Humminbird HELIX 5 DI
The HELIX series includes some of the latest fish finder models from Humminbird. All models in this series were released at the beginning of 2015. This being said, you can be sure each unit is built from some of the latest hardware available, aspect reflected by their superior performance.
As the name of the unit suggests, the HELIX 5 DI does not include navigational features. It focuses only on sonar features and that’s about it. So, here’s what you’ll get with this model.
- Screen: 5″ diagonal, color TFT with a 256 color range, 800H x 480V pixel matrix, with LED backlight
- Sonar: Down Imaging and DualBeam Plus, with SwitchFire
- Depth Capability: 350 feet (106 m) for Down Imaging, 600 feet (183 m) on DualBeam Plus
- Frequency and Coverage:
- 455 kHz / 16° and 200 kHz / 28° for DualBeam Plus sonar
- 455 kHz / 75° and 800 kHz / 45°, for Down Imaging
- Transducer: Transom XNT 9 DI T
- Power Output: 500 Watts (RMS)
- Power Input: 10-20 VDC
- Power Draw: 615 mA
- GPS: No
- Maps: No
- Routes, Waypoints, Tracks: No
The box comes with the Down Imaging transducer, just like all the other Humminbird products. However, the transducer is Transom type. Therefore, in case you might want a thru-hull one, or one for trolling, you can either purchase one additionally and keep the standard one, or you can call Humminbird and ask for a replacement. They will replace it for free.
Even though it’s a small unit, featuring a 5-inch display, it has a completely different layout and pixel matrix than other models (i.e. the PiranhaMax 197c DI), which makes readability and overall user experience, much better. Of course, the unit does not have cartography and GPS, but the split screen function still is useful, as it allows you to view both sonar returns, in DI and standard at the same time. On top of that, since the regular sonar is DualBeam Plus, you can view both standard sonar returns, from the 16° and 28° beams simultaneously.
The standard transducer of this unit comes with a built-in temperature sensor. The head unit has temperature alarm but does support the Temperature Graph feature. With the Temperature Alarm, you can actually set your unit to notify you when you reach a water column of the specified temperature. Temperature is set in degrees Fahrenheit, and for the international models, in Celsius.
The Humminbird HELIX 5 DI, also has SwitchFire sonar, which allows you to control how the standard sonar returns are displayed. It’s a function that helps reduce the clutter and focus on fish arches and structure. Along with SwitchFire, you’ll also get the Selective FishID+ function. This sonar feature uses a different kind of processing to interpret sonar returns. If specific requirements are met, some of the returns will be interpreted as fish and will appear on the screen as fish symbols. Both SwitchFire and FishID+ can be observed in split-screen along with the Down Imaging view. Fish ID+ also has an alarm which you can set up to notify you when passing over a fish of a specific size. There are 3 size choices available: small, medium, large.
The HELIX 5 DI does not have the Sonar Recording function. However, it does have Freeze Frame and Sonar Zoom.
What’s Best About This Unit
The best part about this fish finder is that you get Down Imaging (in dual frequency), DualBeam Plus with SwitchFire and Fish ID+. That’s a fair amount of sonar features, for a price lower than $250. It’s a color unit with crystal-clear display, ideal for a small boat. It’s an easy-to-use unit, and once you master the Down Imaging sonar the fish detected by it are as good as caught.
Little to no possibilities to upgrade, when it comes to GPS or maps. This unit is not compatible with features of this nature. The unit’s software is upgradable though. In case you want a fish finder with GPS and mapping, and possibilities to use a different mapping, a better choice for you might be the HELIX 5 DI GPS, or the HELIX 5 SI GPS. These are a little bit more expensive though.
The HELIX 5 DI is a unit intended for shallow water use, up to 600 ft., and 350 ft. for DI. However, this shouldn’t be a problem if used for fishing in lakes and rivers.
The Humminbird HELIX 5 DI is a very affordable option for you, if you want a color fish finder, with Down Imaging technology, but you don’t want to spend on GPS, maps, and other navigational features. It’s ideal for any weekend angler, but can serve its purpose perfectly, even on a pro angler’s bass boat.