Humminbird PiranhaMax 197c Review


Packed in a small, compact device, Humminbird 409670 1 PiranhaMax 197c carries most of the features you would need when angling in lakes and rivers or off-shore. The fish finder is designed to be budget-friendly. Hence, it may not carry as many features as those in more expensive devices. However, with the following features, spotting targets should be easy: 

  • Humminbird 197c can scan up to a depth of 600 feet. 
  • The device’s transducer can measure and track water temperature. 
  • The selective Fish ID+ feature displays fish icons. 
  • The fish finder can determine the depth automatically. 
  • The device is operational even at speeds of 30 MPH. 
  • The display’s LED backlight allows usage under direct sunlight and at night. 
  • The fishing aid allows users to tweak the contrast settings. 
  • IP-X7 waterproof rating means that the device is protected from water damage. 
  • The color display makes it much easier for anglers to differentiate between different targets and underwater structures. 


Width: 12.3 inches 

Length: 16 inches 

Weight: 2 pounds 

Transducer: Transom XNT 9 28 T

Sonar: DualBeam 

Depth capability: 600 feet 

Power input: 10-20 VDC

Power Output: 300 watts (RMS), 1600 watts peak to peak

GPS support: No

Maps and charts: No

Waypoints: No

Waterproof rating: IP-X7 

Wi-Fi connectivity: No

MicroSD slot: No

Accessories: Mounting bracket, Transducer, installation hardware, documentation 

User Experience 

Target Detection 

Coming with a dual-beam 2D sonar, Humminbird 409670 1 PiranhaMax 197c is capable of covering both 200 and 455 kHz. With the 200 kHz beam, you will enjoy a conical coverage of 28 degrees. When you switch to the 455 kHz frequency, you will enjoy a 16-degree beam.

With the beams going up to a maximum depth of 600 feet, missing out on targets in waterbodies featuring average depth becomes impossible. It is, however, worth noting that the fish-finder may not offer maximum benefits in deep-sea waters. 

With the selective Fish ID+ feature, Humminbird 197c can interpret the sonar returns for you. When the returns match a set of requirements, PiranhaMax 197c will display a fish icon. This means that you will not have to squint or wonder if what you are seeing is a target. 

With the fish alarm, you can set the fish finder to alert you when it detects a target. The fish alarm lets you choose between large, medium, and small fish. if you want to, you can choose to get alerted about targets of all sizes. Once the sonar returns match your set parameters, the device’s alarm will be set off, letting you know that it is time to cast your fishing hook or net. 

PiranhaMax 197c can give a decent bottom reading even when the fishing vessel is moving at a speed of 30 MPH. However, to enjoy the clearest readings, you will need to limit your speed to a maximum of 5 to 6 MPH. 

Display and Resolution 

The fishing aid comes with a 3.5-inch color TFT screen. On the display, you will enjoy a 240H x 320V resolution. The 256-color range lets you visualize the targets in the water. 

With a LED backlight, the fish finder makes fishing possible at night. If you are fishing during the day under direct sunlight, all you will have to do is adjust the LED backlight to get a clear view. 

PiranhaMax allows anglers to adjust the contrast settings. With the correct adjustment, the fish finder will allow a higher definition with accents to both dark and light parts of the sonar. With its zoom function, the device allows you to get a close-up view of the sonar return.

Ease of Use 

Mounting Humminbird 409670 1 PiranhaMax 197c on your fishing vessel is extremely simple. Coming with a swivel and tilt bracket, you can move your fish finder around and adjust it to your liking. You can set it up easily and view the display even if you switch positions on your fishing boat. 

Once the fishing aid is in place, its operation is quite simple. To turn it on, you will just need to press the power button. To access the device’s features, you will need to press the button sitting next to the power button. With the up (▲), down (▼) arrow keys, you will be able to scroll through different features. Selecting a feature is as simple as pressing the tick () key. 

The display on PiranhaMax 197c makes it extremely simple for anglers to visualize what is in the water. While moving along in your boat, the fish finder displays depth changes and also creates a bottom contour profile for you. 

With the sonar view, you can enjoy a clear display of the returns in a range of colors. The device uses a blue color to indicate a weak return. The yellow color shows a medium-strength return, while red shows the strongest return. 


  • Dual-beam sonar (200/455 kHz) 
  • Included XNT 28 T transducer with transom mount and temperature sensor 
  • IP-X7 waterproof rating 
  • Maximum depth of 600 feet
  • Compact and easy to use 
  • Very budget-friendly
  • A wide range of sonar functions 


  • No software upgrades 
  • Does not offer navigation features 

You might also like: Humminbird Helix 5 Fish Finder & Depth Finder

Overall Rating 

  • Price: 95% – Compared to other devices in its price range, PiranhaMax 197c offers more features. The device offers maximum value for your money. 
  • Performance: 90% – Coming with powerful sonar capabilities, the fish finder ensures that you do not miss out on targets. Its fish alarm alerts you whenever the device detects fish under your fishing vessel. What we did not like about the fishing aid, however, is that it does not have navigation capabilities. 
  • Design: 96% – With a small and compact design, PiranhaMax 197c does not occupy a lot of space. This makes it ideal for use on smaller vessels with limited space. With its buttons being intuitively placed, the device’s control is extremely simple. 
  • Overall: 94% – Humminbird 197c comes with technological advancements that very few fish finders in its class can match. While allowing you to spot fish up to a depth of 600 feet, the device carries alarms that alert you when there is fish in the water. Although its display is small, the view offered is enough to help you figure out the size of the fish and their location on the water column. If you enjoy fishing on a small boat, kayak, or canoe, PiranhaMax might be an ideal device for you. 

Globo Surf Overview 

Though pretty basic, Humminbird 409670 1 PiranhaMax 197c packs enough features to make it ideal for both experienced and beginning kayak/canoe anglers. Coming with a traditional sonar and transducer that covers 200 and 455 kHz frequencies while tracking the water temperature, Humminbird 197c ensures that you aren’t missing on targets. 

With a maximum depth of 600 feet, the device is ideal for off-shore fishing. However, you will need to stay close to the shore for maximum benefits. Overall, PiranhaMax 19c is a compact and inexpensive angling device ideal for inland fishing, small vessels, and moderate off-shore ventures.

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Humminbird PiranhaMax 197c Review