Humminbird Piranhamax 197C DI Fish Finder Review – Worth The Investment?

If you’re familiar with fish finders these days, you’ve probably seen some ultra high-tech models out there that come with a slew of features. From massive touchscreens to downloadable apps, there doesn’t seem to be any limit to how much they can do.

However, do you really have the budget for something like that? High-end finders can easily run over a grand these days, which means that you have to be really serious about fishing to make that kind of investment.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be rich to get the benefits of a finder. The Piranhamax 197c DI from Humminbird isn’t as flashy as some of the other units out there, but it does what it’s supposed to do (find fish), and it does it for a lot less than the competition.

So, if you’re on a budget, but you still want a high-tech device for your next fishing trip, see what the Piranhamax 197c can do for you.

Humminbird Piranhamax 197c di

Full-Color 3.5-Inch Screen

Unless you have really poor eyesight, the smaller screen provides just enough detail for you to see what’s going on clearly and effectively. In 3.5 inches, you can see everything that’s happening beneath your boat, which will ensure that you come home with a catch of the day (or two or three).

The great thing about the screen is that it displays in full color (for easier differentiation) and it’s high-definition. Also, it’s backlit, meaning that you can read the signals in both direct sunlight and at night.

Dual Beam Sonar

Part of the reason that we know that something like the Piranhamax is just as good as the higher end models is that it uses the same kind of sonar. Humminbird utilizes single and dual-beam options to provide you with a more comprehensive system.

Also Read: Best Fish Finders Under $500 – Unbiased Reviews & Buying Guide

With a single beam, you can scan up to 320 feet below you. With both beams, that depth jumps to 600 feet. This makes the Piranhamax 197c ideal for most waterways, lakes, and even the ocean. Since the housing is waterproof, you don’t have to worry about saltwater damaging the internal components (although you may have to get a different transducer).

Intuitive Menu Options

Another reason that we really like the Piranhamax 197c is that it still comes with a ton of high-quality features that make finding fish a breeze. Although we would prefer for it to include GPS, these are some of the systems that you can access.

● Fish ID: locate your next catch without having to guess what it is
● Fish alarms: instead of gluing yourself to the screen, let the alarm alert you when something is detected
● Zoom: once you’ve located a prime spot, see what’s happening more clearly
● Depth alarms: make sure that you’re fishing in the best possible area by monitoring how deep the water goes
● Water temperature: some fish prefer warmer or colder waters, so pay attention

Overall, with all of these features, you will be pleasantly surprised by how capable and how reliable this finder is, even with a smaller screen.

Humminbird Piranhamax 197c di


  • Durable construction
  • Easy to read screen
  • Comprehensive menu controls
  • Downscan imaging
  • Flexible mounting bracket
  • Waterproof model
  • Depth range of 320-600 feet
  • Dual beam for increased strength
  • Cost-effective design
  • Tilting mount for convenience
  • Backlit display visible in sunlight
  • Fish and depth alarms


  • Screen may be too small for some users
  • In some instances, the alarm may sound unexpectedly


  • Does this finder come with a transducer?
  • Yes, everything you need to find fish is included with this set.
  • Does the unit show you additional data, like water temperature and boat speed?
  • Although this model does highlight water temps, it doesn’t provide your speed, unfortunately.
  • Can I change the readings to metric (Celsius, meters, etc.)?
  • Yes, there is a menu option that enables you to switch back and forth between the two.

Final Verdict

Unless you have some pressing need to go for a deluxe high-end fish finder, we think that the Piranhamax 197c has everything you need to make your next trip a success. The only major downside is the lack of GPS, but if you bring one along, then you’re covered.

First of all, we appreciate the comprehensive features that are included with this device. Secondly, we love the price, considering how expensive fish finders can be these days. Overall, if you’re just looking for something simple and effective, this is the model for you.

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David Valle

I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable fishing experience. I deliver more than fishing gear guides, and motivate people to hit the water!