The two units that we’re going to compare here are the Lowrance HOOK-4, part number 000-12647-001, and the Garmin Striker 4cv part number 010-01806-00. These are two similar 5″ units featuring down scanning sonar, CHIRP sonar and GPS. However, there are several differences about them and in here we’re going to try to underline each one of them.
Lowrance HOOK-4 – Short Description
The HOOK-4 (000-12647-001) is a Lowrance fish finder and GPS, featuring 2D broadband CHIRP sonar and DownScan sonar. This particular part number unit includes the HDI skimmer transducer, which can operate at 83/200 kHz for 2D and at 455/800 kHz for the unit’s DownScan. Also, for 2D it can use Medium-Range CHIRP and High Range CHIRP for a better target separation and clearer images. The transducer comes with a transom mount and also integrates a temperature sensor so that the unit can display the temperature of the top water layer.
The HOOK-4 unit is equipped with an internal GPS receiver (to not be mistaken for the HOOK-4x model, which does not have GPS). Along with the GPS/WAAS/EGNOS/MSAS module it’s also equipped with the Lowrance basemaps. These charts are not exactly detailed but do cover more than 3,000 lakes and rivers and coastal contours to 1,000 feet. But on the other hand, the unit’s chart database can always be upgraded to Lake Insight, Navionics+, etc.
The control unit features a color display, with a pixel matrix of 480V x 272H, and 4.3″ in diagonal. It’s keypad operated (not touchscreen) and equipped with a microSD card reader for chart upgrades, data backup or recorded sonar logs… Read Full Review.
Garmin Striker 4cv – Short Description
The Garmin Striker 4cv (010-01806-00) is one of the top-rated fish finders at the moment, despite the fact that it is a small unit. Its name is also a bit misleading, as its display is 3.5″ in diagonal, and not 4″ or above. It’s a color unit, though, with LED backlight and a richer pixel matrix than the Lowrance HOOK model, of 480V x 320H.
This unit has several standard sonar features such as A-Scope, Circular Flasher, Fish Symbols, Fish Alarms, etc; however, it does not have sonar recording.
The unit features two types of sonar: 2D CHIRP and ClearVü CHIRP. It comes with a ClearVü transducer, the CV20-TM, which uses 77/200 kHz for the unit’s 2D sonar, and 455/800 kHz for ClearVü. Differently put, it can use Mid and High CHIRP while for ClearVü it can also use a CHIRP modulation between 435-475 kHz and 800-840 kHz.
In terms of navigation, this unit is equipped with a high-sensitivity GPS receiver to locate your current position quickly and precisely, then maintain your GPS location anywhere you go on the lake. But on the other hand, it does not have any charts, nor it can be upgraded with any premium charts. Its navigation base is a so-called “waypoint map”, which is basically a blank sheet on which you can mark your waypoints, and record a trail between them… Read Full Review.
Sonar. Both units have dual-frequency sonar, and both of them can use CHIRP for their 2D traditional view sonar. However, only the Garmin unit can use CHIRP for its ClearVü imaging. The difference between CHIRP ClearVü and DownScan isn’t extreme, though.
DownScan Overlay. This is a feature specific to the Lowrance units. Since the HOOK unit doesn’t use CHIRP for its DownScan sonar, it can blend the 2D-CHIRP view with the DownScan, so you can benefit from the CHIRP power in DownScan.
Operating sonar frequencies. These Lowrance and Garmin fish finders come with similar transducers. However, for the 2D sonar, the Garmin transducer uses 77/200 kHz base frequencies, while the Lowrance HDI Skimmer uses 83/200 kHz. For DownScan / ClearVü, the base frequencies are the same – 455/800 kHz.
TrackBack. This is actually a sonar recording function and is specific to the Lowrance units. The HOOK-4 has it, while the Garmin unit cannot record sonar. If you’re looking for a small Garmin unit with sonar recording, you may want to check out the echoMAP CHIRP 44cv, for example.
Charts. The Garmin Striker 4cv, just like the other Striker units, doesn’t have any conventional charts. It only has a “waypoint map” which is a blank sheet on which you mark your waypoints. The HOOK-4 unit comes with the Lowrance Basemaps, which even though they aren’t too great and don’t offer a lot of detail, they’re still more helpful as they provide depth contours and boundaries between water and land.
Chart upgradability. The Garmin unit cannot be upgraded with any charts. The HOOK-4 unit can use various premium charts, such as Lake Insight™, Nautic Insight™ PRO, Navionics HotMaps® Premium, and Fishing Hotspots® PRO, Navionics+, and C-MAP MAX-N. It can also use Insight Genesis custom maps.
Display size. The HOOK unit features a 4.3″ display, while the Striker 4cv has a smaller display, only of 3.5″. But on the other hand, the Striker unit has a better pixel resolution, 480 x 320, while the HOOK unit has only 480 x 272.
MicroSD card reader. The HOOK unit is equipped with a microSD card reader with one slot, for chart upgrades or data transfer. The Garmin unit does not have this feature.
Side by Side Comparison
[table id=157 /]
Price & Final Conclusions
The Lowrance HOOK-4 unit offers quite a few more features than the Garmin Striker 4cv, such as sonar recording, a microSD card reader, base charts, and also offers the possibility to use premium charts. The Garmin unit lacks navigation features but still does have GPS. However, the Garmin unit is approx. $100 cheaper than the Lowrance unit, and so far benefits from better ratings.