TESTED: MARINE ELECTRONICS LOWRANCE X-4
Jack “Sparrow” Murphy tries out a handy little product that has made the art of finding fish portable - the Lowrance X-4 fishfinder.
Lowrance’s newly released X-4 Portable Fishfinder would’ve solved all my problems and kept a few extra bucks in my pocket. The unit is simple, versatile and compact. It runs off alkaline D-cell batteries so there’s no need to tap into your boat’s power supply. Team this with the suction cap transducer base and you have a portable sounder that can be used in almost any boating situation. Ideal for use in kayaks, dinghies and moored boats, the X-4 Portable has its own waterproof carry bag and base. When fishing on a friend’s boat, why not BYO fishfinder?
THE PRICE IS RIGHT
Taking into account that the X-4 Portable is an entry-level fishfinder, it represents great value at only $249. It has a black and white (greyscale) display and a relatively small screen, which I feel is entirely reasonable given that its main aim is portability. While it’s understandable that the unit requires a lot of batteries, replacing them after each day’s fishing would cost a fortune. I made this mistake, so in the long run you’d definitely be better off forking out some extra cash for rechargeable batteries.
The soft key buttons are large and easy to use, and it’s not hard to wrap your head around the unit’s functions. With no cloud cover and the sun directly above, many greyscale sounders become almost inoperable as you just can’t see the screen.
With the X-4 Portable I found I could easily see throughout
the day, even in direct sunlight. The only time I struggled to view the screen was while I was wearing polarised sunglasses. This problem is common with many sounders, but is easily solved by finding the correct angle or taking your sunnies off.
Lowrance says the suction cup-mounted transducer is not designed for high speed use, however, I was going at 38kts (70.3kmh) and couldn’t seem to make the transducer pop off the hull. The pack includes a lanyard, just to be on the safe side.
If you’re going to use the suction cap transducer on a propeller boat, make sure the lanyard is taut. If it does happen to fall off, the propeller won’t chop the cable.
WHAT KIND OF FISH IS THAT?
The X-4 Portable also comes with a feature called Fish ID. This interprets fish arches and creates a small fish symbol. Although it can be fun to see a school of ravenous fish cartoons underneath the boat, more often than not it’s a clump of weed that’s generally not inclined to eat your bait. Use the standard settings instead and learn how to decipher what’s underneath you.
Although not for everyone, this sounder will appeal mainly to the travelling angler who wants a bit of bang for their buck. Whether you have a barnacled boat or prefer to cruise around in a kayak, the X-4 Portable has you covered. As an added perk, you’ll sleep easy at night knowing that this is one piece of equipment that is safe from the grasps of crafty criminals.
As mentioned, it sells for $249. Visit www.lowrance.com.au for more info and to find your nearest dealer.
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