The Agua Drone is coming... the latest gadget for fishing, as Angler's Mail magazine readers have recently seen. So what does popular angling blogger Colin Mitchell make of it all? Read on...

LIKE most guys I love a good gadget – especially when it comes to computers, hi-fi and maybe the odd bit of luxury that helps play music in my car.

I’ll admit I am more of a hard copy CD or vinyl type than a fan of downloaded – although I do have these files and use them.

But I am concerned about just how far technology is encroaching into our fishing.

Tech that I like – and gizmos I don’t…

The latest and lightest poles, super action rods, high speed all-singing and dancing reels are fine.

I also love a bit of good line technology, sharper than sharp hooks that have been specially coated to give them protection and floats that bend double without snapping.

Crikey I’m even a bit of a mug for the latest flavours, smells and food treats that are cooked up by manufacturers to lure a few extra fish…

But I draw the line at gizmos that take some of the fun and skill out of our great sport.

As far as I am concerned you can torpedo bait boats out of the water and shoot down the drones before they start buzzing over the lake.


Sailing a bait out with a boat or casting it there? The latter, where I fish… please!

Some clubs and venues ban bait boats. Quite right too!

If you can’t cast to a spot, drift a bait to it, feed it with a throwing stick or catapult, why bother?

A boat removes skill and it’s annoying to watch (and sometimes hear) a craft cruising across a venue, especially at night with it’s lights glowing in the dark like an evil monster.

Now I’ve not seen a drone in action – yet – over any venue. Hopefully I never will!

What’s the point? Is it going to spy on someone’s bait box or drop boilie bombs into a swim that’s too far away to cast to?

Maybe it is acceptable on a giant water where a boat may have been used to reach swims in the past and where no one else is fishing.

But on a normal sized lake in the UK? Well it sounds to me like there could be some impending aggro on the bank…

I’m not too sure about gizmos that map depth and use sonar to track down fish – although on massive waters and at sea I think they have to be acceptable.

I know many anglers swear by the clever Deeper castable sonar devices, that map swims and show where fish are…relaying it all to a  smartphone.

Deeper Pro+

Gadget fans of today have warmed to the castable Deeper fish finders.

Memorable innovations of the past

Of course great tackle inventions that raised a few eyebrows are nothing now.

Readers of a certain age may well remember a thing called The Mabby. Basically it was a boat that you filled with maggots, anchored in your swim and then the grubs crawled out along a slide and saved you loose feeding on a regular basis.

You may have guessed by now that it never caught on – just like it’s sister invention the portable snag!

Seriously! A bit like a plastic tree that you heaved into your to hold the fish and then extracted at the end of the day via a rope!

The other one that has always stuck I my brain was the Newark Needle float, invented by the later Walter Bower.

It looked clumsy and horrible yet a few named match anglers who used it (some without admitting to the fact) discovered that it actually worked.


A gadget of yesteryear – the old Newark Needle floats were given free with Angler’s Mail magazine, but never really caught on.

It didn’t look right at all and you ‘shotted’ a Newark Needle float with… various sized needles! They  fastened on the line with rubbers, a bit like a stick float would.

This developed into leger pins – straight pieces of needle, fastened to the line in the same way. They didn’t slide but they didn’t get snagged up either.

One leading anglers from those days used the leger pins and had great success with them but swore me to silence – not because he was catching but because he was afraid his reputation would be in tatters if he confessed to using the leger pins!

There will always be something new developed for the world of fishing – but as guardians of our sport we must ensure that anything offered to us does not take away the basic simplicity of the game, spoil its image or erode the skills that make angling so interesting.

Blog The Master