Lowrance Hook 3X Review: The Top Portable Fish Finder

Want to simply find a juicy fishing spot and stick to it? Having trouble maneuvering a fancy fish finder with features that you don’t want or need?

If you are new to fishing, or just not good with technology, you might find modern fish finders to be chock full of glitzy capabilities that an angler rarely needs. While fish finders like these have their own advantages, sometimes you just want something more stripped down.

This is where we come in with our Lowrance Hook 3X review. The Lowrance Hook 3x Fishfinder is a simple, budget-friendly fish finder device, with stripped-down features. 

Meant for anglers looking for a cheaper device, it doesn’t have all the fancy characteristics like GPS navigation so it is also easy to use.

So if you’ve been looking for something along these lines, we recommend giving this a read. We’ll talk about this fish finder, its features, how it works, and whether we recommend giving it a try.

Lowrance Hook 3X Fish Finder Review

This small fish finder fits right into your palm or pocket. It is also a perfect DownScan portable device for things like kayak and canoe fishing and gives you excellent fish finding functionality, especially if you already have a separate GPS device installed in your fishing vessel.

The Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X Sonar has the following features that are the most eye-catching:

Vibrant Color Display:

It has a 3-inch LED-backlit color display which is small and compact. There is also an impressive 320 x 240 resolution that is easy to see in full sunlight, darkness, and from wide viewing angles. This emphasis on visibility makes it very convenient to use during all sorts of weather.

Moreover, the power button also works as a backlight control, letting you adjust the display for nighttime or daylight fishing conditions. 

However, this fishfinder does not come with a touchscreen capability. More importantly, the standard view can be magnified up to four times

Sonar & Transducer:

Like we mentioned before in our Lowrance Hook review, this is a pretty simple fish finder that only uses DownScan imaging. It does however come with a dual-frequency sonar that functions at 83 and 200 kHz.

The conical coverage of the Lowrance 3X is 60° at 83 kHz and 20° at 200 kHz respectively. The former mode is perfect for scanning wider areas and identifying the largest fish arches. 

On the other hand, the 200 kHz mode is best used for advanced lure tracking and greater target separation. Also, the keypad lets you easily shift between the two frequencies.

The Lowrance Hook 3 has a 9-pin High-Speed Skimmer transducer along with a temperature sensor. The Lowrance Elite 3X portable sonar includes a tilt-&-swivel quick-release bracket that can reach up to around 300 feet which is pretty standard among shallow waters.

Clear Image Capturing:

In the line of typical sonar features, Lowrance Hook-3X comes with both ASP and Fish ID. The included transducer is capable of scanning schools of fish, boulders, and bottom contours at 75mph, but experts recommend keeping your speed between 1 and 10mph for the best results.

The Lowrance Hook 3X transducer captures crisp and precise details underwater, transmitting them to the display. Moreover, the broadband sounder detail can quickly recognize fish targets, bottom contour, structured detail, bottom hardness, debris, and the like.

Waterproof Functionality:

The Lowrance Hook-3X comes with an impressive IP-X7 waterproof rating. This means that it can deal with rain and water splashes without any effect. More importantly, it can survive full immersion in 3.3 feet of water for up to nearly 30 minutes without any issue.

What You Get from the Lowrance Hook 3X

You might be wondering what else this fish finder brings to the table. After all, many other fish finders offer basic imaging and identification. Here’s what we really liked about the Lowrance Hook 3X device:

Affordability:

Finding good, yet very affordable fish finders can be difficult. Many of them are incorrect, offer poor imaging, or breakdown quickly. 

However, this one is pretty cheap, has lots of simple but sufficient functionality. At the same time, it can put up with rough and frequent use.

Ease of Use:

The ASP or advanced signal processing decreases the necessity of manually adjusting the settings to view fish, underwater structures, and bottom detail more clearly. This means you need to spend less time handling the device, giving you more time to deal with the fish.

Larger Coverage:

The conical coverage provides a great deal of coverage of whatever is going on underneath the water around your vessel. This also allows you to have a bigger and better view of your surroundings. You can identify and locate schools of fish, underwater debris, vegetation, and other obstacles.

Major Features:

  • Dimensions: 5.64 x 3.7 x 1.85 inches
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Resolution: 320 x 240 pixels
  • Display Size: 3 inches
  • Depth Capability: ~300 feet
  • Brand: Lowrance

The Pros:

  • Easy to use and convenient.
  • Dual-frequency sonar for better imaging.
  • Affordable and budget-friendly device.
  • Includes a high-speed skimmer transducer.
  • The tilt-and-swivel bracket adds to the simplicity of use.
  • LED color display and adjustable backlight improve visibility.

The Cons:

  • Does not include GPS capabilities.
  • No networking abilities are present.

Why We Recommend It:

The Lowrance Hook-3X is a fish finder that is simply designed to provide you with decent sonar at a very affordable price. Because of this, it just comes with DownScan imaging and a minimum depth range. 

Although there are no GPS or chart-plotting mechanisms, it does a good job of identifying and locating the convergences of fish.

It is a great, budget-friendly fish finder that has all the necessary features for freshwater and saltwater fishing. Because of its compact dimensions and weight, this fish finder is ideal for kayak and canoe fishing.

Lowrance Elite 3X Vs Lowrance Hook 3X

No Lowrance 3X review is complete without a comparison to the Elite 3X Fish finder. Wondering whether the Lowrance Elite 3X transducer is a better or poorer option?

To make a long story short and sweet: no, it actually isn’t. The Lowrance Elite 3X color fishfinder is no better or worse than the Lowrance Hook 3X. 

The former has simply been discontinued and replaced by the latter. Since the Hook 3X is a newer model, it is best to choose it instead.

Lowrance Hook 3X: How to Use This Fishfinder

Not sure how to use a fishfinder? Or this particular fishfinder? We’ve got you covered!

Basic Use:

  • Switching the device on/off: To turn the unit on or off, press down and hold the Light/Power key for three seconds.
  • Adjusting the backlight: Press the LIGHT/POWER key to switch backlight levels, of which there are 11 in this unit.
  • Audio muting: Select Audio from the Settings menu to turn the unit’s audio on or off.

Operating the Lowrance Hook 3X:

  • Accessing menu items: The keypad and Enter key select menu items and then open submenus. Use the keypad to highlight/select the chosen item and press Enter to open its submenu or dialog.
  • Dialogs: Dialogs are used for user input or for providing information to the user. Depending on the kind of entry, different methods are used to confirm, cancel, or close the dialog.

Sonar Operation:

  • Sensitivity: This setting controls the level of detail shown on the display. Too much detail will clutter the screen. When the sensitivity is set too low, the required echoes may not be shown.
  • Color line: The setting separates powerful sonar echoes from weak echoes, making it easier to distinguish fish or structure from the bottom. A hard return will be shown as a wide, bright yellow area, whereas a soft return will be a narrower, reddish-blue area.
  • Range: This chooses the water depth so that it is visible on the screen. The unit will not lock onto the bottom of the selected range and is too shallow.
  • Frequency: It is used to select the unit’s sonar frequency. This unit supports both 83 kHz and 200 kHz frequencies. The frequency can also be adjusted by hitting the Frequency button.
  • Fish ID: This displays fish echoes as fish symbols instead of fish arches.
  • Noise Rejection: This feature makes use of advanced signal processing to filter out the effects loud noise (sounds of boat pumps, wind or water conditions, engine ignition systems, etc.) has on your display.

In Conclusion

As far as small and affordable sonar fish finders go, we cannot find one better than the Lowrance Hook 3X fish finder. Although it has no GPS or networking functionalities, it does have excellent imaging. It is small and compact, making it perfect for smaller fishing vessels like kayaks and canoes.

This fishfinder has a modest design, without any extra fancy features. That being said, it does what it is supposed to very well- letting you know what is happening underwater around your boat and helping you scope out areas with lots and lots of fish!

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