Side imaging fish finders – Buying guide, Reviews & Comparison
If you want to find the best side imaging fish finder but don’t have the time to sift through all the buying tips and reviews, this short paragraph should give you all the information you need to find the best available model. After looking at customer feedback, the features and the quality of each product, we have concluded that the Garmin Striker 7SV is the best due to its large scanning area, simplicity and the gorgeous 7 inch display. See more of what is around you with the help of the high-quality scanning sonar. The 7 inch display will give you a clear view of your surroundings and make sure that you don’t miss a detail. As a plus, using and installing it is simpler than ever due to the keyed interface. If the Garmin Striker 7SV is unavailable, we believe that the Humminbird Helix 9 SI is an alternative that is well worth considering.
Our Top Choice
The easy to use interface and the detailed and crisp images that this product produces makes it one of the best options available especially as it also comes at a price that is hard to beat.
Do keep in mind before buying that while this device does include GPS capabilities, there are no maps included which means that you can’t use this device as a map plotter.
If you’re looking for a quality product that will not have you break the bank but that can also deliver great features, the Garmin 010-01809-00 is a device that is easy to operate and that will help you catch more fish than ever.
With a super bright and generous 9 inch display, this option offers crystal clear images that are easy to observe even in direct sunlight, and the high-quality sensor gives a 180 degrees coverage.
It should be noted that the device does not offer the option of changing the units to a metric system which can upset some customers that prefer this to the imperial system.
This might be a more expensive alternative but the features and quality that you get are well worth the high price especially as you get premium features such as GPS capabilities, built-in maps, and a dual card reader.
Also To Consider
Even though this fish finder features a more compact design, its display is still large enough to render clear images. You will be able to see the lure at the end of the line, according to some reviews.
In one situation, the unit was delivered with a defective battery, but there’s nothing to worry about if you find yourself in this situation. The seller will provide help right away.
This fish finder comes with cutting-edge technology and so many features that you will quickly see other more expensive units are not necessary to enjoy awesome fishing adventures and getaways.
3 Best Side Imaging Fish Finders (Reviews) in 2021
1. Fishfinder Striker 7sv w/ SideVu Xdcr
To make the most out of your weekend adventures, the Garmin Striker 7SV is a product that will help you get a clear view of what lies in the water around your boat. It uses a clear scanning sonar that is able to give almost photographic images filled with details that help create a detailed representation of the objects and fish.
Because simplicity is essential and the last thing you want when fishing is to have to spend minutes trying to configure your device, this option is extremely easy to use. It uses a user-friendly interface that is aided by the keyed interface with dedicated buttons that makes setting and installing easier than ever.
With the help of the waypoint map, you will be able to view and navigate to various locations and also mark locations of interest such as a brush pile, a stump or a dock. The use of a chirp sonar allows this device to provide a wider range of information over a larger area.
It also has a built-in flasher mode that will let you view your sonar data in the classical flasher format. This is ideal to use when you are ice fishing or vertical jigging.
This scanning sonar shows you what is in the water around your boat with much more detail. The high-frequency sonar delivers near-photographic images with detailed representations of the fish gatherings.
Its keyed interface with dedicated buttons is simple to use and intuitive.
To install it is an effortless task that only requires a few minutes. You should also note that you can choose between a 3.5-, 5- and 7-inch display size.
It is full of nifty features as you can view, mark and navigate to specific locations. And the clumsy ones among us will be happy to hear the product has an IPX7 waterproof rating.
As you’ll notice if you read more about the product, the unit does have an accurate GPS, but it features no included maps, and you can’t use it as a map plotter.
Another buyer pointed out the two available sizes are a bit of a let down for those wanting more variety.Buy from Amazon.com for ($469.99)
2. Humminbird 409950-1KVD Helix 9 SI GPS KVD Finders
If you are willing to spend more for your product and want to get some premium features in the process, the Humminbird Helix 9 SI is a product that will surely satisfy your needs. The 9-inch LED-backlit display is one of the most impressive features of this product, and it can provide sharp and clear HD images that are a joy to look at. What’s more, the bright skin will make it easy for you to view it even in the harshest sunlight.
The total coverage that this device can offer is of 180 degrees, giving you a detailed look of your surroundings and allowing you to spot those spots that are swarming with fish. You also get GPS connectivity with a built-in ContourXD map and the option of connecting your device to an Ethernet network.
It includes a dual card reader that you can use to store information or read information from up to two SD cards at once. To keep your device in pristine condition and to keep it from getting damaged when in use, you get a free unit cover. Users will also love the Instant Access Preset buttons that will help customize your experience and interactions with the device.
The first aspect you’ll notice about it is the 9-inch LED-backlit display, which is praised by past customers due to the sharp and clear HD images that it provides.
Moreover, you can adjust its brightness, so you can view the info it displays even in bright daylight.
For a budget-conscious price, you also get built-in GPS connectivity and the brand’s own ContourXD map, so you could find the perfect fishing spot no matter where you are.
We should also mention that the piece is easy to figure out and that it can even be used by the elderly or by those with poor eyesight.
Some of those who used the unit intensively complained about its body. They said it doesn’t feel very ergonomic, and that it is better if you use it with a stand.
It also has a smoother texture than other pieces, which might be slippery if your hands are wet.Buy from Amazon.com for ($2172.99)
3. Humminbird 409640-1 Helix 5 SI Fish Finder with Side-Imaging and GPS
Humminbird is many times the first brand that comes to mind when talking about high-quality fishing equipment. With over 40 years of experience and multiple innovations brought to this field, if you decide to give this product a try, there’s a very high chance that you won’t be disappointed.
In fact, many of those who have already added the 409640-1 to their gear have been very happy with the results, saying that the entire fishing experience can be enhanced. This fish finder features the most innovative technology and cutting edge features so that anglers of all levels of experience, amateurs or professionals, can successfully use it.
The unit includes the metric scale, in case you prefer using this one, and the design is overall easy to use. If you are looking for such a unit that features smart technology, works seamlessly, and that you can use on your getaways and fishing adventures, this is the choice for you.
According to some reviews, the side imaging is very useful and the viewings are clear enough to see even the lure on the line moving.
Thanks to its technology, you will be able to install lake maps and find structures, without having to guess and keep moving around for accurate results.
Even though this is a compact device that you can easily carry anywhere, the display is big enough for you to see in great detail everything that is going on.
This is an affordable solution that offers similar benefits to those of higher-priced alternatives.
In one case, the unit came with a defective battery, but the seller’s customer service was quick to provide the necessary assistance in such cases.
One thing mentioned by previous users that could be improved is the fact that you cannot zoom in when in full-screen 2D.Buy from Amazon.com for ($552.45)
If you’ve been looking for the best fish finder, you’ve come to the right place. For your consideration, we have put together a short list of things you need to consider if you want to make the right call. Always remember that your needs and preferences have to come first whenever you’re making a purchase, which is why you need to read as much info as possible.
A lot of details such as frequency, wattage, size of the screen, down and side imaging contribute to picking out the right model. Just have a look at what we think is most important.
Even with side imaging fish finders, screen size matters quite a lot. If you pick an older model that’s cheap and somewhat old-fashioned, you’re likely to purchase one that comes with the screen size of an ancient mobile phone. It might do a good job at providing accurate readings, but you might have a little trouble understanding them.
Resolution and color are two other factors to consider. The higher the resolution, the more detail you’ll be able to see. Color-screen fish finders can help you to better understand the underwater environment. Units that feature grayscale displays are usually destined for people on a tight budget.
Frequency and power
The same goes in the case of both of these specs. The higher they are, the better. Actually, in the case of frequency the matter might be a little more subjective than you could be tempted to think. A frequency of 200 kHz will get you great readings in shallow water, while one of 50 kHz is perfect for seeing your catch in deep waters. Some modern models come with customizable frequencies, which gives users the freedom to pick the right one.
The more watts, the merrier the user. Extra power is synonymous to faster readings and crystal clear images.
Basic fish finders are perfect choices for beginners, but most buyers tend to specialize in their craft. Sooner or later, they’ll start looking for more advanced models. All things considered, one of the most acclaimed feature of these devices is downscan/down imaging, which is best combined with side-imaging. Down imaging allows buyers to visualize picture-like images, while side imaging helps them understand what’s happening around the boat.
For example, some models are capable of providing readings which result from scanning the area up to 240 feet on both sides of the location of the boat. That sure comes in handy, doesn’t it?
» Check the information from past years
Lowrance Elite-5X HDI
We’ll start by saying this one is by far the cheapest side imaging fish finder we’ve come across. It’s affordable yet it doesn’t lack quality. Sure, its screen size is a little smaller compared to the devices we’ve already described, but that is to be expected since it can be bought for a much lower price.
The 5-inch display is a color LCD that has a 480 by 480 pixel resolution, thus speaking to the needs of people actually looking to see their catches.
The display is backlit and can thus be used in the middle of the day and in case you feel like doing some night time fishing.
This is strictly a fishfinder and can’t be considered a chartplotter. Its official description doesn’t mention anything about a GPS, but if you already own a separate device, this is the right one to go for.
It comes with a dual imaging sounder and downscan imaging.
If you’re a fan of Humminbird, you might be interested in this product. It’s a tad more expensive than the previously described Lowrance one, but it’s in the same price range.
However, this one comes with an even smaller screen, making it perhaps less desirable for some people. The 3.5-inch screen features a color TFT display and a resolution of 320 by 240. Furthermore, the display is backlit.
The unit has built-in GPS and offers both side imaging and down imaging. The transducer is capable of providing info related to the temperature of the water at a specific time.
As for power, the sonar offers 4,000 watts.
Customers speak highly of the GPS feature, as they claim the unit is great for tracking and marking spots. Other buyers state they’re amazed of the good value offered at this price, particularly of the side imaging advantage.
If you’re looking for high-quality fish finders, you clearly need to start your research by having a look at this model. It comes with breathtaking features and you’ll find it hard to say no to buying it, although it’s a bit on the pricey side.
For side imaging, the model can provide readings of up to 150 ft in depth, while the regular readings can go up to 1500 ft. This Humminbird device has it all: side imaging, down imaging and a cutting-edge dual-beam sonar.
Moreover, you won’t have trouble getting around on account of this unit, as it comes with its own GPS. Furthermore, if you ever feel like loading extra maps on the device, you can do so with the help of the dual SD card slots.
With an 8-inch wide-screen color backlit display and an amazing transducer, this one is undoubtedly the best fish finder with side-imaging from Humminbird.
This model is a little more affordable than the aforementioned one. It comes with a smaller display, but 7 inches isn’t that small after all, is it? The display is color and backlit and does a great job at showing readings even when the sun is up.
This is called a combo because it comes with its own GPS, chart plotting, side imaging, down imaging and a dual-beam sonar.
Believe it or not, this is one of the most powerful fish finders we’ve come across, as its wattage is a whopping 4,000 watts.
The device has Ethernet networking capabilities and comes with a transom mount transducer.
It comes as no surprise that the unit has managed to gather some of the most exceptional side imaging fish finder reviews. Customers speak highly of the device’s dependability and sturdiness, as some state they’ve had issues with other brands in matters of air-tightness.
It features a super bright LED backlit 7″ display, which is a thing that makes it versatile in any lighting scenario.
The wide 16:9 screen provides more map real-estate, and it offers crystal-clear images for easy viewing.
The sonar comes equipped with the Dual Beam PLUS and Switch Fire technologies, and it has up to 8000 watts PTP power output.
Its GPS Chart plotting with the built-in ContourXD map are ideal for those who want to go back to their favorite fishing sports effortlessly.
The tool also has Ethernet Networking capabilities. And it includes a cover, a dual card reader and Instant Access preset buttons.
One recurrent complaint was the lack of information online about the product, which popped out in more than one review.
Moreover, some said the unit comes with a cheap case, and that if you want to protect its display, you should buy a better one from a third party seller.
Are you in the market fishing gear that is capable of sweetening your experience at sea and you don’t quite have the time to look across the internet for pointers, buying guides and tons of options? Then this short paragraph might be your own version of a Holy Grail because, after we paid close attention to what both beginner and expert fishermen had to say, we have concluded that the Humminbird HELIX 5 SI is the item that should be on your mind right now. That’s because you can maximize your fishing experience through its internal GPS that has high precision and built-in UniMap cartography. It features a brilliant color display that is backlit so you can see even in full sunlight and from wide angles. This product comes with microSD card slot ideal for importing additional maps or saving waypoints. If you’ll find that this item is unavailable, then you should look for the Humminbird Helix 9 SI GPS.
For your consideration, we’ve selected three of the best side scan sonars we’ve come across during our research. All of the following units have been granted some of the best fish finder reviews in the world, coming from American and international customers. If you’re looking for the right value for the right price, have a look at them.
4 Best Side Scan Sonars (Reviews) in 2021
1. Humminbird 409640-1 Helix 5 SI Fish Finder with Side-Imaging
If you are looking for a fish finder and chartplotter that impresses through its technology and comes at an affordable price, then you might want to keep this product in mind for future shopping plans. When you are using this device, you will have a huge advantage in finding fish because you will know exactly where they are and where to cast your bait, provided that they exist in that water.
You will gain access to Side Imaging and Down Imaging sonar technology, and you will succeed in doing so without digging too deep into your pockets. This means that you will have more to obtain from this product than you would otherwise do from a traditional sonar.
Other features that might increase your interest in this fine piece of machinery is the GPS which comes with built-in maps, you will have the possibility of memorizing your favorite fishing spots by saving the waypoints. Also, this device enables you to read the temperature of the water along with its depth.
The fish finder is worthy of its name, meaning that you will be on that fish like fleas on a dog. The sonar fish returns will appear in a simple and suggestive manner, as fish icons on the screen.
2. Humminbird 409950-1KVD Helix 9 SI GPS KVD Finders
As one of the top rated choices out there, this model should be one of those you simply must take into account. If you are in the market for a reliable chartplotter and side scan sonar, it’s very likely that you will appreciate the functionalities of this particular one. On the one hand, it boasts a 9-inch WVGA display, which means that you will always be able to visualize the data.
Most of the devices in this line come with displays that are just too small to enable ease of use or that can offer a certain degree of comfort. This is most certainly not the case with the Humminbird Helix 9.
Despite the fact that the product description on various retail websites isn’t particularly revealing as to whether or not the unit comes with a transducer, we’ll put your mind at ease by telling you that it does. The only thing that you will have to get separately is a Navionics chip as it is not included in the package.
Most of the consumer reports we have gone through with regard to the performance of this device are favorable and say that the device does precisely what it has been designed to do.
3. Humminbird 409470-1 Marine GPS Navigator
Compared to the unit we’ve showcased above, this one is considerably more affordable. While some online marketplaces usually sell it for over seven hundred dollars, Amazon customers can benefit from the retailer’s sale discounts and often get it for as little as five to six hundred.
This device is capable of excellent performance, even though it might not be the best in the line. It’s the right alternative for people who aren’t willing to spend a fortune on a side scan sonar. The dual frequency of this model allows users to choose between the 50kHz one or the 200kHz one.
With an internal GPS and a 5-inch VGA display with a resolution of 640 by 480 pixels, it goes without saying that the Humminbird 409470-1 is an alternative worth considering.
The package includes the transducer.
Let’s see what buyers had to say about this product. While some are keen on emphasizing the exceptional features of this fish finder, others claim it was a great help for them in dense fog conditions.
4. Humminbird 998c SI Combo 8-Inch Waterproof Marine GPS
Humminbird has been designing high-quality units for quite a while now, which is why it might be that this one is the best side scan sonar on the market today.
The unit can be used for depths between 150ft and 1500ft, and with an extreme deepwater transducer, it’s capable of reading 3000ft. This is a down imaging, side imaging and DualBeam PLUS sonar.
Since the Humminbird 4087201 comes with GPS and built-in ContourXD, you won’t have any trouble getting your way around any waters.
The neat thing about this variety is that it has dual SD card slots, which can be utilized in order to load new and extra maps.
As for the screen, it goes without saying that the model is the best when it comes to accurately visualizing one’s catch. The 8-inch wide screen complete with the 480 by 800 resolution and the 16:9 color TFT display make it worth giving a shot.
What’s the best side scan sonar for the money? If you’ve struggled to answer this question but find it hard to make up your mind on account of the many models that now exist on the market, we’re here to help. Check out the following buying guide to correlate your needs and requirements to the features you’re looking for in a unit.
Depth is one of the first consideration when buying the best fish finders. Some models can offer readings of up to 200ft, while others can do the same up to 3000ft, provided they have the right transducer.
Screen size and resolution
To accurately see what’s going on under the boat, you need a screen size of at least 4 inches. The screen resolution also plays a major part in displaying crisp images, as does your personal preference between a color or a black and white display.
GPS and mapping
GPS and mapping aren’t two mandatory features, but if you want to know you’ll arrive home safely no matter the weather conditions, they’re definitely desirable.
Power and frequency
The more power, the better. In shallow waters, a high frequency is more important than a lot of power. On the contrary, fishing in deep, murky waters requires a high wattage.
This is a fishfinder module that is compatible with the vast majority of HDS units. It would have been impossible to leave this variety out from this list, as it’s remarkably inexpensive compared to the other two devices we’ve described earlier on.
Furthermore, considering that it is more than capable of providing HD images of the bottom and of the fish, it has gathered quite a wide angle of appreciation over the years.
One of the most attractive specs of this mode is the StructureScan feature, which provides images of targets and of their shadows. This way, the displayed picture is far more realistic than the one of other units in the same line.
The manufacturers are offering a 2-year consumer warranty on both parts and labor.
The package contains the actual LSS-2 Sounder module, an owner’s manual, a power cord, a 6-inch Ethernet cable, and a transom-mount Skimmer transducer.
The Lowrance variety might not be as popular as the previously mentioned side scan sonars, but it’s fairly well-known for its performance and capabilities.
» Check the information from past years