Since 1957, Americans have been relying on Lowrance to provide reliable and innovative high-quality fishing electronics. Your average fish finder today is a lot more advanced than even commercially available models back then—and Lowrance is, in part, responsible for that.
They’re continually working on improving their products, and it’s this dedication to excellence that helped them become a trusted name in the States and globally.
The only problem you may have is deciding which is the best Lowrance fish finder to start with. Given this, I’ve decided to compile a list of thorough Lowrance fish finder reviews. I’ve narrowed the list down to my top five favorite models.
- Most Popular Model
- Our Lowrance Fish Finder Reviews
- Lowrance HDS Live 16” – Best for Serious Competitors
- Brand Overview
- Final Thoughts
Ready to get started? Then let’s kick off this Lowrance fishfinder review.
Most Popular Model
If you want to skip ahead, the Lowrance Elite TI-9 offers an impressive range of features and high-quality output. This model has some of the top-of-the-line features that define the professional range but at a lower price point.
The combination of excellent quality and lower prices make this model extremely popular.
Our Lowrance Fish Finder Reviews
Lowrance Elite TI-9 — Most Popular Model
If you take your fishing seriously, then you’ll want to check out this model. It’s one of Lowrance’s mid-range models, and it’s packed with some serious features that avid fisherman will appreciate but comes in at a more affordable price than Lowrance’s top of the line models.
The SolarMax 9-inch display ensures that you won’t struggle to read a chart or map ever again. It produces crisp detailed images in high definition.
The images are created by side-view and dual-down transducers to eke every last detail possible. It’s detailed enough to be able to pick up individual rocks on the bottom and has an excellent range.
You’ll also get 4,000 different maps of lakes preloaded, and you can easily upgrade these later if you like. You can hunt for drop-offs or ledges and chase fish down to their favorite hidey-holes.
You can also wirelessly connect to other Lowrance devices. This allows you to swap more than just fishing stories with your buddies.
What I Do and Don’t Like About the Elite TI-9
The imaging detail is excellent, and it has great navigational capabilities. I also don’t think that one lifetime is enough to explore every preloaded map, but that’s a theory that I’ll have fun testing out.
The price is on the higher side, though, so you may need to save up a bit. The contour maps provided use one-foot contours. It’s not a serious complaint, but I’d prefer the half-foot contours provided with the Lowrance Genesis software.
- High def, full-color, 9-inch screen
- Outstanding image quality
- Wi-Fi built-in
- Comes with 4,000 maps
- The Price
Overall, you’re getting a lot of great tech and, while pricey, you’re still getting a pretty good deal. You’ll battle to find all of these features at a lower price point, so it’s no wonder that this is one of the company’s most popular models.
Overall, I’d rate it 4 ½ out of 5 — the most popular fish finder in the Lowrance pond.
Lowrance HDS Live 16” – Best for Serious Competitors
I’ve thrown this in here because it’s got the best tech that Lowrance has to offer. It’s got a massive 16-inch, high def, full-color touch screen. This model is made for serious competitors—and be prepared to win a good few fishing contests to pay for it – it’s not cheap.
This model builds on the more popular HDS models and takes the design to a new level. It’s got a mammoth 16-inch screen that produces high-res images that would be tough to match.
The processing power has been amped up significantly to ensure that there’s no lag time. It comes with Active Imaging that allows you better range and more clarity. You can almost see the scales on the fish and can watch them take the bait in real time.
The LiveSight Real-Time Sonar is designed to give unparalleled results. The navigational system is Lowrance’s top-of-the-line offering. It comes with Genesis Live mapping that provides real-time mapping at half-foot contours.
What I Do and Don’t Like About the HDS Live
hat’s not to like? The imaging is outstanding, and you won’t find a better suite of navigational or fish-finding tools. The screen is enormous, and the clarity is pretty impressive.
Prepare for some sticker shock, though. This unit is Lowrance’s premier product, and it’s also one of the most expensive on the market. You can opt for a smaller screen size to bring the price down.
- Amazing imagery
- Touch screen tech
- A lot of processing power
- Genesis Real-Time mapping included
- If this thing can’t find the fish, they’re not there
- It’s expensive
This is the kind of tool that all fishermen dream about. It’s got everything that you might need, and a lot more besides. I love the performance it offers. Is it worth the price? I had to mark it down in this area as it is best for diehard or competitive fisherman with a lot of spare cash. For my money, I’d get a 7- or even 10-inch screen and save a few thousand dollars.
Overall, I’d give it 4 ½ out of five—on every fisherman’s Christmas list.
Lowrance Hook2 7 — Best Value for Money
If your budget is not going to accommodate the Elite or the HDS Live models, the Lowrance Hook2 7 model offers some great features for a fraction of the cost. It’s perfect for the more casual fisherman.
- SolarMax 7-inch high-resolution display
- Preloaded C-Map US inland maps and Coastal maps with the opportunity to upgrade
- Autotuning sonar
- CHIRP sonar
- Choose between High CHIRP, Downscan, and SideScan sonar
- GPS functionality and chart plotter
What I Do and Don’t Like About the Hook2 7
The price is affordable, and the product offers great scan quality and reliable results. It has everything that you might need and also features an autotuning scanner, which means that you won’t have to fiddle with settings when water conditions change.
However, the GPS functionality is pretty basic. If you compare this to similar models from other manufacturers, the price is on the high side.
- High-res, full-color, 7-inch screen
- Excellent imaging capabilities
- Side and CHIRP sonar capabilities
- Preloaded with a lot of maps
- Has Wi-Fi capabilities
- Reasonable price for a Lowrance product
- Still pricier than most other brands
- GPS is very basic
This is a good product overall. It delivers excellent results that will keep most fishers happy. It’s not the most advanced model, but it still has some drool-worthy features.
Overall, I’d rate it 4 out of 5 — reliable performance at an excellent price.
Lowrance HOOK2 5 Splitshot Fishfinder GPS Combo — Best Budget Model
Not everyone can afford to drop half a grand on a fishfinder. At the same time, you also don’t want to pay bottom of the barrel prices for junk that you’ll replace after a few months. This model offers reasonable level performance at budget prices.
- Has Autotuning sonar
- Wide-angle CHIRP sonar gives maximum coverage in the water
- Switch between DownScan and CHIRP sonar
- Preloaded with 4,000 maps of inland lakes.
- Compatible with Navionics for coastal and inland mapping for North America
- Backlit screen
What I Do and Don’t Like About the Hook2
It’s simple, and it gives good results. It comes in at a really good price. The features are limited, but you have all the basic features that you need. The viewing modes are limited, though, and you’ll probably want to upgrade it later.
- Simple to install and use
- Good image quality
- Reliable device
- A nice selection of maps
- Offers DownScan and SideScan options
- Limited viewing modes
- Very basic model
The Hook2 5 is not going to be the last fish finder that you ever buy, but it’s a great starter model. The learning curve is low, and it provides a good user experience. It’s great for the casual fisherman who just wants to maximize their time on the water.
Overall, I give it a 3 out of 5 — excellent quality at bargain basement prices.
This model offers a good balance between price and features. The company has narrowed down the features available to reduce the cost. They haven’t done so at the expense of image quality, though.
- Autotuning sonar
- Wide-angle sonar cone for a wider range of coverage
- Downscan and CHIRP sonar
- Basic GPS and chart plotter
- Has an SD card slot so it can be upgraded
What I Do and Don’t Like About the Hook2
It’s good quality and provides decent quality images. The screen is a decent size. Pricewise it won’t break the bank. The features are very basic. Of course, you could get a Humminbird model for around the same price with a few extra features. Also, you have to buy the cover separately which seems a little mean to me.
- DownScan, CHIRP, and Sidescan sonar give excellent views
- Autotuning makes it easier to use
- Simple to install
- You’ll figure out how to use it without much effort
- You can add extra maps
- Good images
- Reasonable price
- No preloaded maps
- Pricey compared to other brands in the same range
Again, what we have here is more of an entry-level model. It’s fine for right now but plan to upgrade later.
Overall it scores a 3 out of 5— Your perfect starter level fish finder.
Lowrance is one of the more established brands in the United States. They have won widespread appeal because they make quality products that are among the best of the best.
What really sets this brand apart, though, is how innovative they are. They consistently work on producing improved versions of all their products.
Lowrance has established itself as one of the premier brands in the country, and this is reflected in their price levels which are a little higher than average. The company typically offers a one-year warranty on most products, including their budget-friendly ranges.
A basic, low-end model will typically cost around $300. The top-of-the-line HDS Live 16” model will set you back around $4,500. So, when they say that they cater for all budget levels, you can take them at their word.
Generally speaking, they’ll focus on high-quality imaging over a host of varied features. So, even if you’re buying a lower-end model, you should be satisfied with the images you get.
The customer service is excellent, and the company offers some good discounts from time to time. They accept trade-ins occasionally, but unlike Humminbird where you can upgrade an unused transducer all the time, these are not a permanent feature.
Overall, clients are satisfied with the service and products that they receive from Lowrance. Many users become fast fans of the company and are reluctant to switch to another brand.
What is the standard warranty for most products?
Most products come with a one-year limited warranty.
What mapping chips can you use with Lowrance?
That will depend on the model that you buy, and the region you fish in. Most standard mapping chips will work just fine, but I recommend reading reviews on them to check first. Some users have complained that some of the Navionics chips can be glitchy.
Is it easy to network devices?
Again, this depends on the model. Even the most basic units will usually have an Ethernet port so that you can link devices with a cable.
More advanced models do feature Bluetooth or Wi-Fi capabilities to allow wireless connections between Lowrance devices or between your smartphone and your device.
Why would I want to network my devices?
Most of the time this is for practical reasons. Perhaps you want to be able to read your Lowrance device from somewhere else on the boat without having to run up to it every time. In this case, it could be useful to have it patched into your smartphone.
With the more advanced models, you can also opt to sync text messages on your phone with your device. This means that you’ll be able to read them on the fish finder as they come up without having to fish out your phone every time.
You might also want to share mapping data with your buddies. Networking devices makes this simple.
Overall, Lowrance has come to represent quality engineering and innovation. Whether you’re buying the budget-friendly Hook2 7 or the top of the line HDS Live 16, you’re assured of getting a reliable, good quality product with useful features.