It's cheap, it's easy to use, it's water tight, it allows you to find the underwater fish holding features, can be used on a rod and line or on a bait boat/radio controlled boat (where permissible)Cons
You need a sturdy rod and strong line to use it safely and without fear of losing the sensor, The fish identification feature is sometimes inaccurate, not suitable for using on a dinghy or fishnig boatVerdict
A quick and efficient way of identifying the contours and features of a lake bed that is affordable. Find those fish holding features, bait them up and sit and wait for those big fish to feed.
Humminbird Smartcast RF35 - The easy way to find out where the fish are
If you are looking for an honest and unbiased Smartcast RF35 review from a long-term user, who is passionate about fishing, you have come to the right place. I have regularly been using the Smartcast for the last twelve months or so and feel it is a good time to finally review this useful gadget.
Upon opening the box you will find the wrist mount, an “A” sensor and a manual. According to the official website “the smart cast offers you all the benefits of a traditional fish finder, plus the freedom and mobility to fish wherever you want. Whether you are casting from the bank, dock, kayak, canoe or float tube, with Smartcast Humminbird there are absolutely no limits on where you can catch fish.”
Brief specification of the RF35: -
1) 75ft radius operating range
2) 100ft depth capability
3) Easy to see wrist mount display
4) One touch menu navigation that controls fish ID, depth range, fish alarm
5) Lightweight, and totally waterproof
Humminbird market the Smartcast RF35 as a fish finder, and whilst it does show fish that are in range it also picks up other items under the water such as branches and rocks and shows them as “fish” on the LCD display. Because of this, the accuracy of the Smartcast RF35 is questionable but it is still useful as if there is nothing in range of the sensor there won’t be anything on the display.
The “fish identification” issue doesn’t really bother me since I primarily bought the Smartcast RF35 to explore the lake bed and what was under the water, and this is where the Smartcast RF35 really comes in to its own. The Smartcast RF35 allows you to seek out those underwater features where fish are likely to turn up and feed at some point. Deep holes, troughs and plateaus are all areas where fish like to feed so if you can find these spots you can spend some time pre baiting them and setting your bait ready to catch the fish when they feed.
In order to use this product while fishing from the shore I recommend using a very sturdy rod, which allows you to really blast the sensor as far out as possible without fear of breaking the rod. A beach casting rod that is capable of casting heavy sinkers is perfect for this, alternatively you can use a heavy duty spod or marker rod.
As well as a sturdy rod I would recommend using the strongest line you can find, after all you don’t want the line to break during the cast, which would ultimately end up in you losing the (expensive) sensor. You can use thick monofilament line, however this will not cast easily. The best line to use is braided line, which is very strong and very thin. Use some braided line with a 30lb breaking strain and you can go for the long casts safe in the knowledge you are not going to lose the sensor, unless your knots slip of course. Did I mention you need to make sure your knots are super tight? I would always recommend super gluing the knots to ensure they don’t slip.
When I fish lakes that permit a bait boat, I tie the sensor to my radio controlled boat and then go exploring with it. When I find a deep hole, plateau or some other feature I then simply release the ground bait and loose feed as well as the hook bait, on to the feature and bring the bait boat (and sensor) back. If you don’t have a specific bait boat any radio controlled boat will work, so you can buy a cheap radio controlled boat off Amazon or eBay and save yourself some money.
In order to get the most out of the Smartcast RF35 you have to allow the sensor time to work properly, which means you must retrieve it at a low and constant rate. Reel in too fast and you will get erratic and inaccurate readings, but if you reel it in nice and slow you will clearly see the shape and contours of the lake bed, which is absolutely brilliant. Similarly, if you have the sensor attached to a radio controlled boat you have to be real slow and smooth.
The Smartcast RF35 is best used on large, still waters on lakes and reservoirs where there are plenty of places the fish may be hiding. The Smartcast RF35 is not going to be useful on fast flowing rivers and small waters where the approach is to have a couple of casts and if nothing bites move on to the next spot.
Compared to other fish finders the Humminbird Smartcast RF35 is cheap, but then you have to remember it is basic and not packed full of the features found in other fish finders, but then you don’t really need them when fishing from the shore. Based on the simplicity of the Smartcast RF35 it is expensive but then it is a very useful gadget that takes the hard work out of researching the lake bed and finding those fish holding hotspots.
If you want to know what lies beneath the water’s surface and the contours of the lake bed the Smartcast is an invaluable fishing aid. You can, of course use a marker rod and marker float to find the deep holes, troughs and plateaus but this is time consuming, hard work and will eat in to valuable fishing time. It is far easier and a lot more efficient to use the Humminbird Smartcast RF35 and this is why I highly recommend the Humminbird Smartcast RF35.
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