Last week we took a peek at the new Raymarine CP200, one of the latest and greatest in new fish finder black-box units. This week let's take a look back at a long-running fight—Lowrance versus Humminbird.

Oof! Pow! Bam! Yes folks, these two companies are slugging it out. Anyone who looks at the Lowrance Elite 5 will probably also be shopping the Humminbird 688ci. Or maybe the Humminbird 999ci HD SI strikes their fancy, so they shop it against the Lowrance HDS 9. Either way, you get the picture. And while each of these units have their own specific high and low points, there are a few generalizations we can make. Which one would you choose? That depends on your personal priorities. But when you next go shopping, consider:

lowrance fish finder

It's Humminbird versus Lowrance - get ready to rumble.

HUMMINBIRD comes out swinging by delivering the largest LCD screen size in its fish finder units per dollar of cost, as a general rule of thumb. Often the exact same dollar amount gets you another inch or two of screen size, which can be quite significant—especially when splitting the screen between functions like fishfinding and chartplotting.

LOWRANCE strikes back, with cutting edge features found even in relatively low-cost units. The HDS 5x Gen 2, for example ($450) can interact with the Lowrance Wifi-1, which allows you to view the fishfinder or chartplotter screen on a smart phone or tablet. That's some pretty impressive technological ability for a unit in that price range.

HUMMINBIRD bobs and weaves, offering advanced chartography with its Contour Elite and Lakemaster charts.

LOWRANCE trades blows, with its Lake and Nautic InSight mapping.

HUMMINBIRD keeps pounding with the AutoChart custom mapping ability, which lets you build your own charts with your own sonar returns.

LOWRANCE fights on, by changing their Insight Genesis custom mapping—which includes vegetation and bottom composition data—from a paid subscription to a free service.

HUMMINBIRD  presses an attack by developing SmartStrike, a predictive software program that allows you to build a database and use custom searches to "predict" where the fish will be.

LOWRANCE jabs hard with its own one-of-a-kind offerings, like Broadband radar, which still can't be matched for short-range (under 24 mile) sensitivity and simplicity.

Whack! Thud! Thump! These fish finder manufacturers are battling hard. Which one will win when it's time for you to choose a new unit? You're the ref. Consider the advantages of each rugged fighting machine, and then declare the victor.

Written by: Lenny Rudow
With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, Lenny Rudow has contributed to publications including YachtWorld,, Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and he has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.