Most people probably come to know the idea of drone fishing by watching this video on Youtube in April this year.
In the video, Jaden and his friends used DJI Phantom 3 to deliver a line from the beach and drop bait remotely in the sea. After a while, they caught a 20kg longtail tuna. Since then, drone fishing went wild around the world for high efficiency, extended range and low cost. But are they the first one who came up with drone fishing? Not really!
Back to history, Digital Fishing in New Zealand had already started to use Splash drone as a fishing tool in August 2015 when drones were then still new to the masses. Chech out their beautiful footage of fishing in NZ West Coast.
So how does drone fishing actually work? Here are the most common methods:
1.Tie a release clip to the landing gears and attach your fishing line to the clip.
2.Fly the drone with the line out to sea and find fish on the surface with camera video.
3.Tension the line and drop the bait by locking the reels, or just let fish grab the lure to take off the line.
4.Fly back your drone and reel the fish to shore with a fishing rod.
Drone Fishing HQ has a full step-by-step guide to catch fish with a drone. However, this is not the main proposal of this article. As a well-known fact, most camera drones are not built for fishing. It appears that most fishermen choose DJI phantom as bait carrier, However the drone sometimes may go wrong like the video below:
There are some problems that might occur when you use a normal consumer drone for fishing:
1.Heavy fish pulls the drone into the water if the release rig is not well set up, or just loose the line too early.
2.The radio communication is lost, drone crashes into the water.
3.The battery is drained, drone lands on water automatically.
4.New pilots try to land their drone on a small boat but fail.
5.Strong wind on the sea makes your drone lose balance.
Once your drone goes into the water, he is definitely dead, well, except Splash drone.
Splash drone is fully waterproof that can take off and land on water. The fisherman version comes with an electric payload release device which is crafted for line delivery. Bait can be released by radio controller whenever and wherever you want. In addition, a waterproof camera is fixed on the device, makes fish nowhere to hide even underwater.
One of Splash drone’s pilot in Taiwan presents a fully safe guide of drone fishing:
Another advantage of Splash drone is that it can float on the surface and drag fish out without the effort of pulling fishing rod. Just full throttle up and let the drone bring you the dinner. See how William Barbarick uses Splash drone to crazily lift up fish from the lake without giving it a chance to fight.
However, this cannot be successful at all times as the max payload of Splash drone is 1kg. Sometimes, the power of fish swimming in water can be more than its weight. Whatever, Splash drone is always safe on the water. If you want to catch a monster like a longtail tuna, you still need a conventional fishing rod at the end.
If you have better suggestions of drone fishing, welcome to leave your comments!
Before Gopro Karma was finally revealed this September, I had seen people probably 8 out of 10 searching for a compatible drone to take their heroes to the air. Actually lots of drones can do that but Karma seems to be better optimized for sports. Folding into a backpack, ready-to-fly remote controller, gimbal available on handheld grip, all looks well-thought-of but one thing seems to be left out on Karma.
There is a large group of people out there who like to use Gopro for action filming of water adventures like jet-skiing and wakeboarding. A bunch of waterproof cases can be found that seals up Gopro camera in water. After Karma comes out, I often see the folks ask “is Karma waterproof?”, well the answer is obviously No. If you use Karma to take shots above water, there is a good chance that you will end it up in the drink due to communication loss or pilots’ misuses. Long before, lots of water crash tragedies happened to DJI owners on Youtube.
In fact, there are several waterproof drones on the market but I would say Splash drone may be the best match for Gopro camera. Splash is the earliest waterproof quadcopter created by Swellpro in 2014 when it was still named Mariner. At that moment, Splash drone has a fixed clip to attach Gopro case. After Kickstarter crowdfunding in 2015, Splash drone came with a 2-axis waterproof gimbal that perfectly fit Gorpo Hero 3, 3+ and 4. The gimbal is completely water tight just like its waterproof airframe and able to tilt camera in water. Footage is smooth both in the air and underwater by Splash drone. Here we found a testing footage of Splash drone carrying Gorpo Hero 3 from on youtube.
Another missing feature which disappoints Gopro users is that Karma doesn’t have autonomous follow-me. How come? If you want follow shots of ongoing motorboat or a yacht, Karma become useless once again. With built-in GPS and ground station, Splash drone is able to follow a target just with a tap on the APP or autopilot through several preset waypoints. Actually, follow-me now becomes a basic function that most high-end drones have espcecially in terms of sport uses. Personally I would recommend DJI Mavic Pro rather than Karma when fly on land.
Another fact that you need to know is that few waterproof drones can carry Gopro camera. Most drones are small toy aircrafts that can resist small splash, and most importantly no gimbal attached, whereas, Splash drone has regards to Gopro since it is created.
Before I had run some extreme tests of Mariner drone pro and it turned out to work pretty well both in the air and water. In early 2016, Swellpro released a brand new version called Splash auto. I just got one for test review and found out what was new about the splash.
The auto version is equipped with a new fly controller and dual telemetry for enhanced flight stability. The whole kits are stored in a larger aluminium case. The landing gears and gimbal are pre-installed. The new controller looks quite handy, compact and is added a low voltage vibration alarm so pilots will know when to fly back. The drone is ready to fly right out of the box and all you need is to calibrate the compass.
This review was mainly focus on the flight test. I didn’t test the waterproof quality for now because splash had done perfectly on that since 2 years ago.
We went to the beach where it was quite windy then. After took off, I let splash hover there. It was pretty stable with GPS against the wind. Then I flied it a little bit further and higher and tried the return-home function. Splash automatically flied back at certain height and landed smoothly where it took off.
Later, I took off splash once again, made it hover while waited for the batter to run out. The screen on the controller instantly told me the height and distance of the drone. After around 15 minutes, the remote controller started to vibrate telling me the battery was low voltage. I immediately made it land instead of letting it crash.
Through the tests, we can see great improvements on the fly controller and GPS result in better flight stability and radio connection. In the near future, I may do some sailing videos to demonstrate if it still can survive in the water like before.
Almost all drones need calibration and re-calibration now and then. Why? Flying over magnetic field, a hard landing or even crash will decrease the accuracy of sensors, which may lead to malfunction of drone.
It’s a must to calibrate the compass of splash drone in below cases:
Fly for the first time.
Take off 100km away from the location of last compass calibration.
Drone falls off/crashes by accident.
Drone keeps swaying/drifting during flight.
Heavy shake occurs during transportation.
RED indicator keeps on and motors cannot be armed.
Steps of Compass Calibration
1. Turn on Radio controller and then power on drone. Wait till the drone complete self-checking, then flip SWB gear to SWB2 (RTH) position.
2. Pull left stick to the bottom-left 45°, push right stick to the top-left 45° as below photo:
3. Wait 2 secs till the LED indicator turns solid red. Now Splash drone is ready for compass calibration.
4. Horizontally pick up drone to do full counter-clockwise rotation in 6 axis respectively and make sure all the rotation should be based on the same vertical axis. After completing above process, put drone on the flat ground, leave it and wait for a few secs to finish compass data collection. When the solid red LED indicator blinks slowly, the compass calibration is completed.
5. Flip SWB2 back to SWB1 after calibration. Power off the drone, reconnect the battery and wait till the self-checking finishes after a long beep emitted from the motors. Then try to arm the motors by pulling the left stick to the bottom-right and the right stick to the bottom-left. The motors can spin if the compass is correctly calibrated.
NOTE: GPS signal is required to arm motors under GPS mode. It is recommended to start the motors in ATTI mode for the first time. Repeat the above steps if the motors fail to be armed.
It’s a must to calibrate compass of splash drone in the fly area instead of indoor. Any magnetic interference should be avoided. Please do make sure to keep far away from high-voltage transmission power lines, emitting base stations, metal object.
Below is a video tutorial of compass calibration by Swellpro’s US exclusive reseller Urbandrones.