Garmin Striker 7SV
As any fisherman will tell you, having a fish finder can be extremely useful for helping you discover the best fishing spots, but finding one that does not drain your wallet can be a challenge.
The Garmin Striker 7SV hits all of the important features that you need in a fish finder plus more. It may not have pre-loaded maps, but once you set your own waypoints, you will have all of the information that you need. In my opinion, the Garmin Striker 7SV is the best fish finder under $500.
Selecting a Quality Fish Finder Under 500 Dollars
If you enjoy fishing as much as I do, then you know that some days the fish will be easy to catch, while other days, they will not bite your line at all. It is hard to figure out exactly when a fish will be interested in biting your line, but the easiest way to make your day more productive is to purchase a fish finder that can help you locate the fish and keep track of the details of your fishing trip.
There are a lot of fish finders that are available on the market, but not all of them are created equally. An expensive fish finding device may lack the feature that you want the most on your device, while a cheaper variation may have the exact tools that you need to help you locate the fish in the body of water where you are fishing. Finding the most expensive fish finder does not mean that you have the best device, but then how do you know which fish finder is best? I have done a lot of research into the different fish finders on the market, and the Garmin Striker 7SV comes out on top as the best fish finder under $500. Let’s find out what makes it so great.
Design and Display
The Garmin Striker 7SV is designed to be a durable device that is strong enough to last through many years of fishing, so the unit was designed to accommodate a rugged outdoor lifestyle. It is capable of holding up to the damp conditions of the marsh wetlands where fishing is amazing. Whether the humidity makes the device damp or you simply drop it into the water, it is designed with a waterproof design that gives it an added layer of protection. The device is not designed to lie in water, but if it happens to get wet or fall into the water that is a meter or less deep, it offers enough water-resistant protection to keep the device safe for about 30 minutes of time. It is also durable enough to take a drop or two in the event that it hits the ground.
The display on this unit is six inches by four inches in height and can incorporate a split screen view to allow you to track two different areas at once. The seven-inch display has an 800 by 480-pixel resolution that comes complete with an adjustable LED backlight to help you see the screen in any lighting situation.
Many of the fish finders on the market are equipped with some type of sonar system that is designed to help you locate the fish in the water. The Garmin Striker 7SV comes complete with CHIRP transducer, which is a more technologically advanced sonar system that can send out multiple sonar signals at once. The device utilizes signals that range from 80 kHz to about 800 kHz to give you a good picture of what is beneath the surface of the water.
The Garmin Striker 7SV uses two different types of sonar to give you a complete picture. The DownVu creates high-quality images of what is directly below the boat that you are fishing into a depth of up to 750 feet, and the SideVu does the same thing, except it provides images that extend up to 750 feet on both sides of the boat. There is also a traditional 2D sonar that can be used to give you an idea of the size of the fish, which is useful when combined with the CHIRP technology. This can help you get a better idea of the type of fish that are being spotted by the sonar as well as their location in the water, which can give you a better idea of where you need to cast your line to increase your chances of getting a bite.
GPS and Mapping Technologies
This system also has a high sensitivity GPS system that you can use to keep track of the fish and the locations where your fishing excursions take you. With this system, you can track how fast you are trolling across the water as well as your current location. It will also track the time of day and the depth of the water that you are fishing in. When a fish is located, a fish icon will appear on the display that informs you of the depth of the fish that was spotted.
The map is a waypoint map that is designed to give you the exact coordinates of the fish, which can be extremely helpful. With this map, you can also record where there are fallen logs, docks, stumps or rocks that could be picked up by the sonar. You can mark each waypoint for future use; in fact, you can easily store up to 5,000 different waypoint settings to help you determine where your next fishing trip should be. These waypoints can even be shared between this device and any echoMap unit, all you need is the connection cable that comes with the device.
As with any fish finding device, there are a few bonus features that you should be aware of. These features are designed to give you a better fishing experience. Here are some of the features that are included on the Garmin Striker 7SV:
- Rewind Functionality – This feature allows you to travel back in time by rewinding through your past fishing trips. You can revisit sonar history and the images to see if you want to fish in that location again. You can also mark the waypoint map in the event that you missed something of importance the first time you reviewed the sonar data.
- Flasher – When you are tracking fish, sometimes you attention can wander, so this device has a built-in flasher that is designed to grab your attention quickly when there are any changes in the water surrounding you.
- Mount Included – A trolling and transom mount is included with the purchase of this device to make it more convenient to use while on a boat.
As with anything, there are always considerations that you should make before settling on a purchase. The waypoints cannot be shared with units that are not a part of the Garmin family, so you will not be able to share the data you collected with your friends unless they have a similar device. There is also no SD card reader, so all of the information is saved directly to the device, which means that if it malfunctions, the data may be lost as well. Another feature that may be missed on this unit is the fact that there are no pre-loaded maps in the device memory. This is not the cheapest fish finder out there, but it’s not the most expensive either. This fish finder offers the most value for its price range and is my number 1 on my list of bass catching gear.
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