Lowrance HOOK² 4x Bullet
The HOOK² 4x Bullet is not the most exciting fish finder on the planet. What you’re getting here is a device designed for three groups:
- Budget conscious consumers
- Folks with a small setup (like kayakers)
- People who want an entry level fish finder
What’s incredible about the Lowrance HOOK² 4x Bullet is that it provides a chartplotter/fish finder for an incredibly low price – just a little over $100. For that reason, it’s one of the best fish finders this year for the cost. It’s certainly not for everyone, but it serves its niches quite nicely.
- Very inexpensive
- Very few features
Technical Specifications*The GPS on the 4x is optional - you can get the device without GPS if you don’t need a chart plotter.
|Max Depth||500 ft.|
|Resolution||4”, backlit color display with SolarMAX technology|
Display and Interface
Let’s start with the display. At 4”, it’s generally best for small setups – Lowrance designed the HOOK² 4x Bullet with kayaks and other small vessels in mind. Despite its small size, the display is actually quite well made. It’s backlit, which means you can use it in all conditions – rain or shine, day or night, clear or foggy weather.
SolarMAX technology also means the screen is crystal clear, and can be viewed from a wide variety of angles. That means that, despite its small size, the HOOK² 4x by multiple anglers viewing from a variety of angles. It’s not designed with large vessels in mind, but there’s still decent usability for a party of 3 or 4 anglers.
You can toggle Night Mode, which optimizes the backlight and color palette for night time fishing, which is always exciting. You can also change the intensity of the backlight.
The data overlay is simple, but effective, allowing you to view the temperature of the water, the depth of the water column, and the voltage of the unit.
Let’s talk about the interface for a moment. It’s not the most sophisticated interface you’re going to use – you’re limited to button navigation. Those of you who have read our other reviews will know our feelings on touchpad navigation – it’s something that should only be on low cost models.
Fortunately for the HOOK² 4x, it fits the bill, so we’ll give it a pass on the less-than-stellar interface. Don’t get us wrong, the interface is functional. You get:
- Arrow keys for navigating through menus
- A page key to navigate from the sonar to other menus
- Zoom keys which, when pressed together, act to set MOB waypoints
- A menu/enter key
- A waypoint key (replaced with a FishID toggle key on the non-GPS model)
- A power key
That’s basically everything you need, but it makes navigation a drag compared to touchscreens. Fortunately, the HOOK² 4x Bullet doesn’t have a ton of features to scroll through, and its menus are well laid out. That makes touchpad navigation more acceptable than it would be otherwise.
To sum things up, the display is better than we’d expect for a unit of this price, and the interface is more or less exactly what we’d expect from a unit of this size. All in all, that means the HOOK² 4x scored pretty well for us in this department.
There are two components to a fish finder’s sonar – its display (and display features), and its transducer. Let’s start with the transducer, the Bullet Skimmer.
This transducer isn’t particularly good – it’s not a CHIRP transducer, so you’re not getting a pulse of frequencies. That means target separation and accuracy suffer somewhat compared to the sonar you’ll find on higher end fish finders.
That isn’t to say the transducer is bad, however – and for the price, it’s quite decent. 200 kHz means you can get up to 500 feet of depth. As the depth increases, accuracy will go down somewhat, but in most water columns you’ll find the unit does exactly what it’s supposed to: it will help you catch more fish.
When it comes to sonar display features, there are quite a few things to be happy about. All of the most important sonar features are here. You can zoom in and out. You can change the sensitivity of the sonar, and you can set a custom range. Of course, most of the time, you won’t have to do any of these things – all of the settings are set to Auto by default, so you only need to play around with them if you’re an experienced user. For newbies, it’s plug-and-play!
There are a couple of other display options worth talking about. You can use FishID to replace sonar fish arches with fish icons – this setting is great for folks who are new to fish finders and who might find the sonar difficult to read. Those of you who want to use the HOOK² 4x Bullet for ice fishing can also switch it to flasher mode. Just be sure you get a warm and durable carrying case for it before you take it out on the ice!
The HOOK² 4x Bullet doesn’t have any imaging.
Obviously, we can only talk about mapping for the HOOK² 4x Bullet that has GPS. On this unit, mapping features are still extremely limited. You can’t actually download any maps, and you’re not going to get detailed contours or points of interest.
This unit can plot charts, and that’s about it. You can use your GPS to set waypoints, routes, and tracks. That makes the device useful for saving your favorite fishing spots and routes – you won’t get any real detail on the map, though.
There are no networking features on this device.
As you can imagine, there aren’t a lot of features we haven’t covered on the HOOK² 4x Bullet. There are alarms that will warn you of dangerous situations in the water, and of problems with the unit. Outside of those alarms – there isn’t much. Again, this is an incredibly simple, affordable unit, so don’t expect bells and whistles, unless you mean the sound of an alarm.
The Bottom Line
The Lowrance HOOK² 4x serves the groups we mentioned at the top – those looking for a low-cost fish finder, folks with small setups, and beginners. For the price, it’s actually a very good fish finder – good luck finding something else with chartplotting (even in its limited form) and a 500 foot max depth at this price point.
Outside of those niches, you’ll probably want to pass on the HOOK² 4x. And for those looking for fish finders for smaller setups, there are other options that we might recommend instead. Something like the STRIKER Cast will be a much better option for anglers looking for detailed maps.
If you’re looking for a fish finder with decent sonar for around $100, the Lowrance HOOK² 4x Bullet is hard to beat. That’s why, despite having few features, it’s still one of our favorite fish finders of the year.