Garmin Striker 4 DV install, impressions and a warning

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Garmin Striker 4 DV install, impressions and a warning

Postby BrendanH » Thu May 26, 2016 12:04 pm

I've finally managed to convince management to let me invest in many hours of pleasure on the water (Mine, not hers.) and treated myself to a Garmin Striker 4 DV.

As far as the installation is concerned I have an irrational desire not to drill too many holes in my yak and also to keep costs down. My yak is a little 2.8m Terrapin from C-Kayak.

I decided to go with the Striker 4DV as I like the idea of a GPS plotter, Down Vu(With the stupid dots on top of the 'u'), and Chirp. You really do get a lot out of a very small package (Too small as it turns out.) with a 3.5 inch screen at a very reasonable price (AU299).

But first up - the build.

I went with a small, waterproof instrument case for the battery. If I recall correctly it cost $30 at Jaycar and it is very well constructed, has foam inserts, fits a 7.2AH battery with just enough space for me to be able to expand on it with a switch or two in future. It also fits inside the standard 18cm diameter hatch so I can stow it safely if the water conditions get rough. After some thought I decided to drill a hole through where the lid and the body meets to pass my fishfinder cable through snugly so that I can easily take it out and also keep the whole case as water proof as possible. I finished things up by wrapping a small cable tie around the end of the fishfinder cable so the cable couldn't be pulled out if I caught it with my leg or paddle. Oh, and it comes with a convenient handle to keep it easy to carry around.

See the pictures below:

inside box.jpg


(Not?) Safely stowed away:

box.jpg


With the battery box sorted the next step was how to mount the transducer. I came across the Garmin in hull kayak mount onlin and ordered it for US$20 before shipping. This is basically a small foam enclosure for the transducer that you attach to the inside of your hull, fill with water and then slip your transducer inside. It seemed like a clever no-fuss solution. Sadly, the quality of the adhesive was poor at best. The peal away backing looked like a Tazmanian Devil had gotten hold of it when it arrived so the adhesive was compromised. I tried to use it anyway and when I was out on the local lake testing it the water leaked away within 15 minutes. I wanted to avoid using silicon to mount the transducer but I ended up sealing the mount with silicon which is curing as we speak. We'll see if it works in three days time. I drilled one hole in the yak to pass the transducer cable through- I drilled through the base of the rod holder into the hull. This means that there isn't any excess cable flopping around and the hole in the hull is hidden away.

Here is the mount in my hull pre-silicon:

transducer.jpg


Then came the fishfinder mount. I wanted to use the existing fishing rod holder that came with the yak as it already had the screws professionally mounted. I went down to Wet Spot and picked up a $27 1.5 inch RAM ball with a square plate. Unfortunately the cheap knockoff fishing rod holder was slightly to big for the ball so I used some red insulation tape around the ball to give it a snug fit. Not perfect but it should do until I get around to buying a decent Garmin mount.

Here is the end result which is perfectly usable :

fish finder.jpg


And finally came the cable management. Nothing is worse than having stuff getting in the way way when you are fighting a fish so I liberally applied velcro strips to keep everything in place:

cable management.jpg


Now a few thoughts. I had 15 minutes to play with the The Striker 4DV and it is a good unit. I can't help but think that the screen is just too small to make effective use of the Down Vu(With the stupid dots on top of the 'u') and the traditional CHIRP sonar at the same time. The side by side view means that you are just not seeing enough of the bottom at once. I see myself using the CHIRP as the default setting and when I see something interesting on the bottom switching to Down Vu(With the stupid dots on top of the 'u') to get a better look.

The GPS plotter is very cool though. I have already made a note of a few brush piles out in the middle of nowhere and look forward to hitting them.

On a last note - I was concerned that at 2.8m the yak would be too cluttered with the fish finder and it would just get in the way. So far it looks like that is not the case. It is close enough to me so that I can fiddle with it easily and so far I haven't knocked it with the paddle once.

As for the warning - If you do buy the Garmin in hull mount test it before going out or even seal it up just as a precaution.
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BrendanH
KFDU Angler
 
Posts: 130
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Local Fishing Region: ACT
Kayaks: Scorpio Terrapin

Re: Garmin Striker 4 DV install, impressions and a warning

Postby Masters Mate » Thu May 26, 2016 12:30 pm

Great report Brendan. Not applicable to me (have a Lowrance Elite 4 chirp already fitted to my Viking GT tackle pod) but I still appreciate seeing how others tackle problems.
Good fishing.
Viking Profish GT.

Yak PB: Mac Tuna 75cm, Bass 43cm, Goldspotted Rockcod 43 cm, Cale Cale trevally 38 cm.

Cheers - Ian
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Re: Garmin Striker 4 DV install, impressions and a warning

Postby Lappo » Fri Jun 24, 2016 7:17 pm

Excellent report, thanks for sharing. I am just looking at purchasing one of these so it's good to have a review. I am looking at having the transducer off over the side with a rail blazer mount. Great to hear you like the gps tracker. Have you managed to get out and test the screen size?
Cheers,
Lappo
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Re: Garmin Striker 4 DV install, impressions and a warning

Postby BrendanH » Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:15 am

Lappo wrote:Excellent report, thanks for sharing. I am just looking at purchasing one of these so it's good to have a review. I am looking at having the transducer off over the side with a rail blazer mount. Great to hear you like the gps tracker. Have you managed to get out and test the screen size?
Cheers,
Lappo


Hi Lappo,

I've had a few trips out now and I'm impressed with the unit. I find myself using the up and under screen view with the traditional CHIRP above the DownVu and it is really cool to get the traditional arches and the detailed structure view. The screen has got a good high resolution but it does feel cramped. Could really do with an extra inch.

The interface around the GPS plotter also makes me wish it was a touch screen. When you are on the water and find some good structure you want to quickly create a GPS point and get fishing but it feels really clunky to plot a point and give it a name, etc.

Still, a nice little unit for the price.
BrendanH
KFDU Angler
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:12 pm
Local Fishing Region: ACT
Kayaks: Scorpio Terrapin

Re: Garmin Striker 4 DV install, impressions and a warning

Postby trol04 » Sun Aug 07, 2016 1:41 pm

good report I just fitted the striker 5dv on my kayak went the larger unit just for screen size yet to try it
if only I could catch fish I keep on trying
trol04
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Local Fishing Region: south australia
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