Live test: Fish­spy marker float

This teth­ered eye in the wa­ter will give you a crys­tal clear pic­ture of the lakebed you’re fish­ing on and live-stream it back to your mo­bile de­vice

Improve Your Coarse Fishing (UK) - - Contents -


FIF­TEEN years ago, you knew where you were with photos and videos. Cam­eras were cam­eras, de­vices in their own right. Now, ev­ery­thing has been turned into a Cy­clops. A sin­gle dig­i­tal eye sticks out of your phone, your lap­top, your cy­cling hel­met and your car’s rear bumper. And with sub­mersible cam­eras such as the GoPro be­com­ing mas­sively pop­u­lar with in­quis­i­tive an­glers, it was only a mat­ter of time be­fore some­one stuck a lens in a marker float. The idea might seem fairly sim­ple in this sur­veil­lance age, but the Fish­Spy is an in­cred­i­bly so­phis­ti­cated piece of kit that took the team at TFG years to per­fect. Set against the fact that wa­ter and elec­tron­ics will never be best mates, the de­sign­ers had to fac­tor in the chal­lenges of bat­tery life, range, con­nec­tiv­ity and the prac­ti­cal con­cerns of fit­ting a cam­era into a buoy­ant marker float. If you be­lieve this type of equip­ment is cheat­ing – and that’s fair enough – then at least ap­pre­ci­ate it for its en­gi­neer­ing. And it re­ally is well made. Straight out of the box, the Fish­Spy feels sturdy and durable. So how does it fare in use? As you would ex­pect, it is heav­ier than a nor­mal marker float, so a beefy rod and heavy-duty shock­leader is def­i­nitely rec­om­mended. The Fish­Spy will trans­mit to an Ap­ple de­vice up to 60m (100m with an ex­tra ex­ten­der), or an An­droid de­vice at 100m, and is cer­tainly ca­pa­ble of be­ing given a big cast with­out (too much) fear of los­ing the most ex­pen­sive float you’ve ever bought! The float will stream live footage to your phone or tablet pro­vid­ing it is on the sur­face at the time. Once you wind down the line to get a closer view of the lakebed you need to press record and then watch the video back when the float has resur­faced. Once you have es­tab­lished a con­nec­tion (the float gives off a Wi-Fi sig­nal that you hook up to) we found you could watch the live footage un­in­ter­rupted very well. How­ever, reestab­lish­ing the con­nec­tion af­ter the float has gone be­neath the sur­face and back again was a lit­tle more hit and miss. Cold wa­ter does noth­ing for the bat­tery life ei­ther, so re­mem­ber that sum­mer per­for­mance will be bet­ter than in win­ter. That said, we wit­nessed things we could never see with­out div­ing into the lake. Even in 10ft of wa­ter, the im­age clar­ity is ex­cel­lent and the sight of sweet­corn flut­ter­ing to the bot­tom through the shafts of sun­light was sur­pris­ingly artis­tic. Putting the Fish­Spy on spots you thought you knew well will re­ally open your eyes – the footage will both ex­cite and rock your faith in your ‘mind map’ of your favourite swim.­

The cam­era pro­vides an im­pres­sive de­gree of clar­ity, even in 10ft of wa­ter The de­vice records be­low wa­ter images for play­back later

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