Lowrance HDS-7 Gen-3 Fish Finder Review – Improved Interface
In the old days of fishing, you would have to rely on instinct and experience to make sure that you didn’t come home empty-handed. Just because you cast your line out into the water doesn’t mean that there’s anything to take a bite, so many times you may wind up getting nothing on the other end of your line.
While there is a calming benefit to just being out on the water, regardless of the number of catches you get, it’s never ideal to come back without something to show for your time. That’s where a fish finder comes in.
Whether you are looking for a big score or you just want to maximize your odds, fish finders are the best way to navigate and search for your next catch. These machines have come a long way, with the latest technology being shown in the Lowrance HDS 7 Gen 3. Let’s see what it has to offer.
When fish finders first came out, the screen was usually so small that they wouldn’t provide much insight into what was happening below. With this model, however, you get a crystal clear view of the bottom that you won’t ever miss out on anything. This unit has a full-color HD screen, which is backlit so that you can watch it in any lighting condition.
Also, unlike most other fish finders, the HDS 7 uses a touchscreen to navigate between menu options. Overall, it’s like having a rugged tablet that’s been retrofitted with fish finding technology. You’ll be amazed at how responsive and dynamic this device can be.
Even with high technology at your fingertips, it won’t make much of a difference if you can’t find any fish. Although this model does not come with a transducer (unfortunately), it does have built-in CHIRP sonar so that you can still monitor what’s happening, although not as clearly.
We highly recommend buying a suitable transducer so that you can get an even better view of the bottom and track your next catch that much more easily. Nonetheless, CHIRP sonar is one of the best systems around.
Although seeing what’s at the bottom of the river or lake is good for catching fish, you also need to be able to track your movements from above. This is why the HDS 7 comes with a built-in GPS system. This allows you to plot waypoints, chart your progress, and make notes about where the best spots are. This also means that you don’t have to spend as much time searching next time you’re out on the water. Just follow your trail, and you’ll be ready to fish in no time.
US Maps Preinstalled
When compared to later versions of this finder, you don’t get a ton of maps included. Nonetheless, there are a lot of lakes and rivers from which to choose, so depending on where you like to fish you may not need to download anything else.
What’s nice about the HDS 7 and Lowrance, in general, is that they make it easy to upgrade and get new features and programs for your finder. This includes updated and new maps, as well as apps that can help you make the most of your device. While these do cost extra, it can help you stay up to date without having to buy a brand new machine each time.
- Durable construction
- Easy to mount
- Sleek and modern design
- Large touchscreen interface
- Physical menu buttons for convenience
- Built-in GPS for wayfinding and tracking
- Maps are already installed
- Easy to download new maps online
- SD card compatible
- Downview scanning
- CHIRP sonar
- Comprehensive fish finding programs
- Plug and play design for upgrades
- Transducer is not included
- Limited number of maps installed, so you have to buy more
- Can I use this model without a transducer?
- Technically, the sonar that comes with it can work without one, but we would highly recommend buying a transducer so that you can maximize your fish finding capabilities.
- Does this model come with a screen cover?
- Yes, there is one included to keep the screen from getting damaged.
- Can I use this fish finder outside of the US?
- As is, no you cannot. Lowrance locks its finders based on geolocation, so if you took it out of the country, it wouldn’t work. However, you can possibly go online and see about adding new countries to your account if you are planning an international trip.
Overall, when compared to other models from Lowrance, the HDS 7 is in the middle of the road for the brand. However, when compared to other companies, this fish finder is incredible. The touchscreen and CHIRP sonar is remarkable, and the slew of additional features makes this a perfect buy for any serious angler out there.