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Choosing a Fishfinder

How to choose the right fishfinder for you…

Whether you are looking for a simple switch on and go fishfinder, premium features without the premium price tag or to fish like the pros, Lowrance has the solution.

But, how do you decide which fishfinder is right for you? To begin, you need to consider where you are fishing, what you are fishing for, how you are going to fish, and what you want to spend. 

If you’re just starting out on your fishing career, possibly on a lake in a kayak, then you may want to be looking at the HOOK Reveal.  

If you’re in a small boat and headed for some sea fishing then the Elite Ti² could be what you’re after with additional features at a great price.  Alternatively, if you are looking for pro-level technology, look at the HDS LIVE with features such as Livesight.


Once you have thought about your answers to the above, you will need to move on to more specific questions such as:


Which transducer? – the transducer is what enables you to see below the water.  Decisions include: How are you going to fit it – thru-hull or transom-mounted? Transom mounting is the simplest and cheapest to install and suits most boats – but can be vulnerable in its exposed location on the transom. Thru-hull mounting means the transducer is out of harm’s way but requires the boat to be out of the water and a hole to be drilled through the hull for installation.


When choosing your transducer, you need to think about what you want to see on your screen as different features provide different results.  Options include:


  • DownScan - shows a view of the bottom beneath your boat.  Use this to identify bottom structure where fish like to hide, and drop your lure straight in.
  • SideScan - gives you a wider view, allowing you to see the structure to each side of your boat. 
  • StructureScan 3D - allows you to see a lifelike 3D model of the bottom below your boat. 
  • CHIRP Sonar - shows the fish in the water column below the transducer – and with FishReveal, you can overlay CHIRP Sonar and DownScan technology on one page. 

Depending on the model of fishfinder, you can combine these technologies in one transducer – like the Active Imaging 2/3-in-1.

You can learn more about sonars and transducers here.


Chartplotter, Fishfinder or combo? -  Do you want to have chartplotting capability as well as fishfinding? This will affect which units you should consider.  If you want to map or track where you are fishing, see the depth, or plan a route then you’ll need a chartplotter, if you simply want to cast and fish from your kayak you may just need a fishfinder model or even a castable… 


Once you’ve considered all of the above then you can start thinking about which fishfinder you want to have…


Some of the options to choose from include: