Best Side Imaging Fish Finder 2018 - Buyer's Guide and Reviews

If you’d like to get an advanced view of the structures under the water you are fishing on, side imaging might be the game-changer you need. If well used, this handy feature makes it super easy to pinpoint rich fishing locations and, therefore, simplify your fishing experience.

However, just the same we have different fish finder manufacturers; there are quite a few imaging technologies out there in the world. In that regard, if you’re looking for the best side imaging fish finder, you need to look into quite a number of aspects as we’ll break them down below:

  • A rundown of top fish finders with side imaging
  • A realistic look at the options available in store for you
  • Some factors you need to consider when making your purchase
  • Details about which side imaging fish finder is the best bet for you

Top 7 Effective Side Imaging Fish Finder

You don’t have to shoot blanks when you’re out there fishing. In the following chart, our experts have ranked different product choices so you can make a quick and informed choice.

Ranking

Product Name

Dimensions

Weight

Price

1

8.5 x 6 x 4 inches

4.2 pounds

2

14.8 x 13 x 10.7 inches

12.36 pounds

3

9.3 x 2.3 x 5.5 inches

1.7 pounds

4

1.1 x 7.5 x 4.3 inches

4 pounds

5

13.8 x 13.8 x 13.8 inches

8.8 pounds

6

2 x 9.8 x 5.5 inches

1.7 pounds

7

10 x 9 x 8 inches

7.8 pounds

Top 7 Side Imaging Fish Finder - 2018

1. Humminbird 409640-1 Side Imaging with GPS

Renowned for its extra-wide screen which measures 15 inches, this finder provides you with 480x800 worth of resolution. What that means is that you get all the tactical advantage you need to make sense of what’s under the water. Just in case you’re planning to use this unit under the sun, the fact that it comes with a backlit screen makes it super easy to use. Other models that don’t have this feature tend to be difficult to view under the glare of sunlight.

Best of all, this Humminbird fish finder is compact, lightweight and miniature. So, whether you want to pack it up in your bags for a trip or simply want to stash it in your fishing wader, you can rest assured that it’s portable and hassle-free to carry around.

Humminbird 409640-1 HELIX 5 SI Fish Finder

To top it all up, this unit offers two beams which allow you to cover a wider work area without compromising on focus or accuracy. That, therefore, means you can enjoy a whole split screen experience so you can track multiple sites at once. Above all, the transducer emits 83K Hz and 200K Hz meant to cover a 200 degrees and 60 degrees area with a depth of up to 100 feet.

Pros

  • High quality down imaging achieved through sound waves
  • Comes with precision GPS making it easier to determine your location
  • Built-in micro SD slot for storing waypoints, GPS locations and default settings
  • Convenient 3D chart view for enhanced visibility
  • Backed up by a 1-year warranty

Cons

  • The screen isn’t as wide and spacious as some of the dimensions offered by competing brands and models

2. HDS-9 Lowrance Gen2 TouchScreen Fish Finder

You will enjoy your fishing trip with this award-winning fish finder. The fish finder gives you 180-degree views of the water below your boat because of the high-definition sonar imaging. Using Broadband sounder technology, you can mark gamefish and structures from 1 feet to 3000 feet.

The touchscreen helps you to navigate through menus easily, and preview panels. The device also has multiview splits, allowing you to see several images on one display. This enables you to do many functions at the same time.

Lowrance HDS-9 Gen2 Touch Insight Display

The fish finder has a video and camera input, 2-full sized SD card slots and high-speed Ethernet ports. The Lowrance maps use the latest technology in helping you plan your trip. They have waypoint markers, to help you identify, mark and save the best fishing spots. 

This fish finder has a real-time structure map that features what is happening around your boat and then gives you a chart for the underwater views.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Touch Screen
  • Award-winning
  • The product is shipped to many parts of the world

Cons

  • No warranty on the product

3. 7SV Garmin Striker Fish Finder with a transducer, 010-01809-00

The Garmin Striker fish finder will enhance your fishing experience with its features. This device is easy to mount on your boat. With this device, you will be able to see the bottom topography under your boat well and identify the best fishing spots. Then you can mark and save those favorite fishing spots and locate them easily in your future fishing trips.

The fish finder has waypoint maps. The map allows you to view stumps, docks, brush piles and other underwater features. This saves you time by helping you avoid areas without fish. It has a built-in flasher. The flasher will enhance vertical jigging or ice fishing. Chirp sonar technology in this fish finder provides you with up to date information about what is happening underwater.

Garmin Striker 7SV

They come in three display sizes, 3.5, 5 and 7 inches.

Pros

  • It is competitively priced
  • Unique serial number to secure the product against theft and fraudulent use
  • Three display sizes available
  • Clear bright charts
  • GPS

Cons

  • The item does not ship to many parts of the world
  • It lacks full mapping capabilities

4. Humminbird HELIX 5410210-1 Fish Finder

Humminbird HELIX works well in both freshwater and salty waters. Installation is easy because it comes with a user manual. This fish finder has two display modes. The screen of this fish finder has a perfect color display, in addition to the backlight. It uses Chirp Sonar technology providing you with better images, less clutter, and perfect depth capabilities. The fish finder has 2d sonar imaging.

The depth capability of the fish finder is 1500 feet. It provides turbulence, temperature, and water depth details. Sonar DualBeam Plus helps you identify clearly what is under water, helping you find the perfect fishing spots.

Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish finder

The Selective Fish ID feature allows you to detect large, medium and all fishes. Whereas the sonar recording feature allows you to rewind and view previous spots. In addition, the device has a circular flasher enabling you to do ice fishing or stationary fishing easily.

Pros

  • Perfect depth finder
  • Very affordable
  • The unit can save many waypoints, tracks, and routes
  • The fish finder is waterproof but it should not be exposed to salty waters.

Cons

  • No side imaging or down imaging
  • No touchscreen technology
  • List Element

5. GO7 Simrad XSE Fishfinder

If you want a fish finder with the latest technology, then Simrad is what you need to acquire.

It has a 7-inch display touch screen with led backlight. Waypoint Management & Chartplotter Navigation features allow you to choose charts that you want. They also help you record various destinations. You are able to mark waypoints and name the points, making it easy to track them in future. Its sonar offers accurate real-time depth tracking and a history of depth reviews. It also provides a view of the waters ahead of your fishing trip.

TripIntel technology allows you to track and display important fishing information to help you have a safe and successful fishing trip. With TripIntel technology, chart all your previous trips, fuel range among other details. It is installed with a high-speed GPS.

Raymarine Dragonfly Pro CHIRP Fish Finder

What’s more, you can customize the home screen with features you use frequently. The Wifi and Bluetooth features help you connect your fish finder to your tablet or phone

Pros

  • GO7 Simrad XSE Fishfinder
  • Wifi and Bluetooth
  • Detailed charts
  • Touchscreen

Cons

  • No shipping to some parts of the world

6. Dragonfly Raymarine Fish Finder

Maximize your fishing time by letting this fish finder locate fish for you. This fish finder provides you with real-time fishing experience. You will be able to do better target fishing with a Dragonfly fish finder. It has many features including a built-in GPS system, a transducer, navionics charts, and Wifi. It is easy to operate the device. It is available in 4”, 5” and 7” models.

With a dragonfly fish finder, you can do high-speed bottom tracking. Chirp Down Vision will give you fantastic views of the underwater, with clear images. Chirp technology allows sonar signals to be transmitted into the fishing waters.

Garmin echoMAP 75sv

A built-in GPS navionics technology will provide you with clear charts. What’s more, you will have fantastic views in all weather conditions.

It has a Wi-fish app. The built-in Wifi will enable you to connect your fish finder to your smartphone or tablet and stream fishing data on them.

Pros

  • The item is shipped internationally
  • Wifi connection
  • Operates well in all weather conditions

Cons

  • No Bluetooth connection

7. Garmin echoMAP Fish Finder 75sv

The Garmin echoMap fish finder is a state of the art fishing device. With this fish finder, you are able to focus on fishing as it gives you real-time information on your fishing trip. It is an easy device to install and use.

The 7-inch screen has an adjustable automatic backlight. This enables you to get clear scans of sonars on the water. The internal GPS makes tracking and positioning easy. You can mark important waypoints and return to them later. This gives you an opportunity to mark and track your favorite fishing spots.

Simrad GO7 XSE Chartplotter

You will get very clear images of the sides of your boat with this fish finder. The Garmin echoMap fish finders are available in 7-inch, 5-inch, and 3.5-inch sizes.

This fish finder saves digital data which can later be played back on a computer.

When you buy this device you will receive a power/data cable, a protective cover, a transducer hardware, user manual and an adapter and a flush mount.

Pros

  • Clear images
  • The item is shipped internationally

Cons

  • No Wifi or Bluetooth connections

Buying Guide

As far as sonar technology is concerned, side imaging is probably the most advanced feature you’ll ever come across. This is because, using the images collected under water; you can easily access an uninterrupted view of your area of target. But in order for that to happen, you need to first of all invest in the best side imaging fish finders and here’s how to go about finding the best deal on the markets.

*Your fishing boat

Ordinarily, most fish finders are designed for use in bass boats, motor boats, and vessels of a similar design. If you’d, therefore, want to use your unit on an inflatable fishing kayak, it’s always important to note that some modifications may be needed. Fortunately, there are many different guides available freely online and you can always refer to them in order to make the most out of your fishing gear.

*Transducer

Not all fish finders come with transducers. Therefore, it’s important to double-check that your preferred unit comes with a transducer, otherwise, you’ll find yourself ordering for a new transducer and that will mean spending more dollars and waiting for a few more days.

*Screen Size

If you opt for an old model, chances are that you’ll end up with an old-fashioned fish finder with a screen resembling that of a mobile phone. On the contrary, modern side imaging fish finders tend to offer larger screens. Wider screens come in handy at providing accurate readings thanks to a higher resolution and improved color contrast.

*Backlight

In addition to the size of the screen, using a finder that has a backlit screen makes it a whole lot easier for you to access data even in direct sunlight. Working with a unit that doesn’t have this all-important feature will make it extremely difficult for you to view the screen details and you’d need to go to a dark area to get the hang of it. Of course, you don’t want to have such an occurrence happening to you when you’re in the middle of a lake and that’s why it’s important to only settle for a backlit-screen model.

*Frequency

Last but definitely not least is the frequency and power of the fish finders. The factors here entirely depend on your style of fishing. If you like fishing in deep waters, then a 50kHz unit would be ideal. On the other hand, if looking for a 200 kHz then it’d be ideal to try fishing in shallow reservoirs. As far as power is concerned, usually the rule is that, the greater the wattage, the better.

Which Is Best For You?

All the side imaging fish finders that made it to this are worth their salt – no doubt. However, when our experts spent time examining each one of them, they found glaring differences. At the end of the day, the Humminbird 409640-1 Helix scooped the top position as one offering the best value for money. That said, the Lowrance HDS-9 Gen2 Finder stands out as a high-quality package. So if you’re a pro we’d highly recommend giving it a try.

What You Should Know About Side Imaging Fish Finders

One of the unique attributes of side imaging technology is that it uses a transducer to shoot out sound waves in two ways. This way, you can scan a larger surface than you would using down imaging technology.

Final Thoughts – Verdict

The next time you pack up your fishing gear in readiness for your fishing trip, be sure not to leave your fish finder behind. This is the only technology that gives you the chance to eavesdrop on the fish so you can plan your casting better. Ultimately, this gives you an unparalleled advantage and makes it extremely easy to bring more catches home.

All you, therefore, need to do is focus on getting yourself a high-quality unit that supplies you with reliable data. Remember, not all units come with a transducer, so be sure to confirm this fact prior to making your purchase. All the best in your shopping and research mission, we hope you end up with a unit that provides you with nothing but the best value for your money.

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