Humminbird Fish Finder PiranhaMAX 4 Review

piranhamax 4 - dualbeam fish finder

PiranhaMAX 4

The PiranhaMAX 4 is also one of the newer models of the P-MAX series from Humminbird. It’s actually the unit which basically replaced the PiranhaMAX 197c which was discontinued. It’s not much different from the older unit, but does have a wider display.

This Humminbird PiranhaMAX 4 is a standalone fish finder, just as the PiranhaMAX 4 DI. In other words, it does not have any navigation features, such as GPS or charts. Also, as its name suggests, it does not include Down Imaging sonar, only the 2D sonar. However, it costs approx $40 less than the DI model.

This unit is equipped with a 4.3″ display, with a 480 x 272 pixel matrix, a 256 color range and LED backlight to provide better reading at night or when the sunlight hits the display directly. Its pixel matrix is basically richer by 70% than for the older model, thus the images are clearer, and offer more focus.

Like most other Humminbird fish finders, the new P-MAX 4 comes with a transducer. The standard transducer supplied with the unit is the XNT 9 28 T, which is also temperature capable, and comes with a transom mount.

The unit’s sonar doesn’t use CHIRP technology, but still, it offers clear imaging for depths up to 600 ft. It uses DualBeam sonar, being able to use two frequencies, 200 kHz and 455 kHz. The beams used by the transducer for these two frequencies are conical, with a coverage of 28° for 200 kHz, and 16° for 455 kHz.

Several features and functions available with this unit are: Fish ID+, Depth Alarm, Battery Alarm, Structure ID and Bottom View.

The Fish ID+ function offers the possibility to replace the fish arches which normally apear in the 2D sonar view, with fish icons. Each fish icon will have its depth attached. It’s a function great to have if you’re not familiar with the raw 2D sonar display.

The Fish Alarm offers 3 settings for large, medium and small fish. The Depth Alarm allows you to setup a certain depth value, and if you’ll sail in shallower water, the unit will notify you. Also, there’s a Battery Alarm, which pretty much speaks for itself.

The Bottom View function, also known as Bottom Lock, is a function that focuses the bottom, keeping the sonar view close to the bottom contour, regardless the depth. It’s best to use when looking for fish that are feeding on the bottom. And finally, the Structure ID function represents the weak returns as light pixels, while the strong returns will appear darker.

This unit does not have sonar recording capabilities, NMEA ports or Ethernet ports. It comes with a classic tilt-swivel mount. It requires a 12V battery, its power input being 10.8 – 20VDC, with a power draw of 180mA.