Humminbird Helix 9 Review
Humminbird is a well-known company, so you can hardly go wrong with any of its fish finders. However, the Helix 9 stands out the most thanks to its features, specifications, and ease of use.
The company has been around for ages and is one of the most popular options due to its years of experience and customer support.
The Humminbird Helix 9 is a useful gadget for everyday fishers and hobbyists. It has a large display, side-imaging, down-imaging, and other easy-to-use features that help to deliver the best performance regardless of your experience.
Take a few minutes to discover all about the Helix 9 and its features. We’ll also cover all the pros and cons to make decision-making easier for you.
Pros and Cons:
One of the best things about this Helix 9is that it has many pros and no cons. In other words, we couldn’t find anything we don’t like about it.
Still, that doesn’t mean you might not find a drawback to its performance and usability. In most cases, it depends on what you’re looking for.
This user-friendly fish finder has an excellent depth which is one of the reasons so many people use it. In addition, it makes it easier to use in different waters.
Another excellent thing we should mention is the big, user-friendly display. It’s straightforward to use, even if Humminbird Helix is your first fish finder.
The 360 imaging and dual-beam sonar capabilities add even more to its versatility. It makes it perfect for all fishermen regardless of their experience and target.
A two-card reader is another perk you might find useful when saving maps and points of interest.
At first glance, you’ll notice the Humminbird Helix 9 is rather sleek and compact. This is unusual since 9-inch fish finders are typically bulky.
This Helix measures 13.4×7.15×4.2 inches, so it’s easy to carry around at all times. It’s also lightweight, which helps portability even more.
One of the best things about the Humminbird Helix 9 is that it’s a plug-and-play fish finder. This means you won’t have any trouble with installation since everything takes only a few minutes.
It has two SD card slots, allowing you to add more capacity if you need to. You also get access to AutoChart, providing real-time images and 8 hours of recording time.
The unit is easy to use as it has only a few buttons on the side. As a result, you don’t have to search too long to find whatever option you’re looking for.
Plus, its split-screen feature offers the best clarity and ease of use.
HD Display Screen
The Helix 9 has a 9-inch display and a resolution of 480×800 pixels, and 1,500 light nits. It’s bright and easy to read in all light conditions, so it’s suitable for both night and day.
One of the best things about the display is that it’s glass-bonded. It’s also resistant to glare, which gives it extra durability.
The display is clear and impact-resistant, so it can take a few hits without showing any scratches or damage. It’s excellent if you need a fish finder to use frequently since it can withstand different conditions.
Since it’s large, the display is easy to read regardless of the information you’re looking for or the image you’re looking at. It does get dirty at times, depending on how you use it, but it’s pretty simple to clean with just a cloth.
Although fish finders usually struggle with CPUs, Humminbird Helix comes with an upgraded processor that should prevent this.
It requires quite some power so that the images don’t lag, especially since you’re using it to track living creatures that move relatively fast. For this reason, Humminbird upgraded the process power to keep up with whatever is under the water surface.
The new CPU gives the Helix 9 up to 25% more power, and you’ll notice the difference right away if you ever had a chance to use any other finder.
Plus, this one provides real-time imaging, so it’s unlikely you’ll miss any species regardless of how big or small.
DualBeam Switch Fire
DualBeam Switch Fire is a relatively common feature among all Helix models. It’s a proprietary take on the Time Variable Gain or TVG.
It’s a unique feature that makes changing the image from a broad look to clearer images quite simple. A broad look is where images are sometimes blurry.
Seeing clearer images makes it easier to tell if you’re looking at an object or a live fish. If it’s fish, you’ll be able to tell if it’s big or small.
You get to pick between Max and Clear. The Max option is broad and large at 83kHz, whereas Clear is at 200kHz. Both are pretty easy to change, depending on your particular needs at a time.
Max is often more suitable for deep waters because Clear doesn’t have the strongest signal to go deep.
Chirp Imaging is a standard feature you can find in all the Helix 9 models. It was first used as a military GPS feature before being added to fish finders and other GPS devices.
It’s a handy feature that offers the clearest images by bouncing different waves. This way, you’re getting readings from more than just one type of pulse.
As a result, the readings are clear and perfect for seeing exactly what’s lying under the depths. As we said, it’s a common feature, so this is nothing new for Helix 9. Nonetheless, these clear images make a huge difference.
Dual SD Card Slots
As we said at the beginning of this Humminbird Helix 9 review, this fish finder features dual SD slots. This is always helpful to have, but even more so if you’re going to use it rather frequently.
It’s a handy feature because it lets you save more maps and points of interest without running out of storage space.
The good thing is that you don’t have to use two SD cards. However, you’ll need at least one, so add another if you need additional capacity for a longer trip.
This makes it easy to transfer data from Helix 9 to your computer. Simply remove the cards and use a card reader to move stuff from one device to another.
GPS and Navigation
All Helix 9 models have GPS capabilities, so there’s not much change with this one. GPS and navigation prevent you from getting lost while also allowing you to see what’s around you.
This is always useful to have when you’re navigating a territory that’s unfamiliar to you. In addition, you’re getting the basic GPS capabilities and data on how quickly you’re moving.
Its GPS and navigation functions allow you to program 45 different routes and up to 2,750 waypoints. As a result, it’s quite useful for both beginners and avid anglers.
Power, Depth, and Frequencies
Helix 9 has excellent depth, wattage, and frequency apart from having the CPU boost we mentioned. It has a transmit power of 500W along with a peak-by-peak of 4,000W. Its sonar alone transfers between 83 and 200 kHz for 2D images and 455kHz for down imaging.
The depth goes to 600 ft. for most 2D images and 35 ft. for side imaging. It’s meant to give you a clear view of whatever is swimming around you. This way, you can determine with more certainty if it’s worth stopping or you’re better off moving along.
Mega Down/Side Imaging
Side-imaging and down-imaging are meant to give you a clear view of what’s lurking under the surface. Side-imaging offers a 180° plane, allowing you to see what you can find right and left of your boat, but not underneath it.
Down-imaging gives you a view similar to what you’d get from your point of view. It’s designed to provide exceptionally clear images, so there’s no mistake about what’s below your boat. You’ll be able to spot fish or any other object down there.
One thing to keep in mind is that not all Helix 9 models have these features. For example, Si GPS models have side-imaging while Di models have down-imaging, so look for that in the name.
Only two out of four Helix 9 fish finders have this imaging. The Humminbird Helix 9 Si is among the most popular out of the entire line.
Helix G3N vs. Helix G4N
Humminbird came out with a new finder of the Helix 9 line called the Humminbird Helix 9 G4N. It has many new features and improvements, but many wonder about the exact difference between the G3N and G4N.
The new Helix 9 has the well-known, powerful Mega Imaging for both down-imaging and side-imaging. This boosts the clarity and depth of imaging even more than what we saw in the G3N models.
Another thing worth noting is the dual spectrum CHIRP and built-in GPS that connects with the company’s basemap, offering information on more than 10,000 US lakes.
This works with Navionics, offering 360° imaging, but you get that with both models.
Although many of these features are standard for the G4N, they weren’t standard for the G3N. One of the differences is that the G4N has WiFi connectivity, Bluetooth, and Ethernet port, whereas G3N didn’t have WiFi.
G4N Helix 9 has premium maps, LakeMaster, and CoastMaster charts, too. In addition, it gives you more power and frequencies than the G3N.
Final Thoughts on Humminbird Helix 9 Review
The Helix 9 line of fish finders is packed with excellent models that can help any fishermen. The base model alone is relatively easy to use and has many features you’ll find helpful.
Other finders offer more outstanding features like down-imaging, side-imaging, more power, better clarity, depth, WiFi, and more.
The Helix line is meant for all fishermen regardless of their experience and how much time they spend fishing.
Each Helix 9 model is designed to provide you with everything you need to spot, even the tiniest fish and objects in the water around you. Of course, which one you’ll choose depends entirely on your preferences and needs.