Simrad Cruise 5 Review-A Convenient and Reliable Chart Plotter

simrad cruise 5 review

This is my Simrad Cruise 5 review.

I’ve spent most of my life leading fishing charters and taking clients out to catch some fantastic fish. One of the most essential items of tech I take with me on every trip is my fish finder. A quality fish finder will make the difference between a great day on the water and a terrible day.

My clients require me to provide great days on the water. The ability to find the fish and get to the right depth and speed is nearly impossible on a large body of water without a finder. Every experienced angler with a boat is going to have a quality fish finder.

The Simrad Cruise 5 is a user-friendly unit that works well in smaller boats. It is IPX7 waterproof rated and works well for kayaks and pontoon boats. I think the 5” screen is the perfect size for the smaller boat styles. It works well on smaller waters like lakes and pond fishing, where I thought it excelled.

I’ve put together this list of comprehensive Simrad Cruise 5 reviews to highlight the features of this unit. There are some features offered here that will make your next trip exceptional. Several finders are available around the same price point, so let’s dig into what makes the Simrad Cruise 5 worthwhile.  

Check out the Simrad Cruise 5 reviews below!

Simrad Cruise 5 Reviewed

Simrad Logo

The Simrad Cruise 5 is a great charting and plotting unit. Boaters are going to love this. Simrad has limited the fishing technology to the minimum while adding everything a boater would want for navigation and a great time on the water.

Spending the day out on the water with family and friends is one of the best ways to take a break from the real world. The Simrad Cruise 5 will make that day run smoothly. Chart plotting is second nature to this device. Turn it on, and you’re ready to go. If you like to do a little fishing but don’t want to learn how to run a complicated fish finder, the Simrad Cruise 5 will give you the basics for the beginning angler as well.

There are good reasons to invest in a chart plotter like this if you aren’t an active angler. When shopping for a fish finder, ask yourself how often you fish from the boat compared to the amount of time you spend boating around the water with others. If you boat more than fish by a large margin, this might be a good option. If you fish far more than a boat, go with a unit that is more focused on angling.

Display

The display on the Simrad Cruise 5 offers great visibility in an easy-to-read 5” screen. It’s viewable in sunlight and has a backlight feature for easy night viewing. The resolution is 800×480.

There are pre-programmed settings for views of charts, sonar, chart/sonar, navigation, sonar/navigation, and chart/navigation.

Turn the display on, and it loads right up. You don’t need to wade through all the fishing sonar information. It’s excellent for a boater or novice angler.

Charting/Plotting

Charting and plotting are where the Simrad Cruise 5 excels. The primary purpose of this unit is chart plotting. It provides reliable GPS navigation and simple depth readings with the flip of a switch.

All that’s needed to use the charting feature is to turn the device on, and the chart turns on. Without the fishing sonar getting in the way, the display is simple to read and easy to navigate.

Maps

The Cruise 5 comes preloaded with a worldwide base-map and can be upgraded to include C-MAP and Navionics to expand the map options.

There are hundreds of fishing maps out there that can be added to the device. Add this unit to your boat, and you’ll find yourself navigating the trickier portions of any lake or waterway you want with ease. Set waypoints as you go to remind yourself of any obstacles or other points of interest for the trip back.

Speed, depth, and temperature are tracked as well, so you can keep track of environmental information if you are out fishing and have a particularly good day. Keeping records of your trips will help you improve as an angler and help you nail down the best locations to visit the next time you hit the water.

The size of this unit makes it perfect for smaller vessels as well. It’s waterproof, which makes it a great choice for kayaks, personal watercraft, and pontoons. Small boats are a great option as well.

Alternatives

The Simrad Cruise 5 is an excellent choice for those searching for a navigation chart plotter. There are always alternatives out there, so let’s break down some options for you.

Garmin Striker 7sv

The Garmin Striker 7sv offers so many features beyond the simple Simrad Cruise 5 for under $500.00 that if you’re an active angler, it’s your go-to finder. If you’re not an angler or only fish occasionally, the Cruise 5 is still a great choice.

Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2

Our Pick
Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2
$480.00

The Helix 5 is an excellent option for those looking to get some great features and still keep the unit small enough not to overwhelm a smaller boat.

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06/30/2022 12:11 am GMT

The Helix 5 is an outstanding finder for those looking for a good quality finder without spending a lot of money. It’s a good option for those looking at the Cruise 5. It has a built-in GPS and CHIRP sonar for under $300.00.

Garmin ECHOMAP UHD

ECHOMAP 73sv
Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 73sv
$699.99

Find more fish using the ECHOMAP™ UHD 73sv combo with a bright, sunlight-readable 7” touchscreen with keyed assist. Preloaded LakeVü g3 inland maps with integrated Navionics® data cover more than 17,000 lakes with up to 1’ contours.

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06/29/2022 12:08 pm GMT

The ECHOMAP UHD has spectacular mapping opportunities. The ability to add detailed info to maps makes this one a great option to go in place of the Cruise 5 if that’s your goal. It also has some better fishing features of the finders in this price range, so you can’t go wrong.  

The Verdict

The Simrad Cruise 5 is perfect for boaters. It simplifies the fish finder and removes the transducer, making it much more streamlined. This device is very user-friendly for those that want a device that makes charting a route for boating to be as simple as possible without all the fishing charts and sonar getting in the way.

If you are a boater or a novice angler without the need for a complex fish finder, the Simrad Cruise 5 is a great option. If you find yourself in either one of those categories, you can buy it here.

For a visual overview of the Go Series from Simrad, check out this video from the manufacturer themselves:

Simrad GO XSE Walkthrough

For more guidance on choosing your next fish finder, check out the pages below:

Eric Larson

Eric Larson

Hi, my name is Eric. I am a contributor for A Fellow Fisherman and a former charter captain who has been saltwater fishing since before I can remember. I grew up in New Jersey, fishing mostly the Delaware Bay and River, as well as many offshore charter trips. I have had an enormous passion for fishing my whole life, and am lucky to have done it as a profession. I am confident when it comes to telling people about the best techniques for catching fish, but am still open to a good debate.

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