BlogJune 2024

High-Tech Fishing: Are Smart Fishing Reels Worth the Money?

High-Tech Fishing: Are Smart Fishing Reels Worth the Money?

By Debbie Hanson

Jun 05, 2024

Are smart fishing reels worth the money? Summary of reasons to consider cutting-edge reel technology, how high-tech fishing gear can benefit competitive anglers

For some, fishing is an outdoor activity that offers a welcome escape from screens and smartphone apps. For others, the high-tech analysis of casting data and fishing patterns is reshaping the angling experience. Smart freshwater fishing reels are a recent innovation that blends cutting-edge technology with traditional fishing gear.

Are smart fishing reels worth the money? While there are several different models of smart reels on the market, let’s look at some of the common features of smart fishing rods and reels that are baitcasting models used for freshwater bass fishing. From there, you can decide if this type of high-tech fishing gear investment is right for you.

Wireless Connectivity Feature

One of the most notable features of smart fishing reels is wireless connectivity, which can allow you to connect your reels to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Depending on the smart reel model, this connectivity can provide you with the ability to control your reel settings remotely. Some smart reel models also allow you to enable wireless alerts and notifications about changes in fishing conditions, which can cue you to adjust your techniques for optimal results.

Analysis of Casting Data

Another key feature of smart fishing rods and reels is their ability to record and analyze casting data. Built-in motion sensors in the reel spool capture information including casting distance, retrieval speed, number of casts made during a set timeframe, and retrieval cadence.

GPS Technology for Logging

Some smart fishing reels come equipped with GPS technology, allowing you to mark your favorite fishing spots and log catch information. This data can be analyzed to identify trends, which may help you make more informed decisions about where and when to fish. Whether exploring new waters or returning to familiar locations, GPS-enabled reels make it easier than ever to find productive spots and record seasonal fishing patterns.

Storing Trip Data

Advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence enable these reels to learn and adapt to different fishing conditions over time. By analyzing data from past fishing trips and incorporating real-time feedback, some smart reels can adjust settings to optimize performance. If a particular technique is proving successful, the reel can adjust its settings to replicate those conditions for future fishing trips.

Smart Fishing Reels Vs Traditional Gear Cost

Are smart fishing reels worth the money? The answer to this question depends on the individual angler and the reason they fish. Traditional baitcasting reels for bass fishing typically start at about $30 or $40. Smart baitcasting reels run in the $300 to $400 range. While smart reels are more expensive than their traditional counterparts, professional tournament anglers may find the investment to be worth it if the data that is collected can contribute to more wins.

For competitive anglers, the ability to fine-tune casting speeds and analyze patterns might prove very valuable. However, for recreational anglers who prefer to relax and decompress while on the water, this level of detail may take away from the overall experience. Your best bet is to consider how often you would use the high-tech features and if the investment makes sense given the type of fishing you do.

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.