MY BEST DOLLAR'S VALUE FOR A DOLLAR SPENT ON A MARINE ITEM IN OVER 55 YEARS OF BOATING FROM 16' TO 58' BOATS.
Discounting the size of the display, the imagery is superb, thanks to Garmin's long time experience with color car GPS devices. I have spent thousands on a GPS plotter-sounder and got no better results than this little Garmin GPS- sounder. Granted ,the display is much smaller than I have used in the past, but for the money, it's outstanding. On top of the brilliant color display, its got GPS, depth, water temp. and system voltage showing while scanning the bottom. The GPS will tell you your boat speed without the need for an external antenna. It'll also show your heading (compass direction) and off course indication.
Like I said, A DOLLAR'S VALUE FOR A DOLLAR SPENT!
Finally had a day to spend on the lake with the Striker. I have to say that so far I'm really impressed with this Fish-finder. It's easy to use and in the bright sunlight viewing is a pleasure. Tried it with and without sun glasses and it worked fine. The GPS speed feature is something that I've been wanting for a long time for maintaining accurate trolling speed. There are times when 1 mph. can make huge differences in your catch and the Striker reads down to a tenth of a mph.
The only flaw I have found with it is I wish some of the digits were a little larger. The depth reading is fine and I'm adapting to the others.
After the first day with the Striker would I recommend this, Yes and am thinking about another for the other boat.
Easy to mount, easy to use. Does everything I need it to do. Bill Dance might not like it, but I'm happy with the overall performance. Hard to find a unit at this price with GPS and the GPS works very well.I actually put a good quality power plug on the end of the power wire and can plug it into the cigar lighter which makes the unit more portable!
If I had to change anything it would be the way the plugs fit into the back of the unit. They need to be square or molded in a manner such that they are easier to insert.
I bought the S4 based on price and features I needed. I wanted a small instrument to save space in my little boat, clear bright images, and water temp indication. These it does in spades. It has more features, but I don't need GPS for finding fish spots or over the water speed I have a separate GPS for that.
The diminutive footprint of the mount is solid, and does not wiggle or change viewing position while underway. I remove my S4 from the boat after every outing and so far no plastic bit breakage on the mount after nearly a year. Regarding moving the S4, I bought the screen cover (it does not waterproof the S4) for stowage in my instrument bag to protect the screen from being scratched. A nice option to be sure. As a side bonus I have it mounted close to other instruments and sources of power / switching and it's completely immune to interference from them.
At any rate, I have mine in an all electric Jon boat and its two minor nits / flaws are:
If you use it with a larger thrust trolling motor (tm) and if the tm bogs down in weeds, or you need immediate full power, and or the battery starts to get low and you goose the tm, like ALL instruments it will likely shut itself off necessitating a re-start. To solve this I bought a small dedicated U1 35Ah battery for my instruments and lighting, problem solved.
For a small boat or yak with tiller steering, the transducer / power cables are Waayyyy too long. You will have to find a spot you can stow the unused cable bundle. I wish they made a small boat model with cables no longer than 10 feet or so. They could then accessorize it with cable extenders :-)
I'm likely to buy a fishing yak, and for sure I'll buy another S4 to install on it.
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I’ve only used it once since installing it, but it’s been a lifesaver having a second fishfinder to use at the front of my boat. I haven’t really had a chance to use all the features, but this thing is pretty user friendly. I love that this thing also displays the time. I did upgrade to a 3.75” stainless steel hose clamp for the trolling motor mount to give it a little more solid hold. This is definitely a great value.