The Deeper Smart Sonar brings high-tech fishing directly to your rod via your smartphone. So whether you’re casting from the shore, bagging lunch from a kayak, or simply wanting to map the underwater contours of your favourite fishing hole, this convenient, highly portable smart fishfinder has you covered.

Fishing can be a fickle, hit and miss affair; one day you bag a respectable haul, the next day nothing. It’s the main reason why most angling enthusiasts adopt a philosophical approach to their sport – considering themselves fortunate when they get to spent a great day chilling outdoors and, if they catch anything, viewing it as a bonus. Fortunately, the Deeper Smart Sonar (available in two models, the Pro and GPS-enabled Pro+) goes a long way to removing the traditional guesswork and “luck” out of the equation. The end result: We get to catch more fish!

Fishfinders are nothing new; they’ve been fitted to boats for decades, providing their users with reliable, visual feedback regarding exactly where to drop their lines. What makes the Deeper Smart Sonar so different is its portability and smartphone functionality – allowing anglers, whether they’re fishing from the shore, kayak or float tube to get in on the high-tech action, too.

Both the Pro and Pro+ work exactly the same. Floating on the surface, they scan and transmit detailed water column data to your smartphone or tablet via Wi-Fi – providing instant readings on water depth, bottom structure, vegetation, temperature and where the fish are hiding. However, the Pro+ brings a little extra to the party. Featuring an onboard GPS, it allows shore-based anglers to create detailed bathymetric maps from where they’re standing by simply casting their Deeper device, then slowly reeling it in. The Pro can do this too, but only when set in Boat Mode (and not used from the shore) – more on this further down.

Both versions operate on dual beam 290 kHz (15-degrees) / 90 kHz (55-degrees) sonar frequencies – allowing you to either view a narrower, more detailed 15-degree cone, or check out the bigger picture over a wider area. Plus their high scanning rates of up to 15 scans per second ensure you never miss a thing. Made out of tough ABS plastic, they also boast high impact resistance – so if they get cast onto a rock or caught in a tree by mistake they’ll probably not feel a thing. And, powered by a lithium polymer battery that’s good for 6 hours of continuous use (with a 2 hour charge time), you can literally fish with them all day.

Shore fishing
If you want to make fishing from the shore with your smartphone even more convenient, then Deeper’s Smartphone Mount (available as an optional extra) is definitely the way to go. Capable of being attached to any type of rod, this easy-to-use silicone mount enables you to monitor the data on your phone’s screen, all while keeping your hands free for reeling in that big catch.

Fishing from a kayak or boat
Deeper’s optional Flexible Arm Mount makes fixing your Smart Sonar to a wide variety of watercraft a breeze. Comprising a clamp and flexible arm, it can be quickly attached to objects ranging in size from 0.5 cm up to 6 cm, whether metal or plastic. Once you’ve attached your Pro or Pro+ to the threaded end of the flexible arm, ensuring it’s half submerged in the water, you’re good to go. And, just to be safe, it also includes a security strap that connects the mount to the boat should the clamp ever come lose.

Now that you’re on the water, you can switch over to Boat Mode on the Deeper app and start mapping the bottom to hunt out all the best locations. And, as this feature utilises your smartphone’s GPS to establish an accurate fix, it works with both the Pro and Pro+ models. Then, as you move around on the dam or river you’re mapping, colour-coded depth data gets added to the map in real time. Identifying where you’ve been and the various depths you’ve plotted is easy – the white line on the map tracks your location, while shallow waters are coloured in orange and the deepest spots are displayed in blue.

And, of course, the Deeper units have something to offer those other fishermen with their big boats and fancy fishfinders can never do – and that’s getting sonar feedback from areas where you can’t manoeuvre a boat. Want to see what is under that bridge, or beside the logjam? No problem, simply cast your Deeper Fishfinder over to the area and you’re sorted.

Ice fishing
If you ever had to use this function in Southern Africa I’d be stunned, but the fact that Deeper’s smart sonar can be used for ice fishing has to be mentioned. Finding where you dug your ice hole at a later date can be tricky. Fortunately, Deeper’s new GPS ice hole marking feature lets you keep tabs on exactly where you prefer to drop a line. The Smart Sonar Pro+ uses its own internal GPS, and the Pro your phone’s.

More about the Deeper app
Even if you don’t have a Smart Sonar device, the free Deeper app can still be used to plan the perfect fishing trip. It features solunar-forecasting, downloadable maps you can use offline, and plenty more. You can even mark and save your favourite locations, including tackle shops and parking spots.

Most significantly, though, it transforms your phone into a fully-functional sonar unit. Speaking of which, once you’ve eventually caught that monster you’ve been stalking for months, you can then snap a photo with your phone and showcase your prowess on social media. And, when you have some time to spare, you can run Simulations for standard mode, boat mode, ice fishing mode and onshore mapping to see how all the sonar functions on the app work. – (c) 2017 NavWorld


About The Author

Sean Woods

Originally a photographer for the Star newspaper in the bad old days, Sean Woods turned to writing after the first democratic elections in '94. The career shift paid serious dividends, culminating in him becoming associate editor for Popular Mechanics magazine with a number of technology writing awards under his belt. His interests include anything to do with boats, motorcycles and all those fancy tech gadgets that help the modern world go around.

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