Photo of Garmin Striker 7sv

Garmin Striker 7SV Review - Detailed Buyer's Guide

UPDATED 29 JANUARY 2021

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by Robert Ceran

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Overview

The Garmin 7SV is the most advanced model in the Striker series, featuring a 7” screen with 800×480 pixels resolution. It comes with an all-in-one transducer covering regular sonar, down imaging, side imaging, and CHIRP, and the Striker 7SV delivers top notch imaging performance in all of those categories. It also comes with built-in GPS, and has a maximum depth range of 2300 ft. in freshwater (1100 ft. in saltwater). 

Overall, this is one of the best fish finders on the market in terms of sonar imaging technology, while still being affordably priced. The only disadvantage of the Garmin Striker 7 is that it doesn’t have a mapping functionality, and doesn’t come with a slot for a MicroSD card.

Main features:

  • Display Size: 7”
  • Screen Resolution: 800X480 pixels
  • Traditional 2D Sonar: 50/77/200 kHz
  • ClearVü Sonar: 260/455/800 kHz
  • SideVü Sonar: 260/455/800 kHz
  • CHIRP: mid and high frequency
  • Transmit Power: 500 W
  • Integrated GPS: yes
  • Maximum Depth: 2,300 ft. (freshwater) or 1,100 ft. (saltwater)
  • MicroSD: no

 

Garmin Striker 7SV review

Overall user experience:

One of the most attractive aspects of the Garmin 7SV is the large 7 inch screen with rich WVGA colors. This provides a great user experience, since you can make full use of all of its sonar capabilities by using the split screen functionality to view up to four different sonar images next to each other, which allows you to combine their strengths. 

Photo showing split screen functionality of 7 sv

Split screen functionality

On smaller fish finders this really isn’t such a good idea, since it’s hard to view a lot of data on a small screen, but on a large 7” screen you can take advantage of the full power of all sonar technologies, as well as GPS tracking on the screen at the same time. In addition to allowing a user to get an overview of sidevu, downvu, and 2D sonar imaging next to each other, you can also use the zoom function to get a more detailed view of an interesting section.

The overall quality of the material and build is excellent, providing both durability and ease of use, which one might expect from a high end model such as this. With a weight of 24 oz it’s in the medium size range, and with a waterproof rating of IPX7 you don’t need to worry about getting it wet, since this level of waterproofing is strong enough to withstand full immersion.

In addition to sonar imaging, the display also shows depth, water temperature, plus your boat’s speed and heading. It uses Bottom Lock technology, which builds the sonar image from the bottom up. The 7SV also comes with Fish ID technology, which can be used to label sonar signals with fish icons, in case you’re not sure which signals represent fish.

Integrated GPS functionality 

The GPS functionality of the Garmin fishfinder striker 7SV can be used to place GPS waypoints. In other words, you can record the GPS coordinates of interesting spots, which you can then use to navigate back to them in future. The screen also shows your current position with respect to specific waypoints, and it tracks your path between waypoints (called Course Over Ground), so you can retrace your path if you want to. For example, if you have a favorite trolling route covering the best fishing grounds, this can be extremely useful.

Photo of 7 sv waypoint map

Waypoint map

While this doesn’t replace a full mapping functionality, it’s good enough for basic navigation and for recording important locations.

Built-in Flasher functionality for vertical fishing

If you’re into ice fishing, you’ll be delighted to hear that the 7SV has built in flasher functionality. If you set it to this mode, it displays a circular flasher reading on the screen, which you can use just like a traditional flasher unit. 

Photo of 7 sv flasher imaging

Flasher imaging

This imaging provides real time information on bottom consistency, depth, temperature, and fish. You can even watch your lure on the flasher screen, and spot fish moving in towards it. This functionality is also useful if you like to fish from a stationary boat.

While you can use the regular transducer for ice fishing (you can even use it to shoot sonar through ice without drilling a hole), this is not ideal, since it isn’t designed for this. If you’re specifically interested in ice fishing, take a look at our review on the best ice fishing flasher.

Garmin ClearVü

ClearVu is Garmin’s version of down imaging, which focuses the sonar beam on a narrow section right underneath the boat. For more details on down imaging and side imaging, take a look at our article on how does a fish finder work?

ClearVu provides a crystal clear image of what’s happening under your boat, and because it doesn’t rely on a broad sonar cone like traditional 2D sonar, the resolution and object separation are much better. This is great for getting a highly detailed view of fish under your boat.

Garmin SideVü

Photo of 7 sv SidVu imaging

SideVu imaging

SideVu is Garmin’s version of side imaging, which relies on sending two sonar cones out to both sides of the boat, allowing you to get an overview of the overall underwater topography in the area surrounding your boat. This is great for scoping out interesting locations, such as drop offs, sunken trees, and transition zones, which you can then check for fish with ClearVu and regular CHIRP.

For more information on how to take advantage of these powerful sonar technologies, read our article on how to read a fish finder.

CHIRP

The transducer of the Garmin 7 SV has mid and high frequency CHIRP, which is used for regular 2D sonar, and for SideVu and ClearVu imaging, the latter with 455 kHz and 800 kHz. The quality of the sonar returns generated with Garmin CHIRP are truly excellent, providing extremely good object separation, resulting in a high image resolution on the screen.

If you want to learn more about how to take full advantage of CHIRP, take a look at our article on how to read a CHIRP fish finder.

What transducer comes with Garmin Striker 7SV?

When you purchase a Striker 7 SV unit, it comes with an all-in-one transducer that includes CHIRP sonar, ClearVu, SideVu and regular 2D sonar functionality in the same unit. It also has dual beam capability, and it can be mounted with a regular transom mount, or on your trolling motor. If you prefer, you can also mount it with an in-hull transducer mount.

If you’re not sure if your transducer is working correctly, you may wan to take a look at our article on how to tell if your transducer is bad.

Does the Garmin Striker 7SV come with maps?

No, it doesn’t have a mapping functionality. While you can use its GPS to place waypoints and track your route, you can’t use it with maps, and you can’t use the sonar readings to create a custom map with a chartplotter. This is the only real weakness of the 7SV, and probably explains why it’s relatively affordably priced, suggesting that the manufacturers decided to create a high quality unit that’s specifically focused on sonar imaging capabilities.

If you’re interested in getting a fish finder with powerful mapping functionality in addition to high end sonar technologies, check out our Lowrance Elite 9 TI review.

What’s included in the box?

When you buy a 7SV, it comes with the following items:

  • Garmin Striker 7 SV fishfinder main unit
  • All-in-one transducer
  • Adapter cable to join 12-pin transducer to 4-pin sounder
  • Mounting brackets for transom mount and trolling motor mount
  • Power cable
  • Tilt/swivel mount
  • Documentation

It doesn’t come with a battery, so you’ll have to purchase that separately. A 12V 10AH lithium or SLA battery is recommended (check out our article on the best fish finder batteries).

Advantages vs. disadvantages of the Garmin 7 SV:

Advantages: 

  • Includes some of the finest sonar technology available on the market, including ClearVu, SideVu, CHIRP, and regular 2D sonar. 
  • Generous 7 inch display with split screen functionality, which enables great user experience, ease of use, and the ability to use several sonar technologies in parallel
  • Currently the lowest priced fish finder that provides such a high end combination of sonar technologies, plus a large screen

Disadvantages: 

  • Doesn’t have a MicroSD slot or mapping functionality, which means you can’t download maps, and you can’t use a chartplotter to create custom maps. 

 

Conclusion 

Is it worth buying the Garmin Striker 7SV fishfinder? 

Yes, absolutely – if you’re looking for a fish finder with high end sonar imaging technology that’s affordably priced, and that has an overall high level user experience enabled by the large color display.

However, if you really need a fish finder that also includes mapping functionality, then you should look at the Garmin echoMAP CHIRP instead.

 

Additional resources:

Robert Ceran

Robert Ceran

Robert grew up fishing for crappie and bluegill as a young boy, and later graduated to the pursuit of bigger game. He loves participating at bass tournaments all over the country, whenever he’s not on one of his fly fishing trips to Canada. Robert started writing when he was just 17, and is now our chief wordsmith at Sport Fishing Buddy.

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