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What Kind Of Unit Do I Need?

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I fish a 800 acre lake out if an 15' Aluminum boat. I have a cheap lowrance eagle on it now, but it's time for an upgrade.

I was looking at a Lowrance elite 5x HDI, devalues I want I see bottom composition and I want the detail of DSI.

A friend of mine told me not to bother with DSI, but invest in Side imaging, but I just don't have the money.

My question is: do I need sonar and DSI, or will simple DSI work? Does anyone know we're to get a good deal on a 5x HDI unit? What is the picture quality on a 4x unit???


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The size of the body of water or the boat makes no difference.


Down Scan will have about the same bottom coverage width as 2D sonar. 

While Down Scan will help interpret what the 2D sonar shows, the wider coverage of either Structure Scan or Side Imaging is a LOT better.


IMHO, a DSI unit is a good search tool, but about worthless as a fishing tool. It would make a good companion for your Eagle though.


You can get the combo coverage with either a Lowrance HDI unit or a Humminbird DI unit.

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Last spring I acquired a Raymarine Dragonfly. We mounted this on my buddy's boat, a fellow I fish with

regularly on the Tennessee River. Pickwick has a wide variety of cover and structure which makes this

a perfect place to put this bad boy to the test.


My friend, Rick Caldwell is a commercial contractor with a degree in Engineering. Early in his career Rick

worked for the Tennessee River Valley Authority during the initial construction of a nuclear facility and

later NASA. The NASA facility was designed for testing booster rockets during the Apollo era. I thought

a review from a "rocket scientist" might be of particular interest! So, here ya go:



I have used the Dragonfly for several months now. The Dragonfly is very user friendly and extremely easy to use. The menus are simple and setting up the basics was very easy and straight forward. The joy stick allows easy movement of the cursor and zooming in and out is made simply by the turn of a rotary knob. The unit came with Navionics Gold Charts which provides all the detail needed. The Dragonfly’s dual “Chirp” technology and extremely clear screen (even in bright sunlight) make it invaluable in finding structure and fish. The downscan is second to none for clarity and detail, while the fish finder is equally as good.


I use my unit in conjunction with a Humminbird 598 HD SI. I generally use double screen downscan and the fish finder on the Dragonfly due the superior quality of it’s very high quality high def screen while simultaneously using the sidescan and navigation chart on the Humminbird. The combination of these two units provides as much, or more information as the larger units that cost three times as much as the total of these two units. Although the sidescan on the Hummingbird is nice at times, I find myself depending more on the downscan of the Dragonfly. The sidescan on the Humminbird is nice to initially find objects on either side of the boat then to turn the boat and pass over the object to allow the Dragonfly’s great picture like downscan to determine what the object is and if there are actually fish suspended around it. However, if I had to give up either unit, I would keep the Dragonfly. Thank You Raymarine for an outstanding product at a very reasonable price.


If I had any constructive criticism about the Dragonfly it would be about the mounting bracket. It is difficult to

remove and replace the unit in the bracket. This would be important to those that want to remove their unit from

their boat on a regular basis. Personally this does not bother me as I leave the unit on my boat permanently.


Bottom Line, Yes, I would recommend this to a friend. Dollar for dollar I believe the Raymarine Dragonfly

to be the best value out there in fish finders. It will remain a permanent fixture on my boat.


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