Garmin Striker 4
Some of the newest Garmin fish finders for 2016 are the models of the Striker series, from Garmin. The most basic unit from this series is the Garmin Striker 4. Evidently, this is also the most affordable unit, and actually one of the most affordable small units with CHIRP that you can find.
There are actually two part numbers for the Strike 4 unit: 010-01550-00 and 010-01550-01. The -00 part is the one that comes with English documentation, while the -01 part is the unit with World Wide documentation. However, in terms of specs, these two units are pretty much the same, and they both come with the same transducer.
Technical Details and Specifications
- Screen: 3.5″ diagonal, 480H x 320V pixel resolution, HVGA color, backlit
- Sonar: Dual Frequency CHIRP
- Frequency and Coverage: 2D Sonar: 200 kHz / 15° and 77 kHz / 45°
- Depth Capability: 1,600 ft (487 m) freshwater, 750 ft (228 m) saltwater
- Transducer: CHIRP 77/200 kHz
- Transmit power: 200 W (RMS)
- GPS: High-precision, internal
- Maps: No
- Waypoints: 5,000
Transducer and fish finder functions
The Garmin Striker 4 unit comes with the 010-10249-20 transducer, with a 4-pin connector. This transducer is 77/200 kHz capable and uses two conical beams of 15° for 200 kHz, and respectively 45° for 77 kHz. The control unit, however, is capable of 50/77/200 kHz, therefore, you can also use a 50/200 kHz transducer, in case you want to scan higher depths. However, it’s only capable of Mid and High CHIRP. You won’t be able to use Low CHIRP with this unit.
The maximum depth that you’ll be able to scan with this unit is 1,600 ft (487 m) for freshwater and 750 ft (228 m) saltwater. But this is actually only possible with a 50 kHz capable transducer. With the supplied transducer, the maximum overall depth should be somewhere around 800 ft (244 m).
CHIRP sonar adds quite some power and clarity to the images supplied by this unit. Differently put, you will benefit from clearer images, better-defined targets, less clutter, and a better lock to the bottom. Also, CHIRP offers excellent target separation. For example, if a group of fish stick really close together, on a conventional sonar unit their sonar return will appear like a single, bigger target, while with CHIRP, you’ll actually see that there are several smaller targets.
The unit’s 2D sonar makes available several useful functions. Among these, we can mention Fish Symbol ID, A-Scope, Ultrascroll, Auto Gain, Flasher, Split-Zoom, and several alarms. In case you don’t know what these functions actually do, here’s a short explanation of each one of them.
Fish Symbol ID is actually pretty similar to the Selective Fish ID+ function, found in Humminbird units, such as the HELIX 5 GPS, for example. This function analyzes the sonar returns differently and will assign fish icons to returns that the unit will interpret as fish. It also indicates the depth of each fish target.
The Flasher mode is a circular depth scale, which also incorporates information regarding the targets caught by the sonar beams. The inner rings of the Flasher indicate depth, while the segments flashing on the outer rings indicate different strengths of the sonar returns. This function is great for stationary fishing or ice fishing. Also, the A-Scope function is also a flasher, but in a vertical layout, providing information regarding the most recent sonar returns.
Auto Gain gives you the possibility to set up the unit to automatically filter unwanted noise, while Ultrascroll allows you to scan at higher boat speeds, enabling the sonar data to scroll faster. However, even with the Ultrascroll function ON, at higher speeds, over 40-50 MPH, images will lose quality.
A few last aspects that we should be mentioning here, regard the transducer’s mounts. The supplied transducer comes with both transom and trolling motor mounts, and has 20′ (6 m) of cable. It also integrates a temperature sensor.
Just like the other units within the Striker series, the Garmin Striker 4 doesn’t feature a chartplotter. Thus, the GPS system will basically use a blank sheet as support.
However, the unit does incorporate a high-precision internal GPS module, which allows you to mark waypoints to return to. It does not provide coordinates information, though.
The unit also offers the possibility to mark waypoints for your favorite fishing spots, or just about any point of interest that you would like to re-visit. It can store up to 5,000 waypoints, offering several suggestive icons that you can use.
Control unit features and functions
Since it’s a small unit if has a small 3.5″ display, with a pixel matrix of 480V x 320H. It’s an HVGA color display, featuring backlight, which offers excellent readability even in direct sunlight. The maximum number of panels (or applications) that you can view on screen simultaneously, is two.
The unit has an overall rugged design, a bit sturdier than the Garmin echoMAP units. It’s IPX7 waterproof, meaning that it can survive water splashes or rain. It should also withstand immersions up to 1 m in freshwater, but it’s not exactly recommended.
This unit doesn’t feature a microSD card reader, nor NMEA connectors. However, it’s possible to transfer waypoints between this unit and any echoMAP unit, via data cable. It comes with a tilt/swivel mount and power cable.
- Dual frequency capable – 77/200 kHz or 50/200 kHz;
- CHIRP 2D sonar;
- 77/200 kHz CHIRP transducer, temperature capable, included;
- Various sonar features such as Fish Symbols, A-Scope, Ultrascroll, Flasher etc;
- High-sensitivity GPS;
- GPS speed;
- Can save up to 5,000 waypoints;
- Easy to install;
- Affordable unit.
- Unit cover not included;
- Latitude and longitude information not available;
- No NMEA connectivity.
If you’re looking for a small, affordable fishfinder with CHIRP, but don’t want to spend extra on down view sonar, or on any, more advanced navigation features, the Garmin Striker 4 should definitely be one to put on your list. It offers dual frequency CHIRP sonar and comes with the transducer. It costs less than $150 and makes a great choice for a small boat or kayak.