Humminbird’s Helix series of fish finders are designed to be affordable, compact GPS devices for freshwater anglers. The Helix 5 devices are known for superior display and Down Imaging capabilities. The 600 series takes the same features and tweaks them to be a bit better, but you will have to pay more. Helix 5 series devices are still recommended for budget-minded freshwater anglers. Read this Humminbird Helix 5 DI GPS review to find out more about the gadget and features.
This fish finder comes packed with features, and that can be said upfront. Usually, fish finders with similar or comparable features are far more expensive. It makes this device particularly suitable for beginner or intermediate anglers. When you purchase this fish finder, you will separately get a transducer, a power cable, a swivel transom mount, and an instruction DVD.
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This unit measures in dimensions of 7.55w x 6.64h x 3.3d. If you compare this size to other fish finder models, you’ll notice that this version is smaller. It’s easy to mount and store even on small boats.
This fish finder sports a sleek 5-inch screen. The screen is capable of showing highly detailed and clear images in 256 colors. The resolution, at 480×800, is quite impressive given the size and the price as well. There are self-explanatory controls on the fish finder so using it is quite easy. You can do anything—turn on the device or zoom in a sonar image—using a physical button. No training is needed, but you may have to familiarize yourself with the device to use it accurately.
Sonar and Down Imaging
This fish finder has DualBeam Plus sonar powered up by 4000 watts of PTP power output. So Down Imaging is amazingly precise and sharp. You can get a photograph-like view of objects and activity 350 feet under your boat with this technology. You can capture vegetation, schools of fish, individual bait fish, contours of the underwater terrain, artificial objects and even bail balls with this Down Imaging tech. The image that is projected onto the screen will show the depth of the object you are looking at. The sonar has two frequencies to determine range: 75 degree/455 kHz or 45 degree/800 kHz. The 800kHz settings generate sharper images.
You get traditional type sonar images down to depths of 600 feet using the DualBeam Plus function. You can choose to pick up images of deeply lodged objects in a 28 degree or 16 degree angle. The narrower the beam is, the greater the accuracy. The advantage of Dual Beam is that you can switch between a narrow or wide beam to get either sharp images or scan a larger area in one go.
Sonar images can be viewed on the screen simultaneously for comparison. Users can also steer the boat using sonar and map data at the same time. You can even change the color scheme of the images to get better detail to understand what you are seeing well. You can use features like Freeze Frame and Selective Fish ID to better capture and record discoveries.
The precision GPS chart plotting system of this fish finder is designed mainly to minimize the time you spend angling. You can instantly get location data using the GPS system. The GPS comes with UniMap cartography software to generate extremely detailed and full color 3D chart maps. You can get a better idea of the shape of the land and objects underwater using this superior mapping feature. The device also comes pre-recorded with detailed color versions of lakes and rivers in the U.S.
Overall, you can store up to 2,500 waypoints and designated routes. Capacity can be increased with an external microSD card. The software is routinely updated and you can get them once you register this fish finder on the manufacturer’s website.
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It’s hard not to be anything other than amazed with this fish finder given the affordable price. You can use it in on long boating trips to make angling more accurate. There is almost zero downsides to this device, except perhaps the rather standard mount. This device is easy to use and is brimming with features. If you are on the market for a new fish finder with superior features, this gadget will be a solid investment.