Have you ever spent an entire day casting into water that didn’t have anything in it? Have you ever wasted your time trying to fish without any clue as to where the fish were?
If you have, you’re not alone. I used to do that a lot. However, I ended up finding a great fish finder, and my entire world changed.
In this article, I’ll be covering the Lowrance Elite 7 CHIRP. First, I’ll cover the basic things that you should consider when buying a fish finder, and then I’ll cover the actual fish finder in two separate Lowrance Elite 7 CHIRP reviews. The first review is a simple breakdown of what the Elite 7 has to offer, and the second is a review of its features.
Things to Consider
There are a few things that you need to know before you purchase a fish finder. I’ll go over those things now.
Lowrance Is High-End
First and foremost, this is a review of the Lowrance Elite 7 CHIRP. Lowrance isn’t exactly known for its budget-friendly models. It’s known for producing some of the highest quality fish finders on the market. If you want to purchase a Lowrance, you have to expect to pay a decent amount of money. Don’t get me wrong. Lowrance has cheaper models. However, most of their models are on the higher end of the spectrum.
Keep that in mind when you decide to buy a Lowrance fish finder. You will have to spend a bit of money to pick one up.
Lowrance Elite 7 CHIRP
The Lowrance Elite 7 CHIRP is designed to give elite fishermen everything that they want in a fish finder. It’s not an entry-level fish finder. It’s a complex tool that will allow professional and avid fishermen to know every factor that will affect their fishing efforts.
It features a high-powered transducer, a large and crisp screen, and a built-in GPS system that keeps you on your route at all times. This is an elite fish finder, and it’s not built to cater to beginners.
Features of the Lowrance Elite 7 CHIRP
There are five main features that really allow the Elite 7 CHIRP to shine. I’ll review all five of them in this section.
The screen on the Elite 7 CHIRP is seven-inches long, and it’s a rather impressive LCD screen. That ensures that you can see everything displayed on the screen regardless of what angle you view it at, and it ensures that every little detail of your sonar return is visible.
To put that into perspective, my first fish finder had an old-school screen. Sometimes, I couldn’t tell if I was looking at bait fish or curves in the lake’s bottom. I would have loved to have had a high-quality LCD screen back then.
CHIRP and Down-Imaging
Of course, a high-quality screen wouldn’t mean much if the actual sonar system wasn’t able to keep up. Luckily, the Elite 7 is outfitted with two different sonar systems to capture every detail that you need to see in the underwater environment.
First, a CHIRP system uses multiple frequencies to develop sonar images that are detailed and extremely crisp. Then, a down-imaging system works to take accurate scans of the deepest parts of your local lake. The down-imaging sonar might not provide the prettiest returns, but it covers depths that the CHIRP system can’t, and the two systems complement each other perfectly.
I suggest using the CHIRP system most of the time, but when you really want to target the monster-sized fish that lurk at the bottom of the lake, you can switch to the down-imaging system to see some amazing results.
The Insight Basemap system isn’t like the pre-loaded maps that other high-end models have. It’s just a blank slate that uses a GPS system to flesh itself out as it’s used.
The GPS system picks up your position, and it keeps track of where you’re at. However, it also utilizes an automatic system that draws in the specific details in your surroundings, and it saves those details for when you return to fish again.
A lot of other fish finders have similar systems, but the Insight Basemap works faster and more effectively than other systems.
The Lowrance Elite 7 CHIRP is one of the few high-end models that includes a transducer. It has a Transom branded transducer that handles both the CHIRP signals and the signals that come from the down-imaging system.
The transducer is designed to be semi-permanently mounted to your boat. So, don’t plan on removing it every time you pull your boat out of the water. You’ll waste quite a bit of time if you do.
Built-In GPS System
I already mentioned the built-in GPS system when I was talking about the map system. However, it’s used for more than just generating map updates. It’s a reliable way to keep yourself from getting lost.
The GPS system automatically connects to any satellites that are in its view, and it uses them to keep track of your position. It can also be used to direct you towards map markers that you don’t know how to get to, and it can help you get back to the dock that you launched from if you’re on a particularly large lake.
I’m impressed by the way the GPS is used to update the Insight map, but I’m more impressed by how reliable it is when it comes to traveling with it.
A Second Option
If the basic Elite 7 model isn’t quite what you’re looking for, there is a second option that might suit you a bit better, and it’s not drastically different. I’m talking about the Lowrance Elite 7X.
For the most part, the Elite 7X is the same as the Elite 7. However, it doesn’t include a ChartPlotter system like the normal model does. That helps decrease its overall price, and it removes a feature that doesn’t really matter that much unless you travel a lot.
It also doesn’t have any pre-loaded maps like the original model did. Again, the maps aren’t really necessary unless you like to travel a lot. You don’t need maps and ChartPlotter systems to travel around your local lake. So, the cheaper price tag is worth the trade-off in some circumstances. You still get the same reliable sonar units, and you get the high-quality display that the Elite 7 is known for.
Finally, its shell design allows it to fit into the mounting hardware that came with the old five-inch models. So, if you’re looking to upgrade your fish finder, but you don’t want to go through the hassle of re-mounting everything, this is a great option for you. You can just pop it into your old mounting hardware and go fishing.
Personally, I prefer the standard Elite 7 over the 7X. It just has more to it than this one does. However, I highly recommend buying this model if you don’t travel around the country to fish. You’ll save quite a bit of cash if you buy this one.
The Lowrance Elite 7 CHIRP has been held in high regard by elite fishermen for years. It’s at the top of its class when it comes to fish finders, and only a few models that cost hundreds of dollars more than it does can actually compete with it.
Fishermen have been surprised by how smoothly its CHIRP and down-imaging systems work together, and its GPS system has kept many fishermen from trying to land at the wrong dock.
Overall, the Elite 7 CHIRP’s reliability and accuracy are what garnered the most praise for it. It just doesn’t seem to fail. You can take it out in different types of water, weather, or environments, and it’ll perform as it’s expected to.
Alternatives to the Lowrance Elite 7 CHIRP
The Elite 7 CHIRP is great, but it’s not perfect. If you’re looking for something different, don’t feel bad. I’ve chosen three different fish finders that are the perfect alternatives to the Elite 7 CHIRP.
#1 Elite 7 Ti2
The Ti2 model of the Elite 7 is a more advanced and more expensive variant. Practically all of the Elite 7’s features are upgraded on the Elite 7 Ti2. So, it’s the perfect choice for fishermen that want a slightly more robust system.
However, it comes with a fairly hefty price tag, and it doesn’t come with a transducer. So, you’ll have to buy your own on top of investing in the Ti2 itself.
If you’re interested in the Ti2, you can check it out here.
#2 Lucky Kayak Fish Finder
If you don’t have a bass boat or something similar, you might want to invest in the Lucky Kayak fish finder. It’s similar to a portable fish finder, but it has a transducer that you can dangle from your kayak, and it’s rechargeable. It’s priced like a budget unit, but it has plenty of functionality for most fishermen.
If you’d like to check out the Lucky Kayak fish finder, you can click here.
#3 Lucky Boat Fish Finder
If you like the price tag that comes with the Lucky Kayak, you’ll love the Lucky Boat. It’s priced almost exactly the same, but it’s designed to be used like a traditional boat-mounted fish finder.
Its sonar returns aren’t the greatest, and its screen is fairly small, but it can get the job done if you’re not quite ready for the advanced nature of the Elite 7 CHIRP. I do suggest buying something a bit better once you gain a little more experience, though.
If you’re interested, you can find it here.
The Elite 7 CHIRP isn’t just a fish finder. It’s a full-fledged fishing companion, and it’ll make your life a lot easier when you go out to your favorite lake. You’ll have such an easy time locating and catching fish that you’ll wonder how you ever made it without a high-quality fish finder before.
The advanced sonar ensures that you won’t bump into any situations where you can’t spot fish, the map system ensures that you can keep track of your favorite fishing spots, and the GPS system ensures that you’ll never get lost.
If you’ve read my Lowrance Elite 7 CHIRP reviews, and you want to get your hands on one, you can click this link to buy your own. It’s well worth the price that you’ll have to pay.