VHF radio - reviews wanted please

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User avatar
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:48 am
Kayak Make: Phoenix
Kayak Model: Hornet
Location: Whangaparaoa

Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:31 pm

Not so much a review but a request for reviews or at least some input/feedback on peoples experience with the radios they actually use, have used, liked, didnt like.

I'm looking to purchase my first Radio. I do mainly inshore kayak fishing but possibly eventually prob going to be in a reload pushing out further.

So wanting some advice on what are good options.

My initial inexperienced options would be

- waterproof
- floats
- Possibly GPS built in
- 5 watt power or at least one that ramps up to 5 watts
- would rather not have to sell one of the children to buy it. (explaining to the wife would be....tricky)

have no experience with radios so not sure what other options I should be aware of

All opinions welcome.


User avatar
Uncle Mole
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:15 pm
Kayak Make: Viking
Kayak Model: Profish GT
Location: Auckland

Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:37 pm


I had a very similar list of requirements and did a bit of research and ended up with a Uniden MHS245. Its waterproof, floats, has GPS, can ramp up to 6 watts but is pretty clear running on 1 watt, and for $250 from Burnsco I only had to sell one of my kids. I tend to fish in the inner harbour in Auckland, never too far from shore.

I've only had it since Christmas and so have only taken it out a handful of times and fortunately haven't had any reason to use it in anger, but I've found listening to the calls interesting and comforting in a way.

Things I like:
Simple to set up and use
Can be configured with MMSI number
Big power boost if needed
Has strobe light built in

Things I don't like:
Its quite big
The belt clip isn't great
GPS functionality is of limited use (although I believe your position is sent automatically should you send a destress message)

I looked at other radios but found this met my needs. If I was to look again then I might not bother with GPS.

Posts: 896
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:35 pm
Kayak Make: CLC boats
Kayak Model: Sea Island Sport
VHF Call Sign: ZMW5652
Location: Pukekohe

Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:13 pm

Waterproof is not an option - its mandatory! Look for a JIS-8 rating.
5W is also mandatory.
Floating is not really necessary, as you should have your radio tied to your PFD.

I've had a Lowrance LHR20 for about 8 years - still going strong.
Electronics : its still magic, even when you know how its done.

User avatar
Posts: 2609
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:03 pm
Location: Northland

Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:42 pm

I have a Cobra HH350. The belt clip broke within warranty period and no one was willing to help. I never really trusted it in terms of reception, so took the opportunity to upgrade. I got an Icom M73-21 which is pretty flash, but reception no better! I think it’s the geography of my local area. Kept the Cobra as a backup. I would say both are fine, but expect the belt clip pin on the Cobra to rust and break at some point. Because of the design, it’s not something that you can repair easily, so you’ll have to fork out $35 every couple of years to replace it.

Posts: 218
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:28 pm
Kayak Make: Ocean Kayak
Kayak Model: Frenzy-4.1 Ultra
VHF Call Sign: ZMU 5277
Location: Ramarama

Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:56 pm

After 3 different Unidens i've just changed to icom IC-M25, Lithium Ion battery is a big plus for me, probably says too much about my fishing ability :tmi:
<*))))><.... <*))))><....

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