The Best Hummingbird Fish Finders
While it may still be cold in the snowy north, Spring is just around the corner and anglers of all types are gearing up for the season. Still, no gear and preparation will matter if the fish remain elusive. Enter the world of Hummingbird fish finders.
In 1975, this company changed the face of fishing forever when they introduced the world’s first waterproof depth sounder. Known as the Super Sixty, it became the best-selling fish finder of all time and forever changed the face of sport fishing.
Since then, they have continued to lead the market with innovations and quality products that still live up to the Super Sixty reputation.
The newest addition to this storied company is MEGA + Imaging™. This new technology extends their finders’ ranges by 200 feet in all directions while also increasing clarity by 20 percent. In short, get more bang for the buck with imaging from the industry’s trendsetter.
Fish and Chirps
There’s more to successfully using a finder than simply looking for images of fish around the boat. The variety of features and abilities of each finder are dictated by the needs of the angler.
For example, some finders come with GPS systems that map the terrain of the lake or coastline while also sending information about water flow patterns, satellite imagery, and types of fish in the area.
For ease of use, large boat owners might want an in-dash system that can be locked and left onboard. While those in smaller boats or kayaks might gravitate towards small, portable versions.
The newest style of broadband finders use compressed high intensity radar pulses, or CHIRPs. Instead of transmitting only 200 or 50kHz, CHIRP devices transmit a signal that sweeps linearly upward. This means less power is needed while getting unprecedented images.
Using digital pattern matching and signal processing, CHIRP devices resolve individual fish, or separate fish from bottom structure, down to a matter of inches, instead of several feet as with traditional finders.
Solix GPS CHIRP Technology
At the top of the Hummingbird range is the Solix series. These in the dash-mounted finders have GPS plotting, and touch screens from 10 to 15 inches.
For maximum clarity, the Solix series finders come with dual spectrum CHIRP technology. This allows users to seamlessly transition from wide mode coverage to high detail narrow coverage.
In addition, these top-end finders will show water depth, temperature, turbulence, and even how the lure is presenting.
Finally, with more than 10,000 lakes and US Coastal coverage pre-loaded, anglers have everything they need at their fingertips no matter where they find themselves. To make it better, all Solix finders are equipped with real-time maps showing changes to the bottom and even vegetation.
However, for these alpha finders be prepared to pay. The manufacturer suggested retail price ranges from $2,700 to $3,200.
Helix SwitchFire Sonar
For those looking for a more budget friendly option, the Hummingbird Helix series offers a variety of finders, with various features, ranging from a few hundred dollars to more than a thousand.
These finders have five-inch screens that are large enough to see clearly but small enough to make them portable. With a carrying case, charger, and portable transducer, the Helix is perfect for those going from boat to boat.
This series includes proprietary SwitchFire sonar that distinguishes between structures, vegetation, and fish. There is also internal GPS for storing routes and areas, along with a MicroSD slot to expand mapping and storage options.
With a tilt-mount base for a boat along with a handheld option, this compact finder makes it easy to explore whatever terrain is underneath the angler. With a peak power output of 2,400 watts, clear pictures of river and lakebeds can be seen up to 600 feet deep.
Finders Work, when used properly
Now that the finders have been classified, in order to get the best use by the right anglers make sure those in the know actually know what they are doing.
There are plenty of salty anglers who complain about finders being useless. However most of the time the problem is not with the technology, but the user. First and foremost, read the manual and make sure to understand what the screen is showing.
For example, the most current information on most screens is on the right hand side and scrolls to the left. This is, of course, opposite of how we normally read and write. It might take a few tries before getting comfortable with this setup.
For side imaging, such as with the Solix and Helix models, the information will flow from top to bottom.
Also on screen will be some basic information. However, every model has this information displayed in a slightly different manner. Make sure to become familiar with this model being used to ensure quick access to vital information.
Finally, practice with the finder. Like any piece of equipment, Hummingbird fish finders take some getting used to. Go out on the lake or coastline and practice identifying key items.
Nobody learns to read a radar screen or even an automobile dashboard on the first try. Don’t get discouraged by the finders’ screens. A few days of fishing will soon have any user mastering the basics of finders and, let’s face it, a few days of extra fishing is never a bad thing. Get your hands on one of the most popular Hummingbird fish finders and enter our latest fishing giveaway today while you’re shopping!