How difficult is it to find the best fish finder for kayak fishing that is affordable yet efficient? Us, anglers know the answer. Inevitably, we have to sacrifice some features to spend less, and many times, the features we sacrifice are essential ones to have a productive day on the water.
With that said, using the power of sonar is a great way to significantly boost the effectiveness of your fishing trips with very little difficulty as most devices are built with a great emphasis on their user-friendly interfaces. Fish finders work by sending an electrical impulse from a transmitter to a transducer which then converts it into a sound wave that is then projected into the water, striking objects such as fish or terrain before being returned to display useful information such as its size and shape.
Whether you’re kayak or boat fishing, fish finders can be extremely helpful, not only for finding fish but also mapping out your favorite fishing spots. They’re also great if you’re targeting a specific fish as the sonar feedback can help you determine what species are in your fishing spot.
We aim to provide a comprehensive overview of one the more popular fish finders currently available on the market, the Lowrance Hook-3X. We’ll take a look at some of the key features as well as any potential pros and cons in order to help you determine whether or not this is the right fish finder for you.
Lowrance Hook-3X Sonar Fish Finder
The Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X Sonar Fish Finder is considered to be amongst the best devices for kayak fishing activities. Let us find out why.
- ASP (Advanced Signal Processing) technology: One of the complaints that some anglers have is the need to constantly adjust the settings to more clearly see fishes and structures. This Lowrance model uses Advanced Signal Processing (ASP), which will limit the time you previously spent trying to get an image because you no longer need to manually change the settings in order to see fish, structure or the bottom in detail.
- Three inches LED-backlit colored screen: Viewing information displayed won’t be much of a hassle because of its moderately sized monitor. With a 320×240 resolution and a backlight, it would also be easy to read information any time of the day.
- Hardware included: The transducer comes with the necessary mounting hardware, so you would successfully mount this unit on your kayak.
- Dual-frequency system: With a frequency of 83 and 200 kHZ, the unit can help increase the viewable area underneath the transducer. The 83 kHz is best for displaying larger fish arches whereas the 200 kHz is ideal for drop-shotting techniques.
- Menu buttons: The simple interface is extremely user-friendly due to a few dedicated buttons accompanying the main selector switch.
- Sensors: The device uses fish icons to differentiate targets and comes with tracking and alarm options, while the patented skimmer transducer comes with a built-in water-temperature sensor that can track up to 75 miles per hour.
- Size and weight: With a size dimension of 3.75” x 1.85” x 6.5” and weight of about two pounds, storing and carrying the unit will not be too much of a burden.
- Imaging technology: When looking for a fish finder for kayak fishing, each angler has to decide for themselves what type of technology they need, be it imaging that focuses strictly down or finders that have a “cone” or “side” imaging. This Lowrance model offers down as well as conical imaging, providing the angler wider ranges of coverage.
- Works well in shallow water
- Reads depth and temperature accurately
- Good detail of structures and fishes
- Great wiring and connections
- Mounting hardware is not the most reliable
- Clarity may dissipate when used in rough bodies of water
- Will require a marine battery
The Lowrance Hook-3X offers all of the essential fish finding features you’ll need whether you’re a veteran or complete novice. Users will enjoy how intuitively designed the Hook-3X is with its minimalist interface featuring only the necessary buttons that provide access to a host of other features. This includes whether you’re looking to alter settings rather than taking advantage of the ASP or if you’re simply changing the level of backlight produced by the unit.
Being able to separate specific fish targets from large fish arches is also extremely helpful when in search of specific species since this information is read through the size, shape, and structure of the fish. This is most likely to be used with the 200 kHz frequency for enhanced separation capability. The most notable unique feature offered by the Lowrance Hook-3X will be its patented skimmer transducer technology that offers increased tracking speeds while also offering a built-in water temperature sensor.
Comparison and Alternatives
If you love the Lowrance brand but are looking for something that offers a bit more functionality, then you might want to consider upgrading to the Lowrance Elite-7 Ti. The display itself increased to a seven-inch LED-backlit touchscreen colored screen for faster and more intuitive use. It also features more advanced sonar technology such as CHIRP Sonar, StructureScan HD, and DownScan Imaging, and all of which provide a far superior view of the environment beneath you.
It also utilizes Lowrance’s TrackBack technology that stores a history of structure or fish targets while allowing you to mark them with a waypoint. Its incredibly accurate internal GPS antenna lets you pinpoint your fishing locations and comes pre-installed with a detailed map of the USA.
Looking for something similar to the Lowrance Hook-3X but fancy trying something new? The Humminbird Helix 5 could be what you need. At five inches, the Helix 5 has a larger screen than the Lowrance Hook-3X.
The screen comes at a resolution of 800Hx480V and also has a backlight that makes it one of the clearest displays available for their level of production. You’ll also benefit from CHIRP DualBeam PLUS sonar, precision internal GPS chartplotting with built-in UniMap cartography, and a micro SD card slot if you wish to add more maps or save your fishing spots.
The Lowrance Hook-3X offers a lot of features in a tiny compact package, making it one of the most convenient and transportable fish finders around. It’s easily mounted to kayaks or boat consoles and produces a clear depiction of your current fishing environment. This is a great fish finder for those with rather limited space but who still want access to informative data about the fish they are targeting.