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Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP G2 Review

Rating
4.8/5
 
Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP G2 has an average rating of 4.83 out of 5 based on 6 user reviews.

HumminbirdHelix5G2

Vendor Price
Cabelas $499.99
WestMarine $499.99
BassPro $499.99

For 2017, Humminbird has once again stepped up the technology by creating the Helix 5 CHIRP G2 fish finder. Unlike the 1st Generation series, Gen 2 features the addition of CHIRP sonar, which enables anglers to scan depths using low, middle or high frequencies individually or simultaneously. The advanced sonar provides better target separation, reduced image noise and displays in higher-resolution along with the ability to reach depths of up to 1000 feet.

CHIRP Sonar

Anglers need merely dial the specific kHz in order to define the search range desired. Quickly access low, medium or high frequency ranges to find the species of fish that you hope to catch. The CHIRP also increases the ability to differentiate between bait fish, game fish, drop-offs, wrecks and other debris lying deep below the water’s surface. If the sonar beam encounters a group of fish, the display identifies each fish as an arch or dot and not one large dot.

The CHIRP sonar includes a transom mounted XNT 9 SI 180 T transducer and a 20-foot cable, which functions with fish finders having DI, SI or sonar capabilities. There is also an integrated water temperature probe that tells anglers the temperature at the upper most water layer. While normal 2D sonar functions at dual frequencies of 83/200 kHz, CHIRP extends the range to 75-95 hHz and 175-255 kHz. While down-imaging and side-imaging typically scan at a 455 kHz frequency, CHIRP increases the range to 420-520 kHz.

To use all three ranges at once, angles must have two CHIRP transducers plus two SM3000 black boxes. Range descriptions are as follows:

  • High range frequency spans 130 to 210 kHz and covers depths of up to 3,300 feet. At this level, bait fish and game fish come into view.
  • Medium range frequency spans 85 to 135 kHz and covers depths of up to 6,500 feet. At this depth, swordfish, tuna and other larger game fish are found.
  • Low range frequency spans 28 to 65 kHz and covers depths of up to 10,000 feet. This depth enables anglers or researchers to scan the bottom of the ocean floor

The 2nd Generation Helix Family

The Helix 5 Generation 2 CHIRP family includes five different models of fish finders. Each comes equipped with different features to accommodate a wide range of anglers and boaters. All models have the 5-inch 800 x 480 pixel display, gimbal or in-dash mounts. All of the Helix 5 devices are easily upgraded to include the map features you need. The Helix 5 CHIRP GPS G2, the Helix 5 CHIRP DI GPS G2 and the Helix 5 CHIRP SI GPS G2 are all equipped with GPS technology that includes a Micro SD card slot for use with cartography, saving screenshots, recording sonar readings or storing 25,000 waypoints, 45 routes and 50 tracks.

The GPS-equipped models come with AutoChart Live, which provides the ability to map depth using eight hours of storage space. All models are also compatible with the Humminbird LakeMaster charts, Gold/HotMaps and Navionics. The optional Smart Strike software gives anglers the advantage on fishing spots by identifying hot locations based on fish species, day of the year, season and current weather conditions.

  • Helix 5 CHIRP DI GPS G2-The Helix model features down imaging, which enables anglers to view what is going on at depths of up to 600 feet. The view provided by down-imaging is fan-shaped and similar to a diver beneath the water and looking out into the vast watery expanse.
  • Helix 5 CHIRP SI GPS G2-The model enables 350-foot down imaging and 100-foot side imaging to the left and right of the vessel. Side imaging features two thin fan-shaped beams that replicate an overhead view looking at fish and structures beneath the water.
  • Helix 5 CHIRP GPS G2-The unit is designed for anglers or boaters who do not desire sonar capabilities.
  • Helix 5 CHIRP GPS G2 PT-The portable device comes with a Humminbird shuttle, a soft-sided carrying case, a suction cup transducer, a 7aH battery and charger.
  • Helix 5 Sonar G2 models are sold either as mounted or portable versions. Along with the Helix 5 DI G2, the Helix 5 Sonar offers DualBeam PLUS Sonar for choosing narrow, highly-detailed beams or wide beams for larger search areas. These models function at depths of up to 1,500 feet. Anglers might also purchase optional paddle-wheel speed sensors to monitor vessel water speed.

Fish ID

The Helix 5 CHIRP Gen2 also comes with fish ID. While in 2D function, the technology replaces the familiar fish arches with fish symbols displayed above each fish. The color of the symbol also tells anglers which beam detected the fish. Fish found on the 200 kHz beam have orange symbols while fish found on the 83 kHz beam show up in green symbols. Anglers also have the option of purchasing a fish alarm that has three settings for medium, medium-large or large fish.

Despite all the bells and whistles that come with the new Helix 5 CHIRP, the units remain affordable. The ever-increasing innovations introduced by Humminbird give anglers yet another leg up on catching instead of finding the cache for the day. You can get a great deal on Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP G2 here.

 
 
 Lowrance Elite 5 Ti Simrad GO5 XSEHumminbird Helix 5 CHIRP G2
lowrance_elite5tisimrad go5 xsehumminbirdHelix5
Screen Size5 in5 in5 in
Screen Resolution800 x 480800 x 480800 x 480 pixels
Display TypeWidescreen, 16:9 ; WVGA color TFT LCDWVGA Colour TFT LCD256 Color TFT
TouchscreenYesNoNo
Imaging2D and Down Imaging and Side Imaging2D, Down Imaging and Side ImagingCHIRP/Side Imaging/Down Imaging/DualBeam PLUS
Transducer TypeTransom Mount/Trolling MotorTransom MountTransom Mount/Trolling Motor
Transmit Power500W RMS500 W (RMS)500W RMS, 4000W Peak to Peak
Sonar Frequency (50/200 or 83/200 kHz) + 455/800 kHzTraditional: 83/200 kHz
CHIRP (mid and high)
DownScan: 455/800 kHz
StructureScan: 455/800 kHz
83/200/455 kHz
CHIRP Frequencies (Out of Box Transducer)
83 kHz: 75-95 kHz
200 kHz: 175-225 kHz
455 kHz: 420-520 kHz
CHIRP Frequencies (Optional Purchase Transducer)
Low: 28-75 kHz
Med: 75-155 kHz
High: 130-250 kHz
83/200: 75-155/130-250
50/200: 28-75/130-250
Maximum Depth1000 ft1000 ft1500 ft (out of box transducer)
2500 ft (optional purchase transducer)
GPS Antenna Type10kHz Internal high-sensitivity WAAS/EGNOS/MSAS10 Hz GPS receiverInternal
Waypoint Storage300010,000 points total combined waypoints / route points2500
MSRP$549$469$499
ReviewsReviewsReviews

User Reviews

Posted by Matt

  • 5/5
5

I bought this in the winter and when I played with it at home I found a setting for ice fishing. I decided to give it a try on ice since I couldn’t install it on the boat yet. I put the transducer in the hole so that floated just below the surface and switched to the 455kHz frequency, worked like a charm. I can’t wait to use it on the boat. Will probably buy an ice fishing transducer so that I can use it year-round.

Posted by J. Wilson

  • 5/5
5

I picked up this little jewel and the first thing I did was start working with it without reading the instructions. Big mistake folks. For ease of set up, and function is to read everything before downloading the software. Once the support team walked me through getting by that issue. All I can say is NICE PRODUCT. easy to navigate, crystal clear monitor, split screen, light weight, with a sleek design and look. I have to pick up a 10′ transducer extension cord for it, because I want to use this to replace my old faith Eagle FishElite 480

I would recommend others pick this unit up. For the price you will not be disappointed.

Posted by Wesley J. Thierry

  • 5/5
5

I am a complete novice when it comes to fish finders and sonar, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The Helix 5 DI has thoroughly impressed me. Given my limited knowledge and experience, I wasn’t sure how useful it would be, but after a couple of trips to the lake I have managed to find some nice offshore fishing spots. I can even tell the difference in active fish and neutral ones. I really can’t praise Humminbird enough for how easy it is to learn to use their product. Now as soon as I get the extra cash in hand I plan on purchasing the Helix 5 Si chartplotter combo. If you haven’t given one of the Helix units a try, you definitely should.

Posted by Bo M.

  • 5/5
5

I installed this one on my pontoon and after 6 times on the water, I am confident I made the right choice. The down imaging is on another level from older regular sonars. Now I can see detail on bottom structures and drop-offs where my old units would only show a blob. I like to catfish, so having this kind of intel on what is down there is invaluable. It operates smoothly even when the boat is under way and never seems to skip like some I have owned in the past did. Keep in mind that if you turn it when not in the water you have to use simulation mode or it can screw up the calibration. This thing was worth every penny and then some. Humminbird has another happy customer.

Posted by Michael Klinker

  • 5/5
5

I got this one because I have never had a side scan sonar and wanted to give it a try. I had my doubts about the 5” screen being large enough to give any detail in split mode. One trip to the lake and I am now a believer. The wide landscape orientation makes the viewing area plenty large for side by side images. In fact, I would recommend the Helix 5 to anyone in the market for a new unit. I bought mine because it was one of the least expensive units with all the features I wanted and figured that if I liked the side scan, I could sell this one and buy one with a larger screen later. After using it a few times though, I will definitely be keeping this one. If you are still waiting to try out side scan, you are missing out. I was amazed at how much faster I was able get on some fish. The GPS maps are another great tool to help you spend more time casting and less time searching. I added the hotspots map upgrade which made an already good product great. If you want to step up to the latest technology without breaking the bank, this unit is your best bet.

Posted by TCH

  • 4/5
4

Not a bad unit, very clear screen, easily readable from all angles, during daylight. Chirp does make a difference and add more clarity to the sonar output. I didn’t like the preloaded maps, I had to spend extra to get better maps.

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