Humminbird HELIX 9

9.5
9.5 score
(TheGearHunt) score (9.5)/10

Our TheGearHunt score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter.
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Editor rating: 9.1 / 10
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Humminbird HELIX 9 Review Facts

We all know that as technology advances, the old ways of doing things slowly become less effective. Fishing is an activity that ranges from leisure to true sport these days. If you fish for a living, or for sport, you know you will need to know the best place to drop your line if you want to get the best catch possible and not go home empty handed. Of course, we have done a top ten for fish finders, but this one deserved some special attention so that we could get more into detail and round out what makes this particular one numbered among the best you can own. As with any product review we give though, we wanted to make sure we covered all ground and brought you not just the reasons why it needed attention, but also to let you know what people out there might want you to know about the downsides. By doing this we can make sure our readers are as informed as they can get on the product they are looking at. With the ability to look all over for the best spot to drop your line, and the extra features to help you head in the right direction, we feel the Hummingbird Helix 9 is going to fall more pro than con! The depth to which this device can help guide your line, to the ability to track your games route on a larger screen without the glare of sunlight impeding you makes us like this one already. So, without further delay, here are the qualities and features we noted on this wonderful little device.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • 9” display screen with backlight
  • Display screen glass bonded- glare-proof
  • Trackplotting
  • 3000 depth capability and 1500 ft with the transducer
  • Transducer with the ability to read the temperature
  • Sonar recording and snapshot ability
  • Waterproof
  • Wireless controller
  • Side and down imaging
  • Upgradable
  • 360 imaging capabilities
  • Easy to install
  • Comes with mount and cover
  • Less expensive
Cons
  • Difficult to master
  • Not a touchscreen
Basic Features

Basic Features

For the very basics of this one, we will break it down to the physical attributes alone. This model comes with quite a few physical attributes that make it special and well worth the cost. First and foremost, it is a fishing unit, so as you would expect of anything you could get water on, it is waterproof. This also will be mentioned a little further on as well since it is part and parcel to durability. This unit also comes with a glass-bonded display screen, which means that even with the sun high in the sky, you aren’t likely to get glare and will be able to see what is going on with your finder camera and the specs will remain easily readable. It has a wireless control for the camera, which is nice because it means you can direct it without having to have the display screen right in your hands where accidents can happen all too easily.

Another nice thing to factor in is that it actually comes with its mount and it’s cover so you don’t have to go buying additional accessories to set up and be ready to go. Add to what you already have, that it comes with a transducer with the temperature gauge in the package already. All together just the physical things that go into the Hummingbird Helix 9 we feel that it has started paying for itself.
Advanced Features

Advanced Features

While we could list all the fantastic things it can do here, we will just let you know the basic idea of all the advanced features it has here. The attributes we feel needed to be placed here are some of the specs and special abilities, though what each thing does we want to cover more in their proper locations. For starters, this little products depth ability is an impressive 3000 feet without the transducer, but even with it, you can still hit 1500 feet which is still a good depth for a tracker. Add to it that out of the box this item’s camera already has side imaging and down imaging for you to use and locate your fishing ground. You also immediately have DualBeam Plus with Switchfire, multiple sonar functions, sonar recording, snapshot functions, several chart options, Ethernet connectivity and even the ability to upgrade the internal software as well. If you are wondering if you can save all this information somewhere without taking up too much space on the finder itself, there continues to be great news- it has a dual Micro SD drive port so you can even save to your SD cards and not have to worry that you’ll lose the information or run out of room! This is one heck of a finder!
Use

Use

The main use for this or any other fish finder is, you guessed it, finding places to fish! Not just any place though, it is used to locate where fishes normally go for feeding grounds so that you are more likely to catch the ‘big ones’. Of course, some fish finders can go deeper than others, so the real question here is where is it best to take this one? With the aimed depth, which for us means where can we use it to its best capabilities, is at about 1500 feet. This means any pond or lake would easily be a place where you could go near to if not at the bottom of easily. This isn’t exactly deep-sea fishing equipment, but it does reach much farther than some of the other finders we have reviewed. That being said, it can go even deeper than that.

At its full range, minus the transducer and temp gauging ability, you can see a good 3000 feet down, so this is definitely meant to aide with the big fish catches versus small fish. Although it has sonar ability, some have complained that it lacks ‘CHIRP’ Sonar. Of course, as others point out, with all the other sonar types it has and it’s great imaging and ability to plot out a course for your fishing based on what details you do get this is a minor thing. Another owner pointed out that as an upgrade they were actually able to get this missing sonar ability, it just didn’t work as good as he would have liked- still, he thought it still out-performed many of the others he had tried.
Connectivity

Connectivity

Where many of the devices we have researched seem to lag out in one feature or another that either connects the screen to the camera or the unit to the internet, this one definitely stomps out any issues. The fact that it uses an ethernet cable for updates but uses wireless connectivity with the camera makes it a great purchase for this side of it alone. Autochart updates everything you need to know about the contours of the regions you are looking to fish in and it even tracks you via GPS so that you can see what you have found and mark where you found it right away. Those we found who knew how to handle this particular unit said the connectivity was amazing and the updates you can get for everything make it worth every penny. This little device is well received by those who have used Fish trackers and prefer using them. All of it streams easily and the information doesn’t take forever to get so we feel that overall if connectivity is one of your big markers on a purchase, this one is a device you will want to keep reading over!
Power Source

Power Source

Who wants to have this great new tracker and be out on the water already before finding out that the device won’t even turn on? The power source and how it works is vital before heading out with any new electrical item, so of course, it is a quality we cover. The Hummingbird Helix 9 comes with its power cord hookups as one would expect and requires the proper battery hook up to run. So if you are on a smaller boat that doesn’t have the appropriate motor to hook it up you may have to purchase it separately. There have been a few questions in regard to this by some users, both on if it can be hooked up outside of a boat and what to do if you are using a kayak. It can be done, but this requires a lot of additional set up and knowledge on how and what to use to do it. If you aren’t used to these types of machines or are new to them entirely, it may take a lot of work in this area to set up. Many people claim it was well worth learning though, so the question is in just how much extra you want to put in to have a great fish finder.
Accuracy

Accuracy

The accuracy on this device is definitely something that the users have been amazed by. Where many of these tracks can help you once you find a spot, this one can actually have waypoints and markers plugged in to help you follow your favorite fishing spots, tell you where you were on them when you got your better catches and tell you where to go from your current location to get from one to the next. This additional mapping ability makes fishing more fun and successful overall since you don’t have to worry about straying off the track and so that you can pick up next time where you left off to get your most ideal catches. Many systems will help you locate the fish, but few give you such masterful details on where you were and what your track was for past ‘best catches’. For those who would rather not have to continuously guess at where and when they can get what they are after this is an ideal system. Between the sonar, the camera capabilities and the accuracy of the GPS mapping from your boat, you will never have to guess again if the spot you are in really was all that perfect.
Durability

Durability

The durability of this machine is not really something we have found anything listed as ‘bad’ anywhere we looked. When mounted and used properly, this device seems to maintain everything it gives you from day one without fail. Its durability as a continuously useful device is great as well since it can actually be updated regularly on its mapping and tracking abilities and you can even upgrade how it uses different types of radar. With it being waterproof, you don’t even have to worry if it gets a little wet on your outing for whatever reason. The mount itself holds the display steady wherever you decide to set it up as well and with the display cover, when it isn’t in use it is protected from other possible issues. We feel that when you don’t find a lot of complaints in this area, the likelihood is that it will last a good long while as long as you are properly handling it.
Ease of Use

Ease of Use

A common consensus here is that it is not easy to use for beginners or those who haven’t gone high-tech yet, If you have already crossed that line, though, and have skill with similar devices, it isn’t all that difficult to learn the new abilities and set it up as intended and get to work with using it to get your best catches yet. If you are concerned about how hard it might be to use, whether because you are a beginner, or because you have only used fairly simple fish trackers in the past, we found that there are several sites and videos that are easy to look up that can help walk you through it. In other words, even though it isn’t super easy if you want to make the jump into using better fishing equipment, it isn’t impossible to learn. It is all about how much you want to make that catch and if it is worth it to learn something new to make it.
Display

Display

The display screen for this unit is as big as many of the mid to large screen tablets you can buy these days at about 9”. It features a 16:9 format and is both in color and has a backlight, making it definitely one of the better ones out there for details and mapping. The screen also features a glass-bonded screen which cancels out glare so that even in the bright sunlight it won’t be hard to read. The only disappointment in this device we really found was in the fact that this is not a touchscreen device. Compared to the rest of what this device has to offer, though, we feel this is very minor in detail. Unless you are extremely picky about having such, this aspect is actually something you might want to ignore. Having a touchscreen often means that you will have glare after all, so the question boils down to whether you want to be able to do everything with your fingers on the display- or if you want to be able to both see what you are doing, and read the information on the display no matter what time of day you are out.
Price

Price

Think you aren’t ready to pour all your savings into something as you jump into the water of high-tech fishing? Well, don’t worry! For all the features this thing has, one thing it doesn’t have is a bad price tag attached to it. Most would expect something this advanced to at least cost into the four digits, and though three can be something you need to save back for, it isn't something you wouldn't want to set a goal after. At $799, the Hummingbird may seem to be up there and out of reach, but it won't let you down, and for certain, won't be draining you of every dime. When you know something keeps up to date, it also means you only spend a large sum once, after all.
Key Features

Key Features

-Upgradable internal software
-Dual SD card slots
-Waypoint route tracking
-Automapping, waypoint GPS tracker
-Several choices in sonar
-Capable of 360-degree sonar mapping
-Glare proof
-Waterproof
-Comes with everything needed
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

If you are ready for that high-tech jump and want to get one of the best at a lower than expected price, this is one for the record! This little device will definitely make tracking your routes and locating the best fishing spots a lot easier. Though it takes some getting used to, you won’t regret spending that little bit to get a reliable fish tracker, and with just one-time cost you can keep pace with everyone else instead of having to go out for a new model every year or two!