When the Humminbird® HELIX® 10 took home the 2016 ICAST award for “Best Electronics,” few were surprised. After all, Humminbird has raised that trophy for six consecutive years. For 2017, the now iconic HELIX units offer more industry-leading technologies with exclusive new Humminbird innovations designed to deliver better, more usable information about what lies below the surface.
MEGA Imaging™ with CHIRP digital sonar delivers unprecedented detail
With a sonar frequency nearly 3-times greater than traditional 455 kHz frequencies, Humminbird is the first to take fish-finding sonar to the megahertz range, resulting in the clearest, sharpest underwater views. The quantum leap to megahertz frequency provides vastly improved MEGA Side Imaging™ and MEGA Down Imaging™, giving anglers a clear choice when it comes to underwater sonar.
According to Mark Gibson, Humminbird Director of R&D, “Our team has dedicated itself to developing the best imaging technology on the water, and the result is unreal screen detail and never-before-seen clarity. It truly needs to be seen to be believed.”
AUTOCHART® Live expands with vegetation and bottom density mapping
When Humminbird first introduced AUTOCHART Live in 2015, it allowed anglers to map the depth of their favorite body of water, revealing some of the best hiding places for fish. No longer constrained by outdated paper maps or tribal knowledge, it was a step forward for fishermen everywhere. Now, Humminbird has expanded this technology even further.
In addition to mapping depth, AUTOCHART Live now gives anglers the ability to map aquatic vegetation and changing bottom hardness. This is regarded as the “trifecta” in essential information, since fish relate so specifically to depth, weed lines and transition points in bottom type – for example where a soft bottom meets hard sand or rocky structure.
The AUTOCHART Live enhancements have BASS Elite pros like Brent Ehrler very excited. “AUTOCHART Live puts the power in our hands to map uncharted waters and surgically study structure contours. Adding vegetation and bottom hardness mapping to the mix is just awesome, because that’s where the fish are – whether it’s the inside turn of a grass line, a little funnel, or spots where mud transitions to rock. You’re now talking about being able to laser in on spots that used to take us hours and hours to find,” he said.
Bluetooth® connects everything
Select new HELIX units for 2017 also feature built-in Bluetooth, which allows users to sync their smartphones and other devices, delivering text messages, missed calls, signal strength and battery life right on the Humminbird display. It creates a flawless on-board network of electronics and connectivity.
Ray Schaffart, Humminbird Brand Manager, explains further how the new Humminbird HELIX technology helps anglers catch more fish, especially used in concert with new technology from Minn Kota®. “Depth, vegetation and bottom hardness contours are like super-highways for many fish species. With Minn Kota trolling motors that have i-Pilot® Link™, you can tell your trolling motor to follow a specific depth, weed line or bottom density contour, then choose your desired speed and the boat will follow that path with the press of a button. That’s automated hands-free fishing with exact boat control, with your bait always in the strike zone.”
Since anglers and boaters have different on-the-water needs, Humminbird offers these new innovations on select second generation HELIX models.
The HELIX second generation networking (G2N) family consists of four screen sizes (7-inch, 9-inch, 10-inch and 12-inch), with each size offering three CHIRPing sonar model options – GPS 2D sonar, GPS 2D sonar/Down Imaging®, and GPS 2D sonar/Side Imaging®. Regardless of the model selected, all three sonar elements CHIRP. Exclusive to the G2N models, each one includes AUTOCHART Live vegetation/bottom hardness and Bluetooth capability. MEGA Side Imaging and MEGA Down Imaging can only be found on the GPS 2D sonar/Side Imaging HELIX 9, 10 and 12 G2N models.
The HELIX second generation (G2) family consists of two screen sizes (5-inch and 7-inch), each one offering the same CHIRPing sonar model options as the G2N. The G2 units are now equipped with AUTOCHART Live, an update over the first generation HELIX models. For the value-conscious angler, three select G2 units have an upgraded user-interface-only.
The G2 family models are not networkable and do not include the new MEGA imaging or Bluetooth technologies, however all models allow registered users to receive software updates when available. The new units are also compatible with Humminbird LakeMaster® charts, SmartStrike™ (internal GPS units only) and Navionics® Gold/HotMaps™.
All units feature an updated operating system and allow for gimbal mounting, or in-dash mounting with an optional kit. International models support 200/50kHz. Optional 50 kHz transducers are available for extreme deep-water use.