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Humminbird Helix 5 is one of the brand’s older fish finder models, with the newer models being Helix 7 and Helix 9. However, Helix 5 hasn’t been discontinued yet and it still makes a good fish finder option, especially if you’re looking for a more affordable unit. It offers some of Humminbird’s most groundbreaking innovations, making it the perfect choice for any angler that is looking for the best sonar performance. To learn more about what this fish finder has to offer, keep reading our Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP GPS G2 review.
Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Features
Display and Control
First of all, as the name suggests, this fish finder comes with a 5-inch display. This large size provides the user with plenty of surface space to work with. It also allows you to have two images on the screen. And with the screen split in half, you’ll still get images of nice size. Having this feature can be advantageous when you want to compare two types of data. For example, one image could be displaying sonar data and the other displaying chartplotter data.
This high-end display also offers high resolution with an 800 x 480 pixel layout. It also features 16-bit color range. All this makes it very easy to identify various details displayed on the screen.
Moreover, the display features LED backlighting. You can adjust it to your preference or according to the light conditions that you’re fishing in. For example, to make it easier to read the screen in the sun, you could adjust it to the highest level.
Another feature of the display is the single micro SD card slot. You can use it with an SD card to store marked locations and sonar recording or with a card that comes for upgrading the maps.
This fish finder display is also built for durability. It comes with a waterproof rating IPX7, which means that the unit can resist incidental water exposure. Due to this, you don’t need to worry about the fish finder getting damaged if it gets wet in the rain or if it gets splashed with lake water.
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Humminbird Helix 5 comes with the XNT 9 DI T transducer included. It’s designed for transom mount installation and it comes with everything that you’ll need to complete the setup.
The transducer offers 2D sonar and chirp, supporting frequencies 83/200kHz. It is also available with an optional 50/200kHz transducer, but it’s sold separately.
CHIRP technology used in this fish finder allows modulating the pulse generated by the transducer. Since it uses a range of frequencies, it retrieves more information of what is underwater. This provides crystal clear sonar images with superior target separation.
When using the included transducer, it offers Med and High CHIRP. In the Med CHIRP, the pulse can be modulated within the 75-95kHz range instead of 83kHz. And in the High CHIRP, it can be modulated within the 175-225kHz range.
If you opt for the 50/200kHz transducer, you’ll also be able to use the Low CHIRP mode. Its frequency range is between 28-75kHz. This allows the sonar to reach greater depth and with more detail.
The Humminbird Helix 5 unit also uses Dual Beam Plus sonar, which uses a 60 degree beam cone angle at 200kHz and a 20 degree angle at 83kHz. The first one covers a larger area and the second one provides higher accuracy returns. You can view the returns of these two beams either separately, side-by-side or combined to get a more complete picture.
One more feature of this fish finder’s transducer is SwitchFire sonar. It’s a feature that allows you to choose how you want sonar returns to appear on the screen. And there are two modes to choose from: Max mode and Clear mode.
While the Max mode adds detail, the Clear mode removes it. With the Max mode, you get maximum information, so you’ll be able to see even smaller fish and schools of fish. With the Clear mode, on the other hand, a lot of the information will be removed in order to reduce clutter on the screen. In this mode, the sonar will focus on stronger targets, making it easier to identify bigger fish.
The included transducer also offers great depth capability. The sonar can reach as far down as 1,500 feet in freshwater, making it suitable for deepwater fishing. However, if you need even greater depth capability, the optional 50kHz transducer can scan up to 2,500 feet.
Other sonar features:
- Fish ID+ that displays sonar returns with fish icons instead of fish arches.
- Sonar recording, which saves sonar imaging for later rewinding and viewing.
- Sonar screenshot.
- Multiple alarms
- 500-watt RMS power output, which delivers powerful sonar performance.
This advanced Humminbird Helix 5 fish finder is also a chartplotter. It includes the brand’s enhanced basemap that features underwater terrain and surrounding points of interest. The basemap covers over 10,000 U.S. lakes and coastal waters. On these maps, you’ll also be able to identify buoys, hazards, marinas and other markers that will help you in navigation.
The GPS system of this fish finder is also compatible with other charts. For example, you can upgrade the unit with Navionics+, Navionics Gold, LakeMaster and other charts of your preference.
If you purchase the Navionics or Lakemaster chart chip, you’ll also be able to use the Auto-Chart Live feature. This function combines the 2D sonar and GPS data, creating real-time maps that feature depth contours, bottom hardness and vegetation.
As with most other fish finders that feature a GPS system, this unit also includes a function that allows you to save waypoints, routes and tracks. Using the available storage space in this fish finder, you can save up to 2,500 waypoints, 45 routes and 50 tracks.
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Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Pros and Cons
- 5-inch high resolution display.
- Split screen capability.
- CHIRP, Dual Beam Plus and SwitchFire sonar.
- 1,500 feet depth capability.
- Sonar recording and screenshot functions.
- Fish alarms and other sonar features.
- High-precision GPS receiver.
- Includes basemaps.
- Saves waypoints, routes and tracks.
- Micro SD card reader.
- NMEA 0183 port.
- IPX7 waterproof.
- Easy to install and use.
- 1-year warranty.
- Does not include a unit cover.
- Does not offer side scan and down scan sonar.
If you’re looking for a fish finder chartplotter for a relatively low price, then the Humminbird Helix 5 model makes a good choice. It combines advanced sonar technology with good navigation features. The included charts might not be the best, but you can upgrade them with the charts that you need. The size of the fish finder also makes it suitable for use on a variety of boats, both big and small. It can also be easily used on a kayak. In all, this Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP GPS G2 fish finder offers excellent value for the money.