We have put together a guide for you on how to choose a fish finder or sounder for your kayak or Hobie. This is a very common question that comes up time and time again. The reality is this question is generally answered by your available budget, fishing style and features needed. You can see us in action Kayak Fishing Videos.

Let’s start by saying that Lowrance is an obvious preferred choice when using a Hobie Kayak. Why that’s because most Hobie kayak models are out of the factory Lowrance ready. This means they come with Lowrance ready mounting brackets underneath the kayak so you can easily attach the transducer that comes with your sounder to the mounting brackets. This means no drilling during installation simply unscrew, attach run the cables through and screw back on. A good example of what can be seen here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gx6BRykBeKc

You can install different branded sounders but the installation of the transducer may be a little more complicated and require some custom parts and installation.

So, let’s look at the different Lowrance options available. The FishFinder Sounder Hobie Kayak guide.

What sounder should I buy for my kayak

Lowrance Hook 2 Fish Finder kayak range

Lowrance-Hook2-4x-Bullet

Released towards the end of 2017 the Hook 2 range are your entry-level sounders. Lowrance suggests that these are targeted at casual anglers. They are the most affordable starting from as low as $100 and by far the easiest to use. They do still provide a good level of functionality without needing to change settings or complication. These are very good units for beginners. Everything is pre-setup and ready to use on the water.

These are very intuitive with the simple one-thumb operation, and the ability to switch between down scan, side scan and GPS quickly. The fish finders are available in SplitShot, and TripleShot providing CHIRP, DownScan and StructureScan. As with all products you get what you pay for. These compared to high-end fish finders are missing things such as touch screen, chart plotting, and have limited range, and not as accurate reading. They are however great value for money and will do an excellent job telling you the water depth, temperature, and will give basic readings of schools of fish, bait and structure.

The Lowrance Hook 2 come in the following options

  • Lowrance Hook² 4x + Bullet Transducer
  • Lowrance Hook² 4x + GPS + Bullet Transducer
  • Lowrance Hook² 5x + SplitShot Transducer
  • Lowrance Hook² 5x + GPS + SplitShot Transducer
  • Lowrance Hook² 7x + GPS + TripleShot Transducer
  • Lowrance Hook² 9x + GPS + TripleShot Transducer

They also come available in 12 inches would be unpractical for a kayak.

 

Lowrance Elite Ti2 Fish Finder kayak range

Lowrance-Elite-Ti2

The Elite Ti2 was released in mid-2018 and build upon the success on the existing Ti models but add even more features such as active Imaging, Fish Reveal and a range of connectivity options. These units are great value for money and Lowrance target this at Avid Weekend anglers. Providing a heap of functionality without the premium price tag.

The Elite Ti2 has CHIRP Sonar, Down Imaging, TotalScan, including StructureScan HD. As well as Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity for download software updates directly, custom maps and pairing to other units.

The Ti2 has touchscreen functionality, the ability to syn and connect with Trolling motors. These are a nice step up from the Hook 2 range providing more scanning, clearer screen and stronger readings.

The Lowrance Elite Ti2 come in the following options

  • Elite 7 Ti2 + Active Image + 3-1 Transducer + CMAP
  • Elite 9 Ti2 + Active Image + 3-1 Transducer + CMAP

They also come available in 12 inches would be unpractical for a kayak.

These start around the $1,000 price point and go all the way up to $3,000

 

Lowrance HDS Live Fish Finder kayak range

Lowrance-HDS-Live

Released in 2019 the Lowrance HDS live range are high-end fish finders aimed at tournament anglers and boats. It’s Lowrance highest performing Fishfinder with Sonar and connectivity technology. Picking up where the previous series names HDS Carbon left off, but adding a whole range of new and exciting features.

Including active imaging, which provides greater detail without sacrificing range or having to change frequencies. There’s also active Imaging 3D enhancement, FishReveal, LiveSight Forward & Down – giving you a much more comprehensive view of fish activity.

You can even integrate the sounder with other units, live radars, google maps, weather updates, music, and smartphones.

The Lowrance HDS lives come in the following options

  • HDS-7 Live + Including Active Image + 3-1 Transducer + CMAP
    HDS-9 Live + Including Active Image + 3-1 Transducer + CMAP

They also come available in 12 and 16 inches would be unpractical for a kayak.

These start at $1,500 and go all the way up to $5,000

 

Lowrance Hook Reveal Fishfinder sounder kayak range – New in 2020

Lowrance-Hook-Reveal

These have just hit the market in Jan 2020 and are a successor the Hook 2 range which will continue to be available for some time. These are marketed as the worlds easiest fishfinder with set and forget capabilities. The specs of these are still being shared but we believe they will come in a 5 inch, 7 inch and 9 inch model and would be a great option for a kayak. Stay tuned as more details come to surface we will update this page accordingly.

 

Downscan vs traditional 2D Sonar

Traditional 2D sonar shows a radius under your boat whilst Downscan gives a clearer view with more detail straight down of what is underneath you. Both can be very useful, but it’s great to have both.

Downscan Vs Traditional 2D sonar

Downscan Vs Traditional 2D sonar again

Down imaging vs Side imaging

This image really represents this difference between side imaging, down imaging and traditional 2D sonar. Each view telling a different story. Down scan has a narrow beam pointing down giving you a clear view of what’s directly under you, Traditional gives a general view of a radius to the sides and underneath you and side imaging casts a beam out to each side of the boat giving you a lot more detail of fish and structure in the distances.

Side Imaging Vs Down Imaging Vs sonar

Lowrance sounder comparison – which one is right for you

Kayak sounders whoch should i buy

Installing a sounder or fish finder on your kayak or Hobie

If you’re like me you may need assistance having your sounder installed. There are some great local centres that will do this for you at a small fee. This would include AWS in Geelong and SL Hobie. Please call those centres directly to arrange a time to have your sounder fitted.

Additions or corrections

Thanks for reading this FishFinder Sounder Hobie Kayak guide. If you have any questions, corrections or additions then please direct them to enquiries@fishingmad.com.au and we will get back to you as soon as we can.