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Garmin Striker 5cv Review

Garmin Striker 5cv has an average rating of 3.91 out of 5 based on 11 user reviews.



The Garmin Striker 5cv is a compact, waterproof, and easy-to-use 5-inch fishfinder with CHIRP sonar. The rugged design withstands the harsh marine environment with excellent performance. The Striker is designed to allow you to mark your favorite fishing spots and navigate back easily, saving you time and money.

The Striker ships with a power/data cable, tilt/swivel mount, GT20-TM transducer, transom and trolling motor mounts, and an owner’s manual. The tilt and swivel mounting lets you find the best viewing angle and the large 5-inch backlit color display allows you to see the screen easily, even in dim lighting. The depth range is 1,100 feet in saltwater, and 2,300 feet in freshwater, making the Striker 5cv suitable for either type of fishing.

Fishfinding is simplified as the ClearVu scanning sonar presents you with a near-photographic image of whatever is passing 750 feet below your boat. The ClearVu CHIRP technology and traditional CHIRP sonar are combined in a single Garmin All-in-One GT20 500W (77/200kHz) transom mount CHIRP and 300W (455/800kHz) CHIRP ClearVu transducer. Instead of a single frequency from a traditional (77/200kHz) transducer, the CHIRP technology employed with the GT20 transducer sends a continuous sweep of frequencies yielding a visibly greater level of clarity and detail for fish and underwater structures. The frequencies range from low to high and provide a wider span of information with crisper fish arches and greater target separation. Optional high-performance Garmin GT22 or GT23 transducers, sold separately, can provide even more remarkable target separation, crystal clear images, and sharper resolution from shallow to deeper depths.

Split-screen displays can simultaneously show you down view sonar, scanning sonar, and waypoint views along with the depth. When changing frequency or depth readouts, a smooth scaling feature will supply an uninterrupted image to prevent losing the onscreen image. The Ultrascroll feature displays fish targets at high boat speed while fish symbol ID is useful for identifying fish targets, and the AutoGain technology minimizes clutter onscreen. A sonar history rewind allows you to scroll back through sonar images to review and mark waypoints.

The built-in GPS allows you to mark hot spots where fish are biting, boat ramps, and docks as GPS waypoints. You can also share your favorite waypoints and routes with other compatible Garmin Striker and echoMap chart plotter combo units using an available Garmin user data sharing cable. The high-sensitivity 1Hz GPS signal locates your current position quickly and maintains the GPS location wherever you go on the lake. You can return to spots you’ve marked on the waypoint map by following the path created on the screen, or navigate by seeing your position in relation to waypoints such as brush piles, stumps, boat docks and boat ramp. The boat’s speed is displayed onscreen so that you can also tell whether you’re trolling at the right speed for the fish species and the lure you’re using. Moreover, it’s an ideal way of telling if you’re going at the right speed in wake-controlled areas.

The Striker 5cv has a built-in flasher for those occasions when you’re engaged in stationary fishing, ice-fishing, or jigging for crappie. The built-in flasher will show your jig or weighted bait, the depth of the fish swimming into your sonar beam, and whether the bottom is muddy or solid. The flasher will also show how high your jig is being raised and dropped and if fish are moving towards or away from it.

The Striker can be carried anywhere with an optional, portable kit. The kit includes a sealed, rechargeable battery with a charger, suction cup transducer mount and float, and built-in transducer cable management and storage. The portable kit is perfect for kayak, canoe or ice-fishing. For kayak fishermen who want a dedicated setup, there is also an in-hull kayak transducer mount that conforms and attaches to the interior of the kayak hull and is compatible with the GT20-TM transducer. Other accessories available include a Striker 5 protective cover for the backlit display and a flush-mount kit including mounting hardware, instructions, and template.

The Garmin Striker 5cv is an excellent choice for the serious fisherman whether on boat, canoe, or kayak who doesn’t need detailed maps to have an enjoyable time on the freshwater, saltwater, or ice. You can get a great deal on Garmin Striker 5cv here.

 Raymarine Dragonfly 5PROGarmin Striker 5cvHumminbird Helix 5 DI GPS
Screen Size5 in5 in5 in
Screen Resolution800 x 480 pixels800 x 480 pixels480 x 800 pixels
Display Type16-bit color TFTWVGA color256 colors TFT
Imaging2D using CHIRP
DownVision using CHIRP
2D, Down Imaging2D, Down Imaging
Transducer TypeTransom Mount/Trolling MotorTransom Mount/Trolling MotorTransom Mount/Trolling Motor
Transmit Power500W RMS
4000W Peak-To-Peak
500W RMS
4000W Peak-To-Peak
500W RMS
4000W Peak-To-Peak
Sonar Frequency200 kHz Sonar/350 kHz Down Vision77/200 kHz200/455 kHz 2D
455/800 kHz Down Imaging
Maximum Depth600 ft 2,300 ft freshwater
1,100 ft saltwater
600 ft 2D
350 ft Down Imaging

User Reviews

Posted by Robert

  • 3/5

This works great as a fishfinder. Bright screen, clear sonar returns both in down view and traditional sonar, good target separation and detail. The GPS part is not very user-friendly, saving waypoints and tracks is a pain.

Posted by Randy

  • 5/5

Great unit for the price! Purchased mine a few months ago, and have used it a variety of water depths up to 600′ and it performs flawlessly. Setup and navigating through menus is a breeze. Down imaging is amazing! My only beef is that I wish it came with the protective screen cover…having problems finding someone who stocks them in Canada.

Posted by swamp man

  • 5/5

Easy set up; just connect the red and black wires, get some stainless hardware to mount to, and you should be good to go. I took the 5dv out fishing straight off, and had ZERO problems. I like the way it lets me customize my screens. I was able to catch more fish and mark the spots so I could return later and catch even more! I was glad to see it was totally waterproof. I got hammered with heavy rain and the unit kept on working without a glitch. For the price, the Striker is hard to beat.

Posted by Clint

  • 4/5

I picked up this fishfinder a week ago and I’m still in the process of testing it. I’m getting older and I like the larger screen. I bought the Striker especially for the GPS features. I installed the transducer only for backup as I already have a Furuno. So far I like the way the GPS works with it.

I’m transferring all the waypoints from old handheld GPS. The Garmin can sort the waypoint list alphabetically, by distance, or via it’s built-in icons. This is a handy feature and I wouldn’t get another GPS without it.

There’s only one GPS display, so you can’t show the plotter and the waypoints at the same time, which would be nice. But on the sonar the unit lets me customize my screen to see whatever I want. The “compass” is actually a horizontal ribbon across the plotter screen, which I’m not sure I like, but you can turn if off easily enough.

Posted by Norm Breaux

  • 3/5

The installation was confusing. The instructions weren’t much more than a small diagram showing the different mount options. There were four colored wires, which had me confused, so I called Garmin tech support and was told I should just use the red and black wires. So why include a blue and a brown one? Still not sure what they’re for. Then they tell me I also need to get a memory chip and plug that in, but it took a while to find the plug for that. Better instructions would be much appreciated. Anyway, I finally got it all installed and running, and looking forward to testing it out.

Posted by Adam Jimenez

  • 2/5

I can’t recommend the 5cv unit just yet. I found that the cable connector pins were so short that they barely engage. I’m afraid they’ll keep popping loose and ruin the experience. The transom mounting screws were a joke, so I had to get my own stainless fasteners. The worst part is the enclosed documentation was skimpy, at best. I’m still looking for a decent user manual online. But I finally got it hooked up and will put it to the test.

Posted by Anthony Elliott

  • 4/5

Ive looked and looked compared finders, thought the 5 was the best for the money..
Intructions wasnt much…
User manual joke..
As well use differant screws and hard ware..
Still trying to understand the technology.. “Still hung up on eight trac” over all i like it…
Took it for its first run yesterday
Had a blast….

Posted by Albert Collins

  • 5/5

I got a Garmin Stricker 5cv. Hooking up hardware was not too bad. When I was out to use it, I could not see anything on the screen. Called Garmin, their tech helped me turn up the brightness. The tech was very helpful, I told him I was on the lake. It works fine, the more I use it, the more I learn.

Posted by Michael

  • 3/5

Garmin must be nuts… You dont get instruction book with purchase. I called customer service (sic) and smart-ass rep was beligerant and upset that i even ask for instructions. Told the snowflake that i am reired VP of one of largest electronics manufacturing companies on the planet and couldnt fathom that they refuse to supply the publication. He said he would send it. 7 days later i get Xerox in black and white that was reduced in size. Incredibly inept, marketing management.

Posted by JPOHLIC

  • 4/5

I bought this primarily to use as a flasher for ice fishing with the added bonus of being able to use it on my boats in the summer. I did not buy the ice bundle as I got a great deal on the standard unit with the GT20 transducer, however I did order a GT8HW transducer for ice fishing. I have 4 holes (about 2 ft apart) in my ice shack and in shallow water less than 10′ the Striker 5 was able to locate jigs in the 2 adjacent holes with the GT20 but not with the GT8HW even when it was set to 24 degrees. Also, the GT20 transducer allows you to view both the flasher and the graph on the same screen but the GT8HW does not. Using the GT20 was a pain as I had it mounted to a pole to keep it level and lowered it down the hole, where the GT8HW was much easier to use when ice fishing.

Posted by Tony's Boat Works

  • 5/5

Bought this unit, and it was a very pleasant surprise!

Super easy to use, no instructions needed for anyone who has even modest experience using fish finders. The menus are very clear and simple.

The standard fish finder is very sensitive, and the Down View scanner is amazing! Trolling at 2 MPH revealed many amazing bottom features that I never knew were there. Just like the sample images you see online.

Overall, I am very, very impressed. Quite a step up from my old Lowrance, and I had really liked that unit!

Thanks, Garmin. I actually like this product.

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