General > Frequently Asked Questions

What settings should I use to get the best Side Imaging results?


The question comes up quite often, "What settings should I use to get the best Side Imaging results?"

Well, here goes!

If you are fishing, make sure you spend plenty time on the water with the unit before you go out and try to use it to fish with. You will be spending more time looking at the sonar and trying to understand what you are seeing instead of putting a line in the water! Go scan an area you think you want to fish and see what you find. Make sure you record when you are scanning so you can come home and play the recording back on the unit. Dont worry about playing back on the PC yet. Get used to the menus and features. Playing it back on the Unit you can also make some snapshots and post them here for all of us to see and critique! 

You will get the best images by keeping the boat on a straight path. You should stay between 3-5 miles per hour and have your chart speed set to 3-6 (will vary with speed).  Rule of thumb, match chart speed to boat speed. ie. 2 mph then chart speed set to 2.

SI Range -Unless you are needing to scan large areas, keep the SI Range to around 3 to 4 times the depth. You will get better images this way and if you are using the 800khz, it should really be around 2.5 times the depth.

Switchfire - Clear  (less than 10')  Max - (In Deeper Water)

SI Sensitivity - Up 1 or 2 notches from default  (Will very accoring to bottom hardness)

Contrast - 10  (anywhere from 9-11 looks good)

Sharp - Off or Low  (really gets grainy above low)

Down Imaging Width: Narrow for more detail under the boat and in the water column.
                                   Wide for more detail out to the sides and on the bottom.

Turn 83khz off for faster processing and recording.

You will also want to mess around with your readouts on the display and see what you like where!

Keep recordings to around 30-45 minutes (or less) so the file size doesn't get too big. They will be easier to work with. It is recommended you get the SanDisk Extreme III SD cards. They have a fast read/write speed and helps on performance.

Make a few recordings and play them back.  You can pause them and adjust the settings to see what looks best for the next time out.  This is a great training tool for learning the settings and understand how each one affects the SI image.

There is alot more to think about, but I think these are the major ones for now!

Good Luck,


Very informative article and good advice.


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