Garmin Striker Cast Review – Putting Castable Sonar to the Test

Last Updated on June 15, 2022

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I’ve reviewed about five or six castable fish finders so far and very few are as reliable as this one.

This is my Garmin Striker Cast review and there’s very little negative that I can say about this portable fish finder. 

It’s consistently accurate, comes with unique features, and it’s functional and simple to use.

What more can you expect from a fancy bobber? 

Let’s dive right into it. Here’s the Garmin Striker Cast


Overall Thoughts on the Garmin Striker Cast

Overall Thoughts on the Garmin Striker Cast
Pros
  • Simple to use app for Apple and Android
  • Comes with premium GPS and 1-inch contours
  • Easy to connect
  • Top-notch Garmin brand 
Cons
  • Touchscreen only

The Garmin Striker Cast is a great castable fish finder with a lot of potential.

It’s priced affordably and can easily hang with the big boys in portability like Deeper Smart Sonar. 

While this unit might be somewhat unknown in the fishing community, I think it’s time more people paid attention. 

Garmin Striker Cast Review: Highlighting the Good and the Bad 

In the following sections, I want to outline the main features that make the Garmin Striker Cast the fish finder it is. 

I’m a huge fan of castable fish finders as someone who fishes from the shore a lot.

These units are portable, easy to use, and simple to set up. Let’s see if the Striker Cast compares to some of the more popular units. 

Display/ The App

Garmin Striker Cast Display/ The App

You’ll either love or hate the fact that you connect your fish finder to your phone.

If you love your phone, this will be a plus. If you have an old phone or you don’t love it, this feature will aggravate you. 

Since everything displays from your phone, all the features of your phone will essentially determine what features you get on the fish finder. 

The one thing that I hate more than anything is the fact that you can only control everything via touchscreen, since that’s what most phones do nowadays. 

Overall, the app itself is pretty simple, functional, and easy to use.

This is something I would expect from Garmin as they’re a household name and not an underground company like a lot of other castables. 

Another thing I like is the fact that the entire screen becomes the interface.

Some castable fish finders will split the screen in half which makes it difficult to touch where you want without messing things up. 

You also get a 10-hour battery life with this unit. It’s pretty much on-par with most castable fish finders but your phone also plays a role in how power savvy it is overall. 

All-in-all, I don’t feel that the app impedes your ability to use this fish finder at all.

Plus, most of us are pretty comfortable with our phones so if anything, it’s an upside more than it’s a downside. 

Sonar Device

Garmin Striker Cast sonar device

If you’re looking for advanced sonar modes like side scanning and a ton of variable frequencies, you might want to look elsewhere.

The overall theme of this Garmin Striker castable fish finder review is that the unit is… simple. 

Simple isn’t always bad though! 

You get two frequencies. One being a 260 kHz with a 22 x 63 cone. The other is a 455 kHz frequency and a 9 x 14 cone. 

As most of you know, high frequency produces a higher quality image and less coverage while a low frequency produces a lower quality image with a wider range. 

The Striker Cast sonar transducer uses CHIRP with fish icons that show a fish symbol through the use of arches whenever a fish comes within range.

It also displays the depth of your fishing line and water temperature

The overall range of the unit is 200 feet with maximum depth ranges up to 150 feet.

I can imagine that the actual range is much lower than that because companies constantly exaggerate and use nothing but absolutely perfect conditions to develop their specifications. 

If you’re dealing with any imperfections such as murky water, slight range, overcast sky, fog, or all of the above, you’ll have less range. 

I’d also like to mention that the Striker Cast comes with a flasher feature which makes it useful for ice fishing. While you’ll of course have to drill the hole first to insert the fish finder, it’s a nice bonus feature. 

Mapping/Navigation

Garmin Striker Cast mapping and navigation

As with most portable fish finders, the expectations for mapping, chartplotting, and navigation is pretty low. 

So, when I discovered that the Garmin Striker Cast GPS has mapping features with 1-ft contours, I was seriously impressed. 

Unfortunately, you can’t set your own routes or tracks but you can use waypoints to map out destinations and ideal fishing spots.

Again, since there’s no SD card or anything like that, you can’t make note of anything long term though. 

The Striker Cast uses Garmin Quickdraw Contours which is their flagship offering in terms of mapping and it’s great for a fish finder of this price and functionality. 

I’d also like to share that this is one area where the touch screen becomes the ultimate in performance because you can pull and retract the screen to zoom in on your location and take notice of contour changes to help identify structure. 

I’ve reviewed probably 5-6 castable fish finders at this point and none of them scratch the surface of what this one can do on your phone. 

Networking 

Since everything is done wirelessly, it’s a great option for small boats like jon boats or even kayak fishing.

You won’t be fumbling over wires or having to constantly install and remove the fish finder each time you want to head out. 

As for networking, everything is done using your phone and doesn’t require an internet connection.

You just need a connection to download the Striker Cast app and also if you plan on downloading any of the shared maps available through the app. 

Alternatives to the Garmin Striker Cast 

I’m all about options folks, if you’re sitting there thinking, “I don’t know about this Striker Cast Coty, I’m not a fan.” I hear you! 

There are plenty of similar options out there in terms of size, price, functionality, and features. Let’s take a look. 

Garmin Striker 4 

If you like Garmin and you like affordable fish finders but you’re not quite sold on the castable aspect, why not give the Garmin Striker 4 a try? 
 
This fish finder has been on the market since 2015 and is easily one of the best fish finders for the money. It’s a 4-inch screen keypad unit with CHIRP sonar and an ice fishing flasher.
 
The only thing that the Striker 4 doesn’t do that the Cast does (besides cast) is have any type of GPS or mapping. Just remember that this was made nearly eight years ago before GPS became a standard. 
 
It’s also a lot cheaper than the Striker Cast. Just keep in mind that you will need to install this unit but all the hardware you’ll need, as long as you have a standard fishing boat, will come with it.

Deeper Smart Sonar 

Deeper is the main brand most anglers think of when they think of castable fish finders. It’s lightweight, easy to use, built on its own WiFi technology, and it boasts some pretty great GPS like the Striker Cast. It doesn't require a Bluetooth connection
 
The main thing that makes the Deeper Smart Sonar just a tad better is the app. Garmin focuses more on their flagship fish finder products because that’s where they make their money.
 
The Deeper brand on the other hand is entirely dedicated to developing the best of the best when it comes to portable sonar. For that reason, I’d choose this unit over the Garmin Striker Cast.

Lowrance Fish Hunter 

One of the best comparisons to the Deeper Smart Sonar is the Lowrance Fish Hunter. This is another bobber-style portable unit that’s affordable, easy to use, and comes with an app that allows you to control everything from your phone. 
 
This unit uses tri-frequency scanning instead of CHIRP which is somewhat outdated and not that common anymore. 
 
The main thing that stands out about the Lowrance Fish Hunter is the GPS feature. It’s even better than Garmin and includes information about depth and contours in real time as you move around the lake. 
 
Once again though, Deeper has it beat when it comes to app development because they’re doing business entirely through your smartphone. If they don’t have a good app, the rest is useless. I’d still choose the Deeper Smart over the rest. 
 
You can find my full breakdown comparing the Lowrance Fish Hunter and Deeper Smart Sonar here.

Final Thoughts 

The Garmin Striker Cast is solid, let’s get that out of the way. There isn’t really anything negative about it.

If you’re looking for a castable fish finder that you’ll control from your phone, it’s a great choice at an affordable price. 

Personally, I’m a fan of these and I’ve only been made a fan after reviewing so many of them.

I think this could be an indication of where technology is heading in the future. 

Castable fish finders allow a lot more flexibility and versatility in terms of where and how you use fishing technology. 

If this Garmin Striker Cast review helped you out, consider checking out more about the unit here.

Leave me a comment and let me know if you have any experience with this one. Good luck out there!

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1 thought on “Garmin Striker Cast Review – Putting Castable Sonar to the Test”

  1. Avatar

    I had just purchased my first boat, a 14 ft. John. Then I installed a small long tail mud motor, for getting into some good duck hunting spots. But I’ve always wanted a boat of my own to fish some public reservoirs that have mostly private land around them. Then I also fish clear spring fed stream here in the Ozarks for Trout & Smallmouth.
    I like the options of the Striker, no hard wiring, the fact that it can be used from shore, and have the ability use my iPhone or iPad. Having to use a Bluetooth connection vs WiFi, is OK in my book. If I was fishing deeper open water on larger lakes or trolling, it may or not get the job done. I think this the ticket for the type of fishing I do, thank you.

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