Lowrance has been producing countless quality fish finder for decades. That’s why we decided to make a list of some of the best Lowrance fish finders. Each of our selected fish finders performs well in contrast to their price tag.
If you prefer more mid-range options then here are a few best fish finders under 500. Don’t worry, one of Lowrance fish finders made that list too. We also have a budget list of fish finders under 300 dollars.
What I liked about the Lowrance fish finder is their consistency in quality and performance. Whatever function they offer, almost all of them work flawlessly. Before you take a pick of your best Lowrance fish finder, see if you need any necessary accessories or not.Best Lowrance fish finder Lowrance Hook2 7- 7-inch fish Fish Finder with SplitShot
Our premium choice Lowrance HDS-12 Gen 3
Our budget choice Lowrance Hook-3x DSI Fish Finder
Best Pick: Best Lowrance Fish Finder
1. Lowrance Hook2 7- 7-inch fish Fish Finder with SplitShot
Overview: The Lowrance Hook2 7 SplitShot fish finder is similar to the hook2-5 fishfinder with the exception of a large display, better map features, and superior 2D sonar performance. This particular Hook2-7 SplitShot and Navionics is an upgrade of the hook2-7. Yes, the Navionics addition has made it better than its predecessor.
Sonar & Transducer: You’ll get SplitShot 2S CHIRP sonar and DownScan Sonar with the Lowrance hook2-7 SplitShot Sonar. If you’re thinking to pair up a TripleShot transducer, then it won’t happen. Because the hook2-7 SplitShot doesn’t feature a built-in SideScan technology.
The given transducer unit has a long 20 ft cable and an 8-pin connector. It also has a metal mount for in-hull or on a troll motor mounting. The CHIRP sonar modulation on 2D (180-210 kHz approx.) offers better target separation than a single sonar pulse. Unlike its predecessor, the HOOK-7, this latest fish finder has only HIGH-WIDE 200 kHz traditional sonar capacity.
You won’t get any CHIRP DownScan but the Overlay DownScan feature enables both 2D Sonar and DownScan to work together. So that 2D sonar will detect fish arches better in contrast to the structures detected by DownScan.
Lowrance Hook2-7 fish finder shoots a single comical beam for traditional 2D and a fan-shaped beam for DownScan from its split-shot transducer. The 2D cone is 40° wide at 200 kHz. But the DownScan can perform an even wider beam at 455 kHz. But the depth, however, limits at 300 ft whereas for the 2D sonar, its 500 ft.
A few noteworthy sonar features-
- Sonar Autotuning
- Circular flasher (Excellent for vertical and ice fishing)
- Temperature Graph
- Fish ID
- Depth alarm
- Fish alarm
GPS & Navigation: The Hook2-7 features a high precision GPS that is compatible with EGNOS, MSAS, and WAAS satellites. Youll be able to see your boat speed, location coordination without any jitters or jumping.
However, the main attraction is the US Inland charts. You will have a detailed 3000 maps of US lakes with 1’ contours. Although it lacks details, these maps separate the land from the water body pretty accurately. But if your taste is in more details then the unit can integrate with C-map and Navionics.
Other noteworthy features are-
- Route & waypoint making
- Trail recording
- Can record up to 100 routes, and 3000 waypoints
- 100 trails with 10000 points per trail
The main Unit: Once you unbox the Lowrance Hook2-7 fish finder, that beautiful SolarMax 7-inch diagonal display will catch your eye. Its crisp 800HX480V adjustable LED-backlit display will be great for daytime with a good viewing angle.
The unit is IPX7 certified waterproof. Enough to withstand rain and occasional splashes. It can also survive up to 1 meter of submersion as well.
Mount & Storage: You can use a flush mount but the unit comes with an included swivel mount.
As for storage, you will be getting as microSD card slot for any data sharing and chart upgrades. By the way, there’s no ethernet or NMEA connectivity.
Our thoughts: I would say its an all-rounder choice. This fish finder can operate in all seasons. You can even troll with this thing. Just keep your pace below 20 MPH for better data extraction. So if you have the budget, go for it. The Lowrance Hook2-7 fish finder won’t disappoint.
2. Lowrance HDS-7 Live Fish Finder (without transducer)
Overview: If you’re looking for a premium Lowrance fish finder, the HDS-7 live fish finder could be the fish finder for you. Released in 2019 with the latest Chartplotter and Lowrance Sonar technology, it makes it a top model unit price range. Features like Active Imaging 3-in 1, LiveSight sonar, C-map Basemap, and StructureScan are worthy of your investment for sure.
Sonar & Transducer: First of all, the fish finder unit doesn’t come with any transducer. You can buy or use your old transducer. For better performance, invest Ina transducer that supports 3-in 1 Active Imaging sonar feature.
As for sonar, the unit is compatible with all types of Lowrance Sonar so far. Take the Active Imaging 3-in 1 for example. It operates by turning on side imaging, DownScan, and Chirp 2S scan together. For better perception of what’s going on underwater, the LiveSight sonar features show your lure, fish, and objects in real-time.
You’ll enjoy versatile sonar frequencies like 50/83/200/455/800 kHz depending on the type of transducer you’ll use. The depth capability of the unit will also rely on transducer quality. If you use a 3-in 1 Active Imaging compatible transducer, then you’ll enjoy a scan range up to 1000 ft with the traditional 2D Chirp. And the DownScan will go as deep as 300 ft.
Other noteworthy sonar features are-
- Circular Flasher (Best ice fishing and vertical fishing feature)
- Depth Alarm
- Fish Alarm
- Bottom Lock
- Fish ID
- Temperature Graph
- Sonar data recording
GPS & Navigation: If you want more details than inland Basemap system, then the Lowrance HDS-7 live fish finder will not disappoint. Featuring C-MAP US ENHANCED Basemap that offers inland coverage with 1′ contours for nearly 4000 US lakes. You will also enjoy additional coastal coverage of Alaska and Hawaii.
List of compatible charts-
- C-map insight pro
- C-map Lake Insight HD
- C-Map Max-N+
- Navionics Gold
- Navionics Platinum+
Lowrance has included Genesis Live in their all released fish finder unit for 2019. This feature uses the 2D sonar readings and GPS data to detect and draw the depth contour of your preferred water bodies. It can generate a private Chart with ½’ contours.
The Genesis Love feature also acts as a failsafe if the included charts lack any certain details.
Other key features are-
- StructureMap ( It lets you overlay sSideScan sonar recording into the map for better underwater perception to help you decide a vantage spot)
- SmartSteer ( An autopilot feature that is compatible with MotorGuide Xi3/Xi3 trolling motors
- 10 Hz 16- channel internal GPS
- WAAS, MSAS, and EGNOS supported
- Boatspeed calculation
- 100 trails ( With 10000 points per trail)
- 100 routes
- Can record up to 3000 waypoints
Unit Display: The 7-inch LED-backlit SolarMax display is like a crown jewel for the Lowrance HDS-7 Live fish finder. You can see even the smallest detail in this 1024Hx480V resolution screen.
The sharp 80° viewing angle is also easier to operate with its multi-touch feature. Simply yet highly customizable user interface can also be operated with a keyboard or a tab. Forget triple screen, the Lowrance HDS-7 offers 4-panel split-screen viewing simultaneously.
Hardware Showdown: The unit has a dual-core processor and an internal 8.0 GB storage to operate all the features smoothly.
Networking & Connectivity: You will be able to use NMEA 2000. Because it has a micro-C and ethernet port. And the presence of WIFI and Bluetooth allows you to operate the HDS-7 live fish finder wirelessly. Just download the LinkApp in your smart device and enjoy it.
Our thoughts: Apart from the absence of a transducer, the Lowrance HDS-7 live fish finder covers all the basics and latest features an angler could want. A perfect choice for those who want the best fish finder for a boat.
3. Lowrance HDS-12 Gen 3 Without Transducer
Overview: When it comes to owning a top-notch fish finder unit, you need to invest a lot of cash. The bright side is, you’ll be spending on a unit that’ll last you a lifetime. And also the precision performance that comes with it. Introducing the Lowrance HDS-12 GEN 3 fish finder. A perfect arsenal to fill your storage bucket with a countless catch.
A high definition system with a multitouch LED-backlit display featuring leading-edge hardware and software superiority. Let’s see if this fish finder worth a hefty investment.
Sonar: The sonar performance is excellent. An advanced target resolution and active noise reduction feature make each target clearer. The frequency of this sonar will depend on the type of transducer you’ll use. But with Chirp tech onboard, expect multiple frequencies from a single transducer.
The standard 2D Chirp will do 83/200 kHz but when using the structurescan feature, the frequency of operation will be 455/800 kHz. And the 180° view of this feature allows you to cover more areas in each sonar pulse. The max depth of this unit range somewhere at 750 ft.
GPS & Map services: The Lowrance HDS-12 GEN 3 comes with preloaded maps and insight US charts. No matter where you live, this fish finder will back you up at every traditional fishing spot mostly in the coastal areas. The chart can be upgraded too. And don’t forget about the powerful 10Hz GPS. It’ll coordinate your position and lets you mark 200 routes with 5000 waypoints.
Overlay feature will help you fish from a vantage point. You can merge our 2D location data with the logs from StructureScan to enable overlay feature. And if there’s no map available where you at, then use Genesis to make your own custom map. With your preferred fishing spots and hotspots.
You can purchase additional map services if you need them. The Lowrance HDS-12 GEN 3 is compatible with Navionics and C-MAX MAP-N+.
Display: I just love watching this massive 12-inch LCD display. Thhr LED-backlit is adjustable. So you can have a comfortable view at night and under direct sunlight. And it’s so easy to navigate around the entire user interface. Because it’s multitouch. If you’re a first-time fish finder user, don’t start using touch screen fish finder. Because you won’t be able to adapt back to the manual button featured fish finder, like ever.
Network & Storage: Why WiFi is important in a fish finder unit? Because it lets you interact with its user interface without physically operating the fish finder. Just. GoFree app.2 and you’ll be able to share your data with other users.
The dual microSD card slot lets you store maps and other information.
Other noteworthy attributes:
- Quick-release mounting bracket with additional stand
- Lowrance SmartSteer technology
- IPX7 waterproofing
- Advanced signal processing
Our thoughts: The price tag is really a downer. I urge Lowrance to slash a discount in the season. But if the budget is the least of your concern than the performance, you can just buy the Lowrance HDS-12 GEN 3 fish finder with a blindfold.
4. Lowrance Elite-5x CHIRP Fish Finder
Overview: The Lowrance Elite-5x has a lot of similarities to it’s latest 7x model. Apart from the missing NMEA 2000 connectivity and a smaller display, the Elite-5x makes up it’s lacking in the pricing section. With the presence of CHIRP tech and the absence of navigational features, this fish finder sure has a place in the fishing game.
Sonar & Transducer: The good news is, the unit comes with the same transducer as the 7x model. It can incorporate both traditional CHIRP and DownScan features. This transducer can scan medium and high CHIRP. That means 83/200 kHz @ 60°/20° bandwidths. If you want low CHIRP than you’ll need to purchase a 50/200 kHz transducer. Which will, of course, cost you double.
The dual-frequency DownScan transducer can operate at 455/800 kHz. Unlike 2D, the DownScan shoots a fan like a beam not a comic. The included transducer houses a temperature sensor to detect water temperature.
The unit: Despite having a 5-inch display, it is a widescreen type. The sharpness is decent with the 480×480 resolution. For safety, you’ll get an IPX7 waterproofing to withstand occasional water splashes and rain. Beware, do not submerge the unit into the water, especially saltwater.
You’ll get a title mount right out of the box.
Our thoughts: Look, it’s not over 400 dollars worth. So not so cheap after all. Lowrance solely focused on the sonar technologies in the Elite-5x. So if the Sonar performance matters the most, you can grab this device. Although the absence of navigational abilities, the unit does a great job to detect fish and covers larger underwater areas providing accurate perception and details.
5. Lowrance Hook-3x DSI Fish Finder
Overview: The Lowrance Hook-3x model was released a couple of years back. The fish finder is also known as the affordable option. It’s among one of the best fish finders for beginners. You’ll only get DownScan with this simple yet relevant fish finder unit. There’s also no navigational feature either. Now the fact remains, why should you buy it? Let’s find out the answer below.
Sonar & Transducer: The upside of this unit that right out of the box you’ll get a DSI transducer. Its task is simple, only operate DownScan and at two specific frequencies, 455/800 kHz. Unlike the traditional 2D conical sonar beam, it uses a fan-shaped beam.
If you use this device wisely, you can get a nice perception of the underwater world. The 455 kHz can scan wider than 800 kHz. So when you need to cover deeper water, use only 455 kHz mode. And for more details in the shallows, switch into the 800 kHz frequency.
You already found out that a fish finder is a DownScan unit only. So don’t expect a massive depth scanning. The maximum depth of this unit is 300 ft. So when you’re hovering over freshwater, that’s adequate. But not so much for saltwater. But still, if you stick close to the shore, this unit can operate with its full potential.
The problem with only the DownScan unit that it won’t be able to show fish as arches. Rather as a bright dot. But you can detect the bottom contour clearly with this fish finder. Surprisingly, the unit can be used for trolling. I mean the transducer sends decent feedbacks even at a speed of 55 MPH. But for accurate and noise-free details, the recommended speed is 1-6 MPH.
The main unit: The unit itself isn’t much to talk about. The small 3.5-inch screen is operational and clear enough to understand bottom contours. However, level 11 LED-backlit works great under direct sunlight. It also features IPX7 waterproofing. That means no worries for occasional splashes and raindrops. But keep it away from any saltwater contact.
You’ll get a temperature sensor with the transducer. And the cable it comes with is long enough, 20 ft. For mounting, you’ll get a tilt/swivel mounting bracket right out of the box.
Our thoughts: Yes there are a few limitations in the Lowrance HOOK-3X DSI fish finder. But whatever it does, like DownScan, it does it with perfection. If you love kayaking or angling from a small boat, this fish finder will be enough for you. Limitations like no navigational feature, 2D CHIRP Sonar, microSD card, NMEA connectivity, and dual-frequency are there. Also not ideal for depth finding. But the bottom line is, if you only surf in shallow water, and like to see what’s underneath the water and detect some occasional red dots, this unit is perfect for you.
6. HOOK2 5 – 5-inch Fish Finder with SplitShot Transducer
Overview: The Hook2-5 SplitShot is a year old fish finder. But in truth, the unit is an upgrade of design and Sonar tech of the older Hook5 model. The updated unit also includes SplitShot transducer and Us Inland map services.
Sonar & transducer: This SplitShot Transducer operates at a wide-angle CHIRP (2D 200 kHz) and DownScan (455/800 kHz). You will only get to use CHIRP for a 2D scan only. The overlay feature helps merge DownScan data with the map. It helps you angle from a vantage point in contrast to underwater structures, brush piles, vegetations and other natural shapes like channel creek.
Unlike the Hook2 triple-shot, this fish finder doesn’t offer any SideScan. But there are plenty of features to cheer about like-
- Fish ID
- Ice Flasher
- BOTTOM Lock
- Temperature readings
- Sonar recordings
- Circular Flasher
- Multiple notification alarms
Navigation: A typical GPS function with the exception of US Inland charts. It will show 1-foot contours for nearly 3000 lakes. I have to say the less detail map stats make up for its accurate land and water separation. The Hook2-5 SplitShot can incorporate services like C-Map Genesis, Navionics and others. You will have some extra info like tide info and contour shading. A few noteworthy features are-
- Internal GPS (High-precision)
- MSAS/ WAAS & EGNOS satellite compatibility
- Top speed calculation with coordinates (latitude & longitude)
- 3,000 waypoints saving
- 100 routes (Create and customize)
- 100 track recording with 10000 plots/track
The unit: The Hook2-5 SplitShot has a 5″ TFT led backlit diagonal display. The details and sharpness quality is praiseworthy. The 800H×480V pixel matrix is sharp enough to show even the smallest of details. And of course, Under direct sunlight with a Top-70°/Bottom- 50°/Left- 70°/Right- 70° viewing angles, it is a pleasure to look at.
TheIPx7 waterproofing keeps your investment safe under 1 meter of water.
Networking & mount: The Hook2-5 SplitShot has no networking capacity. It also has no NMEA nor with an Ethernet port. But there is a microSD card slot.
You can mount the Hook2 SplitShot with a trolling motor. But there will be an included transom mount right out of the box.
Our thoughts: Despite lacking sidescan feature, a unit is a good option as value for money. Some might label this as the best fish finder for beginners. But if you know how to use it properly, it can cover your fish finding needs entirely.
How to choose a fish finder
These following tips will aid you to choose the best fish finder. You’ll find these particularly helpful if you’re looking to buy your first fish finder. In terms of a variety of hardware and software features, it can get confusing to choose a fish finder.
We just made a sort of buying guide to identify what to look for in an ideal fish finder. Let’s find out our tips below.
1. Transducer: This device operates by sending and receiving sonar waves. Once a wave gets released underwater, it deflects back from objects, vegetations, and fish. The transducer received that incoming wave and sends the data to the central unit for processing. Then you get to see the entire scenario via the numeric graph on the screen.
Transducer comes with different types of mounts. The easiest to install is the transom and tilt/swivel mount. For the bigger boat, you’ll have a thru-hull mount.
2. Screen: A sharp and well-lit viewing angle display is very important for a fish finder. Most of the best Lowrance fish finder has an excellent display. So it’s important to consider the nits and resolution before you buy a fish finder unit. Otherwise, it will be hard to read sonar feedbacks and determine fish from debris.
Size is also important. Anything below 5 inches will be hard to read. And don’t forget about using multiple screens. Without a bigger display, you won’t be able to read information from a double or triple split-screen.
3. GPS: It’s nice to have GPS onboard with a fish finder unit. And don’t forget about Chartplotter and other GPS navigational services. Yes, it might cost a few extra bucks but in return, you will see your preferred waypoints and mark it.
4. DownScan and SideScan: You can detect fish from obstacles like boulders, tree trunks, and brush piles with DownScan. Sidescan, however, detects fish at blind spots like channel creek or an obstacle overshadowing the DownScan beam. You should buy a fish finder with both features available. This will increase your fish detection rate, especially when using both features in a split-screen view.
5. Power: The power output of a fish finder unit is very important. Higher wattage means faster and deeper sonar reading capacity fish finder. And of course, the lower-powered devices will be slower but good enough to scan the shallows. The lower power of a fish finder means the return wave from the transducer gets converted into actual grapH slowly.
You can save a few bucks here. If you only prefer to angle in the shallows then opt for a lower powered fish finder. They cost much less than those powerful high-frequency fish finding sonar units.
- A mere 100 watts power at 50 kHz frequency can have a depth reading up to 400 ft.
- If you crank up the frequency at 200 kHz then the depth reading suffers significantly at 100 ft only. But, the attention to detail is much superior to the 50 kHz.
Frequently Asked Questions
Autotuning sonar imaging was basically introduced to make the sonar display and imaging with less noise. This feature will adjust your transducer frequency settings automatically for the best possible underwater view. All the Lowrance HOOK2 models have this feature.
The Structure Map overlay lets you see your sidescan into the map page. You just need to enable the feature from the option. The feature helps you to pick a good spot to drop your tackle in contrast to obstacles like underwater structures, wrecks, vegetations or the other side of the channel creek.
Of course, it still rocks. This typical transducer still works well with the HDS series. You can use the latest bullet skimmer, transducer, SplitShot, charting and TripleShot HDI. Its easier to use the Hook2 with WSBL but it won’t work with other fish finder displays. And also, you won’t get the WSBL transducer right out of the box with the Hook2.
Finally, choosing the best Lowrance fish finder won’t be enough if you don’t know how to use it. To solve that we’ll be posting how to read a Lowrance fish finder shortly. Remember that detail is important than higher depth readings. And make sure your chosen fish finder has dual-frequency fucntion for a better perception of the fish arches.
That’s it for today folks. I hope you have found your next Lowrance fish finder and a few questioned answered. I strongly believe a first-timer fish finder user will find this article very helpful. Until next time,
Let the beam sweep through the water, and begin the game of Hide and Seek.