The Best Humminbird Fish Finder for Every Fishing Scenario

Last Updated on September 28, 2022

We independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here.

The best Humminbird fish finder varies depending on how often you fish, your goals, and how much you want to spend.

After decades of fishing, with and without a depth finder, I’ve come to appreciate the benefits even the simplest model offers.

Below you’ll find some of my favorite Humminbird electronics for finding fish depending on specific situations.

ImageFeaturesRatingPrice
Best for the Money
Humminbird Helix 5

Humminbird Helix 5

  • 5” Screen
  • 800x480 pixel resolution
  • CHIRP Sonar
  • DualBeam Plus SONAR
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Best with Side-Imaging
Humminbird Helix 15

Humminbird Helix 15

  • 15” Screen
  • High-resolution display
  • One Boat Network Capability
  • Dual Spectrum CHIRP
  • Side Imaging
  • Humminbird LakeMaster, CoastMaster, and Navionics
8
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Best with GPS
Humminbird Solix 10

Humminbird Solix 10

  • 10” Touchscreen
  • Ultra-clear display
  • Fully functional keypad
  • MEGA Side Imaging+, MEGA Down Imaging+, and Dual Spectrum CHIRP sonar
  • AutoChart Live
  • Internal GPS
9
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Best Kayak Fish Finder
Humminbird PiranhaMAX 4 DI

Humminbird PiranhaMAX 4 DI

  • 4.3” Screen
  • Dual-Beam Sonar
  • Down Imaging
  • Keypad Interface
  • Fish ID+ and Fish Alarms
6
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Best Portable
Humminbird Helix 5 w/ Portable Shuttle

Humminbird Helix 5 w/ Portable Shuttle

  • 5” Screen
  • 800×480 resolution
  • Keypad control
  • CHIRP Sonar
  • DualBeam Plus SONAR
7
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Best for a Pontoon
Humminbird Helix 7

Humminbird Helix 7

  • 7” Screen
  • MEGA Side Imaging
  • MEGA Down Imaging
  • Dual Spectrum CHIRP
  • Built-in Humminbird Basemap
  • AutoChart Live
8
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Best for a Bass Boat
Humminbird Apex 19

Humminbird Apex 19

  • 18.5” Screen
  • Full-HD Touchscreen
  • MEGA Side Imaging+, MEGA Down Imaging+, and Dual Spectrum CHIRP
  • One-Boat Network
  • AutoChart Live
9
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Humminbird Depth Finder Reviews

Humminbird Helix 5

Humminbird Helix 5

Best Fish Finder for the Money

Specs

  • 5” Screen
  • 800×480 pixel resolution
  • CHIRP Sonar
  • DualBeam Plus SONAR

Pros

  • Durable
  • Reasonably Priced
  • Down and Side-Imaging Options
  • Dual Beam Plus Sonar

Cons

  • No Wireless Networking
  • Limited Mapping
  • Smaller Screen
  • Not a touchscreen

Why We Chose It

The Humminbird Helix 5 is simple to set up and use and easy on the wallet.

It offers all the features the average weekend angler needs to identify underwater structures and find fish, such as side imaging, down imaging, dual sonar, and CHIRP Sonar.

The five-inch screen will be more challenging to read, but the screen resolution is 800×480, so it still gives off a clear picture.

Instead of a touchscreen, the buttons are how you navigate it; this is a pro for some and a con for others. Personally, I prefer to have both options.

I wouldn’t recommend this model for tournament anglers because of the lack of wireless networking and the limited mapping capabilities.

Connecting all of your Humminbird electronics won’t be as simple as more expensive models offering wireless capabilities.

For the price, the Humminbird Helix 5 is tough to pass on unless you need the advanced features. 

If you’re willing to spend more money on a larger screen and a few more features, you should consider the Helix 9 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS G4N

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Humminbird Helix 15

Humminbird Helix 15

Best Fish Finder With Side Imaging

Specs

  • 15” Screen
  • High-resolution display
  • One Boat Network Capability
  • Dual Spectrum CHIRP
  • Side Imaging
  • Humminbird LakeMaster, CoastMaster, and Navionics

Pros

  • Giant screen
  • Clear picture
  • User-friendly
  • Loaded with advanced features 
  • High-speed Ethernet

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Overkill for the average angler

Why We Chose It

With a giant 15” display, you can clearly see the side scan view and traditional CHIRP Sonar, so you can better understand the bottom contour.

Though it’s not a touchscreen, the buttons make it user-friendly, even with all the advanced features this unit offers, like side imaging, Dual spectrum CHIRP, and AutoChart Live real-time mapping. 

If you run other Humminbird electronics or Minn Kota products, you can wirelessly connect this unit using the One-boat network, so you can control your Talon, Raptor, or trolling motor.

This unit is overkill for the average weekend angler or kayak angler. Still, the Humminbird Helix 15 is an excellent choice for a side imagining depth finder if you’re a serious tournament angler.

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Humminbird Solix 10

Humminbird Solix 10

Best Fish Finder With GPS

Specs

  • 10” Touchscreen
  • Ultra-clear display
  • Fully functional keypad
  • MEGA Side Imaging+, MEGA Down Imaging+, and Dual Spectrum CHIRP sonar
  • AutoChart Live
  • Internal GPS

Pros

  • Built-in GPS
  • One-Boat Network compatibility
  • Dual-core processing power
  • Customizable settings and view combinations

Cons

  • Expensive

Why We Chose It

The Humminbird Solix 10 was designed with tournament anglers in mind. This unit has Humminbird’s latest features available, but you’ll pay a high price for that privilege.

The built-in GPS is excellent with the AutoChart Live mapping feature, so if your lake isn’t one of the 10,000 lakes on Hummibird basemap, you can still have an accurate depiction of your favorite spots in a relatively short amount of time.

I like that it’s touchscreen and has a keypad.

The Solix 10 will communicate with your other Humminbird electronics using Bluetooth via the One-boat Network; this is a significant advantage for Minn Kota and Humminbird users.

The price is difficult to swing for the weekend angler, but if you want the best Humminbird GPS fish finder, the Solix 10 is it.

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Humminbird PiranhaMAX 4 DI

Humminbird PiranhaMAX 4 DI

Best Kayak Fish Finder

Specs

  • 4.3” Screen
  • Dual-Beam Sonar
  • Down Imaging
  • Keypad Interface
  • Fish ID+ and Fish Alarms

Pros

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Simple to use
  • Compact
  • Has down imaging
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Small screen
  • You will likely grow out of it
  • Must buy a different model to get more Humminbird features

Why We Chose It

Though we want it, most kayak anglers don’t need all the features that tournament boat anglers need. We’re also constrained on space, so having a compact yet simple-to-operate fish finder is essential.

The PiranhaMAX 4 DI is perfect for beginners and kayak anglers because you won’t get confused by unnecessary features, and the screen doesn’t take up too much space.

The small screen is more difficult to see than larger screens; however, it’s less likely to get in the way of your paddling and fishing.

The DI means it has down imaging which is rare for entry-level fish finders. This added feature does cost a little extra, but it’s nice to have, considering the jump in price to the Helix 5 or Helix 7 for similar features.

The simplicity and compactness of the PiranhaMAX 4 DI make it the perfect option for kayak anglers looking to add a Humminbird depth finder to their kayak. 

The Garmin Striker 4 is basically the same fish finder, except Garmin makes it if you prefer Garmin units.

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Humminbird Helix 5 w/ Portable Shuttle

Humminbird Helix 5 w/Portable Shuttle

Best Portable Fish Finder

Specs

  • 5” Screen
  • 800×480 resolution
  • Keypad control
  • CHIRP Sonar
  • DualBeam Plus SONAR

Pros

  • Portable
  • Lightweight
  • Simple to use
  • Easy “installation”

Cons

  • Mid-range price
  • Not a permanent solution

Why We Chose It

The Humminbird Helix 5 with a carrying case is the solution for portable fish finders. If you rent boats or want to see what’s under the dock, this unit gives you that ability with a suction cup transducer mount. 

This is not a castable fish finder, so if you fish from the shore, this is not for you. It’s reasonably priced, considering the Helix 5 has an internal GPS and Chartplotter capabilities.

However, this model only offers CHIRP 2D Sonar, so that you won’t have downscan or sidescan options.

The Helix 5 is simple to use and a good intermediate or beginner model fish finder.

I like that it comes with a carrying case to keep everything organized during transport, which is why it’s the best portable Humminbird depth finder.

If you’re looking for a portable ice fishing flasher, the Humminbird ICE-45 Portable Flasher will help you locate fish swimming under the ice.

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Humminbird Helix 7

Humminbird Helix 7

Best Fish Finder for Pontoon Boat

Specs

  • 7” Screen
  • MEGA Side Imaging
  • MEGA Down Imaging
  • Dual Spectrum CHIRP
  • Built-in Humminbird Basemap
  • AutoChart Live

Pros

  • Lots of sonar options
  • Your lake is likely programmed into the unit already, with over 10,000 lakes available
  • MEGA Imaging is a very clear downscan and sidescan
  • The screen is Goldilocks sized: not too big or too small

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not a touchscreen
  • Need additional memory

Why We Chose It

Though the Humminbird Helix 7 is expensive, it has everything the weekend pontoon angler will need and then some. 

I like that it doesn’t take up too much space, so you can still hang out on the boat without the Humminbird graphs getting in the way, yet when you’re ready to take the kids fishing, it’s there and capable of handling nearly anything you throw at it.

Though it’s unlikely that it doesn’t have your local lake preloaded, you can map your lake using the AutoChart Live real-time mapping feature to have an accurate map of your lake each time you’re fishing.

For the price, I think it should be touchscreen and keypad controlled, but it’s only keypad directed; that’s not a downside to everyone, but I’ve grown accustomed to touchscreens. 

The Helix 7 offers pontoon boat anglers all the features they’ll ever need in a compact unit, which is why I consider it one of the best fish finders for a pontoon.

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Humminbird Apex 19

Humminbird Apex 19

Best Fish Finder for Boat

Specs

  • 18.5” Screen
  • Full-HD Touchscreen
  • MEGA Side Imaging+, MEGA Down Imaging+, and Dual Spectrum CHIRP
  • One-Boat Network
  • AutoChart Live

Pros

  • This is the latest and greatest Humminbird has to offer
  • Touchscreen and keypad control
  • Huge crystal clear screen
  • Connect to your other Humminbird and Minn Kota products

Cons

  • Extremely Expensive
  • Only for serious Tournament anglers

Why We Chose It

I’m still not convinced you can’t watch the game on this unit. The Humminbird APEX 19 is the ultimate when it comes to Humminbird electronics.

It has all the latest features needed to make the cut in your next tournament. However, it comes at a steep price.

Humminbird got it right when they made this touchscreen and keypad controlled, so no matter the weather conditions, you’ll still be able to operate this unit.

When you connect it and your other Humminbird electronics to the One-boat network, you can control them with the APEX 19.

You’ll be able to identify fish, rocks, brush piles, and every other piece of structure in the lake with this unit using the MEGA Imaging+ features.

The Apex 19 is not priced for the average weekend angler. Most of the features are overkill unless you’re tournament fishing.

However, that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be nice to have it installed on the front of your bass boat.

With everything the Apex 19 is capable of, it’s easily the best Hummingbird fish finder for a boat.

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Buying Guide: What to Consider Before Buying the Best Humminbird Fish Finder

best humminbird fish finder mounted on a boat

Purchasing a depth finder can be confusing because of all the specialized jargon used by each company and the never-ending amount of features available.

So what should you consider when buying a fish finder?

The following features are what I use to help make my purchase decisions.

Sonar Options

There are several sonar types available, and they all do different things but do you need all of them?

Most anglers don’t need the latest and greatest sonar technologies. Having CHIRP, down imaging sonar, and side imaging sonar are often enough to help an angler find fish.

For beginners, I recommend sticking with CHIRP and learning to read a depth finder before spending thousands of dollars on a fish finder you don’t know how to use.

For intermediate anglers, buying a Humminbird graph with Down Imaging and Side Imaging, as well as CHIRP, will give you a good understanding of the water below your boat.

If you plan to fish in tournaments, you’ll need every advantage you can get, so you’ll need everything Humminbird offers, including MEGA 360.

Screen Size

humminbird helix series - fish finders screen size

Whether you need glasses to see, like me, or don’t want to strain your eyes while in split screen mode, I recommend going with as large of a screen as you can afford. 

The only exception is for small vessels like a kayak. I recommend going with the biggest screen that doesn’t interfere with your paddling and fishing.

Most fish finders are named depending on their screen size. So a Humminbird Helix 10 has a 10” screen, while a Helix 9 has a 9” screen. 

Lowrance and Garmin also name their fish finders in this manner.

Touchscreen Vs. Keypad

Though a touchscreen doesn’t aid your fishing skills, I believe they are generally easier to operate. So, in theory, you’ll spend less time fiddling with the depth finder and more time fishing. 

I understand this isn’t always the case, and some people prefer to use a keypad.

As I mentioned earlier, I want both options for differing weather conditions. So when the touchscreen is acting up because there’s water on it or it’s cold, I can use the keypad. 

Upgrade Options

Even the most basic fish finders allow you to mark waypoints and have decent quality sonar. However, not all offer the ability to upgrade without buying a new unit.

That’s typically why I try to buy a fish finder in the high-mid range.

They generally offer all the basic features you’d expect, with the option to upgrade to the high-end features by purchasing another transducer or other electronics.

However, you can still use the same screen.

You’ll Also Need

Now that you’ve purchased a Humminbird sonar unit, you’ll need a few other items to ensure it works properly.

Battery

lithium boat battery

You’ll need a high-quality battery. Fishing electronics today use a lot of power, whether you’re fishing saltwater or freshwater. 

A good battery is essential if you want a clear picture and your equipment to work correctly. I prefer lithium batteries; even though they’re more expensive, they have many benefits over traditional lead-acid batteries.

Heavy-Duty Battery Cable

I installed a brand new fish finder on my grandpa’s boat a few weeks ago, only to have the screen flashing at us.

The problem was the power cables we were using weren’t big enough to handle the amount of power it needed to function.

Don’t skimp on the wires from your battery to the unit.

Trolling Motor

If you don’t own a trolling motor, it’s time to consider it because it makes fishing much more enjoyable!

Once I started using sonar, I quickly realized that a trolling motor was essential to consistently catching fish. 

The trolling motor also gives you another location to mount the transducer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the top-of-the-line Humminbird fish finder? 

The Apex is the top-of-the-line Humminbird fish finder.

How long do fish finders last?

A fish finder will last over 10 years if you take care of it. However, if you’re looking to stay on the cutting edge of technology, it will last 2-4 years tops.

Who makes Humminbird fish finders?

Johnson-Outdoors has owned Humminbird fish finders since 2004.

Last Cast

What you believe to be the best Humminbird fish finder will depend on your situation.

For the average angler, a Helix 7 will be the best.

That’s not the case for tournament anglers; they need every advantage they can get over their competitors, so a Humminbird APEX 19 is the best fish finder for their situation.

I’d love to know which Humminbird depth finder you purchased; let me know in the comments below!

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