Simrad is one of the leading global manufacturers of chart plotters and fish finders on the market currently. And the reason why their marine electronics are widely sought after is because their products are synonymous with two words: quality and accuracy.
One of the most popular line of products to come out of Simrad’s range is the GO series. Not only does this series appeal to recreational boaters, but it’s also popular among fishing enthusiasts. This makes the GO series range of products pretty versatile.
The latest series to come out of Simrad’s GO range is the GO9. Most industry experts view it as being the GO7’s “big brother” and ideally suited for fishing enthusiasts.
Simrad GO9 XSE MFD/Sonar, TotalScan Transducer
If you’re working on a budget you can consider this Simrad GO9 XSE chart plotter/ fish finder which features a 9” color LCD display screen. This large screen allows you to view data clearly as you navigate through the waters. You’ll find the display interface easy to operate because it has multi-touch control functionality.
The built-in GPS will ensure that you remain on-course during your fishing trips and it’ll help you reach the desired target fish. You can also view any hazards that may be present so that you follow a safe route at all times.
The chart plotter also comes with a base map where you can plot your routes with ease. And the CHIRP and Side-Down scan features will allow you to clearly identify where fish are.
You can connect to the internet thanks to the integrated Wi-Fi. Want to listen to some music as you cruise? You can connect a speaker to the device via the Bluetooth functionality.
With this fish finder, you’ll have access to optional radar. And you’ll also get a TotalScan Transducer if you purchase this model.
Weighing only 8.8lbs, you can tell that unit is relatively lightweight.
Overall it’s an effective device. We’re only disappointed that the instructions on installing the unit aren’t as detailed. So you’re likely to spend some time installing it.
Simrad GO9 XSE MED, TotalScan Radar Bundle
If you have more money to spend on a fish finder you can consider this Simrad GO9 XSE MED TotalScan model. It also has a 9” color LCD display screen with multi touch control.
This chart plotter is also a versatile unit because it allows for multi-function display. This way you can perform a number of features that will make your fish finding easier.
The Simrad GO9 XSE fish finder also has a built-in GPS receiver so that you can easily map your routes in your quest to find fish. It also features a base map to help you navigate your way in the waters.
The CHIRP and Side-DownScan will allow you to locate fish clearly so that you know which areas to troll through. Like the Simrad MFD model, you can also connect this device to your stereo via Bluetooth so that you can enjoy your favorite playlist during your fish finding mission.
The main differences associated with this model compared to the one reviewed above is that it uses a 4G radar which is very helpful in navigation and especially if you plan on fishing offshore or taking long trips with your boat.
This unit has quality construction and is built to last.
What Are the Main Differences Between the GO7 and the GO9?
The first thing we’ll point out is that the GO9 XSE is more expensive than the Simrad GO7 XSE. But there’s a perfectly good reason for this. Simrad added a few notable improvements on the GO9 which are absent on the GPO7 including:
- A bigger screen: Unlike the GO7 which has a 7” display screen, the GO9 features a 9” diagonal screen so you can read information displayed more clearly.
- More features: The GO9 XSE has more features that aren’t present on the GO7 for instance it’s designed to eliminate split viewing. Also, it’s easier to navigate when compared to its GO7 counterpart.
- Target niche: The GO9 XSE is specifically designed for serious fishermen while the G07 can also be used by casual cruisers and boat enthusiasts.
But note that even though the GO9 XSE is slightly more expensive than the GO7, purchasing it is still a bargain. This is because it comes with many features that are similar to those found in the higher end models. And you’ll still enjoy all these impressive functionalities for less than $2500.
We’ll outline some of these features below.
Total Scan Package
In this package you’ll find a TotalScan transom mount transducer as well as the necessary hardware needed to install it. This Skimmer transducer is designed to structure scan and you can also use it for DownScan imaging; a feature that’s not present in most fish finders.
This TotalScan transducer can be used for medium to high frequency CHIRP sonar. And the best part is all data is clearly displayed in high definition imaging.
FishReveal Smart Target Viewing
Simrad incorporated advanced fish finding technology in the manufacturing of the GO9. This functionality makes it much easier to see fish on DownScan imaging.
The conventional fish finders used traditional CHIRP views to provide fish targets. But the only drawback to this method was that it lacked refined structural detail. The images provided weren’t very clear and showed fish targets as mere tiny dots.
FishReveal Smart target viewing is designed to combine the best data from both the CHIRP views and the DownScan images to provide a clearer picture of where the fish are located. Also both functionalities eliminate the need for split screen viewing (as mentioned earlier) which make interpreting the fish targets easier.
Another impressive feature includes the Automatic Routing functionality. Thanks to Automatic Routing planning, you can enjoy faster and easier navigation during your fishing expedition.
Not only does this feature allow for faster navigation, but it also comes with the following benefits:
- Simplifies your route creation.
- Plots the shortest distance you can use to travel.
- Ensures you use the safest route depending on your boat’s draft, beam and height. This means the fish finder looks for a route that’s free from fixed navigational hazards including landmass and shoals.
Motor Guide Xi5 Trolling Motor Control:
With this G09 fish finder, you can control the Xi5 trolling motor via the touch screen of your device. Controlling the motor using the Simrad display comes with the following benefits:
- It makes it easier to maintain your current position
- It also makes it easy to navigate to a new position where necessary
- When switching positions you don’t necessarily have to leave the helm
This motor guide comes with the following navigation options to make your cruising easier. It allows you to navigate to:
- The cursor
- A heading
- Desired waypoint
- Along a route
- Along a pre-defined turn pattern
By using this GO9 fish finder, you’ll have two radar options as we’ll quickly describe below. But note that both options are ideally suited for persons interested in both long and short range targets.
- 3G Broadband Radar: This option provides you with excellent short range performance. And you can access targets within a 24nm maximum range.
- 4G Broadband Radar: The 4G radar is more suited for mid and long range targets & allows you to keep track of coastal projections that are within 36nm.
Installation of the GO9:
If after reading our Simrad GO9 review you decided to purchase one, here are a few steps you should follow to install your G09:
- Silicone sealants for the transducer. Make sure you get them for both below and above the water line.
- Wire cap to protect the wiring.
- Electrical terminal set which has all the connectors, bolts and screws.
- Cable ties.
- Gloves and paper towels because the job may get messy.
Once you have all the necessary equipment you can follow these easy steps:
- Remove the existing hardware if applicable. This means removing the old fish finder that’s currently mounted on your boat.
- Assemble the pieces of the transducer securely.
- Install the transducer bracket.
- Make sure the transducer is level with the water.
- Drill three holes where you’ll place the bracket.
- Attach the transducer into the bracket.
- Run the cable to the fuse box.
- Expose a bit of cable from the hole that you’ll fit into the display unit.
- Connect the display unit.
- Reinforce the display unit and the transducer with cable ties.
- Install the power cable.
- Seal the hole with the wire cap and you’re done!
Any serious fish finding enthusiast must consider investing in a Simrad GO9 fish finder/chart plotter. It’ll definitely make your fish finding expeditions easier and above all: successful.