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Humminbird fish finders were born in and still live in the bass and inshore fishing world. Started in 1971 in Eufaula, Alabama, and spearheaded by Tom Mann, Humminbird’s first depth flasher brought deep-water bass fishing to the masses, especially tournament anglers. That started an arms race among sonar manufacturers to have the best electronics possible available at an affordable price for everyday anglers. To stay at the head of the competition, Humminbird set milestones in digital displays and high-powered sonar. The iconic black and gold fish finders are on the boats of the best anglers in the game.
Today, Humminbird is on the cutting edge of side-imaging fish finders, down-imaging and live-view sonar. And the company brings the best technology at an affordable price. From the simplest fish finder to the most advanced marine electronics, Humminbird emphasizes intuitive controls and user-friendly features. There’s a good chance one of these best Humminbird fish finders fits your style of angling.
- Best Overall: Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP DI GPS G3
- Best GPS: Humminbird Helix 8 CHIRP GPS G4N
- Best for Kayak Fishing: Humminbird Solix 10 CHIRP MEGA G3N
- Best Portable: Hummindbird Ice-H5 Helix 5 CHIRP G3
- Best Budget: Humminbird PiranhaMax 4 Fish Finder
How We Picked The Best Humminbird Fish Finders
When it comes to crowning the best Humminbird fish finders, we could have picked the most expensive model with the most features. But that’s not fair to anglers on a budget. So, we looked for the best Hummingbird fish finder most people could afford.
Lining up all the Humminbird fish finder models and comparing them for features and value, we settled on the Helix 5 CHIRP DI GPS G3 as the best Humminbird fish finder for most anglers. Combining the best down imaging sonar with a high-powered GPS and Humminbird’s basemap allows the Helix 5 to cover the bases without breaking the bank.
The best fish finder will fit in almost any boat or watercraft. To meet these criteria, a fish finder doesn’t have to do it all. But it must perform at the top of its class. We looked at fish finder display, sonar signals, available options, and transducers. Then we examined navigation for accuracy and accessibility. We’ve discovered that a fish finder with the features we need is easier to use than a more advanced model with complicated options. Easy access and the features most anglers need weighed highly.
Best Humminbird Fish Finders: Reviews & Recommendations
Best Overall: Helix 5 CHIRP DI GPS G3
- Screen size: 5 inches
- Display Pixel Matrix: 800 x 400
- CHIRP sonar
- Great price for its ability
- Best DownImage sonar
- Dual-signal CHIRP sonar
- Detailed base map
- No side or 360-view sonar
We didn’t choose the most expensive or the most feature-rich model as the best Humminbird fish finders for most anglers. Instead we chose the Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP DI GPS G3, which has all the features most anglers need without anything extra. For a clear view of structure and fish below the boat, CHIRP sonar sends a long pulse of energy into the water and uses two signals for a stereoscopic image with improved definition and separation. To see every detail of structure, from tree limbs to individual boulders, the Helix 5’s DownImaging sonar uses a high-powered signal for a photo-like image of the bottom.
On the chartplotter side of the package, Humminbird’s base maps are detailed enough for basic navigation with the option to upgrade to more accurate maps. Or, use the custom mapping to make detailed charts of depth contours. The 5-inch screen is large enough to see from a distance, but small enough to fit on a skiff or paddle craft.
Best GPS: Helix 8 CHIRP GPS G4N
- Screen size: 8 inches
- Display Pixel Matrix: 1024 x 600
- Maximum depth: 1,200 feet
- Network connected
- Adjustable CHIRP frequencies
- High-definition display
- Lakemaster charts
- Side view and down view not included
The bright 8-inch screen on the Humminbird Helix 8 CHIRP GPS G4 offers enough space to run multiple functions in split-screen mode, and still provide a clear view. It has Humminbird’s best CHIRP transducer and the ability to adjust frequency and coverage to the water that you’re fishing.
With WiFi, ethernet and Bluetooth interfaces, anglers can communicate with the trolling motor, downrigger, and other Minn Kota and Cannon electronics from the Helix 8 G4. Humminbird includes their basemap and detailed Lakeview charts that include surrounding points of interest, and the ability to create a real-time map of your fishing area.
Best for Kayak Fishing: Solix 10 CHIRP MEGA G3N
- Screen size: 10 inches
- Display Pixel Matrix: 1280 x 800
- Touch screen
- Side imaging and down imaging
- Live and 360-view
- Lakemaster and Coastmaster charts
- Touchscreen and button control
One of the best fish finders for kayaks, this model has an easy-to-read display with glare resistance and bright, clear colors. It also includes the latest side-view and down-view sonar with the option to add live sonar, plus detailed charts of lakes and coastal areas for North America. The Solix 10 CHIRP MEGA G3N is the ultimate kayak fish finder and GPS combo because it houses all of Humminbird’s top-of-the-line features in an easy-to-use and easy-to-see display. Kayak anglers use the Solix 10 for the wide, clear, bright screen and super-fast processor that allows the user to quickly access multiple functions on one screen.
Humminbird’s MEGA imaging is the most detailed and adjustable imaging on the water. LakeMaster and CoastMaster charts are accurate for finding bottom contours and finding your way home in your fishing kayak. The touch screen and intuitive menus and control make it simple to take advantage of all of Solix’s functions.
Best Portable: Ice-H5 Helix 5 CHIRP G3
- Screen size: 5 inches
- Display Pixel Matrix: 800 x 480
- High-definition display
- Adjustable CHIRP signal
- 1024-segment flasher
- Recharge glow-in-the-dark jigs
- Large, clear display
- No GPS
Humminbird’s Helix 5 ice package houses a powerful fish finder in a portable case complete with battery and transducer, making it one of the best portable fish finders. The Helix 5 CHIRP G3 uses Humminbird’s dual spectrum CHIRP sonar that can be adjusted for the best return image. Combined with the 1024-segment flasher, anglers can mark bottom structure and individual fish at the same time. To focus on the most productive area of the water column, use the adjustable zoom.
Don’t worry about fishing in a crowd—six settings on the Helix 5 dial in the sonar signal to dial out competing signals. There’s even a Jig Charge Mode to recharge luminescent lures quickly. An additional benefit: with a traditional transducer and mounting bracket, the Helix 5 fish finder can be installed on your boat for use on open water.
Best Budget: PiranhaMax 4 Fish Finder
- Screen size: 4.3 inches
- Display Pixel Matrix: 272 x 480
- Dual spectrum CHIRP sonar
- Low cost
- Full-color screen
- Dual-beam transducer
- No GPS
For a small budget-friendly fish finder, the PiranhaMax 4 packs a powerful punch for less than $100. The bright, 256-color display makes it easy to determine hard bottom from soft, and displays structure such as rocks and deadfalls. Anglers can choose a wide beam for shallow water and a narrow beam to capture more detail in water up to 600 feet deep. The PiranhaMax boasts a sturdy housing and glare-resistant screen and swivel mount—perfect for use on an open boat—and has fish and depth alarm settings.
What to Consider When Choosing a Humminbird Fish Finder
The most important thing to consider before buying the best Humminbird fish finders is which line to choose. Humminbird fish finders come in four lines: Apex, Solix, Helix and PiranhaMax. Each offers specific functions, along with features available across the lines. For example, you can get Humminbird’s best MEGA sonar on Apex, Solix and Helix, but only Apex and Solix have a touch screen. This means you can give up a few conveniences or advanced features and get the depth finder you need within your budget.
To determine the top picks, we balanced features, user interface, and cost. The winner didn’t always have the highest price tag or the most buttons; our picks are the best fish finders for various purposes and budgets.
Here’s a basic breakdown of Humminbird’s fish finder lineup:
- Apex: The top line of Humminbird fish finders, with the largest screens and the most advanced features. Since these fish finders are more than most anglers need, we didn’t enter them in the running for best Humminbird fish finder—they would win every category except size and price.
- Solix: Runs multiple systems in up to four screens at the same time. The touchscreen display makes it easy to access all of Humminbird’s best features.
- Helix: Sacrifices the touch screen yet offers many of the same features as the more expensive models. For durability and versatility, the Helix line can’t be beat.
- PiranhaMAX: Least expensive and uses Humminbird’s best traditional sonar and high-resolution color display. The small housing with a 4.3-inch screen fits on a skiff, canoe, or kayak. Available with traditional or down view sonar, the PiranhaMAX offers a powerful fish finder at a very reasonable price.
With four lines of fish finders, Humminbird covers both the water and most angler’s needs. Whether you’re looking for the most advanced electronics to stay ahead of the competition, or a simple fish finder to stay over the fish, Humminbird has you covered.
Q: How do I choose a Humminbird fish finder?
It’s actually really easy to choose a Humminbird fish finder. Humminbird offers four distinct lines of fish finders, with a variety of models in each line.The Apex series offers all the bells and whistles in screens up to 18.5 inches wide. Step down to the Solix for most of the same features in a smaller screen size. Sacrifice the touch screen and save some money with the most popular Helix line. Or, get a great fish finder boasting Humminbird’s industry-leading technology in the PiranhaMax series.
Q: Is Humminbird side imaging worth it?
Humminbird’s side imaging means you get a fish finder that can see to the side of the boat, and gives the fish no place to hide. Side-imaging sonar has led to 360-imaging and live-view, for complete coverage of the water around the boat. Humminbird’s MEGA sonar is the first to use signals over one megahertz to provide the clearest and most detailed imagery. Using side-imaging sonar, you’ll be able to see fish and structure up to 200 feet on either side of the boat. In fact, you can even identify specific species of fish and determine the depth at which they’re swimming.
Final Thoughts on the Best Humminbird Fish Finders
- Best Overall: Helix 5 CHIRP DI GPS G3
- Best GPS: Helix 8 CHIRP GPS G4N
- Best for Kayak Fishing: Solix 10 CHIRP MEGA G3N
- Best Portable: Ice-H5 Helix 5 CHIRP G3
- Best Budget: PiranhaMax 4 Fish Finder
Getting a fish finder often means choosing one that has the features you don’t want rather than one that has the features you do want. Price, size, and advanced features all go hand in hand, so think about what you need, and what you don’t need, before buying one. Once you choose one of the best Humminbird fish finders, make sure you know how to read your fish finder display before heading out so you make the most of your time on the water.
Why Trust Us
For more than 125 years, Field & Stream has been providing readers with honest and authentic coverage of outdoor gear. Our writers and editors eat, sleep, and breathe the outdoors, and that passion comes through in our product reviews. You can count on F&S to keep you up to date on the best new gear. And when we write about a product—whether it’s a bass lure or a backpack—we cover the good and the bad, so you know exactly what to expect before you decide to make a purchase.