Humminbird PiranhaMAX 170 Review 2018

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The Humminbird PiranhaMAX 170 4-Inch Waterproof Fish finder features some surprisingly advanced technology in spite of it’s small black and white screen. For the angler on a strict budget, you might want to try using one of these older units to get the extra edge you want for your fishing experience.

Humminbird PiranhaMAX 170


The screen on the PiranhaMax 170 is some old technology to be sure. The 4-inch screen is an older black and white design and offers only a 240×160 resolution. It also comes with a backlight, so it’s easy to read in most situations. It’s definitely not the most advanced screen out there, but the user will find it suitable for a lot of uses.

Display Rating: 4/10

Finder System

This unit features a dual-beam and comes in at a modest 1600W of power peak-to-peak. The dual beams come in at 83/200 kHz with the lower frequency allowing for readings up to 800 feet below. The higher frequency will allow for more clarity for your finder, which might be essential considering the lower screen quality and will bring things into a sharper focus.

Despite the lack of advanced imaging technology, the PiranhaMax 170 makes for a decent finder for freshwater use, and might even be decent for use close to the ocean shore. It’s not breaking any records here, or allowing for particularly innovative technology but the sonar findings are solid and fairly accurate.

If you’re just into hitting the lake on the weekends, this unit will serve its user admirably but professional and marine anglers will probably want to look into spending a little bit more.

Finder Rating: 6/10

Additional Functions

It’s a budget unit, so you’ll have to do without GPS or any fancy additional features while using this one. It’s strictly a finding unit with no chart-plotting capabilities.

That said it does have the usual temperature readings and alarms for when a fish enters the cone of sonar beneath you.

Extras Rating: 6/10

Ease of Use

Make no mistake, for a novice the lack of additional features can be quite useful. Pretty much any user will be able to easily utilize this unit to the maximum of its limited function quickly with a simplified menu interface that remains intuitive and easy to read.

The small size and waterproofing lends a unit like this quite well for extremely small vessels like kayaks, making sure that you won’t lose precious space or have your fishfinder destroyed if you’re overtaken by a wave.

Ease of Use Rating: 8/10

Overall Rating

Without looking at the price, this unit scores pretty abysmally, especially for a Humminbird product. However, once you take into account the extremely low price range it starts to shine, it has a superior depth reading when compared to most finders in the same price point and the dual-beam feature makes for a great angling experience. If you’re on an extremely tight budget and can’t afford to invest in something three or four times the cost, the PiranhaMax 170 is a great option. It’s of particularly great use to those who might favor smaller boats on their adventures.

Overall Rating: 7/10


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Hi! I’m Steven!

I am an avid life long fisherman, having caught over 25,000 fish over the years. My life-long passion for fishing began when my father taught me how to fish at the age of ten. I started to share my extensive knowledge of all things fishing.

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