Fishfinders are a fantastic piece of technology that allows you to see the fish in the water below you, limiting a lot of the guesswork people associate with fishing. With technology, you will know when you are on top of them.
That said, not all fish finders are created equal, and as a first-time buyer, there are a lot of things you need to consider before you invest in your first one.
That is where this review comes in. Humminbird has a reputation as one of the best fish finder manufacturers in the business. One of their most popular products is the Helix 7 SI, and it is among the most versatile helix devices in the market. It comes with many unique features that both beginners and experts will love. In this Humminbird Helix 7 review, you will learn more about its features, benefits, and drawbacks.
About Humminbird Company
The Humminbird started in 1971 in a small garage in Alabama. The company has been forged on homegrown roots and technical innovation. They are often the first to introduce innovative technologies likely to become the latest trends in fish finders (also see Deeper Fish Finder Review for shore fish finders).
Humminbird was the first to produce a waterproof depth sounder, the first to use LCR screens, and the first to use 360-degree sonar technology. This review will point out the Humminbird Helix 7 SI (for side imaging) fish finder features most likely to put you on the fish in record time.
Pros And Cons Of Helix Hummingbird
- It is waterproof
- It has dual spectrum CHIRP Sonar
- The images are crisp and clear
- It has side imaging that makes it easier to find structure
- Down-imaging technology helps to bring fantastic detail.
- It has a smaller screen that some of the Helix series
- It is complex to use
- It does not have an NMEA 2000 port
Things To Consider Before Buying A Humminbird Helix 7
It can be frustrating to sit patiently for hours without catching any fish. To solve this problem, the Helix Humminbird 7 for fishing from a boat in depths of about 1000 feet.
Some of the things to consider when getting a helix 7 are:
- Your regular fishing setting
- Your navigational needs
- The fish species that you target
- Your existing gear
- The location of your favorite fishing spots
- The water temperature and depth that you want to fish.
Features & Benefits
The Helix 7 SI provides a means of catching fish with relative ease. Let’s explore some of its features and benefits.
The Display Screen
Just as its names suggest, the Helix 7 CHIRP SI GPS has a backlit 7-inch diagonal LED with a resolution of 800×400 pixels. Unlike the previous Helix 5 fish finders, the Helix 7 SI has a bonded glass display with enhanced protection built-in. The improved graphics are also immediately apparent. The improved LED backlighting provides a crystal-clear split-screen image that you can see even in direct sunlight.
Is the Humminbird Helix 7 big enough?
Yes, the Helix 7 CHIRP SI GPS is plenty big enough. The new wide-screen display features a Split-screen capability that allows you to run it in a dual graphics and text mode that puts more information at your fingertips.
Does Humminbird helix 7 have side imaging?
It’s all in the name, and the name is a long one that lists all the units feature in one breath. Huuminbird calls their Flagship unit the Helix 7 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS 3.
CHIRP is Humminbird’s wide beam technology, MEGA SI, denotes their top-end MEGA side imaging technology, which extends to 150 feet around the boat. The GP3 is third generation GPS technology.
The Humminbird Helix 7 CHIRP SI GPS control unit has a waterproof rating of IPX7. You can submerge it to a depth of one meter for thirty minutes should the worst happen. This also means it will not be damaged when exposed to splashes and rain.
The Transducer of the Hummingbird Helix 7 SI has three sonar modes: side imaging, down imaging, and DualBeam Plus. These modes incorporate CHIRP SI technology, modulating the sonar beam over a wide frequency range to improve target separation and provide more detailed underwater information.
The sonar frequency ranges for the different CHIRP SI modes are:
Side imaging: 420KHz to 520KHz
DualBeam Plus: 175kHz to 225kHz and 75kHz to 95kHz
Down-imaging: 420kHz to 520kHz
The side imaging sonar can emit about a 240-foot beam on either side, and it helps to cover a large percentage of the water the surrounds the boat. Another lovely thing about the Helix 7 CHIRP SI transducer is that it is fitted with a thermometer measuring the water temperature. It comes with a transom mount and 6m cable.
Some of the other sonar features of Helix 7 CHIRP SI are selective fish ID+, sonar recording, and rewind, screen snapshot, bottom lock, real-time sonar, fish alarms, split zoom, and SwitchFire.
The sonar system’s SwitchFire function in on the Humminbird Helix 7 SI provides a real-time look below the water surface. It uses precision sonar, and the two modes of operation are Clear Mode and Max Mode. Clear Mode removes signals distorted by agitated water. Max Mode displays terrain information, fish representations, and water currents.
GPS and Navigation
The CHIRP SI GPS fish finder has GPS built-in and can receive with an accuracy of 2.5mk. Each Helix 7 SI GPS unit can be used to store about 2,500 waypoints or 45 routes with 50 waypoints each. Furthermore, the navigational feature of Helix 7 SI GPS is AutoChart Live. The 2D sonar will provide the information that AutoChart Live uses, and it helps to show the depth contours of the body of water.
The only issue with the feature is that you will need a ZeroLines card or LakeMaster Navionics in the card slot before the Helix 7 SI GPS can work.
Here is a video showing the features of Humminbird Helix 7 SI Fish finder in action (courtesy: B Bass Fishes):
What People Are Saying
After scouring the internet, here are some user reviews about the Humminbird Helix 7 SI
“Screen clarity is excellent. The new base map that is downloadable on the Humminbird web site is fantastic. This is all new technology for me, and the operational guide is Ok. However, I found that some of the info about this unit on the Humminbird website would be more helpful. ” – Robert Gunderson from Amazon.
“As someone who had a Helix 5 and upgraded to a Helix 7 SI GPS, it is amazing! I’m looking at lakes with a whole new perspective just because of the side imaging! You can really find the grass lines, stumps, and rock piles way easier.” – Sean Place from Amazon.
Alternatives To Humminbird Helix 7 SI fish finder
- Lowrance HDS-7 Gen-3 / LSS-2 Bundle
- Garmin Striker 7sv with Transducer
- Humminbird, Helix 9, Chirp MSI GPS G3N
The HDS line is among the top-ranked fish finders in the world. It has a 7-inch screen that offers the best brightness, and you can get numerous imaging types such as StructureScan, DownScan, CHIRP, etc. It has a multifunction screen and is filled with tools that even beginners can use with relative ease. The inbuilt GPS can help to store about 200 trails and 5,000 waypoints.
Although Lowrance HDS 7 can load two microSD cards about 32gb each, it also has a cloud-based feature to download maps from nearby fishers. You can easily switch between sonar frequencies with a touchscreen or buttons, and you can use it for fishing at about 1000 feet.
The Garmin striker 7sv is a perfect fish finder for serious fishermen. It’s one of the best fish finder for kayak options available today. It is available at a great price and has a large high-resolution 7-inch display. You will appreciate the simple interface, which helps both old pros and newcomers and use the sonar with relative ease. You can easily switch between the CHIRP sonar, side imaging, and ClearVU with a button or even watch them simultaneously.
The best thing is that it comes with a pinpoint, accurate GPS that you can use to navigate and has WiFi capabilities to update your map easily. The GPS can store 5000 waypoints. You can use Garmin Striker to fish at about 1,100 feet in salt water and 2,300 feet in freshwater.
This product is similar to Helix 7 CHIRP SI GPS fish finder, but it has some important changes. The major difference is that the screen in 9-inch. However, it has all the imaging types of Helix 7, such as the down imaging, CHIRP, side imaging, chart plotting, GPS, and dual-beam sonar. You can also link them to your motor to view your engine stats like performance and fuel consumption.
Apart from the feature above, you will also get wireless connectivity with Mega Side Imaging+ and Mega Down Imaging+. The best thing about Helix 9 SI GPS fish finder is its improved CPU and bright LED backlight for easy viewing, no matter the lighting conditions.
|Features||Humminbird helix 7||Lowrance HDS-7||Garmin Striker 7sv||Humminbird Helix 9|
|1||7-inch screen||7-inch screen||7-inch screen||9-inch screen|
|2||GPS can store 2500 waypoints||GPS can store 5000 waypoints||GPS can store 5000 waypoints||GPS can store 2,750 waypoints.|
Fish finders can make your fishing trip more fun, and you can absolutely catch more fish using them. The Humminbird Helix 7 CHIRP is near perfect. It is affordable, and it comes with a wide array of features for easy use.