Humminbird Helix 9 CHIRP MEGA Si+ GPS G3N Fish Finder Review

Looking to find fish and make the most of your time spent out on a boat? In the market for a new fish finder? Consider the HELIX 9 CHIRP MEGA SI+ GPS G3N fish finder by Humminbird. This finder is part of the third generation of the HELIX family and features new technologies to help anglers find and locate fish and fish-holding structures. The HELIX 9 uses a combination of sonar, imaging, mapping, and navigation to improve your fishing experience.

Here are a few specs and special features of this HELIX 9 model at a glance:

Specs 

  • Standard dimensions: 12” W x 7 H” x 4.13” D
  • Display size: 9”
  • Display pixel matrix: 1024H x 600V
  • Standard sonar: MEGA Side Imaging+, MEGA Down Imaging+, Dual Spectrum CHIRP
  • Sonar depth: 1,200’ (standard transducer)
  • Side Imaging+ range: 200’
  • Down Imaging+ depth: 200’

Special Features 

  • MEGA Side Imaging+
  • MEGA Down Imaging+
  • Dual Spectrum CHIRP
  • SwitchFire Sonar
  • Humminbird Basemap Built-in
  • AutoChart Live
  • Ethernet Networking
  • Bluetooth
  • LakeMaster Compatible
  • Navionics Compatible

General Details

The interface is keyboard controlled so there’s no need to worry about smudging up a touch screen There’s no need to copiously search through menus to find a setting or feature since the finder is operated using buttons to the right of the display screen. For convenience, users can input three presets for the screens they use most often.

This finder’s Bluetooth connectivity not only allows users to keep their phones dry, but it allows users to download software updates when available, ensuring the finder is always running to the best of Humminbird’s ability. Additionally, multiple Humminbird units can be linked to provide ultimate connectivity using their five-port ethernet switch. Networkable! 

No need to worry if you’ve never installed a fish finder on your boat before– the instructions Hummingbird provides are clear and easy to follow.

PROS: The Best Features of the HELIX 9

MEGA Side Imaging+

This unit provides crystal-clear images of your surroundings out to 200 feet on each side. After all, what’s the use of having a finder if what it displays isn’t in good resolution? The MEGA Side Imaging+ feature provides 20% more detail than MEGA Side Imaging Sonar. This finder is both bright enough and large enough to see details clearly from any part of your boat at any time of day.

MEGA Down Imaging+

Like the MEGA Side Imaging+ feature, the MEGA Down Imaging+ feature provides 20% more detail than MEGA Down Imaging Sonar. MEGA Down Imaging+ allows you to see up to 200 feet below your boat.

Dual Spectrum CHIRP Sonar

With Dual Spectrum CHIRP sonar equipped, users can see individual fish, discern bait and structure, and gather data over greater depths and range. CHIRP works by directing waves of various strengths at an area, then processing the waves that bounce back to give users the clearest readings possible. Users can select from two search options: wide mode, which gives maximum coverage, and narrow mode, for maximum detail.

AutoChart Live

Thanks to boosted processing power compared to previous HELIX models, the HELIX 9 provides real-time imaging as you go. Turning on the AutoChart Live feature (found in the ‘chart options’ menu) allows users to map the depth, vegetation, and bottom hardness of a region in real time, while in motion (up to 15 mph), and save it for future use. The HELIX 9 comes with 8 hours of storage for AutoChart Live maps, but the HELIX 9 also includes two SD slots such that users can potentially record as many hours as they desire. Users can also drop waypoints in locations they want to mark using this feature. For example, you may want to return to a location at a later date, so you can drop a waypoint and know that you will be able to find that exact location again. Almost 3,000 waypoints can be permanently saved on this unit.

If you’d like to share the data you capture using AutoChart Live with your friends, simply transfer the SD card from your fish finder to another or download to a device and send the data. While other fish finders may require users to upload their data to a cloud in order to share it, Humminbird makes sharing easy. 

GPS

If you frequently fish in locations where getting lost is a real risk, or if you are simply in unfamiliar territory, the large screen size combined with the HELIX 9’s internal GPS provides a means of navigation. Compared to the screen size of the HELIX 5, the HELIX 9 allows users to more easily visualize their location.

Users can also program up to 45 routes.

CONS: The Worst of the HELIX 9

The HELIX 10 has the same dimensions and features as the HELIX 9, and a slightly larger screen. If you are going to spring for the HELIX 9, you might consider purchasing the HELIX 10 instead.

Who Should Buy?

This fish finder is worth the money if you’re typically fishing on bigger lakes or river systems or offshore fishing and would benefit from the detailed navigation capabilities of the HELIX 9. If you’re typically navigating waters that you know well, you probably don’t need to use this product.

Price

The HELIX 9 CHIRP MEGA SI+ GPS G3N is available now on the Humminbird website for $1,499.99. Included with the finder itself is a flexible yet protective rubber cover, perfect for space-saving storage when the unit is in use; a transducer and mounting hardware; a power cable; and a gimbal mounting bracket. The unit comes with a 2-year limited warranty.

Final Thoughts

With all of these technologies and capabilities, the HELIX 9 CHIRP MEGA SI+ GPS G3N fish finder is sure to become a tool you use every time you’re out on the water. No other fish finders can produce as clear, sharp underwater views. This finder offers a variety of features that combine sonar, imaging, mapping, and navigation to give any fisherman the capability to improve their catch.

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