Lowrance Hook Series Review

UPDATED Nov. 2021
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 Lowrance Hook Series

According to Lowrance, the Hook series represents a “radical approach to the basics.” In other words, the company has implemented all the relevant basic features you would expect from a good angling fish finder into the Hook models.

The series was launched at the beginning of 2016 and it was primarily designed for the fishing needs of anglers, which explains the name. Some of the units also come with features required for ice fishing. It includes the models 3x, 3x dsi, 4, 4x, 5, 7, and 9 and the prices range between $100 and $250, which is beyond budget-friendly for the utility provided. 

As we can see by the model numbers, the display sizes go from 3” to 9”. The Hook models can, therefore, be used with all types of fishing vessels, from kayaks and canoes to larger fishing boats. The units have better screens and faster processors than the previous series and they include the famed CHIRP sonar paired with Down Imaging for optimal target separation.  

Basically, the Hook series can satisfy the needs of any angler anywhere, so let us explore it further and discover what the included models are all about.  

Lowrance Hook Series Pros & Cons

Pros
    • Dual-frequency sonar 
    • Budget-friendly unit 
    • High-Speed Skimmer transducer 
    • Tilt-&-swivel quick-release bracket 
    • LED color display with adjustable backlight 
    • Easy to use 
Cons
    • No GPS 
    • No networking options 

Lowrance Hook Series Features

The Hook series is an ideal starting point for amateur anglers but can also serve as a decent budget-friendly option for more experienced fishers. Flexibility is one of the main hooks of the series, which means you can purchase fish finding only/Down Imaging only units or combo packs.  

As we already mentioned, the Hook series offers a nice balance between DownScan imaging and CHIRP options. This means you have a high degree of flexibility to choose whatever meets your personal requirements without purchasing (and paying for) extra stuff you do not really need. The units come with their own transducers, but sometimes these default models do not cover the entire frequency range of the main unit and you have to opt for an upgrade to hit those low CHIRPs. 

Some of the units also feature built-in 16-channel GPS antennas that allow them to record up to 3,000 waypoints, 100 routes, and 100 trails with up to 10,000 points per trail. Sadly, they all feature the most rudimentary of maps (BaseMap) that provide you with an overview of 3,000 rivers and lakes as well as coastal contours. The GPS and map will continuously inform you about your current location and measure the overall speed of your boat. However, do not expect to see any information regarding lighthouses, tidal stations, marine services, and other prominent landmarks. The good news is that the Hook models are compatible with numerous premium packages, including Navionics Plus/HotMaps Premium, C-MAP MAX-N by Jeppesen, Lake Insight/Nautic Insight PRO, Fishing Hotspots PRO, and others.  

The Hook units are very easy to use and they follow the simple plug&play principle, which eliminates all the complicated setup procedures and getting lost in endless menus and options.  

Lowrance Hook Series Buyer’s Guide

In order to determine the best Hook series model for your personal needs, we first have to go over some of the most important factors regarding your fishing style and other relevant circumstances. 

Fishing Type

Your personal fishing style and approach to fishing in general will largely determine the best Lowrance Hook fish finder for you. With that in mind, let us go over our recommendations: 

Angling with a rod As we already mentioned, the Hook series is specifically designed to cater to the needs of anglers, so you can basically choose any model. 

Ice fishing When it comes to ice fishing, the overall pool is quite narrower, so we would recommend going with either Hook-5 or Hook-7 due to their relatively mobile housing paired with excellent flasher features.  

Casual/professional fishing As stated, the Hook series is primarily designed for beginner-to-intermediate anglers so it is not an ideal choice for professional fishing tournaments. You can make do in a pinch, but there are a lot of better options out there for tournament participation.  

The Size Of Your Vessel

Before anything else, we have to make a clear distinction between owners of fishing vessels and anglers that rely on rentals. If you rent your fishing boat, you should be looking for smaller units that are easy to carry around and install/remove at a moment’s notice. On the other hand, if you are an owner, your choice is basically determined by the size of your boat. With that in mind, here are the options you have at your disposal: 

Kayaks, canoes, small boats As you might imagine, trying to cram a large 9” fish finder into a kayak is not the best idea, so you should opt for smaller devices like the Hook-3x and Hook-5.  

Medium-to-large boats Here, you can pick any model you want since space is no longer a limiting factor. In light of this, we recommend going with Hook-7. 

Overall Depth

Lowrance Hook units have different fishing modes designed to accommodate various depths. The mode for ice fishing, for example, caps at 400ft while the General Use mode goes up to 1,000ft. If you do not choose the correct mode, the device will not be able to scan the bottom properly and you will end up with poor-quality imaging. Note that the Freshwater mode is recommended if you are fishing in less than 100ft of water. Having said that, let us go over our options and see which unit performs best at certain depths: 

Inland fishing For shallow waters, we recommend going with Hook-3x since its overall reach of around 300ft should be more than enough for a prosperous angling session in these conditions.  

Off-shore fishing For off-shore expeditions, we recommend opting for Hook-5 that reaches up to 1,000ft with 2D and up to 300ft with DownScan. 

Mini Reviews

In order to familiarize yourself even further with the individual models, take a look at our mini reviews below: 

Lowrance Hook-3x 

As the name says, the 3x comes with a 3” 256-color TFT display, which can be considered small but is an excellent starting point for kayak/canoe/shore fishing. The resolution of the screen, however, is rather good (320 x 240) and it also comes with 11 different levels of LED backlighting. The screen can be zoomed in 4 times for optimal observation of your favorite fishing spots.  

Hook-3x is a DownScan only unit and it features a dual-frequency sonar that operates at 83 and 200 kHz, ideal for scanning larger fishing areas and for advanced lure tracking, respectively. The provided High-Sped Skimmer transducer comes with a temperature sensor as well as a tilt-&-swivel quick-release bracket.  

Finally, Hook-3x is primarily designed for freshwater but can also serve you well in saltwater if you intend to stick to the shallows. The sonar will provide you with readable imaging at up to 75 MPH, but you should keep it between 1 and 10 MPH for optimal results. The unit also features ASP and Fish ID.  

Lowrance Hook-5 

Lowrance Hook-5 comes with a 5” 16-color TFT display with a resolution of 480 x 480 pixels. The split-screen feature allows you to observe up to 3 different panels at the same time. The unit also has 11 levels of LED backlighting.  

This fish finder features a traditional 2D sonar as well as DownScan. With the provided transducer (HDI Skimmer 000-10976-001), the unit can cover 83/200 kHz with 2D and 455/800 with DownScan. With a transducer upgrade, the main unit is capable of hitting 50 and 83 kHz. The traditional sonar features include Fish ID, Bottom Lock, Circular Flasher, A-Scope, sonar recording with TrackBack, and Advanced Signal Processing. You can also blend 2D imaging with DownScan thanks to the provided DownScan overlay. 

Lowrance Hook-5 is one of the units that include the aforementioned built-in GPS antenna, which allows it to record up to 3,000 waypoints, 100 routes, and 100 trails with up to 10,000 points per trail.  

Lowrance Hook-7 

Lowrance Hook-7 features a 7” 16-bit TFT display with an 800 x 480 pixel matrix. Apart from the split-screen function (up to 3 panels), the unit also offers Split-Zoom, which allows you to zoom in any particular panel. Adjustable LED backlighting is also there to ensure full usability at night or in direct sunlight. 

Hook-7 comes with the CHIRP sonar as well as DownScan. The provided transducer is capable of covering 83/200 kHz with CHIRP and 455/800 kHz with DownScan, but you can purchase an upgrade and hit 50 and 200 kHz as well.  

The traditional sonar features include Advanced Singal Processing that also works with DownScan, Sonar Recording, TrackBackDownScan Overlay to merge your 2D and DownScan views, Bottom Lock, A-Scope, Split-Flasher, and Fish ID with several depth and fish alarms. 

Hook-7 also has an integrated GPS antenna that provides you with the same number of waypoints, routes, and trails as Hook-5. 

Bottom Line

Lowrance Hook series provides anglers with a nice blend of entry-level and more advanced units that should meet the requirements of pretty much any fisher out there regardless of his or her fishing style and other relevant factors. Apart from offering some pretty impressive features, the line is also very budget-friendly, which makes it perfect for casual anglers.  

The units come with CHIRP sonars as well as DownScan imaging, GPS functionality with the Lowrance Basemap package and compatibility with numerous premium options, decent transducers and depth coverage, and many other functionalities. Finally, there are numerous sonar features and alarms as well. 

On the downside, the units could use some more connectivity options, but the provided NMEA 0183 ports and SD card slots should be more than enough for your regular angling needs. Additionally, the Basemap package is really rudimentary and you have to upgrade it if you want to use this utility to its maximum potential.