Humminbird PiranhaMAX 197c Reviews: Is It Worth Your Money?

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Buying the Humminbird PiranhaMAX 197c di fish finder will up your chances of snagging yourself some catch. If you are one of those who always wandered around aimlessly, then this is exactly what you need.

Humminbird PiranhaMAX 197c was created to enhance your performance and find you the perfect fishing spots.

With technology evolving rapidly, everything is undergoing a sea of change, including fishing. That is something which needs to be taken into account if you are a fisher.

Using technology, which everyone can use equally, will enhance your chances of identifying the best fishing spots and focus your energies on them.

So, let’s check out Humminbird PiranhaMAX 197c reviews to help you learn more about this device.

Humminbird PiranhaMAX 197c Reviews


  • Type:Down Imaging
  • Sonar: DualBeam
  • Transducer: Transom XNT 9 28 T
  • Display Size: 3.5″ diagonal
  • Resolution: 240H x 320V pixel resolution
  • Backlit: LED backlight
  • Color: Color TFT with a 256 color range
  • Weight: 4.6 pounds
  • Depth Capability: 600 feet (183 m)
  • Frequency: 200 kHz / 28° and 455 kHz / 16°
  • Power Output: 300 Watts (RMS)
  • Power Input: 10-20 VDC
Humminbird Piranhamax 197c Reviews

This unit is only usable when you are sure you can mount it quite conveniently, like when you are in a boat or kayak. Make sure that you take into account that it is not a cast-type sonar-based fish finder. You can make use of this device in several ways.

Another thing to note is that it is suggested for beginners and semi-pro fishers. Due to its overall quality and features, it lacks in some ways. But it comes at a relatively low price. At the same time, you really cannot expect anything more than that at this price.

Its features are more suited to entry-level fishers. Now, let us dive into some of its more serious features.


PiranhaMAX 197c offers you dual sonars. One of them is named Dual-beam and the other is called Down Imaging. As the name implies, the Dual-beam is capable of generating two frequencies. It works at 200 kHz and 455 kHz, while the Down Imaging only works at 455 kHz.

Like other Humminbird Units, it also includes the Fish ID+ function. However, it is more effective when a person is using the standard sonar. This feature shows a fish icon on the screen display for each object it considers as a fish. It uses advanced signal processing and evaluates each identified object by specific requirements before considering anything fish.

This model comes with three different sizes of icons which represent the size of the fish as identified by the device. The bigger the symbol gets, the larger the fish is.


For the technical nerds, this model comes equipped with an XNT 9 DIT transducer. It is made out of plastic and comes with a transom mount. This transducer comes with 10 feet cable and an internal temperature sensor for careful calibration.

It can cast two conical beams of 28 degrees and 16 degrees (More on that later), while the Down Imagine can cast an oval beam of 78 degrees side to side angle and 1–2 degrees aft to aft angle.

The PiranaMax, unfortunately, lacks a temperature alarm, courtesy of its low price. It also lacks a temperature graph. However, as mentioned above, it does have an inbuilt temperature sensor. The transducer is a transom type, but you can call the Humminbird support if you want any different types. They will replace it completely free of cost with a trolling motor or thru-hull type.

Output Power

The transducers can give out an output of 200 Watt and at its peak, it can deliver 1600-watt output. It outputs an average of 300 watts per RMS. This is more than enough for casual anglers and its sounder power ratings are also fine.


This device is capable of creating two separate beams at the same time. The transducer is their point of emanation. One of the beams has a cone angle of 16 degrees. This helps it to provide sharper details of the things situated under your boat.

The second beam has a cone angle of 28 degrees and is more functional. This beam has a greater range of depth, although the detailing gets lessened. This is due to silt which is mixed with the water is can get detected and current disturbances.


Since the device has dual beams, it operates on a dual-frequency setting. The first one is greater and is set at 200 kHz. This frequency is more effective in shallow waters and gives high-quality readings. It is the frequency of the smaller beam.

Similarly, the 455 Khz frequency creates the 28-degree beam, which is used for deeper waters. This creates a distorted but clear enough picture when compared to the first frequency.


This device can give you great support if you want to go out for a casual spin. It comes with a dual-frequency that allows it to scan at narrow and wider frequencies. It creates a better rendering of underwater geography than single-frequency devices.

PiranhaMAX 197c allows you to differentiate between plants, rocks and seabed. When using the 200Khz scanning, you can scan for up to 97 meters and up to 183 meters when using the 455Khz frequency. This range is more than sufficient and operable for most of the small lakes and rivers.

The Alarms

This feature makes an alarm when the sonar detects fish around your location and matches up to a general size. A depth alarm also only goes off when the depth is less than the selected value.

In the end, there is a battery alarm that gives you a heads-up when your battery is lower than the specified limit.

Display and Resolution

A good sonar got to have a good screen. The dimensions are 12.3 x 16 x 8 inches, and these dimensions translate into a 3.5-inch LCD monitor with a 320 x 240 pixels resolution, which keeps it small and compact.

This display may seem to be a downer when compared to other devices. But these specs are actually enough to provide you with a detailed and crisp picture of what is exactly underneath you. The screen is a TFT one and you will be able to see the display even when you are under the sun.

As the chances of gathering more information are greater when your picture is more detailed, you are easily covered by this device. This can help you identify the number of fishes, their speed and direction of travel and maybe even their type if you are good at your job.

To any fisher worth their weight, this information will mean a lot as this will let you determine the types of equipment you need to take, the type of lure you should use and give you an idea of the overall situation.


The amount of color your display can show is also quite important. This device comes with a total of 256 colors which give a detailed picture, as has been mentioned before.

This is a significant improvement and should not be taken for granted. Especially since the older models only had black and whole color configurations and a ton of noise. This made them a far cry from the type of models that we can get on the market today.


Humminbird PiranhaMAX 197c can provide the best readings in trolling speed. However, if you expect a reliable reading at 40 or 50 miles, then you can forget about it. At most, you should be able to get decent readings when you are at the speed of 20 to 30 miles, but even that depends on a lot of external factors.

As this is a regular device for common and casual fishermen, these kinds of high-performing features are not included in it.


The performance of the PiranhaMAX 197c depends on how it is used, external factors, and the expertise of the person using it. Of course, an expert fisherman will be able to derive better results from it despite its limitations compared to a newbie.

It can often consider other objects like the silt, which is mixed into the water like a fish. The type of water you fish in also has an impact on the performance of the device. If you are trying to fish in murky or polluted waters, you will get lower accuracy. At sea, the strong currents can disturb the readings.

There is an important fact that you need to be at lower speeds if you are moving around in a boat at the time of fishing. A higher speed of movement will not only disturb the fish but also confuse the device.

Pros And Cons

What I Like:

  • PiranhaMAX 197c comes with a backlit TFT display that lets you see even under the sun.
  • The different kinds of alarms keep you updated regarding the fish as well as the device.
  • Its built-in temperature sensor is quite handy to have.
  • Has a decent range of 183 meters.

What I Don’t Like:

  • The screen might be small when compared to other similar devices.
  • There are very few options for up-gradation and it also lacks a GPS.

So here we have been reading about Humminbird PiranhaMAX 197c reviews which definitely has given you so much information. Right?

And I’m sure it will help you a lot in taking the decision.

This is the most prominent and qualitative fish finder which will definitely make your fishing experience better.

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