Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Smart Connect Reel and App

Lets face it, we live in a world where there is an app for almost everything.  Many of the apps I use are focused on the outdoors and helping me hunt or fish more effectively.  I use apps like OnX Maps, Weather apps, apps to keep record of how many fish I catch and what I catch them on.  The app and product I want to talk about is the Smart Connect App and the Smart Connect fishing reel!

This app and reel combo is a blue tooth connected device that links your phone to your fishing reel and sends an alarm/notification when you get a bite! I posted a review a few years about about the Smart Rod which has the Pole Tap technology that sets off an alarm when the rod gets a bite.  I loved the Smart Rod for many reasons as I take lots of people out fishing that benefited from having a alarm letting them know they were getting a bite.  I take a lot of older people as well as a lot of young people and kids out fishing which both have a hard time staying awake or sitting still :) With the smart rod the alarm is in the rod so you are limited to using that specific rod for fishing.  What I am excited about the Smart Connect Reel is that I can put this same technology on any rod I wish!  Products like the Smart Rod and the Smart Connect Reel have been great for me for many reasons!  I know some may dislike the idea of technology messing with their fishing and I know many of us get out fishing to get away from our devices, yet there is a time and place for all of it and it's not for everyone.

Let me give you a little more info on the Smart Connect Reel.  This reel is not only tech savvy, but it is also a great quality reel.  It is a light weight composite body with a aluminum spool and machined handle.  The reel has a 5 ball bearing 4.7:1 gear ratio which is very smooth and consistent.  The reel also included a large "power knob" on the handle that was a bit unique at first but I quickly began to love it.  On the back of the reel is the electronic bite alert system which can be easily disconnected and removed from the reel for charging or storing purposes.

To connect the reel to your phone you just have to download the Smart Connect App for Apple or Android phones then follow the simple instructions included.  To summarize, you turn on the bite alert on the reel, connect to the reel from the app on your phone, and customize the sensitivity settings.  Once you are connected then you can sit back and wait for the fish to bite.

Now I'll list some of the things I personally like about the reel and app while also touching on a few things I didn't love as much.

I have to say, the technology is impressive!  There are 5 different sensitivity settings which go from extremely sensitive to least sensitive.   When you use the most sensitive setting I have had the reel send the bite alert notification when my 4 year old son jumped on the ground next to where my rod was set up.  There isn't any doubt in my mind that the settings on the app/reel will work for you.

The app also includes a weather and GPS feature where you can check the forecast and mark your locations for future reference when you find a spot you absolutely love!

The app has the ability to connect up to four different Smart Reels which could expand your arsenal and the area you are covering!  I especially love this feature as I will now be able to throw these reel on my ice fishing rods and keep track of them better if I am hunkered down in my ice hut during bad weather.

I also love the quality of the reel.  I know I brought this up earlier, but I have to say they did not cut any corners on this product and have given us a very quality product.  This reel by itself without the bite alert technology has become one of my favorite reels to use while fishing.  I have even used it without the bite alert technology while fishing with spinners and rapalas just because I love the way the reel feels and works.

My busy fishing crew
Initially I had an issue with the reel and app disconnecting when I was fishing.  This didn't bother me to bad as I just left my phone next to my fishing rod which in the end helped me even have a better day because I wasn't on my phone the whole time!
When I contacted Smart Connect about the issue they helped me resolve this quite quickly.  If the unit is not fully charged, understandably, the distance it can cover is reduced.  When the reel is at a full charge I was able to get a good 150-200 feet while still keeping connection.  The distance is rated for "line of sight" which can be tricky at times with your phone in a pocket.  Even with your phone in your pocket or jacket, I was able to get 50+ feet when the item was fully charged. 

Overall I have to say I'm not only impressed with the Smart Connect Reel, but I am excited to bring it with me on future fishing trips! I know my nephew who I take fishing thought a fishing reel like this was the coolest thing he had ever seen! He kept asking me if I would let him catch a fish on my pole so that he could say he caught a fish with the Smart Reel! This is the type of situation I look forward to. I love seeing people who are not only passionate about the sport, but also get excited about gear, technique, and so much more!

Here are a few of the fish I caught on the Smart Connect Reel, nothing big but the bite alert system worked great!

I will be uploading a video showing the reel in action once I can coordinate me using someone else's phone to record the video and the time the fish bites :) I will also upload a video of the Smart Connect Reel on an ice fishing rod in a JawJacker set up and show you what I'm most excited about with this set up!