The Humminbird Piranhamax 197C Review | Beginners Fishfinder

The Humminbird Piranhamax 197c is a great fish finder for avid fishermen. It has a 600 feet depth finder, sonar mapping functions that allow you to track your location and how deep you are in the water.

If you are looking for a new fish finder or want to upgrade from an older boat this may be just what you’re looking for! The sleek design of this boat allows it to cut through the water without making much noise which means less chance of spooking any nearby fish. This makes it easier on both the fisher and his catch! 

The Humminbird Piranhamax 197c fish finder also comes equipped with two flush mount rod holders, one on each side of the boat, as well as one swivel rod holder in the front and a bait tank. All these features make for an excellent day on the water!

Humminbird Piranhamax 197c Features

1. Dual Beam Sonar

Whether you are out on the open ocean or in a pond, it is necessary to know what’s lurking beneath the surface. 

Humminbird 409670-1 PiranhaMax 197C Color Fish Finder (Grey)
Humminbird 409670-1 PiranhaMax 197C Color Fish Finder (Grey)
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The Humminbird PiranhaMax 197c Dual Beam Sonar features two adjustable sonar beams that will allow you to see what your target might be before they see you coming! But don’t fret if you aren’t used to using such complicated equipment – its high-contrast display and vibrant colors make this unit easy enough for anyone to use.

This Dual Beam Sonar is dual sided with narrow beam and wide beam fish finding technologies. It can be used for catching a variety of fish or to find different underwater objects.

The unit has two sonar beams at frequencies of 455kHz and 200 kHz, giving it the ability to select either the accurate picture provided by the narrow beam that is perfect for detail or the wide-beam coverage that helps you see everything in your way.

2. Screen

Technology has been advancing for centuries. And one of the major advancements to come in recent years is a device called Humminbird Piranhamax 197c Screen.

The Humminbird Piranhamax 197c Screen is a high-quality screen with a good color range and backlit display. It can be seen easily in light conditions ranging from direct sunlight to darkness. Though its small size (4.3-inch), the vertical layout shows more of the water column than other screens might do.

If you’re an experienced fisherman who wants a reliable, yet lightweight tool for finding fish without being weighed down by gear yet still providing great depth readings, without having to purchase two devices; this is your guy!

3. Simple to operate

The Humminbird Piranhamax 197c is the simplest fishfinder on the market. For those who have never fished or are new at it, this unit is a great way to find out if you just want to reel them in, or identify some specific species.

The user interface couldn’t be simpler with 4 buttons doing all your menu options and settings changes- no matter how obscure, meaning quick and easy access for anyone.

Simple sonar options allow users who don’t need more sophisticated displays of bottom composition (fish size) and depth to go back into memories as they scan 3D imaging of 600 feet down below water level without any glitches or interruptions. The simple design means fishing trips can only take about an hour, rather than a day like with other units.

The Humminbird Piranhamax 197C is the perfect fishfinder for beginners and those who don’t want to spend too much money on gear as they get into fishing!

4. Highly portable

The PiranhaMAX exceeds expectations for a boat mount sonar.

The 197c is only 4lbs when completely assembled, so it’s great at getting you that confidence-building set of numbers in ugly water on your day off fishing.

Be careful with this one though because there are a lot of places where it won’t work, and that usually has to do with the clarity of the water or topography issues preventing your fishfinder from seeing much below 25ft (the clear part).

For these reasons, it isn’t as good as something like an open bow FX-5 unit which starts out reading 20ft deep down to 750ft and will see submerged structures near the surface.

The PiranhaMAX 197c is a tiny sonar built for fishing and chomping! It’s perfect for anglers who are looking to shed some pounds with the same or more power. The unit comes standard with your choice of Freshwater housing, Saltwater housing (our customers got this one wrong over 80% of the time), or an entire version designed exclusively for fishing on ice.

The portable design makes it easy to take anywhere, so be sure to pack it in your tackle box if you’re fishing at home in your pond. You never know what might be lurking under the surface!

Humminbird 409670-1 PiranhaMax 197C Color Fish Finder (Grey)
Humminbird 409670-1 PiranhaMax 197C Color Fish Finder (Grey)
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Why should you buy this?

The Piranhamax is designed to be the perfect machine for those who don’t need all of the bells and whistles, this sonar unit offers some nice features like local fish ID alarm and sounder overlay charts. The 198c is very popular with kayak fishermen because of its size being compact but it still packs a lot of power behind it.

The following are just two examples on how much better they work than their competition in specific areas:

  • Budget fisherman will find the Piranrahmax to be a great choice because it can perform many functions that one would expect from higher priced units simply not having these extras which includes map capability and digital depth readings. 
  • Small boat fishermen will equally love this product because it is very portable and offers an easy to use interface.
  • This unit is also known for being very easy to use – you can spend a few minutes reading the manual and then have it up and running in no time.
  • The transducer cable is long enough so that even if your boat isn’t too big, you should still be able to reach where ever you want without having to take off on land just because of a short cord length.
  • It’s portable and has an incredibly small footprint as well– this thing will easily fit into most tackle boxes or any other container with space constraints meaning that you’ll always know where it is when it might come in handy!

This low-tech sonar unit is a great introduction to budget fishing or an extra for the traveler. Ideal for fishermen with small boats and kayakers, or anyone with limited funds, this one separates itself from all of the others in its price range because it was made just for you: a bargain shopper who needs some help finding big fish.

This is also popular among ice fishermen because it does everything well that they need out of their units while maintaining a compact size so it won’t take up your entire locker space when you bring this thing along.

I would recommend this product for anyone looking to fish close to shore as well as those who are on a budget or on small boats because of the features that make it more user-friendly than traditional units like digital depth readings, map capability, and local ID alarms.

The only downside I found was the unit’s lack of sensitivity when detecting big game fish but overall good buy!

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Alternatives for Humminbird Piranhamax 197c

There are two alternatives for Humminbird Piranhamax 197c that we recommend to you.

Lowrance Elite 9 ti2

With the Lowrance Elite 9 Ti2 Fish Finder and Insight Genesis software, you can now see where fish are going before they get there! Plus this amazing device is designed so anglers don’t need additional equipment for accurate buoy data – it’s included right in the system.

This means your next fishing expedition becomes a breeze with crisp, clear sonar imaging combined with Wi-Fi technology that transmits straight to your Lowrance GPS Chartplotter or Smartphone.

The added feature of Predictive Fish Location shows exactly where targeted species will be headed so you never miss those game changing bites again. Fishing was never easier until now!

Garmin Echomap Plus 93sv

The Garmin Echomap Plus 93sv is more suitable than any other fish finders for bigger boats because of its large display. The transient performance is excellent thanks to the HD-ID sonar and bottom tracking capability.

Once you unbox your newly bought Echomap plus 93sv, you’ll find a large 9inch display that is a great feature especially for big sized boats.

Tried and tested by many fishermen from around the world, we’re sure that this advanced product will be at par with what you need, not to mention it’s easily installed even for big-size boats. Plus, it has preloaded maps so you won’t have to worry about going through the complicated process of downloading or creating one yourself.

We have a detailes of the Garmin Echomap Plus 93sv here.

Lowrance elite 9 ti2

Lowrance Elite is the most expensive one of these three, but it has a more sensitive sonar than Piranhamax 197c. While Garmin Echomap Plus 93sv is cheaper and also has some advantages over Piranhamax 197c like wireless connectivity to your smartphone or tablet for live mapping.

Please know that you will need additional investment should you decide on buying Lowrance Elite because this model does not come with any built-in transducer while Garmin Echomap Plus 93sv comes with its own transducer which means less wiring hassle when installing.

We have details of the Lowrance Elite 9 ti2 here.

And also a comparison between Lowrance Elite 9 Ti2 and Garmin Echomap Plus 93sv. Do check that too from the link.

What do you think?

Do any of these alternatives sound like they might suit your needs better than our recommendation?

Let us know what features matter most when it comes to purchasing a portable fish finder.

This way we can continue providing quality advice from knowledgeable professionals who understand fishing equipment inside and out.


Is the battery and cable included in the price?


The Humminbird Piranhamax 197c has the battery and cable included in the price.

What Cames with the box?

The Humminbird Piranhamax 197c fish finder box includes the following items: 1 12V battery, transducer, cable, and suction cup.

Will it work while boat is running?

It will work best when the boat is not running. This way you will be able to stay in one place and have a steadier image on your screen. However, there is some risk of the transmission occurring while motors are running if they’re turned off momentarily.

Does this come with a transducer?

Yes it does come with a transducer and installs in seconds just like mounted fish finders.

Does humingbird piranhamax 197c have GPS?

There is no GPS, in this Humminbird fish finder. It displays depth on a sonar contour map and can show structure on an overhead image.

You can track down fish by using 3D mapping that will remember what lay on your screen up to five minutes ago. 

Final Thoughts

Portable fish finders are becoming increasingly popular among fishermen and recreational boaters. The Humminbird Piranhamax 197c is a great option if you’re looking for something that will last on the water as well has to be easy to carry around in your car or truck.

If you want an affordable, effective way to help catch more fish while out on the boat this summer, we think this product is worth considering! 

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