It’s the first warm day of spring. You know the one. The day when winter finally begins to subside, when the tiniest of green bulbs start to pop up on bare tree branches around the country. And if you fish, you know exactly what you want to do on that day—get to the water.
But not every angler has a boat ready on those unexpectedly warm days. In fact, not every angler has a boat, period. But many have kayaks, many have canoes, and many need only a trusty rod and reel to escape to a pond, lake or river with their name on it. So what do you get someone like that for the holidays? Something they can take with them into the sun. Something they can fit inside a coat pocket or tackle box.
No, not a lure … an iBobber.
A portable, cast-able sonar unit that works with their smartphone (or smart watch) to find fish fast.
How does it work?
Imagine the iBobber as a classic fishing bobber on steroids. It’s about the size of a golf ball, tips the scales at about 1.7 ounces and lets anglers know when they have a strike. It is, at its heart, a bobber. But iBobber takes the traditional fishing tool to the next level by incorporating sonar that connects to smartphones or smart watches. There on your display, the iBobber software shows water depth (from 3 to 135 feet), the location of fish, and it can even create a map of the bottom.
“The idea for the iBobber is to use it as a scouting agent,” says ReelSonar representative Alex Lebedev. “It will tell you if you’re in the right spot or if you need to change locations.”
Lebedev says this new piece of tackle tech lasts at least 10 hours on a single charge, and with a retail price of $89.99-99.99, it won’t break your budget. It’s perfect for bank fishermen or anglers casting from a canoe or kayak.
“It’s the only product on the market that’s using Bluetooth 4.0,” explains Lebedev. “It’s the latest communication protocol, which is an upgrade from what you see with headsets and wireless speakers. The reason we decided to use the latest and greatest next generation of Bluetooth is because it does a really good job of keeping devices in synch. They use it for heartbeat monitors, and it has low energy consumption.”
What does it connect to?
iBobber coordinates with both Apple and Android devices, and while it isn’t the only casting sonar on the market, it is the lightest and smallest of its class by a wide margin. It also features a seamless, minimalist app that Lebedev says was designed to help anglers keep their eyes off of the phone and on the water, focused on fishing.
“We decided to go very simple (with our app), to take away guessing,” says Lebedev. “Our app is very user-friendly; it’s clean. It can display the weather forecast, moon phase and waterbed mapping if you want, but those icons are hidden until you need them.” Lebedev mentions water bed maps, which he says users can create by casting the iBobber and reeling it back in. On the return, the device will map out the water bed between its landing spot and the angler.
“I can only cast about 70 or 80 feet. I know other people might be able to do more,” he says. “With other wireless, heavier fish finders, it’s hard to cast more than 30 feet, but being 1.7 ounces makes iBobber much easier to cast without breaking the line.”
The iBobber makes a perfect gift match with ReelSonar’s digital scale—retailing at $19.99. Retailers can contact ReelSonar directly at 844-iBobber or [email protected]. Consumers can search for the iBobber online or at one of 40 tackle stores across the country that carry the device.
In addition to portable sonar, iBobber comes with several other cool features like a green LED light to use as a beacon for night fishing, a Strike Alert system that notifies the angler on their phone when a fish bites, and auto-reconnect that makes sure your devices stay synched even if the bobber dips under the water.