With more and more players entering the waterproof drone fishing market it can be hard to navigate between them and determine what drone will suit your needs. Every drone is different in many ways and each drone has its own set of features and benefits. We will endeavour to assist you to find the right drone to suit your needs and requirements, and hopefully help you to avoid expensive mistakes.
The first question you need to ask yourself is, are you after a dedicated waterproof drone for fishing or are you after a multi-use drone that can also provide camera and video functions? This is a particularly important question as most dedicated fishing drones have reef spotting cameras between 720P and 1080P, and some are fixed without a gimbal, so the ability to take 2K or 4K images will be exceedingly difficult.
The second most important question is regarding the manufacturer – What is the manufacturer’s track record? – How long have they been manufacturing drones? What service and technical knowledge networks are accessible and are parts readily available?
When considering the purchase of a dedicated waterproof fishing drone please consider the following in addition to the important considerations listed above.
10 Most important questions and features to consider
- Is the drone highly stable and reliable?
A recent survey conducted showed that flight stability and reliability was the most important thing a consumer wanted in a fishing drone, such as Multiple safety functions, Strength of transmission signal and GPS signal strength. The stronger the GPS signal and satellite acquisition will reduce loss of GPS connection and signal. (It is important to note here that all drones have two main flying modes being GPS and Altitude mode) – ‘Fly Away’s’ due to loss of GPS signal is not a failure of the drone, but in most cases a failure of the user to understand the two flying modes and when to use them.
Every drone owner should upskill themselves in Altitude mode so in the event of a GPS signal failure, they can safely and manually fly the drone to safety.
- Does the drone have multiple safety functions? Safety functions that are most important in a fishing drone include the following:
- Verbal warnings such as Altitude, battery level, magnetic interference, GPS status and so forth.
- Return to Land ‘RTL’ due to loss of signal
- Return to Land ‘RTL’ due to low battery
- Return to Land ‘RTL’ due to loss of thrust
- Does the drone have Self-Protect functions? In addition to RTL, does the drone deploy the bait when these safety functions are activated?
- Flight stability – Can the drone handle winds up to 40kph, and wind gusts up to 50kph?
- Does the drone have the latest flight controller technology? Does the flight controller have the capacity and speed to quickly process data when it is dealing with high winds and payloads that exceed 1Kg?
- Does the drone have a high flotation and waterproof rating?
- Can the drone land on all types of surfaces including sand, rocks and unlevel ground?
- Does the drone have a GPS system that enables concurrent satellite acquisition of up to 3 GNSS satellite systems? The stronger the GPS system the less risk of GPS glitches.
- Can you set waypoints and save favourite GPS fishing spots?
- Can you create missions to automatically launch the drone with the bait rig – fly to GPS position – drop the rig and bait – return to land and shut down the motors with the push of a button?
- Does the drone have a Worldwide community forum?
Ultimately the final question you need to ask yourself is – Are you prepared to risk $2000 -$3000 on a drone that does not have these most important specifications and Safety features?
Multi-Use Waterproof Drones
The Swellpro Splashdrone 3+ is not included in the comparison below as we regard the Splashdrone 3+ as a waterproof camera platform that enables drone fishing. Swellpro has been successfully manufacturing drones for more than 4 years now and their products have steadily improved over time. Splashdrone 3+ is the clear winner when it comes to a ‘Waterproof Multi-Use Platform’ drone that provides the user with a drone they can use for 50% fishing and 50% for camera/video usage. As Splashdrone 3+ is not a dedicated fishing drone, it does not have the features that a high-end fishing drone has, but it does have multi use features that a dedicated fishing does not have.
Dedicated Waterproof Drones for Fishing
The only dedicated fishing drone that has all these specifications and features listed above is the new Cuta Copter EX-1. Cuta Copter has been manufacturing fishing drones in South Africa for over 5 years and is the pioneer in this field. Extensive research and development over the years has produced the most advanced fishing drone on the planet – the EX-1.
The comparison below is based on the two waterproof fishing drones currently available that are priced above AUD $2000 being the Cuta Copter and Gannet drone.
Comparison between Cuta Copter EX-1 4S and 6S and Gannet Pro and Pro Plus
(Specifications and features listed in this comparison are current as at 22nd Nov 2020)