Lowrance Hook Review: Which is the best for you? (2022 Guide)

Lance Wilkins
Lance Wilkins
Editor @ CallOutdoors. Outdoor gear-head and adventure addict. I fish, camp and enjoy to writing about my adventures.

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Lowrance Hook Series

A versatile fishfinder series great for different applications.

Finding fish on big lakes, rivers, or in the sea can be a challenge for any angler.

The fish have such a large space to roam around in and there is only so much an angler can do to find them through reading the surface conditions like wind direction, current, and water clarity.

Luckily for us fishermen, fish finders provide a means to know what’s happening beneath the water’s surface, and the Lowrance Hook Series of fish finders are made for every situation.

There’s a Hook fish finder for ice fishing, kayaks, small and large boats that’ll not only show you what fish are beneath your vessel with its sonar but they also come with charts and GPS.

You’ll always know where you are, where you’re going, and you can use the chart’s contours to find new fishing spots and mark them with the GPS so you can find them again later.

Things To Consider Before Buying A Lowrance Hook Series Fish Finder

Lowrance Hook2 Series
Lowrance Hook2 Series

Does the Lowrance Hook2 come with GPS?

Yes, with every Lowrance Hook model (except the Hook 3x) you get an accurate GPS that lets you mark waypoints, plot routes, see your tracks, and tells you your boat speed too.

Does the Lowrance Hook2 come with charts?

Yes, every Lowrance Hook Series model bar the Hook 3x comes with a preloaded basemap. Models outside of the Hook X series have the option to add Navionics, Lake Insight, and C-Map charts.

The pre-loaded basemap is enough for using the GPS effectively and navigating waters but if you want to see the bottom contours, you’ll need to add one of the chart options above to the fish finders.

Does the Lowrance Hook2 come with side scan?

Not every Lowrance Hook model comes with side scan, but most of them do, including the Lowrance Hook 5, Lowrance Hook 7, and Lowrance Hook 9.

Does the Lowrance Hook2 include a transducer?

Yes, every Lowrance hook model can come with an included transducer and you can choose between a downscan, splitshot transducer, a tripleshot transducer, or no transducer at all if you already have a compatible one at home.

Are the Lowrance Hook2 fish finders waterproof?

Lowrance Hook2 5x Model
Lowrance Hook2 5x Model

Yes, every screen display and transducer in the Lowrance Hook series is waterproof to a rating of IPX7.

This means it can be submerged for 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter. So even if you capsize your kayak, your Lowrance Hook fish finder will be fine.

Why buy a Lowrance Hook2 fish finder?

A Lowrance Hook fish finder gives you all the information you need about the area you’re angling in.

You’ll be able to see the charts of your area, navigate with the GPS, mark every fishing spot, and use the sonar features to see exactly what fish or structure are under or near your vessel.

Who should buy a Lowrance Hook2 fish finder?

Anyone who goes angling on a big body of water like the sea, large lakes, and rivers, on a vessel will find a model to meet their needs.

There’s a model for ice angling, lake angling, kayak fishing, and offshore angling no matter what vessel you’re putting it on.

If you’re looking for a fish finder that you can use from the shore, this is not it.

You can’t cast it out from the shore, and for that, you’ll want a castable fish finder.

Lowrance HOOK2 Fishfinders

A versatile fishfinder series great for different applications.

Lowrance HOOK2 Fishfinders

Lowrance Hook2 Series Overview

There is a Hook fish finder to suit everyone’s sounding needs. 

With the right Lowrance Hook, you can see exactly what’s under your boat, zoom in in detail with Sonar Downscan and see what’s on either side of your vessel with SideScan.

You can use it for ice angling and it has GPS and charts too. But, which model is the right one for you?

Lowrance Hook2 Models

The Hook2 models can be split into two, Hook2 ‘X’ models, Ice Machine, and Hook2 models.

The X models are a little more basic, and the Lowrance Hook 3x comes without GPS or charts, whereas the Lowrance 4x comes with GPS but no charts. Both are Lowrance Hook CHIRP sounders models for excellent images of what’s beneath your vessel.

X Models

The X models are great for kayaks, small boats, and anyone on a budget. They’re more affordable than the other Hook fish finders, and smaller to install on smaller vessels, requiring less hull space.

The Hook models are a bit more sophisticated and you have the choice of a Lowrance Hook 5, Lowrance Hook 7, and the Lowrance Hook 9.

The numbers dictate the screen size in inches, so the Hook 5 has a 5-inch screen, the 9 X 9-inch screen, and so on.

Lowrance Hook 5

The Lowrance Hook 5 models and up are perfect for any boat with onboard power.

They have GPS, charts, and all the sonar features you could want including CHIRP, DownScan, and Side Scan imaging.

You can also choose to purchase any of the above models as a Hook Ice Machine, allowing you to use it in winter when the lakes freeze up for a bit of ice angling too.

Pros

  • Bright easy to read 16-bit color screen
  • ASP (advanced signal processing) for clearer sonar images
  • Split-screen for multiple views
  • Easy to install
  • Accurate CHIRP for detailed images
  • Good sonar options including DownScan and SideScan
  • Accurate GPS for navigation and marking every fishing spot
  • Ability to add and use charts like Navionics and C-Map

Cons

  • A little complicated to learn how to use
  • The preloaded basemap has little detail
  • A screen cover isn’t included

Features & Benefits

What is the display like?

Lowrance Display
Lowrance Display

Every Hook unit features a 16-bit color screen that is easy to read in all conditions.

The screen features a white LED backlight with great contrast so you can see it with ease from any angle and even in direct sunlight.

Screen size

The size of the 16-bit screen varies depending on the model you choose and ranges from 3 to 12 inches.

Large 16-bit screen sizes are easier to see as the images are a lot larger, but the bigger the screen the more expensive the unit.

A good screen size is around 5 to 7 inches, but you can still see just as much detail on the smaller one but you might just have to look a bit harder.

Split Screen

All the Hook units have a split-screen feature so you can look at multiple bits of data at the same time, for example, CHIRP sonar and Downscan overlay simultaneously.

The smaller screens like 3 and 4 inches can only be split into 2 views but the 5-inch 16-bit screen and above can split into 4 screens, giving you all the information you want all on one display.

Sonar features and what they show you

CHIRP

Lowrance CHIRP
Lowrance CHIRP

Every unit comes with Compressed High Intensity- Pulse (CHIRP).

CHIRP is the best form of sonar as it gives you the most detailed image of the entire water column by using multiple sonar wave frequencies.

It works by sending out a range of low, medium, and high-frequency sonar waves.

The low-frequency waves hit the bottom while picking up some detail and the higher frequency waves don’t go as deep but pick up a lot of details.

Range

By using a range of frequencies simultaneously, it gives you accurate sonar images of every part of the water column down to 2500ft.

You’ll be able to see everything from fish, to debris, and bottom structure using it and it’s the best sonar feature to use while trolling around.

DownScan

The Sonar DownScan imaging feature on the fish finder allows you to view high-detail images of anything that is under your vessel.

DownScan Imaging uses similar technology to CHIRP but only sends out high-frequency waves in order to give you the most detail possible.

This means it doesn’t quite go as deep as CHIRP and is limited to 300ft as the high-frequency waves get absorbed by the water beyond 300ft.

TIP

DownScan is perfect for those moments when you have found something interesting like a ledge with CHIRP & Downscan is what you then need to look at the feature in detail to see if there are any fish on it worth catching.

SideScan

SideScan is similar to DownScan except it scans to the side of your vessel instead of below it. It works like CHIRP sonar and DownScan using multiple wave frequencies to give you a detailed image, but like DownScan only uses high-frequency sonar waves, increasing the detail but limiting the distance it can get images from.

Range

With SideScan sonar you’ll be able to see images of 150ft on each side of your vessel. It’s the perfect sonar feature for finding schools of baitfish or picking up large predators on either side of your vessel, that you can then target with your baits.

Fish Reveal & DownScan Overlay

Lowrance FishReveal
Lowrance FishReveal

Another handy feature that comes with the Lowrance Hook Series Fish Reveal version is FishReveal. Nearly each Lowrance Hook review I’ve read praises this feature.

FishReveal takes the CHIRP sonar and DownScan Imaging and creates a DownScan overlay on top of the CHIRP image.

This means you get to see the entire water column in detail, up to 2500ft with CHIRP, plus DownScan on top giving you extra detail of what’s in the first 300ft.

NOTE

The DownScan overlay is particularly useful as wherever you’re angling, the fish you’re after are usually in the first 300ft of the water column, and by seeing the extra details the DownScan overlay shows you, you never miss a fish, a shoal, or a ledge where fish like to hang out.

Transducers and what difference they make?

Like I mentioned above, you can opt to buy a unit with a transducer or without one if you already have a compatible one at home.

There are a few transducers to choose from if you plan on getting one with the unit, and the one you choose affects what sonar features are unlocked and the overall price of the unit.

Tripleshot

Lowrance TripleShot Sonar
Lowrance TripleShot Sonar

The tripleshot transducer is the most comprehensive t-ducer to go for as it opens up CHIRP, DownScan, and SideScan sonar features.

If you want to use the full sonar feature set, then the tripleshot is the way to go, the price does go up a bit.

Split Shot Transducer

The splitshot option opens up both CHIRP and DownScan features but doesn’t give you a SideScan option.

It’s a great option if you’re on a budget and want to save a few pennies on the price, but you’ll miss out on seeing what’s on either side of your vessel.

By having both DownScan and CHIRP you’ll also be able to use the DownScan overlay with FishReveal.

DownScan

The DownScan option is only available with the Hook 3x model and is perfect for kayaks and smaller boats as it’s incredibly small and won’t take up much space on a small hull.

You’ll only have the DownScan sonar feature though, and no CHIRP or SideScan but it’s likely that DownScan will be all you need as on a kayak you’ll only want to see the first 300ft in detail, as ventures to deeper waters are probably a little unsafe.

How accurate is the GPS and what does it help with?

The GPS on every Hook fish finder is accurate at pinpointing your location to 20 meters, ensuring you always know your position no matter where you are.

The GPS operates on 16 channels and has excellent network coverage.

When you turn the unit on it’ll take a few minutes for it to connect to the satellites in the area, and once connected, holds the connection well as you move around.

Trackback

Lowrance TrackBack
Lowrance TrackBack

The system lets you follow your tracks so you can see where you have fished so you can retrace your steps if they were successful or avoid them if there weren’t.

You can also plan routes with it by setting a ‘Go-To’ to a waypoint or area, and the GPS will calculate your time to destination baes on your speed and guide you there so you never get lost and are taking the most efficient route.

Speed Tracker

The GPS will also track your speed and display it for you on the screen.

This is incredibly handy as different species prefer different speeds.

For example, you might fish at 12 knots when targeting wahoo, 8 knots for marlin, and 6 knots for sailfish.

Without a GPS telling you how fast you’re going, it’s incredibly hard to work out what speed you’re at, and whether to go after or slower based on the species you’re trying to catch.

Waypoints

The best thing about a GPS is being able to mark waypoints and you can save up to 3000. This means that whenever you find a spot you want to save for later, like a place you’ve caught fish in or an area that is shallow and you should avoid, you can hit ‘Mark’ and that spot will be saved on the microSD card forever.

TIP

Once marked, you can edit the waypoint on the SD card by changing its name, symbol, or deleting it to free up space on the card.

What map options come with a Hook fish finder?

Lowrance C-MAP Genesis
Lowrance C-MAP Genesis

Every model that includes GPS comes with a preloaded basemap.

The basemap lacks a lot of detail with no bottom contours or other features but you can still use it with the GPS to mark waypoints and plan routes based on them.

Non-Hook Models

If you go for a non Hook X model, you have the choice of adding Navionics, C-Map, or Lake insight charts. These charts will show you all the details of your given area including harbors, buoys, launch ramps, and the bottom contours.

Once loaded up via the SD, you can use the GPS to mark areas, follow routes, and more.

How much data can you store on a Hook fish finder?

Every Hook version bar the 3x comes with an SD card slot where you can add a MicroSD card of up to 32GB.

All the data you collect will be saved on the MicroSD and the majority of it will be GPS data about routes, saved tracks, and waypoints.

RECOMMENDATION

I would highly recommend going for a 32GB MicroSD card as you’ll want to avoid having your data split over two cards so you can see a full picture of your history in the area you’re angling in.

A 32GB SD card is also more than enough memory to last for years.

I used a handheld GPS while offshore that only stores 500 waypoints, and over 5 years it never filled it up.

What Do Fishermen Think?

The best way to know if a Hook fish finder is a reliable choice is seeing what fishermen who already use one think.

I have trawled the internet looking at each Lowrance Hook review and everyone seems to like it. Here’s what I found.

Lowrance Hook Series Review
Lowrance Hook Series Review

Comparing the Hook to Others?

Now we know everything about what a Hook fish finder can do and what fishermen using them like them, is the competition doing it better?

Below I compare the Hook to other top sonar brands to see if the features and price are similar, better, or worse.

Raymarine Dragonfly Pro Series

Comes in at a similar price to the Hook and with similar sonar but few missing functions.

Raymarine Dragonfly Pro Series

The Dragonfly Pro Series comes in at a similar price to the Hook and with similar sonar but there are some differences that I have outlined below for you.

  • The Pro only hits 900ft deep whereas the Hook goes to 2500ft.
  • The Pro has no equivalent feature to SideScan
  • The Pro does have Downscan, but no DownScan overlay features like FishReveal
  • The Pro comes with Bluetooth so you can connect your phone to it and view the display on your phone and control the unit remotely.

Overall, the Pro has the advantage of Bluetooth connectivity but it doesn’t go as deep or have everything like the same sonar functions as the Hook and is missing SideScan and DownScan overlay.

Considering the similar price of the two units, I’d say the hook is better.

Garmin Striker Series

Has everything for a similar retail price to the Hook and has almost the same sonar features bar a few differences with the mapping options and connectivity.

Garmin Striker Series

The Garmin Striker Series has everything for a similar price to the Hook and has almost the same sonar features bar a few differences with the mapping options and connectivity. Here’s what’s different.

  • The Striker Series has Bluetooth for connecting to your phone and using the ActiveCaptain app for sharing sonar data with others
  • The Striker Series uses Garmin’s QuickDraw to map the areas you fish in.
  • The Striker Series has no DownScan overlay or FishReveal feature
  • You can not add charts like Navionics to the Striker Series

The one main advantage to the Striker Series is the self-mapping tool and access to the ActiveCaptain app for sharing and building greater maps of your area.

It’s missing a DownScan overlay feature and the ability to add charts though, which is rather limiting for offshore and large lakes.

You might prefer the Striker Series as opposed to the HOOK X models as at least you can create your own maps with a Striker rather than living with the poor basemap the Hook X comes with.

Humminbird Helix Series

Similar to the Hook but you’re getting fewer sonar features for a higher price

Humminbird Helix Series

The Helix Series is another sounder that is similar to the Hook but you’re getting fewer sonar features for a higher price and here’s how.

  • The Helix series only goes to 1500ft, whereas the hook can hit 2500ft.
  • The Helix has a SwitchFire feature that allows you to choose how much detail you see from the sounder, the Hook does not have an equivalent feature.
  • The Helix has no SideScan or DownScan overlay feature
  • The Helix series has a good basemap

The Helix Series is more expensive than the HOOK and has fewer features.

The only benefit it has is that the basemap it comes with is a lot better than the Hook’s, but if you plan on adding your own charts, you don’t need to use the basemap.

Are Hook FishFinders Worth It?

Overall, the Hook sounder series covers everything from small models for kayaks, ice units, and large models for sport fishers and offshore.

With the right model, you’ll have access to everything you need to know to find fish on any bit of water on the planet.

You can use the charts to provide a means to identify possible places where fish might lurk, the GPS to mark a good spot and navigate around, and the excellent sonar to see what is lurking under your vessel at all times.

There will be nowhere left for the fish to hide.

Feel Free To Share!

Thanks for reading my Lowrance Hook review, I hope you enjoyed it.

Please share it around with your fishing buddies and if you found it useful you might want to have a look at some of our other articles, we cover everything in angling, so if you’re looking for something new, you’ll find all the info you need right here.

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Lance Wilkins
Lance Wilkins
Editor @ CallOutdoors. Outdoor gear-head and adventure addict. I fish, camp and enjoy to writing about my adventures.
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