I used to have a cheap antenna that I got at dept store and it worked ok at best. I recently invested in good co-ax and a 4ft adjustable Firestik and tuned it properly with a SWR meter. This difference is night and day for clarity and range.
I have a 3ft long top loaded K40 antenna on a 5" magnetic base. It works fine for a few miles coverage.
My CB is a Cobra, and has a built in SWR calibration unit. I usually don't even have to touch the antenna, just tune the swr vs what my antenna is at on the radio. Works perfectly. Tune on channels 1, 20, and 40, with 20 being most important.
i've searched quite extensively, and have found tons of stuff. I'm not all that savvy when it comes to CB and HAM. I plan on putting both in my cruiser. I could go to that shack place and pick something up, but i'm not into replacing things all the time, whats a reliable setup? What all do i need?
For something inexpensive on the CB side, the Uniden 510 or 520 are nice little units. The Radio Trash unit is very similar to these. I've been happy with my 520. I put a wilson 5000 mag mount with it. Lots of guys have gone with the smaller wilson as well and are very happy.