Garmin Striker 4 Review | Best Fish Finder GPS Combo with Transducer 2020

Great Value GPS Fish Finder

5/5
Garmin Stiker 4 out on a boat

If you are like me, you know the frustration of crafting sensational lures, casting, waiting and not receiving a single bite. This is the reason I started using a fish finder. I really appreciate the Garmin Striker 4.

My success rate is better and my frustration level has substantially decreased. My fish finder eliminated the guesswork. Whether you prefer a canoe, a small boat or anything in between, you can detect fish.

I believe the Garmin Striker 4 may be the perfect fish finder wherever your typical fish setting may be.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Fish Finder

My first concern when looking for the right fish finder was the price. If you have ever looked at devices priced at $300 to $400, you already understand. I wanted something I could install easily, that was accurate in shallow and deeper waters.

Do you simply want to catch more fish? Are uninterrupted imagery, smooth scaling, and a good waterproof rating a concern? I wanted an accurate unit with good depth sensitivity and a brand I could trust.

I consider myself a serious fisherman. I need something with plenty of options I do not need a Masters’s degree to understand. Since I do a lot of fishing in big lakes, I require very helpful navigational features.

After an extensive search, I discovered the Garmin Striker 4. The unit was a good fit for all of my requirements. In this review, I will tell you everything I learned after using the device.

Our Garmin Striker 4 Overview

Garmin Striker 4 showing what was going on under the water

We found the Garmin Striker 4 is the perfect solution for fishing from a smaller boat. The unit was a good fit for my budget and offered excellent features. The Garmin 4 has a built-in GPS, side imaging and a very friendly user interface.

The first time we used the device, we noted a definite improvement in our fishing. I have used the CHIRP sonar technology and built-in GPS on both rivers and lakes. I had a clear picture of everything swimming beneath our boat.

The Garmin 4 offered a lot more features than the units selling for approximately the same price. When we moved from shallow to deep waters, the scaling imagery was uninterrupted and extremely smooth.

I was impressed a fish finder in the lower price range offered an IPX7 waterproof rating. The device withstood waters one meter deep for a full 30 minutes. If you are interested in high-speed watersports, this is not the right unit for your needs.

The Striker 4 includes a GPS for both hot spots and docks. We found our way through the river with no issues. The CHIRP Sonar transducer offers smooth and clean water flows for a sharp image.

One of my favorite features is I can see the speed of our boat and the temperature of the water. Although I did discover a few disadvantages, I am giving the Striker 4 an excellent review.

Features and Benefits

GPS Navigation

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We were able to determine our position quickly using GPS. We experienced no difficulty maintaining our position in the middle of the lake. We used the device to mark our favorite locations, then returned easily a few weeks later.

We were able to mark numerous locations including boat ramps, docks, stumps and brush piles on the lake. The Garmin Striker 4 showed which locations I had already marked. I used the waypoint map to mark and navigate to specific locations.

We were able to determine our boat speed on the screen to make certain our speed was optimal for the species of fish in the lake.

Display

Example of the display on the Striker 4

The Garmin Striker 4 offers a 3.5 full-color touchscreen. I found the navigation buttons easy to use. The screen provides a detailed and clear image with a 200 kHz reading. When we wanted to increase our scanning area, we used the 77 kHz reading.

Although the screen is smaller than on the higher-end units, I found it worked well for displaying target species, baitfish, and the bottom structure.

The Modes

Once we used the different modes, I knew this was the ideal unit for anglers. The Power RMS enabled us to go deep in salt and freshwater. The pictures we received were both accurate and sharp.

I was able to see the obstacles and arcs in the water representing fish through the Traditional mode. The Flasher mode is excellent for seeing different levels of depth. This mode also integrates two Sonars into one.

The Split Frequency is the third mode. We had 70 kilohertz and 200 hundred kilohertz displayed right next to each other. We used this mode to see the wide segment and narrow segment on both sides.

Everything beneath our boat was nicely displayed using two different cones. We were able to view and easily navigate to all of the positions we had marked. When we went back a few weeks later, this mode took us back to the exact same spots.

Although we did not use all of them, the Garmin Striker 4 has the ability to save a maximum of 5000 waypoints. I find this feature ideal. The fifth mode is the Sonar screen and Waypoints map.

I used the layout configuration for changing our map into horizontal and vertical splits. The Section Number is the sixth and final mode. This mode shows GPS speed coordinates.

The Battery

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We found the battery superior in every test we conducted. The battery life is seven milliamps and 12 volts. We used the battery for three straight days of fishing without a single issue.

The unit includes a charger for powering up the battery. We tested the battery and determined it offers an extremely reliable battery life.

CHIRP Technology

chirp-technology-fish-finder

Despite being one of the least expensive fish finders I have ever seen, the Garmin Striker 4 is equipped with CHIRP technology. This is what enabled us to see what was beneath the surface of our boat.

Signals are used by sonar units to gather information below the water. In most instances, deep water penetration requires low-frequency signals. To obtain details in shallow waters, high frequencies are necessary.

Just one frequency is emitted by traditional sonar units. This limits both image quality and water depth capabilities. The reason I prefer CHIRP Sonar is that several signals are emitted at the same time using different frequencies.

This enables me to see both soft bottom structures and detailed images of smaller objects.

Installation

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We found the Garmin Striker 4 was simple to set up. We easily protected the prop using the shallow depth alarm. Everything we required for installation was included in my purchase. Within a short period of time, we had installed the unit.

The Flexibility

Showing the water depth menu of the Garmin Striker 4

The portable kit is easy to access. The GPS was perfect for locating fish. We found the unit excellent for ice or kayak angling, canoes, small boats, and kayaks. The unit includes a rechargeable, fixed battery, and a battery charger.

The transducer mount includes a suction cup and float. The transducer is built-in with cable management.

The Performance

Example of Striker 4's sonar capability

I was impressed with the performance of the Garmin Striker 4. We were able to rely on the high-sensitivity, built-in GPS. The unit located our position fast with accurate precision. We were never lost during any of our fishing trips.

The CHIRP transducer offers a high level of clarity for the underwater structure and fish. We received extremely detailed information. The features and menu are user-friendly with a simple installation.

Pros and Cons List

Top FAQs

Your readouts are dependent on the mode. You can view water temperature and depth, GPS heading and speed, time of day and your approximate arrival time.

Absolutely. The Garmin Striker 4 is very helpful for the interpretation of 2D sonar returns. To use this feature, push the menu button on the sonar screen. Scroll down until you see the sonar setup.

Scroll until you see appearance, then activate fish symbols. Choose the symbol corresponding to your level of skill.

Yes, the waterproof rating for the unit is IPX7. If your unit gets wet, you do not have to worry about water damage.

Yes, the unit includes both a 12-volt battery and a battery charger. You can also use a power tool, marine or trolling battery. The indicator light shows when your battery is charging. Once your fish finder is charged, you can use it for several days.

Closing and Final Thoughts

I have an excellent fishing strategy. Despite this, I am often unsuccessful because I have no idea what is happening beneath my boat. The Garmin Striker 4 enabled us to locate the best possible spots for fishing and increased our success rate.

The unit is excellent for fishing in a small boat due to the uninterrupted and smooth imagery displayed between shallow and deep waters, the compact size and the comprehensive navigational features.

We found the Garmin Striker 4 durable, affordable and compact. We recommend purchasing the unit since you will be able to enjoy fishing for many years without any issues. We found the fish finder different than the units available in the same pricing and size.

The fish finder offers numerous high-end features. We were the most impressed by the built-in GPS and CHIRP Technology. Despite the 3.5 inch size of the screen, we were able to read it clearly in a wide range of light conditions including bright sunlight.

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Depending on the mode we selected, the screen displayed a lot of details simultaneously. The CHIRP 2D sonar and dual-frequency capabilities made it difficult to believe the screen was only 3.5 inches due to the clarity of the display.

We were also impressed with the navigational features of the Striker 4 including the GPS speed readout and waypoint and course-plotting. We found the unit was a valuable addition to our fishing trips.

We recommend purchasing this unit because it will add value to your experience every time you search for fish. The Garmin Striker 4 will enable you to get more bites to help make certain all of your fishing trips end in success.

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