Garmin Striker Plus 7SV Review: Is It Worth the Money?

Are you working with an older, outdated fish finder? Has it been awhile since you’ve checked out the options on the current market? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, you’ve come to the right place. In an effort to determine whether some of the latest models are worth the upgrade, I’ve put together this Garmin Striker Plus 7SV review.

Shopping for a Garmin Striker Plus 7SV: The Basic Considerations

The Striker Plus 7SV is a member of Garmin’s “Plus” series, which means that it offers certain features that were lacking in its earlier counterpart. What qualifications should you be on the lookout for when you begin your search? This list should provide a decent starting point.

  • Cost—Fish finders can vary in price from under $100, to numbers in the four-figure range. Determine how much you’re willing and able to spend.
  • Portability—Are you planning on mounting the fish finder on your boat, or taking it along on ice-fishing excursions? Be sure to select a unit that will suit your individual needs.
  • Screen Resolution—The higher the resolution, the clearer the images will be. Try to invest in a unit that offers a resolution of at least 240X160 pixels.
  • Water Resistance—A decent fish finder should carry an IPX rating of at least 6. This means that it will continue to function even under heavy jets of spray. If possible, look for a unit with an IPX rating of 7.
  • Transmit Power—Casual hobbyists should look for a minimum transmit power of 500 watts (RMS), while professionals (especially deep-sea fishermen) will prefer at least 1,000 watts. For more information on transmit power, see the Features & Benefits section below.
  • Sonar—Check to see if the fish finder uses a wide or narrow beam. As a rule of thumb, wide beams are able to cover broader swaths of the underwater environment, while narrow-beam scanning works best in deeper water.
  • GPS—Some of the more advanced models will offer GPS technology for navigational aid. This may or may not be accompanied by a series of pre-loaded maps that provide you with valuable intelligence on designated fishing spots.
  • Additional Features—In addition to GPS, modern fish finders might come equipped with boat speed sensors, temperature gauges for the air and water, or split-screen technology. Research the features that sound most appealing, and consider whether their benefits will be worth the cost.

Garmin Striker Plus 7SV Review: What You’re Buying

This model comes with a transducer that pulls triple duty: It provides readouts in traditional 2D, as well as “ClearVu” and “SideVu” options for down- and side-scanning. The 7-inch display screen features a user-friendly interface, and all documentation is included with the purchase. The Striker Plus 7SV is equipped with all the hardware for a trolling motor mount setup, as well as a power cable and an adapter cable. There should be a “Quick Start Guide” in the box also, but more extensive information regarding the setup can be downloaded separately if needed.

Pros:

  • Crisp visuals
  • User-friendly interface
  • Built-in GPS
  • Versatile transducer
  • Split-screen technology

Cons: 

  • No built-in maps
  • Some glaring can occur in bright sunlight
  • Moderately high price point

Features & Benefits of the Garmin Striker Plus 7SV

How well does the Garmin Striker Plus 7SV hold up to the criteria we’ve outlined above? Take a closer look at this section to find out.

Cost

The word “Plus” should be enough to alert consumers that this is not exactly a budget option. However, it’s not as expensive as some of the competition, and it does offer a boxcar of features that help to offset the high price tag.

Portability

The Striker Plus 7SV doesn’t earn high marks in this category. Though it weighs in at just 1.7 pounds, its 7-inch screen means it’s a little on the bulky side. This means that it’s better suited for mounting on a canoe or motorboat than for dock fishing. It might be suitable for kayaks as well, but only if the boat is one of the wider models meant for lake touring.

Screen Resolution

The screen resolution on the Striker 7SV is 800X480 pixels. This provides you with exceptionally clear, bright, detailed images that can be viewed from a good distance away. The high resolution, coupled with the wide 7-inch screen, could make this unit a good fit for mounting on the center console of a larger watercraft.

Water Resistance

Like its earlier counterpart, the Striker 7SV, the Plus version comes with an IPX water resistance rating of 7. What does that mean in practical terms? In theory, the device should continue to function even if it’s been submerged in up to three feet of water for as long as 30 minutes. Since that’s unlikely to be the case unless your boat capsizes, this waterproof rating is more than adequate.

Transmit Power

This model offers a transmit power of 500 watts. This number refers to the strength of the signal that’s sent out by the transducer. A higher number means a stronger signal, which translates into more detailed information about structure and fish arches. 500 watts is adequate for lake and shoreline fishing, but if you routinely fish in murky conditions, you might want to look for a unit with stronger transmit power.

Sonar

Fish finders use sonar technology to transmit sound waves into the water surrounding your boat (or around the dock, or beneath the ice, depending on where you are). When the sound waves encounter obstructions, such as bottom structure or nearby fish, that information is displayed on the fish finder’s screen.

The Garmin Striker Plus 7SV offers traditional 2D sonar, as well as the company’s own ClearVu and SideVu technology. In basic parlance, the ClearVu is responsible for down-imaging, which provides a view of the area directly beneath your boat. Down-imaging works most effectively in deep water. By contrast, SideVu is used for side-imaging, scanning the area to either side of the boat and providing more of a “fish-eye” view. This feature works best in shallow conditions, particularly in areas where there’s a lot of bottom structure.

GPS

The GPS function on the Striker Plus SV allows you to mark waypoints and store your own maps, so that you can find your way back to prime fishing areas in a hurry. It also helps to keep you from getting lost in unfamiliar territory. Unlike some comparable models, though, it doesn’t include any pre-loaded maps—you’ll have to create your own. Fortunately, though, the mapping software offers “QuickDraw” contouring that allows you to fashion detailed replicas of the shoreline.

Additional Features

In addition to the GPS and mapping functions listed above, the Striker Plus 7SV is equipped with split-screen technology. While some models allow you to view two different images side by side, this one can display three at one time. That means you can take in the traditional 2D sonar view, the side-imaging view, and the location of your boat all at the same time.

Unlike the earlier Striker 7SV, this one is WiFi compatible. This model is also outfitted with fish symbol ID, to help you determine whether the nearby fish are the ones you’re looking for. While some fish finders lose their accuracy at higher speeds, the trademarked “Ultrascroll” feature on the Striker Plus 7SV ensures that you’ll get a clear image even when the boat is on the move. There’s even a water temperature sensor to help experienced anglers gauge whether or not the fish are likely to be biting.

Taking to the Water with the Garmin Striker Plus 7SV

If the specifications are to be believed, the Garmin Striker Plus 7SV is an exceptional fish finder. The question is, does it deliver the goods when it’s put into action?

To find out, I scoured the Web for reviews that mentioned the Striker Plus 7SV. The feedback was mostly positive, with users praising the clarity of the images and the accuracy of the GPS feature. While some customers reported issues with screen glare in bright sunlight, the majority were pleased with the overall functionality of the device, and claimed that they would gladly recommend it to others.

Alternatives to the Garmin Striker Plus 7SV

Perhaps you feel that the Striker Plus 7SV is out of your price range. Or maybe you don’t think you would take advantage of the bonus features that it offers. Fear not; there are plenty of fish finders in the sea. Here’s the rundown on three of this unit’s closest competitors.

Humminbird PiranhaMax 4.3

This swivel-mounted fish finder offers a 4.3 inch screen, down-imaging sonar, and an exceptionally user-friendly interface. The price point is significantly lower than that of the Striker Plus 7SV, so if cost is a major factor, this could be the unit for you.

How They Compare 

  • Cost—Humminbird
  • Portability—Humminbird
  • Screen Resolution—Garmin
  • Water Resistance—Tie
  • Transmit Power—Tie
  • Sonar—Garmin
  • GPS—Garmin
  • Additional Features—Garmin

The PiranhaMAX is smaller and simpler, but you should give it a try if you’re in the market for a more portable fish finder.

Lowrance HOOK2 7

The HOOK2 7 also features a 7-inch display with split-screen technology, and its resolution and GPS function are on par with the Striker Plus 7SV. It’s priced slightly higher, but it comes with pre-loaded maps for added convenience.

How They Compare

  • Cost—Garmin
  • Portability—Garmin
  • Screen Resolution—Tie
  • Water Resistance—Tie
  • Transmit Power—Tie
  • Sonar—Garmin
  • GPS—Tie
  • Additional Features—Lowrance

The HOOK2 7 is a good alternative for those who can’t live without the pre-loaded map function. If this sounds like you, check out this unit today.

Lucky Portable Wired & Wireless Sonar Fish Finder

This budget option is loaded with an impressive amount of features for its size: a good depth readout, a water temperature sensor, and dual-beam sonar technology. The graphics aren’t as impressive as some of its pricier counterparts, but if you’re just looking for a basic fish finder, Lucky could be the way to go.

How They Compare

  • Cost—Lucky
  • Portability—Lucky
  • Screen Resolution—Garmin
  • Water Resistance—Garmin
  • Transmit Power—Garmin
  • Sonar—Garmin
  • GPS—Garmin
  • Additional Features—Garmin

If Lucky’s Wired and Wireless model sounds like it would be a good fit for you, feel free to take a closer look.

The Bottom Line

The Garmin Striker Plus 7SV represents a slight upgrade from its earlier counterpart, with its Quickdraw contouring feature and Wi-Fi capability. If you’re familiar with the Striker series and are ready to invest in a more modern version, this one could be the answer. Click here to learn more and to add the Striker Plus 7SV to your fishing arsenal.

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