Lowrance has combined the traditional Broadband sonar with DownScan imaging into a high-resolution package to provide high-quality images of underwater structures and locations that might hide fish. Lowrance markets this fish finder as the perfect option for the fisherman who wants some of the options that are found on more expensive models, but with a lower price tag. The Lowrance Elite 5 can be used by either recreational fishermen or commercial fishermen, and it performs well under almost all circumstances. This review will help you determine whether this fish finder meets the expectations.
Lowrance Elite 5 HDI Easy Installation and Easy to Use
Installing the Lowrance Elite 5 HDI requires minimal effort. It is suitable for all types of boats, even one as small as a kayak. One transducer is used for all 4 frequencies, so once it’s installed, you’re all set. This fishfinder has a user-friendly interface and menu, so there’s virtually no guesswork involved in getting started. The menu is very straightforward, and it’s easy to navigate, even one-handedly.
Two Kinds of Sonar Technology
The Lowrance Elite 5 HDI uses two kinds of sonar technology to create vivid pictures of the underwater areas being searched. Broadband sounder, which is also known as single frequency sonar, uses pings and echoes from a single frequency to create images of the bottom of the water and schools of fish. DownScan Imaging can create more detailed images of structures within the water. When combined, these two types of sonar create a highly detailed picture of the water being scanned. Lowrance is pretty much the only manufacturer to combine these two sonar technologies for a low price. You’re not going to find this combination in another fishfinder at this price point. Exclusive to Lowrance, TrackBack technology allows you to go back through the recorded sonar readings to find a specific time and location.
An Improved Transducer
The transducer of the Lowrance Elite 5 HDI operates at either 50/200kHz or 455/800kHz, and a type of technology known as Advanced Signal Processing (ASP) virtually eliminates the need to manually adjust the settings in order to see clearer images. This technology helps the unit judge the readings being received and automatically adjust the SONAR settings accordingly, so there’s no guesswork involved. Using the transducer at 50kHz allows for imaging as far down as 1,000 feet. Thanks to the hybrid technology, you can view fish AND the underwater structures. Again, this is a combination that you won’t find in other fishfinders at this price point. Most other fish finders only offer one frequency.
The map of the United States is very detailed and features over 3,000 lakes and rivers, with up to 1,000 feet of coastal areas. There are optional map upgrades that can be purchased. In addition, you can also use the collected sonar data to create your own maps with Insight Genesis. The sonar also provides you with depth alarms, including a shallow water alarm, for better navigation and mapping. The built-in memory permits up to 3,000 waypoints to be saved, and there is also a waterproof micro SD memory card slot for additional storage of data. The internal GPS antenna has 16 channels for accurate location information.
A Vivid Display
The Lowrance Elite 5 HDI Combo comes with a 5-inch Full VGA color display, which features 256-color TFT and 480×480 resolution for vivid pictures. This is definitely technologically better than most other fishfinders in this price range currently on the market. The screen and keyboard are also backlit, for easy viewing in both daylight and nighttime. This obviously is not the largest screen available on fish finders, but this one does the job just fine. The display can be split into 3 panels, allowing you to see the chart, the sonar, and the DownScan Imaging all at the same time. There are multiple preset layout options to pick from. DownScan allows structures to be seen as they actually are. For example, a plank of wood appears as a plank of wood. The unit also swivels, for easy access whenever you need it.
One Final Note
The Lowrance Elite 5 HDI is designed for the avid fisherman who wants a fish finder with some really good features, for an economical price. This fish finder uses two forms of sonar to create picture-like images of the waters being searched. The included maps are just the basics, but you have the option to easily upgrade to better maps and more features. The user interface is simple to use, and the Lowrance Elite 5 HDI Sonar GPS Combo Fish Finder can be installed on virtually any boat, whether that’s a commercial fishing boat or the kayak that you take out in the early mornings. This fish finder will definitely make you into a more successful fisherman.