Lowrance HOOK-4 CHIRP DownScan with BaseMap
The HOOK-4 unit from Lowrance isn’t much different from the Elite-4 CHIRP unit. However, since the HOOK units are brand new, released for 2016, the Lowrance HOOK-4 still may be a better alternative to the Elite version, as the internal components are probably of the newest generation.
As the title suggests, this is the HOOK unit with the basic charts, the part number 000-12647-001. This model number also includes a transducer.
Technical Details and Specifications
- Screen: 4.3″ diagonal, 480 x 272 pixel matrix, 16-bit color TFT, with adjustable LED backlight
- Sonar: 2D CHIRP and DownScan
- Depth Capability:
- 1,000 ft (305 m) for the CHIRP sonar
- 300 ft. (91 m) for DownScan
- Frequency and Coverage:
- 200 kHz (20°) / 83 kHz (60°) for standard CHIRP
- 455 kHz for DownScan, fore to aft. 4°, port to starboard 57°
- 800 kHz for DownScan fore to aft 2°, port to starboard 38°
- Transducer: Transom, number 000-10976-001
- Power Output: Max 500 Watts (RMS)
- Power Input: 12 vDC (10-17 vDC min-max)
- GPS: 16-channels, Internal
- Charts: BaseMap
- Routes, Waypoints, Tracks: 100; 3,000; 100 (10,000 points each)
Fish finding features
All Lowrance fish finder in the HOOK class use CHIRP technology, and the HOOK-4 model makes no exception. This unit features dual frequency 2D CHIRP sonar and also offers DownScan imaging. DownScan does not use CHIRP, however via the DownScan Overlay feature you can blend the 2D CHIRP sonar with the DownScan, in order to obtain more detail and observe fish arches in relation to structure.
The HOOK-4 unit comes with the HDI Skimmer transducer, which covers the 83/200 and 455/800 kHz frequencies. The unit is also capable of 50 kHz frequencies, thus it can work with a 50/200 kHz transducer, for deepwater use. The transducer uses conical beams for 2D CHIRP. For 200 kHz, the cone angle is approx. 20° offering more detail, while for 83 kHz the beam angle is wider, of approx. 60°, offering more coverage, but less detail.
Now, since the unit uses CHIRP, the images provided by the 2D sonar are very clear, without the average clutter that appears in units with traditional standard sonar. The unit also uses Advanced Signal Processing to monitor the noise effects such as boat pumps or engine ignitions and turbulence, filtering them out, and reducing the need to constantly adjust noise. And of course, target separation is great, it can actually distinguish targets at 1.4″ distance from one another.
The 2D CHIRP is great for observing fish arches and makes available several functions, such as Fish ID, Amplitude Scope, and Split-Zoom. Fish ID assigns fish icons to sonar echoes
Lowrance Fish ID
interpreted as fish, also displaying the depth of each target above the fish icon. This function is great to use when you’re unsure whether a certain target is a fish or not. However, keep in mind that not all fish symbols that will appear on screen are actually fish. Amplitude Scope is a vertical flasher that appears on the right of the sonar view and indicates the returns of the last sonar echo.
Since this is a dual-frequency unit, it can actually display the view of both 2D sonar beams simultaneously. On top of that, you can use Split-Zoom, to compare the normal sonar view in split screen with a part of the sonar feed that has been magnified.
This unit also offers a Circular Flasher mode, great to use especially when ice fishing, but also useful for down dropping. The Flasher mode can also be viewed in split screen with the 2D sonar view.
When it comes to DownScan, the transducer supplied also uses two beams, but these are very thin, similar to the beams of a scanner. Their side-to-side angles are approx. 57° for 455 kHz, and 38° for 800 kHz. DownScan imaging is great for observing and understanding structure. The images provided by this sonar technology are pretty clear and sharp, similar to photographs. Fish appear on DownScan as bright dots, also giving you the possibility to point them out from structure, more quickly.
With the supplied transducer, the fish finder unit can penetrate depths up to 1,000 ft (305 m) in 2D, and 300 ft (91 m) in DownScan.
A few other aspects to mention regarding the transducer of this unit is that it integrates a water temperature sensor, while the unit can indicate temperature. It also comes with 20 ft (6 m) of cable and with a transom mount.
One last aspect relating to the fish finding features of this unit is the TrackBack. This is basically a sonar recording function, which also gives you the possibility to rewind the sonar feed, in order to review a specific location. This function can save you a lot of trouble, as you may not need to turn the boat around, in order to have another look at a certain spot.
GPS and navigation functions
HOOK-4 BaseMap View
The first aspect to mention here regards the unit’s charts. As the title suggests this particular Lowrance model comes with the basic charts. These offer some contours for over 3,000 lakes, rivers, and coastal waters, but the detail is minimal. However, the unit can work with various maps, such as Navionics HotMaps Premium, Navionics +, Lake Insight, Fishing Hotspots PRO, Nautic Insight PRO, and C-MAP MAX-N by Jeppesen, pretty impressive compatibility for such a small unit. On top of that, it can use Insight Genesis maps, created with your own sonar logs.
Evidently, this is a unit with GPS. It uses a 16-channel GPS internal antenna. The GPS system is pretty accurate and can use WAAS, EGNOS, and MSAS.
Last but not least, this unit gives you the possibility to mark waypoints and record trails. It can save up to 3,000 waypoints, 100 routes, and 100 tracks (10,000 points per track).
Control unit features and functions
When it comes to connectivity, this unit features an NMEA 0183 port, but also features one microSD card slot for extra maps, for sonar recording and waypoints/routes/trails back up.
The display has a vertical layout with a pixel matrix of 272H x 480V. It’s evidently a color screen, with a 16-bit color range. It’s also LED backlit, with adjustable light range of 11 levels. In other words, the display offers excellent readability in direct sunlight or at night.
The unit is IPX7 waterproof. This means it should resist rain or incidental splashes. This rating actually means that is can withstand even immersions in fresh water up to 1 m.
The unit requires a 12-volt battery, which is not included in the box. The quick release bracket is included, though.
- Powerful 2D CHIRP sonar;
- DownScan imaging for a crystal-clear view;
- Possibility to combine both DownScan with the power of CHIRP, via DownScan Overlay;
- HDI transducer (83/200 455/800 kHz) included;
- 16-bit color display;
- Adjustable LED backlight for superior readability;
- Split-screen view up to 3 panels per view;
- Automatic noise filtering;
- Various functions included, such as Fish ID, Amplitude Scope, Bottom Lock, Flasher view etc;
- Sonar recording;
- Fast and accurate GPS;
- Impressive chart compatibility, unit that works with such as Lake Insight and Nautic Insight PRO, Navionics +, C-MAP MAX-N, Fishing Hot Spots PRO;
- Waypoints, tracks, and routes functions;
- Insight Genesis capable;
- Fairly easy to install;
- One year warranty.
- No unit cover;
- The included Basemaps offer only minimal detail;
- May take a while to fully learn how to operate this unit.
One of the newest and best small units with GPS, chartplotter, CHIRP 2D and DownScan. It’s a great unit for any small boat or kayak. It comes with a powerful and versatile transducer, the Lowrance HDI skimmer. It’s a great unit to use on bodies of fresh water, but can also be used for saltwater, as long as you don’t need to scan higher depths. All in all, this unit offers great value for the price.