The Australian market has seen some exciting new introductions lately, and leading the charge is the second generation of Deeper Fishfinders. The latest version, the Deeper Pro+, took out the John Dunphy Inovation award at the AFTA Trade show on the Gold Coast this year, and when you look at the specs, it’s no wonder why.
For those who don’t already know, the Deeper is a sonar encapsulated in a floating ball that tethers to your smart phone to give you sonar functionality. The main difference between the Pro+ and the original is that the Pro+ connects via WiFi rather than by Bluetooth. What this means is that you get more range. For the Pro+, that’s up to 100m of horizontal range, and looking underwater it will give you 80m of depth-finding capability. In most waterways, that will be plenty.
The other exciting new feature is a faster ping rate on the new units. The old Deeper pinged at eight times per second, whereas the Pro+ pings at 15 times per second.
The really cool thing though, is that they can actually map the area that you’re fishing. There’s a GPS enabled Deeper, and a non-GPS enabled one. The non-GPS enabled version will tether to your smartphone’s GPS, but the GPS enabled one will be useful to anyone bank fishing. You can actually cast this out into your chosen waterway, and it will map the area as you wind it back!
So, with all this in mind, we decided we’d pick one up and see if they work or not!
We’d previously tested out the first generation Deeper the year before.On that day, we were tagging a bass in the unpressured and usually out of bounds lower Lake Samsonvale in South East Queensland.
While it wasn’t challenging to both find and catch those bass, we were able to prove just how easy they are to use! If a couple of technologically challenged bumpkins could get the device set up, find some bass school and convert those fish arches into landed fish, you’d probably be strapped finding someone who couldn’t! On that day, we even switched off the regular sounder and relied solely on the Deeper’s fishfinding capabilities!
For our field testing day of the Deeper Pro+ at Hinze Dam in South East Queensland, we were blessed with beautiful weather. Once we’d launched, we spent a few minutes setting it up.
We were all keen to crack back into some chunky Hinze bass, but there was just a few bits of admin we needed to sort before we got to that.
To set up your Deeper Pro+, firstly, we had to download the Deeper app from the app store. Secondly, we had to register the app (when you’re doing this, make sure you’re in an area where you have Internet access). Lastly, we had to pair the WiFi on Editor Steve’s phone to the WiFi on the Deeper.
Once we’d completed these tasks, which only took about 10 minutes, we switched the Deeper over to ‘Boat Mode’, and immediately, we saw fish showing on Steve’s iPhone! We were situated – now it was time to get stuck into some bass!
Steve decided that these fish would probably be receptive to an ice jig, so with his smartphone mounted to the rod blank with the very simple rod mount the Deeper Pro+ comes with, it was possible to fish the jig and watch the fish on his phone! We decided to trail the unit off the back, and we tied it to the end of a heavy swimbait rod. It’s pretty handy to not have to keep glancing down at a sounder, since it’s already mounted on your rod blank!
In about 20 seconds, Steve was on. Immediately after the capture, the bass started schooling in big numbers under the boat as they so often do, and we enjoyed a great deep bite on Hinze Dam! Even Matt the cameraman got stuck in.
What was really cool was that while we fished, the Deeper Pro+ was busy mapping the area. With this map, it painted a picture as to where the fish were actually sitting. We found that the bass were sitting on an edge between 15-20ft, and this really helped with cracking a pattern.
We were fishing out of a small fibre gtlass electic boat, but anyone using kayaks, float tubes, stand-up paddle boards, even fully kitted out bass boats, will find a lot of use for the Deeper Pro+.
Even if you don’t have a lot of use for them, they are pretty damn interesting to play with, and can spill the beans about a spot you think you’ve known well for years!
After all the fun on Hinze Dam, it was time to test out some of the bank fishing capabilities of the new Deeper unit.
We caught up with Tim Morgan from Rapala VMC Australia, who are the distributor of Deeper in Australia, and he took us through just what it could do. Our venue for the day was a pond to the south of Brisbane, and our plan was to map it from the shore. Mapping only works from the bank if you are using the Pro+.
To get set up for mapping from the bank, you need to go into ‘Settings’. From here, you need to select ‘Sonar Mode’, and then ‘Onshore GPS Mode’. It will split the screen to give you a view below the water on the right side, and a map on the left.
The Deeper Pro+, being water-activated, will only start mapping when it’s in the water, meaning it will save battery and is incredibly efficient.
There are three attachment points on the new unit. The top one is for when you’re just dangling it from a boat, the middle one is for when you’re bank fishing from a high platform, and the lowest one is for casting, which is what we were using on this day.
Our aim was to produce a full bathymetric map of the lake, and we did so in just under a hour. Once you have made a map, you can save it if you want, and then overlay it to really study it if you so desire.
Here’s a few tips if you plan to map waterways from the bank.
We found that you need a fairly heft rod if you want to huck this thing out a fair way. On testing day, Steve was using his long heavy swimbait rod, and Tim was using a medium spin rod. Tim found he had to lob the Deeper, and achieved around half the distance Steve was getting. Something worthy of throwing cod or big barramundi lures is an outift to consider if you want to map largr waterways regularly with your Deeper.
You should remember that the Deeper Pro+ won’t map anything shallower than 3ft. This isn’t usually a problem, because this water is most often ignored for fishing, and in clear water you can probably see the bottom anyway. Another thing we found is that it tends to hold a better connection if your smartphone is on your person or mounted on the rod.
Lastly, it’s worth waiting a few seconds after the Deeper lands in the water for it to connect. This only takes about five seconds at the most.
If you’re a bank-based angler who wants to see what’s really under the water where you’re fishing, or you have a vessel and don’t want to spend money on multiple units, the Deeper Pro+ is a great option for you.
If you want more info about the Deeper range, you can visit www.buydeeper.com and it will tell you everything you need to know, including where you can buy one!
This latest bound in technology is such an exciting one for anglers wanting that extra edge, and we hope you can have just as much fun with your Deeper as we did with ours... well, Steve’s – he nicked off with this one!Reads: 509