This smart rod means you’ll never miss the catch of the day again. The gadget, created by Seattle-based startup FishSentry, is connected to a mobile device that sends anglers a notification when it detects a nibble. The connected rods, which have sensors at the tip and base and take dozens of readings each second, can even share a favorite fishing location via the app. FishSentry founder Spencer Worley, who is currently seeking investment through crowdfunding website Indiegogo, explains why this rod will have anglers reeling in the biggest catches. 

Q: How did you come up with the idea for FishSentry?

Trolling for fish requires anglers to constantly watch their fishing rod. It is pretty clear when you catch a fish, but the real problem is when you miss something that could potentially ruin your bait. Then you are just wasting time and you won’t know it until you reel up. No matter how diligent you are, if one person is driving the boat, not all the rods can be constantly watched. I had been developing products with sensors and it occurred to me that what I was watching for could be monitored by sensors. The trick is that on the ocean or other large bodies of water, there is always motion, but what I was watching is the difference between the rod base and rod tip – this is what led to the invention.

Spencer Worley, founfret of   FishSentry.

Spencer Worley, founfret of  FishSentry.

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Q: What’s the main point of it?

The main point of this is to improve the catch rate by letting you know when something has happened or when a fish strikes. It was only after I videotaped some fishing trips that I realized what I was missing. I am a very productive fisherman, but I realized I could be catching more.

Q: How does it technically work?

Sensors look at the difference in motion between the top and base of the rod. They check thousands of times per minute and look for patterns. I have hundreds of data sets from my prototypes that I used to find the patterns that set the alerts. 

Q: How could it be helpful?

It can add to the pleasure of fishing. The water is a beautiful place to be and you aren’t tied to constantly watching your rod. It is also a good way to engage the next generation of fishermen that are gadget oriented. It also helps detect small fish catches and increase their survival rate.

Q: Is it an invention for lazy people?

Very few people that gear up and get out on big water are lazy; you can pretend fish on a video game. This device can help the most hardcore fisherman and the most casual.

Q: What other benefits does FishSentry provide? 

A huge benefit is the automated logging and the social networking. Some fishing communities share and others do not. For an individual, it is good to know the conditions and locations that are productive. For a community, the shared data could make a huge difference in productivity.

– By Dmitry Belyaev