Garmin Striker Plus 4CV Review: Should You Buy It?

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Are you getting tired of your basic fish finder? Do you find yourself wishing that you had a unit that offered more than just a simple readout of the bottom structure and fish location? If so, it might be time for an upgrade. When the time came for me to switch to a newer model, I decided to put together this Garmin Striker Plus 4CV review.

Shopping for a Garmin Striker Plus 4CV: The Basic Considerations

If you’ve only had access to a simple fish finder in the past, you should find plenty to love about the updated versions. In addition to providing you with more detailed images and a clearer picture overall, they also tend to give more accurate readings than their older counterparts. Some of them are even outfitted with sophisticated GPS and mapping technology. These allow you to mark waypoints and find your way to the prime destinations more quickly.

Before you begin your search, it’s a good idea to review this list of basic considerations:

  • Price—Determine a budget based on what you’re hoping to get out of your fish finder and how much you can afford to spend.
  • Convenience—Think about whether you’d prefer a fish finder that can be mounted on the center console of your larger watercraft, a portable handheld unit that you can take with you anywhere, or something in between.
  • Screen Size and Display—The larger the screen, the easier it is to make out the images from a distance. However, you might prefer a smaller screen if you’re planning on mounting the unit on your kayak or canoe. Look for a screen resolution of at least 240×160—anything lower, and there’s probably no point in upgrading in the first place.
  • Water Resistance—A fish finder should carry an IPX or JIS rating of at least 6. This means that it can withstand the spray from heavy jets of water while continuing to provide accurate readouts. If the water resistance rating is not immediately obvious, check the product’s specifications on the company website.
  • Depth Rating—Consider whether you’ll be taking your fish finder on deep-sea expeditions, or sticking to shallow lakes and ponds.
  • SonarCHIRP sonar, which allows the transducer to pick up a range of frequencies instead of a single one, is becoming the industry standard. Check to see whether the unit you’re interested in offers this technology.
  • Cartography—The majority of upgraded models will be equipped with GPS technology and mapping software. These will help you stay on course in unfamiliar territory and allow you to make your way back to your favorite spots more quickly.
  • Additional Features—In a crowded market, manufacturers are always trying to get a leg up on the competition. Think about what special features you would most appreciate in a fish finder, and which you could just as easily do without.

Garmin Striker Plus 4CV Review: What You’re Buying

The Garmin Striker Plus 4CV includes a 4.5-inch GT20-TM transducer at the end of a 20-foot cable, all attached to a console with a 4.3-inch display screen. Rounding out the package is a tilt-and-swivel base for mounting, hardware, and documentation of your purchase. A protective cover and a one-year warranty are also included. This unit might be a bit too small for some anglers, but it’s just the right size to be mounted on a canoe or larger kayak.


  • Low price point
  • Ease of installation
  • User-friendly interface
  • Clear and accurate depth and water temperature readouts
  • Battery voltage indicator


  • Directions can be confusing
  • No battery included
  • Transducer is a bit too large for some trolling motors (this is an issue only if you wish to mount your fish finder on the motor itself)
  • Slightly heavier than its more basic counterpart at 3.1 pounds

Garmin Striker Plus 4CV Review: Features & Benefits

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the basics, you should have a rough idea of what you’re looking for in a fish finder. Let’s see how well the Striker Plus 4CV holds up against your criteria.


When you consider all that the Striker Plus 4CV has to offer, it’s set at a very reasonable price. In fact, it’s one of the least expensive upgraded models you’re likely to find. Shoppers on a budget would do well to give this unit a closer look.


Measuring roughly four inches wide by seven inches across, with a total weight of just over three pounds, this fish finder falls somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, size-wise. It’s portable enough to retain its versatility, yet sturdy enough to be easily mounted on a watercraft.

Screen Size and Display

The 4.3-inch screen puts the Striker Plus 4CV in the “average” category as well, at least as far as size is concerned. Anything larger, and the unit might not fit as comfortably on your boat or canoe. If you have vision problems that require a bigger screen, you should probably look elsewhere.

As with the original Striker 4CV, the screen resolution on the Plus model is 480×320 pixels. This gives the images a detailed richness that’s lacking in many simpler units, which is likely one of the main reasons you decided to upgrade in the first place. Lastly, note that the Striker 4CV plus offers split-screen technology, so you can have a clear image of the bottom structure and fish arches while still keeping track of your boat’s location.

Water Resistance

The Striker Plus 4CV has an IPX rating of 7, the second-highest available. It means that the display console can be submerged in up to three feet of water for as long as 30 minutes. This number is the industry standard for fish finders of this type—the 8 rating is generally reserved for units that are designed for full-on immersion during use.

Depth Rating

This transducer can provide accurate readouts in up to 1750 feet of fresh water and 830 feet of salt water. In addition, the unit comes equipped with ClearVu technology. In pristine water conditions, this feature should allow you to scan up to 250 feet in any direction for a three-dimensional view of the underwater environment.


The Striker 4CV series is outfitted with CHIRP sonar in addition to its ClearVu feature. The transducer can, therefore, read both high and low frequencies, or both at once if that’s your preference. As a general rule, remember that low frequencies are more effective at covering large swaths of water, while high frequencies are useful at providing detail when fishing in shallow conditions.


Unlike its earlier counterpart, the Striker Plus 4CV allows you to design and store detailed maps with contours down to one inch. You can also create routes and mark waypoints using the built-in GPS feature. The screen will provide a readout of your boat’s speed, making it easier to track your progress.

Additional Features

While the ClearVu feature can be considered a bonus feature in and of itself, the fun doesn’t stop there. The QuickDraw contour system and built-in GPS receiver are two other benefits that are difficult to find in fish finders at this price point. The protective cover is a minor perk, but it’s useful nonetheless, as is the one-year warranty.

Taking the Garmin Striker Plus 4CV to the Water

How does the Garmin Striker Plus 4CV perform when it’s put to the test? To find out, I scoured the Web for reviews from satisfied customers.

My findings were largely positive, with the majority of respondents praising the user-friendly nature of the model as well as the low pricing bracket. The split-screen technology was listed as another plus, despite the fact that the smaller image means sacrificing a bit of clarity. Many users were particularly appreciative of the GPS technology.

Possible Alternatives

In case you’ve reviewed the above information and decided to keep looking, we’ve provided you with a list of models that are comparable to the Striker Plus 4CV.

Lowrance HOOK2 5

The five-inch screen on this version of the HOOK2 displays clear images of the TripleShot transducer’s findings (down-scan, side-scan, and CHIRP sonar). It’s pricier than Garmin’s offering, but it has many similar benefits.

How They Compare

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

Assuming you can afford it, the HOOK2 5 is a nifty upscale fish finder. Check it out if you’re in the market for a moderately-sized unit that can fit easily on a smaller console.

Humminbird Helix 5

The Helix 5 is less pricey than the HOOK2 5, but it also lacks many of the latter’s special features. On the plus side, it’s very user-friendly and easy to install.

How They Compare

  • Price—Garmin
  • Convenience—Garmin
  • Screen Size and Display—Humminbird
  • Water Resistance—Tie
  • Depth Rating—Garmin
  • Sonar—Garmin
  • Cartography—Garmin
  • Additional Features—Garmin

If you’re leery of the more complicated models, give the Humminbird Helix 5 a try.

Lucky 2-in-1 Rechargeable Fish Finder

Portability and affordability are the twin pillars of this offering from Lucky, which is known for providing handheld units at budget prices.

How They Compare

  • Price—Lucky
  • Convenience—Lucky
  • Screen Size and Display—Garmin
  • Water Resistance—Lucky
  • Depth Rating—Garmin
  • Sonar—Garmin
  • Cartography—Garmin
  • Additional Features—Tie

The Lucky 2-in-1 has some cool features, such as an anti-clutter system and the ability to float. Take a look if you plan on casting off from the dock just as often as you venture forth in your boat.

The Bottom Line

If you’re planning on upgrading to a more advanced fish finder, you can’t go wrong with the Garmin Striker Plus 4CV. The split-screen technology gives it a definite edge over some of the competition, the depth rating is among the highest you’ll find, and the price is right. Click here to take a closer look at the unit, and start your journey toward a more rewarding fishing experience today.

David Linsmeyer Avatar


1 thought on “Garmin Striker Plus 4CV Review: Should You Buy It?”

  1. Thanks for this vivid description of the Garmin Striker 4cv. I’m planning to get one but still weighing things which would be the best choice at a reasonable price


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