Garmin Striker Vivid 4CV Review

The Garmin Striker Vivid 4CV is a compact 4-inch fish finder designed for anglers seeking advanced sonar capabilities in a user-friendly and budget package. Its 4-inch display is crisp and easy to read, even in direct sunlight. 

It’s equipped with Garmin’s ClearVü scanning sonar technology, which provides a nearly photographic image of what’s below the boat, enhancing the ability to identify fish and underwater structures. The sonar has a range of vivid color options to improve the visibility and differentiation of fish and structure.

The device also includes a built-in GPS for marking and navigating to waypoints and tracking boat speed.

The Striker Vivid 4CV is an ideal tool for anglers looking to enhance their fishing experience with detailed sonar readings and straightforward navigation features.

Key Specifications:

Display Size4.3 inches
Resolution272 X 480
Sonar TechnologyCHIRP Sonar, ClearVu
Frequencies50/77/200/455/800 kHz
Depth RangeTraditional: 1750 ft (533 m)ClearVu: 250 ft (76 m) 
Waterproof RatingIPX7
Price (MSRP)$179.99 USD

Display Quality

The display of the Garmin Striker Vivid 4CV offers good visibility and clarity. It’s particularly suitable for anglers who need a compact fish finder.

fishing with striker vivid 4cv installed on kayak
Fishing with Striker 4cv on Kayak

Key aspects of its display include:

  • Size and Resolution: The Striker Vivid 4CV features a 4-inch screen. While not large, the screen is designed to be clear and readable. The resolution is sufficient to display the detailed images produced by the ClearVü sonar technology.
  • Color Palettes: One of the standout features of the Vivid series is the availability of multiple color palettes. This allows users to select the color scheme that offers the best visibility under various water and lighting conditions, enhancing the overall clarity of the display.
  • Visibility in Sunlight: The display is designed to be visible in bright conditions, including direct sunlight. This is crucial for outdoor use, as anglers often encounter strong and varying light conditions.
  • Overall Clarity: Users generally find the screen to provide clear and detailed images, especially considering the advanced sonar technology it’s paired with. The display quality is often deemed adequate for identifying fish, underwater structure, and terrain.
  • Ease of Use: The user interface on the display is straightforward, making it easy for anglers to interpret the data and utilize the device’s features effectively.

Sonar Performance

The Striker Vivid 4CV fish finder from Garmin is equipped with advanced sonar technologies to provide detailed and precise underwater imaging for anglers. With the included GT20-TM transducer it features:

  • CHIRP sonar with dual frequencies of 77/200 kHz, enabling high-resolution imaging and improved fish target separation across varying depths. 
  • ClearVü sonar, operating at 455/800 kHz, offers enhanced clarity and a nearly photographic view of structures, fish, and objects beneath the boat. 
  • The maximum depth capabilities are also impressive, reaching up to 1,750 feet with the traditional sonar and 250 feet with ClearVü, using the included transducer. This makes it an adaptable tool for different fishing environments, from shallow freshwater to deeper offshore locations.
  • Vivid Color Options: The device offers seven new vivid sonar color palettes. These color options are designed to enhance the contrast and clarity of the sonar images. High contrast makes it easier to distinguish between different underwater structures and fish.
striker vivid 4cv sonar display screen
Striker Vivid 4cv bright screen with fish arches on CHIRP Sonar

ClearVu Sonar

The ClearVü sonar of the Garmin Striker Vivid 4CV is highly effective for recreational and serious anglers alike, offering detailed underwater imaging that can significantly enhance the fishing experience. Here are some key aspects that highlight the quality of the ClearVü sonar in the Striker Vivid 4CV:

  • High-Resolution Imaging: ClearVü sonar uses high frequencies (455/800 kHz) to capture detailed images of the underwater terrain and fish. This results in clearer and more defined images compared to traditional sonar.
  • Structure Definition: ClearVü is particularly adept at revealing the structure of the underwater landscape, such as rocks, fallen trees, and reefs, which are crucial for locating fish.
  • Fish Identification: The level of detail provided by ClearVü helps in differentiating between fish and other underwater objects, allowing anglers to target their fishing more effectively.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Combined with the Striker Vivid 4CV’s easy-to-use interface, ClearVü becomes accessible even to those who are new to using advanced sonar technology.

GPS and Mapping

The Garmin Striker Vivid 4CV, while primarily a fishfinder, also includes basic GPS capabilities, which are quite useful for anglers. However, it’s important to note that its GPS and mapping functions are more limited compared to more advanced chartplotter fish finders. Here are the key GPS and mapping features of the Striker Vivid 4CV:

  • GPS Navigation: The built-in GPS provides the ability to navigate to waypoints. This can help anglers easily find their way back to specific locations
  • Waypoint Marking: The device allows you to mark and return to waypoints, such as fishing spots, docks, and ramps. This is particularly useful for anglers to keep track of successful fishing locations or points of interest.
  • Track and Route Features: The Striker Vivid 4CV can record your boat’s path over the water and save routes for future use, aiding in navigation and exploration.
  • Speed Monitoring: It can display your boat’s speed, which is beneficial for trolling and for navigating certain waterways where speed limits may apply.
  • Basic Custom Mapping: The device offers a basic mapping function with a simple representation of your boat’s position and tracks. You can create your own 1” contour maps and store them in the internal memory of the Striker 4CV.
  • No Charts Supported: Unlike higher-end models, the Striker Vivid 4CV does not support detailed contour charts like Navionics, which means it’s less suitable for intricate navigation planning.

Striker Vivid 4CV Transducer

Striker Vivid 4CV comes with the Garmin’s GT20 transducer which is a versatile and efficient tool for enhancing the fish finder’s performance. The GT20 is designed to withstand the harsh marine environment, with a robust construction that ensures long-term performance. It supports both traditional CHIRP sonar and Garmin’s ClearVü scanning sonar.

Mounting Options

The GT20 transducer is designed to be adaptable for various mounting needs:

  • Transom Mount: This is the most common mounting option, suitable for small to medium-sized boats. The transducer is attached to the back (transom) of the boat, offering a stable and clear view under the boat.
  • Trolling Motor Mount: An option for anglers who want to attach the transducer to a trolling motor. This is ideal for more precise, close-range scanning.
  • In-Hull Mount: Less common for this type of transducer, but it can be mounted inside the hull for boats with solid fiberglass hulls. This method is typically used to protect the transducer from external damage but may reduce sonar effectiveness.

Price and Deals

The Garmin Striker Vivid 4CV has the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $179.99. This price point positions it as a budget fish finder under $200, making it an accessible option for many anglers, especially those seeking a balance between advanced sonar capabilities and affordability.

Here is how you can find good deals on the Garmin Striker Vivid 4CV:

  • Seasonal Sales: Retailers often offer discounts during certain times of the year, such as holiday seasons, Black Friday, or during fishing and outdoor gear sales events.
  • Online Marketplaces: Websites like Amazon, eBay, or other outdoor and marine electronics retailers may have promotions or discounted prices.
  • Local Sporting Goods Stores: Sometimes, local stores might offer sales, especially during off-season periods, to move inventory.
  • Refurbished Units: Occasionally, you can find refurbished or open-box models at a reduced price. These units are generally tested and certified to meet original factory specifications.
  • Loyalty Programs and Coupons: Joining loyalty programs or signing up for newsletters from marine electronics retailers can sometimes yield coupons or member-exclusive deals.


What are the mounting options for Striker Vivid 4CV Display unit?

The Garmin Striker Vivid 4CV display unit offers versatile mounting options to accommodate different boat configurations and user preferences. The primary mounting options include:

  • Swivel/Tilt Mount: This is a common mounting choice that allows the display unit to be attached to a flat surface on the boat. The swivel/tilt capability enables the angler to adjust the angle and direction of the display for optimal viewing. This is particularly useful in small boats or where space is limited.
  • Flush Mount: For a more integrated and permanent installation, the Striker Vivid 4CV can be flush-mounted on a flat surface of the boat’s console or dashboard. This option provides a sleek look and can be beneficial in larger boats where there is a dedicated space for electronics.
  • Portable Kits: While not a direct mounting option for the unit itself, Garmin offers portable kits which include a carrying case, rechargeable battery, and a portable transducer mount. This option is ideal for anglers who use their device on multiple boats or for ice fishing.

How to use Striker Vivid 4CV?

Using the Garmin Striker Vivid 4CV involves several key steps to make the most of its features:

  1. Installation: Begin by properly installing the unit and its GT20 transducer on your boat. Choose a suitable mounting option for the display (swivel/tilt mount, flush mount, or portable kit) and mount the transducer (transom, trolling motor, or in-hull mount).
  2. Power On: Connect the Striker Vivid 4CV to a compatible 12V power source and turn it on.
  3. Initial Setup: When you first power on the device, you may need to go through an initial setup process, which includes setting language, units (metric or imperial), and other basic configurations.
  4. Accessing Sonar Views: Use the device’s buttons to navigate through different sonar views like traditional 2D CHIRP sonar and ClearVü. The screen will display underwater structures, fish, and terrain in real-time.
  5. Adjusting Sonar Settings: You can adjust settings like range, gain, and frequency to optimize the sonar images according to the water conditions and your fishing needs.
  6. Marking Waypoints: Utilize the GPS functionality to mark waypoints for significant locations like good fishing spots, docks, or boat ramps. This can be done by navigating to the location on the screen and pressing the dedicated waypoint button.
  7. Customizing the Display: You can customize the display settings, like color schemes and brightness, for better visibility under different lighting conditions.
  8. Reading and Interpreting Data: Learn to interpret the sonar readings – understanding fish arches, structure shapes, and bottom contours is key to successful fishing.

What is the best battery for Striker Vivid 4CV?

For the Garmin Striker Vivid 4CV, which requires a power input of 12 to 20 Vdc and has a typical current draw of 0.40 A and a maximum current draw of 1.5 A, the best battery choice would generally be a reliable 12V deep cycle marine battery. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a battery:

  • Battery Type: A deep cycle marine battery is ideal because it’s designed for prolonged use and regular charging/discharging cycles, as opposed to a standard car battery which is meant for short, high-power bursts to start an engine.
  • Capacity (Ah Rating): The ampere-hour (Ah) rating of the battery should be sufficient to power the Striker Vivid 4CV for your intended usage duration. For instance, if the fishfinder draws 0.40 A typically, a 20Ah battery would theoretically run the device for about 50 hours (20 Ah / 0.40 A). However, it’s always good to have a higher capacity than the minimum required to account for real-world conditions and additional connected devices.
  • Size and Weight: Consider the physical size and weight of the battery, especially if space and portability are concerns for your boat.
  • Cost: Marine batteries come in a range of prices. While it’s tempting to go for cheaper options, investing in a higher-quality battery can be more cost-effective in the long run.
  • Compatibility with Your Setup: Ensure the battery is compatible with your boat’s electrical setup and any additional accessories or electronics you plan to use.

Given these requirements, a good quality 12V marine-grade AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) deep cycle battery, with an appropriate Ah rating based on your usage, would typically be a solid choice for powering the Striker Vivid 4CV.