Fishing is a sport that combines old-school tactics with state-of-the-art technology, and the tech involved is becoming increasingly impressive.
However, in order to fully understand the state of technology in fishing and its potential direction, it is important to consider where technology is predominantly used in fishing, as well as any obvious knowledge gaps in the sport.
State of Technology in Fishing
To some, fishing is considered a primitive or unsophisticated sport, but in reality, this is far from the truth. Every piece of equipment you touch when fishing has at some point been crafted through the use of recently improved technology. It’s easy to recognize the implementation of technology in items such as powerboats or fish finders, but even the more fundamental items like rods and reels are constantly introducing new technology to become lighter, stronger, cheaper, and more functional.
That being said, much of the technology involved in fishing was originally designed for other applications. For example, the electrochemical process of anodization, which is used in the manufacturing of fishing pliers for corrosion-resistance, was originally developed to protect seaplane parts from corrosion. It wasn’t until much later that the two worlds met, and this is now standard in most fishing pliers.
So where do we stand now? Technology in fishing is certainly present but is primarily reserved for the pros or those who can afford and properly interpret the technology. If you turn on a fishing show, the pros will have it all. Powerboats that run quiet and self-adjust against currents, multiscreen fish finders with detailed maps obtained from GPS, the strongest lightest rods made from composite materials, and much more. But what about the recreational angler who might have a boat or kayak to use, a 10-year-old rod, an entry level reel, and some worms? This casual or recreational type of fishing is where we will likely see the most advancement in technology over the next decade, and we can’t wait!
Where It’s Going
Scientists often use the term “knowledge translation” to describe bridging the gap between scientific advancements and public understanding. In regard to the state of technology in fishing, this definitely applies in that numerous technological advancements in fishing have been made and implemented, but it often means nothing to the casual angler who goes fishing every other weekend. More simply stated, technology needs to be more practical for the casual fisherman.
Fortunately, technology is now heading in a more practical direction that can be taken advantage of by all fishermen, not just the pros. For example, fish finders are now becoming increasingly easy to use and understand. Sonar technology was originally developed for navigation purposes, then at some point implemented into fish finders, and now they can even be synced with your phone! Previously, fish finders were bulky consoles with a bulky semi-permanent transducer mounted to the boat. Now we are starting to see a shift towards more portable fish finders, ones that can be synced with your phone and cast from the shore, and all types of fish finders are becoming increasingly simple to use.
Kayaks are another example of technology currently being implemented into the sport of fishing. Many casual anglers cannot afford a boat, or have no way to store and transport one. Kayaks are now being created with advanced seating systems, foot pedal propulsion, and fish finder compatibility, which allows the casual angler to get out on the water without spending much money or dealing with a massive learning curve. Even inflatable kayaks are implementing sophisticated materials, such as 1000D Tarpaulin, to ensure puncture resistance while maintaining a lightweight craft.
Like any other sport, technology is a component of fishing that has benefited many anglers and allowed the sport to evolve. While it may be slower progressing than some other sports, technology has now become essential in fishing and the demand for improvement is ample. With many technological niches now being directed towards practicality and the “average Joe”, we are tremendously excited to see the simple, easy-to-use, and effective gadgets that will be introduced to the fishing world. Stay tuned!