Raymarine Axiom Pro Fishfinder/Chartplotter and Cyclone Radar Review

Nick Jones Reviews the Raymarine Axiom Pro Fishfinder/Chartplotter and Cyclone Radar...

The ‘perfect’ electronics set-up varies greatly depending on angler preference, and it’s also a moving target with the constant evolution of technology in this space. Some might want the full spectrum of bells and whistles imaginable, while others might want something so simple that they don’t have to fiddle with any settings at all. At the end of the day, your electronics set-up is likely determined by your preferred fishing methods, your experience, and your budget.

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As the NZ Fishing News crew enjoys all manners of angling, we wanted an all-rounder for our Project Boat, landing on a package pulled together by marine distributor Lusty & Blundell. Headlining our electronics suite is the Raymarine Axiom Pro 16” RVX – a multi-function display with Real Vision 3D and 1KW CHIRP sonar. Sporting a feature list too comprehensive to include on these pages, it makes sense to translate some of the jargon into what we’ve experienced first-hand on the water.

Usability

The Axiom Pro is quick… really quick! Its quad-core processor and 10 Hz 72 Channel GPS receiver mean that there’s no lag when you’re moving between displays, zooming in or out on your map, changing settings, or scrolling back on your sonar.

The display is intuitive and sectioned out with instantly recognisable icons. You can use the touchscreen, buttons, knob, or any combination of both to find what you’re after. The high-definition IPS screen gives you good clarity in all lighting conditions, even though polarised sunnies. Another practical feature for early starters (or late finishers) like myself is the backlight dimmer. Simply press the power switch you can easily slide a large icon down or up to adjust.

An awesome function, particularly for our boat which accommodates multiple skippers, is the ability to set up and save customised profiles. For example, you can save a page that has the perfect settings for gamefishing and access it instantly on a future trip via the home screen.

While we utilise the Yamaha Helm Master EX system for our autopiloting needs, the Axiom Pro can easily be expanded into an advanced networking hub that includes autopilot, engine gauges, FLIR thermal night vision technology, and more.

Fishfinding

As the Axiom Pro RVX has built-in offshore-rated 1KW CHIRP sonar, we paired ours up with a TM265LM 1KW transom-mounted transducer. With low, medium, or high CHIRP, this set-up offers a wide spectrum of sonar bands for deep, mid-range, and shallow-water fishing. The target separation is very good for things like identifying snapper holding right on the bottom, or larger fish amongst bait schools, and the read at cruising speed is crisp and clear.

Complementing the standard 2D readings are Down Vision, Side Vision, and 3D RealVision. We’ve found the Side Vision particularly useful when catching livebait, marking schools to the side of the boat that you wouldn’t have been able to identify with a standard fishfinder. The RealVision 3D takes a while to get your head around but is a great feature for scoping out structure in detail and determining exactly where fish are holding.

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Chartplotting

A variety of charts are supported by the Axiom Pro, including Navionics, LightHouse Raster, and C-MAP. We slotted in the Navionics Platinum+ card, giving us access to bathymetric contours to 0.5m detail with the SonarCharts layer. Navigation is a breeze and the boat’s position tracks along without any glitches. If you move your map away from the boat marker, there is a handy icon that brings you back instantly with a single touch. You can also sync the Axiom’s waypoints, routes, and charts with the Navionics mobile app, allowing you to peruse likely spots and share them with your vessel from the comfort of your couch. Another nice touch is the QWERTY keyboard that makes entering coordinates straightforward.

Radar

Not only does our Raymarine Cyclone 4’ Open Array radar (networked with the Axiom Pro unit) look cool, but it is also an epic tool for the keen angler. Apart from dealing with nocturnal travel and helping us dodge ferries in the early-morning Waitemata Harbour fog with clear target separation and tracking, it has a bird mode. This function picks up birds – especially gannets – from distances up to about 4-5NM, giving you the upper hand when chasing workups or out wide, towing plastics for pelagics.


December 2023 - Nick Jones
New Zealand Fishing News Magazine.
Copyright: NZ Fishing Media Ltd.
Re-publishing elsewhere is prohibited

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