Is Lowrance Ghost 360 Worth It? (3 Things You Need To Know)
UPDATED 17 MAY 2023
by Robert Ceran
Until recently, Humminbird’s MEGA 360 sonar was the only 360 imaging option available. But in January 2022 Lowrance released Ghost 360, so you can now get 360 imaging from Lowrance as well.
This raises a lot of questions for anglers interested in Ghost 360, including how it works, how well it measures up to Humminbird MEGA 360, and ultimately if Ghost 360 is worth getting for your boat.
In this article we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about Ghost 360 imaging, to help you decide if it’s worth it for you or not.
Is Lowrance Ghost 360 worth it or not?
Lowrance Ghost 360 is absolutely worth it if you already have most of the required hardware components, including a Ghost trolling motor, an Active Imaging 3 in 1 Nosecone transducer, and a compatible display unit (either HDS Live, HDS Carbon, or Elite FS).
If you already have all of these components, then adding Ghost 360 won’t cost you anything, as it comes as a free software update that can be downloaded from the Lowrance website.
And even if you don’t have the Active Imaging 3 in 1 Nosecone transducer (since the Ghost trolling motor normally comes with an HDI Nosecone transducer), buying an Active Imaging 3 in 1 Nosecone will only set you back about $350, which still makes it worth the investment in order to get Ghost 360 imaging.
However, if you don’t have a Ghost trolling motor or a compatible Lowrance head unit, it’s not really worth getting these just in order to get Ghost 360 imaging, since Humminbird still provides a better 360 imaging solution with its MEGA 360 sonar.
Does Lowrance have 360 imaging?
Lowrance added 360 imaging to its lineup of sonar technologies in January 2022, with the release of Ghost 360, which uses the Ghost trolling motor to rotate a SideScan transducer 360 degrees in all directions in order to create a 360 image on your fish finder display.
What is Ghost 360?
Ghost 360 is a software update for the Ghost trolling motor that controls the autopilot functionality of the Ghost trolling motor.
It works by using the Ghost trolling motor to rotate a side imaging transducer to create a 360 degree sonar image in all directions.
The ingenuity of Ghost 360 stems from the fact that it simply consists of a software update that allows pre-existing Lowrance hardware components to be co-opted for 360 imaging.
What are the pros and cons of Ghost 360?
Let’s take a quick look at the advantages and disadvantages of Ghost 360:
- Ghost 360 gives you access to 360 imaging on a boat with 100% Lowrance electronics
- Ghost 360 is free if you already have all hardware components
- Ghost 360 is easy to set up and use
- Ghost 360 can’t be used at the same time as the Ghost trolling motor
- Ghost 360 is only really useful when using shallow water anchors or when drift fishing
In other words, Ghost 360 is a good choice if you’re currently running Lowrance electronics on your boat, and don’t want to add a Humminbird unit just for 360 imaging.
But the problem with Ghost 360 is that you can’t use your trolling motor for spot lock or for boat control while you’re using Ghost 360.
So if you have shallow water anchors such as Raptor or Talon, then Ghost 360 is great whenever you’re using those to anchor your boat.
However, in any situation where you need to use your trolling motor to stay on top of structure, when fishing in a current, or when you need accurate boat control, then Ghost 360 is not a good option, as you can only use it when you stop using the trolling motor.
Lowrance have tried to address this issue by allowing you to use the foot pedal control of the Ghost trolling motor to switch quickly back and forth between using the trolling motor or Ghost 360, but the fact remains that you can’t use both at the same time.
If you’re debating which 360 imaging option is best for your boat, check out our article on how good is Humminbird 360 imaging?
What all do you need for Ghost 360 imaging?
In order to run Ghost 360 on your boat, you’ll need the following components:
- Ghost Trolling motor
- Active Imaging 3 in 1 Nose Cone transducer
- Compatible display unit (HDS Live, HDS Carbon, or Elite FS)
- Ghost 360 software update for your Ghost trolling motor
While the first three required components are hardware, the third is a software update that you can download for free from Lowrance, which we’ll cover in more detail below. The Ghost 360 software is compatible with NAC-2 and NAC-3 autopilots.
Lowrance Ghost 360 software update
In order to use Ghost 360, you need to update your Ghost trolling motor to software version 1.2 or later. The easiest way to do this is with the Lowrance mobile app, after pairing your mobile device with your Ghost trolling motor.
You can also do this by downloading the Ghost software from Lowrance, placing it on an SD card, and uploading it to a compatible display unit. When you open the SD card on your screen, it will give you the option to upgrade your Ghost trolling motor software from the SD card.
What transducer do you need for Ghost 360?
You need the Active Imaging 3 in 1 nosecone transducer for Ghost 360 imaging. The reason for this is the the 3 in 1 nosecone transducer comes with SideScan sonar, which is used by the Ghost trolling motor to systematically scan the bottom in all directions.
Does Ghost 360 work with the built-in transducer of the Ghost trolling motor?
No, you can’t use the HDI nosecone transducer of the Ghost trolling motor for Ghost 360 imaging.
This is because the HDI nosecone transducer comes with 2D sonar and DownScan sonar, but doesn’t have SideScan sonar, which is essential for Ghost 360 imaging.
What Lowrance units are compatible with Ghost 360?
Lowrance HDS Live, HDS Carbon, and Elite FS units are compatible with Ghost 360 imaging.
But if you have any of these units, keep in mind that you need to update them to software version 22.1 or later in order to use them with Ghost 360.
If you want to go with a Humminbird 360 setup instead, check out our article on what Humminbird units work with 360 imaging?
Lowrance Ghost 360 vs Humminbird 360
The main difference between Lowrance Ghost 360 and Humminbird 360 is that Ghost 360 requires a Ghost trolling motor to rotate its transducer, while Humminbird 360 comes with a transducer able to rotate on its own (with technology patented by Humminbird).
As a result of this difference, Humminbird 360 imaging can be used at the same time as using a trolling motor for spot lock or boat control, while Ghost 360 can only be used when the trolling motor is not being used for boat navigation.
Since most anglers like to use 360 imaging while their trolling motor keeps them on spot lock over offshore structure, this is a major weakness of Ghost 360, and hence Humminbird 360 remains the superior technology for 360 imaging.