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Lowrance Hook 2 versus Lowrance Hook Reveal


You have to hand it to Lowrance when it comes to the name of their new entry-level line of sonar and chartplotters. We all want to hook up, and what better way to do that then by having our marine electronics reveal to us where the fish are?
Hook2 vs Hook Reveal

But is the product as good as the name, or are we simply seeing the older Hook2 re-packaged with a new name? In this article we will dive into the technical differences, and try to decipher those into what really counts, how those differences can impact your fishing and boating.
Hook Reveal in three sizes

 For those who don`t like to read, we can sum up the main differences right now:

  • FishReveal
  • Genesis Live
  • Better transducers
Before we embark on the details, let`s take a quick glance on the Lowrance-units in 2020 so we all know where we are:
Lowrance line-up 2020

What the above list does not mention, is that the x-versions of Hook2 continues into 2020, as an even more budget-friendly alternative then Hook Reveal. Hook Reveal is available in these configurations unit/ transducer:

Hook Reveal overview
The above overview might look like Navionics is out of the question, but it is not. The point is that Genesis Live only works with AT5-based mapping (like the preloaded map, C-Map navigational maps, C-Map Genesis or your very own maps made with Reefmaster.) Hook Reveal will even have Navionics Sonarcharts Live (like Elite Ti2 and HDS does), so if Navionics is your preferred mapping, you can still use live-mapping with Hook Reveal. Keep in mind that Hook Reveal is still entry-level though, and live-mapping is hard work on the units processor. 

All of the Hook Reveal variations have 2D, DownScan and a "proper" chartplotter. (No x-models, those will live on as Hook2 though - once again a change we like). TripleShot-versions (7 TripleShot and 9 TripleShot) will also have SideScan, but more on that under Transducers. Hook Reveal will be available as "portable pack" or "ice combo" for those who prefer to use their units outside of their own boat.

With that said, let us dive into the details.

Units - hardware

Looking at the housing, there are some subtle changes. Where some of the Hook2-units had the memorycard on the front, only covered with the rubber Lowrance-logo, Hook Reveal in 5 and 7 has the memorycard in a more sheltered location on the side of the unit. For Hook Reveal 9 the memorycard is in front behind a latch as we are used to from HDS:
Details on Hook Reveal 9
The button-layout is exactly the same on Hook2 and Hook Reveal, including the Exit-button we all missed on the models before Hook2. The menus and sub-menus are also the same, excellent interface and amongst the easiest units out there to operate. 

One thing we would like to have seen updated, is the push-style connectors on Hook2:
Push-style connectors on Hook2 - continues on Hook Reveal
In theory the push-connectors sounds good. But in real life, screw-on connectors are more fail-safe and lasts longer, something you can see a lot of examples on in different forums and on Facebook. I have seen numerous Hook2-owners not pushing the connectors hard enough, or not aligning them properly in the unit before pushing them in. Definitely a user-issue, but with that many users having these issues it is clear that the design should be changed.

As for sizes, Hook Reveal comes in 5, 7 and 9, all with a widescreen-like orientation. The 4 and 12 from Hook2 is not continued, and from our viewpoint that is a good thing. The 4 was simply too small with the widescreen-like screen (unlike the older Hook where 4 was portrait-style and made sense, I still use one of those for ice-fishing) and the 12 might be good value for the screensize but if you think about spending that much the Elite Ti2 will probably suit your needs better anyway. 

The screens used on Hook Reveal is the same as on Hook2:
Hook Reveal screen-resolution, nits and draw.
The screen-resolution and nits are exactly the same as on Hook2, and the draw is so close it is hardly worth to mention. No big surprises there, but worth mentioning as we have seen others claim Hook Reveal has better screens. That is an easy mistake to make though, as the palettes for StructureScan has changed, and might give an illusion of better screens. (More on that under software)


Units -software

As you have just read, there is not much happening with the units house and screen. But there is quite a bit of change on the software, enabling FishReveal and Genesis Live.

FishReveal is simply put the fish-arches from 2D overlaid on the DownScan-image. This might sound like a FishID-clone, but it is not. FishReveal has been a feature on Elite Ti/Ti2 and HDS for a few years, and is proven technology which we are especially fond of in a single-unit setup. (As opposed to having several units.) Single unit setups is exactly what we think most Hook Reveal users will use, and the really good thing with FishReveal is that you now get all the info you want from directly under your boat from looking at just DownScan, not having to do 2D and DownScan in a split screen. Since we are big fans of dividing our screen in chart and sonar, we now run chart and DownScan (with FishReveal) and end up with more usable screen-realestate then before.  


DownScan with FishReveal.
Another BIG step up from Hook2 to Hook Reveal is Genesis Live. Genesis Live means live updating of depth-contours on your chartplotter, based on depth from your 2D-sonar. This can be used with no mapping as background, with the built-in mapping, with Genesis Social Map or with your very own mapping created with Reefmaster or similar software. 


Genesisi Live in action.
The screenshot above is from my HDS (Gen 3) but will look the same on Hook Reveal. In that screenshot I have used previous sonarlogs to create a map with Reefmaster, combined with background (the trees on shore in this case) from Open Street Map, and while I now log sonar to "fill" the gap in my Reefmaster-map I also use Genesis Live to have a ready to go map right there and then. 

Under Units - Hardware we mentioned new palettes for StructureScan making some users claim the screen itself has improved. The screens are the same as on Hook2, but the new palettes give you images almost as good as Active Imaging on the more expensive Elite Ti2 and HDS.


Hook Reveal SideScan (photo; lowrance.com)
Lowrance have sharpened their game with the new palettes, it enhances the structure shown making it easier to spot hard structure.  


Transducers

My main complaint with Hook2 was the 2D-elements used in the transducers (Bullet, SplittShot and TripleShot). I get the point, the extremely wide coneangle of over 40 degrees at 200 kHz made every Hook2-owner see arches, almost regardless of how bad they mounted their transducer. But the downside to extremely wide coneangle on 2D is that you have no idea where those fish are within the cone, bottom-composition and structure get averaged out to a point where it is hard to tell what you are looking at, and the combination of low power and wide coneangle makes for poor performance while on-plane or over deeper water than 30-is feet. In short, the Hook2-transducers where aimed at the shallow water-bass angler who did not care about on-plane performance. Most anglers did not fit the bill...

We and others addressed this with Lowrance from day one, and with Hook Reveal they really did pull through and made big changes to all but one of the transducers.

TripleShot unfortunately goes on unchanged, but the 83/200-HDI is upgraded and we have a new 50/200-HDI:

Hook Reveal transducers
Both the HDI-versions are the same as we have had for a few years on HDS and Elite, only with new connectors and some simplification of the housing. These have been producing good sonar for years, and we are happy to see them applied to the Hook Reveal range.

Here are few photos from our (so far short) testing with Hook Reveal, in this case a 5 SplitShot/ HDI with 50/200-HDI. Depth in meters on all photos and screenshots, so multiply by three to get feet:

On our way towards the deep. 
No issues at close to 600 feet in high chirp.
No issues in low chirp either, and note that this is in auto-mode, no manual tinkering.
We will follow up with more testing and screenshots as we get some more time with Hook Reveal, so far we have only had a couple of hours on it and as you can see the purpouse of that test was to check how it handled deep (salt-)water. Here is a screenshot from a Hook2 7 Splitshot/HDI in similar conditions:

Hook 2 Splitshot
With this kind of deep-water perfomance on an entry-level unit (and transducer) we are confident our future testing in more shallow water will prove Hook Reveal to be a good alternative at this price-point, but stay tuned for more Hook Reveal as the season progress.

For those who want both SideScan and good 2D, the TripleShot can be upgraded to TotalScan using adapter 000-14069-001. (The same adapter as used with Hook2.) The downside to that is by the time you have bought both the Hook Reveal TripleShot, the adapter and the TotalScan, you are so close to the price of Elite Ti2 with Active Imaging 3 in 1 that the discussion to trade up will be mostly academic.


Conclusion 

Hook Reveal is what Hook2 should have been from the start, and Lowrance seems to have corrected almost all of the things we did not like with Hook2. We would like to see a new TripleShot as well, or at least the Hook Reveal TripleShot sold as a bundle with TotalScan and adapter, and we would like to see the push-connectors replaced with screw-on connectors. But apart from that, Lowrance has done a good job on Hook Reveal and brought impressive value to this price-range.

Team Colibri will receive a Hook Reveal for more in-depth (pun intended) testing during 2020, so watch this space for more on Hook Reveal.

PS - Once you have spent the $ and bought a unit, Hook Reveal or other, don`t forget about correct wiring and fuse. More on that in THIS article.

More "VS"-articles:
Hook VS Hook2
HDS Live vs Elite Ti2

Kommentarer

  1. Hi! What difference would there be in SideScan mode if i replace the on Hook2 Tripleshot transducer with Totalscan? Better clarity and depth range at 800 kHz?

    SvarSlett
    Svar
    1. Hi. I see no difference in SideScan with Tripleshot versus TotalScan on Hook2. The 2D is greatly improved, due to the much better 2D-element in TotalScan, but SideScan is (more or less) the same. Regards Erik.

      Slett
    2. Thank you. Very value (or saving) opinion.

      Slett
  2. Is the computer easy to remove from the bracket to bring home after each use?

    SvarSlett
    Svar
    1. Hi. The short anser is "no". It is easy to remove Hook2 and Hook Reveal from the bracket, but the push-connectors are not that easy to handle. I would not recommend any unit (regardless of brand) with push-style connectors if you remove your unit from the vessel regularly. The connectors will wear out, while screw-type connectors (like on Elite Ti2 and HDS) is a much better choice for units that are removed when the boat is not in use. Regards Erik

      Slett
  3. Very helpful article. I certainly agree with you on the push connectors. They are such a tight fit they can be difficult to unplug and sometimes air pressure actually pushes the connector out again and it loses contact. I've modified mine by cutting a very small groove in the plug to allow air to escape although I realise this may compromise the water proofing. Another thing is to add connectors to the power cable so that the plug can stay in the back of the unit all the time although you can't do that to the transducer cable.

    SvarSlett

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