Underwater electronics are an integral component to fishing success, enabling you to find structure, mark productive areas, and ultimately locate fish.
This is my second season running a Humminbird 798ci HD SI Sonar, and after putting it through its paces, I can honestly say that this unit is far superior to any model I've previously used.
The first thing you will notice with the 798 is the high definition display. The colors are bright, saturated and highly detailed, due in part to the 640V-by-640H pixel count. The 5-inch screen showcases the information in an easy-to-read style and is perfect for boaters that don't have the means to run a big 7- or 9-inch model.
The Side and Down Imaging ability on the Humminbird 798ci allows for great views of stumps, boulders, fish and vegetation.
No need to look in the box for an external GPS puck. The 798 has an internal 50-channel GPS/WAAS receiver, which not only saved time and hassle in a further installation, but also provided a fast position fix with barely any lag time. Humminbird states the unit is accurate within 2.5 meters. I would have to concur.
This was my first taste of Side and Down Imaging, and I am definitely hooked. For those that don't know, these two functions offer a photographic-like picture of the water column and bottom structure, with amazing detail and clarity. View stumps, boulders, bridge pilling, vegetation and fish. It is almost like using an underwater camera. With the Side Imaging, you are able to view upwards of 240 feet out to the left or right of the boat. This has proved very valuable when cruising down a bank in search of hidden structure. What is also neat is you can scroll a waypoint across the screen to anything you find, and by marking it, are able to return to that precise location later.
Humminbirds exclusive SwitchFire mode allows you to control how you view the display. Click on Max Mode to give you the full picture, or hit Clear Mode to filter out the return and only show structure and fish. Depending on the situation at hand, including depth and cover variances, this option is a valuable asset to have at your fingertips.
The DualBeam PLUS transducer provides 20- and 60-degree beams, giving you a greater viewing surface as well as added detail. The transducer also provides standard functions, such as speed and temperature.
Navionics provides a built-in mapping software, ContourXD, that features 3,000 US lakes. I upgraded to the Navionics Fish N Chip, but only because I reside in Canada.
If you run a compatible unit also on the boat, Ethernet Networking is possible. You will have to purchase a separate cord for this, but having the ability to share sonar, GPS and waypoints between your two Humminbirds is a definite asset when out on the water.
One thing I do love about the Humminbird 798 is the ease of use. A few hours on the water is all it took to get familiar and comfortable with the unit, and much of this is due to the simplicity and easy-to-use menu options. The three "quick view" buttons allow you to program your three favorite screens, so they can be accessed quickly and easily. I chose a split screen GPS and regular view, Down Scan and Side Scan. This option allows me to quickly toggle back and forth by simply pushing a button. What can be easier than that!
Installation of the 798 was fairly straightforward and easy. The tilt and swivel quick disconnect is pretty slick, and allows the unit to be positioned or viewed in any angle. Due to space constraints, I did purchase a separate RAM Mount, but this is certainly not necessary.
The Humminbird 798 definitely met every expectation I had - and then some. It offers all of the bells and whistles you would expect, but in an easy-to-use package. Will it help you catch more fish? Absolutely.