Whether it is Christmas and the Mrs is looking for a great gift for her favorite fishing buddy, the boss man just gave you a nice pay raise and you are looking to splurge, or you are just getting into this and it is you’re first time being informed about the vast options of best side imaging fish finder out there—this article has you covered!
I will be covering 10 of the best options on the market today that correspond to almost any budget range. Off the bat I can tell you that although there is an extensive selection of tech out there, the Humminbird brand stays true to my personal needs and desires when I’m out on the boat—but perhaps your needs, reader, differ slightly from mine.
Why might someone want a Fish Finder, then? Well, for starters, high-quality fish finders provide a considerable amount of detail when exploring the depths of the water from the surface level, leering down into six to eight feet of depth. To some fisherman, this may very well meet their needs, however, what if you want to explore the crooks, crevices, structures and cover in 15 and 20 feet?
That’s precisely where side-imaging comes in to play! With side imaging technology, fish finders can identify all kinds of things at the bottom of a lake bed easily and with insightful detail! On top of that, you can set waypoints for spots you’ve found that might be ideal for fish to hang out. But before anyone can make any decisions on how high-tech they should go, we need to cover some options.
Table of Contents
- Comparison of 10 Best Side Imaging Fish Finders in 2021
- Top 10 Best Side Imaging Fish Finder Reviews in 2021
- 1. Humminbird PIRANHAMAX 4 Fish Finder
- 2. Humminbird Helix 7 Imaging Fish Finder
- 3. Garmin Striker 7sv with Transducer
- 4. Lowrance HDS-Live Fish Finder
- 5. Humminbird 409640-1 Helix 5 SI
- 6. Garmin Striker 4 Imaging Fish Finder
- 7. Lowrance HOOK2 5 Fish Finder
- 8. Simrad Go-12 Imaging Fish Finder
- 9. Lowrance Elite-9 Ti2 Imaging Fish Finder
- 10. Humminbird 409990-1 Helix 10 SI
- Things to Look Out for When Investing in a Best Side Imaging Fish Finder
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Q: What Is the Meaning of a Side Imaging Fish Finder?
- Q: What Are the Differences Between Side Imaging and Down Imaging Finders?
- Q: Is It Possible to View Multiple Screens at Once With a Side Imaging Fish Finder?
- Q: Can Side Imaging Fish Finders Be More Costly Compared to Down Imaging Finders?
- Q: What Are the Pros and Cons of Using a Side Imaging Fish Finder?
- Q: What Chart Speed Should I Set in My Side Imaging Fish Finder?
- Relevant Resources
Comparison of 10 Best Side Imaging Fish Finders in 2021
|Humminbird 410150-1 Fish Finder||Check Price|
|Humminbird Helix 7 Fish Finder||Check Price|
|Garmin Striker 7SV||Check Price|
|Lowrance HDS-Live Fish Finder||Check Price|
|Humminbird 409640-1 Helix 5 SI||Check Price|
|Garmin Striker 4 Imaging Fish Finder||Check Price|
|Lowrance HOOK2 5 Fish Finder||Check Price|
|Simrad Go-12 Imaging Fish Finder||Check Price|
|Lowrance Elite-9 Ti2 Fish Finder||Check Price|
|Humminbird 409990-1 Helix 10 SI||Check Price|
Top 10 Best Side Imaging Fish Finder Reviews in 2021
1. Humminbird PIRANHAMAX 4 Fish Finder
The Humminbird PIRANHAMAX 4 Imaging Fish Finder is guaranteed to deliver a sharper image, making it a great companion when fishing. This fish finder device features a modern style and a reasonably large LCD screen that measures 4.3 inches. The PIRANHAMAX 4 is going to give you a clear perspective of what is underneath your boat.
Moreover, due to this imaging fish finder’s user-friendly interface, you can now conveniently unlock several intuitive features, including the Fish ID+, depth alarms, fish alarms, as well as a zooming function. Lastly, the PIRANHAMAX 4’s dual-beam sonar allows you to choose between a wide or a narrow beam for improved detail and better coverage area.
- The PIRANHAMAX 4 showcases modern design and a large LCD screen
- It gives clear images of underwater
- It comes with many intuitive features
- This imaging fish finder is only great for shallow and calm water
2. Humminbird Helix 7 Imaging Fish Finder
The Humminbird Helix 7 Imaging Fish Finder is the ultimate companion you need to have the best fishing experience and fun. This device comes with pretty much everything you want your fish finder to deliver. The Helix 7 boasts an ultra-clear 7-inch screen with a high-resolution and TFT display.
It also showcases the Mega Side-Imaging feature, allowing you to have a better view of the world underneath your boat. This device’s crystal-clear viewing feature will enable you to have a clear perspective up to a 125-foot depth underwater. Lastly, the Helix 7’s Mega Down-Imaging feature allows you to get exceptional clarity underwater.
- The Helix 7 comes with a large and high-resolution display screen
- Its Mega Side-Imaging feature gives a better view of underwater
- Its Mega Down-Imaging delivers exceptional clarity up to 125 feet underwater
- This imaging fish finder device is costly
3. Garmin Striker 7sv with Transducer
The Garmin Striker Plus has pretty much got it all: a transducer for Garmin’s signature CHIRP scanning sonar, Quickdraw Contours mapping software, built-in WiFi access to ActiveCaptain, and of course the GPS. ClearVü and SideVü CHIRP sonar scanners offer impeccable detail at high and wide frequency ranges.
The Garmin Striker Plus comes with a standard depth aptitude of 800ft, but when used in conjunction with the transducer, it can reach depths of up to 2,000ft. What’s great about this product is that the embedded technology within it really do complement each other more than deterring from the overall experience or capabilities of using it. The ActiveCaptain app allows users to receive notifications and waypoints from other users.
- Comes with ActiveCaptain, an app that promotes user interactions with other Garmin users that have access to the platform. Who needs to catch virtual Pokemon when you can share great fishing spots in real time?
- Quckdraw Contour feature: uses GPS and the 2D sonar information to allow users to draw maps on the body of water you’re on, and is believed to be able to save up to 2 million acres of drawn contours
- Very affordable unit
- Does not come with any charts nor can it be upgraded to include additional charts through Micro SD chips
- Only comes with a mount for transducer
4. Lowrance HDS-Live Fish Finder
One of the most advanced fish finders on the market that comes with structured scan 3D technology and Lawrence Chirp sonar system. Moreover it comes with dual core processor that comes with enough speed to quickly and efficiently process the information and update the picture on the screen so as to provide you with up-to-date information and where the fish is located.
Furthermore customers have reported that this model of Lowrance fish finder comes with a new color range that provides much better visibility contrast when compared to other similar fish finders. If you intend on fishing in remote areas you can search for needed maps through the build-in WIFI and then download the needed map so as to use offline.
Also, if your fellow fishermen have a specific map that they would like to share with you can use the Bluetooth option to download it from their fish finder provided they have that feature too. If not, you can always use the USB cable that comes with the packaging to connect your fish finder to the computer and download the map from there. Lastly it comes with comfortable carrying case that you can use to store the fish finder when not in use so as to prevent it from getting scratched.
- Great fish finder for its price
- Comes with a carrying case
- Very clear and colored picture on the screen
- Comes with sonar system
- No warranty
- Charger not included
- Small screen
5. Humminbird 409640-1 Helix 5 SI
Equipped with an internal GPS and chart-plotting UniMap cartography, you surely won’t get lost when trying to get back to that killer spot you found last week.
It’s strong and durable but needs micro SD cards to hold optional maps and for saving waypoints you need, but as long as your kayak boat speed is roughly 3-4 mph, it will have no problem imaging on the move.
- Besides the size of the monitor, the processors between the Helix 5 SI and 7 SI are the same, meaning you can cut down on costs by sticking to the older model
- Does exactly what it is intended to do: be a best side imaging fish finder with GPS that can create waypoints
- Ram mount possibly needed depending on one’s set-up, as the standard base for the product does not rotate left or right
- No lighted buttons to help with night-time fishing
6. Garmin Striker 4 Imaging Fish Finder
Those who are aiming to catch more fish efficiently would surely appreciate the Garmin Striker Imaging Fish Finder. This device promises to deliver exceptionally clear and effective imaging to help you get the best fishing experience.
The Striker 4 showcases the CLEARVÜ scan sonar, giving you a better perspective of what is underneath your boat. It also provides you with nearly photographic images with detailed portrayals of structures, objects, and fishes in the water. Finally, this imaging fish finder’s Waypoint Map allows you to view, recognize, and maneuver through locations, including docks, stumps, and brush piles.
- This imaging fish finder’s CLEARVÜ scan sonar provides improved perspective
- It provides nearly-photographic images with thorough representations
- Its Waypoint Map allows you to view, recognize, and maneuver through locations
- This device is quick and easy to set up and use
- The screen is not as large as other fishfinder devices
7. Lowrance HOOK2 5 Fish Finder
Another great fish finder that comes with pre downloaded maps for Canada and US territory plus it comes with a triple shot transducer that has been reported to have auto tuning technology that automatically scans and updates the picture on the screen.
The transducer can be mounted either on the transom, trolling motor or even inside the hull. The small size of this fish finder makes it perfect for small boats as well as kayaks. Moreover, this particular fish finder comes with a rechargeable battery that has been reported to work for up to 48 days provided you only use the fish finder for several hours a day.
However, regardless of how well the battery work, professional fishermen recommend always having a spare battery as well as charger with you just in case. To ensure that the fish finder works well try to never charge it through the USB port as usually such moves tend to spoil the fish finder in the long run because the power voltage is much higher and is meant more for mobile phones rather than other electrical devices.
- Portable and small size
- Transducer can be mounted in a number of ways
- Comes with chirp sonar cone system
- Come with preloaded maps for United States and Canada
- Available in 4 different sizes only
- Comes without a carrying case
8. Simrad Go-12 Imaging Fish Finder
The Simrad Go-12 3in1 Imaging Fish Finder allows you to take complete control of your electronic devices onboard. This device is perfect for center-consoles, cruisers, and sport boats. It features an in-built sonar, top-notch radar support, as well as a stellar integration with a wide array of accessories from entertainment to autopilot.
The Simrad Go-12 3in1 Imaging Fish Finder showcases first-rate features such as a 3in1 Active Imaging transducer that comes with CHIRP sonar, FishReveal, and Side/Down Imaging. Additionally, this imaging fish finder is also able to support a wide array of charts. Furthermore, for the utmost convenience, the Simrad Go-12 boasts a user-friendly multi-touch surface.
- The Go-12 comes with a large and clear display screen
- It comes with in-built sonar and radar support
- This device is easy to integrate with other accessories
- It features a user-friendly multi-touch surface
- It is costly
9. Lowrance Elite-9 Ti2 Imaging Fish Finder
The Lowrance Elite-9 Ti2 Imaging Fish Finder is a great companion to have onboard when fishing on any type of water. This device provides you with advanced imaging and fish-finding functionalities and connectivity without the outrageous price tag.
The Elite-9 Ti2 showcases a high-resolution 3in1 Active Imaging function and a 2in1 sonar support. It also comes with some stellar features, including in-built Genesis real-time mapping, FishReveal, and improved image clarity and target separation. These features will genuinely make fishing a breeze. Moreover, for added convenience, the Elite-9 Ti2 comes with a user-friendly touchscreen, smartphone notifications, and wireless networking.
- This imaging fish finder features a large display screen
- It comes with an array of intuitive features and functionalities
- This fish finder provides exceptional image clarity and perspective as well as target separation
- It is convenient and effortless to use
- Many customers reported having software problems
10. Humminbird 409990-1 Helix 10 SI
Summary of the product—A much larger product than most of the ones covered on this list, the Humminbird Helix 10 SI comes with a 10-inch display that offers side imaging and dual beam sonar capabilities. The 10-inch display may be intimidating at first, but the additional size makes room for a plethora of supplementary features.
Bigger, brighter, faster, and stronger than any of the previous models of the Helix series, the 10 comes with still carries similar features that older models had such as the HD transducer: meaning side and down imaging. However, the updated sleek body, improved graphics, featured Lakemaster mapping options, and additional options in depth, speed, and temperature really show off the improvements made from older models.
- Comes with neoprene cover providing heavy duty protection to the device
- AutoChart Live
- SmartStrike: Contains same maps from Lakemaster, but with Contour Elite Software, allowing users to scan lake maps for apt fishing spots.
- High resolution screen
- Side and down imaging
- Lack of CHIRP sonar
Things to Look Out for When Investing in a Best Side Imaging Fish Finder
The above list is my top pick for fish finders that implement side and down imaging technologies. However, if you want to branch out from the list I have made here, independent investigation is always encouraged. With that in mind, I will list below some characteristics of devices that you may want to consider in order to help you filter out the products that seem good on paper from those that will actually perform the way they sound out on the water:
Comparing frequency ranges might just seem like a bunch of numbers at first but paying attention to this can be very helpful in sorting out how powerfully the sonar scanners perform. Frequency ranges are often classified as either single, dual, or multiple.
The general rule of thumb here, though, is the higher the frequency, the more detail on screen. However, this can be misleading at times as some people suggest that lower frequencies are ideal for deeper waters, while higher frequencies are preferable toward shallow water.
No brainer! The wattage of the unit provides the response time. Higher the watts, stronger the power!
What’s all that power and high frequency going to do if you don’t have a decent resolution to see all those pretty details? Well, not much. You guessed it, and the same rule applies here, the higher the resolution and, generally, the larger the screen is going to mean you get to see more detail.
Transducers, as I explained at the beginning of the article, make it possible to find fish by emitting sonar waves out through the water, then receiving similar waves in response. These sonar waves are translated into digital representations of nearby objects, structures (natural and artificial), as well as living creatures like fish! Transducers, or any technology similar to them, are essential to the fish finding tool.
The best metaphor I can offer here is movies. Would you rather watch a movie in color or in black and white? Actually, I am myself a fan of the classics, so, I’ll rephrase the question… Do you think black and white movies or color movies provide more in-focus and peripheral detail?
I’m willing to bet you’d say color. The same applies to fish finders, as high-res screens that utilize a variety of colors to distinguish the information on screen are becoming more popularized and reliable when out on the water! Keep these little bits of info in mind when you’re out there looking for more options of fish finders that are available online!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What Is the Meaning of a Side Imaging Fish Finder?
A: The side imaging fish finder is a sonar technology that helps you locate more fish and capture underwater pictures. It can also help you look for the terrain underwater as well.
Q: What Are the Differences Between Side Imaging and Down Imaging Finders?
A: The side imaging fish finders enable you to scan the water fast and find fish behind bays and shallow creeks. On the other hand, down imaging finders are helpful if you are fishing in deep waters.
Q: Is It Possible to View Multiple Screens at Once With a Side Imaging Fish Finder?
A: Yes. Most side imaging fish finders offer a split-screen feature that allows you to view multiple screens at once.
Q: Can Side Imaging Fish Finders Be More Costly Compared to Down Imaging Finders?
A: Yes, side imaging fish finders can be expensive. However, they are worth the price once you learn how to correctly use them and know what to look at on the screen.
Q: What Are the Pros and Cons of Using a Side Imaging Fish Finder?
A: A side imaging fish finder gives you a 180-degree perspective which offers excellent photo quality underwater. The problem is that side imaging is more expensive compared to down imaging. It also does not scan the things under your boat, and thus, it is not suitable for fishing in deep waters.
Q: What Chart Speed Should I Set in My Side Imaging Fish Finder?
A: It is better to set your chart speed equivalent to the boat speed in your side imaging fish finder.
This article hoped to show readers that there are a considerable variety of options out there when wanting to invest in a reliable fish finder with side imaging technology. Some people believe that when investing in a fish finder, you either want to go with the biggest and baddest or spend the least amount of money and go with the cheapest product on the market.
Little do they know that there are PLENTY of other products on the market that will meet whichever needs and often fulfil whatever desires you may have for your ideal best side imaging fish finder. Although pricing may, should, and probably will forever be a factor when deciding on which product out of any given selection you have, there are plenty of mid-range options to filter through.