New 2014 Humminbird Products

New Humminbird Products For 2014

Now that spring is getting close, the major fishing electronics manufacturers are introducing upgrades and new models to ready anglers.  While it’s impossible for me to give an honest review of these products considering some lines haven’t been brought to market yet, I would like to give you a preview of what will be available.  Buying a model the first year gives you an advantage because it’s going to have more bells and whistles, but they usually come at a larger price and an unproven product.  That being said, the overall quality of fishfinders has increased over the past 3-5 years, and I would expect a reliable unit from the major players in the industry especially Humminbird.

I just spent a few hours browsing Humminbird’s main website and talking to a few trusted captains sponsored by Humminbird, and I was very impressed with their new products for 2014.  Many anglers and charter captains have switched to larger screen Humminbird units over the past 2 years in the Great Lakes and I expect the trend to continue with quality products and better customer service than Lowrance.

What New Technology Did Humminbird Introduce?

Cross Touch

With the advancement in screen technologies, Humminbird figured that they needed to keep pace and have introduced “Cross-Touch” which is really just a fancy word for touchscreen.  You will now have the convenience of a touch screen to navigate through your display pages and a digital keyboard to name and enter waypoints easier among other things.  Humminbird will keep the regular type-pad for those who prefer it and also for rough weather where the touch screen may become difficult to use.  A very cool feature and this will come standard on their new ONIX and ION series electronics.

SmartStrike

Another very cool technology Humminbird has introduced is the SmartStrike Map Cards.  The cards come with a software package by LakeMaster and can help you pinpoint areas based on location you know catch fish or find new areas using the included algorithm.  It can help you find fish by entering lake conditions, time of year, etc. and it will give a few new areas to try.  I will definitely be keeping my eyes on this product.  It is available for their new ONIX and ION series electronics.

What New Models Is Humminbird Introducing in 2014?

Onix Series – The ONIX series is Humminbird’s latest model.  If offers all of their new features in either a 8.4″ screen or 10.4″ screen.  Obviously, the main selling point for the both the new ONIX series is the new and improved display.  In addition to this new display, the ONIX models also use 360 imaging, down imaging, and trifuel (access to multiple chart software).

Ion Series – The ION series of Humminbird electronics is their top tier line and they call it their “blue water” line.  Essentially it is their best and most expensive models that integrate all of the best features Humminbird has to offer.  Once again, the main selling point is the new and improved user display.  The Ion series offers all the same features that their new ONIX has but it also larger and higher resolution screens along with Ethernet based expandable networking and a built in web browser.  The web browser allows you to access the internet, monitor weather conditions, and everything in-between.  The networking expandability allows you to add radar, autopilot, remote cameras, and more if you like even more angling technology seamlessly integrated with your system.

Humminbird 898c

The Humminbird 898c HD SI Combo is top of the line in the 800 series fishfinder line.  The unit boasts Humminbirds SideImaging technology, which are immaculate on the 7 inch high def screen.  The 898c HD SI is a proven top performer, which is why so many fisherman have upgraded.


Screen and Display Quality

The 7 inch screen on the 898c HD SI provides great sonar and GPS images.  With a resolution of 480 by 800 pixels, all of the features such as side imaging, GPS maps, and weather sense all are crystal clear.  In addition to the outstanding resolution, the 16:9 color is the same as a high def television.  When using the GPS and Fishfinder in dual screen modes, the screen is large enough to use both modes without feeling that you are missing out on the small details.  When using the 898c HD in a split screen mode while side imaging, you can set waypoints of bottom structure on the GPS.  When you come back to these honey holes that are already input the GPS will alert you when you enter into casting range.

GPS

The GPS is external on the 898c HD, when shopping Humminbird products the model CI indicates an integrated GPS.  The external GPS on the 898C has some advantages, such as some situation require an external GPS due to electrical current which can interrupt GPS signals.  The unit has two SD card slots, which allow multiple map packs to be loaded.  Compatible map packs are Humminbird Contour XD, Navionics and LakeMaster.  With these map packs you can enter the 3-d chart view, which gives both the above and below water contours.  The CannonLink, which is an option for the 898C lets you have precise control over downrigger depth by setting downrigger depth in relation to the lake bottom.  The I-pilot link is the autopilot feature, which lets the fishfinder use the trolling motor to follow set courses allowing the fishfinder to drive while you make the perfect cast!

Sonar

One of the best inventions for fishing is the 360 degree sonar that humminbird offers.  The price tag of around 2,000 is steep, but none the less allows a 360 image of the bottom of the boat.  The side imaging which is standard on the 898C allows for 180 degree imaging, the reason there are only 180 degrees is that the transducer is transom mounted whereas the 360 imaging is lowered below the boat allowing sonar penetration forward of the transom.  The side imaging sonar is in two different signal strengths 455 kHz and 800 kHz, which can operate at a maximum of 150 feet.  The Dual beam sonar that comes with the unit is 200 kHz by 83 kHz, which does well in situations that are not in extreme depth.  If you need to go deep, 1,500 feet is the maximum.  To get the best results in deep water the optional 200 kHz and 50 kHz transducer works in up to 3,000 feet of water.  The switchfire feature allows for precise adjustment of the sonar images.  Options using switchfire include multiple color sonar screens and controlling the feedback from the sonar.

Conclusion

The 898C combines many great features such as the side imaging into a 7 inch fishfinder.  If you decide to give the 898C a try spend some time reading the manual and experimenting, because there are tons of features and options.  If you decide to upgrade to the 898c HD SI you will be purchasing one of the best fishfinders on the entire market.

Humminbird 998c HD SI

The new 998c HD SI from the Humminbird 900 series is one of the best fishfinders on the market.  For years Humminbird had a bad name in the industry, but when Cannon downriggers took over control they have quickly made a resurgance to one of the top brands in the industry.  Many of my old fishing friends liked to call them chumminbirds simply because the sonar was weak and there seemed to be alot of interference making the sonar essentially useless.  Charter captains all across the great lakes are now finding that these upgraded finders can provide a distinct competitive advantage over many other competitors.    The screen has a high resolution and is a much wider screen than most other models giving great sonar and GPS images.  You will have no problem reading the screen from nearly anywhere on the boat and it provided more detail for the captain sitting right next to it.  The GPS plotter function is completely functional and compares well with other popular units such as Garmin.  This unit also has a newer capability which they call 3-d charts mode, it really a fascinating new technology that gives boaters a much better view of the bottom.  With inclusion of all the bells and whistles such as side imaging, downimaging, and DualBeam, Humminbird created the class of market.

Sonar

The sonar on the unit has multiple frequencies to use in either dualbeam, downimaging, or sideimaging sonar modes.  The frequency of the DualBeam Plus is 200 kHz and 83 kHz, which works well up to 1,500 feet of water.  If you encounter depths greater than 1,500 feet the optional 200 kHz and 5o kHz frequency transducer is available and works up to 3,000 feet of water.  These units also took in mind the older transducers and made them interchangeable which is always nice if you’re just looking to upgrade the size of your screen without buying a whole new transducer.  The side and down imaging use the same signal lengths, which are 455 kHz and 800 kHz.  The 800 kHz sonar imaging for the side imaging is quite amazing on the large high def screen.  I will include below videos explaining the sonar modes, if you haven’t checked out what Humminbird fishfinders are capable these days I strongly recommend watching them.  The big difference between lower model units and the 998c HD SI Combo is the power output.  The power output is the strength of the signal, and with 8,000 watts peak to peak and 1,000 RMS the unit boasts one of the strongest signals on the market.

Screen and Display Quality

The 998c HD SI features a great screen with a 8.0 inch diagonal size.  The high resolution allows for in depth analysis of side and down imaging sonar pictures by zooming in without loosing resolution and clarity.  The pixels that Humminbird used are 480 vertical by 800 horizontal.  The result of the ratio is a wide screen, which works really well in dual or tri screen modes.  The color is provided by the 16:9 TFT and allows you to switch setting until you find the perfect fit for the conditions.   The screen holds up well in all types of lighting so don’t worry about any problems such as glare, or not being able to see the screen wearing polarized glasses.  The display is best flush mounted, for some reason to me a having a couple of these flush mounted in dash is hard to beam cosmetically.

GPS Plotter

The antenna for the GPS on the 998c HD SI combo is built in and offers precise location.  The unit also has a built in cartography made by Humminbird.  The compatible Navionics and LakeMaster maps take the GPS/Plotter to another level.  The platinum Navionics map pack allows for 3-d charts so you can see everything in 3-d both below and above the water line.  When fishing thats a great feature for fishing structure such as drop offs.

Recommendation

Humminbird created the class of the 8 inch display market with the 998c HD SI Combo.  The display shines with all of the features that are available on the unit, side imaging with 800 kHz provides some of the best sonar images available to fishermen.  The ultimate addition is the 360 sonar option which provides an image all the way around the boat.  If you decide to try the 998c HD SI you will not be disappointed, the fishfinder is a proven favorite among fishermen.

Humminbird 1158c

Humminbirds 1158c Combo is equipped with dual beam sonar, which provides improved sonar images.  The unit also boasts a 10.4 inch screen, that has great resolution and provides top notch sonar images.  The dual beam sonar pictures provide top of the line high def images on the large display which is the reason why fisherman have chosen to upgrade to the 1158c.

Screen and Display Quality

The main attraction to the 1100 product line for Humminbird is the 10.4 inch displays that come on each unit.  The screen has a high resolution, and provides great sonar images and gives a huge map when using GPS.  The pixels on the unit are 600 vertical and 800 horizontal, which is high resolution providing great sonar images.  The color is TFT and has many adjustments, so finding the right one for the condition is easy.  The unit holds up to all types of lighting and is backlit so that the images do well at night time.  The controls on the display take some learning, so be sure to study the manual before the first time out which helps cut down the learning curve and gets the most out of your fishfinder.  The 1158c Combo uses a gimbal mount, and can be flush mounted which looks amazing.

GPS Plotter

The GPS uses an external antenna, which comes with the unit.  The antenna does a nice job, so don’t worry about an upgrade of antenna.  The cartography on the unit is a built in Humminbird map pack.  Map packs are available for upgrade, and are compatible with Navionics and LakeMaster.  The Navionics Platinum map pack has the 3d chart view, the model is really cool and gives a topographic map both above and below the waterline.  Other features are the compatible i-Pilot offered by Humminbird.  The i-Pilot hooks directly into the trolling motor and is controlled by the GPS plotter.  So when you set a course for the trolling motor or select a depth you would like to stay on the i-pilot steers and keeps the boat in place.  Which lets you concentrate on setting lines or casting while your electronics control the boat.

Sonar

The sonar on the 1158c is meant for deep water.  The standard transducer which works with dual beam plus is 200kHz and 83 kHz signals.  If you are in depths greater than 1,500 feet then there is a deepwater transducer available with frequencies of 200 kHz and 50 kHz.  The DualBeam Plus is a good feature and provides upgraded sonar images that include both frequencies.  A great option is the Cannonlink, which lets the head unit control the downrigger depths on compatible Cannon Downriggers.  Below is a DualBeam Plus video, check it out so you get an idea of what the unit is capable of with the sonar.

Recommendation

The 1158c makes good use of the 10.4 inch screen.  The dual beam mode gives great sonar images.   The Switchfire feature further refines the dualbeam allowing for great adjustments and color options to give the best possible sonar pictures.  With such a large screen using the GPS is fun, especially in 3d chart mode!  If you chose to upgrade to the 1158c Combo you will join many other happy Humminbird owners.

Humminbird 1158c DI

Humminbirds 1100 series features a 10.4 inch LED backlit color display, which shows high definition sonar and GPS/plotter  images.  The 1158c DI Combo features Humminbirds downimaging technology, which on a screen the size of the 1158c really shines.  Also featured are GPS functions, allowing you to use hook into Humminbird accessories via ethernet networking.  With all the features Humminbird has packed into the 1158c DI, its easy to see why the Humminbird 1158c DI is a favorite among fisherman.

Sonar

The sonar Humminbird has paired with the huge screen is geared toward shallow or bay fishing.  The maximum depth of the Downimaging is 350 feet and 600 feet when using the DualBeam Plus.  The stats on the Down Imaging are 455 kHz and 800 kHz, the 800 kHz in particular gives a great underwater images.  I have included a video from Humminbird below, that does a great job explaining the Down Imaging.  The other sonar setting is the DualBeam Plus which uses two frequencies at 200 kHz and 455 kHz.  The higher frequency allows for sonar images with higher resolution and more detail.  The unit doesn’t have a deep water transducer, either a 83 kHz or 50 kHz so make sure that the water you are fishing will be 600 feet or less.  The addition of Switchfire to the DualBeam lets you really dial in the sonar picture.  There are multiple colors to chose from, in addition to refining the sonar noise so that you get the best possible picture.  I have included below an instructional video, which shows the Switchfire in action, I recommend checking it out if you haven’t seen Switchfire before.  There is also a DualBeam video, which highlights the features.

Display and Screen Quality

The main attraction to the 1158c DI Combo is the screen.  The 10.4 inch screen is impressive and delivers incredible sonar images.  The screen resolution is 600 vertical by 800 horizontal, which is high resolution.  The color is 4:3 TFT, which has alot of settings so that you can adjust the unit to any light condition.  The display can be mounted either via a gimbal mount or flush mounted.  Also included is a unit cover.  In terms of taking the unit on and off of the boat its pretty easy, just a couple screws and the units off.  Disconnecting unit from sonar, power and GPS antenna usually takes a bit more time than taking the unit off the mount.

GPS Plotter

The GPS antenna on the 1158c DI is external and is included with the unit.  As an option you can upgrade the antenna, but the unit provided by Humminbird does a great job as is.  There is also a built in map that comes with the 1158c DI that is made by Humminbird.  In addition to the built in maps the 1158c DI is compatible with LakeMaster, Navionics Platinum, Gold and HotMaps.  With the Navionics Platinum there is a 3D chart view, which allows you to view the map with 3D topography both below and above the water.  A great use of the charts is the optional i-Pilot link, which allows you to control your trolling motor from the 1158c DI.  You can select a desired depth you would like the unit to troll on, and the fishfinder and trolling motor will follow the contours.

Recommendation

Humminbird has put together a great set of features on the 1158c DI.  When fishing in water less than 600 feet the 1158c DI shines.  Between all the sonar features and the great user friendly GPS, the 1158c DI is the ultimate fishfinder upgrade.

Humminbird 596c HD DI

Humminbirds 596c HD DI is a great product that gives fisherman a chance at owning a unit that will provide high def pictures with downimaging at a great price.  The display is 5 inches and provides nice looking sonar images, especially in downimaging mode.  The unit doesn’t come with GPS features, which are available on the 597 product line.  The 596c HD DI does its one intended purpose really well which is using sonar to find fish!

DownImaging Sonar

The 596c HD DI boasts Humminbirds downimaging sonar feature which is really impressive and new to the market.  By using higher frequency sonar signals of 200 kHz and 455 kHz, you get a great picture of what is going on underneath of the boat.  Although the downimaging isn’t quite the sideimaging available on higher end models, it really makes a huge difference compared to the normal 200 kHz, 80 kHz or 50 kHz signals.  The result is a more detailed picture, so what would have looked like a tree on a normal sonar shows branches and fish holding to structure!!

Dual-Beam Plus

The dual beam plus is the normal sonar fishfinder setting, which displays less detailed images but works in deeper water.  Unlike some other models the dual-beam on the 596c HD  DI has a higher frequency.  The unit uses 200 kHz and 455 kHz signals, instead of the 80 kHz or 50 kHz.  The result is that the unit does really well in water less than 300 feet.  If you fish in water more than 300 feet, there are deep water and bay units available in the 596 product line.  The pictures with the 455 kHz is nice and clear and in shallower water outperforms other units that have lower frequency dual beam transducers.  The addition of switchfire to the dual-beam plus really helps, since you can adjust the settings for radar noise, and allows for operation in tough situations like temp brakes, current, and high waves.  Below is a video on the downimaging system on the 596c, if you haven’t seen the downimaging in action before you will be impressed with the picture quality.

Screen and Display Quality

The screen and dispay on the 596c HD DI is mounted with the Humminbird quick disconnect, which as the name implies makes removing the headset quick and easy.  The screen is 5 inches, and has 640 vertical by 640 horizontal pixels.  The result is a high resolution display, that gives crisp clear images especially in the DowmImaging mode.  The color on the 596c is 256 color TFT, which provides setting for any type of light condition.

User Interface

The user interface on the 596c is easy and all the options are available with just a few presses of the button.  Getting into the switchfire command pane is simple.  I will attach a video below that goes over the switchfire system and is worth checking out.

Recommendation

When designing the 596c HD and outfitting the options Humminbird had a specific intention in mind.  They put the features on that will give great pictures both dual beam and downimaging in water less than 300 feet.  By using the high frequencies the unit provides crisp clear images.  Without a doubt the unit does the one thing expected of it exceptionally well and that is Find the Fish!

Humminbird SmartCast RF25

A best seller among portable fishfinders is the Humminbird Smartcast RF25.  When sitting at the front of a bass boat there isn’t anything quite like having sonar at your fingertips.  In addition to the sonar which shows fish and bottom depth the unit also reads the water temperature as well.

The SmartCast RF25 uses wireless technology, which allows for the installation on the fishing rod.  The range that the wireless works is up to 150 feet, which is way more than needed but nice since the signal strength is very high.  The menu on the unit is very easy to use and lets you dial in sonar settings, set fish alarms, fish ids and depth range.  Another great feature is that the unit is water proof, which when you have a display on a fishing rod is without a doubt necessity.

The transducer is a small float, which works up to 120 of depth.  The sonar is in a single frequency of 125 kHz and does a nice job.  The peak to peak power on the unit isn’t as high as with mounted transducers, which is why the 125 kHz frequency is used.  The battery life on the transducer is good, with 500 hours of in-water usage.  The battery is built in, and changing the battery is not easy and requires soldering.  However there are replacement transducers available model number RF 45, if you aren’t inclined to try replacing the battery which are $30.

Humminbird built the screen to have a nice resolution on the RF 25.  The pixels on the display are 48 Vertical by 32 horizontal.  On the 1.25 inch diagonal display the resolution is high enough to give the info you need to catch fish.  The unit is backlit, so you can use the unit at night.  The transducer also comes with a light, which helps night fishing.

Mounting the display is easy and can be done in just a few minutes.  In terms of ease of use the unit really performs well.

If you decide to try the RF25 out you will be happy you did.  The product is tried and true and liked by an overwhelming majority of reviewers.  In terms of getting a fishfinder that is easy to install and is a great price the RF25 is one of the best fisherman accessories available.

Humminbird 571 Portable

Humminbird recently released the 571 HD DI portable fishfinder, to the 5 inch display market.  The idea of the unit is to provide everything you need to have a fishfinder on the go.  Included is a suction cup mount, which provides a great sonar image.  There is also a soft portable case, which is really nice for transport.  The Humminbird 571 HD also is an ice fisherman’s dream.

Screen and Display Quality

The screen is high resolution 640V x 320H pixel display.  The grayscale has 16 levels, which gives good images in any type of lighting.   In high light conditions like ice fishing with high sun and snow on the lake the case helps to keep glare down to a minimum.

Sonar

The sonar on the 571 HD DI has two modes.  The first is Downimaging, which provides great sonar pictures that show great detail.  The Dualbeam Plus also gives good sonar pictures, but with the shorter frequency of 200 kHz and 455 kHz versus the 455 kHz and 800 kHz that is used for the downimaging isn’t as detailed.  You can operate these two modes simultaneously, which is really cool because you can see firsthand the improved picture from the downimaging to the dualbeam plus.  The sonar works in up to 600 ft of water, which is good enough for most fishermen.

For the Ice Fishermen

Humminbird made the 571 HD DI with ice fishermen in mind.  The bag works to keep the unit safe during transport, and has a bit of extra room for a few gadgets if you like.  The unit works great when connected to the small batteries icefishermen prefer.  Setting the unit up is easy, just clip the two connectors on the battery and power the unit on.  The transducer can stay connected in the bag, so you just drop it down and you have a sonar image ready to go!  Having a quick setup is key when trying to locate fish through the ice and drilling lots of test holes.  Another key is that when its cold out you don’t want to fiddle with the wires and take off the gloves, this unit delivers in that category.

Recommendation

The 571 HD DI Portable is really a great unit and lets you take a fishfinder with you both icefishing and boat fishing.  The down imaging and dual beam sonar give great pictures and the screen has great resolution.  If you are an ice fisherman the 571 is a great first unit.  If you buy one of these you will be nothing but impressed!

Humminbird 598ci

The new Humminbird 598ci HD SI Combo Fishfinder, is one of the best equipped and performing fishfinders in the 5 inch class.  The 598ci incorporates many of the features that had been mostly exclusive to the 700, 800, 900, and 1100 series fishfinders in the past.  By packing all these features into a unit that retails around $800, Humminbird has put high end options within reach of the everyday fishermen.

Screen and Display Quality

The screen on the 598ci HD SI Combo is 5 inchs diagonal.  To give crisp images whether in down imaging, side imaging or GPS modes, Humminbird uses 640 vertical and 640 horizontal pixels.  The result of creating a product with such high resolution is that when viewing side imaging, the pictures really pop and show great detail.  The color on the unit is 256 TFT, which provides the necessary brightness for the most demanding situations like when wearing polarized glasses or when viewing in direct sunlight.  The 598ci uses the same resolution and screen size as the 597ci HD DI, which we have had great luck with when salmon fishing the Manitou Islands in northern Lake Michigan.  The unit is able to be either flush mounted or has a tilt and swivel quick disconnect mounting system that comes with the fishfinder.  Overall the display receives top grades, thanks to the high resolution and 256 TFT color.

GPS

The GPS on the 598ci HD SI has an internal antenna.  In addition to the built in GPS, there is also a built in map pack by Humminbird.  The built in maps work well, the unit is also compatible with Navionics Plantinum, Gold and Hot Maps and the LakeMaster Maps, which cover about any body of water you could possibly want.  When available there is also a 3-d chart view, which gives a first person perspective of both above and below water topography.  The 598ci isn’t able to use the i-pilot feature, which allows for fishfinder and trolling motor integration, which is available on the 700 and higher series.  Although having option to connect to the i-pilot, I really feel like with a 5 inch fishfinder those options aren’t necessary.  On a screen that size the GPS and the sonar features work really well, giving great pictures and performance.  The model that is on a friends Montauk Boston Whaler is mounted on the dash and covers the GPS and Sonar needs.

Sonar

The sonar on the 598ci has many of the top of the line options that come with the 700 series and up fishfinders by Humminbird.  The features included are very impressive and currently the 598ci is the only fishfinder in the 5 inch display market that can boast them.  The addition of built in sideimaging on the 598ci is a huge step for Humminbird.  The Down imaging, available in other 500 series models is also a great feature and allows for enhanced sonar pictures, which have more definition and gives a great sonar picture.  The sonar frequency for the down and side imaging transducer are 455 kHz, which works in depths up to 100 feet.  The 598ci doesn’t use the 800 kHz signal which is used in the 700 and up fishfinder series.  The results are images that are not quite as sharp and detailed.  However the sonar images do extremely well.  The Dualbeam transducer has a frequency of 200 kHz and 83 kHz, works in water up to 1,500 feet.  There is an optional deep water transducer which will work in water up to 3,000 feet deep.

Conclusion

Humminbird has introduced a great fishfinder to the 5 inch fishfinder gps combo market.  The addition of sideimaging to the 598ci HD allows fishermen access to new technology, which is really impressive and quite simply helps catch fish.  Between the side imaging, GPS functions, and other sonar capabilities the 598ci HD SI is sure to be a fishermans favorite!

Humminbird 1198c

Humminbirds 1198c SI Combo is the top of the line fishfinder for Humminbird.  The screen is 10.4 inches in size, so that when in dual screen mode with both GPS and fishfinder the pictures are both detailed and large in size.  Additionally the side imaging sonar images are the best on the market.

Screen and Display Quality

The 10.4 inch screen has a very high resolution, which is 600 x 800 and is high def quality.  In addition to high definition the color is rich on the 1198c SI, 4:3 color TFT which make the on screen maps and sonar images pop.  Additionally the TFT color has setting for all light conditions and performs even at mid day sun with polarized glasses. Continue reading “Humminbird 1198c”