Best Drones for Fishing

The perfect fishing drone should have a good battery life, have a decent flying speed, be robust to winds, and be easy to control.  A drone that has these qualities would be ideal to go fishing with. When I say fishing, I mean like this. If you are interested, read on.

I looked at 10+ drones and narrowed the selections down to 6. There aren’t many on the market, as of right now, that are suitable for this hobby. The table below breaks down the different drones, their specs, and how they compare to each other.



DJI Phantom 3 Standard


DJI Inspire 1

Parrot AR 2.0 (Power Edition)
QuadH2O
Swellpro Splash Drone RTF version (Mariner 2)

3DR IRIS+
Check out the links to for prices.
Weight (pounds/kg) 2.7/1.2 6.5/2.9 1/0.4 3.5/1.6 5/2.3 2.8/1.3
Flight Time (min) 25 18 18 10-15 12-18 16-22
Max Load with Flight Time Reduction (pounds/kg) 2.2/1 2.2/1 <1/0.45 1.7/0.77 ~2.2/1 <1.5/0.68
GPS? yes yes yes yes yes yes
Battery Price $149 $159-$199 $57 varies (use a 4s 4000mah or 4s 5100mah, ie Turnigy nano tech) varies (4S 5200mAh LiPo Battery) varies (3s 5100mah)
Max Winds (recommended limit, mph/knots) 22/19 22/19 ~10/8.7 ~25/21.7 ~25/21.7 ~22/19
Max Outdoor, Unobstructed Range from Pilot FCC (m) 1000 2000 ~100 1000 1000 1000
Waterproof? no no no yes yes no
How is it controlled? proprietary remote controller and mobile app proprietary remote controller and mobile app  iOS or Android devices, Windows 8 PC or tablet, an NVIDIA Shield proprietary remote controller proprietary remote controller proprietary remote controller and mobile app
Max Speed in No Winds (m/s) 16 22 11 20 10 20
Other Notes $849 price point is for the kit. Assembly is needed. Has a payload release mechanism

 

Cost Analysis

Great but their price points are all so different. Which drone is the best deal? I’ve divided the price from the various metrics of the drone like time of flight, maxing loading, etc. to come up with this table that tells you which one is the best bang for your buck. The metrics are normalized by their group averages so that each metric has equal weight when summing the numbers. The normalized metrics are then summed to produce a final “bang-for-your-buck” rating.



Normalized Metrics (Divided by the Mean) DJI Phantom 3 Standard

(using $500 price point)

DJI Inspire 1

(using $2400)

Parrot AR 2.0 Power Edition

(using $300)

QuadH2O

(using $849)

Swellpro Splash Drone RTF version (Mariner 2, using $1100) 3DR IRIS+

(using $500)

Time of Flight/$0.01 0.26 0.04 0.31 0.09 0.08 0.23
Max Load/$0.01 0.24 0.05 0.19 0.11 0.11 0.17
Max Wind/$0.01 0.21 0.04 0.16 0.14 0.11 0.21
Range/$0.01 0.13 0.14 0.02 0.08 0.06 0.13
Max Speed/$0.01 0.19 0.06 0.22 0.14 0.06 0.24
Sum of Metrics (“bang-for-buck” rating) 1.03 0.33 0.90 0.56 0.42 0.98

 

With a rating of 1.03, the DJI Phantom 3 has the best overall performance (taking cost into account) for fishing. A good second choice would be the 3DR IRIS+. The only thing holding the Parrot AR 2.0 back is the limited range. If it had a 1 km range like the rest of the drones, it would be the best choice.

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References

DJI Phantom 3:

http://www.dji.com/product/phantom-3-standard/info#specs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbMKw5dxkFU

DJI Inspire 1:

http://www.dji.com/product/inspire-1/info#specs

http://www.inspirepilots.com/threads/max-payload-info.3153/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPiwaKKH7yA

Parrot AR 2.0 Power Edition

http://www.parrot.com/usa/products/ardrone-2/

http://www.apple.com/shop/questions/product/HE291ZM/A/parrot-

QuadH2O

Company Specs Page

SwellPro Drone RTF Version (AKA Mariner 2)

http://www.fpvfactory.com/images/pdf/SWELLPROSplashDronePRO-EN.pdf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdTz0JFzzgc

3DR IRIS+

https://3dr.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/IRIS-Plus-Operation-Manual-vH.pdf

http://www.3drpilots.com/threads/what-is-the-recommended-max-wind-speed-to-fly-

 

 

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