Chat Rooms (0 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* For the benefit of the community, commercial posting is not allowed.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Fishing Forum
      Garmin Striker 4 fish finder questions     
 Forum Sponsor

Author

Text

rayljr1
member (47)member
 
12/16/2018 02:02PM
I am going to purchase a Garmin Striker 4 to use with my kayak here in Illinois.
However, I go with a friend every year to the BWCA and we use his Kevlar canoe. I want to be able to take the Garmin on our trip. Obviously, to do this I need to make it portable. So here are my questions:

#1: I saw a video where someone mounted their transducer to the outside of an empty 2 liter soda bottle and just put it in the water alongside the canoe. Does anyone know if this will work. Keep in mind, we do not troll fish. So we will be targeting specific areas first, and then using the fish finder when we get there, and be paddling pretty slow.

#2: I have seen a few post where people make batteries for their fish finders using 8 AA batteries connected in a little pack. Does anyone have any experience with this. AA would be best if they worked, as we could pack in 32 -40 of them easily to use for the 3-4 days of fishing.

Any other ideas would be helpful. We have never used a fish finder before, and are usually pretty good at finding fish by looking a topography maps. However, last year fishing was really tough, and I am going to have the fish finder regardless.
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next
nooneuno
distinguished member(522)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/16/2018 02:21PM
rayljr1: "I am going to purchase a Garmin Striker 4 to use with my kayak here in Illinois.
However, I go with a friend every year to the BWCA and we use his Kevlar canoe. I want to be able to take the Garmin on our trip. Obviously, to do this I need to make it portable. So here are my questions:

#1: I saw a video where someone mounted their transducer to the outside of an empty 2 liter soda bottle and just put it in the water alongside the canoe. Does anyone know if this will work. Keep in mind, we do not troll fish. So we will be targeting specific areas first, and then using the fish finder when we get there, and be paddling pretty slow.

#2: I have seen a few post where people make batteries for their fish finders using 8 AA batteries connected in a little pack. Does anyone have any experience with this. AA would be best if they worked, as we could pack in 32 -40 of them easily to use for the 3-4 days of fishing.

Any other ideas would be helpful. We have never used a fish finder before, and are usually pretty good at finding fish by looking a topography maps. However, last year fishing was really tough, and I am going to have the fish finder regardless. "


The battery packs you mentioned work well, do a search and you will find instructions and materials.
For the transducer I use a suction cup mount, it does not work well for trolling due to the turbulence and noise it creates but for targeting specific areas it works good.
 
jackpotjohnny48
member (10)member
 
12/16/2018 05:50PM
I bought a Garmin Striker 4 last summer for my canoe, and I absolutely love it. Keep in mind, however, that I was not on any REMOTE trips last year, so weight was not much of an issue.

For mounting the transducer, I bought a product called a "Switchblade" (I believe it is made by Yak Attack). I ordered it from Austin Canoe and Kayak if I remember correctly, and had it shipped to me here in Wisconsin.

I also bought a YakAttack Cellblok, which is a box for storing the rechargeable battery.

In all honesty, however, I'm not sure I would want to power it with a standard, rechargeable depth finder battery (at least not on a BWCA trip), because I think it's too heavy to be carrying around all the time. Better to find a way to do a homemade option with lighter batteries.

But in terms of mounting the transducer, the Switchblade is very lightweight. The only challenge would be figuring out what you are going to mount the switchblade to. (I connect my Switchblade directly to the Cellblok. But if you go with lighter battery options, you may not be using a Cellblok).

I had also looked into the suction cup option. But I'm not sure how well the suction cup would work on a canoe (It would almost seem that you would need a square back canoe to have a solid attachment point for the suction cup, in order to allow the transducer to point straight down. I'm having trouble visualizing how a suction cup would work on a typical canoe, so I went with the Yak Attack Switchblade for extending the transducer into the water).



 
rayljr1
member (47)member
 
12/16/2018 06:33PM
Here is a link to the video I saw where they were using an empty 2 liter soda bottle to make an in water float for the transducer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unm9LC2uEbA

What do you all think?
Has anyone used a float system for one before.

Keep in mind it is not my canoe, so I will not be mounting anything to it or modifying it.
 
Abbey
distinguished member (206)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/16/2018 09:01PM
I just use the suction cup that came with my Hummingbird and stick it onto the outside of the canoe next to my seat. The transducer doesn’t know if it is pointed “forward”. It has an angle adjustment to keep it flat. Pull/slide it above the water but still on the side of the canoe if we are actually moving. Put it down if drifting or trolling. We troll slow enough that the drag doesn’t matter. The drag is very noticeable if I forget to pull it up when we are traveling. The hardest part is un-sticking the suction cup.

Can’t comment on the Garmin suction cup and transducer as I have never even looked at one. I do plan to try the foam cut-out with the transducer shape and shoot through the hull (saw it on a thread recently; looked better than what I had been doing).
 
MagicPaddler
distinguished member(1355)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/17/2018 08:57AM
Not all AA batteries are created equal. There are 2 different chemistries commonly used for AA batteries. Lithium batteries have much more energy available per ounce and per battery but they cost more. Alkaline batteries have more voltage droop as they are used and they start off at a lower voltage. Alkaline batteries droop so much that when ½ of the energy is used from a set of 8 in series your detector will not work properly. The solution is to put 10 alkaline batteries in series. Ten alkaline batteries in series will last about 2 times as long as 8 in series.
If you wat to save some weight but are willing to pay for it consider Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries. These batteries suffer less from droop and start off at a higher voltage so 8 in series is optimal. They weigh less per cell and have more energy in each cell
 
Jaywalker
distinguished member(2085)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/17/2018 09:50AM
I got a Garmin Striker 4 last year and loved it. I don't have any other finder comparison, but it really worked for me.

For the transducer, I chose to keep it in the boat and shoot through the kevlar of my SR canoe. As others had suggested elsewhere, I just cut a 4x4 inch piece of blue closed cell foam and cut a hole the shape of the transducer. When I want to fish, I fit the foam around the transducer and set it in front of me (not on a rib), then take about one hand full of water and drip it on there and it starts working. I was amazed how well it worked with basically a quarter cup of water. If I want to know the water temp I just lower it over the side. When I put it away, I put the foam over the screen and hold in place with two rubber bands to protect from scratches. I would prefer the transducer was further forward and may mount it there with something, but its so easy to set up and take down this way.

For the batteries, I followed MagicPaddler's suggestions from an older thread and used 8 lithiums. Aside from being lighter, I wanted lithium for ice fishing. So far, I have not needed to replace any battery on a trip, but bet I used the finder no more than 20-25 hours during the week. It was easy, and I have photos of how I did it that I'll look into posting.
 
HoneyGuy101
member (40)member
 
12/17/2018 10:19AM
Absolutely get it! I bought it for my kayak two years ago for the exact same thing. The portable option that it comes with does have a suction cup mount that allows you to attach it anywhere on the side of the hull. I would usually just move it up when I get to shallow areas or to portage. For that, the little portable unit is perfect in a canoe! I recently bought the $18 (around that price) In-Hull Transducer mount for Garmin products. Stuck it behind the seat of my canoe and now it works great with the Striker mounted to my kayak. So you can definitely shoot it through your canoe hull (although I have heard it's not the best through kevlar) or you can use the suction cup mount for it just as easily and you have the portability for portaging.

One thing to keep in mind, I have brought the Striker with twice and both times I either regretted it or didn't use it. I found that the bottom of the lakes are usually so rocky that it didn't matter what kind of fish it was trying to show because it was all so jagged on the screen. Unless fish were suspended of course. And not to mention troll fishing isn't always the easiest out there when the bottom of the lakes are rocky and unforgiving. Most of the time I bobber fish anyways. I also regretted it once because of the weight. When you're trying to keep weight down for portaging and space, the last thing you want to do is carry around a big 12v battery and screen. It's rather annoying for longer trips but take it as you will. It's a matter of if it's a fishing trip or a camping trip for you.

For me, 9/10 on the Striker. It works perfectly for my mission! I use it for kayaking/canoeing, larger boats when I want my own screen, and don't forget about ice fishing! If I had one bad mark on it, I would like the ability to upload lake maps to it, the waypoint map is great but it shows literally nothing other than a white screen with your location on it.
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(598)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/17/2018 10:27AM
Jaywalker: For the transducer, I chose to keep it in the boat and shoot through the kevlar of my SR canoe. As others had suggested elsewhere, I just cut a 4x4 inch piece of blue closed cell foam and cut a hole the shape of the transducer. When I want to fish, I fit the foam around the transducer and set it in front of me (not on a rib), then take about one hand full of water and drip it on there and it starts working. I was amazed how well it worked with basically a quarter cup of water. If I want to know the water temp I just lower it over the side. When I put it away, I put the foam over the screen and hold in place with two rubber bands to protect from scratches. I would prefer the transducer was further forward and may mount it there with something, but its so easy to set up and take down this way. "

I don't have the same unit, but this is how I use my transducer in my 14 foot aluminum boat as well. I do some car-topping with this boat so did not want to mount anything to the boat that could get "hung up" or damaged while getting that boat on and off the roof of my car.

It works quite well. For the closed cell foam I cut open an old life preserver that my kids had outgrown. I cut out 4 of 5 circle sheets of the foam (about the diameter of a coffee can) and used Marine Goo to adhere them together into one thicker/taller circle. Place the ducer on top and trace the outline, then use an xacto knife to cut out a nook in the foam for the ducer. I also used the Goo to adhere my foam thing to the floor of my boat, but you could use a removable putty so as not to damage the canoe. You just need to find a way to keep the foam from allowing the water to leak out the edges. The water is essential.
 
A1t2o
distinguished member(958)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/17/2018 12:10PM
Can you shoot a transducer through an aluminum canoe?
 
HoneyGuy101
member (40)member
 
12/17/2018 12:22PM
Personally I would guess no. It may receive some signal back but if kevlar is potentially ruining the signal, I would assume aluminum would be far worse. Don't quote me on that though since I have no first-hand experience.
 
AmarilloJim
distinguished member(2063)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/17/2018 12:47PM

I can use this with any canoe.
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(598)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/17/2018 01:49PM
A1t2o: "Can you shoot a transducer through an aluminum canoe?"

See my post immediately above. It works perfectly on my aluminum boat.
 
A1t2o
distinguished member(958)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/17/2018 02:12PM
thegildedgopher: "A1t2o: "Can you shoot a transducer through an aluminum canoe?"


See my post immediately above. It works perfectly on my aluminum boat."


I saw that but I have seen other posts online claiming you can't. I don't know if yours is a special one that does work, only the newer ones are able to, or if there is something about your canoe that makes it possible. That's why I'm asking to see if more people say it works or can explain the limitations and why others say it doesn't.
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(598)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/17/2018 03:42PM
A1t2o: "thegildedgopher: "A1t2o: "Can you shoot a transducer through an aluminum canoe?"



See my post immediately above. It works perfectly on my aluminum boat."



I saw that but I have seen other posts online claiming you can't. I don't know if yours is a special one that does work, only the newer ones are able to, or if there is something about your canoe that makes it possible. That's why I'm asking to see if more people say it works or can explain the limitations and why others say it doesn't."


That makes sense.

My take is that there may be aspects of certain transducers or certain boats that would lead this to work either well, or poorly. But I can confirm that there's nothing essential in a sheet of aluminum that prevents the two from playing nicely together. In my case I've got good clean readings through 2 different boats with 2 different ducers -- one a traditional sonar unit, and one an ice-fishing flasher.

Of course the water temp readings won't be accurate. If I'm curious I just manually set my ducer in the lake for a bit.
 
rayljr1
member (47)member
 
12/17/2018 10:08PM
Thank you. I will have to check into both of those ideas!
 
12/18/2018 09:32AM
Has anyone tried the flasher mode on this unit for ice fishing?

If my boundary waters vexilar ever dies I might, I think my next depth finder will have the flasher option. I’d use that for vertical jigging as well—-that way I’d have a summer unit and an additional flasher for winter. Tired of loaning out my marcum when I take my kids ice fishing.

T
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(598)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/18/2018 09:45AM
timatkn: "Has anyone tried the flasher mode on this unit for ice fishing?


If my boundary waters vexilar ever dies I might, I think my next depth finder will have the flasher option. I’d use that for vertical jigging as well—-that way I’d have a summer unit and an additional flasher for winter. Tired of loaning out my marcum when I take my kids ice fishing.


T"


I’ve never used one but read many positive reviews from ice anglers on the flasher function. I was considering it but ended up getting a really good deal on an fl-8 instead. Search ice shanty forums and you’ll find several reviews.

If you can make it do double duty it’s a pretty great deal in my opinion.
 
AmarilloJim
distinguished member(2063)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/18/2018 10:03AM
Just curious. Why would you want a flasher mode when you can have 4 or 5 seconds of data on the screen at once?
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(598)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/18/2018 10:15AM
AmarilloJim: "Just curious. Why would you want a flasher mode when you can have 4 or 5 seconds of data on the screen at once?"

When you’ve been using a flasher for 20 years I think it’s a nice familiar security blanket. But yes, I’d probably have it in regular sonar mode with the “amplitude” bar on the right side that works like a flasher. As long as you can see your jig I agree it would be a bonus to have the history in view.
 
12/18/2018 12:34PM
timatkn: "Has anyone tried the flasher mode on this unit for ice fishing?


If my boundary waters vexilar ever dies I might, I think my next depth finder will have the flasher option. I’d use that for vertical jigging as well—-that way I’d have a summer unit and an additional flasher for winter. Tired of loaning out my marcum when I take my kids ice fishing.


T"


Got one last winter. Flasher mode worked great for ice fishing.Its not a vexilar, but once you know how to play with it, it works great on marking and catching fish. Used it in June for BW. Made a mounting bracket on thwart, made a 10AA battery pack, had a foam cup glued in bottom of kevlar canoe and put transducer in ziplock of water and put in foam cup (I left the ice transducer on). Worked great shooting through the hull. Carried it all in a foam sided lunch cooler in a pack when travelling.
 
12/19/2018 12:19AM
AmarilloJim: "Just curious. Why would you want a flasher mode when you can have 4 or 5 seconds of data on the screen at once?"

Have ya ever used a flasher for vertical fishing or ice fishing? It is hard to explain...I didn’t understand until my brother showed me the difference and outfiahed me 10 to 1 in the flasher mode.

Certain conditions you use the flasher mode to coax fish to bite you might need to raise them 10-15 feet before they commit. You can do it in graph mode but like I said my brother educated me it is way easier and effective to use flasher.

For open water, trolling the graph is way better.

T
 
Guest Paddler
 
12/19/2018 11:16PM
I am using a Gar in and 10 AAs eneloop rechargeables. I shoot through the hull of a Kevlar canoe.
Anybody have a connection to buy the clamps for the yoke? I need a couple more but can’t find em.
 
Thecubsdad
member (14)member
 
12/19/2018 11:20PM
Sorry, forgot to sign in before posting. Here is a pic of my set up with the eneloop battery pack, still contemplating cutting back the transducer cable. The black clamps are the ones I’m looking for.
 
AmarilloJim
distinguished member(2063)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/20/2018 09:13AM
Thecubsdad: "Sorry, forgot to sign in before posting. Here is a pic of my set up with the eneloop battery pack, still contemplating cutting back the transducer cable. The black clamps are the ones I’m looking for. "

The clamps are Spring Creek clamps. I have had poor luck with finding them also but I'm sure you could make your own out of metal or wood pretty cheaply. It is possible to shorten your cable but not recommended. Before I started using a small tackle bag for the excess cable, batteries, tackle, etc., I used to coil the excess cable around the base of the sonar unit and secure it with electrical tape.
 
Thecubsdad
member (14)member
 
12/23/2018 01:45PM
Thinking your bag idea is the way to go, thanks.
 
Boonequest
member (7)member
 
03/07/2020 02:52PM
AmarilloJim: "
I can use this with any canoe."


Do you have information on where you bought all the pieces for this setup?
 
sylvesterii
distinguished member (137)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/13/2020 04:04PM
Just as a side note for anyone looking at the Garmin Striker 4 "Kit." At first glance it seems like a nice all-in-one solution that is affordable. Garmin Striker Kit I just bought one online, but will be returning it. I think Garmin's idea of portable and my idea of portable are two different things. The actual Garmin Striker unit is super portable, the rest of the kit, not so much... The battery alone probably weighs 12 pounds.
 
deerguy101
 
04/09/2020 05:40PM
MagicPaddler: "Not all AA batteries are created equal. There are 2 different chemistries commonly used for AA batteries. Lithium batteries have much more energy available per ounce and per battery but they cost more. Alkaline batteries have more voltage droop as they are used and they start off at a lower voltage. Alkaline batteries droop so much that when ½ of the energy is used from a set of 8 in series your detector will not work properly. The solution is to put 10 alkaline batteries in series. Ten alkaline batteries in series will last about 2 times as long as 8 in series.
If you wat to save some weight but are willing to pay for it consider Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries. These batteries suffer less from droop and start off at a higher voltage so 8 in series is optimal. They weigh less per cell and have more energy in each cell
"

Yes, lithium-ion is far superior than all batteries. Spend the extra few bucks and get you some.
 
MongoLikeBWCA
member (6)member
 
04/24/2020 09:29PM
rayljr1 -- I have had a similar question re: transducer aka about how effective the system would be via simply lowering the transducer down below the surface via a float. I've not yet used my recently purchased Garmin Striker 4 but I just assumed if you can use it ice fishing, you could also use it summertime with a float. And that was confirmed by the good people at Garmin support:

"You absolutely can just use the transducer with the float. I would recommend securing the transducer cord to the kayak somehow (the suction cup mount, some tape etc) just in case it disconnects from the back of the unit. That would keep it from going completely overboard. If you choose to use the suction cup, or just put it in the hull, it's okay to have it a slight angle. Just know that the closer to pointing straight down it is, the more accurate the depth readings are going to be. Also keep in mind that the transducer should be completely submerged to prevent it from overheating."

So the float idea will work if you plan to use it like me: drift fishing and DIY anchored fishing. Trolling, you'd have to use one of the several excellent alternative means discussed above. But trolling in in the BWCA is simple IMO and I question if you need a complex fish finder trolling in the BWCA except for perhaps August to early September period when fish may be deeper, and even then, I'd wager it's main (only?) real utility would be for trolling mid-day - if you fish cool temps early am/late evening, my hunch is that fish will still be relatively shallow, in that 8-15 foot range aka shallow water... mid-day I'd just chuck a Mepps #5 near shore structure near fallen trees, etc. and enjoy the pike fishing. In the past I've brought just one of those simple $40 fish buddy kind of hand-held depth finders and those are plenty good for depths, that to me is the big thing.

 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next