Lowrance HOOK-4x CHIRP DownScan
The beginning of 2016 marks the release of the HOOK series for Lowrance. The units within this category focus on the most basic and most necessary features. However, they’re pretty much similar to the Elite series units. The one we’ll focus on here is the HOOK-4x, which is a fish finder only, a unit that does not include GPS.
Also, before we proceed with the presentation of the core specs, features, and functions of this unit, one important aspect must be clarified. The Lowrance HOOK-4x CHIRP DownScan comes in two bundles, with the 2D transducer, and with the HDI Skimmer. The model presented here is the part number 000-12641-001, the one that comes with the HDI skimmer that supports both 2D CHIRP sonar of the unit and DownScan.
Technical Details and Specifications
- Screen: 4.3″ diagonal, 480V x 272H pixel matrix, 16-bit color TFT, with 11-level LED backlight
- Sonar: Broadband CHIRP and DownScan
- Depth Capability:
1,000 ft (305 m) CHIRP sonar
300 ft. (91 m) for DownScan
- Frequency and Coverage:
200 kHz (20°) / 83 kHz (60°) for broadband
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: 500 Watts (RMS)
- Power Input: 12 VDC (10-17 VDC min/max)
- GPS: No
- Maps: No
- Routes, Waypoints, Tracks: No
Control unit features and functions
The control unit of the HOOK-4x is quite similar to the Elite-4 unit. It features the same 4.3″ display, with a 16-bit color range and a 480V x 272H pixel ratio. It also features an 11-level LED backlight, overall offering quite a bright screen, and decent readability even in direct sunlight. It’s also IPX7 waterproof, which means it can withstand splashes or incidental water exposure. However, it’s not a full waterproof unit, therefore especially if fishing in saltwater, keep droplets of it, and use a cover if necessary.
The unit does not feature media ports such a microSD card slots, but it does, however, have an NMEA 0183 port.
Sonar features and functions
For a small unit, the HOOK-4x sure offers quite some impressive sonar capabilities. It features two sonar technologies, 2D CHIRP and DownScan imaging, being capable of four frequencies: 83/200/455/800 kHz. And the model 000-12641-001 presented here also comes with the HDI Skimmer (000-10976-001) that supports both these sonar technologies.
DownScan imaging is great for observing the bottom and the shape of various structures or vegetation, as it offers images close to the clarity of photographs. For DownScan, the unit uses the 455/800 kHz frequencies. The transducer uses thin, fan-shaped beams for these two frequencies, beams with angles of 57° for 455 kHz, and 38° for 800 kHz. DownScan does not use CHIRP though.
The 2D standard sonar uses CHIRP technology for a better target separation and for scanning at higher depths. For a small unit, it’s quite something that it can scan up to 1,000 ft. Also, CHIRP supplies a better clarity and less clutter, which is great to have on a rather small screen. To put it differently, the standard 2D sonar of this unit helps a lot to distinguish between structure and fish.
The 2D CHIRP, the unit use 83/200 kHz frequencies, the transducer using conical beams, with angles of approx. 60° for 83 kHz, and 20° for 200 kHz.
The transducer is also equipped with a temperature sensor, enabling the control unit to display water temperature. It comes with a transom mount.
Three of the neat sonar-related functions of this unit are DownScan Overlay, Advanced Signal Processing, and TrackBack.
DownScan Overlay offers the combination of 2D CHIRP with DownScan. It actually overlays DownScan onto the 2D CHIRP sonar. This way, you will benefit from the CHIRP target separation of the 2D, and the great imaging offered by DownScan, in order to easily tell fish from structure, or their relation to a certain structure.
Advanced Signal Processing (or ASP™) is a function that automatically balances sensitivity and noise rejection. With this function set ON, you will save some time with adjusting the unit’s sensitivity and filtering noise manually.
TrackBack is a sonar recording function. The unit has its own internal memory and gives you the possibility to record the sonar feed, and scroll back through it, in case you want to review a certain spot. A data SD card is not required for this. In fact, as we’ve mentioned, this unit does not feature any SD card slots.
The HOOK-4x also offers several other functions, such as Depth Alarm, A-Scope, Bottom Lock, Fish ID and different page layouts with up to 3 panels per view.
- Excellent price for a powerful fish finder, this unit costs about $150 less than the similar Elite-4X CHIRP.
- Powerful 2D CHIRP sonar;
- DownScan imaging for a crystal-clear view;
- HDI transducer included;
- Color display;
- Adjustable backlight for superior readability;
- Possibility to combine both DownScan and 2D;
- Split-screen view up to 3 panels per view;
- Sonar recording;
- Automatic noise filtering;
- Various functions included, such as Fish ID, A-Scope, Bottom Lock etc.
- Display a bit small for a 3-panel view;
- No SD card slot for saving recorded sonar.
As a final conclusion, we’ll underline once more the difference between the HOOK-4x CHIRP and Elite-4X CHIRP. The HOOK-4x model cannot scan with low-frequency CHIRP, while the Elite-4X is. Evidently, there is a price difference between the two, the HOOK model being considerably less expensive, and a much better choice if you don’t need Low CHIRP.
Other than these, the HOOK-4x CHIRP DownScan unit is a great fish finder for a small boat or kayak. It’s quite powerful for a small unit. Also, it’s one of the cheapest units with CHIRP that you can find at the moment.