Humminbird Helix 9 SI Sonar with Dual Beam GPS Review
If you love to fish, then you know how valuable a fish finder can be on the water. While there is something to be said for using old-school experience and ingenuity, a finder can help ensure that you never come home empty-handed.
Back in the old days, these devices were fairly unreliable and weren’t able to show you much of anything happening beneath the surface. Fortunately, technology has come a long way since then, and now we have high-tech versions like the Helix 9 SI from Humminbird.
This is one of the better brands out there making fish finders. This company knows how to create high-performance components that can help any fisherman, regardless of his or her skill. So, if you’re interested in a finder that is both user-friendly and highly qualified, see what the Helix 9 SI can do for you.
Table of Contents
9-Inch HD Display
Part of the reason that old fish finder were not that useful is that they could only broadcast black and white images. It was difficult to tell the fish from anything else, which meant that you had to go on some level of faith. Also, the screens were relatively small, so it was just hard to read no matter what.
With the Helix 9 SI, you get an incredible nine-inch high-definition display. It’s in full color, so spotting fish has never been easier. Also, when tracking your progress from above, you can see the terrain in pristine condition. It almost makes the process too simple as it takes all of the guesswork out of fishing.
Finally, the menu options and buttons are super easy to master, so even if you are somewhat tech-illiterate, you shouldn’t have any problems finding what you need.
Side and Down View Imaging
For the most part, fish finders are designed to only scan in one direction. While you can adjust the frequency to make the beam wider or narrower, you are still limited in your options. Fortunately, the Helix 9 SI allows you to get a more comprehensive view of the water surrounding the boat.
With side and down view, you can spot fish close to the surface as well as those near the bottom. When compared to a single-view finder, you’ll notice that everything becomes much more simplified when you see all around you.
Once you find a great fishing spot, you want to be able to navigate back to it quickly. The Helix 9 SI makes this process a breeze since there is a GPS built in. This way, you can not only see your position from above, but you can chart your progress and set waypoints along the route. You can then mark the points however you like, meaning that you can leave notes for your future self.
The other great thing about having a GPS and chart plotting is that you can monitor your progress over time. So, if the fish tend to migrate to certain areas based on the season, you can have a comprehensive map showing where they like to congregate. This will save you a lot of time and hassle out on the water.
Dual Beam Transducer
Considering that the whole point of a fish finder is to locate your next catch, you need a transducer that is up to the challenge. Fortunately, the one that comes with the Helix 9 SI is one of the best, meaning that it will provide accurate results year after year.
Also, because it sends signals in two directions (side and down), you can take your boat to all kinds of waterways. Rivers, lakes, and even the ocean are now much easier to navigate since you have a reliable transducer working for you.
Even though there are plenty of features that come with the Helix 9 SI to make it a worthwhile investment, Humminbird has gone a step further by integrating your boat into the mix. With upgradeable software, you can check on things like your fuel levels, speed, and engine performance as you go along. This way you can see the kind of wear and tear that you’re putting onto your boat and adjust accordingly.
Overall, it’s another reason why Humminbird is one of the best fishfinding brands out there.
What We Liked
- Sleek and elegant design
- Large, easy to read screen
- Side and down imaging for convenience
- Autopilot mode available
- Built-in GPS with speed listing
- Upgradable software for longevity
- Two memory card slots (for cartography and screenshots)
- Autochart function to create your own maps
- Bluetooth remote control
- Boat stats available (fuel consumption, engine performance, etc.)
- Made in the USA
What We Didn’t Like
- More expensive than other models
- Maps and navionics are extra upgrades
- Menu buttons are not as responsive as other models
Is this system compatible with I-Pilot software?
Yes, but you have to get the optional upgrade to allow them to sync together.
Are there maps preinstalled on this device?
Not unless you pay for them. You can download them online, but they do cost extra.
Does this finder come with a mounting bracket? Is it removable?
Yes, there is a bracket and installation components that come with the finder. The device is removable without the bracket.
Are there other languages I can use?
There are a few that are built into the system, such as Spanish or French. For any others, you have to download them online.
If you were to compare the Helix 9 SI to other fishfinders in its class, you would be impressed by how much this model outperforms the competition. While it’s not as high-end as some of the other units by Helix, it provides you with ample features and benefits that make it a fantastic buy.
We like the integrated boat controls, the GPS system, and the remarkable HD screen. Also, we appreciate the fact that you can update and upgrade your software as needed, which means that you won’t have to spend money on another finder. Just update this one, and you’re set for years to come.
Once you see what this device is capable of, you’ll wonder how you managed to find fish without it.