Humminbird Helix 9 Mega SI G3N Review: Complete Overview With Pros & Cons, and Buying Guide
Fishing is such a fun activity. It gets even more fun and rewarding if you have good quality equipment, especially a feature-loaded fish finder.
In this article, we will be discussing one such amazing fish finder – Humminbird HELIX9. It has some great features that completely enhance the fishing experience for anglers. The majority of Humminbird HELIX 9 reviews speak highly of the entire series for its great models that suit all angling needs and budgets. However, today we will discuss in-depth one of the most popular variants of this series the HELIX 9 MEGA SI+ GPS G3N.
At a Glance
- With HELIX 9 you can view up to 200 feet extending on both sides of the vessel and below with a 20% enhanced viewing capacity. All thanks to its MEGA Down Imaging+ and MEGA Side Imaging+ technology.
- It has Dual Spectrum CHIRP, which means you have access to view the results in both wide and narrow modes.
- You can also control how the sonar findings display on the screen with the help of SwitchFire.
- The Humminbird HELIX 9 reviews applaud its highly efficient GPS navigation and built-in basemap.
- Another distinguishing feature of HELIX 9 is the AutoChart Live, which, combined with LakeMaster, allows you to create your own real-time maps with more accuracy.
Table of Content
- Humminbird Helix 9 G3N Overview
- What Makes Humminbird HELIX 9 Special? (Detailed Features)
- Humminbird HELIX 9 Pros and Cons
- Things To Consider Before Buying Humminbird Helix 9
- Humminbird Helix 9 SI GPS Vs. Others – Comparison With Counterparts
- Humminbird Helix 9 Reviews: FAQs
We at TrueBlueFishermen, have complied Humminbird HELIX 9 reviews of hundreds of anglers worldwide who have tried and tested this product and have given their honest feedback.
In this Humminbird HELIX 9 MEGA SI G3N review, we will go over the key features of the product that have made it the talk of the town. We will also discuss its pros and cons, as well as the things you must keep in mind before purchasing this upper-middle-range product.
In case you are looking for a budget purchase, we have also covered the best fish finders under 200 from some of the other popular manufacturers.
Humminbird HELIX 9 Overview
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Before we move on to the detailed review, mentioned below are some of the Humminbird HELIX 9 SI GPS specifications and key features:
- Display Pixel – 1024 x 600
- Display screen size – 9-inch, color TFT
- CHIRP Frequencies Supported – Full Mode (150-220 kHz)
- Narrow Mode CHIRP Frequencies Supported – (180-240 kHz)
- Wide Mode – (140-200 kHz)
- Sonar Frequencies Supported – 50/83/200/455/800 kHz & 1.2 MHz
- Depth Sonar – 1,200 feet (standard transducer), 3,500 feet (optional 50 kHz)
- Depth-Down Imaging – 125 feet (800 kHz), 200 feet (MEGA), 400 feet (455 kHz)
- Range-Side Imaging (Side-To-Side) – 250 feet (800 kHz), 400 feet (MEGA), 800 feet (455 kHz)
- Compatible with – AIS, AutoPilot, MEGA 360, Minn Kota i-Pilot Link, Minn Kota Talon/Raptor, NMEA 2000, One-Boat Network, Radar
- LED backlight
- Temperature alarm and graph
- Freeze-frame function
- Upgradable software
- Navionics Platinum + Compatibility
- Heading Sensor GPS Compatibility
- Coast Master Compatibility
- 1,000-watt RMS power output
- 8000-watt peak-to-peak power output
- The transducer features a built-in temperature sensor
- Gimbal-style mount or optional in-dash mount
- Selective Fish-ID+
- 2-Year Limited warranty
What Makes Humminbird HELIX 9 Special?
The Humminbird HELIX 9G3N is a fully feature-loaded fish finder with all the essentials required in an entry-level device. However, what sets it apart from the rest is the advanced and noteworthy capabilities that make it a more productive fishing tool. Some of its key features include:
All Humminbird HELIX 9 reviews state that the most significant feature added to the Humminbird HELIX 9 SI GPS is the new and enhanced MEGA imaging system. This technology uses frequencies that are 2-3 times higher than those emitted by traditional fish finders.
The MEGA Side Imaging+ and the MEGA Down Imaging+ offer a better view with 20% more clarity to spot more fish, rocks, and baitfish schools. With this feature, even the smaller vessels can take advantage of the clarity of detail that was earlier reserved only for the larger boats fishing in the deep waters.
Humminbird HELIX 9 is probably the first fish finder that is equipped with megahertz-level imaging suitable for end-users. Even though the higher frequency of the MEGA imaging system offers more clarity only for a shorter distance, the CHIRP Sonar transducer covers the traditional frequencies to offer a complete and extended image of the wider areas and potential depths.
The next feature that we want to highlight in our Humminbird HELIX 9 MEGA SI G3N review is its GPS and chartplotting capabilities. This model comes with an advanced GPS module that will allow you to mark waypoints, routes, and tracks and prevent you from getting lost in unfamiliar territories.
The built-in Basemap feature also allows you to navigate through the major waterways with more confidence. In addition, you get pre-installed charts of more than 10,000 lakes and coasts acclimating you to what is below the water level.
Other notable features of the navigation system which get a thumbs up in the Humminbird HELIX 9 SI reviews are speed tracking, radar and AIS (Automatic Identification System) compatibility, and support of external GPS heading sensors.
Display and Resolution
The Humminbird HELIX 9 SI GPS G3N comes with a large 9-inch color display and a resolution of 1024 X 600 pixels with 1,500 nits of light. It offers anglers to view vivid details both during day and night, something that is not offered by the standard definition screens.
The durable glass-bonded screen also makes it resistant to glare and allows anglers to view high-definition images even from a distance. Though the image quality offered by the Humminbird HELIX 9 MEGA SI GPS fishfinder and chartplotter is unparalleled, the large screen size can become an issue for the smaller vessels, like kayaks.
You can check out our list of some of the best fish finders to find yourself a smaller model in such a case.
Another useful feature that several Humminbird HELIX 9 reviews agree to is the AutoChart Live capability that helps you create comprehensive real-time maps using GPS and 2D sonar data. This feature also gives you access to LakeMaster, LakeMaster Plus, and Navionics maps which you can overlay with your custom maps for more advanced chartplotting.
This way, you can personalize the maps by saving your favorite fishing spots. According to the Humminbird HELIX 9 SI reviews, all you need to do is cruise back and forth over the waters and the AutoChart will automatically map the depth contours, the bottom vegetation, and hardness.
HD Radar System
If you have already gone through the Humminbird HELIX 9 MEGA SI G3N reviews, you must have read that this model features a powerful radar system that will keep you safe in the waters.
Now we do realize that the radar will not improve the fish finding abilities of the device, but it will surely prevent you from getting lost in unfamiliar areas, especially during the night or in foggy weather.
The Humminbird HELIX 9 MEGA SI GPS fishfinder and chartplotter can help you detect objects up to 24 nautical miles away, giving you an early warning of someone or something heading in your direction.
Dual Spectrum CHIRP
The Humminbird HELIX 9 SI GPS G3N fish finder also features Humminbird’s latest sonar innovation – the Dual Spectrum CHIRP powered by the Low Q CHIRP transducer. This technology offers two ways to search the waters, i.e., a wide range mode for maximum coverage and a narrow mode for optimum detailing.
Many Humminbird HELIX 9 SI reviews state that this feature provides anglers a clear view of the fish-holding structure at the bottom, fish arches, and better target separation due to a strong signal-to-noise ratio.
Another excellent feature that we must mention in our Humminbird HELIX 9 MEGA SI G3N review is the innovative SwitchFire sonar technology. With this unique feature, you can customize how you want the sonar information to be displayed on the screen based on the water conditions.
In case you are sailing through choppy or shallow water, you can select the Clear Mode to reduce the signal noise and get a better picture. On the other hand, you can use the Max Mode in calm water to get more detailed imagery of what is going on below the vessel.
A few Humminbird HELIX 9 reviews also state that the transition between the two modes is quite effortless, which allows you to concentrate more on your fishing rather than struggle with the device.
While the standard fish finders provide you the data, you need to analyze the data yourself to catch more fish. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if the fish finder could also tell you the best place to set up your bait? To cater to this need, Humminbird has come up with another innovative technology.
The Humminbird HELIX 9 MEGA SI GPS integrates the SmartStrike technology that analyzes seasonal data, current weather conditions, and lake data to find the best fishing spots.
SmartStrike, along with LakeMaster, helps you access shallow water, depth highlight, and water level offset. Once you find the perfect spot, you can use the i-Pilot® Link to follow the contour with your Minn Kota trolling motor.
Dual SD Card Slots
The Humminbird HELIX 9 G3N comes with two SD card slots which allow you to save and use more information than any standard fish finder. This way, you can use the cards to save your customized maps and other personalized data, while the other slot can be used to use advanced mapping programs and features.
Also, both the slots are located on the front rather than the sides of the unit, which according to several Humminbird HELIX 9 MEGA SI G3N reviews, makes it easier to access or switch cards when necessary.
Pros and Cons Of Humminbird HELIX 9
Clear Images with Large Display
The large 9-inch HD screen provides high-resolution images that are easy to see even from a distance. Unlike with a smaller device where you need to drop everything and move over to the screen to read the data, with HELIX 9, you can simply glance at the screen to know the findings.
The HELIX 9 has an excellent navigational system that will not let you get lost in the water. With its precision radar and built-in GPS, you can easily navigate your way through unknown territories or in foggy weather conditions.
Incredible details with MEGA Imaging
As per the Humminbird HELIX 9 reviews, the MEGA Down and Side Imaging+ technology provides a crystal-clear view of what is happening around and below the vessel.
The Humminbird HELIX 9 SI reviews also state that the chartplotting and AutoChart feature makes it easy to navigate through different waters by creating real-time detailed maps as you drive your boat. The HELIX 9 also comes with eight hours of built-in recording time to store your personalized mapping data.
You can use the high-speed Ethernet to connect other fish finders and create a network of professional-grade fishing systems.
Works in Different Waters
Several Humminbird HELIX 9 reviews do mention that the high-end sonar technology allows you to use this fish finder smoothly in saltwater, freshwater, or brackish water.
The Bluetooth allows you to upgrade the fish finders software using the Humminbird FishSmart App wirelessly. As per the Humminbird HELIX 9 SI reviews, you can also connect your phone to the device to access your phone notifications on the HELIX screen. Plus, you can use the optional RC2 Bluetooth remote control to access the device features.
Fast and Responsive
The majority of Humminbird HELIX 9 reviews state that the variant is quite fast and responsive, giving anglers a seamless fishing experience.
One of the biggest downsides of this model is its price. The HELIX 9 is a high-end fish finder in the market. The popular Humminbird HELIX 9 MEGA SI G3N reviews state that the high-end and innovative features do justify its heavy price tag. However, this variant is not suitable for anglers looking for a fish finder on a tight budget.
Difficult to Use for Trolling
In their Humminbird HELIX 9 SI reviews, several users have stated that this model is not ideal for trolling, especially while using downriggers.
Few Humminbird HELIX 9 MEGA SI G3N reviews mention that the users would have preferred a touchscreen for this price tag.
Things To Consider Before Buying The HELIX 9
Since you are reading this Humminbird HELIX 9 MEGA SI G3N review, we assume that you may be looking for an upgrade or heard good things about the HELIX 9 series.
Either way, it is better to learn from the horse’s mouth than to regret it later. Therefore, we went through several Humminbird HELIX 9 reviews ourselves to help you decide if this model is worth taking the plunge.
Usage Frequency: We understand that nothing can be more disheartening than coming back empty-handed after spending a long day in the water. Now, there is no denying that a good fish finder can help you spot the most lucrative fishing spots.
Therefore, before you plan to invest in a high-end model such as the HELIX 9, you need to ask yourself, “How often am I going to use it?” Your personal usage and preferences should be the deciding factor. If you are out there fishing every weekend, it is worth buying. If fishing is a few and far between hobby, it is probably not a good idea to invest in this fish finder.
Exploring vs. Regular Fishing: The second point you must consider is the kind of fishing you will be involved in. For example, suppose you are more of an explorer who wants to experience different waters. In that case, the Humminbird HELIX 9 reviews state that the Dual Beam sonar of HELIX 9 with adjustable frequencies can enhance your fishing experience to a great extent.
However, if you want to go fishing in the same area every time, you can manage with a cheaper model suitable for the water depth you are comfortable with.
Boat Size: You must also consider the size of your vessel before finalizing the HELIX 9. In case you have a large boat, mounting the HELIX 9 should not be a problem. However, if you are working with a smaller boat or a kayak, the large display screen of the Humminbird HELIX 9 SI GPS can become a hindrance.
Comparison with Counterparts
There are several variants in the HELIX 9 series that you can consider if you wish to save money and are willing to compromise on a few features.
HELIX 9 CHIRP MEGA DI GPS G3N: The HELIX 9 CHIRP MEGA DI GPS G3N can help you save a few dollars if you can manage without the side-imaging capability. Other than that, the two models are almost identical.
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The other models from different manufacturers that offer similar features are the Raymarine AXIOM 9 RV MFD and the Lowrance HDS-9 Gen3.
Lowrance HDS-9 Gen3: The Lowrance model also offers better chartplotting and mapping and gives you access to features like broadband radar and marine audio information.
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Raymarine AXIOM 9 RV MFD: The Raymarine boasts of a sleek display and an easy-to-use operating system. But, both these models are slightly expensive than the HELIX 9 even after featuring several identical features.
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The Raymarine and Lowrance models integrate a touchscreen which, according to a couple of Humminbird HELIX 9 reviews, is a drawback for the HELIX model. However, the opinion here is also divided as many anglers prefer traditional buttons over touchscreens since they usually wear gloves and the touchscreen doesn’t respond well to covered fingers.
Comparing the three, the Humminbird comes out as a winner here since it costs less than the other two models. The only drawback being the touchscreen interface preferred by some anglers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is the Humminbird HELIX 9 waterproof?
Ans: Yes, the HELIX 9 MEGA SI+ GPS G3N has an IPX7waterproof rating. In addition, the model works effortlessly in harsh weather conditions; it is dust-resistant and can handle water splashes. Furthermore, its water-resistant feature holds well up to 3 feet underwater.
Q. Is Lowrance or Humminbird better?
Ans: This is perhaps one of the most common questions asked by anglers for which there is no definite answer. The choice of the better fish finder amongst the two will depend on personal preferences.
Lowrance offers excellent small and affordable units, but the larger units do not provide additional features to justify their higher price tags. The same features can be found in the 3” or 4” units.
The Humminbird, on the other hand, outshines Lowrance with its superior technology. Humminbird was the first one to launch side-imaging and also the 360-degree sonar. However, they have fewer models for anglers on a shoestring budget.
Q. Does HELIX 9 have side imaging?
Ans: The HELIX 9 MEGA SI+ GPS G3N offers new MEGA Side Imaging+ technology that would give you a 180-degree side-to-side perspective of up to 200 feet on either side of your vessel. As per the popular Humminbird HELIX 9 reviews, this latest innovation allows you to view more fish and structure with 20% more clarity.
Q. What is the difference between Humminbird HELIX and SOLIX?
Ans: While both the HELIX and SOLIX models have similar display sizes and sonar capabilities, the main difference is in the touchscreen functionality.
- The SOLIX models come with a touchscreen, while the HELIX models don’t.
- The SOLIX models also have a better resolution (1280 x 800 pixels) than HELIX (1024 x 600).
- SOLIX gives you better high-resolution images than HELIX.
- SOLIX models also offer screen view customization.
- The transducers of SOLIX are fully grounded, which leads to reduced signal noise, whereas HELIX transducers are only partially grounded.
That brings us to the end of our Humminbird HELIX 9 MEGA SI G3N review. This model offers some incredible features and is also slightly more affordable than its competitors offering similar technologies. Its large 9-inch screen works pretty well in providing detailed images, powered by the DUAL Spectrum CHIRP and MEGA down and side-imaging features.
Whether the HELIX 9 CHIRP MEGA SI+ GPS G3N is worth the buy will depend on what you want from your fish finder. But, in our view, if you are ready to shell out those extra dollars for added features, the Humminbird HELIX 9 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS is a class on its own.