Anglers have a wide range of sonar technologies to choose from. You can find standard 2D sonar, down imaging, side imaging, Humminbird 360 are some of the more common, yet there are many more, and also many implementations of each based on fish finder manufacturer.
One thing in common is they all help anglers find and catch more fish. Most anglers prefer large screens and up-to-date tech for finding fish with down imaging vs. side imaging fish finders. However, in reality, it is a struggle to get exactly what you want in a fish finder.
Most average anglers from the beginning need to determine which technologies are worth investing in and whether it is right for their fishing style and budget.
A good example of this is side imaging technology. While it can be effective, many anglers wonder whether it is worth the cost of investment and if side imaging is worth it?
If you ask do I need side imaging, the answer will include, it depends. If you frequently fish from a boat or kayak, then side imaging is well worth the money. (Read Best Down Imaging Fish Finder)
It takes time and effort to understand and use such tools, yet they can pay off in the end. In our guide, you can learn more about down imaging or side imaging, which meets your needs better.
Do you want to know the best fish finder down imaging options? Do you go for left and right sonar while trolling, or do you go all in and opt for a fish finder with down imaging and side imaging sonar?
By the end, you’ll have much more information to determine, is side view sonar worth it? You’ll also see which can help your fishing experience and which way you should go with a new fish finder in the down imaging vs. side imaging saga.
Is Side Imaging Really Worth It?
Side imaging is a powerful tool that is well worth the extra money. Side imaging enables you to quickly scan sizeable areas for crucial places, structure, baits, or the fish you’re after.
Traditional sonar only allows you to see a small sonar beam underneath the boat; side imaging lets you see both sides of your boat with sonar waves spreading and giving you complete visibility. (Read Best Side Imaging Fish Finder)
Can You Get Down Imaging and Side Imaging?
When looking at down imaging vs. chirp, or if you want down imaging or side imaging, you’ll find you can have it all, but it can work out costly.
Besides this, there are differences, and how to use down imaging fish finder can suit your type of fishing more than a side imaging fish finder.
What is down imaging sonar used for? The major difference is when you ask what down imaging on a fish finder in comparison is, and you’ll find it reads the water vertically while the other reads horizontally.
It may not sound too different, yet knowing how to read your fish finder does help increase the odds of success.
Another notable difference between side and down imaging is that down imaging typically produces higher-quality images while traveling at high speeds. When looking to cover a large expanse of water quickly, down imaging is the better option.
Down Imaging Advantages
- To find fish in deep water, down imaging transducers are used when fish are located vertically. As a result, locating the fish with a down imaging fish finder is simple.
- When looking for the finest kayak fish finder, look for one that uses down imaging technology. Down imaging scanners make catching fish from a kayak easier since they can produce more detailed images even at high speeds. For down imaging vs. sonar, the former is better for high-speed applications.
- Down imaging’s precise images give you the most accurate information about your surroundings underwater. As a result, you’ll be able to locate baitfish and the best fishing site accurately.
- In addition to fishing, its high-frequency SONAR may find deeper for submerged things.
Disadvantages of Down Imaging
- Typically, down imaging transducers produce low-resolution images. It occurs because down imaging only uses a single transducer, and the computer receives insufficient data to produce picture-like images of fish finding.
- Because down imaging is best for vertical thin beam water column images, it leaves you with insufficient horizontal information. For side-by-side information, you’ll require side imaging technology. You can identify a school of fish in deep water using such a down imaging fish finder. Although, you won’t know which side they are under your boat.
Advantages of Side Imaging
- What is side imaging fish finder used for in the best GPS fish finder? Anglers can scan a larger fishing area side by side. It enables anglers to scan more regions in less time using side imaging scanners as you don’t have to venture into these areas first.
- Side imaging creates excellent-quality underwater images, and once compared to down imaging; it has a better field of view.
- Side imaging is your best option when fishing in shallow water. When looking for fish in shallow bays and creeks, side imaging delivers the best image quality. Anglers who wish to catch fish in shallow water sometimes switch to side imaging.
Disadvantages of Side Imaging
- The major disadvantage of these side imaging finders is that they are very pricey.
As a result, many anglers cannot afford side imaging because of financial constraints. Though it is well worth your money, it is not very cost-effective.
- Side imaging may not be beneficial if you want to know more about what’s happening beneath your boat. A down imaging fish finder is required for clearer images of the underwater environment.
- When your boat is traveling at a slower speed, side imaging is useful. However, it is not designed for high-speed transport, and reaching a destination at high speed may be difficult. It is useful to locate the fish efficiently, although it can cover a larger area at a time.
What is Side Imaging Used For?
You may scan the water from side to side for schools of fish and underwater structures with side-imaging fish finders. However, you’ll find they are not the best for spotting fish in deep water or underwater structure when trolling because of their horizontal scanning action.
If you’re fishing and trolling in shallow water, though, side-imaging technology provides more accurate coverage.
Side imaging has a type on the types of fish you can spot. You won’t see fast-moving fish mirrored on a side-imaging screen as the device needs you to move a little slower for clear-image processing.
If the boat moves slowly enough, they can scan and identify many natural and anthropogenic structures underwater.
Certain side-imaging sonars are predicted to outperform others. Humminbird is an example of a high-performing brand because its products may be used in both freshwater and saltwater. (Read Hummingbird Fish Finders Review)
The horizontal movement of side imaging distinguishes it from conventional sonar, as does the more realistic portrayal of objects that lie within the frequency cone.
In the end, some cases would be better suited to side-imaging fish detection than others. It’s also worth noting that, unlike down-imaging sonar, side-imaging fish finders display targets on the side of the screen rather than on the top.
When You Can See A Large Area
Bring a side-imaging fish finder if you don’t want to wait until you are almost in a position to use your down imaging sonar technology to see what’s beneath your boat.
Such fish finders scan around your boat and also peer down yet can’t show you what’s directly beneath you.
However, you can cover larger areas, get a better perspective of where the fish are, and find the best fishing spots.
With a side-imaging sonar, you can get a clear picture of what’s happening beneath your boat in shallow waters.
After using both types, you’ll soon discover that their point-of-view for detecting fish and underwater objects can be far superior and offer a clearer picture to that of a down-imaging fish finder.
Finding Fish Schools in Shallow Water
It’s the shallow water component that puts down imaging vs. side-imaging sonar behind side-scanning imaging fish finders.
Side-imaging fish finders offer a higher chance to locate fish than any down-imaging fish finders for detecting fish targets in shallow waters.
Some fish species could even be missed when using down imaging vs. side imaging, such as crappie.
A side imaging is worth it if your fishing style results in any of the instances listed above.
If you are fishing in deep water and using your trolling motor, you need a fish finder that uses CHIRP sonar to best effect, and it can also cut out any interference from the trolling motor and mix with the sonar waves.
When you are in shallower waters, such as in your kayak, then down imaging vs. side imaging doesn’t help you much.
Using a side imaging fish finder for kayak means you stand a far greater chance of locating fish and even preventing you from paddling or using your trolling motor to go where you don’t need to visit.