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Jeremy airjer W

Side imaging or Down imaging?

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I have been contemplating a new fish finder, most likely a REASONABLY priced hummingbird. wink I'm having a hard time deciding between down imaging and side imaging. I think I see the benefits of both but which one do you prefer and why?

I think I'm leaning towards down imaging. visually it makes more sense to me.

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If you want imaging, get side imaging for sure. Mainly because it does what it says, reaches out to the sides.....

With down imaging, you are just seeing a better version of 2d below the boat. Neat, but not nearly as useful as seeing what's off to each side of the boat.

Side imaging is amazing for skirting weed edges and following bottom transitions. You can drive by within a 150' of either and mark the exact edge with waypoints to come back and follow on the next pass.

Once I know a lake or part of a lake pretty well, I find myself using mainly 2D and contour maps.

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B-man said it perfectly. SI is so much more useful, I never even use the DI function on my unit. My favorite feature of the SI is being able to see fish way out to the side of the boat. I can cruse over an area quickly to pinpoint where the fish are then switch over to 2D sonar and GPS to stay on them.

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I have both. First you need to think about what your fishing and how. If you rarely go deeper than 20ft. Then go with the side imaging. I use my side imaging primarily in the spring to look for rock beds and new weed growth that holds walleyes in the spring when shallow. Once I start moving deeper, I stop using side imaging and rely more on my sonar and down imaging. You need to truly understand how it works. the deeper you go, the more water you are reading and the less defined your image is. When I use my side imager I also keep it set at 70ft to get better definition. I would venture to say that 75% of anglers would benefit from down imaging more than side imaging. If you can afford it, go with a unit that has both as I did. That way you can switch back and forth when the circumstance dictates.

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" I would venture to say that 75% of anglers would benefit from down imaging more than side imaging."

I have to disagree, but I acknowledge that we're both stating opinions, not facts. SI shows bottom hardness, fish, rocks, logs, etc. on either or both sides of the boat, and I can drop a mark on a boulder out to the side of the boat and navigate to it. I find it very valuable for exploring new water.

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What settings do you recommend for SI??

Also, what speed do you recommend??

I am still learning with the SI. From my understanding you see down, then over once the bottom is reached. Is this correct? The thing i am confused about is the slope of the bottom off to each side.

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I read some descent articles on both when this technology was new. One writer was even bold enough to say "DI is actually taking a step back in technology." While I don't totally agree with that author, I can see his point. Traditional 2d sonar has a much more usseful cone area and with modern technology, target seperation has been huge. With DI, you get a very very small area of view. The author kind of made the point that DI was badically just and easier-to-read picture of a much smaller 2d picture.

I made the move to SI/DI about 3 years ago? LOVE SI! I found so much structure. What was really neat was going to my old "hot spots" and finding out "why" they were so hot. It was cool to see a subtle changes in bottom, maybe some masked bolders or what not, that had made those "hot spots" unique. You then can use that knowledge looking for future spots.

The only time I use DI is when I'm running it with SI or 2D. I never run it alone. Sometimes DI takes the work out of 2d sonar so I don't have to think...rock,fish, weed...Running DI by itself, IMO, is sort of worthless.

"IF" you choose SI, get as big as you can afford. I started with a 5". It was great and I learned a lot, but have since jumped to the 8.4". Don't get me wrong, the 5" was better then getting anything else, regardless of size, without SI, but soon you'll be hooked and want that larger screen.

Like another, I barely run my SI pass 75'...more comonly I'm around 30-50'. You can cruise up a shoreline or break, mark spots of interest, make another pass out a little deeper and do the same. With SI, you can actually "scout out" an area before fishing. You'll find yourself having too much fun scouting and looking...don't forget to get your line wet! LOL

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This is my first season with DI/SI and what I have found so far is they both absolutely have a place, but I agree with ClownColor, the SI is FAR more useful. DI does an excellent job of clarifying what my 2D sonar is seeing. I was able to see a very nice ball of defined bait on the DI, but on 2d it was just a dang blob! I had seen these things many times over the years and I was just thinking it was some sort of interference or possibly a water temp change or something, but now I can see what it really is.

SI though is just plain fun to use. I am still trying to get it dialed in as to what settings work best and alignment of the transducer.

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As others have stated, it really depends on how you fish. Si helps you find off shore stuff, it helps you map weed edges, it helps you find wood in rivers. Di helps you map what is under you better. I can live without DI I have a 2D image right in front of me usually, I however cant live without SI.. I am hooked on it. Unless I already know the lake I am fishing like the back of my hand.

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One thing I've always wondered is how the SI transducer is mounted so the signal on one side doesn't get blocked by the motor.

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You may have to trim the motor up a bit to get a clear image to the other side of the motor but for the most part since they are so close to each other it really isn't a problem. If they were 3 or 4 feet away then coverage area would be wider and more of a problem.

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One thing I've always wondered is how the SI transducer is mounted so the signal on one side doesn't get blocked by the motor.

My motor blocks out the top 45 degrees or so of the portside imaging unless I trim it up. Kind of a bummer.

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