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reel sonar logo for the new mobile fish finderThere hasn’t been a “game changing” innovation when it comes to fishing equipment in at least a decade. You can, of course, point to any number of recent products and claim they are innovative, and while true,”game changing” design or ideas are few and far between. One area in need of innovation is the mobile fish finder category.

ReelSonar, a product being developed by serial entrepreneur Alexander Lebedev and a team of engineers from a variety of disciplines, hopes to change all that.

It all began when Lebedev asked himself a simple question. “I was fishing with my brother on Lake Union (Seattle) last April and thought to myself, why no one has yet to come up with the mobile fish finder?”

The ReelSonar Bobber in detail for the new mobile fish finderHe quickly found out that SmartCast by Hummingbird was such a device, but it is relatively obsolete and a lot bulkier than what he envisioned. He thought about how bringing mobile technologies to an outdated system seemed like a logical step. A casual fisherman himself, he knew many people, including his father-in-law, an avid bass angler, who might benefit from a mobile fish finder.

With a background in medical ultrasound technology Lebedev thought he could improve upon the system and incorporate a variety of newer technologies that would help bring a mobile sonar system to the masses. With that, ReelSonar was essentially born.

Already an old hat at building technology start-ups, Lebedev took what he learned from Mirabilis Medica (a therapeutic ultrasound treatment for uterine fibroid) and JeNu Bioscience (an aesthetic ultrasound for wrinkle reduction) and applied it to developing this idea into a functioning prototype. First, Lebedev assembled a team of knowledgeable experts who shared his vision. Then, along with a team of hardware Engineers, RF Engineers, Embedded Software Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, App Designers and Anglers, the team spent hours  bouncing around ideas, talking to professional and amateur anglers, researching, designing and testing ReelSonar technology.

A New Player in the Mobile Fish Finder Category

ReelSonar will have mobile apps to make the new mobile fish finder easy-to-use ReelSonar is a new wireless, mobile fish finder that uses sonar technology, embedded into a bobber, that fisherman can use to locate fish. The device then transmits the data via Bluetooth to nearby smartphones and tablets. Embracing current technology, its patent-pending elements combine more expensive fish finders functionality with the convenience, community, and affordability of mobile apps.

“My goal was to create a unique fish finder that utilizes advanced technology in an inexpensive way that is easy to use – paired with a device that many people already have,” related Lebedev.

Live tests for the device have worked out quite well so far. Said Lebedev of the process, “Development has gone perfectly; though there is still work to do, but all technology hurdles are now solved. We are now in fundraising mode to bring the ReelSonar mobile fish finder into production.”

Currently ReelSonar gathers data on whatever is in the surrounding water up to 150 feet deep. “My goal was to create a unique fish finder that utilizes advanced technology in an inexpensive way that is easy to use – paired with a device that many people already have,” said Lebedev.

Feature Rich Product

A Close Up of the ReelSonar bobber, a new mobile fish finderSeveral features allow the unit to be priced well below other fish finders on the market, and still use a 3 Volt rechargeable battery. Low frequency ultrasound transmits strongly through water without the signal getting lost, and fish are highly reflective surfaces, making the signal easier to process. “When there is enough sensitivity on the receiving circuit, paired with a well-designed signal processing unit, there is no problem with power,” explained Alexander Lebedev. The app (on Android and iOS devices) displays data and images in a dynamic, user-friendly interface – no separate display panel is needed.

Lebedev has a bright outlook for his developing product and can see how this product will change how people fish. “It is great learning tool for youngsters. Teach kids what is under the water. This tool will help to be a little bit smarter about the surroundings and water conditions. Its got water temperature and salinity meter. Great tools to see if it is a good spot for bass or trout.”

Some details about the ReelSonar device:

  • Locate fish and underwater structure up to 150 feet away, and 150 feet deep
  • Map the entire water bed using synthetic aperture, from a composite of multiple images (this feature is also useful for boat navigation in unknown areas)
  • Check water temperature and salinity
  • Bite Alarm – the smart bobber lights up, and the app signals when fish are near the bobber
  • See relative sizes of fish, and estimate how many there are
  • Get suggestions on bait and lures based on data and location
  • Keep track of favorite fishing ‘hotspots’ and location history using GPS tags
  • Tap into or contribute to aggregate ‘hotspots’ based on other ReelSonar bobber data
  • Record location, date, size/weight and photos of the day’s catch all in one place

With R&D nearing completion, ReelSonar will retail for under $100. Besides the app itself, it consists of the bobber and its USB recharging cable, making it easily portable. Because users cast the ReelSonar bobber as far as they like, it extends the under-boat views of existing boat-mounted fishfinders. It works in any water temperature, in fresh and salt water, in boats or on the shore.

Want to take part in the development of this great new product? Get more details and updates at Indiegogo

Ed Castro is a writer & web developer living in San Diego, California. An avid hiker and camper, Ed spends his days playing with the latest outdoor products and exploring the great outdoors. He recently purchased a new rod & reel in order to return to the sport that introduced him to the great outdoors.

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