Any angler who wants to take the guesswork out of fishing must equip themselves with a fish finder. And not just any fish finder, but a quality one with great features that actually make your work much easier.
But, there are so many fish finders in the market to choose from, so deciding on one can be a bit daunting, especially when you’re a beginner and haven’t given any of them a try before.
In today’s review, I’ll show you everything you need to know about the Garmin Striker 4 before you buy it. This is one of the most popular fish finders chosen by anglers, and most have good things to say about it.
If you’ve not come across it yet or are wondering exactly what it has to offer, this Garmin Striker 4 review will provide a close look at its features and what differentiates it from other fish finders in the market.
Features to Look for When Buying a Fish Finder
Before we get to the Garmin Striker 4 review, let’s first go through features that you should be looking for when buying a fish finder.
By knowing the things to look out for, you’ll be able to choose a fish finder that’ll serve you better once you’re out in the water.
If you’ll be mounting your fish finder on a small and open vessel, then you need to look for a unit that’s waterproof. Otherwise, it’ll get damaged by water within a short period of using, and you’ll be forced to buy a new one.
Most fish finders will have either an IPX or JIS rating. With a rating of 7 or above, you can expect your unit to perform well without getting damaged in the rain, snow, shower, or if splashed with water.
If it has a rating of 8, it can stay underwater for more than 30 minutes without becoming damaged. It’s best to get one with a higher rating so that you can have peace of mind when out in the water, especially on your kayak or small boat.
You’ll be assured that even if water gets on it, there’s nothing to worry about.
Display and Screen Resolution
Struggling to read a fish finder is definitely something that no angler wants to deal with when they want to enjoy their fishing trip. And that’s why display quality and screen resolution are features that you should give thought to before buying a unit.
To ensure that you get a clear display, look for a screen that has a resolution of at least 240×640 pixels. However, if you can afford a unit with a better resolution than that, it’s best that you go for it.
That way, you’ll have no problem with the clarity of the images or numbers shown on display.
Besides resolution, it’s also a good idea to check backlight functionality. It should be able to be customized for easy viewing during the day or night, in all light conditions.
Some fish finders come with a single frequency, which means that you can only send out one frequency at a time, and receive a single frequency back.
This requires a lot of patience and can get frustrating if you’re eager to get quick results. Others are able to send out dual frequencies, while others can handle multiple frequencies.
The kind of frequencies available will also determine the cone angles that you’ll be working with. So, if your unit only supports one frequency, you’re likely to miss out on fish on a wider area, or those that could be in deeper places.
But, when it has multiple frequencies, you’ll be able to get back data from various angles, and this will help you find more fish.
Modes have a lot to do with how a fish finder operates and how you get to interpret the sonar information. Many units use the traditional Mode, which is the most basic. With this mode, you’ll be able to see details about the depth of the water and details about objects and fish at the bottom.
Other modes, such as flasher and split-frequency, allow you to see more details at once on the screen, including depth, sonar information, and GPS feedback.
The Garmin Striker 4 Review: Features and Benefits
If you’re looking for an affordable, portable fish finder with a built-in high sensitivity GPS, the Garmin Striker 4 is a worthy option.
It’s smaller than most fish finders in the market, but it’s feature-rich, which is what you should be looking for at the end of the day. If you’re looking for a compact fish finder, this can be a great option when compared to other small units in the market.
It’s laden with features that ensure that you don’t spend your precious time trying to craft fishing lures and waiting – when you have no idea whether there are any fish around your spot or not.
It comes in two versions, 010-01550-01 and 010-01550-00. Even though they have different part numbers, their specifications are pretty much the same.
What makes these two versions different is the documentation. That ending with “00” gets English documentation, while units with “01” at the end of their number have worldwide documentation.
With this fish finder, you can say goodbye to blind angling and start actively looking for fish, which will make your fishing more successful.
If you’re going to be fishing from a kayak, canoe, or boat, the Garmin Striker 4 has a lot to offer you. Also, this fish finder can be great for beginners, so if you’ve never used a fish finder before, you should definitely read this review to the end.
Here’s a quick look at its pros and cons:
- It’s a low-budget fish finder, with advanced features that you might not find in most compact units.
- Comes with a built-in, highly sensitive GPS capable of saving up to 5,000 waypoints and showing boat speed.
- Has a 3.5-inch display with adjustable backlight that allows you to read the display when in direct sunlight or in the dark.
- Equipped with 2D sonar with CHIRP and dual frequencies.
- Very easy to use, which makes it ideal for beginners.
- Allows you to set waypoints so that you can always return to your favorite fishing spots and find your way back to the dock or shore easily.
- It’s IPX7 waterproof, making it reliable for use in wet conditions.
- It’s easy to install on a kayak or small boat.
- Has several useful sonar features, including flasher, ultra-scroll, A-Scope, and fish symbols.
- It lacks NMEA connectivity, which some anglers might find inconvenient.
- Has a small screen size.
- Has no unit cover.
Looking for other options? Check out our review of Garmin Striker 7SV.
CHIRP stands for Compressed High Intensity Radar Pulse and is used as an alternative for the traditional sonar technology.
Using a transducer, the sonar technology sends out a single frequency and receives it back to gain information for interpretation on the fish finder.
But, with CHIRP technology, multiple frequencies are sent out at once and also received back. On reception, each of them is interpreted individually.
By being able to provide a large amount of information at once, the CHIRP technology gives more clarity and details about fish arches, target separation, depth, and so on.
Most compact fish finders are fitted with sonar technology, but the Garmin Striker 4 has the more advanced CHIRP technology. This is one of the main features that sets it apart from its competitors.
The Garmin Striker 4 transducer supports 77kHz and 200kHz CHIRP frequencies. If you choose to use the 77kHz, you’ll get a larger cone angle (45°) that covers a large area. However, this will provide less detailed information, and there’s also the chance of missing fish in deeper areas of the water.
Using the 200kHz provides you with a narrower cone angle, which is 15°. However, while it covers a smaller area than the 77kHz frequency, it provides greater detail. It’s also able to reach into deeper areas in the water, such as ledges, so that you don’t miss any fish.
You can also upgrade to a GT8 or GT15 transducer to send out more frequencies and receive more detailed information.
The Garmin Striker 4 fishfinder has a small display with a 3.5-inch full HVGA touch screen. It has a resolution of 480×320 pixels.
While this display is smaller than most fish finders, it has more features that make it quite functional. Also, if you’re interested in a compact fish finder, then this is the ideal display size to look for.
Thanks to its good resolution, this display shows clear and crisp images of fish, water objects, and other information on the screen.
The screen has backlights that you can adjust to fit the light at the moment. This means that you’ll not have any trouble viewing the display, whether during daylight hours, when the sun is bright, or when it’s dark.
The display is vertically oriented, with a few buttons for easy navigation. It has a split-screen feature that allows you to view all the important information and also has a zoom feature.
The high sensitivity GPS is one of the main features that sets the Garmin Striker 4 apart from other fish finders you’ll find in the market.
With the Striker GPS, you can not only locate fish precisely but also track your movements and fishing spots. It allows you to mark your favorite fishing spots so that you can come back to them whenever you want.
It can store up to 5,000 waypoints, so you can save a lot of fishing spots. This saves you the hustle of trying to remember where you last had a successful catch. With your waypoints, you can always go straight to your spots and proceeded with your angling.
Besides storing fishing spots, you can also include waypoints that allow you to get back to the boat ramp or shore easily. This way, you’ll not have to worry about getting lost, and you can explore the waters with a peace of mind.
Other than it’s navigation capabilities, the GPS on the Garmin Striker 4 also keeps track of the speed of your boat. Together with your waypoints map, you’ll be able to approach your fishing spots at an appropriate speed that does not disturb the fish.
Most anglers choose the Garmin Striker 4 became of its several modes. These modes make it easier to read and interpret information displayed on the fish finder.
Here are the various modes available on the Garmin Striker 4:
Traditional Mode: This is the mode that you’ll find on most fish finders. If you’ve used a fish finder before, then you’re probably familiar with the traditional Mode.
When using this mode, you’ll get information about how deep the transducer is in the water, and receive information about the bottom surface, fish, and other underwater objects.
Flasher Mode: The flasher Mode utilizes a circular scale that displays the depth levels of the water and the sonar information. Depth is shown in the middle of the scale, while color flashes indicate sonar information.
You can determine the strength of the sonar information from the colors that are displayed. The flasher mode can especially be useful when you’re jigging or ice fishing.
Split-Frequency Mode: We’ve already seen that you can use dual frequencies with the Garmin Striker 4, which are the 77kHz/200kHz. The split-frequency mode allows you to view information from both frequencies on the screen at the same time.
A horizontal split view also allows you to check your waypoints map and sonar screen simultaneously. This way, you can see your GPS location, the spots that you’ve marked along the way, and sonar information at the same time.
Another mode (section number mode) also allows you to see coordinates and GPS speed alongside other details.
The Garmin Striker 4 has IPX7 waterproof features to protect its quality and allows it to remain in the best working condition for long.
This feature allows you to use this unit in the rain, and it can even be submerged in freshwater to up to 3 feet without getting damaged. It’ll also remain in good condition if you’re working in snowy conditions.
In salty water, you can use the Garmin Striker 4 to a depth of up to 750 feet or 288 meters. It can reach a depth of up to 1600 feet or 487 meters in freshwater.
However, note that you can only achieve these depths of you upgrade your transducer. The manufacturer recommends upgrading to a GT8 or GT15 transducer for better functionality.
If you stick with the transducer that comes with the Garmin Striker 4 box, you might have to make do with about 844 feet or 244 meters of depth.
If you’re not yet conversant with interpreting sonar returns or simply want to get everything in its easiest form, you’ll love the Fish ID feature on the Garmin Striker 4.
To find this function, go to the menu from the sonar screen, then click on the sonar setup. Click appearance, then head to fish symbols.
Here, you’ll find 4 options of fish ID settings to choose from. The most beginner-friendly one will show you fish to indicate presence and a number that shows how deep in the water they are.
Other settings will only indicate fish presence with no depth, while another one includes fish icons, depth numbers, and a 2D Sonar image.
If Garmin Striker 4 is your first ever fish finder, then you’ll have all the time to get acquitted with the various sonar returns. With time, you’ll be able to make precise interpretations without using the fish ID.
What Do Users Think About the Garmin Striker 4?
Anglers who use the Garmin Striker 4 are impressed with its useful features despite its small size. The CHIRP technology and high sensitivity GPS with advanced navigational settings also prove to be quite helpful to many users.
Besides the compact size that still manages to carry a lot of useful features, a lot of users also think that the Garmin Striker 4 is competitively priced.
It’s one of the most affordable in the market for the size and features that it offers, giving good value for money.
Besides the features that I’ve already mentioned in this Garmin Striker 4 review, the 12-volt battery that it comes with is also another attractive thing about this unit. It can last for up to 3 days, and this is convenient for many anglers.
Many users also like the following about the Garmin Striker 4:
- Easy Installation – Everything that you need to set up the Garmin Striker 4 fishfinder comes in the box. There’s also a manual included that contains all the instructions that you’ll need. So, whether you’re a beginner or not, installation is pretty easy for this unit.
- Ease of Use – Just like you’ll get clear instructions on installation from the manual, it also provides clear guidelines on how to use the unit. Besides this, it has only a few function buttons which are easy to operate, so there’s little chance of getting confused about their individual functions.
- Portability – The Garmin Striker 4 is lightweight, weighing only about 8.1 ounces. It’s also compact, making it easy to carry around. You can also get a protective case to carry it around.
Is the Garmin Striker 4 Unit Waterproof?
Yes, the Garmin Striker 4 Unit is waterproof. It has an IPX7 waterproof rating, which means it’s protected from water damage when used in the rain, snow, or if it’s splashed. You can also immerse it in water to a depth of up to 3 feet without affecting its operation.
Can the Garmin Striker 4 be Used for Ice Fishing?
This unit is suitable for ice fishing, thanks to various features that support it. For instance, the flasher mode makes it a good unit for use when you’re ice fishing.
What Information is Shown on the Garmin Striker 4 Display?
The Garmin Striker 4 displays a bunch of information on its screen, including the GPS speed, water depth, fish icons, location, and water temperature. Due to its various modes, it’s able to display various readouts at once.
Does this Unit Have a Fish ID Feature?
Yes, the Garmin Striker 4 has the fish ID Feature, which beginners can find helpful. You can turn it on to activate fish symbol displays that make it easier to interpret and understand sonar information.
Your fishing experience will be better and more successful if you know exactly where to look for the fish. And this is why a fish finder is a gadget that you should be looking for.
If you’re just starting out or are looking for a compact fish finder with all the essential features, then the Garmin Striker 4 can be a great option.
It’s small, feature-rich, and affordable, which is not something you can say for other compact, cheap, or feature-laden fish finders.
With its CHIRP technology and high sensitivity GPS, you’re likely to get a better experience with this unit than most others in the market. The waypoint map that allows you to mark fishing spots and navigate to and from the dock is also a feature that you can do with.
The Garmin Striker 4 is a durable fish finder that you can use comfortably for years thanks to its lasting construction and features that protect it from premature damage.
When it comes to its drawbacks, some anglers might find an issue with the lack of NMEA connectivity, an SD card slot, or information of the latitude and longitude on the display.
But, if you’re willing to overlook these and can do with the features that I’ve highlighted in this Garmin Striker 4 review, you’ll have a great time using this unit.
If you’re looking for a unit to bring along on your kayak, small boat, or for ice fishing trips, this unit can be a great buy.