|Highest Rated Fishfinders|
|Humminbird Helix 5 SI GPS||Read Reviews|
|Humminbird Helix 5 DI GPS||Read Reviews|
|Lowrance Elite 4 CHIRP||Read Reviews|
|Garmin echoMap 70dv||Read Reviews|
|Garmin echo 551dv||Read Reviews|
2015 brings a new crop of fishfinders that are better than ever – both in value and in technology. Here’s the quick rundown of what’s new this year, see our fish finder reviews to find out which fishfinder fits your needs:
Hummibird intruduced a new series – Helix 5. All models in the lineup feature a new display – 5 inch with 800 x 480 resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio. There are several models in the series – from 2D sonar only to GPS/side-imaging combo.
Garmin is making a strong push to become the leader in the recreational sonar market. They are offering new gps/fishfinder models that have great features at very competitive prices. echoMap 43dv will be a popular choice among budget fishfinders, it offers 4.3inch display and down imaging. There are also new 5inch and 7inch down imaging models. echoMap 73sv provides not only down imaging but built-in side imaging as well. At the top of the echoMap lineup there is 93sv with a 9 inch screen and side-imaging priced at $1199. This model seems to be a sure hit among anglers looking for a high end model.
Lowrance is upgrading their HDS series by adding CHIRP support for the 2D sonar and faster processors. They also introduced the new Elite 9 CHIRP model with an 9inch screen and a similar set of features as the Elite 7. There are also new Elite 4 CHIRP and Mark 4 CHIRP models that provide quasi-CHIRP support and 4.3inch screen.
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Our Editor’s Choice Award for the Best Down-Imaging Fishfinder goes to the Raymarine Dragonfly 5PRO. We feel that the new Dragonfly offers superior CHIRP imaging capability that surpasses other units on the market. The wide spectrum CHIRP sonar pulses across multiple sonar frequencies simultaneously. With more sonar pulse entering the water, the Dragonfly can see underwater objects with photo like clarity and pinpoint fish with incredible accuracy. But the amazing sonar imagery is just the beginning. Our tests have also shown that Dragonfly sonar keeps track of the bottom and marks fish better than any other unit in this price range.
The Dragonfly is equipped with 2 independent CHIRP channels – downvision and fish targeting sonar. Both outputs can be displayed on the screen at once which is a very effective way of targeting fish and discriminating the bottom. Dragonfly remains the only recreational fishfinder model that has CHIRP support for down imaging. The quasi-CHIRP provided by Lowrance in their Elite CHIRP series supports 2D sonar only.
CHIRP resolves several problems with the single/dual frequency sonar. With the regular sonar when you increase sensitivity to see more targets, you increase clutter both near the surface and in the water column. But if you reduce sensitivity to remove clutter from the display, you could miss fish targets. Because CHIRP sonar uses multiple frequencies within each signal, you get the benefit of seeing more fish targets with the less cluttered display. Individual game fish can be easily identified in and around bait schools and game fish easily seen when holding near structure on the bottom.
Dragonfly’s optically bonded LCD delivers brighter colors, sharper contrast and is guaranteed to never fog up. It’s a beautiful display, boasting 1500 nit brighness that allows it be seen and read in direct sunlight. The heavy duty balance socket mounting system allows you to install the fishfinder on any surface. The mount is adjustable so you position your display for optimum viewing. The Dragonfly excels is offering maximum screen size with the smallest possible foot print so that the unit can be mounted anywhere.
The new Dragonfly 5PRO provides support for the WiFish mobile app that allows you to wirelessly stream sonar output to a mobile device. You can view, rewind and pause sonar output on your phone or tablet. The GPS supports multiple mapping solutions including: C-MAP by Jappesen, Navionics or Raymarine’s Lighthouse charts. The base 5PRO unit comes with C-MAP Essential maps. The Gold version with the Navionics Gold charts can be purchased for additional $50.
With Dragonfly’s high fidelity downvision, superbright display, and smartphone integration, you will never look at fishing the same way again. The unit is extremely easy to use, you turn it on and it does what it’s supposed to. The Dragonfly 5PRO costs $549 which is great value for this stellar technology. The Dragonfly series is years ahead of the other fishfinders and the competition hasn’t caught up yet. The Dragonfly is still hands down the best down-imaging fishfinder available to anglers today.
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Our Editor’s Choice Award for the Best Side-Imaging Fishfinder goes to the Humminbird Helix 5 SI GPS. The Helix 5 series offers anglers a range of pricing and options to fit any need without breaking the bank. No other manufacturer can match theses versatile units on functionality and value. The three main options available are the standard sonar, down imaging, and side imaging models. Each is available with or without GPS and all three are based on the same great platform.
Helix 5 SI features a vivid 800 x 480, 256 color 5 inch display with a super bright led backlight for easy viewing out in the sun. The display produces a really clear and crisp image. The wider landscape orientation allows for easy side by side viewing of any of the included imaging features. There is also a dedicated View button allowing to quickly switch display modes. The Dual Beam Plus sonar allows for both a narrow 20 degree and broad 60 degree scan to be viewed simultaneously. The improved software even allows multiple data feeds to be combined into one image showing greater detail than ever before.
The GPS is capable of storing over 50 tracks and 20000 waypoints. Finding and marking spots is easier than ever. There is a dedicated Mark button that allows the user to add a waypoint with a single push of a button. The stored waypoints are easily accessible using the dedicated Goto button. With optional Navionics or Lakemaster chart packs the amount of information available to anglers is truly amazing. The GPS receiver also allows for onscreen speed display and can route a boat easily back to the docks or ramp even in the dark.
The side-imaging mode allows to shoot a beam out to left and right-hand side of the boat and be able to see upto 240 feet in either direction giving a total reach of 480 feet on a single scan. This addition allows for scanning large areas quickly and accurately saving valuable time on the water. It reads depths of up to 100 feet, and when combined with the other scanning modes provides a comprehensive image of what lies below the surface.
The Humminbird Helix 5 SI GPS combines the latest technology in an easy to use package. It provides anglers with professional quality imaging and helping make the most of time spent on the water. It costs only $499 which is great value for this stellar technology.