UPCOMING EVENT: FLW SERIES - 2020 - Toledo Bend Lake

High-Tech Hardware for Bass Fishing

High-Tech Hardware for Bass Fishing
Michael Neal

Nowadays, we see as many digital screens on the dash of an FLW Tour pro’s boat as there are in the typical nine-to-five office space. It makes sense though. A bass boat is a tournament angler’s “office,” and all those screens are tools to help them get the job done.

Even if you’re not a touring pro, it’s worth giving new tech tools a look when they become available, particularly the new equipment that was released by Lowrance and Power-Pole. Their latest product iterations are incredibly powerful, yet these “smart systems” were designed to be simple to use.

Here’s a rundown.

 

Lowrance’s Easiest-to-Use Model Yet

Lowrance nailed it on the head when the company came up with the tagline “We find. You fish.” to describe its new Hook2 series of budget-friendly fish finders. Basically, Lowrance pooled all the best technology it has developed in its high-end units together into the Hook2 and then simplified the operation with one-touch button access to key menus, basic menu screens, two-plug (power and transducer cable) installation and a pretty slick Autotuning function that adjusts the sonar settings (frequency, sensitivity, etc.) for you. If you’ve ever been intimidated by menus full of functions and settings, but you’re not willing to give up any of the trappings of modern sonar technology, you’re probably a Hook2 kind of angler.

Lowrance broke down its Hook2 transducer choices into three groups: TripleShot, SplitShot and Bullet. The TripleShot transducer features 3-in-1 sonar with High CHIRP, SideScan and DownScan. The SplitShot transducer, which can be mounted to a trolling motor or the transom, features 2-in-1 sonar with High CHIRP and DownScan. The Bullet transducer, which is available only on the 4-inch model and can also be mounted to the trolling motor or transom, features Broadband Sounder.

Another changeup in the line is a new “2X” sonar cone that essentially doubles the field of view when using Broadband Sounder and CHIRP sonar.

Hook2 comes with screen sizes of 4, 5, 7, 9 or 12 inches, and Lowrance offers various mapping options. Each model comes fully packaged with everything needed for installation, so there are no additional costs. Prices range from $99 to $1,499.

If simple, plug-and-play operation with high-end capabilities is what you’re after, check out more details on each Hook2 unit and available options here.

 

Power-Pole’s Digital Dashboard

Command and control are what you get if you outfit your rig with the new Power-Pole VISION, a 7-inch tablet-like device that connects to accessories in your boat to create what Power-Pole calls a “digital dash.”

Power-Pole accessories can be connected via the C-Monster 2.0 wireless control system. Other accessories get hard-wired to the VISION with an included accessory switch. Once added, you get full control and can even add dimmers, timers or preset functions. Everything from jack plates and running lights to the bilge pump, livewell and sound system can be run off VISION. And because VISION is NMEA 2000 capable, you can also monitor engine data via digital “gauges” and run diagnostics on the water.

That’s the operational side of VISION, but it’s also a handy tool for finding and sharing fishing information, whether you’re a tournament angler practicing for an event or promoting a sponsor, or you just want to enjoy fishing for fun.

VISION utilizes the Android operating system for accessing the web (via WI-FI or a personal hot spot) and many fishing and boating apps, including mapping and satellite imagery programs that make it a handy addition when searching new water. Power-Pole even incorporated a camera, so sharing fish catches on social media pages is even easier.

Other cool features include a “high bright” 7-inch screen that can be read in direct sunlight while wearing polarized glasses, nighttime settings and a swipe-down Water Shade function that prevents spray from activating touch-screen functions. It mounts in dash or on accessory mounts just like most depth finders.

Price is $1,595. At press time in early January, the VISION system was not yet available, but it should be on the market soon. For more information, visit Power-Pole.com.

 

An Even Smarter Charging System

Power-Pole’s CHARGE is more than a charger; it’s a battery “manager.”

For starters, it can be incorporated into the VISION system to show you precise power levels on all batteries. If you don’t have VISION, you can still link it to a smartphone or tablet using the C-Monster app.

On the charging front, CHARGE is a 500-watt power station that delivers up to 25 amps of charging power to the trolling motor batteries and 40 amps to the cranking battery. And it works with lead acid, AGM, gel and lithium batteries.

Yet, the coolest feature is its ability to charge across the system, from battery to battery in order to carefully manage power levels. Power-Pole says it’s the world’s first AC/DC and bi-directional DC/DC charger.

When plugged in to a 120-volt shore outlet, the system charges and balances power on up to three auxiliary batteries, plus the cranking battery. When charging off the boat’s alternator, the system automatically charges the cranking battery first, then moves and balances power to the other batteries.

You can even use the VISION system or app to set a minimum charge level on the cranking battery, and when it falls too low, CHARGE will move power from the auxiliary batteries to the cranking battery in order to have enough juice to start the motor. The system is smart enough to alert you when batteries are getting low and predict how long you need to run to charge the batteries fully with the alternator.

And there’s a built-in emergency start feature if you get in a jam.

Price is $1,295. Like the VISION, it’ll be available soon. Visit Power-Pole.com for more information.

Tags: curtis-niedermier  new-gear 

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