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Lowrance HDS 9 Review

Last Updated: 24.04.24

Main advantage

The main upside of this particular fish finder is its superior sonar scanner. Since that’s also the central aspect you should check when you’re shopping for a fish finder, it is commendable that the Lowrance HDS 9 has a high-end sonar as its main selling point. The 455 kHz frequency used is improved on by the other features offered by the manufacturer of this unit.

The StructureScan technology works together with the Broadband technology, proprietary to Lowrance, to provide the user with the highest performance possible. There are 4 scanning channels, which allow the HDS 9 to deliver highly-detailed images so that you can quickly identify the schools of fish roaming below your boat. No wonder there, this fish finder also operates at significant depths, being capable of delivering the same amount of detail at up to 300 feet down.

There are many other things to say about the sonar scanner installed on this model. Besides the ability to scan the depths, it is also capable of offering useful information on an area of 328-meter radius around your boat. Even more, if your boat is on the move, that will not impact the performance of the sonar negatively.

When used on a boat that moves at 40 mph, the sonar still catches enough information to send a clear picture to the display, so you will be capable of scanning large water bodies without a glitch. Plotting your path is truly easy, and you will know exactly what awaits you ahead since the sonar offers accurate information on underwater structures, just as fine. Seeing how fish often use such structures to hide, it serves to have a complete map of the underwater world.

Its traditional sonar is doubled in its functionality by the Downscan Imaging technology that’s also available on this particular product. To have a clear view of what lays below your boat, you need such technologies. Even if it may sound hard to believe, a traditional sonar can only do this much, and this feature will help you with additional information.

The Downscan Imaging feature will be able to detect thermoclines, as well as weed lines and other obstacles that may be in your way. With its help, you can identify baitfish and predator fish, so you will know exactly where to cast your line. Plotting your next move is comfortable when you have such technologies at your fingertips.


Main disadvantage

Anyone who gets the hang of using the Lowrance HDS 9 has only words of praise for its performance and the delivered results. However, you should know that learning how to use it to take advantage of all its excellent features is not that easy. Actually, it is pretty daunting, and its steep learning curve is the central aspect that keeps some people away from trying it out.

Therefore, be aware that this is a high-tech fish finder, and that anglers who are not particularly tech-savvy will find it challenging to learn. Still, once you learn how to use it, you will be more than pleased with its performance.

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Main features explained


Excellent sonar imaging capabilities and features

To talk about a fish finder means to talk about the extra features its sonar imaging technology comes along with. We already mentioned the StructureScan feature, but that is not the only one that can make this model excel in everything you intend to throw at it. Basically, you will get 180-degree views of the fish, as well as of other structures so that it becomes clear where it’s ideal for casting your line.

Even more, you will have access to overlays that are rendered to your screen in real-time, transforming this top of the line fish finder into an indispensable tool for the most ambitious anglers out there. The flasher sonar feature is employed inside the head unit, as well as the fish ID functionality.

Such features increase tremendously what this unit can do. For instance, the flasher sonar is a great add-on to have when you go ice fishing. It works exceptionally well when your boat is stationary, so bear that in mind. Also, the fish ID feature will make readings easier to understand. However, it is essential to bear in mind that not all you will see displayed as fish icons will be fish.

Being capable of watching a birds-eye view of what lies below your boat gives you the edge when you want to be more efficient. To the sides, around you, the sonar also maps the underwater world, making it easy for you to identify structures and other obstacles.


Superior touch screen

Ease of use is essential to anyone, which is why so many people are interested in finding out whether a specific product provides this. In this case, one of the plus points is the touchscreen, which is particularly easy to navigate. There is no need for confusing buttons and additional instructions. Going through the menus and picking the options you want is really easy.

The 7-inch screen offers superior clarity and definition, so you will be able to see the readings fast and without a glitch. Getting the information you want is also super easy, and you will get to look at maps and other extras without any problems.

There may be something to say here since it is well known that this model is not particularly friendly to those who don’t know much about fish finders. No matter how intuitive and gorgeous the touchscreen is – and how convenient to models that still use buttons for menu navigation – you still need to have some prior knowledge.

It would be unfair to judge this model by this aspect, though. At its price, it is not intended to be a toy, nor the kind of product a novice would want. Experienced anglers, however, will love its easy to use display, and, as long as you know how to use a smartphone or any other mobile device, you will find its menus and overall layouts to be just what you need. All in all, the superior technologies used recommend this product.


The possibility to save your tracking history

Have you ever been on a fishing trip and had an excellent time finding perfect spots for casting your line? Maybe the main issue was that you couldn’t seem to see them again once your luck ran out. Don’t allow this to happen to you ever again and get a fish finder that can track all your steps. This is what this model does and does it well.

The Lowrance HDS 9 is capable of tracking your route, and also it can retain some information on how effective individual spots are. That gives you a sound output of information you can use later when you want to go back and cast your line in the same place that seems to work wonders for you.

The device stores all the data you pick up, and you will have easy access to it. For instance, you can use the internal memory of the unit, or you can add some SD cards on which to store the information. The trackback feature is one of the main selling points of this particular model. Some experts even say that it does this much better than most of its competition.

The Touch Insight feature, as it is called, allows you to record all the sonar activity, as well as it lets you scroll back through the information stored. If you want, you can add waypoints, and review them in real-time, which is something that not just any fish finder can do.


Wi-Fi enabled and other networking options

You can’t really talk about any modern device without seeing what networking options are available. In a world where everything appears to be connected, technology-wise, a fish finder without such functionalities is challenging to imagine. The Lowrance HDS 9 works with GoFree wireless technology, which makes it really simple for you to connect it to other devices.

By adding a Wi-Fi module, all you have to do is to use your smartphone or tablet to monitor the activity of the fish finder from anywhere you want. That’s a pretty incredible feature as it allows not just you to observe what the fish finder sees, but also anyone else on the boat with you. When fishing with your buddies, you will find such a feature a great thing to have.

Another thing you can do is to mount the fish finder at the helm of the boat and then set a mobile device at the other end so that anyone inside the boat can see everything without the need for all passengers to bring their phones.

Other connectivity options are present, so it serves to learn a little bit about them. The unit can support 2 Ethernet ports. That’s good to know, as you will be able to share information between various displays, something that grants this particular model some extra flexibility.

As you can see, the Lowrance HDS 9 is a complete option that genuinely deserves the hefty price. In all aspects, it is a modern device for an advanced angler.


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