Lowrance Elite-3X reviews:
Lowrance Elite-3X details:
Lowrance Elite-3x is the most affordable color fish finder ever announced, featuring Broadband Sounder, water-temperature sensor and Fish I.D.
The compact, affordable Elite-3x fishfinder features an LED-backlit color display to quickly and easily identify fish targets, bottom contours and structure — featuring dual-frequency 83 or 200 kHz Broadband Sounder™ operation with water-temperature sensor and Fish I.D.
Lowrance Elite-3X Video:
Lowrance Elite-3X Reviews:
Outstanding Basic Sonar For The Money
I purchased the Elite 3X All Season / Portable model to replace the Hummingbird Piranha portable unit I’ve used for many, many years. The Hummingbird portable unit still works great and has served me very well over the years. However, I am extremely impressed with the Elite 3X—it is definitely a satisfying upgrade and most of all, the unit really works great.
The Elite 3X is really is an awesome unit for the money. In my opinion, it is all that is required for fishers with small boats who need a good portable unit. The unit definitely provides all of the basic functions and features anyone needs to help locate fishable water. The unit is a very basic sonar device and no one should expect any more from it. If there is better feature-packed portable (color) sonar unit on the market today, then I don’t know about it—believe me, I’ve searched.
The next thing I’ll say is that users must set up the transducer properly for the unit to work properly—just like any other sonar unit. The suction cup transducer works great for me on my 13 ½ foot Gheenoe with MinnKota 30 lb. thrust trolling motor. The key to setting up the transducer is to find that “sweet-spot” on the transom to get the best signal transmissions—just like any other sonar unit. It is paramount to set up the 3X transducer correctly to eliminate interference and cavitation–especially when using a trolling motor.
Overall, I am very impressed and satisfied with the performance of the portable Elite 3X All Season sonar package. I learned a lot from using my old Hummingbird unit and therefore realize the benefits of using sonar when fishing. However, I think Lowrance must believe that everyone who enjoys the sport of fishing is familiar with sonar units. In other words, the instruction manual is very lacking. In my opinion, the company should consider providing more information on how to setup the portable units—especially for using the suction cup transducer option.
The bottom line is that the Elite 3X All Season Portable is an awesome unit and well worth the money I paid for it—an outstanding sonar unit.
I purchased this fishfinder elsewhere because it was out of stock for an extended period, so far, I’m sorry I bought it at all. Before installing it in my kayak, I tested the unit and got nothing but vertical lines. I called Lowrance after a half dozen unanswered emails and was told it was “normal”. I installed the fishfinder in my kayak, took it out and saw the same vertical lines, not “normal” at all. After another few calls to Lowrance trying to get a replacement unit, they sent me a transducer/power cable, which did not fix the problem. I called again and demanded a replacement under the one year warranty provisions. Lowrance said it would be “4-6 weeks or longer” for a replacement but I could get another fishfinder immediately if I upgraded to one of their more expensive units. Are you kidding me? I called the place I purchased it and told them to send a replacement or I would dispute the charge for the fishfinder.
Two months have passed, still no fishfinder. Before buying the cheapest Lowrance model, I emailed them at least six times with pre-sales questions about their more expensive models without a single response. Since Lowrance did not respond to pre-sales inquiries, I deemed it too risky to buy a high end model and went with this cheap one. Lowrance rarely responds to email and I’ve been hung up on with their telephone support a couple times. Doesn’t matter too much because even if you can contact them because they are more interested in up selling you another more expensive unit instead of making it right with the defective piece of crap you bought.
If you are planning to mount the transducer inside the hull of your boat or kayak with marine epoxy or Goop, forget it. Using the transducer that comes with the fishfinder, the Elite 3x does not have enough power to to shoot through a piece of paper. In order for the fishfinder to work at all, the transducer must be completely in the water. Before you buy the fishfinder, Lowrance will say that the transducer can be mounted inside the hull and provides instructions on how to do it. After you install it and the display looks like the attached photo, Lowrance customer support will tell you that in order for the fishfinder to work, you need to buy a scupper mount for the transducer($40) or a different transducer($50-$75). Again, the only support offered was to buy more stuff. Unfortunately, two different Lowrance customer service representatives were unable to tell me which transducer was needed. The scupper mount attaches to the kayak where the plastic is the thinnest and the transducer sticks out of the bottom of the kayak where it, or your kayak, would be damaged just by laying the kayak on the ground.
Dealing with Lowrance has been a nightmare. They have really cut corners on the quality and power of this fishfinder and the Lowrance customer service is clueless, only trained to sell you more stuff that should have come with the unit to begin with. Maybe the quality of their $800 fishfinders is better, but I already gambled and lost once with Lowrance, I will never buy another Lowrance product.
Good color depth finder
Great finder for the money. Color screen is a bonus. Easy to use. Shows great detail of structure.
Do not order this Fish Finder!
This is not a good fish finder, misread depths and shows seaweed as fish on a screen which is always messing up. I know that the depth was not correct on the fish finder because I have a depth counter on my reel and 9 times out of ten the depth on the fish finder was incorrect and way off of what the depth counter on my reel read. I want my money back and I’m so angry with Amazon and it’s return policies! I will lose part of the money that I spent on this defective item because now I will have to pay to ship it back from Alaska!
Most bang for your buck
For a $100 how do they do it. Only thing they should have done is included the needed 3A fuse w/holder. Not that costly to buy but soldering, shrink wrapped make it suitable for use on water was involved. What would it add to the cost maybe $2 or $3. I would buy again.
Easy install and my dad loves it
Got this for my parents boat because my dad really wanted one. Not for fishing, but just to explore and know when he starts getting into shallow waters. It’s a nice set up and easy install.
Got it Thursday and installed it then. Went to the lake today and tested it out. Works great. I have a 19.5 Bayliner. Mounted it on the transom. The cable almost didn’t reach but it worked out perfect. It shows voltage and water temperature. Used the fish finder/identifier and it is pretty cool. Would highly recommend this to anyone! Was going to but the garmin vs the lowrance at the same price and i’m glad i got this one. Thanks.
Easy to understand
The Lowrance Elite 3X is very user friendly! I have never used a fish finder and I’m amazed how easy this one is to understand! It is perfect for my knowledge and experience (or lack thereof) on how to operate a fish finder. The menu is simple to understand and the options are very easy to understand and it even has a simulator to practice with! I will upgrade to one that has GPS capabilities in the future. For now, this unit is very compact, the perfect size for a kayak! There is enough wiring to install, just about anywhere, on my 15′ kayak! Ease of operation is definitely a huge plus! I would recommend this unit to the novice and even the more experienced fisherman!
Ideal Small Unit
The Lowrance Elite 3x comes complete with the necessary mounting bracket, power cable/transducer combo. Installation generally only requires a 2-wire hookup and appropriate 3amp fuse should be installed on the positive (red) lead of the 12V DC system.
A few keypoints that will make a world of difference with ANY fishfinder install that generally lead to “bad” reviews.
1) Transducer location: It must be installed so that it receives a clean, smooth flow of water. If the water is “dirty” (no smooth flow, full of air bubbles/cavitation, etc), the transducer is improperly angled or too close to the motor, your signal will be poor or intermittent. This is no fault of the unit or its capabilities. I’ve installed quite a number of these, and similar units, to say with certainty that the transducer install is generally the source of the problem. You will see a ‘lateral’ line around the transducer. That line should be about equal with the bottom of the boat & the transducer should be parallel (to start with) with the water when using.
2) Understanding: You need to understand, within reason, how a transducer is working & what you are seeing. If not, you may not be interpreting what it is doing.
3) Correct frequency: This unit operates on 83 & 200 frequency. This is ideal for freshwater and some shallower saltwater applications. @00 for your shallower water (approx. 200 feet or less) and 83 for deeper (approx.. 200 feet or more). This is totally up to you as the user and can be changed. Try it … change the freq. & see how the image differs. The 83 is a wider beam angle.
With that being said, I have found the 3x to be an affordable, small color screen unit with similar fishfinding capabilities at it’s bigger brothers the Elite 4 or 5 unit (not the newer HDI or CHIRP units). Keep in mind … this is an inexpensive unit so it will lack some of the capabilities of a much more expensive unit.
This is ideal for kayaks, SUP, float tubes & small outboard powered ‘john boats’.
Size does matter
Great little gadget to have. Size could be an issue for larger boats. I love the colored monitor and the graphics are sharp and clear. Great fish finder!!
Overall great buy
Great for the price!! Love the color screen. Would have been 5 stars if it came with proper placement instructions. Watch some YouTube videos before installing it and you should be okay.
Easy to mount
I works well. Easy to mount. Show in color which is helpful, shows the depth of the water and what is around the area you are in. Works and for a good price.
Good starting depth finder.
Doesn’t spot fish that well but works great for water temp, battery, and depth. Bright screen can be seen any time of day. Worth the money.
A basic unit with a small screen
A basic unit with a small screen (but easy to read in direct sunlight). It does what its supposed to do and it does not require much energy. I use a 12V 7AH Sealed Lead Acid Battery. I charge the battery with an automatic trickle charger/battery tender. After 6 – 12 hours of use, the battery is back up to full charge in less than 5 minutes!
Great fish finder for the money
Great fish finder for the money. Accurate depth readings and water temperature. Finding fish is yet to be proven, but overall a good product, especially for getting a color screen for $100. My only regret is not waiting for the Elite 4x to go on sale, which includes Down Scan Imaging. Oh well, this works well for my needs.
Super for the money! I have much more advanced systems on my Bass boat but I use this on y Pontoon and on my small fishing boat and it is surprising good!
You can see it in the sun the water temp seems to be spot on I am glad I took a chance on an economical unit!
The fishfinder is easy to use. I’m not a fisherman but it is fun to see them on the screen. I wanted it mainly for a depth finder. I am slightly disappointed that over 5 MPH you lose that feature. It only works at very slow speeds. The temperature sensor is also a nice feature and seems to be accurate. It works at any speed. The Lowrance is also easy to read, even in this Florida sun.
Great for a kayak
Good size and low weight for kayak use. The display is easy to read even in bright sunlight. Menus are easily navigated. Highly recommended! Auto depth scaling is awesome and temperature display is great when you’re on a kayak! Lets me know how much I don’t want to tip over when it’s cold!
For the price you really can not do any better.
I was skeptical of buying this unit, but for the price you really can not do any better. This unit finds schools of fish with no problem. Upon delivery i installed into my boat in less than an hour this was fully installed into my boat diresctions were easy and straightforward. Took it out on the water and worked flawlessly, I think people have trouble mounting the transducer in the right spot. Hence all the bad reviews about the transducer but this is a great unit for your buck worth every penny.
The unit works great
The unit works great, I have used it for ice fishing and on a canoe. My only complaint is the brightness. The lowest brightness is basically off, no way you can read it. The next setting up is blinding at night. I do a lot of catfishing at night, so it’s kind of annoying. However, it does get very bright on the highest setting, so it’s very easy to see on a sunny day.
It was relatively easy to set up
Just got mine yesterday and used it ice fishing today. It was relatively easy to set up and use but required some tweaking to the settings each time I changed holes (not a big deal at all). Was able to clearly see my jig and fish coming up from the bottom. I found the Elite 3X along with a carrying case on sale for quite a bit less than what is listed on Amazon, so for the price I paid I could not be happier. Will update if my opinion changes with further use.
Its just like not having a fish finder at all example
I have yet to see it mark a fish . terrain on screen does not match what I can see with my own eyes manual is almost worthless and no amount of tweaks resetting defaults or anything else will make this fake fish finder give any accurate info . I cant even pay attention to it . it only gives false everything leaving you guessing . its just like not having a fish finder at all example . I’m at a lake I fished many times . freshly stalked with 20k trout . I know terrain and depts. from previous years fishing there . never marked a fish out of 20,000 trout and said the middle of the lake was 13 ft deep . . absolute crap !!!!!
It does not work anything like it does on simulation mode
It does not work anything like it does on simulation mode. Maybe I don’t understand how to adjust it or set it up correctly?
I use it in a River not a lake if that has anything to do with it.
We have caught fish using it so it not that bad.
I received this item promptly
Just what I need to catch a big one! I received this item promptly and in great condition. This is my third or fourth one. You can’t sell a boat without one, so I keep getting another one. Very happy with this product.
All you need for a kayak
Good system for the price. Screen is color and easy to read in any light conditions. I mounted this unit on my wilderness system ride 135 with no problems. Shoot thru hull with the transducer and it works terrific. I’ll upgrade eventually to the elite 4 with down scan, sonar, and gps but not for a while as I am well pleased with this unit
I have had the Elite 4x HDI and now this
I have had the Elite 4x HDI and now this Elite 3x units. When I sold the boat the 4x was on the guy wanted the 4x so away it went.
This 3x does almost as much just as well.
And a tip for those that cannot see the unit. Take off your sunglasses! I wear amber colored lens as my eyes are very sensitive to light. And with those lenses in place I cannot see it at all! So try taking your polarized glasses off or at least lifting them and you will see this bright unit.
Works great. Caught fish very first time I used it. As soon as a fish-arch came into view on the screen, I dropped my lure in the water right where the fish was, and WHAM! I have had no issues with anything on this fishfinder. Sensitivity is great, accurate depths, and I can usually tell what kind of fish are on the screen by the colors of the arches. Great deal as well. Can’t go wrong!
It looks good.
So far, it looks good. The transom cable is a little short. I think I had about 3 inches sticking out to connect it to the fish finder itself. Too close for comfort. This was mounted on a 20′ pontoon and had to cross over from one side to the other to mount it. Barely enough cable. Other than that, I haven’t used it yet, but hoping for the best!!
Depth Reading Failure.
I am returning this product. It looks nice but the performance lacks even a 1 star rating. The depth reading fails each time I run the motor over 5 knots. I only needed depth and water temps, and it does not work. So I thought it might be just that particular unit. But I bought 2, for the front and back of my little boat. They both failed, and interference was not the problem, because I used them bought separately. I would not recommend this product.
Good: it reads an accurate depth most of the time, inexpensive “fish” finder. Bad: large connector required me to make a 1″ hole in my transom for transducer cable even though the cable itself is less than 1/4″, I have yet to see any fish on it even though we have been fishing & catching fish while using this. Maybe the fish aren’t big enough? Mostly 5-9″ Bluegill & Rock Bass. So for now, it has really only been a depth finder for us.
Fast shipment. Price is right.
This fish finder is a serious bargain. And shipping was really fast.
Works great. I installed it on my front mounted trolling motor. Now, I know the water temperature and depth, after leaving the rear console. When you buy from a top manufacture, you get quality. The price was great and it is in color. All for less than $100.
Very inaccurate! Untrustworthy readings
This thing was completely untrustworthy as a depth finder. I tried it for two days and I could not get an accurate reading. In most case it was more then 300% off. I was in 10 feet of water (I measured it with a line) and it was saying that I was in 36 feet. When I was tied up to the dock in 5 feet of water, it fluctuated from 12 to 22 feet. At no point in time did it every come within 5 feet of of the actual depth. I never even tried it as a fish finder as it could not even be trusted with the basic function of depth finding. I tried adjusting every setting possible to get it to work right to no avail. I got a hummingbird at a local store and hooked it up the next day and it worked perfect, so I know it was not a issue with the water or anything else. I returned this unit.
Great little sidekick!
Love this thing. I have it connected to my kayak. I use a 12v 10a battery in a dry box. Ran for 7 hrs yesterday, would probably last 15 or 20 easy off one charge. The depth was perfect and fish were right on. Great little fish finder for novice/lower end budget fishermen that want to see structure, drops and schools.
Mounting instruction not included?!
This fish finder seems to work great. Having no previous experience with sonar readings, it is taking a bit to get used to deciphering the display. I took off 1 star due to the limited usage instructions and a complete lack of installation instruction. Even on the Lowrance website they have no instruction on installing the display mount or the transducer. Mounting the display is no big deal, but I would have liked to have some idea of where and at which angle to mount the transducer. So, provided I have mounted the transducer properly on the transom of my boat, this unit has a great level of detail and plenty room to make minor adjustments in accordance with the substrate and depth of water you are fish in. I look forward to many years of great fishing with this device!
This works great and I am very happy with this purchase
Killing the fish, need I say more? This works great and I am very happy with this purchase.
Great features for the price
So far so good. Have one at console with transom transducer and one up front with trolling mount. Color is great – bright and clear. Quick disconnect on back is great too. Don’t forget to turn off demonstration mode the first time on the water. You’ll get really upset at all the fish under the boat not biting – ask my 9 yr old running the one near him!
Perfect for kayak fisherman
Love it, easy to use, great price
Easy to install
Very easy to install, work fine I installed on my 19′ Fish & ski , I recommended , screen is very clear even under the direct sun light
Had a very difficult time reading water depth of moving
Had a very difficult time reading water depth of moving. Had a difficult time with settings to mark fish. I’ve since sold the unit.
At first we thought it wasn’t working right, but it turns out we had it in demo mode.
Good for the price
Good for the price. Shows the bottom and objects at all levels of the water column.
Works very well
Works well, hooked it up to a 12v in the Kayak and off I went!
Great fish finder on a budget
Screen is small but I knew that when I bought it. It works its clear and its easy to install.
Great value for a color screen with lots of features
Great job! Works on pontoon boat mounted forward on stick to look under and to side of structure and docks.
Very nice unit. Worked well and directions were complete for installation. You might add a small sheet of paper for turning on unit, too much reading in complete operating directions.
I had to send this back to the manufacturer and they sent me a replacement, The replacement works well. However I was charged $10.00 postage to send it back.
It's cool. Works well
It’s cool. Works well. If it doesn’t keep constant power it needs demo mode turned off every time and that is annoying
Good Product if you are just looking for depth and ...
Good Product if you are just looking for depth and water temp, I was . It does work for fishing but I think a die-hard fisher would want one of the bigger models. Easy install.
Works really great!
Good lil unit
Best bang to buck marine electronic device ever purchased in 25 years
Great little depth finder for the price.
I bought two of these and they both work very well. I put both transducers inside my two bass boats and they will read even below 2 feet. Never had one that would do that before.
Not So Great At Speed
Bought two of these for my cruiser – when going less than 7 knots they work fine but any faster than that and 60 feet reads as 600 feet. They might be great for a bass fishing boat but if you’re trying to get an accurate depth buy a more sophisticated unit.
This thing is almost perfect!
This thing is almost perfect! My husband was able to YouTube and install himself saving us a lot. Love the graphics, it gets a little muddy when we are going very fast, but still shows depth which is important. The only thing that is frustrating is every time we turn it on it is in simulator mode, and we have to switch to real time. Other than that we love
New Best friend
It show me fish. Even if I cant caught them I can see they are there.
Nice bright screen
Nice bright screen. I like the fact that it has water temp. sensor built right into the transducer. It was a little hard to get the simulator display turned off. The instructions could be a little more specific. Other than that it’s a great little unit with plenty of control options, and features. A lot of fishfinder for a very reasonable price.
Deep water reading in shallow lake.
Started failing after about 8 months of use. Transducer gives false depths (100 or so feet when in only about 4 to 12 feet of water. No sound for fish alert…just not happy.
Excellent For the Price
Excellent replacement, for the price, for our old Lowrance that stopped working.
It has a clear color readout with both depth finder and fish finder.
Only downside is that it doesn’t have all the rotational features that our older one did – so when captaining the boat I can’t quite turn it to face me, I have to pivot over a bit to see it. Just a small annoyance.
Don't buy this
Reconsider this purchase if it’s something your interested in. I’m putting mine in my next yard sale for pennies on the dollar. I won’t go into the many details of how this will let you down. $80 something dollars would have spent better on scratch off tickets. I would of had a better chance on getting something of value with that purchase. I don’t usually review my purchases but feel the public needs to know.
ok my updated review. IF I had to do it again I wouldnt! dont get me wrong its a nice piece, BUT, not the greatest! its worth the $90! but not good for “larger” boats. be great on a kayak or canoe but not the best on a 20 footer! however, it does work…..and works very well! I would recommend this product too anyone who wants to mount it on a kayak or canoe or small aluminum boat!! all in all, it is a very nice fish finder for the money and worth buying!
My husband did not care for this product
My husband did not care for this product. He compared the depth where fish were holding with his old unit and with where fish were biting and for where they had been suspended the previous two weeks and the fish symbols were consistently 8-10 feet shallower than what was really happening. He also got a lot of random scatter of fish symbols anytime while moving forward with the motor at any speed. Was unable to search for schools of fish because of this.
Great entry level fish finder
Great entry level fish finder. I use it on my kayak, it was really nice for learning how to spot fish, and structure without having to fiddle with all those extra features when you’re trying to fish! Now that I have that bit down I’ll be upgrading and donating this one to someone new to the hobby as it’s a great unit. Only complaint is that the depth metering in shallow water is pretty far off, it doesn’t affect me as I’m in a kayak, but I could see it being an issue in a boat