Garmin Striker Vivid 7SV Review

The Garmin STRIKER Vivid 7sv is a versatile fish finder with a 7-inch color screen that lets you see what’s under the water in great detail. It’s got high-frequency sonar and includes CHIRP ClearVü and SideVü scanning sonars, which give you a nearly photographic image of what’s on the sides and below your boat. Plus, it comes with built-in Wi-Fi for access to the ActiveCaptain app.

The device has a built-in GPS that lets you mark waypoints, create routes, and view your boat’s speed. One cool feature is the Quickdraw Contours mapping software that lets you create and store maps with 1-foot contours for up to 2 million acres.

Overall, the STRIKER Vivid 7sv is packed with features that are great for anglers who want clear sonar images, basic GPS, and the ability to mark their favorite spots with ease. It’s a mid-range model that balances functionality with ease of use.

Key Specifications:

Display Size7 inches
Resolution800 x 480
Sonar TechnologyCHIRP Sonar, ClearVu, SideVu
Frequencies50/77/200/455/800 kHz
Waterproof RatingIPX7
Price (MSRP)$519.99 USD


  • High-Quality Sonar Technology: Includes CHIRP, ClearVü, and SideVü for detailed imaging.
  • 7-Inch Color Display: Large, clear display with multiple color palettes for easy data interpretation.
  • Built-in GPS: Offers basic navigation capabilities, including waypoint marking and track plotting.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Intuitive and easy to use, suitable for both beginners and experienced users.
  • Versatile Mounting Options: Flexible installation with various transducer mounting choices.
  • Robust Design: Durable and suitable for different fishing environments.


  • Limited Mapping Capabilities: Lacks advanced chart plotting and detailed maps.
  • No Touchscreen: The display is not touch-enabled, relying on button navigation.
  • No Network Capabilities: Cannot share data with other devices or integrate with more extensive marine systems.

Display Quality

The display of the Garmin Striker Vivid 7SV is large and clear for its price range.

striker vivid 7sv display
Striker Vivid 7sv Interface

Here are some key points about its display quality:

  • Size and Clarity: The 7-inch screen provides a large, clear display, making it easier to read and interpret the sonar data.
  • Resolution: The resolution is sufficient to display detailed images, crucial for identifying fish and underwater structures.
  • Color Palettes: One of its standout features is the availability of multiple color palettes. This flexibility allows users to choose the best color scheme for different lighting conditions and personal preferences, enhancing the visibility of sonar and GPS data.
  • Sunlight Readability: Designed for outdoor use, the screen is readable in bright sunlight, which is essential for fishing during the day.
  • Non-Touchscreen Interface: While the display is not a touchscreen, which some users might prefer for ease of use, the button-operated interface is reported to be intuitive and user-friendly.
  • Split-Screen Functionality: The device allows for split-screen views, enabling users to view different types of sonar data simultaneously, a feature that is particularly useful for comprehensive underwater analysis.

GT52HW Transducer

The GT52HW transducer included with the Striker Vivid 7SV is a high-performance Garmin transducer, designed to enhance the fishfinder’s capabilities. Here’s an overview of its key features:

  • Multiple Sonar Modes: It supports traditional CHIRP sonar, ClearVü, and SideVü scanning sonar, offering a comprehensive underwater imaging solution.
  • Depth Capability: For traditional sonar, it can reach depths up to 800 feet. For ClearVü and SideVü scanning sonar, it provides detailed imaging up to 500 feet.
  • Frequency Range: The CHIRP High Wide frequency range is 150-240 kHz, ideal for delivering clear sonar imaging and excellent target separation in traditional sonar mode. For ClearVü and SideVü, it operates at 455 kHz and 800 kHz, enabling high-resolution images of structures and fish.
  • High-Wide CHIRP: The high-wide CHIRP provides a broader range of information, making it effective for a wide array of fishing environments, from shallow to moderately deep waters.
  • ClearVü and SideVü Technology: These technologies offer nearly photographic images of what is beneath and to the sides of the boat, providing crucial information about underwater structures, vegetation, and fish.
  • Versatile Installation Options: Suitable for various mounting locations such as the transom, trolling motor, or even through the hull for certain boat types.
  • Enhanced Fishfinding Experience: The combination of different sonar technologies and frequency ranges makes the GT52HW transducer an effective tool for anglers looking to maximize their success in different fishing conditions.

Sonar Performance

The Garmin Striker Vivid 7SV is equipped with advanced sonar technology, making it a highly effective sonar for fishing in various scenarios. Here’s an assessment of its sonar performance.

SideVu Scanning

The Garmin SideVü scanning in the Striker Vivid 7SV is highly effective in providing detailed images of the underwater environment to the sides of the boat. Here are some key points about its performance:

  • High-Resolution Imaging: SideVü offers high-resolution, near-photographic images of the underwater structures and terrain. This level of detail is crucial for identifying specific features like rocks, fallen trees, wrecks, and other structures where fish are likely to be found.
  • Depth Capability: With a depth capability of up to 250 feet on either side of the boat, SideVü is effective for a range of fishing scenarios, from shallow water to moderately deep environments.
  • Useful for Different Fishing Techniques: Whether you’re casting, trolling, or jigging, SideVü can be a valuable tool for pinpointing ideal fishing spots.
  • Complements Other Sonar Modes: When used in conjunction with traditional CHIRP sonar and ClearVü, SideVü offers a comprehensive view of the underwater environment, aiding in a more effective fishing strategy.
  • Ease of Interpretation: The clarity and detail of the images produced by Side Imaging make it relatively easy for anglers to interpret and understand the underwater landscape.
striker vivid 7sv sidevu sonar
Striker Vivid 7sv SideVu Sonar

ClearVu Scanning

ClearVü scanning on the Garmin Striker Vivid 7SV is considered to be an excellent feature for anglers, offering detailed views of the underwater environment. Its ability to provide clear and detailed images makes it a valuable tool for identifying fishing spots and understanding bottom structures. Here’s an assessment of its performance:

  • Near-Photographic Images: ClearVü offers almost photographic quality images of what lies beneath the boat. This high level of detail is crucial for spotting fish and identifying underwater structures like rocks, plants, and submerged objects.
  • Depth Capability: With a maximum depth of 500 feet, ClearVü is suitable for a wide range of fishing environments, from shallow freshwater to deeper coastal areas.
  • High-Resolution Scanning: The technology uses high frequencies, which contributes to the high-resolution imagery, allowing for finer details to be visible.
  • Structure Identification: ClearVü is particularly effective in revealing the contours and shapes of underwater structures, which is essential for anglers looking to find the best fishing spots.
  • Fish Targeting: While ClearVü is more focused on structure than targeting fish, it still provides valuable information about where fish might be located, especially in relation to underwater features.
striker 7sv chirp and clearvu sonar
Striker 7sv Chirp and ClearVu sonar


The CHIRP sonar technology in the Garmin Striker Vivid 7SV is a strong selling point of the device, offering enhanced target separation, depth penetration, and overall image clarity. It significantly improves the fish-finding experience by providing detailed and accurate underwater views, beneficial for anglers in diverse fishing environments. Here’s an overview of its performance:

  • Improved Target Separation: CHIRP (Compressed High-Intensity Radiated Pulse) sonar emits a continuous sweep of frequencies, providing better target separation compared to traditional sonar. This means fish and underwater structures are more distinctly identified and less likely to be confused with each other.
  • Enhanced Depth Penetration: CHIRP sonar offers superior depth penetration, allowing anglers to detect fish and structures at greater depths more clearly than standard sonar.
  • Detailed Images: The varying frequencies of CHIRP sonar create more detailed and refined images of the underwater environment. This detail is crucial for identifying fish sizes, shapes, and behaviors.
  • Reduced Clutter: The technology effectively reduces sonar clutter (unwanted noise and interference), resulting in clearer sonar readings and more accurate fish detection.
  • Versatility in Water Conditions: CHIRP sonar is versatile and performs well in a variety of water conditions, from shallow to deep waters, making it suitable for different types of fishing activities.
  • Fish Arch Quality: CHIRP sonar produces well-defined fish arches, making it easier for anglers to interpret the sonar data and understand what is beneath their boat.


The Garmin Striker Vivid 7SV, while primarily a fishfinder, offers basic mapping capabilities suitable for fishing and navigation. However, it’s important to note that it doesn’t have advanced chart plotting features found in higher-end Garmin fish finders. Here are the key aspects of its mapping features:

  • Waypoint Marking: The Striker Vivid 7SV allows users to mark waypoints, a crucial feature for anglers. This includes marking fishing hotspots, docks, or other points of interest, enabling easy navigation back to these locations.
  • GPS Navigation: Equipped with a high-sensitivity GPS, the device enables users to see their boat’s speed and track their position, which is useful for basic navigation and tracking your route while on the water.
  • Quickdraw Contours Mapping Software: One of the standout mapping features is the Quickdraw Contours, which allows users to create and store their own fishing maps with 1-foot contours. This feature is particularly valuable for anglers who fish in uncharted or poorly mapped waters.
  • Track Plotting: The device can record the boat’s path over the water, allowing you to view your track and retrace your route if necessary.
  • Basic Display: The mapping display is rudimentary, showing your location and tracks. It does not provide detailed cartographic data like depth contours or points of interest that you would find in more advanced chartplotters.
  • No Preloaded Maps or Chartplotting: Unlike higher-end GPS/fishfinder combos, the Striker Vivid 7SV does not come with preloaded maps or support for detailed chartplotting software.

Is Garmin Striker Vivid 7SV worth the money?

Garmin Striker Vivid 7SV, priced at $519.99 (MSRP), offers a compelling balance of features, performance, and affordability. For the cost, it provides a suite of advanced sonar technologies, including CHIRP, ClearVü, and SideVü, which are typically found in higher-priced models.

However, it’s important to note that while offering basic GPS capabilities, the Striker Vivid 7SV does not have the advanced chart plotting and detailed maps found in more expensive units. Therefore, its price reflects a focus on sonar performance and basic navigational aids rather than comprehensive mapping functions.

The Garmin Striker Vivid 7SV is most suited for recreational and serious anglers who prioritize sonar technology for locating fish and understanding underwater structures but do not require advanced navigational features. It’s an excellent choice for those who fish in shallow freshwater or inshore saltwater. 

The device is also well-suited for smaller to medium-sized boats, where its 7-inch screen offers easy readability without requiring a lot of console space. Kayak anglers, in particular, might find this model appealing due to its compact size, robust design, and ease of installation. 

Overall, the Striker Vivid 7SV is a solid choice for anglers looking for a reliable, under $500 fish finder that delivers high-quality sonar capabilities without the additional cost of premium navigation features.


How to Install Garmin Striker Vivid 7SV?

Here’s a brief overview of how to install the Garmin Striker Vivid 7SV:

  1. Unboxing and Preparation:
  • Open the box and review all components, including the Garmin sticker, transducer, mounting plates, and the fishfinder mount.
  • Plan the installation based on your kayak or boat setup.
  1. Mounting the Display Unit:
  • Select an appropriate location for the 7-inch display unit, preferably where it’s easily visible.
  • Use the provided mount or purchase an additional mount if needed for better positioning.
  1. Installing the Transducer:
  • Choose a mounting location for the transducer (transom, trolling motor, or hull).
  • For kayak installation, consider threading the transducer cable through specific hull openings, ensuring it’s secure and out of the way.
  • Use the provided transom mount template if installing on a boat.
  1. Running and Connecting Cables:
  • Route the transducer cable to the display unit, ensuring it’s neatly tucked and secure.
  • Connect the transducer to the fish finder using the appropriate ports.
  • For power, attach the provided power cable. If using a specific kayak battery, like an FPV battery, adapt the connections accordingly.
  1. Final Assembly and Testing:
  • Assemble all parts on the kayak or boat.
  • Test the fishfinder in demo mode to ensure it powers up and functions correctly.
  • Adjust settings as per your preference.
  1. On-Water Testing:
  • Once installed, test the fishfinder in actual water conditions to fine-tune settings and ensure everything is functioning as expected.

This installation guide focuses on a thorough and cautious approach, ensuring all components are correctly assembled and tested, particularly important for kayak installations where space and positioning are crucial.

How to Use Garmin Striker Vivid 7SV?

Using the Garmin Striker Vivid 7SV involves a few straightforward steps:

  1. Power On the Device: Turn on the Striker Vivid 7SV by pressing the power button. If it’s the first time using it, you may go through a basic setup process, like selecting the language and units.
  2. Select Sonar Mode: Choose from various sonar modes available on the device, including traditional CHIRP sonar, ClearVü, and SideVü. You can also opt for a split-screen view to see multiple types of sonar data simultaneously.
  3. Adjust Sonar Settings: Customize the sonar settings, such as range, gain, and frequency, to optimize the display based on water depth and the kind of fish you are targeting.
  4. Mark Waypoints: Utilize the built-in GPS to mark waypoints for significant locations like fishing spots, docks, or navigational markers. This can be done easily by navigating to the desired location on the screen and pressing the waypoint button.
  5. Navigate to Waypoints: Use the GPS feature to navigate back to your saved waypoints. While the Striker Vivid 7SV does not have advanced mapping features, it’s still useful for basic navigation.
  6. Interpret Sonar Data: Learn to read the fish finder screen. This includes understanding fish arches, bottom contours, and identifying underwater structures.
  7. Customize Display Settings: You can adjust the display settings, such as color schemes and brightness, to suit different lighting conditions and personal preferences.
  8. Experiment with Features: Explore additional features like Quickdraw Contours for mapping and adjust settings as you become more familiar with the device.