The Humminbird 597ci HD DI combo makes for an excellent finder in a compact and cheaper package. It comes equipped with Down Image capabilities and an excellent screen, but it doesn’t quite boast all the features of the higher end models. The angler on a budget, however, will want to be sure to read on.
The screen on this unit comes in at a modest 5 inches, but it does come with a pretty high resolution at 640×640 which will keep things sharp in spite of the modest screen size. It has a 256-color display which is sure to be able to meet the needs of almost any angler, and the LED backlight will ensure you’ll be able to read the screen no matter what.
Display Rating: 8/10
This one has a pretty impressive power rating of 500W RMS which allows for viewing down to 600 feet. For the freshwater fisherman, this is a great option, especially with Down Image capabilities coming standard on this unit. It’s not great for deep sea adventures, but the near-shore and freshwater fishermen of the world will find a lot of use out of this device.
The transducer has a number of different frequencies, two for the dual-beam mode and two for Down Image, so whether you want to peak at the water column or just take a look downwards you’re covered. The screen can split so you can see either of the dual-frequencies either separately or together, or see the Down Image scans at the same time as your normal readings.
All of these options make this a fish finder with a high level of versatility, and you’ll be able to pick and choose the information you want to be displayed.
Finder Rating: 8/10
This finder comes with a built-in GPS and pre-installed UniMap software. You can change the software for Navionics Gold or Humminbird’s proprietary mapping software if you so choose, but there’s not a wide range of compatibility here.
It comes with all the usual suspects in its line-up of non-sonar or GPS features as well, with temperature and speed readings built right in.
Unfortunately, unlike most of the modern devices, it’s not exactly modular, the only option for data transfer is an SD-card and it doesn’t have any additional ports to make it part of a complete boat electrical system.
Extras Rating: 8/10
Ease of Use
The menu system here is pretty standard fare for Humminbird Fish Finders, and the buttons are right there and easy to use. The menus themselves are able to be quickly sorted out by even a novice, allowing easy access to pretty much all of the functions you might need to use on the water.
The screen isn’t exactly the largest, though, so an angler with poor eyesight may want to look somewhere else.
Ease of Use Rating: 8/10
For the fisherman who prefers lakes over oceans, this is a great finder. With the Down Imaging capabilities, you’ll be able to quickly and easily read the floor of the lake beneath you and see exactly what’s going on, and the standard sonar capabilities are easily suited to this kind of use. While it doesn’t have the richest array of features or modularity, the freshwater fisherman could do a lot worse at this price.
Overall Rating: 8/10