Best Side Imaging Fish Finder 2020 Review and Guide

You need the best equipment to be a good fisherman. You might lack a fish finder while you have your lines, rods, and lures. You can benefit greatly from a side imaging fish finder, especially if you love open water fishing. A best side-imaging fish finder is a popular choice for several reasons.

You’ll note the difference when you’re using the right side image fish finder, and it helps you to succeed. I’ll cover 10 of the best market options today, which will answer your question that what is the best side imaging fish finder and, which suit almost any budget.

I can say from the bat that, although there is a huge variety of tech available, when I’m on a boat the Humminbird brand stays true to my personal needs and wants, but maybe your requirements are slightly different.

Fish finders can quickly identify all kinds of items with insightful details using the side imaging technology underneath a lake bed! In addition, you can set waypoints for locations you have found that might be suitable for fish to hang out. We have to cover some options before anyone can make a decision how high-tech they should be.

IMAGE PRODUCT Transducer
  • Chirp
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  • Triple shot
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  • Vu scanning Sonar
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  • CHIRP Digital Sonar
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  • CHIRP Digital Sonar
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  • Dual Beam Transducer
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  • Dual Beam Transducer
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  • 2D MEGA Imaging Sonar
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  • Low Q CHIRP transducer
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  • 12 mph
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In the event that you will probably find and see fish all the more plainly, start here. Humminbird’s 2D sonar contributions are a long way from two-dimensional. Regardless of whether you’re fishing freshwater lakes, seaside waters or the ice, you’ll locate the correct answer for your condition and prey.

SwitchFire lets you control the manner in which your profits show up. With two showcase modes, Max Mode and Clear Mode, you can pick how much detail, including fish, structure and thermoclines, you need to see or un-see.

Dual Beam Plus lets you consolidate the two pillars for significantly more detail.

Stunning Humminbird Imaging sonar shoots high-recurrence bars underneath the surface to uncover structure, spread and forms with precious stone lucidity.

In a moment, the ultra-meager bar examines the zone to one side and right of your pontoon area. The arrival picture for each cut is then added to the pictures taken preceding and after to assemble an amazing perspective on the lake base.

Get a fish-eye’s perspective on what’s going on underneath your pontoon with Down Imaging. These staggering pictures are made with high-recurrence sound waves produced in ultra-flimsy cuts. The sonar comes back from these waves produce a ‘representation.

Specs:
5-Inch widescreen color display
CHIRP Down Imaging
CHIRP Digital Sonar
SwitchFire Sonar with two display modes
Dual Beam PLUS with a wide beam Pros:
Side imaging.

Pros
  • Side imaging.
  • Super compact and portable.
  • Easy to install rig.
Cons
  • Limited Maps

Final Verdict

With a wide bar for more pursuit territory or a limited bar for more exactness, Dual Beam gives you fish and the base and best experience at fishing.


Lowrance HOOK2 5

Humminbird 410220-1 , Humminbird 410220-1 Review

SplitShot Transducer and US Inland Maps

  • Fast and accurate GPS
  • US Inland base maps included
  • Compatible with superior charts, such as C-MAP Genesis, C-MAP®
  • Color display

The 5-5-inch HOOK2 comes with the same sweet perk as the 4X-4 HOOK2. One of the notable similarities between the Hook2 5-5 and the HOOK2 4X-4-inch is that the former is 6 inches in size, opposed to the latter’s 4.2 inches in size.

Although this is real, it still maintains the same outstanding preceding generation apps. The versatility stems from the ability to provide inland fishing navigation features and an optimum array of sonar while eradicating unnecessary features which have no significant impact.

The SplitShot Transducer launch paves the way for a Wide-Angle High CHIRP and DownScan.

Thanks to its Wide-Angle High CHIRP mode, which can scan up to 300 ft (91 m) while using DownScan, this feature lets you scan depths of up to 500 ft (152 m).

The best part is it can maintain an accurate reading of fish targets at speeds of up to 20-30 MPH.

The SplitShot transducer also contains a temperature sensor and features a cable of 20 ft (6 m) along with an 8-pin connector.

The features of the DownScan Overlay allow you to use each of the two sonar technologies to help you get a better understanding of the location of the fish arches and their vegetation.

Like the Hook2-4x, alongside the US Inland maps, Lowrance Hook2-5 is fitted with a standard GPS package.

The 5-5-inch Lowrance HOOK2 is waterproof IPX7, which means it can withstand drought, water exposure and snow without any problem. The system is sealed securely, without allowing water to damage the unit’s metallic components.

Specs:
The 2D Broadband Wide CHIRP Sonar is pretty spot on
DownScan sonar
Included SplitShot 2-in-1 transducer
Adjustable backlight for superb readability
Split-screen view for three panels per view
MicroSD card reader
Easy to use Bracket mount and panel mount kit
One-year warranty

Pros
  • Fast and accurate GPS
  • US Inland base maps included
  • Compatible with superior charts, such as C-MAP Genesis, C-MAP®
  • Color display
Cons
  • Only one MicroSD card slot
  • Does not support external GPS

Final Verdict:

The Lowrance HOOK2 is by far the easiest to use fishfinder GPS combo unit in our picks. It’s a beginner-friendly which comes with TripleShot Transducer, phone-like menus, and auto-tuning sonar system.


Garmin STRIKER™ 4 | Fishfinder with GPS

Garmin Striker 4 , Garmin Striker 4 Review

Best Cheap Fish Finder

  • CHIRP 2D sonar;
  • 77/200 kHz CHIRP transducer
  • High-sensitivity GPS;
  • GPS speed;

The Garmin Striker 4 is a member of the first Striker sequence of Garmin devices. It’s one of Garmin’s most accessible fish finders, and has received an impressive amount of 5-star ratings from users so far.

It is a GPS plotter fish-finder machine but does not help maps. For comparison this is part number 010-01550-00 of the Garmin fish finder. The Striker Plus 4 is one of the newer models, too.

The Garmin Striker 4 model comes with a 4-pin connector, the 010-10249-20 transducer. This transducer is capable of 77/200 kHz, and uses two 15 ° conical beams for 200 kHz and 45 ° for 77 kHz respectively.

Nevertheless, the control unit is capable of 50/77/200 kHz, and you can also use a 50/200 kHz transducer, if you want to search higher depths. Striker 4-chirp 200 kHz viewOnly capable of Mid and High CHIRP. You cannot use Low CHIRP with this machine.

The maximum depth you will be able to search with this unit is 487 m (1,600 ft) for fresh water and 228 m (750 ft) saltwater. Yet in fact this is only possible with a transducer capable of 50 kHz.

If you’re looking for a lightweight, inexpensive CHIRP fishfinder but don’t want to spend any extra money on downloading sonar or any more sophisticated navigation features, the Garmin Striker 4 will certainly be one to place on your list. It gives CHIRP sonar dual frequency, and comes with the transducer.

Specs:
Screen: 3.5″ diagonal, 480H x 320V pixel resolution, HVGA color, backlit
Sonar: Dual Frequency CHIRP
Transducer: CHIRP 77/200 kHz
Transmit power: 200 W (RMS)
Maps: No
Waypoints: 5,000

Pros
  • CHIRP 2D sonar;
  • 77/200 kHz CHIRP transducer
  • High-sensitivity GPS;
  • GPS speed;
Cons
  • Unit cover not included

Final Verdict:

With the Striker, the only problem you will face is that it doesn’t have shoreline or underwater points.


Humminbird Helix 5

Humminbird HELIX 5 , Humminbird HELIX 5 Review

CHIRP SI GPS G2

  • CHIRP 2D sonar;
  • 77/200 kHz CHIRP transducer
  • High-sensitivity GPS;
  • GPS speed;

According to traditional fish finder naming conventions, any number in the name of the company denotes the screen size, and that applies to Humminbird here. The Helix 5 features a 5-inch display which puts it among the smallest of its products.

Although most people prefer a 7-inch or 9-inch size, this compact form factor is exactly why this product is loved by kayakers and small boat owners. You can drive that into tight spaces.
The Helix 5 was recognized as one of the first fish finders that provided side imagery at less than $500.

This technology has become more affordable, so there are other solutions available, but many people are still claiming that the Helix 5 works best.

Knowing with absolute clarity what’s right under your boat gives you a big advantage when locating fish. It gives you a view of the water from the “fish head,” so you can see what’s being done there. Most of the Helix 5 versions come down with image technology.

One of the SwitchFire ‘s secret advantages is its color coding scheme. Objects are color-coded, depending on how similar to your vessel they are.

Some Helix 5 models come with DualBeam sonar technology and CHIRP imaging. Both are really different so let’s get into what makes both of them so distinctive.

With most Helix models, you’ll find an internal GPS..

Specs:
Down Imaging: See a clearer view beneath your boat.
CHIRP Digital Sonar
Humminbird Basemap Built-in
AutoChart Live
LakeMaster Compatible with upgrade

Pros
  • Split Screen Zoom
  • Selective Fish ID+
  • Real-time Sonar
  • Card Reader
Cons
  • Too little memory for waypoint

Final Verdict:

It helps you to handle up to 2,500 waypoints and 45 roads, which is impressive considering its limited scale and has a amazing sonar.


Humminbird Solix 15

Humminbird Solix 15 , Humminbird Solix 15 Review

G2 Cho Fish Finder

  • The 15.4-inch display screen
  • The combination of touch-screen
  • MEGA Imaging

The Humminbird SOLIX 15 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS is the perfect choice for these anglers, as it provides every high-end feature you may like, and it is definitely a contender for the “Best Fish Finder” award.

In addition to a wide 15-inch display screen, advanced sonar scanning features and HD radar included, the SOLIX 15 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS also provides touch screen capabilities and angle-screen capabilities.

Thanks to these and more features, Fishing Tech gives an A+ Grade to the SOLIX 15 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS, while the entire SOLIX 15 Series, including the aforementioned model and more affordable version that does not have MEGA Imaging functionality, is awarded a grade.

MEGA equipment uses sonar frequencies up to three times higher than those generated by other fish finders.

AutoChart Live is a software program that generates custom charts, and helps you to make your own charts on the go.

Specs:
15.4-inch, Color TFT display
Images clearly to 5,000 feet with the optional 50kHZ transducer
Temperature alarm
Temperature graph
Freeze-frame function
Upgradable internal software

Pros
  • The 15.4-inch display screen
  • The combination of touch-screen
  • MEGA Imaging
Cons
  • The 15.4-inch display screen
  • The combination of touch-screen
  • MEGA Imaging

Final Verdict:

Most of the high-end fish-finders from Humminbird come with MEGA Imaging capabilities that provide greater detail than conventional sonars can.


Garmin Striker Plus 4

Garmin Striker Plus 4 , Garmin Striker Plus 4 Review

Dual-Beam transducer

  • Large display of 4.3 inches
  • Includes GPS navigation system
  • Garmin Quickdraw Contours Mapping
  • Built-in dual beam transducer

With a bright 4.3″ monitor and built-in GPS, the STRIKER Plus 4 fishfinder features CHIRP sonar for crystal-clear images, and Quickdraw Contours map drawing software that stores up to 2 million acres of material with 1′ contours.

The integrated GPS helps you to identify and navigate to waypoints, and displays the speed of your ships.

No one knows the waters you and your fellow fishermen fish better than you do. When the shorelines and depths are trolling, Quickdraw Contours mapping software produces HD fishing maps of the locations you have been.

The high-sensitivity, built-in GPS finds and maintains your location anywhere you go on water. The GPS lets you mark your waypoints for different locations.

So, if the fish bit in 1 spot, you can mark it, and come back to it on your next outing. Label docks, boat ramps and other places on the lake, and build routes for your next trip back to them.

Specs:
Dual-frequency (50/200 khz) sonar capable
Dual-beam (77/200 khz) sonar capable
Traditional: 50/77/83/200 khz frequncy
Bottom lock (shows return from the bottom up)
Water temperature log and graph

Pros
  • Large display of 4.3 inches
  • Includes GPS navigation system
  • Garmin Quickdraw Contours Mapping
  • Built-in dual beam transducer
Cons
  • There is no cover
  • Doesn’t come with an NMEA port

Final Verdict:

The STRIKER Plus 4 fishfinder combines Garmin CHIRP technology for a higher degree of visibility and detail that Garmin has come to expect.


Humminbird Piranhamx 4 DI

Humminbird PIRANHAMAX 4 , Humminbird PIRANHAMAX 4 Review

Fish Finder Black

  • The bigger, brighter display
  • portable kit
  • Depth Sonar

The PiranhaMAX fish finder series was a staple in the Humminbird collection for a long time. Destined to budget-conscious anglers and smaller watercraft, the series provides a very affordable low price for the simple sonar depth finder.

The biggest change from the preceding 197/197 DI generation is the larger window. Humminbird claims the 4.3-inch screen is 20 percent larger than previous ones, with 70 percent more pixels.

The standard PiranhaMAX 4 unit comes with the XNT 9 28 T which provides sonar at frequencies of 200 and 455 kHz.

Much like the bigger brother HELIX DI modules, the PMax 4 DI comes with the XNT 9 DI T. Means 455 kHz imaging to see more pictures like the sonar returns from the edge.

The PT variant comes with a carrying case, foundation, XPT 9 28 T portable transducer, and a rechargeable 12V battery. The PT is ideal for trips where large boats are not feasible, or where your fish finder is easier to take with you.

Specs:
4.3″ LCD 256 Color Display
Display Picture Matrix: 272H x 480V
Sonar-Coverage: 28° & 16° @ -10dB
Sonar Frequencies Supported: 200/455kHz
Depth-Sonar: 320 ft (20) 455 kHz, 600 ft (20) 200 kHz

Pros
  • The bigger, brighter display
  • portable kit
  • Depth Sonar
Cons
  • no CHIRP or GPS

Final Verdict:

The PiranhaMAX fish finder series was a staple in the Humminbird collection for a long time. Destined to budget-conscious anglers and smaller watercraft


Xm 14 20 Msi t

humminbird xm 14 20 msi t ,humminbird xm 14 20 msi t Review

SOLIX MEGA Side Imaging

  • Dual Spectrum CHIRP sonar;
  • MEGA Imaging+ (Side Imaging+ and Down Imaging+);
  • XM 14 HW MSI T transducer included

The SOLIX 10 CHIRP MSI+ GPS G2 provides three sonar technologies, the Dual Spectrum CHIRP, Down Imaging and Side Imaging technologies. It obviously has the latest MEGA Imaging+ modes for the SI and DI sonar, as their name suggests.

This also supports 360 Imaging Sonar, as it is one of the Humminbird fish finders with Ethernet.

The machine supports the maximum spectrum of frequencies of base sonar, including 50/83/200/455/800 kHz and 1.2 MHz. It comes with the XM 14 HW MSI T transducer, which features a 14-pin connector, 20′ (6 m) cable, a metallic transom frame, and a temperature sensor as well. This transducer embraces the sonar technologies of all systems, except 360 Imaging.

A fish finder and chart plotter package featuring MEGA SI+, MEGA DI+, and Dual Spectrum CHIRP sonar, GPS, Humminbird Basemap maps, and AC Live is the Humminbird SOLIX 10 MSI+ GPS G2. It comes with the latest XM 14 HW MSI T transducer but is also compatible with 50/200 kHz and 360 Imaging transducers.

Specs:
WVGA 16-bit color TFT, with LED backlight
Sonar: Dual Spectrum CHIRP, CHIRP MEGA Side Imaging+, MEGA Down Imaging+
Transducer: Transom XM 14 HW MSI T
Frequency and Coverage
Dual Spectrum CHIRP

Pros
  • Dual Spectrum CHIRP sonar;
  • MEGA Imaging+ (Side Imaging+ and Down Imaging+);
  • XM 14 HW MSI T transducer included
Cons
  • In-dash mounting kit is not included

Final verdict:

The SOLIX 10 CHIRP MSI+ GPS G2 provides three sonar technologies, the Dual Spectrum CHIRP, Down Imaging and Side Imaging technologies, which is amazing.


Hummingbird HELIX 7

Hummingbird HELIX 7 , Hummingbird HELIX 7 Review

Chirp Msi

  • 8.0 GB of internal storage;
  • WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity;
  • Dual microSD card reader;
  • NMEA 2000 connectivity;
  • Ethernet connectivity;

The Lowrance HDS-7 Live model is equipped with many integrated sonar technologies. Those are 3-in-1 Active Imaging, 3D StructureScan, and real-time LiveSight sonar. This includes the 3-in-1 Active Imaging sonar that supports the 2D CHIRP sonar, DownScan sonar, and SideScan sonar on the panel.

Therefore, if you want to use the StructureScan 3D or the LiveSight sonar, you need to use the separate transducer that is needed. Additionally, the device supports older transducers like the TotalScan model or the HDI skimmers. This can even cross 50 kHz.

The Active Imaging 3-in-1 transducer requires a transom brace, and a cable of 25 ft. (7.6 m). It has a 9-pin connector, and a temperature sensor is integrated.

The transducer uses conical beams at 83 kHz and 200 kHz for 2D CHIRP sonar on the panel. The exact beam range is not defined but the maximum depth you can reach with it is 1,000 ft. by using the 83 kHz beam in terms of depth capabilities.

The Active Imaging 3-in-1 transducer uses the 455/800 kHz channels for both SideScan and DownScan.

The maximum depth capability is 300 ft. (91 m) at 455 kHz, while the side range of the SideScan beams is 455 kHz at 300 ft. (91 m) on both sides, and 800 kHz at 150 ft. (46 m).

Specs:
Sonar: Active Imaging 3-in-1, StructureScan 3D, LiveSight Sonar capable
Transducer: Active Imaging 3-in-1
Frequency and Coverage (with the included transducer):83/200/455/800 kHz
Supply Voltage: 12VDC (10.8-17 VDC)
GPS: 16-channel, 10Hz internal GPS
Maps: U.S. C-MAP Enhanced Basemap

Pros
  • 8.0 GB of internal storage;
  • WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity;
  • Dual microSD card reader;
  • NMEA 2000 connectivity;
  • Ethernet connectivity;
Cons
  • Genesis Live Feature needs a SD card

Final verdict:

The Lowrance HDS-7 Live model is equipped with many integrated sonar technologies. Thumbs up for this one.


Garmin Striker 7SV

Garmin Striker 7SV , Garmin Striker 7SV Review

Transducer

  • Built-in high-sensitivity GPS
  • 800 x 480 pixels
  • Waypoint Map
  • Tilt/swivel mounting options

The high-sensitivity, built-in GPS finds and maintains your location anywhere you go on water. The ability to mark waypoints is one unique feature.

To return a later point in time you can easily identify good fishing spots, docks, or slipways. Just follow the route at your display.

GPS also displays your speed on the phone, so you can be sure to troll at the right speed for the lure you ‘re using or in wake-controlled zones.

The STRIKER Plus 7sv also supports CHIRP ClearVü and SideVü sonar functions, in addition to the classic GARMIN sonar functions.

This will give you an even better and more detailed view of what’s going on underneath and next to your boat. Fish and other structures are all the more clear.

Specs:
CHIRP traditional sonar | (mid and high)
CHIRP ClearVü scanning sonar | 260/455/800 kHz
CHIRP SideVü: 260/455/800 kHz
Traditional: 50/77/200 kHz
Supports a wide range of compatible transducers

Pros
  • Built-in high-sensitivity GPS
  • 800 x 480 pixels
  • Waypoint Map
  • Tilt/swivel mounting options
Cons
  • A bit complex to understand for some

Final Verdict:

This one is one of Garmins very best which you should definitely look forward too while considering to buy.


Things To Consider While Buying Side Imaging Fish Finder:

The list below is my top selection for fish finders using imaging technologies on both sides. Nonetheless, independent reviews are also needed if you decide to differ from the list I have made here.
In order to help you to distinguish products that look good on paper from products that actually work the way they sound on water, I will mention below those characteristics of system that you might want to consider:

  • Frequencies:
    Pay close attention to the frequency ranges to know how strong the sonar scanner is. If you want to fish deeper, then you might use lower frequency. In the shallow water, however, side sonars with higher rates are very useful.
  • Power:
    That’s easy and straightforward. Make sure you go out to a powerful device. The cause is the higher the watts, the stronger the power.
  • Screen Resolution:
    In selecting a side-scan fish finder, the screen resolution of a side-scan imaging fisher finder is a key factor. With a decent screen resolution, you can see accurate details of the world and find fish on time.
  • Screen Color:
    Beyond the screen resolution, when you select a side-imaging fishfinder, you do have to consider the color of the screen. You want to ensure that the device has a color screen because more peripheral and oriented detail has been demonstrated.

    It also helps to identify the details on the computer and gives you a good picture of the subsea structure.
  • Transducer:
    Transducers allow fish to be found when sonar waves are released through the sea, and then similar waves are reacted to them. These sonar waves are transformed into digital portrayals of nearby artifacts, structures and living creatures like fish! These are natural and artificial! The fish search tool includes transducers or other technology close to them.
  • CHIRP:
    Of example, for shallow waters to find fish, you are searching for the best fish finder. CHIRP is used to capture fish swimming nearby the by sonar fish-finder. CHIRP means high-intensity compressed radiated pulse and is perfect for locating fish. While not all equipment is CHIRP sonar of the same price, consider one with a wide range of performance.
  • Maps:
    Fish finders won’t have all your desired or needed maps, but you can load additional maps when you search for one with an SD card or a USB port. Many maps may be downloaded gratuitously while others will be subject to a small fee. No matter what, it is a very practical function to have a map or to import maps for your fish-finder.

Final Thoughts:

So if you are able to go out, make sure you take your favorite fishermen. There’s nothing like a day out of sea-fishing. You have an opportunity to see what these fish do under the surface with this camera. You have a system to use with your fish-supply for shallow water so that more fish can be landed every day.
Concentrate on selecting a device that suits your needs. It must not be a high-end fish finding tool with all the amazing whistles and bells. It just has to do as you go on the water throughout your day.
Take your time, study, and consider what you want before you plunge your line into the sea. This is what your best fish searcher will look for on your side. The good news is, that you can be sure that a product that suits your needs is possibly already available on the market.

FAQs:

Is Side Imaging really worth it?

Side scan is worth the extra cash absolutely! The time and effort taken to learn how to use it and, perhaps more importantly, how to find on the screen is needed. The only downside for SI is that there are so many decent fishing spots, and it is difficult for you to determine what to do first.

Which is better side imaging or down imaging?

In shallow water or if you search for shallow diving fish, side imaging is easier, whereas in imaging sonar is best suited for deeper fishermen who fish vertically.

Can you see fish on side imaging?

It is difficult for most anglers to locate fish with side-imaging because there are not enough boat screens. Tendency is to select map, sonar and images and to forget the side view, but it is easy to find fish when you have the right conditions.

Do I really need a fish finder?

You can extract water which is free of bait and active fish by a fish finding tool. It can also view big garments and feed fish in the immediate vicinity. You can also see how big they are, which shows you the urges and presentations that perform most likely.

What is side imaging on a fish finder?

SIDE IMAGING, Gain a 180-degree side-to-side perspective on the world below the surface with remarkable Humminbird® Side Imaging®. In an instant, the ultra-thin beam scans the area up to 400 feet to the left and right of your boat location,for total coverage of up to 800 feet.

Is Structure Scan the same as Side Imaging?

For beginners, this kind of imaging is more appealing. Compared to the side imaging scanner, it looks much simpler but not much information is available. One of the key advantages of this scanner is the very strong work in deep waters.