Garmin STRIKER Vivid Reviews and Comparisons
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It was not so long ago when sound navigation and ranging or sonar devices were so expensive that not everyone could afford to have one on board their fishing boat.
Today, reliable fish finders start within a very affordable price range.
Garmin takes the technology even further by giving any end-user the option to choose from different display settings.
In this Garmin STRIKER Vivid review, we'll discuss three different fish finders from the Garmin STRIKER Vivid series.
What sets the Garmin STRIKER Vivid series from other Garmin STRIKER sonar equipment is the availability of colors for distinguishing fish from underwater structures.
Choose between red, blue, green, rusted steel, aqua, and two other options.
Garmin STRIKER Vivid Reviews
1. Garmin STRIKER Vivid 4cv
The Garmin STRIKER Vivid 4cv allows you to pick among several display colors so you can see passing fish and stationary formations in any of the available colors.
This device is a clear, colorful sonar with a four-inch display that lets you see what’s under the surface in maximum contrast.
Its built-in sonar uses the GT20 transducer, allowing both traditional compressed high-intensity radiated pulse (CHIRP) sonar and ClearVu CHIRP sonar.
Traditional CHIRP sonar supports 50, 77, and 200 kHz frequencies, while ClearVu CHIRP sonar supports 260, 455, and 800 kHz frequencies.
The GT20 transducer logs and graphs water temperature changes using a water temperature sensor as you troll along the waters during your fishing trip.
High-sensitivity GPS allows any user to create routes, mark waypoints, and monitor trolling speeds.
Another feature of the Garmin STRIKER Vivid 4cv is the pre-installed Quickdraw Contours Mapping Software.
Quickdraw Contours quickly map out the bottom of a lake or water body by returning signals and creating detailed two-dimensional drawings of underwater elevations.
The 2D contour maps are accurate up to one-foot elevational increments. With the Garmin STRIKER Vivid 4cv, you can make your underwater maps.
The Garmin STRIKER Vivid 4cv allows mapping of up to two million acres, and it lets you mark the locations where fish are abundant and willing to bite.
This fish finder and transducer set comes with installation hardware, including a tilt and swivel mount, a trolling motor mount for the transducer, and a 20-foot connection cable.
The Garmin STRIKER Vivid 4cv measures 3.9 by 6.9 by 1.8 inches and weighs only less than a pound. It is lightweight and handy, making it another viable option for our list of the best portable fish finders available in the market.
The four-inch screen has a QSVGA type display with a resolution of 272 by 480, which is equivalent to 130,560 pixels.
The screen is a tad small, but it displays vivid colors nicely, and it efficiently shows the separation between fixed objects and swimming fish.
You can use the split-screen and zooming function to view scans from traditional CHIRP, CHIRP ClearVu, A-Scope, or Quickdraw Contours.
The display screen of the Garmin STRIKER Vivid 4cv has an upright, portrait orientation, with the device’s controls located on a button panel below the screen.
This layout and orientation allow one-hand operation. You can practically hold the Garmin STRIKER Vivid 4cv on one hand while handling one thing in another.
In addition to this, the UltraScroll feature lets you browse for fish targets while trolling, even at faster speeds.
Fish symbol IDs can help you identify fish targets in contrast to underwater structures and permanent formations.
The A-Scope lets you see fish passing through the transducer beam in real-time. Effortless identification is made possible by AUTOGAIN technology.
It is a part of the software that minimizes clutter and makes fish targets more visible on display.
The GT20 transducer can deliver traditional CHIRP up to 1,900 feet and ClearVu sonar up to 750 feet.
Since the GT20 has a dual-beam and dual-frequency capability, you can switch between traditional CHIRP sonar and ClearVu CHIRP sonar.
It is a very reliable transducer, and you can use its transom mount to attach to deadrise and transom angles between zero and 70 degrees.
With the bottom lock feature, the Garmin STRIKER Vivid 4cv shows when the sonar beams start to return from the bottom of the water body.
The set comes with a four-pin cable that measures 20 feet for connection to the Garmin STRIKER Vivid 4cv.
For storage, the Garmin STRIKER Vivid 4cv allows up to 5,000 waypoints, 50,000 track log points, 50 tracks, and 100 routes.
2. Garmin STRIKER Vivid 5cv
While GARMIN made it possible to have a portable sonar in the STRIKER Vivid series of fish finders, they also improved the models with larger screens.
The Garmin STRIKER Vivid 5cv has a five-inch display with 800 by 480 resolution, which translates to 384,000 pixels.
The display is backlit and uses WVGA color, unlike the STRIKER Vivid 4cv, which uses QSVGA.
Sonar capabilities include 2D traditional CHIRP and ClearVu. For the 2D traditional CHIRP, beam coverage is 15 degrees at 200 kHz and 45 degrees at 77 kHz frequency.
With the ClearVu sonar, coverage is 2.5 degrees fore to aft by 53 degrees at 455 kHz and 1.6 degrees fore to aft by 29 degrees at 800 kHz frequency.
The 2D traditional CHIRP sonar can reach depths up to 1,900 feet, while the ClearVu CHIRP can reach up to 750-foot depths.
The Garmin STRIKER Vivid 5cv uses the same GT20 transducer and attachment options as the 4cv. Internal GPS has a very high sensitivity, and it can record up to 5,000 waypoints.
The ClearVu uses two oval cones as beams operating in a CHIRP range of 435 to 475 kHz and 800 to 840 kHz.
On the other hand, the traditional CHIRP sonar uses two conical beams with circular bases operating at 200 kHz and 77 kHz.
With the ClearVu CHIRP and traditional CHIRP, the Garmin STRIKER Vivid 5cv offers a complete range of standard sonar functions.
These functions include Bottom Lock, Circular Flasher, Amplitude Scope, Fish Symbols, Split-Zoom, Depth Alarm, Fish Alarm, and Temperature Graph.
It can also use AutoGain to reduce underwater clutter and emphasize fish targets.
The downside to the STRIKER Vivid series is that it does not have sonar recording and rewinding functions.
Another downside of the STRIKER models present in the STRIKER Vivid 5cv is the absence of preloaded maps or charts.
It has a basic GPS plotter, allowing you to record your course and create routes between several waypoints.
The pre-installed Quickdraw Contours feature uses the GPS and 2D sonar to map out contours at the bottom of the water body. You can use it to make your very own fishing charts.
3. Garmin STRIKER Vivid 7cv
The Garmin STRIKER Vivid 7cv is even larger than the 5cv.
Like with the 4cv and 5cv, you can choose from seven different vivid color palettes of which one is the most suitable for the underwater environment you are scanning.
Using the color palette, you can distinguish fish targets from vegetation and structure efficiently.
The color palette will also help in understanding underwater contours and submerged objects caught by the sonar scans.
The Garmin STRIKER Vivid 7cv measures 9.3 by 5.5 by 2.3 inches and uses the same resolution and pixelation as the 5cv. It weighs 1.70 pounds, almost a pound heavier than the 5cv.
Equipped with the same GT20 transducer, the Garmin STRIKER Vivid 7cv can use the same standard 2D CHIRP and ClearVu CHIRP sonars.
It also has the pre-installed Quickdraw Contours Mapping Software so that you can make maps during every fishing trip.
Another similarity to the 4cv and 5cv is its IPX7 water resistance rating, which means you can submerge it in water up to a depth of one meter and a duration of 30 minutes.
If you have more money to spend on a large screen display, then the Garmin STRIKER Vivid 7cv is an affordable choice.
It has a seven-inch display measured on the diagonal, which means you can have a better view of your underwater scans.
Like the 4cv and 5cv, the Garmin STRIKER Vivid 7cv has a keypad control panel. It does not feature any touchscreen technology like in more expensive brands and models.
The keypad panel is on the right of the display, like on the 5cv. All operation, access to functions, and menu navigation go through the keypad on the right.
The split-screen capabilities allow up to three applications to function simultaneously.
All the CV models under the STRIKER Vivid series, including the 7cv, do not have a microSD card slot or any removable or replaceable storage option.
Moreover, these CV models do not have any Wi-Fi connectivity, which means that these devices do not have access to the Garmin Quickdraws Community.
The Garmin Quickdraws Community is where you can download or share your maps with other users.
If you have a separate device with all the maps and charts you need for every fishing trip, then the Garmin STRIKER Vivid 7cv would be a good and efficient sonar device.
But even if the Garmin STRIKER Vivid 7cv is not preloaded and does not support maps and charts, you can use it to make maps of every area where your boat goes.
The Garmin STRIKER Vivid 7cv packs the complete functions of a standard sonar.
These functions include Amplitude Scope, Fish Symbols, Split-Zoom, Depth Alarm, Fish Alarm, Bottom Lock, Circular Flasher, and Temperature Graph.
With the Amplitude Scope or A-Scope, you can see all the fish that pass under your boat.
While they may be clearly visible using the ClearVu function, they will appear as fish symbols on the 2D traditional CHIRP sonar.
The split-zoom allows you to zoom in on any of the three split functions on your display.
The depth and fish alarms will tell you if your boat is about to run aground or if fishes are nearby.
All of these functions give complete functionality to the 2D traditional CHIRP and ClearVu CHIRP.
The fish finders featured in this Garmin STRIKER Vivid review have seven new color palettes for the ClearVu CHIRP sonar.
These color palettes will unquestionably make a difference depending on the type of underwater environment.
What’s more, you won’t get bored about using the same color palette all the time.
These three fish finders pretty much have the same features: 2D standard sonar and ClearVu sonar, Quickdraw Contours, seven new color palettes, GT20-TM transducer, and more.
They also would all fit as excellent sonar devices only under 500 dollars.
The primary differences among the three include display size and orientation, split-zoom functionality, and location of control buttons.
The STRIKER Vivid 4cv is more compact than the 5cv and 7cv and would make an excellent portable sonar device that you can move around in your boat.
However, when you are out there and looking for some fish, the most convenient choice would be the Garmin STRIKER Vivid 7cv.
It has the largest display among the three devices and has the exact same sonar features as the other two.
If you have a little more extra to spend and don’t need something with maps and charts in it, then the excellent choice would be the Garmin STRIKER Vivid 7cv.