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Anyone using castable sonar pods?

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Looking to get a castable sonar. Has anyone used Deeper, iBobber, or Lorance FishHunter. Would like to find fish instead of going out and casting blind. Birds aren't always with the fish.

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I have the Sonarphone, it works pretty well in the little I've used it. I've heard the transducer isn't a particularly costly part of a sonar set-up, so by using the processing and display of a mobile device, you get a lot of bang for your buck from the castables. The only downside is the range, especially when retrieving or when other conditions affect the orientation of the transducer. The antennas should probably be significantly longer.

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16 hours ago, ermghoti said:

I have the Sonarphone, it works pretty well in the little I've used it. I've heard the transducer isn't a particularly costly part of a sonar set-up, so by using the processing and display of a mobile device, you get a lot of bang for your buck from the castables. The only downside is the range, especially when retrieving or when other conditions affect the orientation of the transducer. The antennas should probably be significantly longer.

I guess wave action would mess up your signal. Using it in a chop is probably not the best. Inlets and bays would be better. Thanks for your input.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I bought a Fish Hunter about 3 years ago after researching a few. I wanted a cast-able fish finder to use at places like Wachusett Reservoir or the Canal.

 

They claimed it work at over 100'.

 

I was lucky if it would work from 20' - 30'.

 

It's basically a piece of sh-t, for what I wanted if for. I'm sure it works fine when ice fishing or if you hang if off the side of a canoe/kayak. As a cast-able fish finder. Nope.

Edited by zak-striper

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A bucktail will usually let you know if you have fish in the area. Shore based fishing and electronics don’t usually mix or should they. Half the fun is finding the fish at a spot and figuring out what works with the conditions your fishing. 

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I have deeper sonar, range is 50-60 feet away from where one is standing and you have to be up very high up off the water for best results.

Its a liitle bit of a PIA, but it has shown me bottom contours that I wasn't previously aware of.

I bought it for a real deep water spot and that is where I have used it mostly.

Navionics web app will give you the same info.

just my .02

 

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Seems to me it's a item designed to catch fishermen and not fish.  A magic bullet that misses more often than not.  It can't be as accurate as a high end sonar unit for a boat.  Are there fish out there?  About a dozen casts to different layers of the water column with a few different lures will tell you.  My first thought when I heard about them was "Hmmm...what happens when you cast one into a pod of hungry bluefish?"

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13 hours ago, clambellies said:

Seems to me it's a item designed to catch fishermen and not fish.  A magic bullet that misses more often than not. It can't be as accurate as a high end sonar unit for a boat.    

I don't know what is or isn't high end, but based on what I've seen on boats I've been on, there's no significant difference in imaging.

 

Quote

 Are there fish out there?  About a dozen casts to different layers of the water column with a few different lures will tell you.

One cast with a sonar pod will tell you depth changes across a fairly broad area, indicate whether baitfish may be present, and give hints about bottom structure. One or two casts will say a lot more about the area than an afternoon of casting lures, especially given the time I've spent on water that I know is packed with fish, that aren't touching lures because they're focused on a specific forage (eg herring runs). The first time I used it, on the bank of the Merrimack close to the dam, I was met by a local old timer, a part time guide, who was telling me about the ledge 20 yards out that yield fish. There was no ledge, he was probably getting fish from the current break. There were, however, fish to within 15 feet of the water's edge.

Quote

My first thought when I heard about them was "Hmmm...what happens when you cast one into a pod of hungry bluefish?"

If that's a concern, you add a bit of wire. They're plastic, I suppose enthusiastic bluefish would put an end to one after a while, but I don't imagine you'd re-cast into a school very many times.

 

They have limitations. They are also pretty cheap for the capability they offer, within those limitations. I just took my girlfriend on an all-day deep sea trip, the fares were a good chunk more than the Sonarphone. I would hardly describe one as indispensable, but they are certainly not useless either.

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I have the sonarphone and the deeper so here's my review of them.

 

I got the sonarphone first on sale. You can share your signal with multiple users, its wifi so it has a 300ft range, shoots a 30 degree cone and works in as little as 2ft of water. If I had any complaints it would be that it has stabilizer on it that makes it cast odd, you can't review your scans later or store them. Recently they have paired up with navionics and you can view your scans through their app.

 

Deeper I also got this on sale it offers 2  cone angles 15 and 55 degree, is wifi enabled,  can do basic and detailed scans,  has a far better app, let's you review your scans later or upload them to your account and measure distance to markers. If you're look at this one get the pro+ it offers an onshore mode which shows the deeper unit on its map so you can see what its passing over on the map. My only real complaint would be you can't share your scan with other devices. For true versatility I'd go with the deeper. 1 other thing regardless of which one you choose having a cheap dedicated rod helps a lot. I have a cheap heavy action rod paired with a garage sale reel I loaded with 80lb braid in order to ease my fear of losing 1 of them.

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I have never understood them. You will be able to see what is directly below and that is it. If your not moving you have no real understanding of the terrain. Just seems foolish to me.

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17 hours ago, mrmarkedwards said:

 I have a cheap heavy action rod paired with a garage sale reel I loaded with 80lb braid in order to ease my fear of losing 1 of them.

That reminded me of another thing: I use braid to cast it as well, and I'm very nervous the split ring they use would allow the line to work it's way through if you weren't monitoring it, so I started using a snap as well. I carp fish quite a bit, so I already have a "spod" rod; I agree you don't want to use anything nice for this kind of abuse.

 

16 hours ago, Stonesipher said:

I have never understood them. You will be able to see what is directly below and that is it. If your not moving you have no real understanding of the terrain. Just seems foolish to me.

Cast around. It's not any different than a hull mounted transducer. I used to scout locations without a rod to avoid the temptation of stopping and fishing at the first likely spot, now I'll bring the 'pod.

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On 03/07/2018 at 5:51 AM, mrmarkedwards said:

Deeper I also got this on sale it offers 2  cone angles 15 and 55 degree, is wifi enabled,  can do basic and detailed scans,  has a far better app, let's you review your scans later or upload them to your account and measure distance to markers. If you're look at this one get the pro+ it offers an onshore mode which shows the deeper unit on its map so you can see what its passing over on the map. My only real complaint would be you can't share your scan with other devices.

I believe the  Deeper app can export a CSV  file to work with Windows programs such as Reefmaster however I've been discouraged from buying one as the GPS can be inaccurate, I would definitely buy one if they fixed the GPS issues.

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On 6/28/2018 at 9:59 AM, ermghoti said:

I don't know what is or isn't high end, but based on what I've seen on boats I've been on, there's no significant difference in imaging.

 

One cast with a sonar pod will tell you depth changes across a fairly broad area, indicate whether baitfish may be present, and give hints about bottom structure. One or two casts will say a lot more about the area than an afternoon of casting lures, especially given the time I've spent on water that I know is packed with fish, that aren't touching lures because they're focused on a specific forage (eg herring runs). The first time I used it, on the bank of the Merrimack close to the dam, I was met by a local old timer, a part time guide, who was telling me about the ledge 20 yards out that yield fish. There was no ledge, he was probably getting fish from the current break. There were, however, fish to within 15 feet of the water's edge.

If that's a concern, you add a bit of wire. They're plastic, I suppose enthusiastic bluefish would put an end to one after a while, but I don't imagine you'd re-cast into a school very many times.

 

They have limitations. They are also pretty cheap for the capability they offer, within those limitations. I just took my girlfriend on an all-day deep sea trip, the fares were a good chunk more than the Sonarphone. I would hardly describe one as indispensable, but they are certainly not useless either.

I couldn't agree more, gimmick ... Not in my opinion.

I mentioned navionics before but that gives you general depth of an area the sonar gives you the exact information you would want to understand where the fish Might setup.

I have casted that thing out many a time and marked no fished but continued to fish the area and catch fish.

 

Again its another tool in my shed and I use it where I think it might help me figure out the spot within the spot.

again just my .02

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