Portable Depth Finder by Humminbird
Review by Richard Frye

I've always liked trying out new things, so after a couple of years of borrowing fish finders from friends, relatives, neighbors, etc. I finally got my very own. You are probably asking why I chose this one! Well.....a lot of thought and research over the last two years went into purchasing this unique portable sonar device.

One thing that caught my eye was the fact that it uses AA batteries.......and I'm a AA battery freak! Hell, just about everything I have runs on AA batteries....interior lights for my Teardrop, digital camera, flashlights, miners type headlight, VHS marine radio, Meridian Marine mapping GPS, Grundig Weather radio and I even got a pocket calculater that has a AA battery! Didn't know that till I got home, and didn't give but a dollar for it at Walmart! Whoever designed that little calculator had their shit together! Most of the time the tiny battery cost 3 times as much as the calculator. I like AA's because they are readily available almost anywhere! I wish I ran on AAs instead of 7 heart pills a day! The first portable fish finder I used was charged with 2 big ass 6 volt lantern batteries know the kind with the springy things on top?....and they are not cheap no matter where you get'em plus they are big and bulky! And some ran on D batteries, either 4 or 8.

Where was I at?........... Oh yeah.....another one of the many features is that this unit is wireless! The little green sensor unit attaches to the line on the fishing rod you are using, and I prefer to have it on a separate rod. Two little diodes on the bottom of the sensor that can be used as a bobber or with a slip line activates when it hits the water. When you retrieve it from the water and the diodes lose water contact naturally it shuts off. This sensor has a 400 hour built in battery life then has to be replaced. Folks I've talked with kinda turned their noses up when I said that, but then I 'splained to them.......400 hours is a lot of damn time to be fishing! And if they fished 24 hours a day for 7 days straight ........hell that ain't but 168 hours! So I told them they could fish roughly 2-1/2 weeks straight without stopping if 'n they could stay awake that long! Some people can be so damn dumb! They agreed and changed their attitudes!

There are two different senor units...(little green thingies) that you cast out. One is Channel A and the other is Channel B which means that two people can actually use the base unit at the same time. It comes with Channel A. I was a little relucant at first cause I ain't the best person in the world when it comes to electronic gadgets that have buttons. I've tried to answer a phone call with the TV remote and vise versa......, etc. You know trying to change the channel with the cordless phone! Done that a lot!...and it can be very easy to do when you have a remote for the VCR, another one for the DVD player, another damn remote for the CD player......and then you got one for the DISH or Direct TV or cable! So there on the coffee table you got a half a dozen damn remote control units and have to know which brand to pick up to make whatever it is work that you want to do something with! There are some folks that got these new fangles remote gadgets that fit on a key chain to lock their car, turn on the lights, switch the burglar alarm off and on and can even start the thing while you still in the house! If I had a tiny remote like that and pushed one of those buttons my car would probably blow up! The whole frigging world runs on remote control units! Damn! That gave me a headache! I think yall know what I'm talking about anyway! Kaye once told me that if I had to save the world by pushing a button she'd just kiss her ass goodbye!'s only got three button and I already got one figured out!

Oh yeah!.........This Smartcast Fish Finder is the greatest thing since Britney Spears!......hmmm.....must be in one of my dirty old man moods!

This unit has a large easy to ready screen and you don't need a degree from MIT to understand the images. They are clear and right to the point. Other features include a back light for night fishing, sensitivity adjustment, audible fish alarm that will actually show you 3 different sizes on the screen so you know baitfish from something for catching, and gives you the depth of each fish. Depth readings are to the nearest foot and is accurate till you get in 3 feet of water but then you don't need one cause you can see the fish then! The screen also shows the bottom contour in black and in a short time you will be able to distinquish objects, or structures. Now.....THEY has a range of 100 feet and a depth range of 100 feet. Well I know for a fact that I got accurate readings at over 150 feet, and caught those fish too! The cone will read a diameter of half the depth, so if you are fishing in 20 feet of water the cone diameter is a 10 foot circle. Another thing is that you can just float the sensor beside, in front or behind the boat to scan what's under the boat...or simply cast it out to check the perimeter all around you.

These things start at around 163.99 and some places might be a few bucks more. Walmart, Gander Mountain and Cabellas has 'em or you might try ebay. I got mine at our new Gander Mountain store. This thing is perfect for fishing from the bank, bridge, a dock or canoe and kayak..and that's what I got mine for. Plus you can simply cast it into areas you want to check out without wasting a lot of time. It works great and I've had it out on the water 4 times with positive results every single time. In other words......I really like this thing!

Other units I've used have a long cable with a float or have to be dropped over the side of the boat or put on the boats hull with a suction cup that won't stay put half the time. Smartcast with its wireless features solves a lot of problems. You just reel it in, hold the button for a couple of seconds till it shuts down and paddle on to some other place.

More expensive units will even give water temperature readings, but for the money this is a wonderful gadget that you can have a lot of fun with and lots of rewards too, like actually finding those fish!

I discovered that kids are amazed with it also! They are really into gadgets....especially the younger anglers! Several kids that were around thought is was awsome and really kewl!

It's too cold to go paddling here is a pic of my new sonar device on guessed it .....the infamous Stealth! I rate this unit very high as I have had a lot of fun and excellent results on my other boats as well.

I almost forgot to mention that for those of you that have real good eyes....Smartcast also has a version of the same unit that can be worn like a wristwatch and is about 40 bucks cheaper. The screen is small, and my old eyes ain't dat good anymore. I don't even like digital watches cause I can't read the numbers to tell what time it is without putting on my damn reading glasses.......that I lose all the time. Mickey's hands always keep me from being late! I prefer the larger screen that even reads good with sunlight blaring down over your shoulder! No shade visor needed with this baby! I always use my polarized Bill Dance Strike King sunglasses. You catch more fish with'em...Bill claims.....and I ain't gonna argue with my favorite pro fisherman. I got 2 pair!

I'm having a tough time trying to find a suitable protective case for it and keep it in a large water resistant belt bag for now. Well.....this is just my opinion......but Humminbird did real good with this one! Even ole Bill would have fun with this thing.....and it's nice to claim I now have sonar on the Stealth! I confiscated one picture off ebay and the other is one I took...had to bring the Stealth in out of the snow!

For more info contact Humminbird on the web or just check out ebay under portable fish finder. Been trying to figure out how to put micro torpedo tubes on the Stealth! That's the green sensor thingy by the rifle butt...Them damn geese are back you know! I'm ready!