"Smart" lure is made to track which fishing tactics work best
It can be difficult for anglers, keeping track of which fishing strategies work best for catching which species under what conditions. Japanese company smartLure is attempting to make the task easier, with its sensor-packin' Model Zero lure.
Users start by powering the Model Zero up, then casting it just as they would any other lure. As soon as it goes below the surface, a built-in water detection sensor turns on the lure's other integrated sensors.
The Model Zero then proceeds to monitor factors such as the depths it reaches, its movement patterns throughout the water column, the water temperature, and underwater sunlight levels. It stops doing so upon being reeled out of the water.
Whenever the user gets a bite or catches a fish, they hold the lure beside their smartphone so that the recorded data can be wirelessly transferred via Bluetooth to a dedicated iOS/Android app. That app also records phone data such as the present date, location and weather conditions. Additionally, users can add photos of the fish that they catch.
The idea is that over time, users will build up a database of the fishing tactics, conditions and locations that are best for catching specific species. What's more, data is drawn from multiple Model Zero users in specific regions and around the world, so that they can all draw from each others' experience.
The Model Zero should reportedly run for five hours per one-hour charge of its lithium-ion battery. It's watertight to a depth of 164 ft (50 m), although it only measures water depth to a maximum of 33 ft (10 m). The lure is also presently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, with pledges starting at ¥14,980 (about US$139) for a single unit. Assuming it reaches production, shipping is estimated to take place in February.
While this is an interesting concept, it should of course be noted that anglers regularly lose lures when larger fish snap the line, or when the lures get snagged on underwater objects. Additionally, because the technology is specific to the Model Zero lure, users can't gather data on the performance of lures made by other manufacturers.
Potential backers might also be interested in Cyberfishing's Smart Rod Sensor. Although it can't track what the lure itself is doing, it does automatically record data such as date, location and weather conditions, along with the number of casts made per fishing session.
The Model Zero lure is demonstrated in the following video.