Frequently Asked Questions
Balancing and Design Preferences
Taking the worlds most popular drone and combining it with one of the worlds most popular pastimes to give you Phantom Fishing
Why use the DroneFishing Bait Dropper?
The DJI phantom is by very far the most popular consumer drone with P3 sales in excess of 1,000,000 units world wide, these drones has a phenomenal range of over 5km making them more than suitable for fishing.
From this we designed the Bait Dropper with the serious fisherman in mind taking every consideration to the DJI Phantom drone and its operation.
Both Phantom 3 and Phantom 4 utilize the landing legs for communication and navigation, on the Phantom 3 all four legs have light bridge antennas in and the one leg, has right at is bottom, the all important compass. On the Phantom 4, DJI added a second compass a little higher up on two of its legs.
When DJI designed the Phantoms they placed these as far away from the motors and any other electrical interference as possible, this is what gives the DJI drone such phenomenal range, stability and reliability.
DroneFishing’s Bait Dropper is the only dropping/ release device that takes these factors into consideration, placing the electrical components high up on the drone away from the antennas and compasses ensuring that there is no interference with the drone’s communication or navigation. This is especially reassuring for the fisherman that intends flying out far.
In addition to the above DroneFishing’s Bait Dropper carries the load centrally below the gimbal, this ensures that all four props carry the load, greatly increasing stability of the drone when carrying loads. Yet staying clear of the downward vision and ultrasonic sensor’s as well as the camera itself.
No other dropping mechanism has the combination of these features and as such it is protected by international patents and design registrations.
DroneFishing’s device weighs less than 50g in total, approximately half that of the nearest alternative meaning that less stress is put on the drone for the same payload and if need be a heavier load can be carried.
It’s sleek very small (70x45x14mm) design also minimizes any interference with the aerodynamics of the drone minimizing energy wastage.
Further more DroneFishing went the extra mile to produce a professional device that will not detract from the phenomenal design of the DJI drone. Once installed the user will leave it attached to his drone simply because it looks so good and the release bar also doubles as a gimbal guard. Installation can be done in roughly 2min using basic tools.
None of the flying lights are obscured at any point unlike any alternative where one of the front LED’s are covered up.
The unit is so small and well fitted to the drone that the drone can be placed back into the original packaging for transportation without modifications to the packaging or removal of the device.
What load can be carried?
The Phantom 3 is more forgiving than the Phantom 4 and can carry a slightly heavier load despite the P4 having stronger motors. Max loading is roughly 600g in total at sea level any more and you risk losing your drone. DroneFishing recommends lighter loads and prefers not going over 500g, this is to minimize stress on the drone itself. Obviously the lighter the load the better and the longer the life of the drone itself. Remember it takes energy to lift any mass so your drone will not fly 28min on a battery charge whilst carrying additional loads.
In short, the lighter the bait load the better for the drone.
Please also bear in mind the fishing line, real drag, wind speed and direction and your altitude above sea level.
Will it interfere with my drone?
No it will not, the design is such that it is kept clear of all sensors, antennas and compasses.
Warning! On other designs there is interference with the downward sensors of the P4 and also possible interference with the compass and light- bridge communications antennas. The load is also not carried centrally destabilizing the drone.
How difficult is the installation?
It is very easy and can be done in under 3 minutes by a first time installer.
The most difficult part is finding the menu setting in the DJI app to program the C1 or C2 button on the back of your remote to turn on or off the front flying lights that is used as the trigger.
On the P4 it is as simple as;
- Pushing in the mounting plugs and tightening them with a screw driver,
- Popping out the Left front LED cover and pushing the new one in,
- Using the 4 supplied zip ties to mount the release boom below the gimbal,
- Program the C1/C2 button to turn on/off the front LED
On the P3;
- Remove one screw from each of the Left landing legs, mount the drive unit with the 2 supplied cap screws
- Follow the same installation as for the P4 steps 2 to 4
Please refer to our installation videos should you need to.
Is the device interchangeable between the phantom 3 and phantom 4?
Yes, however we designed it to blend in on the drone thus the one part, that is drone model specific, is the sensor and a small modification needs to be done to move it from drone model to model, parts for this is available in our store to existing clients.
If you which to have a fully interchangeable device because you will swap it between two drone models (phantom 3 & 4) on a regular basis then we recommend you purchase the dual system.
How far can I take my bait out?
The furthers we tested it has been to the limit of our fishing reals, close on a kilometer away. In theory it will go to the limit of the drone’s range it self. This is due to our design which eliminates any interference with the drone’s light-bridge communications system.
Additionally keep in mind that the line itself also has resistance through the air and water and as such the further you fly bait out the lighter the load should be and the thinner your fishing line should be.
We have successfully and repeatedly taken 500g loads out over 500m with 200m of 0.5mm mono followed by 0.21mm braid.
How should I spool the line off while taking out the bait?
On a spinning reel, the spool should be open as if you want to cast, this is to allow the line to coil off correctly, if you use your drag the line will not coil off correctly and you will soon add a tremendous amount of twist into the line that is undesirable.
On centre pin reels you should adjust the casting drag so that the reel spins freely but not too freely causing over winds. So when you fly out you will switch the reel to cast mode with a very slight resistance.
It is not advisable to use the ratchet “clicker” as you will wear it out very rapidly.
Is it legal to use a drone for fishing?
Drone laws are rapidly evolving and DroneFishing encourages everyone to check their local laws. We always encourage safe and responsible drone use. Our device is intended for fishing use only and should not be used for any other purpose.
The only exception to this is when it is a matter of life and death and the drone is used for Search and Rescue to fly a life preserver to a person in need. Our device can also be used to rather put the bait down in the water prior to release eliminating the need to drop anything from the drone.
How many drops can the device do on a single charge?
We have tested it to work reliably for over 50 drops per charge.
It also has a standby time if left on of over 2 weeks, however we recommend keeping the device fully charged at all times.
Please do not try push its limits as battery life can change which can cause a failed drop, meaning you will have to fly back all the way with your bait still hanging from the drone.
For this reason also don’t push the limits of your drone’s battery, always ensure you have sufficient power left for a full return trip as if the bait is still attached to the drone remembering that you might have to fly back against the wind.
How do I charge the device?
It is charged with the supplied Lipo USB charger only, from any USB charger like that of a cell phone or from a computer.
Do not modify any other charger to charge the battery as it can explode and or cause a fire.
What kind of fish can I catch using the Bait Dropper?
That all depends on where you are in the world and what bait and equipment you use.
We have tested it on salt water and fresh water locations. With bait ranging from whole bonitos, squid, sardines, red eye and even live bait fish in salt water.
In fresh water we used it extensively for specimen carp angling in conjunction with our feed delivery system.
In short the sky is the limit and no fish is out of reach any more.
Why does my drone jojo (rapidly spin back and forth)?
YOU OVERLOADED THE DRONE!
A drone uses prop yaw to stabilize itself, if the motors are over revving there is no more yaw thrust left and your drone can not stabilize itself. If this happens, drop the load immediately and your drone will stabilize.
Do not pull or jerk on the drone with the fishing line as this will add additional load that can cause the drone to crash.
Dramatically cut down on the weight you are trying to fly out.
Will DJI ever bring out a similar device?
We seriously doubt that they ever will as their market is videography and not fishing. Guaranteeing a drone for fishing use is problematic as enduser control is inherently difficult.
How do I attach my fishing line to the release mechanism?
Please refer to our videos as important tips and tricks are shared therein.
In particular pay attention as to how to ensure that you keep the props away from your fishing line, we have paid our school fees by losing a drone due to this and have found a second drone washed up on the beach with the fishing line still attached that succumbed to the same fate.
Why not use the wire frame as is seen on so many youtube videos?
You are gambling with your drone by attaching any metal fittings to the legs of your drone. You can interfere with the compass and radio signals losing range and worst losing the compass meaning the drone might not return home.
Further it is very risky to turn and or pitch your drone whilst having a fishing line attached to it on an unreliable bracket/frame. One of the drones we lost prior to developing our Bait Dropper was due to this exact danger.
The drone pitched itself enough to pickup the fishing line in the props causing it to fall in the water.
It was a sad day that we would not wish on any other drone pilot.
Why not just use a washing peg as a release, as some others do?
After losing our first drone using the wire frame method we also switched to a washing peg release. It worked well many times then for some unexplainable reason it got stuck one day and no matter how hard I jerked it did not want to release. In the process I got warnings on the DJI GO app screen of “motors overspeed”. This is due to the fact that the drone is fighting to keep it’s position and I’m pulling it away. I had a heart attack and thought I was kissing my second drone good bye as it was almost 500m out and I had a low battery. With some luck I made it back to the beach and this was the last time I used a washing peg and the beginning of what is now the DroneFishing Bait Dropper.
How much feed can I drop with the DroneFishing Feeder?
It is all mass dependent, the feeder weighs between 50 and 70g depending on the size of the vessel used, which is dependent on the type of feed used.
This means that you can fly out about 350-450g of feed at a time if only feed is flown out. If you are flying out your fishing rig at the same time then the feed amount drops accordingly, we typically fly 200g feed with our 200g lead sinker and fishing rig. This might not sound like allot but it is more than enough. If more feed is required simply fly out a second time and by using the GPS saved map you can drop it in the exact same spot as before time and time again, advanced pilots can even use the fly to waypoint feature and let the drone do it all on its own, just remember the DJI limit for waypoints are only 500m from takeoff point.
Does DroneFishing guarantee its products?
Yes our products are guaranteed for a period of 3 months against faulty workmanship and materials. Excluded is the battery and charger as we cannot control the use thereof. Also excluded is any water and crash damage incurred for whatsoever reason. If a claim is made then all shipping is for the account of the end user.
Is it dangerous to use a drone for fishing?
As with the drone itself the utmost care should be taken when flying your bait out, be careful when loading your bait and hooks, stand clear when taking off. A sudden wind gust can cause the drone to drift. If you come close to your flying drone, be very careful to stay well clear of the propellors. If you are an inexperienced pilot then rather install the prop guards available from DJI direct. When this is done please reduce your load by 100g the weight of the guards.
Be very careful and NEVER fly over anyone with your drone at any stage.
Familiarize yourself with all the drones controls, fishing should not be your first flight. Once you have enough experience with the drone it self only then advance to fishing.
Please read our disclaimer and know that DroneFishing.com takes no responsibility or liability for any loss or injury of what soever nature.
Can I buy a DJI drone from DroneFishing.com?
No, at this stage we do not intend to distribute or support the drone itself. There is many hobby/tech and other stores that stock and support the DJI drone range.
Will using my drone for fishing affect my DJI guarantee?
DJI does not prohibit lifting any payload (obviously within reason) with a phantom, but they do warn against dropping any “dangerous” payloads that could cause injury or damage to property.
DJI however do not promote flying the drone over water and as such using the drone for fishing can affect your warrantee. See your DJI owners manuals and disclaimers. Remember you use the DroneFishing products at your own risk and we do not accept any responsibility for whatsoever loss or damage or injury.
Can I buy the Bait Dropper at my local fishing or hobby store?
Yes you might, we are constantly looking for distributors so ask around.
Does DroneFishing ship world wide?
Yes, we have not yet came across a country we cannot ship to, however additional shipping charges may apply in some instances.
Can I become a distributor?
Yes, if you are a registered fishing or hobby store be it online or elsewhere.