Raymarine Dragonfly 4PRO CHIRP
The Dragonfly 4PRO from Raymarine is one of the newest fish finder models with CHIRP and DownVision technology, launched at the beginning of 2015. This model is one of the most affordable CHIRP units that you can find at the moment, with GPS and charts. Along with the crisp-clear imaging, accuracy and depth capability of the sonar, you will get quite an array of other useful features.
Since Raymarine offers their multifunctional displays in a variety of bundles, with different map packages, transducers or other features, before starting this review it’s important to clarify that it stands for the model number E70294-US, which comes with the US C-MAP Essentials pack.
- Display: 4.3″ in diagonal, color TFT, 480H x 272V pixel matrix, 16:9 aspect ratio, optically bonded and with LED backlight
- Waterproofing IPX-6 and IPX-7
- Sonar: Internal Dual Channel CHIRP sonar module (with CHIRP standard sonar, and CHIRP DownVision)
- Depth Capability: 600 ft. (183 m) for CHIRP DownVision, and 900 ft (275 m) for standard CHIRP Sonar
- Frequency and Coverage: 320-380 kHz / 60° side-to-side and 1.4° fore to aft, for DownVision, and 170-230 kHz / 25° conical beam for 2D
- Transducer: Transom CPT-DVS
- Power Input: 10.8 – 15.6 VDC
- Power Draw: 9.4 W Max (full brightness), 4.8 W (PowerSave mode)
- GPS: 72 Channel, internal
- Maps: C-Map Essentials
- Raymarine Wi-Fish app
- microSD card slot: x1
From the first glance at the technical specs of this fish finder, you can see that it has a lot to offer. There’s quite a bunch to say about each one of these features and some of the other positive (and negative) aspects regarding this unit.
For starters, even though the display is not very wide, actually being the size of your average smartphone, the imaging is really sharp, providing excellent clarity in any weather conditions, night or daytime. The screen is also optically bonded, which means the display has superior readability, and it will never fog in case of temperature differences. This aspect really matters a lot, making this unit an all-weather device, and a great choice for open hull boats.
The mounting system features a heavy-duty ball-and-socket, makes it easy to install, adapt and use to any surface, and almost any available space on your boat. A nice feature specific to Raymarine fish finder units, is the cable with a single connector for power and transducer signals, going into the head unit.
Needless to say, CHIRP sonar technology is one of the most important fish finding features of this Raymarine model. The CHIRP DownVision gives this unit quite an edge over different other similar fish finders with down imaging, in this price range. Since CHIRP uses sonar pulses modulated over a spectrum of frequencies, it provides photo-like clarity of the bottom in DownScan, and a superior target separation for fish, structure, brush etc, in both sonar modes. Even though it’s not an extremely powerful unit, this sonar technology makes it feasible for use at depths up to 900 ft. Also, it’s designed for high-speed tracking, meaning that you will keep getting information of what’s below even at higher boat speeds. However, the best quality images are obtained at 2-5 mph.
The Dragonfly 4PRO allows the use of up to two applications (or views) simultaneously, in split screen. In other words, you can choose to view the both the DownScan and conventional CHIRP sonar, or your boat’s position on the chartplotter and one of the sonar applications, at the same time. Being able to see both sonar returns, gives you a much better view of the underwater environment, and helps a lot with the target interpretations. Anyway, the DownVision sonar view will make it very easy to spot the fish, even if they’re hidden in vegetation.
The standard transducer that comes with this unit is a plastic, transom type, CPT-DVS. It uses a conical sonar beam for the conventional CHIRP sonar, at a 25° angle. For DownVision it uses a fan-shaped beam, with a 60° side-to-side angle, and 1.4° front to back. Since the unit uses CHIRP, the sonar pulse is modulated on a frequency range between 170-230 kHz for 2D, and 320-380 kHz for DownVision. It also has the water temperature sensor built-in. There are other transducers available for the Raymarine Dragonfly 4 PRO, such as the CPT-70 or CPT-80, for through-hull use.
One of the most useful features of this Raymarine fish finder unit is the integrated Wi-Fi module. Via the Raymarine Wi-Fish app, you can interconnect your Dragonfly 4PRO to your smartphone or tablet, and stream the DownVision sonar directly into your mobile device. It’s compatible with iOS and Android devices. And also allows the user to freeze frame in a certain spot, or scroll back and forth through the sonar.
In terms of mapping, this unit comes with the C-MAP Essentials pack. This includes all critical navigation aid and chart objects, C-Marina icons, tidal info, and coastal data showing all depth contours, depth shading, and spot soundings out to 60 ft. The unit uses a 72-channel internal GPS/GLONASS system. It can save up to 3,000 waypoints and 15 tracks.
The Dragonfly 4PRO unit is a pretty compact unit, without too many upgrade possibilities. What can be mentioned here is that it is compatible with various mapping packs. These include Navionics Gold and HotMaps, LightHouse Charts and C-MAP 4D MAX+.
The software of this unit is also upgradable.
What’s Best about the Dragonfly 4 PRO
CHIRP conventional sonar and DownVision that also uses CHIRP, for a price lower than $300, is clearly one of the strengths of this unit. The Dragonfly 4PRO isn’t only a standalone fish finder, it’s also a chartplotter with high precision GPS, so you will get at least a minimum of navigational features.
The unit has a microSD slot, which makes available multiple upgrades, such as new, superior maps from Navionics. Also, future software updates may increase the upgrade possibilities of this unit.
The integrated Wi-Fi is also a very important plus, enhancing the flexibility, and ease of use of this Raymarine fish finder. By streaming the sonar onto your table you can benefit from a wider screen, while also being able to rewind or take sonar snapshots.
Some may consider the 4.3-inch display too small, especially for split-screen use. But this is actually one of the criteria that makes this unit so inexpensive.
The unit does not have NMEA connectors and has no routes function. Can only save waypoints and record tracks.
The Dragonfly 4PRO doesn’t have a built-in sonar recording, such as various Lowrance or Humminbird units. However, you can still achieve this by recording the Wi-Fish streaming.
In the category of affordable fish finders, the Raymarine Dragonfly 4PRO has all the chances to be the best product for 2015. The combination of sonar and navigation features, design, and user experience, is simply amazing. The unit basically offers everything that any recreational angler needs from a fish finder.