Fishing gadgets catch more fisherman than fish. That’s why we need such large tackle boxes. I can’t resist them, but of course many don’t work. So I was pleased to discover that the new iBobber delivers on its promise.
The iBobber is a fish finder you cast. Weighing less than two ounces and encased in a two-inch fishing bobber, it syncs with your smart phone via Bluetooth Smart. It turns on automatically when it hits the water, locates fish, sets off a fish alarm, displays a fish symbol (two sizes) and indicates depth. It’s good down to 135 feet, and in “Water Bed” mode paints a picture of up to 100 feet of bottom.
At a price of $99.99, that would have been enough to hook me, especially when the iBobber is small enough to put in your pocket. But there’s more . . .
It also provides surface water temperature and weather information – temperature, rain, wind and barometer. The iBobber allows GPS tagging of hot spots, provides lunar calendar information, and includes a trip calendar that can record date, time, location, title, conditions, type of lure, number fish caught, species and a map. You can share the trip information by email, text or twitter. It also features an LED beacon with a remote on/off switch.
Obviously you don’t have to use all those features, and the basic operations are very simple. I’ve heard that a few people have struggled with initially setting up the Bluetooth connection. Not so in my case. When I hit the lake it fired right up, and there wasn’t much more to it than casting out and reading the simple display (which has an anti-glare feature). Almost immediately I started picking up fish. After a while I brought it into shallower water where I could actually see some fish, just to double check. It works.
The iBobber will rock for small boats, canoes or kayaks. You don’t even need to cast it, just tie it to the side.
I believe bank fishermen will really benefit from this innovation.
For example, the planted trout in Western states stick together in schools, and don’t move much. How often have you seen one guy reel in trout after trout, while somebody 20 yards away goes empty? The usual advice is to fish for 20 minutes, and if nothing bites move to a new spot. With the iBobber you can walk along the shore, casting as you go, until you spot a fish concentration.
I don’t usually fish with a bobber, so I rig a separate pole with just the iBobber to cast (make sure you don’t run afoul of your state’s fishing regulations).
How much more fun is it to know the fish are actually out there? Am I the only one who ever wonders if there’s a fish within miles of my bait? If you know they’re out there — just not biting –then you’re encouraged to keep trying, and prompted to change your bait or technique.
While the iBobber is certainly not a toy, I did find that my grandson liked it. Small children don’t have a lot of patience, and the “action” provided by the iBobber can keep their attention. I think my grandson enjoyed finding the fish about as much as he liked actually catching them!
There are a few technical details to add. The range on the Bluetooth connection is 100 yards (longer than I cast). Battery life is eight hours due to the low energy Bluetooth Smart consumes. It comes with a small recharger that plugs into a USB port. The unit powers on when it gets wet, and turns off when out of the water. The iBobber works with iPhones and Android, but not the Windows phone or Blackberry.
In summary, the iBobber is a neat gadget. It’s easy to use, incredibly portable, and will increase your fishing fun. It works, and it won’t break the bank.
Where do you get one? Right now it is available for purchase at these physical retailers and online at Amazon.com, Walmart, Costco (Canada) and others.