Lowrance HOOK-7 CHIRP DownScan with BaseMap
There aren’t many differences between the ELITE CHIRP units and the new HOOK units from Lowrance. The HOOK-7 Base Combo is pretty much the same unit as the Elite-7 CHIRP Base Combo. They both use CHIRP sonar, both have DownScan, and both come with the BaseMaps package. However, the price of the new Lowrance fish finders in the HOOK category is slightly lower. Therefore, why not go with the lower price, for a newer unit?
Anyway, there’s a lot to be mentioned regarding this HOOK-7 unit, but the most important aspect that we ought to start with to avoid any confusions is its model number. The model presented in this post is the 000-12664-001 model, the one that comes with the HDI Skimmer transducer, GPS, and Basemaps.
Technical Details and Specifications
- Screen: 7″ diagonal, 16:9, 800H x 480V pixel matrix, 16-bit color TFT, with adjustable 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: 10-17 VDC
- GPS: 16-channels, Internal
- Maps: BaseMap
- Routes, Waypoints, Tracks: 100, 3,000, 100 (10,000 points each)
GPS and navigation
Similar to the Elite unit, the HOOK-7 features a precise internal GPS antenna, with 16-channels, providing pretty quick and accurate locks and positioning. It actually refreshes every second. Via GPS, the unit also indicates the boat’s speed.
This particular HOOK-7 model (000-12664-001) comes with the built-in BaseMap charts. As terminology suggests, these base maps are pretty basic. In other words, they don’t offer contour data, or other extra data such as marine services, tidal stations or lighthouses. You’ll have a greenish-brown area for land and a blue area for water. It serves its purpose for indicating your location and for plotting though, but the detail is minimal. Thus, is not the best navigation tool. However, there are plenty of upgrade possibilities (see below).
Waypoints and routes functions are also included.This Lowrance unit can store up to 3,000 waypoints and up to 100 routes, with 100 waypoints per each route. There’s also a trail function which allows you to record your course in a breadcrumb manner, with a capability of 10,000 points per trail. The unit can store up to 100 retraceable trails. Evidently, waypoints, routes, and trails can be shared between units connected via NMEA 0183 and backed up on a microSD card.
This unit is also Insight Genesis capable. Via this app, you can combine sonar with maps, for superior awareness. In other words, you can create your own maps, or modify existent ones via the Insight Genesis app, and use them with your unit.
Sonar and transducer
The Lowrance HOOK-7 Base Combo offers two types of sonar: 2D CHIRP and DownScan. To make it clear, this unit cannot use SideScan. The HDI Skimmer transducer 000-10976-001 is also supplied with the control unit. This particular transducer is capable of 4 distinctive frequencies: 83/200/455/800 kHz. In other words, it offers the possibility
83/200/455/800 kHz HDI Skimmer
to use two sonar beams 2D CHIRP, and two for DownScan. The transducer is temperature capable, comes with 20′ (6 m) of cable and a transom mount.
For 2D CHIRP, the transducer uses two conical beams, of 20° (200 kHz), and 60° (83 kHz). Thus, the unit will be able to scan via Med CHIRP and High CHIRP. The HOOK-7 unit is also capable of 50 kHz though, but you will need a 50/200 kHz transducer in order to use the 50 kHz frequency and benefit from the Low CHIRP mode.
The DownScan sonar built-in this unit is also a great sonar technology to have. This type of sonar is excellent to determine the shape of the structure and the constitution of the bottom. It’s not as good as CHIRP at pointing out fish. But nonetheless, fish will also show on the DownScan view as white dots. Overall, DownScan offers photo-like clarity giving you the possibility to understand better what’s under the boat.
For DownScan, the transducer also uses two beams for 455 kHz and 800 kHz, but they’re thin fore to aft, being shaped more like a fan. For 455 kHz, the side-to-side beam has an angle of 57°, while for 800 kHz it’s narrower, with an angle of 38°.
The HOOK-7 units use Advanced Signal Processing to monitor noise such as engine ignition systems, boat pumps or water condition, filtering out unnecessary signals. This way, whether you’re using the 2D mode or DownScan, undesired clutter will be eliminated. This is actually a hands-free, automatic filtering system.
When it comes to depth capability, with the supplied transducer this unit is capable of a maximum depth of 1000 ft. for 2D, and approx. 300 ft. for DownScan. The unit should be able to scan the bottom and water column under the boat at speeds of up to 70 MPH, at perfect conditions. However, as a general idea, you will benefit from accurate imaging at speeds of up to 30-40 MPH.
Apart from what we’ve mentioned so far regarding sonar and transducer, there are also several sonar functions that should be put into view. First of all, this unit has the TrackBack function which gives you the possibility to record sonar or scroll back through the sonar feed to see a specific spot that you’ve just passed. You can also assign waypoints on recorded sonar, in case you want to revisit that particular spot.
DownScan Overlay is also a function that you might find useful. Via this function, you can actually combine the 2D and DownScan views. Since the 2D sonar is better at distinguishing fish, while DownScan is better at understanding structure, you can get a better picture of the fish positioning in relation to vegetation, bottom, rocks etc.
Other sonar-related functions available with this unit include A-Scope, Bottom Lock, Split-Zoom, Split-Flasher, Fish ID and various alarms, such as depth alarms and fish alarms.
The HOOK-7 unit features a 16-bit color TFT display, with adjustable LED backlight, offering quality imaging for both sonar and maps. With a pixel matrix of 800 x 480, it offers plenty of screen space for split-screen views. The control unit features IPX7 waterproofing, which means it can resist water drops and splashes with no problem, and even immersions up to 1 m, and up to 30 minutes (in freshwater). You can actually view up to 3 applications on screen, such as the returns from the 2D sonar beam, the DownScan sonar, and your charts.
As we’ve mentioned above, this unit features an NMEA 0183 output and one microSD card slot. The unit works with just about any 12V battery.
In terms of GPS, there is the possibility of an upgrade with an external antenna. And since the control unit features an NMEA 0183 port, it can share GPS with a different unit, or with an antenna connected to the NMEA 0183 grid. The unit is also AIS capable, and an AIS module can also be connected in this manner.
There’s quite a selection of charts packages compatible with this HOOK unit, including C-MAP MAX-N by Jeppesen, Navionics HotMaps Premium, Navionics Plus, Fishing Hotspots PRO, Lake Insight and Nautic Insight PRO.
Evidently, the unit’s internal software is upgradable, so you can download any updates for free, when available, and install them via SD card.
Lastly, it’s 50 kHz capable, so you can use a 50/200 kHz transducer for deep water fishing. CHIRP really excels at scanning higher depths.
- Powerful 2D CHIRP sonar;
- DownScan imaging for a crystal-clear view;
- Possibility to combine both DownScan and 2D;
- HDI transducer included;
- 16-bit color display;
- Adjustable backlight for superior readability;
- 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.
- Fast and accurate GPS;
- Compatible with superior maps, such as Lake Insight and Nautic Insight PRO,
Navionics +, C-MAP MAX-N, Fishing Hot Spots PRO;
- Insight Genesis capable;
- Fairly easy to install;
- One year warranty.
- The Basemap charts offer minimal detail;
- Unit cover not included;
- Advanced unit; may take some time to master completely.
The only major difference between the Lowrance HOOK-7 and ELITE-7 CHIRP is that the HOOK model lacks the NMEA 2000 connector. But this comes with a lower price, as opposed to the older unit. Other than that, they’re pretty much the same. The HOOK-7 is a decent unit to use on freshwater, but can also be effective on deep water. CHIRP 2D and DownScan, as well as the possibility to use the two combined, will considerably increase your fish landing rate, while the navigation functions, especially if using a more advanced charts pack, will definitely maximize your awareness on the water. All in all, it’s a medium size unit, with an impressive array of feature, offering great value for the price.