We’ve got Side-Scan, Structure-Scan, Down Scan, 360-Scan and
Spotlight Scan–and now we’ve got what might be called “Cast
Scan,” castable transducers that allow you to reach out as far as
you can fling them without actually moving the boat over the spot.
You read the sonar report on your smart-phone or tablet. We had the
opportunity for some hands-on with one of these recently, the
“Deeper” castable sonar.
The Deeper transducer is encased in a 2.5-inch diameter composite
ball and weighs 3.5 ounces, which makes it pretty heavy to toss out
there on your standard trout rig. You’ll probably want to put this
on one of your old beater baitcasters with some 65-pound-test braid. A
kingfish rod, or a flippin’ stick in fresh water, would be
dedicated to the task.
Wherever the Deeper sonar unit lands, it reads water depth and
temperature, and also marks fish suspended off bottom. The unit includes
both narrow and wide beam–narrow returns fish, structure, detail and
bottom profile, while the wide beam provides broader search area. It
sends this via Bluetooth wireless voodoo to your Apple or Android phone
or tablet with the free downloadable app which also gives moon phases,
air temp, solunar “best times,” Internet sharing of fish
photos and other tools.
It reads to depths of 130 feet and has a Bluetooth range of about
150 feet. It has three line-ties so that you can cast it, troll it or
lower it straight down from a dock, bridge or pier.
These are not tools that most who own power boats are going to want
because a standard fixed transducer that reads at speed or one on the
trolling motor with a dedicated monitor makes better sense.
But for kayak and canoe anglers, wade fishermen, shore anglers and
bridge and pier anglers, they could be a big help. I mean, if you know
exactly where the drop to deeper water is, and can drift your bait down
that break line on every cast, it gives a huge advantage in many areas.
You could also use them to avoid brushy snags. Plus, you don’t need
a hookup to a 12-volt power source.
You can also probe the depth around a dock without actually running
your boat close to it and spooking the fish–maybe there’s a prop
blow-hole at one end where the redfish stack up, or a dredge hole that
And there are some neat new mounts from RAM (www.rammount.com) and
other companies for cell phones and tablets used on kayaks and other
The Deeper system runs on a rechargeable lithium battery that
functions for about 6 hours straight between recharges. The housing is
watertight to 1 meter and shock-resistant. Price is $229. See the
website for phone and tablet compatibility: www.buydeeper.com.
A competing castable sonar is the Fish-Hunter, which functions
similarly but has an advertised range of about 100 feet in depth, 100
feet in Bluetooth transmission. A free app for your Apple or Android
smartphone/tablet contains storage for GPS-based fishing spots, fishing
forecasts, moon phases, fishing log and lots more. The company says it
runs about eight hours between recharges, and a free app is included:
The iBobber, to be released first quarter of 2014, includes a
2.08-ounce castable transducer that looks like a bobber. Depth range is
120 feet, Bluetooth range 100 feet. It runs 7 hours between recharges,
and a free app provides mapping and fishing advice; www.reelsonar.com.
Vexilar’s Sonarphone uses Wi-Fi signal technology to deliver a
high-definition sonar image to an Android or IOS smart-phone or tablet,
with touch-screen control of functions such as bottom zoom. It’s
available in three configurations, starting with the T-Pod, a floating
sonar module that can be cast or pulled behind a boat ($149.99). It
reads to 120 feet and also monitors water temp. Boat-mounted, Wi-Fi
enabled transducer systems are also available.
See www.vexilar. com.
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