Castable fishfinder?

Discussion in 'Fishing Electronics Review' started by tomcat85, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. tomcat85

    tomcat85 New Member

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    966
    State:
    uh
    i found it at dicks you put it on a rod and reel and cast it out. it has a little bobber looking thing that goes out and floats with a sonar built inside. it sends the signal back to a little scree that can be worn as a watch or just to be held what do you all think about this it costs around 60 bucks.
     
  2. gadzooks

    gadzooks New Member

    Messages:
    1,532
    State:
    Kingwood, Tx (Houston)
    I had one. Third trip out, the transducer, that green thing you cast is the transducer, went out on me. The finder has been discussed on four other fishing forums I log onto and the consensus is that its junk.
     

  3. tomcat85

    tomcat85 New Member

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    966
    State:
    uh
    oh well thats what i figured lol. that sucks though itd be neat to have since i dont have a boat. thanks for the info.
     
  4. laidbck111

    laidbck111 New Member

    Gadzooks steered you right I have not heard much good about those things either.
     
  5. CatHound

    CatHound New Member

    Messages:
    164
    State:
    Missouri
    Well, I will have to say that I have one of those little units - actually, I have two of them. If used as they were designed, they work just fine. The sonar transducer portion(that little green bobber looking thing) is disposible. When the 400 hour battery is dead, the transducer needs to be replaced(about $20). If used as directed in the operators guide, they will last a really long time. I've been using my first sonar transducer for a couple of years now.

    The first one I got came with my large(and somewhat expensive) Humminbird Matrix system as a freebie option. It hooks up to the main screen and I can use it in conjuction with the features of the main fish finder.

    I was somewhat skeptical at first, but I took it out and hooked it up and drug it behind my boat just above my trolling lures. It worked, and for the first time ever, I could tell exactly how deep my lure was really tracking.

    Then, when I anchored, I could cast it out and find other promising areas with structure to present my offerings without moving my boat. I also took it out bank fishing(which I do a lot of). I unhooked my main unit from my boat and put it in a small lunch cooler with a 12v SLA battery, and placed it on the bank where I was camping by one of my fishing holes and casted the little sonar out in a fan pattern and discovered a lot of structure that I had not known about from my previous fishing there.

    I found it so useful that I went out and found a bargain for another one that was more portable - like the one you are refering to, so I could take it on long fishing hikes on rivers and along the banks of lakes and reservoirs. I got the newer RF35 that has the water temperature read out as well. With that one I can walk the bank of the rivers and lakes that I fish and find all kinds of good structure to fish.

    The most usefull attribute for me of that Smartcast is the structure and depth finding capability. As a fishfinder, like most fishfinders, it is not as usefull in actually finding fish, as it is for finding where the fish might be holding. It is just as accurate as any other fishfinder is, but due to it's size, there is not much in the way of definition on the little screen. It is however, a little more suseptible to wave action. That's not too important to me, as I mentioned, I only use it to find the structure, relative depth, and water temperature. If a person wants to actually see fish, then it would be better to get a fishfinder with a real time read out or a flasher like a Marcum or Vexilar.

    The bottom line is that these units have a limited use. They are pretty good at performing the task of which they were designed to do. If more is expected, then there will be the appropriate disappointments.

    If you look around on the internet, you will be able to find a better deal than $60. At a cheaper price, they could be a good addition to any bank angler's tackle arsenal. I like mine, and I personally know other angler's that have been able to make good use of them and are satisfied with the performance of the units. The key is to not expect them to do more than they were designed to do, and to take care of them as is directed in the manual.

    BTW - if you do a search on this forum for "Smartcast", you will find other BOC folks that have also found them to be usefull, and like them.
     
  6. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

    Messages:
    3,649
    State:
    O.P., KS
    I've got one, and generally agree with Howard. It's useful for determining depth and structure when fishing from the bank, and the same would be true for fishing from an anchored boat position. I've used it just a little bit from the boat, and it seemed to agree pretty closely to the boat's sonar. Just don't expect as much definition as the bigger screen and more powerful transducer on the boat can provide.

    My biggest gripe is the range. It's possible to cast beyond it's range, and you lose the signal until you reel it in a bit. But you really have to work to throw it that far. The newer models are supposed to have a little better range, mine is a couple of years old.

    Bottom line, it does a good job of letting me map out a bank fishing spot, which is what I got it for. It's held up well to a couple of years of use.
     
  7. steveg442

    steveg442 New Member

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    225
    State:
    missouri
    I got one too. I agree that the range is limited but for bank fishing it is one thing I am glad to have in my box. I use it around local lakes and find the holes to come back to later. I've had a few problems with mine but again to be able to look at depth and structure from the bank it does what I expected and more. My tip would be to find the one that attaches to the rod rather than the watch type. I found the watch clumsy to work with.
     
  8. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    I won one in the last survivor series. I like to troll it behind my little jon boat. We have even used it on a pontoon. Slow is the key, and keep the contact points on the transducer clean and oil free or it will show zero feet. Just the oil on your hand can effect it. Like CatHound said; use as intended and don't expect more that what you pay for. I knew a fella that cast out and hit the other bank! ouch, not meant for that! His transducer turned to junk real quick. lol
     
  9. tomcat85

    tomcat85 New Member

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    966
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    well then i think after christmas i might be looking into getting one of thesse little gadgets. has anyone ever tried them on the river or anything or are they mainly just for lakes?
     
  10. catman529

    catman529 New Member

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    817
    State:
    Tennessee
    never heard of it, sounds pretty cool, amazing how fast technology is advancing. let us all know if you get it
     
  11. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

    Messages:
    3,649
    State:
    O.P., KS
    I use mine on the rivers around here. Fast current is a challenge because its hard to map a spot out when the bobber / transmitter shoots downstream as soon as it hits water, and it also might get submerged from time to time and drop signal. But you can get the job done.
     
  12. cat tamer

    cat tamer New Member

    Messages:
    694
    State:
    MO
    I have one that is used in conjunction with a humminbird 777c2 and the range is about 100' and I use it on the river behind dikes where you cannot get to with a boat. I would not be without it.
     
  13. BIG BUBBA

    BIG BUBBA New Member

    Messages:
    10
    State:
    ARKANSAS
    CAN YOU USE THIS DEVICE WITH A HUMMIN BIRD PERANA AND ALSO WHERE DO YOU GET A 12V SLA BATTERY AT?
     
  14. Katmaster Jr.

    Katmaster Jr. New Member

    Messages:
    4,644
    State:
    Wilmington, NC
    I have a humminbird one, mine broke after about 10 trips but it was my fault. You see, I left it outside all of the time in the Winter. While it was working, I really liked it, it does have limited use though.
     
  15. CatfishHateMe

    CatfishHateMe New Member

    Messages:
    669
    State:
    Il
    never heard of em, i might have to look into gettin one tho since i fish from the bank and i have no way of telling how deep each place is. so i just took a few days to bounce around about 6 or 7 spots and see how much i cought and thats now i determine how deep or how much stucture there is. if you catch a fish there must be a hole or sumthin down there that they like:tounge_out: :big_smile:
     
  16. Ictalurus Punctatus

    Ictalurus Punctatus New Member

    Messages:
    353
    State:
    Greensboro, NC
    I've got one that I keep with the fishing rod in my truck. If I happen across a new pond in a subdivision or future subdivision somewhere then I can scout it out during lunch. As the others have stated here, you get what you pay for and it's no exception. For the $, I'm satisfied with it's performance.

    Jon
     
  17. okiejc

    okiejc New Member

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    26
    State:
    Oklahoma
    I saw a guy a couple of weekends ago using one of these at the fishhouse. He was able to tell the depth, where the brush piles were, and where some of the fish were.
     
  18. nitronostrils

    nitronostrils New Member

    Messages:
    292
    State:
    IL
    I use a hummingbird 230 in the lakes that I fish. Personally use a old closed face reel with a snap swivel, flip it out about 50-75 and slowly reel in to keep the structure moving on the monitor. The use on fast moving river could be a hinder because in the past I've noticed when casting out and the transducer and makes the intial hit on the waters surface and goes under for the short amount of time the signal is lost for that period. Just make sure before you cast you get the two sensors wet on the transducer, this is what transmitts the signal back to the unit. Otherwise have no problems with the portable.:cool2:
     
  19. tncatfishing

    tncatfishing New Member

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    916
    State:
    clk. tn
    Seems like a handy thing to have. I have seen them at walmart and bass pro before.
     
  20. MAX1955

    MAX1955 New Member

    Messages:
    1,070
    State:
    KENTUCKY
    I agree with Howard, I've had one for three going on four years now. Take care of it and it is useful for bank fisherman, and someone out on a jon boat. I use it to find structure and depth. I will add if there is alot wind you can lose the single. Mine was given to me as Christmas gift. Like Howard said it does what it supposed to do, read the paperwork. Do they still make smart cast?