Humminbird sidescan versus Lowrance side scan, which is better? That’s a question a friend asked me today, and it’s one I hear over and over regarding sidescanning fishfinders. Unless you plan to drop 10 grand on a searchlight transducer, these two are pretty much the only game in town. So, which should you choose?
First off, you can read my reviews from long-term testing of the lowrance on BoaterMouth. So far, you can find posts on initial use (http://www.boats.com/boat-content/2010/04/lowrance-structure-scan-review-begins/) mounting the structure scan transducer (http://www.boats.com/boat-content/2010/05/side-scanning-fishfinder-transducer-mounting/) and how I found it after a couple of months of use (http://www.boats.com/boat-content/2010/06/lowrance-structure-scan-side-scanning-review-part-ii/) More reviews are to follow, and when I’m done with the Lowrance I’ll review the HumminBird, too.
Both Lowrance and Humminbird will probably be ticked at me for saying it, but when it comes to side-scanning performance, so far as I can tell, there’s not a heck of a lot of difference between the two. That said, IMHO Lowrance screens tend to have better displays – but they cost more, too, giving Humminbird a leg up when it comes to the cost comparison.
In either case, I think anglers will be darn happy to be able to see off to the sides of their boat–it’s a pretty cool advantage, and at times, can lead to spectacular catches. With both systems, the best feature (again, IMHO) is the ability to place the cursor on structure you see off to the side, then change over to the chartplotter screen, and navigate directly to it.
So, which one should you get? If you already have an HDS unit on your boat, the obvious choice is also the right one. But if you want a lower cost alternative and you don’t have an HDS already on the dash, it makes sense to consider the Humminbird. (A quick cost comparison: for the HDS 8 you’ll spend around $1,700, plus $600 for the LSS1 side scanner. The 8-inch Humminbird 998c SI goes for about $2,000 total, saving around $300. But the HDS 8 has 600 x 800 pixels, while the 998c SI has 480 x 800 pixels.) Either way, I’d bet my last bunker you’ll be psyched after mounting either one of these side scanners on your boat.