Humminbird Piranhamax 197c DI Fish Finder Review


The Humminbird Piranhamax 197c DI is affordable compared to many of its competitors. Despite being easy on the pocket, however, you can be confident that it is big in terms of performance. It packs a wide array of useful features, including those that are briefly mentioned below. 

  • Fish ID+ for advanced interpretation of sonar returns 
  • Tracks fish using both down imaging and dual-beam sonar 
  • 3.5-inch brightly lit-color screen with zoom function 
  • Fish Alarm for immediate notification when there is fish nearby 
  • Depth Alarm when the depth of water is beyond what is set 
  • Built-in water temperature gauge 


  • Width: 3.875 inches
  • Height: 6.5 inches 
  • Display: 256-color screen 
  • Resolution: 2400H x 320V pixels 
  • Depth Capability: 320 feet (Down Imaging), 600 feet (Sonar) 
  • Frequency: 455 kHz (Down Imaging), 200 / 455 kHz (Sonar) 
  • Power Output: 300 watts (RMS), 2400 watts (PTP) 
  • Transducer Cable Length: 20 feet 
  • Interface: Keypad control 
  • Mount Type: Tilt and swivel 

User Experience

Ease of Use 

The Humminbird Piranhamax 197c DI is built with the needs of users in mind. Unsurprisingly, it is effortless to use. Even if it is your first time holding a fish finder, you will be happy to know that it won’t take an expert to figure out the most in this model. 

Among others, one thing that makes it easy to use is its simplicity. The unit has a straightforward design, which will allow a seamless operation. In front of the unit, you will find four buttons offering tactile feedback. With this interface, it will be quick to set the desired functions. 

The intuitive menu has several functions that will make it easier to fill your fishing cooler with a fresh catch! There is a feature that allows automatic alarm after detecting the presence of fish. Meaning, your eyes don’t have to be glued on the screen all the time. You can do whatever you want, and once there is fish, you will hear a loud audible sound. There is also an alarm to let you know how deep the water is. Plus, it has an alarm that will make it easy to monitor the status of the battery. 

More so the installation of the fish finder will also be effortless. First, you have to install the control head, which is the fixed or movable mount. Once it is ready, you can now proceed with the installation of the transducer. Most of the hardware supplies are already provided by the manufacturer. 


Aside from being easy to use, this fish finder is also exceptional because of its accuracy. This makes the performance comparable even to the higher-end counterparts of this product. 

One of the reasons why it can accurately detect the presence of fish is the dual-beam frequency of the transducer. With frequencies of 200 and 455 kHz, it will be excellent when rendering underwater geography. Even when there are rocks and plants, it will deliver precise functionality. 

At a scanning frequency of 200 kHz, it can reach a depth of 320 feet. On the other hand, with the 455 kHz frequency, it can scan at a depth of up to 600 feet. This means that even if the water is deep, the readings will be spot-on. 

To deliver accurate readings, it has an XNT 9 DI T transducer. It is made of plastic and comes with a 20-foot cable for easily connecting to the main unit. For the dual-beam sonar, it can cast two conical beams at an angle of 16 and 28 degrees. On the other hand, for the down imaging sonar, there is a wider view at the sides as it can cast a beam at up to 74 degrees. 

Another thing that makes the Humminbird 197c accurate is the temperature sensor. This will help easily find the fish that you would like to catch. For instance, if you want to catch largemouth bass, then head where the water is about 68 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, if lake trout is what you want to take home, then the temperature should be from 48 to 52 degrees Fahrenheit. 


With a 3.5-inch screen that delivers a resolution of 2400H x 320V, the display is crisp and bright. The 256-color screen will be easily visible, whether it is day or night. This way, you can act quickly when there is fish under the water! If we are being honest, however, the quality of the display is far from what you can expect in the more expensive fish finders

One more thing that we love about the display is the zoom feature. After locating a prime spot, zoom, and pinch. In turn, you will have a clearer sight of what is happening under the water, allowing you to act accordingly.

Care and Maintenance 

The enjoy the best performance and prolong the functional life, you must be proactive when it comes to care and maintenance. Luckily, the Humminbird 197c does not require too much on your end. 

To clean the screen, all that you need is warm water and mild soap. The soap should be non-abrasive. Otherwise, it will cause scratches. If there are water spots, use a combination of vinegar and water. Use a soft cloth to wipe the screen after cleaning until it is dry. 

Besides, cleaning the transducer is also a must to improve the precision of the fish finder. Algae and other elements can minimize functionality. Use a mild and marine-safe soap for cleaning the transducer. 


  • Affordable but packed with exceptional features 
  • Lightweight and portable 
  • Comes with a digital color display 
  • Easy to install and use 
  • Durable construction
  • Has an accurate temperature gauge 


  • Does not come with navigation features 
  • Some might find the screen to be too small

You might also like: Lowrance Fish Finders

Overall Rating

  • Price: 95% – One of the many things that you will love in this product is how affordable it is. This is a great choice for budget-friendly buyers or an entry-level fish finder. Despite being cheap, it is good to know that quality and performance will be exceptional. 
  • Design: 95% – Another good thing about this product that it comes with a functional and practical design. There is a large screen that will let you easily monitor fish. It also has buttons in strategic positions. As a bonus, it looks pretty cool too! 
  • Features: 90% – Admittedly, it isn’t as feature-packed as its higher-end counterparts. However, this is already one thing that is expected given its price. If there’s one thing significantly missing, it would be the ability to function as a marine GPS as well. 
  • Performance: 90% – Considering the price of the Humminbird 197c, the performance is pretty exceptional. It accurately identifies the presence of fish, even when you are fishing in deep water. Plus, it also precisely determines the temperature of the water. 
  • Overall: 92% – This fish finder is easy on the wallet and comes with most of the basic features that casual users will need, except for a GPS. It is also easy to use and has a rugged design, which can ensure long-term functionality. 

Globo Surf Overview

In sum, the Humminbird Piranhamax 197c DI is an exceptional fishfinder with a price that does not hurt the wallet. Especially for new anglers, the features will be more than enough. It has a dual-beam sonar to detect the presence of fish, a built-in temperature gauge, and several alarms. It also comes with a bright display, which will be easy to see regardless of the external environment. Nonetheless, one feature that is significantly missing is GPS functionality.

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