Helix 10 MEGA

9/12/18 @ 2:55 PM
ORIGINAL POST
tankman
tankman
USER since 8/6/08

I had a Helix 10 installed on my boat yesterday.

Never had a locator before so I'm as green as it gets.

Do I need to add a lake map chip to this unit, or does it come pre-loaded with Wisconsin lakes?

Any pointers will be appreciated to get me started.

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Displaying 1 to 7 of 7 Posts
9/17/18 @ 5:07 PM
fishiz2
fishiz2
USER since 7/1/03

Bonefish is spot on, just start out simple. That unit has a lot of power and features. Don’t make a lot of changes at first and try to understand what the changes do. I love my 9 mega and there is a plethora of information about the helix units. As bone fish mentioned the technological angler is awesome. Have fun with your new toy !! Pic is of gill beds. The distortion at the top of the screen is the boat stopping abruptly from me deploying my talon.

Edited on 9/18/18 4:48 AM
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9/17/18 @ 12:13 PM
Tim Zwieg
Zwiegs
USER since 1/10/12

Your best bet is to get a Lakemaster chip. Not perfect, but then you can also get a zero lines card and use the auto chart live function to create your own lake maps.

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9/14/18 @ 10:03 AM
tankman
tankman
USER since 8/6/08

Wow, thanks for taking the time to give all that info. Bonefish!

Much appreciated.

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9/13/18 @ 12:23 PM
Bone-fish
Bone-fish
MEMBER since 11/3/16

The maps provided with the Helix 9 were hardly usable in my opinion. Unless you are on a remote lake, get a card. Either that or you will have to map your entire lake with your sonar by yourself and that is no small feat.

One thing I learned right away with my Helix 9 is that you will want to reduce how far away the side scanning is. I often start with 60 to get used to seeing what may or may not be fish or fish beds. Then you can keep increasing the distance especially with a 10 inch screen.

The other thing I learned shortly after that is that I should have purchased a 10 inch. Not for the visibility but for the touch screen. I am usually running a map, down sonar, and side imaging all at the same time. Having to use buttons to activate the correct screen, then buttons again to scroll up and down on the screen to mark the exact location and depth of a fish is near impossible if you aren’t watching the screen continuously and sitting right in front of it. Touch screen is the only way to go if you plan to use multiple screens and mark fish. 

Oh and FYI, you may notice that the sonar pics up objects before your down or side imaging. This is normal. There is a very slight but noticeable delay due to the multiple frequencies you are using and the computer processing it takes to combine them and get them on screen unless they somehow improved that with software anyway. I thought mine was broke when i first started using it but learned on some youtube video that that is how they all work (for the Helix anyway,. not sure about other brands/models).

I also chose to turn off a lot of map options so I only had a handful. This is because you only get 3 preset quick keys to quick pull up a previous setting of screens. Then you have to hit the back or forward button to find the other screen combos you like. I think I left 7 options viewable and hid all the rest. This is wise so you can begin to learn a few options without having to cycle through every damn option they conceived of. Oh and if you want to know if you can you create your own custom combination of screens? The answer is nope and I hate that but I love my Helix so it is what it is. What you can do though is adjust how much of the screen each function takes. For example, my map is zoomed to see my nearby waypoints, but I have the map option squished to the side so it doesn’t take up much screen area so that my sonar and side imaging take up the majority of the screen.

What screens should you start with? As I am not a pro I'll offer my inexperienced opinion. Down imaging is not great for finding fish unless you are looking for fish that are bigger. Down imaging is great for understanding the bottom structure. Getting resolution on plants, rocks, logs etc. Don’t get me wrong you can see fish on there but a lot of times they get washed out if they are smaller and your settings are too high. Sonar is used for more easily seeing fish, balls of baitfish, and finding the thermocline. Once you get familiar with spotting fish on sonar and verifying it with the down imaging though you can roll up on structure and use your down imaging to sperate out the images of the structure and see if there is fish within the structure in that blob you so on your sonar. For example a fish crib or a log looks like a blob on your sonar. Roll up on it and use down imaging to clarify things a bit.

Finally I will add that the "technical angler" has a website in which they will sell you DVDs how to get the most out of your Helix and common settings to use. I bought them but never watched them yet so I cant comment on how valuable they are yet. I get along with my unit pretty well so haven’t found the need to really watch the videos. Floppy Crappie has a few videos in general also to help understand what you are seeing on your screen. Not specific to changing settings but more for what a school of crappie looks like for a starting point.

Edited on 9/13/18 1:11 PM
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9/12/18 @ 5:09 PM
Jared
Jared
USER since 7/22/01

I agree with west.

It will have base maps, but a chip is much better. Not perfect though.

Edited on 9/12/18 5:28 PM
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9/12/18 @ 4:04 PM
westfieldW
westfieldW
USER since 10/9/16

tankman, wow that is a nice first sonar. I personally do not know much about these units. I do know that there are a lot of videos on YouTube for Helix 10. They give you a lot of helpful information on there that would be a good place to start.

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