10 Best Side Imaging Fish Finder 2020 – A Detailed Review Guide

As an angler, you will appreciate an advanced view of what is lurking beneath the water and for that, you need the best side imaging fish finder.

Nevertheless, just as we have different manufacturers for these devices, there are also different technologies.

Keep it here if you want to learn how to pick the perfect fish finder for better angling.

Top-Rated 10 Fish Finders for Side Imaging in 2020: Comparison List

Without further ado, here’s a run-down of the finders we believe are in a position to meet your needs. We’ve reviewed each one of them in detail in the paragraphs that follow.

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EDITOR'S CHOICE
Humminbird 410300-1 Helix 7 Chirp DI GPS G2 Fish Finder
HDS-7 LIVE - 7-inch Fish Finder No Transducer Model is...
Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish finder
Simrad GO7 XSE Chartplotter/Fishfinder w/TotalScan Transom...
Lowrance HOOK2 5 - 5-inch Fish Finder with TripleShot...
Hummingbird 410950-1 HELIX 7 CHIRP MSI (MEGA Side Imaging)...
Product Name
Humminbird 410300-1 Helix 7 Chirp DI GPS G2 Fish Finder
HDS-7 LIVE - 7-inch Fish Finder No Transducer Model is...
Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish finder
Simrad GO7 XSE Chartplotter/Fishfinder w/TotalScan Transom...
Lowrance HOOK2 5 - 5-inch Fish Finder with TripleShot...
Hummingbird 410950-1 HELIX 7 CHIRP MSI (MEGA Side Imaging)...
Dimension
1.1 x 10.5 x 5.8 inches
10.2 x 12.7 x 9.1 inches
5-Inch Display
10 x 9 x 8 inches
9 x 7.5 x 7.1 inches
10.5 x 3.7 x 5.8 inches
Weight
5.4 pounds
5.85 pounds
-
7.8 pounds
3.6 pounds
5.6 pounds
Prime Status
-
-
-
-
-
EDITOR'S CHOICE
Picture
Humminbird 410300-1 Helix 7 Chirp DI GPS G2 Fish Finder
Product Name
Humminbird 410300-1 Helix 7 Chirp DI GPS G2 Fish Finder
Dimension
1.1 x 10.5 x 5.8 inches
Weight
5.4 pounds
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Picture
HDS-7 LIVE - 7-inch Fish Finder No Transducer Model is...
Product Name
HDS-7 LIVE - 7-inch Fish Finder No Transducer Model is...
Dimension
10.2 x 12.7 x 9.1 inches
Weight
5.85 pounds
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Picture
Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish finder
Product Name
Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish finder
Dimension
5-Inch Display
Weight
-
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Picture
Simrad GO7 XSE Chartplotter/Fishfinder w/TotalScan Transom...
Product Name
Simrad GO7 XSE Chartplotter/Fishfinder w/TotalScan Transom...
Dimension
10 x 9 x 8 inches
Weight
7.8 pounds
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Picture
Lowrance HOOK2 5 - 5-inch Fish Finder with TripleShot...
Product Name
Lowrance HOOK2 5 - 5-inch Fish Finder with TripleShot...
Dimension
9 x 7.5 x 7.1 inches
Weight
3.6 pounds
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Picture
Hummingbird 410950-1 HELIX 7 CHIRP MSI (MEGA Side Imaging)...
Product Name
Hummingbird 410950-1 HELIX 7 CHIRP MSI (MEGA Side Imaging)...
Dimension
10.5 x 3.7 x 5.8 inches
Weight
5.6 pounds
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price

The Best Side Imaging Fish Finder Reviewed

1. Humminbird 410300-1 Helix 7 Fish Finder

The Hummingbird fish finder has the SmartStrike feature. As such, it can display where the fish are which saves you the searching task.

You can use the Micro SD card slot to add maps to the fish finder. The Micro SD card can also be used to save your waypoints for future use.

The LCD screen on this fish finder is alleged to be clear even in bright sunlight. However, some customers have reported that the fish finder might not always stun especially due to some of its parts being made from hard plastic.

Pros

  • Built-in GPS receiver
  • Dual-beam sonar
  • Micro SD card slot
  • LCD screen

Cons

  • Cheap plastic gimbal

2. Lowrance HDS-7 LIVE Fish Finder

Did you know you can keep your eyes on the fish and still never miss a call or a text on your smartphone? The Lowrance HDS-7 fish finder allows for smartphone integration for live chat notifications.

This fish finder has a multi-touch screen which is alleged to have many viewing angles. You can use the screen in bright sunlight but it is advised you protect your eyes with polarized sunglasses.

One disadvantage is this fish finder has no transducer, which is important in fishing. As such, you may have to purchase a transducer separately.

Pros

  • Multi-touch screen
  • Live onscreen mapping
  • Smart target view
  • High-performance processors

Cons

  • Lacks a transducer

3. Humminbird HELIX 5 Fish Finder

Imagine being able to determine how much detail of the fishing area you would like to see. This is what the Humminbird Helix5 is said to provide using the Switchfire feature with the max and clear modes.

The CHIRP technology integrated into this fish finder is alleged to enable you to see what other sonar devices do not show. As such, you are advantaged when it comes to locating fish.

However, customers have complained about the switch on the fish finder. They say it goes off many times, rendering the device useless.

Pros

  • Dual-beam sonar
  • Switch Fire feature
  • CHIRP technology
  • Colored screen display

Cons

  • Goes off frequently

4. Simrad GO7 XSE Fishfinder

In case you are new to imaging fish finders, Simrad GO7 XSE seems like a good choice for you. The fish finder is alleged to be easy to use with a multi-touch screen display.

You can choose to use the bracket or flush mount display. Moreover, there is an LED backlight to help in dark environments.

The two Micro SD card slots allow for a device upgrade. You have to purchase insight maps as they are not present in the device.

Pros

  • Wireless connectivity
  • LED backlight
  • Two Micro SD card slots
  • Built-in GPS receiver

Cons

  • No insight maps

5. Lowrance HOOK2 5-5-inch Fish Finder

You can upgrade this fish finder with all that you need using the SD card slot. Furthermore, the fish finder is said to have pre-loaded maps that are clear and detailed.

The sonar used with this fish finder is alleged to auto-tune. As such, finding the right fishing spot becomes a simple task.

This seems like a good fish finder as it is claimed to have an easy to use the menu. However, the transducer is reported to be of low quality.

Pros

  • Auto tuning sonar
  • Easy to install
  • Pre-loaded maps
  • Upgrade able

Cons

  • Low-quality transducer

6. Hummingbird 410950-1 Helix 7 Fish Finder

There are two ways to search for fish when using the Hummingbird Helix 7. For maximum coverage, you can use the wide mode, whereas the narrow mode allows you to see finer details.

This fish finder is said to be able to display up to 125 feet underwater. The TFT color display screen has a resolution of 800H x 480V, which offers relative clarity.

Upgrading this fish finder seems to be a challenge. This is because it lacks a Micro SD card slot that you can use when you wish to add features to the unit.

Pros

  • 7 inches screen
  • Built-in GPS
  • Dual Spectrum CHIRP
  • Switch Fire feature

Cons

  •  No SD card slot

7. Garmin Striker 7SV Fish Finder

How about getting detailed images of what is underneath your boat? This seems possible with the Garmin 7SV fish finder that has a sonar that is alleged to scan clearly.

You are likely to catch many fish with this fish finder. The device uses the CHIRP sonar technology that is said to send frequencies continuously alerting you of fishing spots.

Some customers have expressed disappointment as this fish finder unit has no pre-loaded maps. Furthermore, it lacks an SD card slop for upgrading.

Pros

  • Built-in flasher
  • Easy to use
  • CHIRP sonar technology
  • Simple to set up

Cons

  • No maps in the unit

8. Humminbird, Helix 7, Chirp MSI Fish Finder

When you purchase this fish finder, you have both down imaging and side imaging features. This seems like a good choice as you can see a wider area.

The built-in basemap and GPS are likely to make your navigation task effortless. In addition, this fish finder is said to support Bluetooth for data transfer.

Remember to order a transducer as the packaging has none. A transducer plays a vital role when you are using a fish finder.

Pros

  • Clear images
  • Easy to operate
  • Bluetooth support
  • Built-in basemap

Cons

  • No transducer

9. Garmin Striker Plus 7Cv Fish Finder

Have you had trouble reading your fish finder’s screen in bright sunlight? Well, Garmin Striker Plus 7Cv seems like a good choice as the screen is stated to be sun-readable.

You can easily mark waypoints for easier navigation, especially in new environments. This is possible due to the built-in GPS in the fish finder.

Be ready to load your maps into the unit as there are none from the manufacturer. But customers say that the built-in WiFi makes upgrading the unit simple.

Pros

  • Sun-readable screen
  • Built-in WiFi
  • Integrated mapping software
  • Easy to operate

Cons

  • No maps preloaded

10. Humminbird 410120-1 Helix 10 Fish Finder

Humminbird claims that this fish finder provided a live chart of the water surface. This may work to your advantage since you are likely to concentrate on the areas with fish.

The Reflex menu system on this fish finder is claimed to be easy to use. Besides that, the screen is 10 inches wide and the display is colored.

This fish finder, according to some customers, failed to work the first time they used it. They felt it is of low quality and resorted to other brands.

Pros

  • Reflex menu system
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Color LCD screen
  • LED backlight

Cons

  • Feels cheaply made

How to Select a Side Imaging Fish Finder

Side imaging is perhaps the most advanced feature when it comes to angling. In order to pick the perfect device, you need to consider several crucial features such as:

Your Angling Vessel

Usually, most fish finders are created to be used in motor boats, bass boats and other similar vessels.Therefore, if you want to use your device say on an inflatable kayak, you want to keep in mind that some alterations have to be made.

Luckily, there are numerous guides available online that you can refer to for help.

Display Size

There are both old model and new fish finders in the market. Should you go for an old model, chances are that you will end up with a screen that looks like that of a mobile phone.

On the other hand, modern fish finders come with bigger screens and this will provide you with more precise readings thanks to enhanced color contrast and higher resolutions.

Screen Back light

A fish finder with a backlit screen will make it easier for you to access data. Getting a device without this feature will make it harder for you to view screen details especially in direct sunlight.

That is the last thing you want so ensure that you pick a model with a backlit screen.

Device Durability

As expected, you should always look to get value for your money whenever you are purchasing anything.

Your fish finder should be able to withstand harsh weather conditions and you can definitely count on reputable brands to offer that.

Frequently Asked Questions

Perhaps you have a question or two in respect to this topic and that is why we have made it a point to address a few below.

What is the difference between a fish finder and sonar?

Sonar is a horizontal fish finder that can search in all directions including sideways around a kayak. On the other hand, a traditional fish finder can only vertically search below the boat.

What is chirp on fish finder?

CHIRP stands for Compressed High-Intensity Radiated Pulse. What this does is to send high rhythm energy into the water column.

This is for purposes of producing images using an extensive range of frequencies that go up to 117kHz. CHIRP improves bottom tracking at higher speed in deeper depths.

Best Overall Choice

Humminbird HELIX5 Fish Finder is our best side imaging fish finder. With CHIRP technology for clear displays, the fish finder has a colored screen display to make your fishing experience more enjoyable.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know the importance of a fish finder, we are sure you are not going to leave yours behind the next time you go angling.

This device’s technology offers you the opportunity to monitor your target fish for a better casting strategy.

We believe this guide is comprehensive enough to help you pick the perfect fish finder and we expect you to do just that.

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