SideScan, also called Side Imaging, is a sophisticated sonar technology that provides nearly photographic images of the underwater environment to the sides of a boat. This feature assists anglers in identifying fish habitats, structures, and potential obstacles with unparalleled clarity.
Lowrance offers a variety of fish finders equipped with SideScan capabilities, ranging from their budget-conscious Hook series to the advanced Elite and HDS series. These fish finders cater to different needs and budgets, with variations in display size, integrated features, and sonar technologies, ensuring options suitable for both hobbyists and professional anglers.
Lowrance HDS Pro with Active Imaging HD
The Lowrance HDS Pro with Active Imaging HD Transducer offers enhanced SideScan capabilities to provide a clear view of the underwater environment on either side of your boat. Here’s a breakdown of the SideScan capabilities of the Lowrance HDS Pro:
- High-Definition SideScan Imaging: The Active Imaging HD Transducer enables high-definition SideScan imaging up to 1.2MHz, which is part of Lowrance’s trio of key sonar technologies alongside CHIRP and DownScan Imaging.
- FishReveal Feature: With the addition of an S3100 sonar module and the compatible Active Imaging HD transducer, the HDS Pro series can enable the FishReveal SideScan view. This feature makes it easier to identify fish to the sides of the boat.
- Detailed Imaging of Underwater Structures: The SideScan HD with FishReveal on the HDS Pro provides detailed images of fish and fish-holding structures such as rock piles, standing timber, and weed beds, which can aid in distinguishing what lies below the water surface.
- SolarMAX HD Touchscreen: The HDS Pro is equipped with a SolarMAX HD Touchscreen which allows viewing at extreme angles and through polarized lenses, enhancing the viewing experience of the SideScan, as well as other sonar technologies.
- Ease of Expansion: The HDS Pro series is designed for ease of expansion to accommodate additional sonar technologies and views, which includes the SideScan views enabled by the Active Imaging HD transducer.
- Versatile Transducer Design: The design of the Active Imaging HD transducer boosts signal clarity, delivering crisp images of the underwater environment, which is crucial for effective SideScan imaging.
Lowrance Elite FS 9 with Active Imaging 3 in 1
The Lowrance Elite FS 9 with Active Imaging 3-in-1 provides some of the best imaging capabilities in its class, and that includes SideScan. Here’s an overview of its SideScan capabilities:
- Active Imaging 3-in-1 Transducer: This transducer combines CHIRP sonar, SideScan, and DownScan imaging, providing a comprehensive view of the underwater environment.
- SideScan Frequencies: The unit offers the standard 455 kHz and 800 kHz frequencies. 455 kHz provides a wider sonar beam for broader coverage, allowing for the scanning of vast areas. Whereas, 800 kHz frequency offers clearer and more detailed images of the underwater environment.
- SideScan Range: With Active Imaging, the Elite FS 9 can show a detailed view of structure and fish to the sides of your boat up to a range of 300 feet in either side of boat, giving you a broad view of the underwater environment.
- High-Resolution Imaging: Active Imaging SideScan on the Elite FS 9 offers superior clarity and sharper images of structure, bait, and fish, making it easier to identify and differentiate between various underwater objects.
- Overlay Capability: With the C-MAP or Navionics maps (if you have them), you can overlay SideScan images on top of traditional maps, providing an integrated view that combines detailed bathymetric data with SideScan imagery.
- SolarMAX Touchscreen Display: Elite FS 9 boasts a high-quality 9-inch touchscreen display, delivering bright, sharp visuals with easy-to-use controls, ensuring both clarity in image quality and intuitive user experience.
Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 TripleShot
The Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 TripleShot is a budget Side Imaging fish finder with decent imaging capabilities. Here’s a detailed explanation of its SideScan features:
- TripleShot Transducer: The TripleShot transducer incorporated in the Hook Reveal 7 is a 3-in-1 solution, providing High CHIRP Sonar, DownScan, and SideScan Imaging capabilities from a single transducer. This feature is particularly beneficial for anglers who prefer having all their sonar capabilities from a single transducer, making it a cost-effective and convenient solution.
- High-Resolution SideScan Imaging: The SideScan imaging on the Hook Reveal 7 TripleShot provides high-resolution images of fish-holding structures to the sides of the boat. This feature is crucial for identifying areas where fish are likely to be found, such as around rock piles, standing timber, and weed beds.
- Wide-Angle High CHIRP Sonar: In addition to SideScan, the TripleShot transducer offers wide-angle high CHIRP sonar which is known for better fish target separation and clarity in the imagery. This feature complements the SideScan imaging by providing a broader view beneath the water, enhancing the fish-finding capability.
- FishReveal Technology: Although not exclusive to SideScan, the FishReveal technology in the Hook Reveal 7 combines CHIRP sonar with DownScan imaging to light up fish targets on the display, making it easier to identify and locate fish.
- Display and Usability: The Hook Reveal 7 comes with a 7-inch SolarMAX display that provides crisp and clear views of the SideScan, DownScan, and CHIRP sonar imaging.
Lowrance SideScan Comparison
Lowrance’s SideScan fish finders provide near-photographic images of the underwater environment. The resolution and clarity allow users to differentiate between fish, structure, and the bottom with ease.
But how does it fare with other side imaging fish finder brands like Humminbird and Garmin?
Lowrance SideScan vs Humminbird Side Imaging
|Feature||Lowrance SideScan (Active Imaging 3-in1)||Humminbird Side Imaging (MEGA)|
|Frequencies||455 kHz, 800 kHz||455 kHz, 800 kHz, 1200 kHz|
|Max Range||600 ft (455 kHz), 300 ft (800 kHz)||800 ft (455 kHz), 400 ft (1200 kHz)|
- Frequency Range: Both transducers offer the 455 kHz and 800 kHz frequencies, but the Humminbird MEGA Side Imaging has an edge with its unique 1.2 MHz frequency, providing extremely detailed images.
- Depth Range: The Humminbird MEGA Side Imaging offers a deeper range at the 455 kHz frequency compared to the Active Imaging 3-in-1.
- Image Clarity: While both transducers provide high-resolution images, the Humminbird MEGA frequency offers greater clarity.
The Humminbird MEGA Side Imaging, with its ultra-high-frequency imaging, is a top-tier choice for anglers seeking the utmost clarity and detail in their side imaging. The added depth at the 455 kHz frequency is also a plus. Lowrance’s Active Imaging 3-in-1 is a versatile and reliable choice, delivering clear images and a balanced performance across its frequencies. If ultra-high-definition imaging is a priority, the Humminbird MEGA is the preferred choice.
Lowrance SideScan vs Garmin SideVu
|Feature||Lowrance SideScan (Active Imaging 3-in1)||Garmin SideVü (GT56UHD)|
|Frequencies||455 kHz, 800 kHz||455 kHz, 800 kHz, 1000 kHz|
|Max Range||600 ft (455 kHz), 300 ft (800 kHz)||1000 ft (455 kHz), 400 ft (1000 kHz)|
- Frequency Range: Both units offer the standard 455 kHz frequency for broader scans. However, while Lowrance provides an 800 kHz frequency for more detail, the Garmin GT56UHD offers a 1000 kHz frequency, providing an edge in terms of ultra-detailed imaging.
- Depth Range: The GT56UHD offers deeper scanning capabilities at the 455 kHz frequency, with up to 1000 feet compared to the Active Imaging 3-in-1’s 600 feet. However, for their higher frequencies, both transducers offer a similar range of around 300-400 feet.
- Image Clarity: Both transducers are designed to offer high-quality, clear images. However, the GT56UHD’s 1000 kHz frequency provide more detailed images in certain conditions compared to the Active Imaging 3-in-1’s 800 kHz.
The Lowrance Active Imaging 3-in-1 offers robust standard SideScan capabilities suitable for many general fishing activities. In contrast, the Garmin SideVu, with its 1000 kHz frequency, might appeal more to those seeking ultra-clear imaging, especially in shallower waters. The choice between the two would hinge on specific needs, with the GT56UHD offering slightly enhanced depth and detail capabilities, while the Active Imaging 3-in-1 provides a well-rounded SideScan experience.