The Lowrance Hook 5 fish finder is an upgraded version for 2016 of the immensely popular Lowrance Elite-5 HDI, which was released in late 2013.
The Hook 5 takes everything that the Elite-5 HDI did and does it better. It has a crystal clear 5 inch screen on which you can view traditional SONAR, DownScan SONAR, and GPS charts. The screen has a sharp 800×480 resolution screen which is capable of displaying 16-bit colors.
The frequencies the Hook 5 runs on are 455/800 kHz for DownScan imaging, and 83/200 kHz for traditional SONAR.
The menu and button system has been tweaked so it is much easier to use now. You can switch between screens using just one thumb. This is useful when you are comparing lots of data together to find the best spot.
The biggest upgrade by far in the Hook series is the CHIRP SONAR. CHIRP SONAR sends out frequencies in a pulsing, fan-like manner, so there are a lot more returns that the transducer picks up. The advanced software in the fish finder then analyzes these readings and shows you a clear picture of the underwater world.
CHIRP SONAR is a huge deal. Just a couple of years ago, it was incredibly expensive and only found on huge fishing rigs. Now, as technology is getting cheaper, even consumer models have this technology – which means your fishing experience just got a whole lot better!
The Hook 5 has a sensitive GPS antenna which tracks your position and shows it to you overlayed on a map. The built-in maps are highly detailed, with more than 3000 US lakes and rivers and coastal contours up to 1000 feet.
If these maps seem inadequate(they won’t), you can very easily upgrade the mappign software using the MicroSD card slot. You can choose to have Navionics, Lake Insight, Nautic Insight, and Fishing HotSpots PRO, to name a few. There are even options for global charting packages.
You can read more about mapping packages here.
Aside from these awesome features, the basics are there as always. You can “rewind” SONAR readings, adjust the SONAR sensitivity, adjust the view, set GPS alarms, set depth alarms, and read the water temperature.
The Hook 5 is part of Lowrance’s new Hook family. The Hook series come in many different sizes, catering to anglers of all budgets. Some of the other models are:
- The Hook 3x, which comes in two models – DownScan SONAR and traditional SONAR
- The Hook 4x, which like its younger brother the 3x, comes either with regular SONAR or DownScan SONAR
- There is also the Hook 4, which is the same as the Hook 5, except with a smaller screen – this would be for people for whom the Hook 5 is out of budget, or can’t fit the larger 5 inch screen.
- Then there are the larger Hook-7 and Hook-7x, which are upgrades of the Elite-7 HDI and Elite-7x HDI. These are the same as the Hook 5, except with larger screens, and finally, there is the Hook-9, which is the largest of the whole family, sporting a giant 9 inch screen.
It may seem a little strange that there is such a drastic price difference between the models even though the only obvious difference is one inch in screen size. You should note that screen size is measured diagonally, so the visible difference between say the Hook 5 and the Hook 7 will be quite drastic.
These fish finders are at the cutting edge of fish finding technology right now, and used properly, they will make a huge difference in your angling.