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Humminbird Helix 9 CHIRP Mega SI G3N Review

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The Humminbird Helix 9 CHIRP Mega SI G3N is one of the most recent releases from the brand. It makes a great fish finder for those users that are looking for high end performance. It’s sleek in design and it comes with plenty of features that both professional anglers and occasional fishing enthusiasts will love. However, all its advanced features come at a cost and it’s up to you to decide if they are worth the high cost. You can learn more about all these features in our Humminbird Helix 9 CHIRP Mega SI G3N review below.

Humminbird Helix 9 CHIRP Mega SI G3N Features

Display Unit

This Humminbird Helix 9 fish finder comes with a 9 inch display. Unlike most other 9-inch fish finders, this one is not bulky, but rather sleek in design. Moreover, the display is very easy to install and it comes with a gimbal mounting bracket and unit cover.

Humminbird Helix 9 CHIRP Mega SI G3N ReviewThe unit also offers high resolution with a 1024 x 600 pixel matrix. This provides crisper images with more distinct details. For even better readability, it also features 16-bit color and adjustable LED backlighting. The backlighting keeps it nice and bright in both direct sunlight and night.

The settings are keypad operated. Its interface is very intuitive, making it easy to find whatever you’re looking for. What makes it so user-friendly is also the X-Press Menu System. It allows you to select your most frequently used applications for display on your homepage, providing an easy shortcut to them. You can also expand the menu or make it more simplified.

Another feature of the display is the dual micro SD card reader. The advantage of this is that it allows simultaneous use of a chart card and a data card, where you can save your waypoints, sonar recording and other information. Not having to constantly swap out cards will definitely save you a lot of hassle.

This fish finder also offers networking capability. It’s equipped with a 5-port Ethernet, so you can connect two or more fish finders for sharing different data. For example, you could use it to share waypoints, routes and sonar information.

The system is also NMEA 2000 capable. By connecting your NMEA 2000, this would enable the system to display everything from the boat’s performance to water conditions and weather. Moreover, the advantage of the NMEA 2000 over the NMEA 0183 is that it transfers the data a lot faster, providing fast streaming of all the relevant information.

Lastly, the display of this fish finder also offers wireless connectivity. It features built-in Bluetooth, so you can get software updates without having to connect to a computer. On top of that, the connectivity allows you to pair the fish finder with your smartphone. This would display all your notifications on the Humminbird, allowing you to keep your phone safely in your pocket.

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Sonar

The Humminbird Helix 9 Mega SI+ G3N comes with a transducer that supports 50/82/200/455/800kHz frequencies. It also supports Dual Spectrum CHIRP sonar, Mega Down Imaging Plus and Mega Side Imaging Plus. All this is combined to offer exceptional coverage and an incredible level of clarity.

Humminbird Helix 9 Mega SI G3N featuresFirst of all, for Dual Spectrum CHIRP sonar, the transducer uses two conical beams that offer 42 and 25 degree coverage. One gives maximum coverage and the other maximum detail.

There are also three modes that you can choose from when using CHIRP sonar. It offers a Wide Mode with the range 140-200kHz, Narrow Mode with 180-240kHz and Full Mode with the 150-220kHz default range. The Wide and Narrow Modes are fixed. However, in the Full Mode, you can adjust the pulse within the range.

One of the biggest advantages of this fish finder is also its Mega Imaging Plus system that includes both Down Imaging and Side Imaging. The Mega Imaging Plus offers 20% more detail than Mega Imaging, which was already providing three times the output of standard Imaging sonar. This gives enhanced clarity, helping you to unlock more fish and structure.

Mega Di+ and Mega SI+ both use high frequencies, which are 455kHz and 800kHz. This produces thin oval beams that are transmitted either down below your boat for Mega DI+ or to the sides of the boat for Mega SI+.

Another great feature is the SwitchFire sonar. It offers you control over how the sonar returns should be displayed. When using this function, you can choose between two modes with one adding maximum detail and the other removing it, leaving out only the strongest signals.

As for the unit’s depth capability, its CHIRP sonar can reach up to 1,200 feet, which is more than enough for most freshwater fishing. When it comes to Imaging sonar, it has lower depth capability. The Mega Di+ can reach only up to 200 feet. However, you can also use regular Down Imaging. Then, at 455kHz it will reach up to 400 feet and at 800kHz up to 125 feet. The Side Imaging has the same depth capability but that scan reach extends to the sides of the boat.

Navigation

The Humminbird Helix 9 also comes with good navigation capabilities. It features a built-in Humminbird Basemap, which offers a good level of detail. It covers both lakes and coast, showing underwater terrain and a wide array of points of interest.

You can also get premium maps for more advanced chartplotting. The system is compatible with Navionics, LakeMaster and LakeMaster Plus. These are high definition maps that offer detailed contours, highlighted depth ranges and more. However, map upgrades are sold separately.

The fish finder also offers AutoChart Live capability. This function allows you to map the water as you drive your boat. It uses GPS and 2D sonar data to create in real time highly detailed maps, which includes charting depth contours, bottom hardness and vegetation. This could be maps of your favorite fishing spots, which you can then look over for finding the best fish-holding areas.

Like most fish finder GPS systems, there’s also the function of saving waypoints, routes and tracks. This allows you to personalize the maps by adding your personal points of interest, such as your favorite fishing spots or the route back to the boat ramp.

Other features of the unit include speed tracking, support of external GPS heading sensors, radar and AIS compatibility. Moreover, it is compatible with Minn Kota i-Pilot Link and Minn Kota Talon.

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Humminbird Helix 9 CHIRP Mega SI G3N Pros and Cons

PROS
  • 9-inch color TFT display.
  • Dual Spectrum CHIRP, Mega DI+ and Mega SI+.
  • Includes a transom mount transducer.
  • 1000W RMS power output.
  • Up to 1,200 feet depth capability.
  • Multiple sonar features.
  • Flasher mode.
  • Sonar recording and screen shots.
  • Includes Humminbird Basemap.
  • Features AutoChart Live.
  • Saves waypoints, routes and tracks.
  • AIS, radar, heading sensor GPS compatibility.
  • Ethernet and NMEA 2000 networking.
  • Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Dual micro SD card slot.
  • IPX7 waterproof.
  • 2-year limited warranty.
CONS
  • Expensive.
  • No trolling motor mount.

Final Thoughts

Overall, whether or not the Humminbird Helix 9 CHIRP Mega SI G3N is worth the investment is up to your preference of what you want out of your fish finder. However, even though it’s expensive, it has a lot to offer from its multiple sonar features to detailed chartplotting and wireless connectivity. It also offers compatibility with a variety of additional functions, such as radar, 360 Imaging, Minn Kota and more.

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