Anglers use a variety of advanced gadgets and tools to find and catch fish. One of the tools that each and every one of them has or wants to have in their arsenal is a fish finder. Fish finders provide information about the water, major lake structures, and fish locations, all of which can assist you in finding fish.

When it comes to fish finders, you have a plethora of options to choose from. One of the most popular fish finders currently available in the market is the Helix 7 from the Humminbird. The Humminbird Helix 7 comes in a number of variations and each of them has its own unique features. We will review the base model and discuss its variations and the extra features they offer.

Size and Resolution of the Display

The Humminbird Helix boasts a 7-inch display which offers plenty of real estate for interpreting the data from the GPS and the sonar. The resolution of the display is 800 x 480 pixels and shows 256 colors. All of these colors come in handy when you are using the Helix 7 unit to find the perfect spot to fish and determine your likelihood of getting a bite. The LED backlighting is also there to make images brighter and clearer.

You can use the Helix 7 without worrying about sunlight since the display is designed to work well even in bright environments. Bonded glass is used to protect the display against foreign elements including water. But glass enclosure doesn’t just offer protection; it also enhances the image quality. Generally, the display is superior to that of other fish finders, ensuring that you can easily see and make use of the data generated by the unit.

Memory Capability

All of the data that’s generated by the Helix 7 needs a RAM of large size. Otherwise, the images would not display properly or lag. This problem was reported by anglers who used earlier versions of the Humminbird Helix 7.

Since modern versions provide more data, they come with more RAM (almost double) than previous versions. The increased RAM keeps the images fluid in real-time. Lags are extremely rare now, so you will likely not miss a school of trout as they swim by.

Frequency and Depth

The sonar frequency of the Helix 7 base version is 83kHz/200 kHz with 2D imaging and the maximum it can manage with down imaging and side imaging is 455 kHz. For 2D images, the depth is 1,500 and it drops down to 100 feet for side imaging. You can get better depth with some other fish finders but they fall at the higher end of the price spectrum. The power rating of the Helix 7 is 500W.

GPS Power

Some models of the Humminbird Helix 7 lack the GPS but it is there in the base model. GPS isn’t an absolute necessity but it’s going to be helpful for adventures on unfamiliar waters or new waters. It will help you track your speed, location, and general depths around the area which can make it easier for you to find fish in new areas. You can also set waypoints on the GPS so that you don’t get lost while searching for fish on new waters. The Helix 7 gives you the option to program 4,500 waypoints and a maximum of 45 routes. While the GPS capabilities of the Helix 7 aren’t that impressive, it is functional and will give you the features you need for a rewarding fishing trip.

CHIRP Sonars

CHIRP sonars give you clearer images. They are available with a number of Humminbird Helix 7 variants, including the Chirp DI G2 Fishfinder. If you are really serious about your deep water excursions and explorations, then go for the Helix 7 that boasts CHIRP.

Imaging Capabilities

Most Helix 7 models come with SwitchFire Imaging. It creates multi-colored views that improve the image’s overall clarity. SwitchFire Imaging comes in two different types – Max and Clear – and you can switch between them anytime you want.

Max provides a view of fish, current, and thermoclines so it’s best to start with. Once you have landed on a good spot, you can switch to Clear view for more details. This removes noise from objects and gives you a better view of fish. You will be able to judge the size of the fish and determine if they are worth stopping for. You’ll be able to save time and effort by doing this and moving to another spot.

Modern versions of the Helix 7 mostly come with down-imaging or side-imaging capabilities. The model with side-imaging capability will have SI in their name; likewise, the models with DI in the title have down-imaging capability. Side-imaging allows you to scan the right and left side of your boat. In other words, it provides a 180-degree image that you can use to determine if it’s a good spot for catching fish. The maximum side-imaging range of the Humminbird Helix 7 is 100 feet in depth.

Down-imaging provides you with a fish’s point-of-view, allowing you to see what is at the bottom of the lake with a focus on detail. Most sonar scans struggle to provide a crisp view of what is under the water. This is where down-imaging stands out. It provides incredibly clear images, allowing you to distinguish objects and other things that the sonar might pick up. This way you can determine whether you have found a fish or piece of junk.

Neither side-imaging nor down-imaging is an absolute necessity. But, if you want to make your fishing adventures more successful, you should opt for a fish finder that either has side-imaging, down-imaging or both of them.

Final Verdict

Humminbird Helix 7 is a great unit that boasts all the features that one would expect to see in a top-end fish finder. The default model has a generous display size and resolution, amazing memory, impressive imaging capability, and GPS functionality. Other models come with CHIRP, side-imaging, down-imaging and other features that can make your fishing adventures more fun and rewarding. In a nutshell, if you are looking for a powerful fish finder, the Humminbird Helix 7 is definitely worth considering.