LONG-TERM REVIEW: FishSpy camera marker float [VIDEO]

LONG-TERM REVIEW: FishSpy camera marker float [VIDEO]

Our proper long-term review - after two years of use - of the FishSpy marker float camera

 A digital Cyclops in your marker float!

A digital Cyclops in your marker float!

RRP: £129.95 | www.fishspy.com

In an age of surveillance it’s no surprise there exists a camera inside a marker float.

Digital eyes might peer out from every imaginable device these days, but the FishSpy is still extraordinary.

You might believe this type of equipment is cheating – and that’s fair enough – but what the designers at TFG have created is seriously impressive.

Just think how hard the team must have worked to manage waterproofing, battery life, range, connectivity and the practical concerns of fitting a camera into a standard-size float.

  • We like: Offers a window on your swim like nothing else, not ridiculously expensive
  • We dislike: Sometimes patchy connection, on/off locking nut is fiddly when wet

We first got our hands on the FishSpy two years ago. Back then it was definitely a gamble launch, but the number of these seen on the bank and the amount of footage on the internet indicates just how established they’ve become.

IN USE

Straight out of the box, the FishSpy feels sturdy and durable. It bloody well should do for £130, we hear you say, but there are plenty of more expensive items of tackle that have been rushed to market with a fraction of the solidity.

 It acts just like a normal marker float

It acts just like a normal marker float

The float transmits its own WiFi signal to an app you can install (for free) on an Apple or Android phone or tablet. If the float is cocked on the surface of the water, you can livestream footage back to your device (range is quoted at 65yds for an Apple product or 110yds for Android).

At all other times – if the float is beneath the surface or out of range – you can simply press record while connected and press stop once you’re back in range. The footage is stored on an internal memory that can handle 7hrs of video.

 The app is easy to use

The app is easy to use

The footage itself is a pleasant surprise. It’s not HD, but it is more than clear enough and the lowlight capabilities are amazing. Even on cloudy days in murky water, when the float is wound to the bottom you can see exactly what’s going on.

It’s a great tool for seeing what the lakebed is like, but it will also give you glimpses of fish and tell you whether last night’s baited area has been cleared out.

Battery life is up to four hours, but we have found that diminishes a fair bit in cold water, and once the charge gets low the WiFi signal becomes patchy. Turning the camera on and off via the locking nut that holds the float tip in place is also a fiddly affair with wet hands.

 The camera is turned on by this locking nut, which can be fiddly

The camera is turned on by this locking nut, which can be fiddly

Unsurprisingly, it’s heavier than a normal marker float, so use of a beefy rod and a heavy-duty shockleader is definitely recommended.

It’s not the easiest marker float to cast, perhaps because you’re always aware of its value, but at short to medium range it’s not unwieldy and it is very buoyant.

 The FishSpy can be charged via a USB cable

The FishSpy can be charged via a USB cable

OVERALL

For the tech-savvy angler with a baitboat and a fishfinder, the FishSpy will definitely offer another edge.

Winding it down over spots you thought you knew well will really open your eyes – the footage will both excite you and rock your faith in your ‘mind map’ of your favourite swim.

 It's slightly bulkier than a normal marker float but very buoyant

It's slightly bulkier than a normal marker float but very buoyant

FishSpy accessories

  • Device stick for hands-free operation of tablet: £29.95
  • Iphone range extenders: £29.95
  • iPad Mini range extender: £39.95
  • Black, yellow or orange top fin: £4.95

FishSpy stats

  • Claimed battery life: Four hours
  • Recordingtime on inbuilt memory: Seven hours
  • Android range:  Up to 100m
  • Apple range: Up to 60m (up to 100m with range extender)
  • Battery recharging time: Three hours
  • Picture resolution: 640 x 480
  • Weight: 96g