290 over the HX300 cause the 290 (as does the unit that replaced it) actually cost more than the 300 on thegpsstore web site when I bought my two 290's. Then again we're only talkin a $10 difference.

I've seen Cobras make one trip and quit.
User avatar
By titanic2
#2247958
Yakety_Yak wrote:
Heatstroke wrote:
titanic2 wrote:Anyone not use theirs anymore and would like to sell me one? :D I have no problem with used if it works fine!


Hahaha

That hx300 is $99 and you get a $20 mail in rebate.. soooo $79 for a nice new unit aint bad!!



Don't skimp out on price as this is something that is supposed to save your life when you need it. If you pay less just to save a few bucks, you may end up learning a hard lesson down the line. There are three models I would suggest you keep your eye on: Standard Horizon, ICOM, and Uniden. Those are not listed in any kind of order. Other name brands I would stay away from. Some people like to use Cobra which can be found at Academy but I have seen many times where this has come back to bite them. I could get into the issues with Cobra but I will stick with the name brands I have listed.

The five things you want to look for in a good quality radio are:

1) needs to float
2) needs to be water proof
3) needs to have a good range (min 5 miles)
4) needs to have NOAA weather radio
5) needs to have a good battery life from charged to drain each use

I personally have a Standard Horizon HX300. Sometimes people will get the HX290 just to save a few bucks but the reason why I went with the HX300 instead of the HX290 is because the HX300 has a longer battery life than the HX290. I have been known to hit the water at sunrise in the summer (6:30 am) and not be off the water until as late as 7:00 pm. With that being said, many radios won't last that long in a day. The HX300 has survived all day for me. I've had a few friends roll on a BTB trip with me and they had to turn off their radio later in the day until the trip back to conserve on battery. At that point, they would just stay close fishing for communication purposes. Those few people have HX290 radios. Don't get me wrong, the HX290 is a good radio (especially if you are doing just a HI run). It just has a little less of a battery life span in a use than the HX300.

Now of days, the HX300 is not that expensive as they used to be awhile back. As you have found, after discount the radio becomes the cost of a Cobra. This is awesome and I wish this option would of been available to me back in the day, lol. I would of snagged it up in a heartbeat.

I've had to use my radio twice to call coast guard of which the radio worked both times. Both times I was fishing out at Surfside. The first time I was approximately 3 - 4 miles out and the second time I was around 9 miles out (I was just barely in state waters). Both times boats almost hit me and I reported it to the coast guard as the situation was happening. The first time I was in my Outback (fishing with a group but we were all spread out) and the second time I was in my TI. The time I was in my TI, Living Waters was with me. I don't want to get into this story right now because I would be getting away from the topic at hand which is VHF radios.

I've obviously used the radio for non emergency use on channel 69. This is great to have as there have been times where people can communicate to each other to help others out in regards to there location as they are on fish. Others may not be having as much luck and so everyone moves to that location to share in the wealth of fun. Of course who doesn't love jumping on the radio as the sweet sound of the reel goes off screaming and you say "FISH ON!!"

I hope the five items I've listed has helped you to pick a good quality radio. It sounds like you are looking at a HX300 and that certainly is a good choice to pick (and you found it at a great price as a bonus)! If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to post or you can give me a call, Dan. Until then, tight lines!


Just ordered my hx300 thanks blake!
User avatar
By kickingback
#2247959
Awesome!
You will not be sorry!
I have mine on my NRS Chinook life vest all the time I am on the water, no matter where I am.
By Yakety_Yak
#2247960
Heatstroke wrote:I don't know about saving a few bucks by buying the HX290 over the HX300 cause the 290 (as does the unit that replaced it) actually cost more than the 300 on thegpsstore web site when I bought my two 290's. Then again we're only talkin a $10 difference.

I've seen Cobras make one trip and quit.


I'm not sure why yours cost more at the time you bought it than the 300 but when I checked the prices when I bought mine, I noticed the 300 was slightly more than the 290. No telling what goes on in all that. I agree with you on the Cobra thing. I've seen the same thing.


titanic2 wrote:Just ordered my hx300 thanks blake!


Happy to help! :)
User avatar
By OrangeQuest
#2247964
Just remember that the radios all work on a line of sight bases regardless of the power. When in large swells you could have hard time communicating with others. Also when in busy areas with a lot of boat traffic you can sometimes make contact with other boats, not just kayakers. If out in the gulf and a boat is in your area doesn't hurt to try and make contact with them to make sure they can see you as they approach. Not saying a asshat in a high speed boat is listening but the USCG will be.
By yangjianhunt
#2248231
I have searched the forum and found many old posts say that the standard horizon and qualcomm are reliable brands.
The qualcomm is much smaller than the HX300 which is a bit bulky, if care about the size of the unit. I bought a HX300 due to its cheaper price but haven't got a chance to use it yet.
User avatar
By Prof. Salt
#2248236
OrangeQuest wrote:Just remember that the radios all work on a line of sight bases regardless of the power. When in large swells you could have hard time communicating with others.


^^^^this. You need line of sight with these radios, and in Saturday's heavy swells it was difficult to receive meaningful messages from three miles out. There was enough power, but it was cutting in and out with the swells. Once I was inshore of the larger swells radio traffic came through clean.
By DanS
#2248258
Thank you everyone for your responses! I had no idea about the line of sight rule. Sounds like the HX300 is one of the best options out there right now.

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