Garmin Striker Vivid 5cv Fish Finder Review of 2023

By Wade Johnson

Garmin Striker Vivid 5cv Fish Finder.jpgIt is wrong to associate supreme quality, detailed images only with premium fishfinders worth the price of your kidney — okay, that was a bit sarcastic, but thousands of dollars isn’t a joke. There are plenty of affordable devices that can offer you vivid portraits of the underwater domain. Speaking of which, I’m sure the word ‘vivid’ must ring a bell for many mid-level anglers and hobbyists. Yep, I am talking about the one-and-only great Garmin Striker Vivid 5cv.

With its integrated GPS and Contour mapping, the unit is truly a match made in heaven for seasoned but budget-conscious fishers. If you are after a quality fishfinder under $300 offering great value, get your hands on Garmin’s Striker Vivid 5cv.

I have just scratched the surface. Scroll down to learn more about this dude.

What Makes Garmin Striker Vivid 5cv Special?

The fishfinder has advanced Chirp and ClearVu technology with greater depth and accuracy. It also boasts of high-precision images and navigational assistance. Considering the inexpensive cost, very few models of this class have such high-tech features.

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Garmin Striker Vivid 5cv Review

Garmin Striker Vivid 5cv Fish Finder ReviewBy the looks of it, Garmin Striker Vivid 5cv isn’t the most beautiful thing on the market. What it holds inside and what it’s capable of is what earns it top rankings among mid-level fishfinders.

The primary purpose of a fishfinder is to detect fish and everything else present underneath your vessel. Vivid 5cv collects more than just basic information due to the efficiency of Chirp sonar and ClearVu scanning technology. The real game-changer is the unit’s ability to let you can set a different colour for each sonar. The GT-20 TM transducer will produce perfect images of the underwater realm in every colour scheme.

You will never miss a hotspot nor go here and there aimlessly to reach a lucrative fishing spot. The unit has integrated a high-sensitivity GPS with a waypoint feature to help you record fish-holding locations and improve your navigation talent for future trips.

Moreover, the Contour mapping module further makes up for the absence of an sd card slot and pre-installed maps. You can create a library of maps carrying critical information about acres of bottom terrain. You can go back to these charts for guidance during all your upcoming trips.

Another valuable feature is its 5-inch screen with uber-easy controls. The backlit window displays epic views of what’s lying below the surface regardless of the lighting conditions.

I wish I could praise it more because that’s how impressed I’m with the overall performance. The bottom line is that it truly is the best mid-tier fishfinder in this price range. So, buy it without further delay.


Chirp Sonar

I have used this fishfinder for both sea fishing and shallow water fishing. Thanks to its advanced Chirp technology, it didn’t fail me. The clarity of the Chirp technology is better than traditional chirp sonar found in competing units. The crystal quality visuals with greater target separation enable you to see everything from structure to fish to debris to every other scattered item – the maximum depth range of this 2D Chirp is around 1900ft.

The icing on the cake is the integration of a 7-colours palette for viewing sonar readings. You can assign a specific colour to each sonar.


Chirp ClearVu

As mentioned earlier, the unit aims for bagging maximum targets in one trip. That’s why the transducer that comes with it also supports a special scanning mode called Chirp ClearVu. The scans provide you with ultra-clear visuals of fish and structure present a couple of hundred feet deep, say around 750 feet depth. With such accuracy and clarity of images at your disposal, you’ll be able to target any hard thing scattered below the surface, including fish.

GPS System

This one lacks built-in charts, yet it never fails to keep you on track or reach the spot where you once landed a fish. The built-in GPS not only provides you with high-precision geographical data but also marks up to 5000 waypoints. You can also save routes and tracks with this navigational feature. Thus, you’ll not have to spend countless hours rowing from one corner to another to discover those fruitful spots once again.

Contour Mapping

I barely noticed the loss of preloaded charts and maps because I could create my own. Striker Vivid 5cv has a cartography technology called QuickDraw Contour. The software uses GPS and 2D sonar data to draw a map of the given waterbody. You can map up to 2 acres of an area containing 1-foot contours and depth labels. The given cartography will prove helpful in locating ideal fishing spots for future visits.



  • Affordable and durable.
  • Transducer included is compatible with both Chirp and ClearVu scanning to offer accurate and detailed images.
  • 7 colour options for sonar improves target distinction.
  • Backlit display with higher resolution promises photographic-like vivid images.
  • High-precision GPS with waypoint feature.
  • Contour mapping allows you to chart acres of terrain.
  • Uncomplicated set-up and use.
  • Impressive performance in both saltwater and freshwater fishing.


  • Absence of an instruction manual was troubling.
  • It has limited storage due to the lack of SD card slots.
  • No preloaded charts or maps.


Why Should I Buy Garmin Striker Vivid 5cv?

The primary purpose of fishfinders is to detect fish, but this brings you a couple of steps closer to victory. The unit offers you the support of Chirp and ClearVu technology to make sure you never make the common blunder of confusing debris and structure with fish.

Secondly, you can offer separate colours to each sonar reading to make sure you accurately decipher the readings. As a result, you’ll directly hook the prey to save time and energy.

Thirdly, the unit offers you GPS assistance and contour mapping ability. The company of these navigational weapons significantly reduce your chances of forgetting ways and fishing hot spots.

Lastly, its moderately-sized display with the backlit format and photographic quality images is as good as it can get at the given price.


Considering all its benefits and flaws, we can safely conclude that Garmin Striker Vivid 5cv is the best fishfinder both for saltwater and freshwater fishing. Seasoned anglers could purchase better and more feature-packed units, but that would cost a handsome amount of money as well. That said, it’s the best option for those passionate anglers and hobbyists who want to upgrade their fishing arsenal without putting a dent in their wallets.


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Wade Johnson
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