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Lowrance HOOK-3x DSI

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One of the most affordable HOOK units released for 2016 by Lowrance is the HOOK-3x DSI. This is a simple fish finder only unit, featuring only DownScan sonar. However, even though it’s a small unit, without any navigation functions, there’s still a lot to be said about it. So, let’s see what it can offer.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Screen: 3.5″ diagonal, 320V x 240H pixel matrix, 256- color TFT, with 11-level LED backlight
  • Sonar: DownScan Only
  • Depth Capability:
    300 ft. (91 m)
  • Operating Frequency:
    455/800 kHz
  • Transducer: 000-10260-001, with transom mount
  • Power Output: 180 Watts (RMS)
  • Power Input: 12v DC (10-17v DC)
  • GPS: No
  • Maps: No
  • Routes, Waypoints, Tracks: No

Sonar and transducer

To begin with, this is the 000-12636-001 unit, the one that is supplied with the DSI skimmer transducer. It’s a DownScan sonar only unit, and can operate at two frequencies: 455 / 800 kHz. The 000-10260-001 DSI skimmer supplied with this unit supports both these frequencies.

It uses fan-shaped beams for scanning, not conical as a transducer for 2D traditional sonar. The side-to-side width of these beams is not specified, but as a general idea, the beam that the transducer is using for scanning in 455 kHz is wider than the one for 800 kHz. Differently put, the 455 kHz mode is best to be used on deeper water, for a better coverage, while the 800 kHz mode is more effective on shallow waters, offering superior clarity.

Since it’s a DownScan only unit, its depth capability isn’t extreme. However, it can keep track of the bottom on depths up to 300 ft (91 m). In other words, it’s a unit for fresh water, but you can also use it in saltwater if you stick to the shallows.

The transducer supplied with this unit features 20′ (6 m) of cable. It also integrates a temperature sensor, thus the unit will indicate the temperature of the top water.

To be clear, this unit is different than the other HOOK units and does not use CHIRP sonar technology. However, the imaging offered by the DownScan sonar is pretty clear. This type of sonar technology is great to use for understanding the shape of various structure better, or the contour of the bottom. Nonetheless, fish also appear on this type of sonar, but not exactly as arches, but more like bright dots. Their relation to structure is easier to understand by using DownScan imaging.

When it comes to scanning speed, this unit can actually keep track of the bottom at vessel speeds up to 55 MPH. However, for clear imaging, and a maximum of detected targets, it’s best to maintain a boat speed between 1-6 MPH.

One last aspect to be mentioned here is that this unit is not a dual-frequency one. In other words, you won’t be able to scan with both 455 and 800 kHz modes simultaneously, in order to view the results in split screen.

Control unit features

As the name suggests, it’s a small unit, featuring a 3.5-inch diagonal display, with a vertical layout and a pixel matrix of 320 x 240. It features white LED backlight, with 11 levels of lighting. In other words, it features excellent readability in direct sunlight. It’s also IPX7 waterproof, which means it resists splashes or rain, and even immersions for short periods of time, without sustaining damage. However, especially if fishing in saltwater, it’s best to keep the unit dry, since saltwater is quite corrosive.

A quick-disconnect, tilt/swivel bracket is supplied with the unit. However, it doesn’t have a protective cover. This unit does not feature any NMEA connectivity, Ethernet port or SD card, reader. Also, it does not have sonar recording.

Last but not least, navigation through menus and options is done exclusively via keys. The unit is not a touchscreen one.

The Pros

  • Affordable fish finder;
  • DownScan imaging sonar, offering crystal clear views;
  • Capable of two frequencies – 455 / 800 kHz;
  • DSI skimmer transducer included;
  • Indicates topwater temperature and battery;
  • Quick-release, tilt-swivel bracket included;
  • Color display;
  • LED backlight for superior readability even in direct sunlight;
  • Easy to install;
  • Easy to operate.

The Cons

  • Lacks 2D sonar, which usually comes with various other functions such as Fish ID, Bottom Lock etc. Other units within this price range have 2D too.


The Lowrance HOOK-3x DSI is a fish finder unit, featuring DownScan imaging sonar only. It’s a small unit great for kayaks or any small boat, perfect for freshwater fishing. It comes with the DSI transducer, which is also temperature capable and can operate on both frequencies supported by the unit. Even though it doesn’t have any navigation features or 2D sonar, it gets the job done when it comes to measuring depth, finding fish and observing structure. And finally, it offers an excellent price/quality ratio.

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