Deeper | Pro+
RRP: £209.99 | Accessories: from £12.99 | www.deepersonar.com
If you have had your head buried in the sand for the past two or three seasons, then you may well have not noticed the proliferation of Deeper devices on the banks of your chosen venue, however, I would be very surprised if that was the case.
Now, I’m not one for too much faffing about when it comes to knowing the ins and outs of a swim’s topography when I’m fishing. I am more than happy to split my swim into thirds and find a spot for the left, middle and right hand rods accordingly. So long as I feel that my rigs are presented, I am more than happy to proceed, it is after all, an act of leisure, a hobby even, that we are undertaking. To that end, I rarely even use a marker float, preferring just to have a quick lead about and ascertain as best I can through the rod tip, just what it is I am fishing over...
That being said, I have, on the sly, often hankered after that little extra knowledge that some of my friends have unearthed through their devices. The proverbial ‘spots within spots’ always seem so much easier to find at the touch of a button, something I am only too aware of, having rebuffed the use of bait boats, at my peril, while living in France. And so it was that I recently found myself in possession of the all-singing, all-dancing Deeper Pro+ for a review recently.
The unit is approximately 2½ inches in circumference and weighs 100g (give or take 3½oz in new money) and while it isn’t necessarily the most aerodynamic of shapes, it doesn’t need to be, having a maximum operating range of 100m. It features inbuilt GPS and has a dual-beam transducer that sends 15 scans per second, with target separation of just ½”, meaning you are receiving accurate reading that you can trust back on the bank.
The unit can operate in two modes, the first, which I advise you start with, is with the device set on wide scan. This runs on an operating frequency of 90kHz and gives downward coverage of 55° - this will allow you to get a great overall idea of your swim, a first glance, if you like. The sonar won’t pick up a lot of detail in this mode, but, it will allow you to ascertain exactly what the depth is like and whether there is any structure, i.e snags, present. Once you’ve had a good look around using the wider beam, it is definitely advisable to switch over to the narrower one, which has a beam of just 15°. This will allow you to focus on just what is on the bottom in any one spot. Due to the narrow focal area, the tighter scans can pick up on all the details under the Deeper, be it weed, broken tree limbs, rocks, and of course, fish!
Sonar, which stands for Sound Navigation and Ranging, uses pulses of sound waves, sent down through the water column and the speed and regularity with which they ‘bounce’ back up to the sender unit determines what has been located. To this end, not only can the Deeper detect weed, snags, rocks and fish, but, it can also let you know whether the lakebed itself is firm, or soft... Something that is obviously very handy, depending on your preferred ground at that time of year.
The sonar on the Deeper Pro+ can process information from depths of up to 80m, almost 30m more than any other wireless fish finder on the market. What’s more, with the Pro+ being a Wi-Fi-equipped unit, it performs up to 10x faster than Bluetooth, allowing it to transmit real-time data and a smooth scrolling information readout on your smartphone or tablet.
Alongside the option to run either a wide or narrow bandwidth, there is the possibility to adjust the sensitivity of the reading too. This mean that you can choose low-sensitivity for when the water is murky, cutting out the risk of any false readings from suspended detritus, or high-sensitivity for when the water is gin-clear, allowing for the utmost data reaching the screen of your handheld device.
Last, but by no means least, there are two display options of note. The first is the choice of three alternate colour palettes, designed to give you the clearest, sharpest display possible, regardless of the weather conditions and a split-screen mode that allows you to scan and map your swim at the same time!
I found the unit very easy to sync with my phone and aside from the constant worry of losing £200 every time I cast out, it was both easy and a pleasure to use... One thing worth noting was some advice I’d gleaned from the website that it is important to keep the unit moving on the retrieve, if you let it rest in the water, as you may a conventional echo sounder (on a bait boat), then it will show a flat line on your display... where there may not actually be one! Have faith in the technology and it won’t let you down.
There wouldn’t be much point in having all this information at your disposal, if you couldn’t process it afterwards and to that end. Deeper have developed their own App to accompany their range of Pro devices. The Deeper App allows you to store maps of entire lakes should you wish, just the spots you have chosen, or even photos you have taken when in camera mode. They even have their own cloud storage, which is a godsend as it’ll prevent your phone’s memory becoming clogged up with all the stored data.
The Deeper App is compatible with over 9,800 devices that run either Android or iOS operating systems. It is currently available in no less than 22 languages and is capable of running in any region. You can access any or all of this data by creating your own unique login for the App and then call up any of your scans or maps on any device, at the drop of a hat, through something they’ve called Lakebook.
There are a number of accessories you can purchase to further enhance the Deeper, namely a Flexi-Arm, that allows you to hang the unit from a bait boat, canoe or kayak. A bright orange Night Cover that simply screws on to the body, replacing the black upper half and thereby improving its visibility under the cover of darkness. A Smart Mount that allows you to attach your smartphone to the rod blank and finally, a waterproof Winter Case to protect your smartphone while it is exposed to the elements during the colder months.
– Rupert Whiteman