What Is The Difference Between Garmin Striker 4 Vs Striker 4 Plus?
UPDATED 12 MAY 2023
by Robert Ceran
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The Garmin Striker 4 has been hands down the most popular low cost fish finder on the market for many years.
But in 2017 Garmin created a new version of the Striker 4 called the Striker Plus 4, which raises the question – what are the differences between these two Striker 4 models?
For this article my team and I tested the Garmin Striker 4 vs Striker Plus 4 depth finders side by side, and will cover their key differences and pros and cons.
Garmin Striker 4 vs Plus compared side by side
The table above compares the key specs of the Garmin Striker 4 vs Plus depth finders.
Now let’s dive into the details and take a closer look at the key differences between these fish finders.
The most important differences between Garmin Striker 4 vs 4 Plus
Here are the key differences between the two models:
Display size: While the Striker 4 has a 3.5” display, the Striker 4 Plus has a 4” display.
While this doesn’t sound like much, during our testing we found that the larger display size of the Plus 4 helps when trying to identify small details on the screen.
The 3.5” display size of the Striker 4 is really the minimum size that you can get on a fish finder, and having a little more space to display sonar and mapping data helps a lot.
Screen resolution: While the Striker Plus 4 has a bigger display than the Striker 4, it unfortunately comes with a slightly lower screen resolution.
The number of pixels on the horizontal axis is 15% less on the Plus 4 compared to the Striker 4 (272 pixels vs 320).
If you add to this the larger display size, our testing showed that this results in a noticeably more pixelated image on the screen of the Plus 4.
Quickdraw contours: While the Striker 4 Plus comes with Quickdraw contour mapping functionality, the Striker 4 does not.
In fact, the addition of Quickdraw contours was the main new feature introduced in all Striker Plus models, and allows you to create custom maps with 1 foot resolution, and record routes and waypoints on your map.
This is obviously a big step up in terms of mapping capabilities compared to the regular Striker 4.
Sonar frequencies supported: While the Striker 4 supports 3 sonar frequencies (50/77/200 kHz), the Striker Plus 4 supports 4 frequencies (50/77/83/200 kHz).
However, our testing revealed that this is a relatively minor difference, and doesn’t impact the sonar capabilities very much.
Bottom line: Based on our testing, the Striker 4 Plus has two key advantages compared to the Striker 4: it comes with a bigger display, and with the Quickdraw Contours mapping functionality.
On the other hand, the original Striker 4 has slightly higher screen resolution, resulting in a more detailed image.
Now let’s take a closer look at each of these Garmin Striker 4 models.
Garmin Striker 4 review
The Garmin Striker 4 has been the most popular 100 dollar fish finder for many years, and continues to dominate the market as the best budget fish finder available.
Also, its compact size makes it an ideal choice as a kayak fish finder.
And don’t be fooled by the highly affordable price – our test results show that you still get access to high end Garmin CHIRP that generates excellent target separation and allows you to track individual fish on the screen.
Finally, it comes with a flasher functionality, which means you can use it effectively for vertical fishing during the ice fishing season.
- Built-in GPS
- Set waypoints
- Flasher modality
Garmin Striker Plus 4 review
While the Striker Plus 4 is broadly similar to the regular Striker 4, it comes with the Quickdraw Contours feature, which uses the sonar data to create custom maps as you drive over them.
When combined with waypoints marking specific GPS coordinates, Quickdraw is a very powerful mapping tool for any angler who wants to revisit productive locations and routes.
You also get access to the Quickdraw community, where users share their contour maps.
- Quickdraw contours
- 4 inch display
- Dual beam sonar
What are the different Garmin Striker 4 models?
There are currently 5 different Garmin Striker 4 models on the market:
- Striker 4
- Striker 4cv
- Striker Plus 4
- Striker Plus 4cv
- Striker Vivid 4cv
We’ve already covered the differences between the regular Striker 4 vs Striker 4 Plus above, but what about the other Striker 4 variants?
All Striker 4 models that have ‘cv’ at the end come with ClearVu sonar, which is Garmin’s version of down imaging.
In contrast to traditional sonar, this gives a much clearer and more detailed view of structure and fish straight underneath the boat.
Also, Striker 4 Vivid models come with additional color palettes in their display, which helps to visualize a larger number of different types of sonar data with rich colors that make it easier to identify topographical features and fish.
Does Garmin Striker Plus 4 have ClearVu?
No, Garmin Striker Plus 4 doesn’t have ClearVu. If you want to have this type of sonar on your Striker 4, you need to get one of the following models: Striker 4cv, Striker Plus 4cv, or Striker Vivid 4cv.
When in doubt, just make sure that the model in question has the letters ‘cv’ at the end, which indicates that it has ClearVu functionality.
Is Garmin Striker 4 a touch screen fish finder?
No, none of the Garmin Striker 4 models are touch screen fish finders, and are instead keypad operated. If you’re looking for a touch screen fish finder, then check out the Garmin Echomap or GPSmap lineups.
Does Garmin Striker 4 have Quickdraw?
While the regular Garmin Striker 4 doesn’t have Quickdraw, the Striker Plus 4 does have this feature. In fact, the addition of Quickdraw contour mapping was the main change introduced with the entire Striker Plus series.
Can you ice fish with Garmin Striker 4?
Yes, the Garmin Striker 4 comes with a flasher modality (including a circular display of sonar data) which is ideal for vertical fishing.
In fact, it is currently the best budget ice fishing fish finder on the market, and comes with in an ice fishing bundle that includes an ice transducer and a portable pack.
This concludes our review testing the Garmin Striker 4 vs Plus fish finders, and comparing their features side by side. Hopefully this helps you to decide which one is best for your purposes.
Gear and methods used for testing
For consistent testing results, we tested all fish finder units reviewed in this article with a Garmin GT23M-TM transducer transom mounted on a Ranger Z520R bass boat. We tested both fish finders on the same day on Lake Tarpon, to make sure we could compare their performance side by side under similar conditions. Testing was performed by imaging structure in 5 to 21 feet of water, as well as fish relating to that structure.