Transducers have become incredibly sophisicated over the past few years. Lets take a dive into what is currently available and show you which are the most popular for 2019.
A few new technologies have emerged over the last few years. The first is CHIRP, which stands for Compressed High Intensity Radar Pulse. With CHIRP an transducer will basically send out a blast of frequencies withing a certain range to give the sonar a much better look at what is real and what is clutter. It results in a better sonar image. Next is Side Imaging which is technology that looks to both sides of the boat and paints a historical view of what the boat just passed over in a 3D format. Finally, Live sonar has recently come into play. Live sonar does not show a historical view, instead ot shows a Live view of what is under the boat right now.
If you are cruising, none of these technologies will really matter to you. Your focus should be to find a transducer that will hold bottom well at your cruising speed. If you are fishing then you really should pay attention to all of these features and figure out what features are most important to how you fish. We have sales folk and techs standing by to answer any of your questions to help you figure out what will serve your needs the best.
Below we'll try to break down the most popular marine transducers along with what type of fishing they are most suitable for.
Shallow water bass fishing - We recommend one of the all-in-one transducers from Garmin, Simrad, Raymarine and Lowrance for shallow water fishing. You will benefit greatly from having Side Imaging paired with a good CHIRP sonar. Some popular options are the Garmin GT52HW, Garmin GT54UHD, Simrad 3 in 1, Lowrance Totalscan or Lowrance 3 in 1, and Raymarine RV-100.
Bottom Fishing - If you prefer bottom fishing you'll likely want a narrow cone angle on high frequency. The narrow cone angle will help you pick apart targets on the bottom. This holds true at all depths. Some of the most popular bottom fishing transducers are the Airmar B75H, Airmar B175H, Garmin GT51, Simrad TM150, and Lowrance 3 in 1. The Airmar transducers are compatible with all brands like Garmin, Lowrance, Simrad, Raymarine, and Furuno.
Trolling or Chunking - Offshore fishing or drifting your thing? You'll want to get a powerful transducer that is powerful enough to hold bottom. Some popular options include the 600W Airmar B75M, or 1kW B175High Wide. The high frequency will help you get the best target resolution, and the wide cone angle will show you the most area under the boat. You might also consider the B275HW from Airmar or the RV-200 RealVision from Raymarine. The transom mounted TM275HW is also a good option.