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.
Both installing and using this device to target fish in deep water can be done with ease. The controls are user-friendly and won’t raise any difficulties to less tech-savvy owners. With its Ethernet capabilities, the model can be used to connect to other units manufactured by the same brand. All of the mounting hardware is provided in the box.
Several accessories have to be purchased separately, which is a disappointment expressed by several anglers.
Both beginning and experienced fishermen can appreciate the design and functionalities of this product as it might as well be an excellent side imaging fish finder for the money.
Our top choices
Garmin Striker 7SV
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)
Humminbird Helix 9 SI
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.Click to see the price on Amazon!
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.Buy from Amazon.com
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?
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.