- Great GPS capabilities
- Portable and easy to use
Are you struggling to get a read on fish? – When you’re fishing in large open waters like the Great Lakes or the sea, the fish have a lot of areas to move around in, and finding them is not easy.
The best way to get a read on them is by using helpful fishing equipment like the Garmin Striker 4 fish finder, rather than relying solely on your fishing experience.
In this Garmin Striker 4 review, I’ll explain how useful this fish finder is.
Not only will it show you what’s beneath your vessel down to 1,600 ft in freshwater or 750 ft in salt water, so can find where the fish are hiding, it has a built-in GPS system so you can mark your favorite fishing spot, the boat ramp, and has a flasher mode for vertical and ice fishing.
Things To Consider Before Buying The Garmin Striker 4 Fish Finder
The Garmin Striker 4 will help you see fish, know your depth, and find structures like pinnacles or sunken trees where fish are likely to hang out.
It removes the ambiguity of a fishing spot, as you’ll be able to see if they are there or not.
Once you have found a good fishing spot, you can mark it and save it forever using the built-in GPS system, and use the GPS to navigate around your fishing ground with ease.
This Garmin Striker 4 review is all about ensuring that you’re confident that it is the right fish finder for you, and to be sure, I have answered some questions about it for you below…
The Garmin Striker 4 also has a flasher mode for vertical and ice fishing and it can come in a portable bundle, so you can take it home every day.
Does the Striker 4 Have a Fish ID Feature?
Yes, you can go into the sonar setup to turn on the Fish ID and see fish symbols on the screen of the Striker 4 instead of arcs.
Fish will be displayed as fish with depth, fish without depth, fish with depth and colored arcs on the screen, or fish with colored arcs.
It’s an excellent feature to use to learn how to read what arcs equal fish on the 2D sonar image.
Does the Striker 4 Show Speed?
Yes, the GPS shows your boat speed, heading, and even more info like time to destination if you have plugged in a route.
It also has a section number mode which gives you the GPS speed coordinates
It’s useful for planning and knowing you’re fishing your lures at the right speed.
Does the Striker 4 Have Charts?
No, the Striker 4 only has GPS with a very basic basemap and you can not add charts to it.
It will make maps of the areas you fish through using a feature called Quick Draw if you go for the Garmin Striker 4 Plus model.
Does the Striker 4 Have Wi-Fi?
No, it’s a small, affordable fishfinder and features like wifi and Bluetooth are not included. You won’t be able to connect it to your phone to see the display on it from anywhere on the boat, and therefore will need to stay next to the display while you’re fishing.
What comes with the Portable Bundle?
The Striker 4 Portable bundle includes a protective case for the display, a sealed, rechargeable battery with charger, built-in transducer, cable management and storage, and a suction cup transducer mount and float – Everything you need to take it anywhere.
Who should buy the Striker 4?
The unit is small, accurate, portable, and has a flasher making it the ideal unit for ice fisherman, kayak fisherman, or anyone who has a small boat with or without onboard power.
Who should not buy the Striker 4?
If you have a larger boat like a sport fisher and fish offshore, the Striker 4 probably isn’t the unit for you.
You’ll want to look at units that go deeper and have more features like side scanning and down imaging, such as the Humminbird Helix 7 Si G2.
Garmin Striker 4 – Overview
The Garmin Striker 4 comes with a bunch of features to help anyone fishing in a kayak, on a boat, or through an ice hole, know where they are, catch more fish, and save their favorite fishing spots for later.
These fish finders use CHIRP sonar technology to give you accurate images of whatever is beneath your vessel.
They are portable, easy to use, have GPS for navigation and marking spots, plus a flasher mode for vertical and ice fishing.
It’s the perfect fishfinder for roaming fishermen.
If you take your kayak or small boat fishing from one area to the next each weekend, and/or do a lot of ice fishing in the winter too, the Striker 4 has you covered in all scenarios.
It’s not the best unit for large sport fishers though, as it doesn’t quite cut it in offshore depths when you’re fishing over 1000ft a lot of the time, as it only hits 750 ft in saltwater.
It’s also lacking features like down and side imaging that offshore fishermen like to have, and you can’t add any charts.
What’s in the box?
When you buy the Striker 4 it comes with the HVGA color display, a display tilt/swivel mount, a 77/200 kHz dual-beam transducer, transom and trolling motor mounts for the transducer, a power cable, data cable, and a manual on how to use, read, and install it.
Everything you need to start using it the day it arrives.
- Good Fish ID feature
- Portable and easy to use
- Durable and waterproof screen
- Comes with a flasher for ice and vertical fishing
- Crisp HVGA color 3 5 inch display with a good screen resolution
- Great GPS capabilities with GPS speed, spot marking up to 5 000 waypoints, and more
- Uses CHIRP technology up to 200 kHz to give you accurate sonar images
- You can not add charts
- The screen size is a bit small
- No wifi or Bluetooth for connecting it to your smartphone
Features & Benefits
Display Size: What You See
The display on the Garmin Striker 4 comes with a 3 5 inch screen size.
The screen is HVGA color and has a screen resolution of 480 x 320.
The 3 5 inch display or screen size might be a little small for some but the combination of the high pixel resolution and HVGA color makes reading and seeing the screen a piece of cake.
With the high pixel resolution You’ll be able to see good target separation on the sonar screen, waypoints, and your waypoint map in all conditions, even direct sunlight.
How Split Screen Helps Find Fish
You can choose to split the HVGA color screen into two, so you could for example look at your waypoint map on half the screen, and your CHIRP sonar screen on the other half.
This comes in handy and enhances your fishing experience as you can see what fish are under your boat, GPS speed, and your waypoints at the same time.
How is the Durability?
The display has a water rating IPX7.
This means you can submerge the display of these units to 1 meter for 30 minutes, and nothing will happen, they’ll work fine. It’s nice when you’re reading a fish finder review and the units are this robust.
Is the Garmin Striker 4 Powerful?
The Garmin Striker 4 has a power rating of 200 W RMS.
So what does 200 W RMS mean? 200 W RMS describes the transmit power of these fish finders, basically how much force the sonar waves are sent out with.
The higher the power the deeper the fish finders can go, and the better they are at penetrating through silty or muddy water.
At 200, the Striker 4 is limited to 750ft in clear water, and may only hit 500ft or less in dirty water.
200 is about as low as a fish finder power rating can get, and larger units will have 500 or even 1000 W RMS to penetrate depths of up to 2500ft.
The Striker 4 supports 50/77/200 kHz plus CHIRP sonar (mid and high).
The reason for the split frequency options is so that it can penetrate deep waters, and pick up detail in shallow water.
High-frequency 200 kHz waves don’t go very deep but they pick up a lot of detail along the way.
While low-frequency waves like 77 kHz go deep but don’t hit every target on the way down. When used together as a dual-frequency, 77/200 kHz sonar waves give you a full detailed picture of the entire water column with good target separation.
With the included dual-beam transducer, you’ll only be able to use a dual-frequency of 77/200 kHz.
The dual-frequency of 77/200 kHz will still allow you to hit the depths described above, but you can opt to buy a different transducer that will open up the dual-frequency to 50/77/200 kHz and penetrate deeper depths and give more accurate CHIRP sonar readings.
CHIRP Traditional Mode
The Striker 4 comes with CHIRP technology built-in to the unit and the included sonar transducer.
CHIRP technology works by sending out multiple-frequency sonar waves in order to give you a detailed sonar image of the bottom, fish, and bottom structure in the traditional mode.
The CHIRP on the Garmin Striker 4 uses 77-200 kHz sonar waves.
The 200 kHz waves pick up all the details and the 77 kHz waves ensure you get accurate bottom readings.
CHIRP actually uses a lot of different frequencies up between the 70 kHz and 200 kHz range ensuring the entire water column is covered in detail.
You can choose to upgrade the CHIRP to a large range from 55 kHz to 200 kHz for even more detail if you like, but it does involve upgrading the sonar transducer.
How Split Frequency Helps When Fishing
Split-frequency mode allows you to see two views on the screen at once, one with one selected frequency, and one with another.
This allows you to say, have a low frequency on one screen, and a high on the other, and comes in handy when you want to split different parts of the water column into different views to remove any clutter and get better target separation.
It is similar to CHIRP, but instead of seeing all the readings on one screen like with CHIRP, so you’re seeing it on two split screens.
The Garmin Striker 4 come with a dual-beam transducer that supports the frequencies needed to use the CHIRP feature effectively.
The transducer can send out waves ranging from 77 to 200 kHz as I mentioned above.
A transducer with a dual-beam also has the ability to send out two beams at once.
The transducer will send out a wide-angle beam to cover a large area and a focussed beam to get more detail of what’s under the boat.
When the transducer sends these beams out simultaneously, the transducer then sends the information to the display to give you a single picture with wide coverage and a detailed look at what’s under the boat.
Should I Upgrade my Transducer?
You can opt to choose a different transducer to one that includes all the frequencies supported by the Garmin Striker 4, 50/77/200 kHz.
This will give you access to more defined CHIRP images and allow you to penetrate deeper depths but it’s not so budget-friendly.
How to Install a Transducer?
The included transducer comes with a transom mount and a trolling motor mount. It’s easy to install for any angler on either, just follow the part numbers and the instructions.
You’ll have to screw in a bracket into the transom or clip it on to the trolling motor and run the data cable back to the display.
What are the Garmin Striker 4 GPS Capabilities?
This Garmin Striker has great GPS capabilities
The GPS module on this model is accurate to 20 meters and has good coverage.
Once you turn these fish finders on, it doesn’t take long for the GPS to connect to the network and pinpoint your position, and a flash if the indicator light will confirm the connection.
The GPS on this Garmin Striker model allows you to mark up to 5 000 waypoints.
5 000 waypoints is more than enough for you to cover a lot of fishing areas and you will have loads to spare.
This means you can mark waypoints of all your fish spots, waypoints of docks or ramps to navigate back to, and waypoints of areas to avoid, like a shallow rock island you want to hit in bad weather.
These fish finders will also show you a waypoint map in the GPS module, so you can use the GPS to plan a route hitting any waypoint you want. The GPS will also tell you your speed, heading, time to destination, and more.
Would I Benefit from A-Scope
A-Scope is a cool feature of the Garmin Striker 4 and can’t be missed in the fish finder review.
The A Scope feature gives you a real-time image of fish passing through the CHIRP sonar transducer.
It’s a cool fish finder feature and effective when on anchor or drift fishing, as you can drop down bait to the exact depth where you’re seeing fish.
What is Auto Gain?
The budget-friendly Garmin Striker 4 fish finder also comes with an auto gain feature.
This feature reduces clutter and maximizes fish targets on the CHIRP sonar image, making the sonar image easier to read, and thus easier to target fish with.
What is Fish ID?
Another important thing to mention in this Garmin Striker 4 review is the Fish ID feature. Fish ID turns the arcs of the sonar into fish symbols making it easier to know if what you’re seeing are fish or not.
You can choose to turn this one or off, and the instructions on how to do so are found in the table of contents in the manual.
You can choose between 4 different modes that show you fish symbols with or without a depth number, or with or without a fish number plus the CHIRP sonar arcs.
One comment I must make about this is that using the Fish ID feature with the arcs is the best way to learn how to read a traditional CHIRP sonar view, as it shows you what arcs correspond to fish.
Ultrascroll enables the Garmin Striker 4 fish finder to use CHIRP while moving at higher speeds.
This means you can troll lures faster or search for fish at faster speeds to save time,while still seeing a fish finder image.
This Garmin Striker 4 review wouldn’t be complete without a look at the flasher of this budget-friendly fish finder.
The flasher on this fish finder is ideal for stationary fishing when you’re on anchor or ice fishing.
It’ll show the bottom, your bait or jig, and the depth of any fish that swim under the boat.
You can then move your bait into the depth of the fish and even watch a fish eat or refuse your bait on the fish finder.
How to use the Garmin Striker 4?
Using this sounder is easy, all you need to do is plug it into the transducer, turn it on and you’re ready to rumble, Choose the sonar screen from the menu to start seeing images, or the GPS screen to navigate and mark waypoints.
All the other features are in the menu too, and easy to select and turn on as and when you want to use them.
How do I read the Garmin Striker 4 sonar image?
On a sonar image, you’ll find the depth along one side in a graph like form and a series of colors at different depths denoting the bottom, any structure, fish and debris.
Fish will be shown as colorful arcs, and if you use the Fish ID feature, you’ll find it can show you what arcs are fish, and actually teach you how to read the image, as I mentioned in the Fish ID section above,
The bottom is the solid line along the bottom, structure will be shown as large solid bits of color connected to the bottom, and debris as little dots, not arcs like fish,
What do people using the Garmin Striker 4 think about this fish finder?
While doing this review Garmin Striker 4, I have, of course, looked at what everyone else thinks about this fish finder and read through every review Garmin Striker 4 I could find.
This fish finder is not only popular, but most people love it for its accuracy and portability. Here are some of the reviews I found.
Garmin Striker 4 Alternatives
When looking to buy a fish finder like the Garmin Striker 4, it’s always good to look at what the competition is saying, just to make sure it’s the right fish finder for you.
Well, in this review Garmin Striker, we do it for you and it’s quite hard.
There are no comparable fish finders that have the same features as the Garmin Striker 4 at the same price point, so all the fish finders below are not as budget-friendly.
A step up from the Striker 4 fish finder. It’s more expensive but comes with more features, here are the differences.
This Garmin Striker 4 Plus CV fish finder might suit you more if you want to be able to create maps of your area and get a more detailed picture of any bottom structure with ClearVu, but you are sacrificing the portability side of things, and you will have to own a separate flasher for the ice.
The Garmin Striker 4 Plus CV is a step up from the Striker 4 fish finder.
It’s more expensive but comes with more features, here are the differences.
- The 4 Plus includes ClearVu for enhanced down vision sonar
- It has QuickDraw features that’ll make maps of your fishing areas using the sonar data
- It has a bigger screen by 0.8 inches
- It comes without a flasher
- It has no portable option
Alittle more expensive than the Garmin Striker 4, comes with a better screen but fewer features.
The Humminbird Helix 5 Sonar G2 fishfinder is a little more expensive than the Garmin Striker 4, comes with a better screen but fewer features.
The Garmin Striker 4 is clearly a better unit than the Helix 5 Sonar G2, but if you already own a GPS, or want a dedicated sonar device, or like the idea of a larger screen, the Helix 5 Sonar G2 might suit you better.
Here are the differences…
- The Helix 5 Sonar G2 has a 5-inch display with an awesome resolution of 800×480, much better than the Garmin Striker
- The Helix 5 has no GPS
- The Helix 5 has no flasher
- The Helix 5 doesn’t have CHIRP sonar
Very similar to the Striker 4, the only major difference is that the Hook 2 4x doesn’t have a flasher for ice or vertical fishing.
The Lowrance Hook 2 4x is about the same price as the Striker 4 but comes with fewer features.
The Lowrance unit is very similar to the Striker 4, the only major difference is that the Hook 2 4x doesn’t have a flasher for ice or vertical fishing.
If you’re used to using Lowrance products, it might be easier to get going on the Hook 2 than the Striker 4, otherwise, the Striker 4 is the better choice.
Here are the differences…
- It has a larger screen by 0.5 of an inch
- The Hook 2 4x has no flasher for ice fishing
- No Fish ID feature
Thanks for reading my Garmin Striker 4 review, and I hope you enjoyed it.
The Striker 4 is a great unit for anyone on a budget or that wants a fish finder that does everything from the ice to lakes, to a kayak, small and large boats, and that’s portable too.
I don’t know of another fish finder that does all the Striker 4 can, at such a low price with the portability and ice features included. Garmin did a great job here.
If you found my review Garmin Striker useful, please share it around with your fishing buddies or anyone looking for a fish finder.
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