Humminbird PiranhaMax 197c DI Review

The PiranhaMAX 197c DI is a gift from Humminbird if you are looking for an optimal fish finder in your budget. This budget fish finder is an easy going type of unit that you won’t find any difficulty to use it. With a screen of 3.5-inch, this small unit can deliver optimum performance. Perhaps, it could be a great choice for your small boat and kayak fishing.

Humminbird PiranhaMax 197c DI Review

Many users find this Down Imaging sonar a compact one for its design and easy-to-use features. Though you can call this unit a basic fish finder but those navigational features that are absent in it may not be an essential for you. The PiranhaMAX 197c DI provides amazing down imaging with detail and clear view beneath your boat. The high-resolution grayscale display gives you a better view even in the direct sunlight. The battery also supports for a long period.

Technical Specs:

  • Display: 3.5” diagonal 240H x 320V, 256 color TFT with LED backlight
  • Sonar: Down Imaging & Dual Beam
  • Sonar Frequency and Coverage: 200 kHz / 28° and 455 kHz / 16° for Dual Beam, 455 kHz / 74° for Down Imaging
  • Depth capability: 320 feet for down imaging and 600 feet for dual beam
  • Target Separation: 2.5-inch
  • Power Output RMS: 300 Watts
  • Transducer: XNT 9 DI T
  • Maps & GPS: No

In PiranhaMax 197c DI, you cannot have wide or narrow split screen which is absent in this device. It mainly comes with two types of sonar, one is the Down Imaging, and the other is the Dual Beam. With the two frequencies, Dual Beam sonar operates at 200 kHz creating a cone of 28° which is the wider one and 455 kHz with a narrower 16° cone. While the wider cone angle with deeper span can cover more objects under water, the narrower one gives a better definition of the bottom. The Down Imaging sonar can only be operated at 455 kHz with coverage of 74° angles.

Humminbird PiranhaMax 197c DI Review

Though the unit is small in size, it has the depth capacity of 320 ft. for down imaging and 600 ft. for the dual beam. In that case, you can call it a ‘little master.’ Thus it is convenient to use it in lakes, canals, rivers or from the bank.

Unlike other best-featured fish finders, PiranhaMAX 197c DI also engineered with Fish ID+ function. This feature will undoubtedly help you to target the fish or the school under your boat in such an easy manner. The interpretation is quite simple that the signal to show the fish symbol on your fish finder screen. The bigger the fish symbol, the bigger the fish is! For Fish ID+, fish and depth alarm it is easy to locate fish even in the unknown location, and the device itself automatically makes adjustments to display the convenient.

This unit from Humminbird comes with XNT 9 DI T Transom type transducer. But you can request for a free replacement for through hull or transducer for trolling if you want a different type. There is a temperature sensor built-in with this standard transducer. But the unit does not support temperature graph and temperature alarm.  However, you can able to see water temperature.

The drawback is it has no split screen option. You cannot allow viewing in wide and narrow split screen simultaneously. But since it is down imaging sonar, you may use that all the time. And that is more capable of targeting much more fish than broadband sonar. Moreover, PiranhaMAX 197c DI doesn’t have navigational features. But in contrast, it is still affordable. I wish it were GPS combo and had the mapping option.

Humminbird PiranhaMax 197c DI Review

This fish finder comes in handy as it is neatly wrapped in a bag which is amazingly ready to go in minutes. The bag is a soft-shell carrying case, with a suction cup transducer, integral cable storage and a 7Ah battery and charger so no worries for power drain wherever your location is.

Features of the Humminbird PiranhaMax:

  • Down Imaging Sonar — Get a fish eye’s view of what’s happening below your boat. Incredible images are created with High-frequency sound waves.
  • Tilt and Swivel Mounts technology that quickly adjust your viewing area angle.
  • Fish ID+ interprets sonar returns and displays Fish Symbol when requirements are met.
  • It has 320 ft Down Imaging and 600 ft depth capability.
  • Programmable fish and depth alarms (fish alarm works together with Fish ID+)
  • Affordable price
  • Portable version–includes suction-mount transducer and rechargeable battery
  • Comes in the package; PiranhaMAX197c DI, Mounting Bracket, Suction-Cup Transducer, Cables, Battery/Charger, Owner’s Manual.

Potential concerns to consider:

  • Wide/Narrow Cone Split Screen is not supported in this device.
  • Selective Fish ID+ function
  • Few users pointed out its non-supportive Custom View Selection as a con.
  • It is not featured with Temperature Graph.

Final Verdict:

For the final verdict, I can say that if you are a novice and want to buy a basic fish finder than Humminbird PiranhaMAX 197c DI would be the best one to consider. Moreover, it will fit in your pocket (I’m saying about the budget). It will give you an optimum performance in shallow water. So it is highly recommended for you.

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