Casting fish finders, anybody use them? - Chicago Illinois Fishing Forum, Information & Reports
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Old 02-08-2006, 02:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
JB
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Default Casting fish finders, anybody use them?

I've seen these little green submarine looking fish radars being sold at tackle shops. They come with a wrist watch/screen. One would tie the green floater to a line and cast it out and check the readings on the display on the wrist watch. Anybody ever use them? Are they reliable? There are a couple of ponds I would be interested in checking it out with but not if it is a bunk product.
Thanks for any replies. JB
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Old 02-08-2006, 08:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I use my smart cast to check shore lines so i dont have to go shallow and spook fish. It shows bottom content and depth pretty well. I have even put it on a small plainer board and pulled it slow to check areas I dont want to go into with the boat. It works pretty good just hard to read the screen sometimes.
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Old 02-08-2006, 01:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That's it...the Smartcast, I couldn't remember the name. Did you have success picking up fish on the small radar? Do you believe it is reliable in that manner? Thanks for the reply.
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Old 02-08-2006, 01:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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I'm looking into one. I really wouldn't count too heavily on actually using it to locate fish. I would basiclly use it to check the depths of the water i'm around. Heck even with some good "fish finders" you can mark fish all day and not get a hit.

main use would be to check for depths and possible structure.
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Old 02-08-2006, 01:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I had the castable Smartcast device for about a year. It does work VERY well. I would recommend the one with the screen that mounts to your rod...not the watch style screen. I just thought that 2/3 of the year I have a jacket on (at the very least) and the watch would be a nuissance. It is great at seeing fish, showing the different sizes of fish, the water depth, and showing structure (more of the lake bottom than vegetation). The only reason I don't have it any more is because I found myself playing with it instead of fishing, which seemed to defeat the purpose. If I only have a couple hours to fish, I need to be fishing, not playing around During the time that I had it, I used it to really see what a lot of my familiar fishing areas (the Chicago harbors, 95th street, Navy Pier) looked like under the surface. I actually went through 2 of them. I accidentally casted the first one into one of the steel / concrete "posts" in Burnham and it died due to sudden deceleration trauma. I put it back in the package and returned it to Dick's (then Galyans) and they gave me another one. Ultimately, I sold it on Ebay and got most of my $$ back out of it. I would make one suggestion: don't use it anywhere where northern live. When I took it to Canada, northern tried to attack it more than once. Luckily, I was quicker than the fish. 2 last things....I don't know if the descriptions mention this, but it has to be moving to be effective. You cast it out, and retrieve it slowly until it's back. If you stop retrieving, it gives inaccurate readings. Also, the battery in the screen is replaceable, but the one inside the transponder (green bobber) is not. When it dies (mine never did), you can order a replacement through Humminbird for a lot less than the kit cost in the beginning. Otherwise, it's a pretty cool toy! Especially if you regularly fish in unfamiliar areas.
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Old 02-08-2006, 02:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My Buddy and I call it "stupid cast" because it never gives a good solid reading especially when its windy, a little wavy or if you lower your arm (watch style) I spend more time waiting for it to get a signal than anything.
worth about 20 bucks not 60 or whatever they are charging for it
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Old 02-08-2006, 02:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I really appreciate the prompt replies. I can see there are some varying opinions out there. I didn't know that readings may seem inaccurate when not in motion. That makes it a bit challenging. I also felt there may be a hitch on the battery replacement on the smartcast itself. The package said it was good up to 400 hours.....
Gotfish? I appreciate the details on the usage you got from it. I am impressed at the details on the fish readings. I know just cuz it says there are fish there it doesn't mean the feedbag is officially strapped on. Been there too many times where i knew the fish were there but not a bite to back it up. I too was intrigued moreso by the model that attaches to the pole more so then the wrist model. There is a 40 dollar differerence between the two. In addition, can't reel and look at your wrist at the same time if motion is a requirement for dependable readings.
I think like Ed_r said, fundamentally it is a desire to find out depths in my local pond outings...find the holes, structure and so on. Since I don't have a boat the underwater camera is out of the question and I know that can have less then desirable results unless the water is clear and the fish aren't spooked.
I think it would be cool to use out at Shabbona along the dam area there. The drop off is quite dramatic at the shore that it is hard to tell what is going on out a bit.. In addition, maybe Mazonia while rafting around in North Unit. Plus a couple of ponds/lakes of choice.
Thank you all for the feedback and look forward to anyone else's input. I'm thinking that it may not be a go to tool for every outing but more of a toy to add to my fishing knowledge of local area waters...yeah it may not be the cheapest thing but there's always ebay..
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Old 02-08-2006, 03:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I stole my brothers and use it once in a while. I second the suggestion of keeping it moving, it worked better then. I also used it for ice fishing before I got a VEX and it did give me depth readings. I never really relied on it for finding fish, but it does show fish on the monitor, different sizes too, so I imagine it works. Not a bad little device all in all.

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Old 02-08-2006, 05:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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great early in season. you get cloudy and algae water and not too good plus 90 deg angle not like say 9 degree on a vex. you can find holes in braidwood close to shore. and secret stumps in your buddy's lake too.



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Old 02-08-2006, 05:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Gotfish: "sudden deceleration trauma"



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