Lowrance HDS-9 Gen-3 Fishfinder Review – Worth The Investment?
When looking at different fish finders, there is something of a sliding scale. On the one end, you have cheap models that come with tiny screens and black and white images. Overall, even with newer technology, they are not much better than years of experience. In fact, we would rather rely on the advice of an old-timer than one of those finders.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have the HDS 9 Gen 3 from Lowrance. This is the creme de la creme of fish finders. You will be nothing if impressed by how easy this device is to use, and how powerful it can be out on the water.
While something like this is rather pricey, you are getting so much more out of it. Not only will it last longer (partially thanks to wireless updates and upgrades), but it will make your job so much easier.
As such, we highly recommend this to avid fishermen who practically live on the water. If you can only manage to go out once or twice a month, then this might be going a tad overboard with technology.
Table of Contents
We’ve seen high-definition screens before, but usually, they have a set of tiny buttons on the side that can be difficult to use. With the HDS 9, however, the screen is the menu, and you can operate it the same way as your smartphone or tablet. In fact, this is practically a tablet that’s been converted into a fish finder.
Part of the appeal of this magnificent screen is that you can navigate through menu options so much faster. Also, you can download apps to make your fishing excursion even more rewarding. Finally, having a screen like this make locating your next catch, as well as plotting future courses, that much more efficient.
Internal GPS Antenna
One feature that the HDS 9 has that comes standard with most finders is a GPS. These days, you can’t have any kind of portable device without being connected to a satellite, so that’s pretty much par for the course.
With GPS, you can chart your progress, set waypoints, and even compare routes over time. If you live in an area where the fish migrate based on the seasons, this data can be crucial to ensure that you always find your next catch.
Even though the technology of the HDS 9 is incredible, it’s not worth anything if it doesn’t come with high-performance scanners as well. Since the transducer is what’s doing the most work, it’s imperative that it does its job perfectly every time.
With the HDS 9, you get access to CHIRP Sonar, which is one of the best in the industry. This system will provide you with hyper-detailed maps of the terrain beneath your boat, as well as announce every single living thing down there.
Best of all, this particular model allows for both down and side-view imaging. While other finders can only point in one direction, this unit provides a more comprehensive map of everything below the surface.
Working alongside the CHIRP Sonar is this high-quality transducer. It’s built for high-performance action, meaning that you will get better results overall than you would with other models. It has incredible depth and range, which makes it ideal for almost any kind of water. Rivers, lakes, and even the ocean are all at your disposal when you use this fish finder.
Also Read: Best Fish Finders Under $300 – Buying Guide
Integrated Boat Controls
So far, everything we’ve seen from the HDS 9 has made the higher price tag worth it, but we’re about to take things a step further. Not only does this model have wireless capabilities, but you can even hook it up to your boat and control everything from one source.
This option is perfect for lone fishermen who need to pay attention to things like boat speed and navigation along with everything related to fishing. By enabling you to control the outboard motor and other systems from this device, you can have complete control over everything.
Even if you do like to go out with other people on board, you will love the fact that all systems are at your fingertips.
What We Liked
- Extra large touchscreen
- Backlit screen
- Use button pad or screen for navigation
- Intuitive menu controls
- Detailed maps and scanning
- High-performance transducer
- CHIRP sonar
- Side and down imaging
- Chartplotting and wayfinding
- Wireless capability
- Integrated boat controls
- Upgradeable features and updates
What We Didn’t Like
- More expensive than other models
- Heavier than other finders
Will this device work outside of the US? Can I download maps around the world?
This particular model is locked into the United States and North America only. You will have to take it to a dealer to potentially unlock other countries, but that could void the warranty.
Does it include a bracket for mounting?
Yes, it has its own mounting hardware, and you can remove the finder separately from the mount.
How detailed are the maps that come preinstalled?
They are as good as any others that you can find online. They are detailed and comprehensive enough for any fisherman.
Can I install apps onto this device?
Yes, Lowrance has a variety of applications that are compatible with this model. You have to download them separately, though, as it just comes with the basic operational ones.
As we mentioned above, this fish finder is practically the ultimate model you can find. As such, if you’re not that hardcore about fishing, we would suggest that you opt for something a little less intense.
However, for those who love to fish and want something reliable and long-lasting, you will enjoy this device. At first, you may be a little cautious because of the price tag, but when you think about it as a long-term investment, it becomes a bit easier to manage.
Overall, this finder provides you with a comprehensive solution to all of your fishing problems. Best of all, even if you are missing something at first, you can download an app later on to patch that hole. We can’t say enough good things about this finder.