There are about 15 different types of Lowrance fish finders in the market, and it can be hard to decide which one is right for you. They come in different sizes, with different features, and at different price points. Let’s dive in and pick the perfect unit for your boat and cast the bait 🙂
Best Lowrance Fish Finders 2023 – Review
1. Lowrance HDS Live
Ranging from $1,000 to $6,000, the HDS Live is Lowrance’s most high-end, professional-level fish finder. It’s one of the best options currently on the market and the best option from Lowrance.
You can get this unit in 7-inch, 9-inch, 12-inch, and 16-inch screen options. There are a few key features that set the HDS Live apart:
Unlike other Lowrance fish finders, the HDS Live has two connector points for transducers. This allows anglers to utilize multiple transducers, simultaneously viewing fish at various depths. HDS Live is compatible with all the transducers offered by Lowrance. You can also simultaneously hook Active Imaging 3 in 1 transducer along with Active Target, which provides a live sonar view under the boat.
The HDS Live has the fastest processor of the Lowrance fish finders. This allows you to split the larger screens into six smaller screens without losing functionality. It helps the unit process the sonar images and maps without lagging – an essential feature when trying to catch as many fish as possible.
Users can connect their smartphones to the device and stream video onto the screen via HDMI input ports. Video streaming transforms your fish finder into a source of entertainment during long days on the water, allowing you to watch anything from home videos to live sporting events to FaceTime calls with friends and family back on land. This is a must-have feature if your fishing endeavors take you away from land for a long time.
The HDS Live features an HD IPS touchscreen. This is the highest-resolution screen available on a Lowrance fishfinder. The HD screen provides better viewing angles and an all-around better viewing experience of the DownScan and SideScan images. The fish and structures are vivid with better target separation details. You can quickly identify fish-holding structures and the fish around them.
Overall, HDS Live is a professional-level fish finder often used by the pros in fishing tournaments. It offers a complete networking solution for the boat with touchscreen control of trolling motor, power pole anchor, and even the boat sound system. If you aim to participate in the Bassmaster or own a fishing boat with advanced technologies, then HDS Live is the perfect Lowrance fish finder for your needs.
Note: HDS Live units vary in features and specifications a bit. You can read more details on the variations and details about different models here on our Lowrance HDS Live page.
2. Lowrance Elite FS
Ranging from $900 to $1,350, the Elite FS is a mid-level chart plotter and fishfinder combo. Elite FS is very similar in styling to HDS Live, replacing the outgoing Elite TI2 Series.
Elite FS has been updated with a new touchscreen interface and comes with a glass cover on top. This makes the device much more responsive and easier to use than Elite TI2. The glass cover on the screen also protects the device from scratches and damage.
This unit comes in 7-inch and 9-inch versions, each with touchscreens and buttons. You can purchase the Elite FS with or without a transducer depending on your needs.
Elite FS is compatible with Active Imaging 3-in-1 transducer and Lowrance Active Target live sonar system. This is a big advantage as you can use the live sonar in a mid-range and mid-size fish finder.
Active Target can help to quickly identify the school of baitfish and the predatory fish chasing them in the middle of a lake without being close to a structure. As a result, a live sonar may assist you in catching Bass and other large predatory fish more often than the traditional sonar technology.
The Lowrance Elite FS has the same powerful 1KW sonar module as the HDS Live, providing clear and detailed imaging of what is beneath your boat. With an Active Imaging transducer, you can easily locate fish-holding structures like rock piles, standing timber, weed beds, ditches, and drop-offs. The high level of clarity and detail provided by the Active Imaging transducer makes it easy to find more fish and identify different species, such as Bass, Catfish, and crappies.
There are many different connectivity options with the Elite FS:
- NMEA 2000 for engine integration or AIS to monitor the fuel and speed of the boat from your screen
- Ethernet for connecting two units or to connect to a HALO radar
- Wi-Fi for wireless connections to a tablet or smartphone.
- Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone and display notifications on-screen
There is one downside, however, that we should mention. Elite FS lacks a bit on the screen resolution side of 800 x 480 pixels which is by no means an HD. If you’re looking for a unit with higher resolution screens, you may want to consider the HDS Live. You can also read about the detailed comparison between Elite FS and HDS Live here.
Overall, Elite FS is an affordable mid-range fish finder with networking capabilities. It’s ideal for small fishing boats that don’t have much boat electronics to network and want to go with a 7″ or 9″ inch fish finder. Find out different buying options for Lowrance Elite FS here.
3. Lowrance Hook Reveal – Best for kayaks
Ranging from $300 to $900, the Hook Reveal is an entry-level chart plotter and fishfinder combo and comes in three different screen sizes – 5 inches, 7 inches, and 9 inches.
This unit is equipped with a GPS plotter and also includes C-MAP basemaps. You can also upgrade to more advanced C-MAP Countour+ and Navionics charts at an additional cost. The Hook Reveal X series does not include a mapping option and is cheaper than the regular Hook Reveal models.
Lowrance has designed Hook Reveal with kayaks and small boat owners in mind, and that’s why these units don’t have networking capabilities or WiFi options. Its more basic features (such as having buttons rather than a touchscreen and a lack of connectivity options) help lower the price.
Hook Reveal has some of the features that you can find in high-end Lowrance models as below:
- Fish Reveal – FishReveal makes fish appear more clearly as an arch by brightening and displaying them with greater clarity. It helps distinguish Bass from Baitfish and even identify when they are close to a structure or submerged grass. This is ideal for beginners who don’t have experience in reading fish finder.
- Autotuning Sonar – Autotuning sonar automatically adjusts settings as the water depth change. This is ideal for Kayak owners who have limited space to move around. So, instead of adjusting the fish finder settings, they can focus on finding and catching the fish.
- SolarMax display – SolarMAX display offers excellent clarity and daylight visibility, even under bright sunshine.
- Genesis Live – Genesis Live is a real-time mapping tool. In real time, you can create your own custom 1/2-foot contour maps of your local uncharted lake.
Hook Reveal has a variety of transducer options as mentioned below:
- HDI Skimmer Transducer – It’s a dual beam CHIRP sonar transducer with 83/200 kHz or 50/200 kHz frequency and can scan up to 1000ft deep.
- SplitShot Transducer – CHIRP sonar (200 kHz) and DownScan imaging (455/800 kHz). DownScan can scan up to 300ft deep at 455KHz frequency.
- TripleShot Transducer – CHIRP sonar (200 kHz), DownScan, and SideScan imaging (455/800 kHz). Scan up to 300ft on each side of the boat
SideScan and DownScan imaging are not as crisp as Elite FS, but it’s good enough to identify fish and structures at the bottom.
Here is our comprehensive list of buying options for the Lowrance Hook Reveal. They come in various options and could be overwhelming for beginners.
4. Lowrance Hook2 4x
The Hook2 4x is Lowrance’s basic, entry-level cheap fish finder that comes under $150.
The non-mapping GPS allows anglers to drop up to 1,000 waypoints to mark fishing locations and other POIs.
The Hook2 4x does not have a touch screen but is controlled by buttons. It operates on a 200 kHz frequency, and there is no Micro SD card slot to enter charts. There is no split-screen option on this unit.
Though it’s the most basic Lowrance’s fishfinder option, the Hook2 4x has more than double the sonar range of most traditional fish finders.
This unit works well on small boats and kayaks. It is equipped for depths up to 500 feet in fresh and salt water. It is user-friendly and easy to set up and get started right out of the box.
The Hook2-4x comes with a Transom Mount Transducer that allows it to be mounted to the back of your boat. It also comes in a portable option, which includes a travel bag, a battery, and a suction cup that allows you to mount the unit anywhere. Find more details on Lowrance Hook2 4x here.