In the days of yore, fish anglers had to rely on their expertise and experience to catch fish. As a result, they often returned home with nothing but empty buckets. Modern-day fish anglers have a much better success ratio as they can rely on advanced tools and gadgets to assist them in their deep water excursions and explorations. One of the gadgets that every fish angler likes to have in their arsenal is a fish finder.

There are a variety of fish finders available from a number of manufacturers. Humminbird is renowned for its fishing instruments. The Helix 5 series of fish finders from Humminbird, in particular, has captured the attention of anglers. The Humminbird Helix 5 comes in a number of variations, each one boasting unique features and specialties. We’ll review the Helix 5 Sonar GPS combo and discuss everything this model offers.

Humminbird Helix 5 Sonar GPS Combo 

The Humminbird Helix 5 Sonar GPS combo is a small sized unit, but the new layout makes the display easy-to-read as more space is provided to the vertical split-screen view. The display of the unit is 5” in diagonal. Although the display is small, it offers a decent screen layout with 800H x 480V pixel resolution.

LED backlit display offers excellent readability during the day and even at night. The unit is IP67 waterproof and it can stay submerged in fresh water at up to 3 feet and 30 minutes.

GPS Features of the Humminbird Helix 5 Unit

This model from Humminbird uses the GPS to measure the speed of your board. The Precision GPS/WAAS also offers superior accuracy than some of the other GPS systems with fixes within 2.5 meters of the unit.

The GPS of the Humminbird Helix 5 Sonar GPS combo allows you to set waypoints. The waypoints can be connected via the routes function to create a simple-to-follow navigation path. The maximum of 50 waypoints can be set for each route. Tracks function is also there which shows you a history of your navigation path. Each track can hold a maximum of 20,000 track points. The Humminbird Helix 5 Sonar GPS combo’s head unit can store up to 50 tracks, 45 routes and 3,000 waypoints.

This model features two impressive GPS related functions – Bird’s Eye View and Drift Alarm. The Bird’s Eye View gives you a clear three-dimensional overview of your track from a bird’s POV. You have the option to shift the view to the right or left using the cursor keys. This provides you a detailed perspective on a particular area that you wish to explore.

The Drift Alarm function comes in handy when you have identified a good fishing spot and want to stay there. You can set up a perimeter around the boat using this function and you’ll be notified with an alarm if your boat moves away from the established perimeter.

The Humminbird Helix Sonar GPS combo also boasts a built-in UniMap package. These maps are quite basic and don’t offer any current, tide or port information. Fortunately, the Humminbird Mapping is supported by this model so you can upgrade the built-in charts for more details and information.

Sonar Capability of the Humminbird Helix 5

The Humminbird Helix 5 Sonar GPS combo doesn’t have side imaging or down imaging capabilities. Therefore, there is no point of purchasing a transducer that supports these technologies since the head unit of this version doesn’t support these technologies. Another transducer – XNT 9 20 T – is included in the box and it supports the regular Dual Beam Plus sonar with a maximum frequency and coverage of 83 kHz/ 60° and 200 kHz/ 20°. A temperature probe is incorporated into the transducer, allowing the unit to collect and supply temperature readings.

The Helix 5 Sonar GPS combo’s fishing finding capabilities are quite impressive. The SwitchFire mode feature allows you to quickly view all the information available in the beam generated by the transducer. This feature focuses on providing you accurate information about fish arches and size of fish.

The Selective FishID+ features also focus on the size of fish. With this function, you can see fish symbols rather than fish arches. It can distinguish three different size intervals – small, medium, and large. Not all sonar returns with a fish symbol are actually fish, but this feature is still pretty useful for anglers that want to distinguish between fish detected by the unit.

Ice Flasher is another function that you get with the Humminbird Helix 5 Sonar GPS combo. If you want to see sonar returns in a circular setting, you can use this function. It is basically intended for ice fishing or stationary fishing. It uses lines of different colors to display sonar returns. Ice Flasher takes some getting used to, but once you master this function, you should be able to detect the movement of fish and distance between the fish and your lure with ease.

Final Verdict

Even though the Humminbird Helix 5 Sonar GPS combo doesn’t have all the bells and whistles and fancy features like side imaging or down imaging, it’s still one of the best fish finders considering its price, quality, and GPS features. If you want an inexpensive fish finder that offers basic sonar and GPS features, the Humminbird Helix 5 Sonar GPS combo might be a good option for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for more advanced features, check out the Helix 5 SI GPS, the Helix 5 DI GPS, or the HELIX 5 Chirp GPS G2.