Fishing drones can be difficult to choose. While there are many drones that can be used for fishing purposes, not all drones are designed for fishing. If you’re a serious fishing enthusiast who wants to maximize your drone usage, this buying guide is for you!
Hello! My name is Lavelle and I am a fishing and drone enthusiast. For the past ten years, I’ve traveled across the U.S. in my sprinter van, fishing in every lake, pond, river, and ocean that I can find. Along my journey, I’ve used my drones for professional and recreational purposes and even branched out into using my drone to fish.
In this article, I will cover some of the basic necessities to have when using a drone to fish, along with my list of the best drones to use for fishing. Hopefully, you will get some good information and be inspired to get out there and do some drone fishing.
- Key Takeaways
- What Makes the Best Drone for Fishing
- The Best Drones for Fishing: Top Picks
- Final Thoughts
- Waterproof housing and a floatable design are two of the most important features when choosing a drone for fishing.
- The SwellPro Splash is my top overall choice and SwellPro Spry+ is the best cheap option if you’re tight on budget.
- Your controller may also malfunction in wet weather so having a controller that is waterproof may prevent you from losing contact with your drone in wet weather.
No, that’s not what we mean when we say “drone fishing”. Technically, your drone is used to drop your bait into the water and to scout your fishing area.
Can any drone be used for fishing?
Technically, yes. However, depending on the size of the drone and its features, some drones may not be good for fishing. I suggest that you look at drones specifically designed for fishing.
Do I need a fishing license to use my drone for fishing?
You do not need a fishing license to use your drone to drop the bait into the water. However, you do need a fishing license (check your local guidelines) to fish with a rod and reel combination or a fishing pole. The requirements vary by jurisdiction.
What’s the average price for a good fishing drone?
It’s difficult to provide an accurate average. The cost for a fishing drone range anywhere from $300 to $3000 depending on the features you are looking for.
What Makes the Best Drone for Fishing
When starting out with a fishing drone, there are several things you should look for. Be aware of the risks associated with using a drone for fishing, such as drowning your drone (yikes), weather conditions changing quickly, running into birds, heavy winds, and other such conditions.
Here is a quick list of things that make the best fishing drone.
- Waterproof/Water Resistant Design
- Load Capacity
- Camera Quality
Your drone could be one high-wind gust away from crashing into the water. Or just one wrong turn or grumpy bird could cause your drone to spiral downward and get damaged. If you want to protect your investment, then looking for a waterproof or water resistance design is a must.
The next important quality for a good fishing drone is its load bearing capacity. In most cases, drone fishing enthusiasts use their drones to drop bait into a certain area in hopes of attracting fish to the area.
The last quality that you want to pay close attention to is the camera quality. A good camera quality gives you the best view while you are flying the drone. I’ve found that drones with the FPV (first person view) are great for fishing and are very exciting to operate.
It’s important that you can clearly see the area where you are dropping your bait and that you can scout the entire area, looking for schools of fish that may already be in the area. In addition to the FPV feature, you want a camera that has good resolution, preferably 4K or better.
The Best Drones for Fishing: Top Picks
Well, let’s dive in! Here is a good list of fishing drones that I’ve compiled through use and extensive research.
1. SwellPro SplashDrone 4 (Best Fishing Design)
- Battery Life: 25 minutes
- Camera Resolution: 4K
- Load Capacity: 2.2 lb
- Wind Resistance: 29 km/h
- Waterproof: yes
- Floatable: yes
When we talk about fishing drones, the SwellPro SplashDrone 4 sits atop the list. This multi-functional, waterproof drone is the 4th iteration of this model and really has some great features.
The drone is touted as having the best waterproof technology in the drone industry. It is built with a solid industrial-grade design. The company also provides a 100% waterproof guarantee. The waterproof motor and internal components are all coated with corrosion-resistant materials.
And it floats! That’s right, this drone was designed with the worst-case scenario in mind. It is an all-weather design that includes rain and snow use and has a waterproof remote controller as well. There is consumer feedback saying that you can toss this drone and remote controller into the water, retrieve it and see it work perfectly immediately.
This well-built drone has a built-in GPS that includes some nice intelligent features such as real-time tracking and a return-to-home feature, which is very useful should you lose your connection signal to the drone during fishing.
The biggest concern about this drone is the company’s support. There are several customer reviews that complain about the customer service support and about missing pieces in the packaging.
My Verdict: If you want to ensure that your investment is protected, this is the best choice. The waterproof design is well-built and the transmission range is also very good. I’d be very careful to check the process of getting in touch with customer service prior to purchasing the drone.
2. Power Vision Power Egg X Wizard (Best Load Capacity)
- Waterproof: Yes
- Floatable: Yes
- Range: 1000 meters
- Load Capacity: 5 lbs
- Flight Time: 30-minutes
- Wind resistance: 39 km/h
The Power Egg X Wizard offers the best carrying capacity on my list. It has two modes of use, the handheld gimbal mode and the slow motion mode, both of which are good for fishing. Along with the carrying capacity, this drone can handle up to level 5 winds which is very useful when flying your drone out to drop bait.
Overall, this is an impressive drone. The carrying capacity of 5 lbs is the best on this list and is at the top of its category overall. The obstacle avoidance feature is another plus on this drone as there are often objects that you may see clearly when operating the drone over water.
The camera is the biggest disappointment in this drone. It houses a high-definition quality camera which gives you a fair picture of your bait drop location. You can also use the camera to spot schools of fish where you may want to drop your bait. The biggest problem here is that the image quality is not the best.
This drone is very durable. It is well-built to withstand heavy winds and not-so-professional landings. It is capable of landing and launching on the water, which is great when fishing, and is very easy to operate.
My Verdict: This drone is definitely a good find for fishing. It is well-designed and made for fishing activities. The floatable design and flip feature are both nice additives. The one thing that gives me concern is the camera quality. I love to be able to capture clear images anytime I launch a drone.
3. SwellPro SPRY+ (Best Budget)
- Flight Time: 17-minutes
- Waterproof: Yes
- Floatable: Yes
- Range: 800 meters
- Camera: 4K resolution
- Load Capacity: 100 grams
- Wind resistance: 36 km/hr
SwellPro continues to lead the pack when it comes to fishing drones. The SwellPro SPRY+ is a smaller, compact drone that was originally designed for water sports activities. However, it proves quite useful for fishing as well.
Despite its compact size, it is a quite durable and stable drone. It has some nice inherent features that make it a good choice for fishing. The flying range and load capacity are somewhat lower than other drones on this list, but it still gets the job done.
One of the most unique features of this drone is its remote controller. It was the first SwellPro model to have a waterproof remote controller, and its extra layer of coating gives you excellent peace of mind when controlling your drone in an area where you could drop your controller in the water.
This drone has some of the same features found on most SwellPro drones including the flip feature, the ability to take off and land in water, and the waterproof design. The major concerns here include its limitation on load capacity, relatively short flying distance, and short flying time.
My Verdict: This is a decent drone but not my top choice for drone fishing. It does have some good qualities and can certainly keep you afloat while fishing. However, the low flying time and low weight carrying capacity are concerns for me.
4. DJI Phantom 4 Pro Ver 2 (Best Range)
- Flight Time: 25-minutes flying time
- Waterproof: No
- Floatable: No
- Range: 5000 meters
- Camera: 4K
- Load Capacity: 500 grams
- Wind resistance: 36 km/hr
Well we finally come to what is normally my favorite brand of drone, the DJI brand. However, DJI was not able to find a spot on my list until now. The DJI Phantom 4 Pro V.2 is a great drone. It is well-known for other uses, but it does offer some decent qualities for fishing use.
One of the best features of this drone is its stability. This drone handles exceptionally well in the air. Its size and design allows it to handle environmental conditions very well, including winds up to 24 mph.
Nonetheless, the Phantom 4 Pro V.2 has some impressive features. For instance, the 5km transmission range is outstanding. The obstacle avoidance feature is also excellent and helps to avoid crashing into obstacles that you may not see with the naked eye.
While this drone does not have an official payload release device, it can be used to release the bait. DJI resolved this concern by covering one of the front LED lights with a resistor. The payload release device can be activated from the controller by turning on the light of the drone. When the light is turned on, it triggers the release device and your bait is released into the water.
However, the biggest detraction of this drone is that it is not waterproof. That’s a fairly big deal that some of you may overlook because of the outstanding reputation of the DJI family of drones. The drone is also not floatable, so if it falls into the water it is likely a lost cause.
My Verdict: This drone, while not specifically designed for fishing, can certainly be used for fishing. The long-distance range, heavy carrying capacity, and durability make it an attractive option for fishing. However, the fact that it’s not waterproof is enough to stop me in my tracks.
5. YUNEEC Typhoon H (Best Video)
- Flight Time: 19-minutes
- Waterproof: No
- Floatable: No
- Range: .76 km
- Camera: 4k
- Load Capacity: 63.47 ounces
- Wind resistance: 49 km/hr
The YUNEEC Typhoon H is a nicely designed fishing drone. The drone has good landing gear and is made of carbon fiber material which makes it very durable. There are also a good number of safety features including ultrasonic obstacle avoidance.
The camera system is notable on this drone. It uses a CGO3 system that gives it a wide range of capability. The 98-degree field of view (FOV) is also noteworthy. You can record high-definition video with excellent resolution as well.
Another impressive thing about this drone is that it has four video modes including natural light, gorgeous, raw, and night. Each of these features allows for sharp detail images in various conditions as indicated by the mode names.
My biggest drawback on this drone is that it is not waterproof and it does not float. This is of concern when flying long-range over water.
My Verdict: Overall, this is a good drone for fishing. The design is well-built but it does have some concerns including the lack of waterproofing, the relatively low flying time, and a short-range quality.
Have you been waiting to hook that big fish with your drone? You are in great company. Drone fishing is a widely spreading phenomenon and there are some great drone options out there for you.
Choosing the right one for your fishing interests can be a daunting task. I hope this guide has helped you find the one that fits your needs.
What are your thoughts on fishing drones? Do you have some experiences you’d like to share with us? Questions? Leave your comments and questions below and I will respond to you as soon as I can.
Until next time, stay safe and have fun using your drone for fishing!