Fishing is always fun with the right equipment which is why fishermen are always on the lookout for new tools and devices that can help them snap the big one. The Hummingbird PiranhaMAX 4 DI is one of such devices. This powerful fishfinder makes it easier to locate the best spot to cast out.
The device which was released in 2016 is still available on the market and is yet to be discontinued. Although quite similar to the PiranhaMAX 197c and other older models from Hummingbird, this device comes with some new improvements. It also comes at a very competitive price which makes it quite an attractive choice among casual fishermen and hobbyists alike.
In this article, we review the Humminbird PiranhaMAX 4 DI and highlight some of the device’s main features. We will also go over some of the things to really like about this product as well as some of its limitations. This will help you to make an informed choice about buying this device.
Perhaps the most remarkable difference between the PiranhaMAX 4 DI and older models is the wider display and a much richer pixel matrix. According to Hummingbird, the PiranhaMAX 4 DI has a 4.3-inch screen which is at least 20% bigger than previous generations.
The fishfinder offers 70% more in terms of pixel matrix as well. This wider screen and richer imagery make it easy to distinguish between objects and fishes in the water.
Sonar and Transducer
Every another fishfinder the PiranhaMAX 4 DI features a transducer. The type that comes with this model is the XNT 9 DI T. It features a transom mount and also has a water temperature sensor. The transducer supports the fish finder’s Sonar.
As far as Sonars go, this unit has two. It has a traditional DualBeam (2D) sonar as well as a Down Imaging sonar.
This unit features an XNT 9 28 T traditional dual beam sonar. This is capable of two frequencies, I.e. 200kHz, and a 455 kHz frequency. This is similar to that of other fish finders from Hummingbird.
The transducer make use of conical sonar beams for the two frequencies. The beam angle is 28° for 200 kHz and 16° for 455 kHz. The implication of this is that the fish finder’s 2D sonar doesn’t offer much in terms of coverage. However, it is still good enough for scanning the water.
The unit’s down imaging sonar uses a 75° beam for its 455 kHz channel. This is a much wider beam. Instead of conical beams like the 2D, the DI beam is thin like that of a scanner. The 455kHz down imaging beam allows the fish finder to see more pictures and clearly distinguish between vegetation, structure, and fishes. This helps to take the guesswork out sonar interpretation.
Fish and Depth Alarms
This fish finder features three different alarms. It has a fish alarm that goes off when you are in an area where fish are present. The battery alarm notifies you when your battery voltage is less than or equal to a preset value.
It also has a depth alarm which you will find very helpful for navigation in the water. It notified you when your vessel is heading to a low depth area where it may get stuck.
Another exciting feature of this fish finder is the fish ID tool. This feature reads the sonar signal and interprets it using an advanced processing algorithm to identify fish in the water. In addition to locating fish, the fish ID feature is also able to rate the fish and assign three size options; small, medium, or large. You can pre-set the specific fish size you are targeting. This way, the unit’s alarm will go off only when fish that corresponds to the pre-set size is detected.
What we like
- Portability: we love the fact that this unit can be easily carried with you. This makes it perfect for fishing trips when big boats are not available. It features a carry case which aids portability. The XPT 9 28 transducer and 12V battery are also portable.
- Easy to use: despite the PiranhaMAX 4 DI’s advanced features, it is still quite easy to use thanks to its intuitive interface and a screen that is easy to read and understand. The alarms can also be customized to only go off when specific conditions are met which further improves convenience. You can also zoom in to check specific areas for fishing prospects.
- Excellent display: this unit features a colored display complete with LED backlight. This in addition to the model’s rich pixels offers excellent readability whether you are checking in direct sunlight or when you are fishing at night.
- Durable: the PiranhaMAX 4 DI is built to be durable. It is IPX7 waterproof. This means it can easily withstand water exposure. This is an important feature since incidental water exposure is inevitable.
- Affordable: if the cost is a concern for you, then you are in luck with this fish finder. The PiranhaMAX 4 DI is one of the most affordable fish finders you will find around with lots of features that will rival even more expensive models.
What we don’t like
- You can only use one sonar frequency at a time: the 2D sonar beam is “Dual Beam” rather than “DualBeam Plus”. the implication of this is that unlike many advanced units, it can only one sonar beam at once and not both simultaneously.
- No CHIRP or GPS: another advanced feature we would have loved to see on this device but is absent is CHIRP sonar technology. This would have helped to enhance bottom tracking at higher speeds and greater depths.
Despite being low-cost, the Hummingbird PiranhaMax 4 DI offers some pretty advanced features. It offers both Down Imaging and DualBeam Sonar and a transducer that support both sonar frequencies. This unit is also quite portable which makes it an ideal choice for small boats and kayaks.
It also has a depth capability of up to 600ft. Although no device can give you a 100% guarantee of a productive fishing day, the PiranhaMAX 4 DI offers excellent value for your money by helping you to focus your effort in places where you have greater chances of success.