Have you ever gone out to the water, tried to use your fish finder, and promptly noticed that half of the information it gave you was hard to read or useless? I remember experiencing that moment when I first got into fish finders. The basic stuff works fine for a while, but you eventually have to switch to something a bit more robust.
In this article, I’m going to review the Lowrance hook 9. There are two Lowrance Hook 9 reviews in this article. That’s because there are two models that are extremely similar, but there are some subtle differences that are worth mentioning.
Things To Consider
Before I show you the Hook 9, there are a few things that I want to tell you to look out for. These things are important to consider before you decide to spend a lot of money on sonar equipment, and they’ll ensure that you get the best performance possible out of your fish finder.
If you’re looking at Hook 9 reviews, you’re probably doing a lot more than just trolling around the same lake every weekend. If you’re going out to different lakes, exploring new areas, or fishing professionally, you need a mapping system. As a bare minimum requirement, you want to get a mapping system that creates a map for you as you travel. That won’t allow you to plan your trip ahead of time, but it will allow you to retrace your steps if you get lost, and it’ll allow you to have an advantage the next time you go back to the same lake.
I do recommend looking for a map system that has maps pre-loaded, though. The pre-loaded maps will help you understand the layout of a lake before you explore it, and they’ll help you navigate to new fishing spots a lot easier and more safely.
Maps aren’t too important if you’re just trying to fish in a local lake all of the time. You’ll be able to scout your local lake out within one or two trips. They’re a necessary part of fishing if you like to explore, though.
The Hook 9 Isn’t An Entirely New Product
If you’re familiar with the Hook2, you already know what you’re getting with the Hook 9. The Hook 9 series is made up of larger versions of the classic Hook2 models. So, you won’t see a lot of drastic differences if you already own a Hook2, but you will get the benefits provided by a much larger screen.
Ease Of Use
You don’t want to get a fish finder that requires you to spend more time pushing buttons than what you spend actually fishing. I’ve used one like that. It’s not fun, and you usually end up going home with just a couple of fish instead of full baskets of them.
Touchscreen technology has been available for years, and it’s pretty cheap for companies to incorporate it into their products. If you’re spending more than $100 on a fish finder, you should expect it to have a touchscreen. The touchscreen will limit the number of menus that you have to manually flip through, and it’ll streamline the entire process of using your fish finder.
Of course, a touchscreen can’t fix every problem on its own. You want a fish finder that has an intuitive GUI. You should be able to learn how to use your fish finder properly within a few hours. If you’re still having problems after playing with it for that long, it’s most likely because the manufacturer just threw it together instead of trying to make it easy to use.
Make Sure It Has A Thermometer
Out of all of the fancy bonus features that good fish finder manufacturers include, the most important one is a thermometer. You have to know the water’s temperature to fish properly.
Think about it for a minute. Water temperature is something that affects the efficiency of even the newest fishermen. It affects fish more than barometric pressure, and it affects them more than the spawning season. It’s extremely important.
A fish finder should be able to tell you how hot or cold the water is, and it should do so accurately.
Differences Between Hook And Hook2 Models
You might have seen a few old Hook fish finders floating around on the internet, and you might have gotten a little confused when you saw that all of Lowrance’s other products are part of the Hook2 line. Here’s the difference between the two product lines.
The original Hook product line was a derivative of older Lowrance products. It was essentially their first attempt to update their fish finder technology. They didn’t focus on adding any networking features, and they didn’t update their menus when they created the Hook series.
When they designed the Hook2, they made it from the ground up. Everything that is put into Hook2 models is modern, high-tech, and worthy of being in a high-end fish finder. The menus are simplified, they have more networking capabilities, and they’re just better overall.
Lowrance Hook 9 Reviews
This is the basic model of the Hook 9. It’s very similar to the basic Hook 2 model, but it’s a lot larger. Basically, it’s a really good choice if you have trouble reading the small screens that the Hook 2 series is known for.
The base model is part of Lowrance’s TripleShot line, and it has a transducer that provides down-imaging, side-imaging, and CHIRP sonar returns without forcing you to mount multiple transducers on your boat. The TripleShot system gives you a lot of flexibility when you’re fishing, and it keeps things tidy on your boat.
Its sonar system isn’t the only impressive feature that it has, though. It has a mapping system that most other fish finders can’t rival, and it can be upgraded via an SD slot.
Those are the basics, but let’s dig a bit deeper into the Hook 9’s features.
Features of the Lowrance Hook 9
Here are all of the Hook 9’s features. They’re comparable to the features that are present in the rest of the Hook 2 series.
The Hook 9 has the same user-friendly features as the rest of the Hook2 series. It has an automatic system that tunes its sonar signals to make them easier to read, and it has a menu system that closely resembles the menus you use everyday on your smartphone.
The streamlined menus make it easier for you to switch between features quickly, and the auto-tuning feature keeps you from wasting your time adjusting your signal settings.
CHIRP technology is some of the best sonar technology on the planet, but it usually only covers small sections of the water column at a time. The Hook 9 has a wide-angle system that allows it to conduct its sonar sweeps over a much wider area.
You can mount the Hook 9 to your boat with ease. The screen can be mounted to just about any part of your boat, and the TripleShot transducer can be mounted in one of four different spots.
Your trolling motor, transom, hull, and scupper holes are all viable spots for the TripleShot.
A lot of fish finders in this price range have multiple sonar systems, but very few of them only use one transducer to power them all.
The TripleShot transducer combines the abilities of down-imaging sonar, side-imaging sonar, and CHIRP sonar to create the ultimate fish-spotting transducer. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more efficient transducer anywhere else.
The Hook 9 has a high-quality GPS system that outperforms the competition at every turn. The GPS allows you to mark interesting locations by simply touching the touchscreen, and it allows you to plot out routes in the same manner.
As you grow as a fisherman, you might decide that you need new features or maps to get the most out of your fish finder. With other fish finders, that typically means you have to buy a new unit. The Hook 9 isn’t like that. It’s outfitted with an SD slot that allows you to install firmware and software updates with ease, and it also allows you to add third-party features.
Lowrance Hook 9 Splitshot
This is the second variant of the Hook 9 that I want to talk about. It is almost identical to the regular Hook 9, but two features really set it apart. Everything else is the same, though. So, you can refer to the previous review if you want to know about the features that are exactly the same.
The TripleShot transducer gives the regular Hook 9 access to three types of sonar. The Splitshot transducer only provides CHIRP sonar returns and down-imaging sonar returns. Since side-imaging isn’t very important when you have CHIRP sonar, I don’t really consider that a bad thing. If anything, it streamlines the information present on your Hook 9’s screen.
However, the Splitshot is mounted exactly like the TripleShot transducer. It can be mounted in the same spots, and it’s just as easy to install.
The standard mapping system of the regular Hook 9 is present in the Hook 9 Splitshot, but the Splitshot makes up for its lack of side-imaging sonar by incorporating a Navionics map card. The map card has more than 4000 fishing maps on it, and all of the maps can be customized with the standard mapping system.
The Lowrance Hook 9 and Hook 9 Splitshot models have been praised for providing everything that a fisherman needs, and they leave out a lot of the things that aren’t necessary. They’re seen as streamlined tools that make fishing easier.
The map system of the Splitshot variant has received the most praise, but the TripleShot’s extra sonar option makes it equally viable as a fish finder.
Finally, other anglers really seem to like how easy it is to mount the Hook 9. The package comes with all of the necessary tools, and the transducer can be placed in so many different positions that it fits easily on any boat.
Alternatives to the Lowrance Hook 9
Obviously, I am really fond of the Hook2 series, and the Hook 9 variants are just as awesome. You might not agree with me, though. If you don’t, here are three alternatives that might satisfy you.
#1 Garmin Striker 4
The Garmin Striker 4 may not have all of the bells and whistles that the Hook 9 has, but it’s a lot cheaper, and it does have all of the necessities. It’s one of the few budget-friendly models that I personally recommend to intermediate and advanced fishermen. I usually suggest going with a more expensive model if you’re an experienced angler, but the Striker 4 can hold its own against the best of them.
It has a small screen, but its sonar system is top-notch, and its basic map system is more than enough to keep you from getting lost.
Check out the Garmin Striker 4 at this link.
#2 Raymarine Axion
The Axion isn’t a cheap fish finder, but it’ll satisfy you if you thought the Hook 9 was a little too basic. It has RealVision 3D rendering software, Navionics maps, advanced GPS, and several sonar systems. You don’t absolutely have to have a fish finder that is as flexible as the Axion, but if you want an elite piece of equipment, it’s the one for you.
If you want to check it out, click here.
#3 Hook2 7-Inch
Do you remember how I said the Hook 9 is pretty much just a Hook2 with a larger screen? This is the original Hook2. It has a seven-inch screen, but it has all of the same features as the Hook 9. It even comes in the same TripleShot and Splitshot variants. If you want something smaller than the Hook 9, but you really love its features, this is what you should look at.
Here’s a link to get you started.
The Hook 9 may just be a rehash of the basic Hook2 models, but its larger screen makes a huge difference. It’s simply easier to read all of the priceless information that the Hook 9 provides you with.
If you looked at my Lowrance Hook 9 reviews and wanted one for yourself, you can click here to pick it up. If you want the Splitshot version, you can buy it here.