Lowrance HDS-7

The Lowrance HDS-7 Gen2 Plotter Sounder is a new fishfinder and updates and improves on the original HDS-7.  Lowrance has really put together a great fishfinder by including a high quality display, GPS plotter and Fishfinder.  

Screen and Display Quality

The screen on the HDS-7 Gen2 is high resolution and measures 6.4″ diagonal.  The extra room from the HDS-5 to the HDS-7 makes a big difference when operating split screen.  To get the high resolution Lowrance used 480V and 640H pixels, which provide great detail.  To provide the color they used a full 16-bit VGA SolarMax which gives great sonar images in any type of lighting.  Overall the HDS-7 is a top quality unit and all that can be said is the only better option is to go a size up to the HDS-10.

GPS Plotter

The GPS on the HDS-7 Gen2 is a built in internal antenna.  The antenna is very accurate and saves from having to install an external unit.  There are many options for the cartography, since Lowrance is compatible with most map packs.  There are two map packs that are sold with the unit the US Basemap and the Insight USA maps.  Make sure that when you buy that the water you are fishing is covered.  The Insight USA maps is an added option which costs about 100 bucks extra.  The maps that work with the unit are the Lake and Nautic Insight Pro, Navionics, and Fishing Hotspots Pro.  Between these options the unit will cover just about any lake you could wish to fish.  There is also an option to add in Radar to the unit, which requires a radar antenna to be purchased.  The radar images are really impressive and can give you a heads up when in foggy conditions.  Lowrance makes the unit with the ability to connect to an auto pilot, so you can plot a course and let the auto pilot take you there.  The unit is NMEA 2000 compatible, giving you alot of options on what to connect the unit to, personally my Lowrance runs my auto pilot .  Overall Lowrance has included a great set of features on the HDS-7 Gen2.

Sonar

The sonar on the HDS-7 gives nice crisp images and now can support side scanning technology.  There are two choices of transducer the bay transducer 200 kHz and 83 kHz frequencies and the deep water transducer 200 kHz and 50 kHz signals.  The deep water transducer works in water up to 3,000 feet deep and the bay transducer works up to 1,500 feet deep.  The deep water transducer is an added option that costs between 50 and 100 dollars extra, so most of the time you can save a few bucks by opting for the bay transducer.  Lowrance has come out with their version of sidescanning sonar the structure scan sonar.  The structure scan option is really cool and offers great images which can be overlayed on a topo map which results in an incredible image!

Recommendation

The HDS-7 Gen 2 is a great GPS plotter Fishfinder.  By adding some of the options to the mix like radar, auto pilot or structure scanning technology you end up with an incredible fishfinder.  The only negative things I’ve heard is that the sonar cable is too short for large boats (20 feet long) and that the only thing better would have been getting an HDS-10.  If you give the HDS line a try you will be nothing but impressed.