The Best Drones For Fishing – 2017

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best drones for fishing

Best Drones For Fishing

After recently watching a video of some guys in Australia using a Phantom 4 Pro to catch long tail tuna (see below), it got me wondering, what are the best drones for fishing?

In this article we’re going to walk you through the basics of drone fishing, as well as discussing some of the best drones that you can use to help increase your catch.

If you want to get involved in the the drone fishing community, check out this forum.

What Is Drone Fishing?

If you’re a keen fishing enthusiast looking for a way to improve your catch, then a drone could be the perfect solution for you.

Not only can you use the drone to scout the surrounding area for schools of fish, you can actually use the drone to cast out your line far into the water.

This could be extremely handy if you’re on the shoreline and need to cast your line out to deeper waters.

Gone are the days of kayaking out into the ocean, sit back on the beach, treat yourself to a beer and send the drone out for you (Unless you like kayaking of course).

With more and more fisherman turning to drones to help their catch rate, we’ve decided to compile a list of the 7 best drones for fishing.

best drones for fishing
Joiden Mclean

How Does Drone Fishing Work? 

There are a couple of ways that you can use a drone to catch fish.

One way is by attaching a hook, bait and fishing line to your drone and sending it out over the patch of water you would like to fish. The downside to this is that if you catch a big fish, it can drag your drone down into the water. Not good!

The second, more efficient way – although slightly more technical is to use an accessory called a downrigger release clip.

By using this clip, your drone is simply used to cast out your line and once you have a bite, the pressure from the fish will cause the downrigger clip to release the line. You can then bring back your drone or leave it out there to film your catch.

best drones for fishing

*Top tip: Keep the drone 10m above the water level as the vibrations from the drones’ propellers can startle the fish.

What Makes A Drone Good For Fishing?

There are two main factors to consider when purchasing a drone for fishing.

Firstly, is the battery life. We all know how long it can take to even get a nibble, sometimes fish just don’t want to bite.

Therefore a drone with a long battery life is a MUST, you can always buy some spare batteries as well, which will increase the drones usage even further.

The second most important factor when considering a drone for fishing is range. You want your drone to be able to comfortably cover long distances without the worry of losing connection.

If you currently have a drone with a short range, you can usually buy a signal booster for relatively cheap online.

Taking these two factors into consideration, lets have a look at what we think are the 7 best drones for fishing.

Best Drones For Fishing Comparison Chart

DroneImageFlight TimeCameraMaximum DistanceCheck Price
DJI Phantom 4 Prodrone buyers guide30 Minutes4k, 2.7k, 1080p @ 60fps7km

Check Price

Yuneec Typhoon Hbest drones for fishing25 Minutes4k1.6km

Check Price

Splash Drone 3 Fishermanbest drones for fishing20 Minutes720p1km

Check Price

3DR Solobest drones for fishing25 MinutesRequires Action Camera800m

Check price

Upair Onebest drones for fishing18 Minutes4k300m

Check Price

DJI Phantom 3 StandardBest drone for fishing25 Minutes2.7k, 1080p @ 60 fps1km

Check Price

Autel X-Star Premiumbest drone for fishing25 Minutes4k, 2k, 1080p @ 120 fps2km

Check Price

Best Drones For Fishing List:

DJI Phantom 4 Pro

Pros:

  • Easy to fly
  • Fantastic specs & features
  • Long flight time
  • Good build quality
  • High quality camera

Cons:

  • Can take a while to set up
  • Fairly large, hard to transport

Specs:

  • Flight Time: 30 minute
  • Camera: 4k up to 60fps
  • Max Distance: 7km
  • Max Speed: 72 kph
  • Frequency 2.400 – 2.483 GHz + 5.725 – 5.825 GHz
  • Weight: 3lb / 1.4kg
  • Gimbal: 3-axis

Features:

  • 5-direction obstacle avoidance
  • Auto take off and landing
  • One key return to home
  • Intelligent flight modes

About

The first on our list is of the best drones for fishing is the DJI Phantom 4 Pro. If any of you aren’t familiar with drones, basically this thing is a beast!

The DJI Phantom 4 Pro has a whopping range of 7km, which is not only seriously impressive, but plenty of range for drone fishing.

Equally as impressive as its range is its 30-minute flight time. Looking at all of the drones currently available, very few can beat this.

30 minutes should be ample enough time to cast your line, get a bite and bring the drone back.

If you’re not too comfortable flying a drone, the Phantom 4 has a one key return home function. This means that once you get a bite, simply press the return home button and your Phantom 4 will autonomously come back to its take off position.

best drones for fishing

You also don’t have to worry about crashing your drone into anything as it has a 5 direction obstacle avoidance sensors that will prevent any unwanted collisions.

With a 500g payload, the Phantom 4 should be able to carry most lines and bait.

You can also record your catch using the Phantom 4s 4k camera, which can result in some seriously impressive aerial footage!

If you’re a regular at a certain fishing spot, you can make use of the Phantom 4’s waypoint feature. Simply save your waypoint and the drone will be able to fly itself back to that same spot without you having to do the flying.

Basically, you couldn’t ask for a better drone. Although slightly expensive, the Phantom 4 is undoubtedly one of the best drones for fishing.


 Read Also:  Best Drones For Sailing

Yuneec Typhoon H

Pros:

  • Packed with high quality features
  • 360 degree camera movement
  • Retractable landing gear
  • Great customer suppor

Cons:

  • Bulky hard to transport
  • Transmitter is huge

Specs:

  • Flight Time: 25 minute
  • Camera: 4k, 1080p at 120 fps & 12.4 megapixel
  • Max Distance: 1.6km
  • Max Speed: 70 kph
  • Frequency 2.4GHz with5.8 GHz
  • Weight: 3.7 lb / 1.7kg
  • Gimbal: 3-axis gimbal

Features:

  • RealSense Obstacle avoidance
  • Smart modes
  • 360 degree camera movement
  • Retractable landing gear
  • Foldable arms
  • Dual operator compatible

About

Next up is the Yuneec Typhoon H, which is a uniquely designed 6-rotor drone. Yuneec themselves have seen a lot of success with their drones, building a reputation for delivering high quality, long lasting products.

The Tyhoon H sports a 25 minute flight time, which although not as long as the Phantom 4 Pro, is still plenty of time.

You also have to take into consideration the price difference; the Typhoon H is significantly cheaper than the Phantom 4.

Its range of 1.6km is also ample room for drone fishing, as I doubt you’re going to be casting your line any further than that.

best drones for fishing

The Yuneec Typhoon Hs camera is perfect for drone fishing. Not only does it have 4k shooting capabilities, but also the lens itself is extremely wide angle, providing a large field of view.

This allows you to see a large amount of the water, giving you more of a chance of spotting fish.

The camera is also able to move 360 degrees, meaning that you can hover your drone in place and move the camera around to spot the fish.

Splash Drone 3 Fisherman

Also see in Best Waterproof Drones.

Pros:

  • Designed for drone fishing
  • Waterproof
  • Comes installed with a payload release mechanism
  • Easy to fly

Cons:

  • Not the best camera & no gimbal
  • Average flight time

Specs:

  • Flight Time: 20 minutes
  • Camera: 720p
  • Max Distance: 1km
  • Max Speed: 75.6kph
  • Gimbal: No gimbal

Features:

  • Waterproof
  • Build in 1kg payload release system
  • Auto take off and landing
  • Auto-return to home

About

Moving onto the only drone on this list that is actually manufactured for the purpose of fishing. Swell Pro is one of the only manufacturers in the world whose sole purpose is creating waterproof drones.

They’ve gone a step further with the Splash Drone 3 Fisherman, designing it specifically for fishing.

So, what makes the Splash Drone 3 Fisherman one of the best drones for fishing?

To start with, the drone is 100% waterproof. You can even land the drone on the water and use the live video monitor built into the transmitter to see a live feed from the camera.

This allows you to scout for fish both above and below the surface.

best drones for fishing

The Splash Drone 3 Fisherman comes with a payload release mechanism designed for casting bate. This saves you having to buy any extra accessories that you may need.

The drone is able to carry a payload of 1kg, which is a lot of weight, giving you the freedom as to what line and bait you use. The drone could actually lift a small bass out of the water if you wanted to.

Its maximum range of 1km is plenty for drone fishing, as is its flight time of 20 minutes. Again, be wary that carrying a heavier payload will deplete its battery quicker.

The Splash Drones’ camera comes fixed to the drone, meaning that you’re not able to get any tilting camera movement. As it is attached directly to the drone without a gimbal, the footage may also be a bit shakey.

The drone is able to film in 720p HD, however it is clear that its primary function is for fishing. If you’re really keen on filming your catches in high quality, attaching a downrigger release clip to a camera drone may be a better option.

The Splash Drone 3 Fisherman is easily one of the best drones for fishing in the world!

3DR Solo

Pros:

  • Easy to fly
  • Good flight time
  • Affordable
  • Plethora of intelligent flight mods

Cons:

  • Requires an action camera
  • Does not come with a gimbal

Specs:

  • Flight Time: 25 minute
  • Camera: Requires action camera
  • Max Distance: 0.8km
  • Max Speed: 88.5kph
  • Frequency 2.4GHz
  • Weight: 3.3 lb / 1.8kg
  • Gimbal: Does not include gimbal

Features:

  • 5 Autonomous flight modes
  • Auto take off and landing
  • One-key return to home
  • 88kph max speed

About

The 3DR solo is designed to be extremely beginner friendly, so if you’re a fishing enthusiast who’s never flown a drone before then the 3DR solo could right for you.

The drone itself is super responsive to commands and comes with a number of autonomous flight modes to save you from having to fly the drone yourself.

One downside to the 3DR solo is that it required an action camera such as a Go Pro to be able to record footage. You can either choose to buy the drone in a bundle with a Go Pro, or you can purchase the drone on it’s own.

best drones for fishing

Although, if you’re just looking for an easy to fly drone to cast out your line then that shouldn’t be an issue. Plus if you already have a GO Pro handy, you’re sorted.

3DR actually worked alongside Go Pro when designing the mount, so the two work together seamlessly.

The massive upside to the 3DR requiring a separate action camera is that you’re not limited to one camera. This means as technology progresses you can continue to upgrade your camera without having to buy a new drone.

The 3DR solo can reach speeds of 88kph, so it’s able to absolutely soar to your fishing spot.

The 3DRs 25-minute battery life should provide you with more than enough flight time. The battery is also easily replaced, so buying spares is always a good idea.

Its maximum range is about 800m, which isn’t as far as some of the other drones on list but is definitely enough room to cast a line out.

Upair One

Pros:

  • Easy to fly
  • Comes with a 7inch monitor
  • Affordable
  • 4k camera

Cons:

  • Bulky
  • Only 2-axis gimbal
  • Fairly short range – 300m

Specs

  • Flight Time: 18 minutes
  • Camera 4k
  • Max Distance: 300km
  • Max Speed: 43.2kph
  • Weight: 2.82lbs/ 1.28kg
  • Gimbal: 2-axis gimbal

Features:

  • Transmitter comes with 7inch monitor
  • Auto take off and landing
  • One key & fail safe return to home
  • Altitude hold
  • GPS positon hold

About

The next drone on our list of the best drones for fishing is the Upair One. Although its specs aren’t quite as impressive as some of the other drones on the list, it’s by far the cheapest.

If you don’t want to invest a lot of money, but still want a high quality drone capable of fishing, then the UPair One is for you.

It’s amazing how many features you get for such little money, making the Upair one of the best value for money drones currently available.

It has a very reasonable flight time of 18 minutes and a maximum range of 300m. You can always buy a signal booster if you feel that the range is going to be a bit short, it’ll still work out as being the cheapest option by far.

best drones for fishing

The Upair One is also able to film your catch in 4k, which for the price is absolutely insane!

It also has a one touch return to home function, so you don’t need to worry about doing this yourself once you’ve got a bite.

If you think that drone fishing could be something you’re interested in, but don’t want to throw down some big bucks, I would definitely recommend the Upair One.

It will do a great job and if it turns out you like it, you can always upgrade to a more expensive drone.

DJI Phantom 3 Standard

Pros:

  • Extremely cheap
  • Amazing value for money
  • Easy to fly
  • Can handle wind well

Cons:

  • Bulky, hard to transport – need a custom backpack or case
  • Not as many intelligent flight modes as new models

Specs

  • Flight Time: 25 minutes
  • Camera 2.7k, 1080p @ 60fps
  • Max Distance: 1km
  • Max Speed: 57.6kph
  • Weight: 2.6lbs/ 1.2kg
  • Gimbal: 3-axis gimbal

Features:

  • Intelligent flight modes
  • Auto take off and landing
  • One key return to home
  • Low battery alert

About

Up next on our list of the best drones for sailing is one of my personal favourites, the DJI Phantom 3 Standard.

This is one of the best value for money drones out there, offering pilots a taste of high quality specs and features, with an affordable price.

Although it doesn’t quite live up to some of the other DJI models such as the Phantom 4, it costs less than half the price. The Phantom 3 Standard is perfect for those of you who are new to drones and want a high quality quad copter, without having to spend a small fortune.

The Phantom 3 standard boasts a 25-minute flight time and a maximum range of 1km, both of which are extremely respectable, especially considering the price. You can always buy a spare battery to further extend your flight time, which I highly recommend.

best drone for fishing

You can film your catch with the DJI’s 2.7k camera, which can also shoot 1080p at 60 fps. The camera is also able to shoot 12 megapixel photographs.

As with all DJI models, the Phantom 3 Standard comes with a number of flight modes that make it one of the best drones for fishing.

The drone features automatic take off and landing, meaning you don’t have to worry about doing this yourself.

The Phantom 3 also has a one key return to home function, meaning that once you get a bite, you’re able to press the return to home function and the drone will autonomously return to its take off location.

If you’re not too comfortable flying the drone yourself, you can make use of its Waypoints function, which is where you select a location on the map, and the drone will fly itself there.

Some other intelligent flight modes include follow me and point of interest. These allow you shoot some extremely cinematic looking footage, without having to pilot the drone yourself.

It’s safe to say that the DJI Phantom 3 Standard is easily one of the best drones for fishing. It is one of the most affordable drones on our list yet packed with some of the best features.


Autel X-Star Premium

Pros:

  • Autonomous flight modes
  • Easy to fly
  • Color makes it easy to see
  • Battery fail-safe – auto return home at 25%
  • Batteries charge in 1-hour!

Cons:

  • Fairly large, need a custom backpack or case
  • No obstacle avoidance

Specs:

  • Flight Time: 25 minutes
  • Camera 4k, 2k @ 60fps, 1080p @ 120ps
  • Max Distance: 2km
  • Max Speed: 56kph
  • Weight: 3.1lbs/ 1.4kg
  • Gimbal: 3-axis gimbal

Features:

  • Auto take off and landing
  • Low battery auto return home
  • One key return home
  • 3 Autonomous flight modes

About

The final model on our list of the best drones for fishing is the Autel X-Star Premium. This is an eye catching, ready to fly quad copter that is often referred to as DJI’s main competitor, and for good reason.

Costing significantly less than the Phantom 4, yet with very similar specifications, many turn to the Autel X-Star Premium for it’s attractive price tag and durable build.

The X-Star Premium features a 25-minute flight time with a maximum range of 2km. This provides you with ample freedom in the air to find your spot and cast your line, without having the worry of running out of battery or distance.

best drones for fishing

The drone comes installed with 2 battery fail-safes. These are pre-set to 25% battery, which will cause the drone to autonomously return to its home position.

This is perfect if you are mid-catch and are unable to return the drone home yourself. Once the drone hits 10% battery, it will start to land itself in its current location.

The Autel’s camera is extremely advanced, being able to shoot in 4k, 2.7k at 60fps and 1080p at 120fps.

The camera is attached to the drones’ body via a 3-axis gimbal, providing stable, high quality footage of your catch.

It also features your basic automatic take off and landing, alongside 3 other autonomous flight modes. These consist of orbit, follow me and waypoints.  

As I mentioned earlier, you’re able to implement waypoints so that you do not have to fly to the fishing location yourself. Simply select the point on the map, and the Autel will autonomously fly there.

With its eye-catching design, high quality camera and useful autonomous flight modes, it’s easy to see why so many people use love the Autel. It’s priced affordably and is built to last, making it one of the best drones for fishing.

Best Drone For Fishing Round Up

I hope you’ve enjoyed our article on the best drones for fishing and have found it useful. We’ve detailed a number of different drones at a variety of prices, now it’s up to you to decide.

Best of luck and happy flying (and fishing)!

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