Hummingbird Fish Finder 561 Review

Humminbird 561


Also an affordable unit, the Hummingbird Fish Finder 561 will provide you with the necessary package of oprions for tracking fish. Somewhat similar to the Hummingbird Fish Finder 718 unit, this unit also has a 5-inch diagonal display, with a 320V x 320H pixel resolution, in 12 level grayscale. Even if it’s black and white, you will get pretty accurate returns and make a clear idea of the underwater environment. You will be able to pinpoint the fish correctly and know exactly where to place the bait and throw your lines.

Although it’s a pretty much basic fish finder, the Humminbird 561 does have a DualBeam Plus sonar. This provides you with extra view adjustment options. You can obtain a much accurate but narrower view with the 20° sonar beam, or a wider view with the 60° sonar beam. Or, observe what’s under your boat in both views simultaneously, in split screen. It’s designed to offer accurate results for waters up to 800 ft. deep. However, I would recommend this unit only for fishing in shallow waters, up to 200 ft.

The Hummingbird Fish Finder 561 does not have any GPS options, nor does it have trackplotting or chartplotting. However, it’s a great unit for the recreational fisherman, a great and cheap accessory for tracking fish.

Like most Hummingbird Fish Finders, the Humminbird 561 comes with a one year warranty.

Hummingbird Fish Finder 718 Review

Humminbird 718


For those that want an affordable fish finder, the Hummingbird Fish Finder 718 can be a great choice. Although it doesn’t have a full color screen, it has quite a few options that will fulfill its role of the instrument for finding fish on your boat.

The Humminbird 718 head unit features a 16 grayscale, high resolution screen, 320V x 320H. The display is 5 inches in diagonal, like most of the fish finders in the 700 series.

It’s equipped with a DualBeam Plus sonar, meaning that you can adjust the view, and observe in split-screen, both the 20° and the 60° returns. Although it is said that this unit will provide accurate returns even if used for fishing in waters up to 1000 ft. deep, I wouldn’t recommend this unit for fishing in deep waters. A few users have complained online about it’s accuracy for deep water fishing. They reported on having accurate results just for waters up to 200 ft. deep.

This unit has a 2400 Watts PTP output.

The Hummingbird fish finder 718 is also GPS and trackplotting compatible. Keep in mind that you’ll have to purchase an additional antenna, to activate the GPS functions. Anyway, don’t expect this grayscale unit to display charts and to become a super marine GPS device. It is not compatible with the Navionics or Lakemaster charts, nor it has any Humminbird mapping package. Your route will be shown on your screen as a black line on a grid, without pointing out the shoreline. However, it’s useful to save waypoints, routes, speed and exact location of your boat. You can store up to 750 waypoints and 10 tracks up to 2,000 points each.

Although this unit doesn’t excel with the GPS features, it’s a great unit for finding fish. It’s really easy to use and affordable, and for a recreational angler or boater it would make a good choice.

Hummingbird Fish Finder PiranhaMax 170 Review

Humminbird PiranhaMax 170

PiranhaMax 170

Similar to its other PiranhaMax monochrome brothers, the Hummingbird Fish Finder PiranhaMax 170 is also a fishfinding oriented device, really cheap unit, with a price under $100.

The unit’s electronic head device, is similar to the PiranahMax 150 and 160, but this one has better wattage. It goes up to 1600 Watts (PTP) which gives it a better depth penetration. This unit is quite reliable for fishing in waters up 800 feet deep.

Also, this unit has a better screen resolution, 240 x 160 pixels, 8 level grayscale, which will offer a better image of the underwater environment and fish. Apart from this, the screen has the same 4-inch diagonal.

The Hummingbird Fish Finder PiranhaMax 170 has Dual Beam sonar technology, allowing you to scan the water under your boat in two modes, with a sonic beam of 20° with concentrated but better results, and one of 60°, covering a wider area, but with less detail.

This unit does not have GPS, any mapping package, nor is compatible with any SD maps card. It’s strictly designed to find fish, measure depth and temperature. However, an experienced angler should be able to use the data provided by this fish finder with a lot of success, considerably increasing their chances to score a few big catches on each and every fishing trip.

In conclusion, the Hummingbird Fish Finder PiranhaMax 170 is a small but reliable fish finder when it comes to locate fish and provide you with quite important data about the environment you’re fishing in. It’s also a cheap model, so it won’t burn a hole into your bank account.

Hummingbird Fish Finders – TriBeam and QuadraBeam Sonars

Most Hummingbird Fish Finders have DualBeam Plus or DualBeam sonar technology, but there are models equipped with QuadraBeam and TriBeam sonars, there are fish finder models that can be equipped with these types of sonars.

In this post I’m going to explain how a QuadraBeam and TriBeam sonar works and what are the advantages of these types of sonar.

QuadraBeam Sonar

QuadraBeam Sonar

As its name suggests it, a QuadraBeam sonar uses four sonar beams working together to provide the angler with a better underwater scan.

The two main sonar beams at center are the ones that DualBeam sonar has. The 200 kHz / 20° focused on the bottom, which provides a narrower but better detail, and the 83 kHz / 60° sonar beam with a wider coverage, focused on locating fish that pass under the boat.

The other two sonar beams, 455 kHz / 35° are emitted on both sides of the boat, respectively on both sides of the 20° beam, so in total, you will benefit from a 90° coverage. Therefore, a QuadraBeam sonar allows you to scan for structures and fish, an area of water equal to twice your depth.

Your Hummingbird fish finder head unit should display in split-screen, the 20° or 60° beam returns in the upper part of the screen, and both 35° sonar returns on the lower part of your screen.

Havind a better coverage from side-to-side, you will understand better where the fish are in relation to your boat. Therefore, you will know better where to place your bait and where to throw your lines.

TriBeam Sonar

TriBeam Sonar

The TriBeam sonar technology is similar to the QuadraBeam, but in this case, as the terminology suggests it, there are only three sonar beams: the 20° one, focused on the bottom and the 35° ones on the sides. You will still benefit from a 90° coverage, but without the 60° sonar beam, which may be useful in certain circumstances.

Side Finding Sonar

The Hummingbird Fish Finders in the Fishin’ Buddy series, although do not feature QuadBeam, TriBeam or DualBeam sonar, they come with SideFinding sonar technology, along with the down beam.

These fish finders have a Downlooking beam of 34° (200 kHz) and a SideFinding Beam of 10° (455 kHz). Since the Fishin’ Buddy fish finders are built specifically, you can direct the side scan beam turning the fish finder’s pole in the direction you please.

Cheap and Effective Fish Finders

I’m pretty sure you have noticed that not all Hummingbird fish finders are cheap. In fact, the models in the 800+ series are rather expensive. These depth finders have many more other capabilities than the one of finding fish, though. Most of them can successfully be used as navigational tools due to the marine GPS they feature or the LakeMaster and Navionics maps packages.

Plus, some of advanced Hummingbird fish finders have Side Imaging and Down Imaging technology, which provides the angler with a more detailed underwater view. The sonar returns that are displayed on the screen of your head unit have the clarity similar to a photo.

However, there are quite many Hummingbird fish finder models that are focused only on detecting fish and providing the angler with an image of the bottom, without any navigational features. These fish finders are much cheaper, but still very effective for tracking fish. And they will still provide you with other important data apart from the positions of the fish in relation to your boat, like water temperature, the contour of the bottom or depth of the water.

So, if you want to buy a Hummingbird fish finder for a cheaper price, but very effective for finding fish, here are a few solutions for you.

Fishin’ Buddy 120

First of all, every fish finder in the Fishin’ Buddy series isn’t very expensive. They are all portable and the sonar is attached to a plastic pole, so you don’t have to fix it on your boat.

The Fishin’ Buddy 120 has a monochrome 4-inch screen, and it’s equipped with single beam, down looking sonar but also has a feature for SideLooking, with a side-scan beam of 10°, pretty useful for pointing out the direction of where to cast your line.

PiranhaMax 150

This is another monochrome fish finder, quite cheap, under $100. However it’s not portable, you will have to install the transducer on the hull of your boat. Has a single beam sonar, 200 kHz/ 20°, which does its job accurately locating fish directly under your boat.

PiranhaMax 230 Portable

This Hummingbird fish finder model is a bit more expensive than the second I mentioned here, but it’s portable. It has pretty much the same head unit, but with a dual beam sonar 20° and 60°, allowing a better area coverage. The transducer is attached to the hull of your boat via a suction cup.

Due to its portability, the PiranhaMax 230 Portable is excellent for kayac fishing or to take along on a fishing trip where you have to rent a boat.

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