The adventures and thrills of catching a big fish are things that a lot of anglers strive for.
Some of them started fishing because of passion, while others are doing it because they consider it as a kind of sport.
Then, of course, there are those who make a living through fishing.
To fully enjoy fishing, you need the right equipment, and you need to buy them from a trusted brand.
Fishfinders are one of the most important devices that you need to have when fishing. They provide the data that you need in order to locate where the fish are.
Among the different brands in the market, Lowrance is one of the best and the most trusted.
It has been in the market for over 60 years and has pretty much an established prestige when it comes to marine electronics.
These Lowrance fish finder reviews aim to help you find the fish finder that matches your fishing preferences and needs.
History of Lowrance Electronics
Lowrance Electronics is the leader when it comes to marine electronics.
It has been in the market since 1957, so it has already built a strong reputation over the years, especially its portable sonar.
In the 1950s, most people rely only on their knowledge and experience in order to find fish.
There were a lot of advancements in rod and reel technology, but finding fish was more like a guessing game for most anglers.
These all change when fishfinders were invented.
The Little Green Box
Carl Lowrance and his sons, Darrell and Arlen, decided to change the course of fishing when they invented the first consumer sonar device—The Little Green Box.
Carl was an avid fisherman, and both his sons inherited the same enthusiasm. The idea for the Little Green Box started because of their hobby.
Carl and Darrell were among the few skin divers in the country, so the experience that they had underwater taught them a lot of things about fish.
Building the First Consumer Sonar
Since Carl was a flight instructor, he already knows sound, navigation, and ranging (SONAR) technology.
This tech was developed by the U.S. Navy during World War II to track the submarine movement of the enemy.
After the war, a lot of fishermen decided to use sonar for fishing, but the machines that they were using were too bulky and, therefore, not a good choice for small crafts or individual anglers.
The main idea of Lowrance was to use sonar for sports fishing, which means that it has to be small enough to be used by small boats.
With the transistor technology, Lowrance was able to reduce the size of the sonar so that it can be mounted to a small boat and operated by batteries.
Darrell Lowrance was studying mathematics and physics at the University of Arkansas, and he was able to reduce the pulse length of the device to one foot, just small enough to identify large fish.
In 1956, the whole family released the first unit, and it was known as Fish Lo-K-Tor. In 1958, their business became known as Lowrance Electronics, Inc.
Lowrance Fish Finder Reviews
1. Lowrance Elite-7 Ti Fish Finder
The Lowrance Elite-7 Ti Fish Finder is a combination of touchscreen and Chartplotter packed with powerful and high-end features for a reasonable price.
It is one of the mid-range fish finders of Lowrance that can offer amazing functionalities when you are fishing on a boat.
The Lowrance Elite-7 Ti Fish Finder comes equipped with a seven-inch LED-backlit touchscreen display, which would allow quick access to all its amazing features.
This high-resolution sonar can provide a clear view of the environment under your boat.
Here are some of the other features that this fish finder can offer.
- Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Connectivity
The Lowrance Elite-7 Ti Fish Finder can be connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi.
You can connect to Wi-Fi to upgrade your fish finder and to access the other services offered.
More than that, it has Bluetooth connectivity, too, so you can control on-board equipment such as PowerPoles.
- Simple Setup
This Lowrance model is very easy to set up because you just need a single transducer to operate it.
Then, you just have to mount it on the transom of the boat and start using it.
- CHIRP Technology
In the past, most fish finders used a single or dual frequency signal to market depths and fish targets.
Now, with the CHIRP technology, it uses multiple frequencies to increase the sensitivity to fish without increase clutter.
The CHIRP technology in the Lowrance Elite-7 Ti Fish Finder can help identify different types of game fish near bait schools, and you can see them clearly even at faster boat speeds.
- More Sonar Views
The Lowrance Elite-7 Ti Fish Finder is equipped with a TotalScan transducer.
It has a DownScan sonar that would let you scan downwards, a SideScan sonar that can help you scan up to 300 feet on each side, and CHIRP sonar views.
- GPS Technology
The Elite-7 Ti offers basic navigation with its GPS plotter, which can help you follow trails, add waypoints, and navigate around the area.
- Easy Upgrades
The Elite-7 Ti features an SD card slot, giving you an option to upgrade the software and mapping so you can add third-party maps and future features.
2. Lowrance Elite-12 Ti Fish Finder
The Lowrance Elite-12 Ti Fish Finder is one of the top products from Lowrance, especially on the Elite series.
Although this fish finder is a bit large to bring around, the large display and the alarms for fish and objects make up for its size.
It is also one of the most powerful fish finders in the series.
One of the best features of the Lowrance Elite-12 Ti Fish Finder is its large display.
Some people might say that it is not a good choice since you are looking for something portable.
However, the large screen allows you to easily navigate through the features while focusing on the fish that you want to catch and its location.
Here are the other key features of this amazing fish finder.
- Sonar and Transducer
The Lowrance Elite-12 Ti Fish Finder comes with CHIRP sonar technology that you can find in other high-end fish finders in the market.
It provides multiple frequencies for fishing and a clearer view of what is under the boat.
The frequencies used for this technology are 50/83/200 kHz. The StructureScan usually relies on 455/800.
With this fish finder, you also get to enjoy the SideScan feature, which would allow you to scan between 100 and 300 feet on both sides.
For the depth, the Lowrance Elite-12 Ti Fish Finder is quite similar to other high-end fish finders. It can scan up to 1,000 feet for the CHIRP sonar and up to 300 feet for the DownScan.
One of the best features of the Lowrance Elite-12 Ti Fish Finder is the TotalScan transducer that is made solely for the Elite series.
It allows the user to use the DownScan and SideScan features, as well as the mid-range and high-range modes of the CHIRP technology.
- 12-Inch Diagonal Display
As the name implies, the Lowrance Elite-12 Ti Fish Finder is a 12-inch model with a 16:9 aspect ratio and a backlight that you can toggle during bat weather conditions.
This display boasts a 1280H x 800V pixel resolution that would provide clear and crisp images from the sonar.
It even has a multi-window function, which is one of the best features of the HOOK series. This would allow you to view different screens simultaneously.
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Connectivity
The Lowrance Elite-12 Ti Fish Finder is Wi-Fi ready, and you can connect it to the GoFree app.
This app is used to upgrade the software and save top hotspots and waypoints to others.
The Bluetooth feature will allow the user to connect to other smartphones and tablets and control the settings remotely.
You’d also find a MicroSD card slot, which you can utilize to save the downloaded software and maps.
- GPS Technology
3. Lowrance HDS-12 Carbon Fish Finder
The Lowrance HDS-12 Carbon Fish Finder is one of the top models from the brand because it has a combination of all the top features of the previous fish finders.
This 12-inch fish finder is a bit on the expensive side, though; still, with all of its amazing features and revolutionary design, it is definitely worth the price.
If you’re all for quality, you will find that the Lowrance HDS-12 Carbon Fish Finder is built to last.
Although it is mostly made from plastic, it is very durable and is shock-resistant.
It also boasts an IPX7 rating, which is the same as most of the products of Lowrance.
This fish finder can withstand up to one meter of water for 30 minutes.
Let’s check the other amazing features of this model.
- Backlit Display
The HDS-12 Carbon fish finder is designed with a 12-inch LCD LED-backlit display. For ease of use, it has touchscreen features and navigational buttons on the side.
The screen resolution is 1280 x 800, and you can turn the backlight on and off depending on your preference.
The display ratio is 16:9, and it uses fishing icons instead of fish arches.
It also has the multi-window function to let you view different stats without the need to change the screen.
- Lowrance TotalScan Transducer
The Lowrance HDS-12 Carbon Fish Finder features a TotalScan transducer that would allow you to use the StructureScan feature of the model.
You can use the CHIRP technology, which works on 83/200 kHz frequency. The StructureScan will operate on 455/800 kHz frequency.
The maximum depth range of this fish finder is 750 feet, and you can use it on saltwater.
The StructureScan will allow you to have a 180-degree view of the area under the boat.
The TotalScan feature can be used for different weather conditions, which means you can use this fish finder for ice fishing, too.
- Insight USA Charts and Maps
The HDS-12 Carbon includes Insight USA charts and maps that are already loaded in the fish finder.
It contains the common fishing locations around the United States, but you can upgrade it if you want.
This is also equipped with an antenna that would check your position, and you can use it to check 200 routes and 5,000 waypoints.
- Wi-Fi Connectivity
The Wi-Fi connectivity allows you to download new maps and upgrade your software.
You can share your favorite hotspots with others through the GoFree app. It has 2 MicroSD card slots, too.
4. Lowrance HDS-9 Carbon Fish Finder
If you are looking for a more affordable version of Lowrance HDS and something a bit smaller, the Lowrance HDS-9 Carbon Fish Finder is a great choice.
The screen is not too big and not too small, and it is more portable, as well.
In terms of performance, the Lowrance HDS-9 Carbon Fish Finder is an amazing pick. It is very fast and more effective when processing data.
With the Advanced Signal Processing technology, you can use the fish finder without a lot of adjustments.
You can simply focus on catching fish, and the fish finder will do the rest.
Here are the other amazing features of the Lowrance HDS-9 Carbon Fish Finder.
- Diagonal 9-Inch Display
As the name implies, the HDS-9 Carbon has a nine-inch display. This is just right for people who are looking for fish finders with a big screen but still remain portable.
This display has a touchscreen feature, but you can use the navigational buttons located at the side without touching the screen.
It has an 800H x 480V pixel matrix, and you can choose to turn the backlight on or off.
The screen has a display ratio of 16:9 and will show fish icons instead of arches, just like the Lowrance HDS-12 model.
The display also has a multi-window feature, allowing you to view multiple stats at the same time.
- CHIRP Sonar
The HDS-9 Carbon uses CHIRP sonar that runs on 83/200 kHz while the StructureScan operates on a 455/800 kHz frequency.
The depth range is 750 feet, and the StructureScan has a depth of 300 feet.
- Internal Antenna
The Lowrance HDS-9 Carbon Fish Finder features a sensitive 10Hz internal antenna, and it is loaded with Insights USA maps.
You can view all these maps in 3D or 2D, but with the use of the multi-window function, you can display both the 2D and 3D maps at the same time.
The StructureScan logs can also be used to improve the maps, providing a better situational awareness.
- Wi-Fi Connectivity
The device is Wi-Fi ready, and you can use it to download new software and maps.
Like the HDS-12, it also has two MicroSD card slots so that you can save the maps externally.
5. Lowrance HOOK2 7 Fish Finder
The Lowrance HOOK2 7 Fish Finder is easily one of the best fish finders on the market, and it is not as expensive, as well.
It is packed with amazing features and is built to last.
You can use this fish finder on different weather conditions, too, thanks to its waterproof rating of IPX7.
This fish finder has a one-hander design, so you can navigate through the settings and display without hassle.
Compared to the Hook-9, the Lowrance HOOK2 7 Fish Finder is smaller and, therefore, easier to carry if you need to.
The unit comes with a mounting bracket, but you can remove it when you are not using it.
Also, the backlit display will allow you to go fishing regardless of the weather because it is clear enough to let you see all the functions.
Here are the other amazing features that this model can offer.
- CHIRP Sonar
The Lowrance HOOK2 7 Fish Finder has a CHIRP sonar and DownScan imaging at the same time.
It operates at 83/200 kHz, and the DownScan imaging can alternate between 455 and 800 kHz.
The best thing about this feature is that it has a max depth of 1,000 feet. The DownScan sonar can reach a depth of 300 feet.
The sonar is also compatible with different transducers from the other brands, which just goes to show how versatile it is.
- TrackBack Feature
The TrackBack feature allows you to see and review the sonar detection so you can check if you’ve missed potential fish.
You can also use it to check the bottom of the lake for objects and areas that you have to avoid.
- Easy to Use
The auto-tuning sonar and menus like you are just using a mobile phone made this unit very easy to use.
As long as you know how to use a traditional mobile phone, you can use it immediately.
The auto-tuning is amazing. With it, you can just focus on fishing because the auto-tuning feature will automatically adjust.
- Mapping Features
Some of the best features of the Lowrance HOOK2 7 Fish Finder are its GPS and mapping features.
You can plot about 3,000 waypoints, but it also contains thousands of charts and maps of lakes and rivers in the United States.
Lowrance Fish Finder FAQs
1. Do I need a transducer for my fish finder?
Yes, a transducer is the sonar part of the fish finder, and it is the part that sends signals to the water.
It will then sense the echo from underwater to tell you where the fish are and to help you navigate.
The primary goal of buying a fish finder is to find fish, but if the fish finder doesn’t have a transducer, it will not do its job properly.
There are still some fish finders that don’t have transducers, but you have to buy a separate transducer to use it.
2. What should I look for when buying a fish finder?
When looking for a fish finder, you need to look for CHIRP technology, as it provides a clearer view of what’s under your boat.
GPS functions should also be present.
The fish finder should not be too expensive unless you have a lot of money to afford the high-end models.
A high-contrast and high-resolution display should be considered, as well.
Finally, you need to check the size of the fish finder. If it's too big, it won’t be portable, but if it is too small, it would be hard to see the functionalities on the screen.
3. Is side imaging better than down imaging?
Both of them are important for fishing because down imaging detects fish deeper into the water.
On the other hand, the side imaging feature detects the environment underwater.
If you are going fishing, your fish finder should have both of these features so that you can have a better view of the fish and objects under the water.
4. Do I really need a fish finder?
Professional anglers don’t rely too much on fish finders because they always think that the sport is more thrilling if you will only use your knowledge and experience to find your target.
For hobbyists, using a fish finder help save more time because you can just focus on fishing, and the fish finder will find the fish for you.
Using a fish finder is just a matter of personal preference, but if you want your fishing to be smooth and more accurate, getting this device
Based on the Lowrance fish finder reviews above, we found that the best one is the Elite-12 Ti Fish Finder.
The screen is a bit big, and it is quite expensive, but it provides amazing features that would beat the other models.
This fish finder is also Wi-Fi ready, and you’d find that it offers pre-loaded maps that you can use.
Indeed, it has all the basic features that you would need from a fish finder, and it is very durable, too.
The Hook and HDS series are both amazing, but the Elite series is a more popular option for the anglers.