Garmin Striker 4CV Review: The Fish Finder for the Money!

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There’s an old adage: A bad day fishing is better than a great day at work. While I’m inclined to agree with this statement, I’d argue that it’s still preferable to make each fishing day as great as possible. Investing in a fish finder is a good first step in that direction. That’s what inspired me to compose this Garmin Striker 4CV review.

Shopping for a Garmin Striker 4CV: The Basic Considerations

If you’re serious about fishing as a hobby, then you’re probably eager to get to the hot spots as quickly as possible. That’s where fish finders come in. In addition to providing information on the whereabouts of nearby fish, the sonar technology will also give you a detailed map of the lake bottom and structure. Some are even equipped with GPS functions that can help you make your way back to your favorite locations, without having to work from memory.

Here are some of the key features you should keep in mind when shopping for a fish finder:

  • Price—Determine whether or not the fish finder fits your budget. If you aren’t sure how much you should spend, do a quick internet search to get a rough idea of the current pricing.
  • Power—If the battery is included, look at the wattage and voltage to determine the power output of the fish finder.
  • Convenience—Decide whether you’ll be using the fish finder primarily on land or on a watercraft. If it’s the former, you’ll want a smaller, more portable device. If it’s the latter, check out the mounting hardware to make sure that it will fit comfortably on your boat. If the mounting hardware is sold separately, determine whether the purchase will still suit your budget.
  • Screen Size—Larger screens are easier to read from a distance, but if your boat is on the small side, it might be best to limit your search to include screens that measure five inches in diameter or less.
  • Water Resistance—Fish finders should carry a JIS or IPX rating of at least 6, but 7 is preferable. Look for this information on the product’s website if it isn’t readily available.
  • Depth Rating—This number will tell you the maximum depth at which the sonar can provide an accurate readout. Typically, a fish finder will be able to read at greater depths in fresh water than in salt water. Keep this in mind as you begin your search.
  • Display—You should look for a screen resolution of at least 240×160. The more sophisticated models will have a much higher resolution, making for a crisper, clearer image.
  • Sonar—Check to see if the unit features conventional sonar (which reads only a single frequency) or CHIRP (which is able to read multiple frequencies).
  • GPS—Some newer models offer GPS and mapping technology to help you find your way back to your favorite fishing spots, in addition to keeping you from losing your way.
  • Additional Features—Ask yourself whether you would really take advantage of the extra frills, or if you’d be just as happy with a simpler model.

Garmin Striker 4CV Review: What You’re Buying

The basic Striker 4CV comes outfitted with a built-in transducer, transom and trolling motor mounts with tilt and swivel capability, a power cable, and all the documentation and instructions you’ll need to get rolling. As fish finders go, it’s on the smaller side, so it would mount easily on a canoe or kayak. If you need a larger screen, this might not be the best fit.


  • Affordable price
  • Portable, lightweight unit
  • Bright, easy-to-read display
  • Simple setup


  • Battery not included in purchase
  • No contouring in mapping function
  • No pre-loaded maps

Features & Benefits of the Garmin Striker 4CV


If you’re looking for a fish finder that won’t break the bank, the Striker 4CV could be just the ticket. This unit is priced on the lower end of the spectrum, especially when you consider all the features that it has to offer.


The sonar capabilities of the Striker 4CV are rated at 500 watts. This number refers to the strength of the signal that gets transmitted into the water, and should be adequate for lake fishing and easy shoreline excursions. Finally, note that the unit takes a 12-volt battery, which is not included in the purchase.


This device weighs in at just over half a pound and measures 3.6 inches wide by x 5.9 inches tall. If you’re looking for a fish finder that’s lightweight and portable, then this could be the right model for you.

Screen Size

The screen on the Garmin Striker 4CV measures 3.5 inches on the diagonal. As mentioned above, it might not be your best bet if you have vision problems that require a larger screen, or if the device is positioned more than a few feet away from you. For anyone else, this screen size should be adequate, especially if it’s used on smaller watercraft.

Water Resistance

The Striker 4CV carries an IPX rating of 7. This means that the device can be submerged in up to three feet of water for as long as 30 minutes and still remain functional. An IPX7 is a typical rating for fish finders of this type—the scale only goes as high as 8, and that number is generally reserved for units that are meant to be submerged whenever they’re in use.

Depth Rating

The built-in transducer should provide accurate readouts in up to 1750 feet of fresh water and 830 feet of salt water. Note that this number may vary somewhat, depending on the water conditions. The depth readout is clearly displayed on the screen, so you should know if and when you happen to approach the maximum depth.


This device boasts a screen resolution of 480×320 pixels—twice as high as the recommended minimum. What does that mean? Essentially, it means that the visuals are that much clearer, despite the diminutive screen size. In addition to the depth readout, the color display on the Striker 4CV offers information on bottom structure, fish location, speed data, air and water temperature, and time of day. This may sound like a lot, but rest assured that it’s all very easy to read, thanks to the crisp visuals and straightforward layout.


The Striker 4CV is supported by both conventional and CHIRP sonar, in addition to the company’s ClearVu technology. Simply put, this means that the transducer can read at either 200 or 800 kHz, or both at one time. The lower frequency will display a wider swath of the bottom structure, while high frequencies are ideal for providing more detailed images, particularly in shallow water. This gives the Striker 4CV an edge over the competition when it comes to versatility.


The integrated GPS software allows you to mark waypoints, thereby creating your own maps for future reference. You can also upload this information to other devices, so you can study the territory even when you’re not fishing. Unlike some fish finders, however, it doesn’t offer any pre-loaded maps.

Additional Features

The Garmin Striker 4CV comes equipped with a built-in flasher, making it suitable for stationary fishing as well as transom mounting. If you decide to take it ice fishing, for example, the flasher will provide you with information about the lake bottom, whether or not there are fish moving toward your bait, and the depth of your bait or jig.

Taking the Garmin Striker 4CV to the Water

Now that we’ve gotten the list of specifications out of the way, the question remains: Does the Garmin Striker 4CV deliver as advertised?

Based on the information I was able to find online, I would say that the answer is yes. Most consumers were especially pleased by how easy the unit was to set up, as well as the crispness of the display. The low cost was also mentioned—specifically, the fact that such a great unit would be available at such an affordable price. Overall, the fish finder seemed to deliver as promised, with the only complaints referring to issues with the instructions and customer service, rather than the device itself.

Alternatives to the Garmin Striker 4CV

Would you prefer to keep your options open before committing to a purchase? Fair enough. Here are a few comparable fish finders that you might want to take a closer look at.

Lowrance HOOK2 7

The HOOK2 7 offers many of the same features as the Striker 4CV, but with a display screen that measures 7 inches across. The GPS system also comes with a pre-loaded map function, giving you valuable information on more than 3,000 North American lakes and ponds.

How They Compare

  • Price—Garmin
  • Power—Tie
  • Convenience—Garmin
  • Screen Size—Lowrance
  • Water Resistance—Tie
  • Depth Rating—Garmin
  • Display—Tie
  • Sonar—Tie
  • GPS—Lowrance
  • Additional Features—Lowrance 

If you’d like a larger screen and are willing to shell out more cash for a quality fish finder, give the Lowrance a try.

RICANK Portable Fish Finder

This is a super-budget option, priced even lower than the Garmin. As a trade-off, it doesn’t offer much in the way of special features, but it will provide basic information on fish location and bottom structure, and can be used in just about any fishing situation.

How They Compare

  • Price—RICANK
  • Power—Garmin
  • Convenience—RICANK
  • Screen Size—Lowrance
  • Water Resistance—Tie
  • Depth Rating—Garmin
  • Display—Garmin
  • Sonar—Garmin
  • GPS—Garmin
  • Additional Features—Garmin

Check out the RICANK Portable Fish Finder if you’re a casual angler who just wants a basic, no-frills model.

Lucky Wireless Fish Finder

Another budget option, this one with a slightly more sophisticated display than the RICANK and an 2.2-inch LED backlit screen.

How They Compare

  • Price—Lucky
  • Power—Garmin
  • Convenience—Lucky
  • Screen Size—Garmin
  • Water Resistance—Garmin
  • Depth Rating—Garmin
  • Display—Garmin
  • Sonar—Garmin
  • GPS—Garmin
  • Additional Features—Garmin

Give the Lucky a closer look if you’d like a simple handheld device that won’t take up too much room in your gear bag.

The Bottom Line

If you’re having trouble locating your quarry during your fishing excursions, it might be time to invest in a fish finder. The Garmin Striker 4CV is a versatile, affordable model that offers excellent value for the price. It’s small enough to be portable, with a high screen resolution that makes it easy to read in a variety of conditions. Does all this sound like an improvement over your current situation? If so, click here to check out the Striker 4CV today.

David Linsmeyer Avatar


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