The Smartcast RF30 is a combination device made up of a tiny LCD depth finder you wear on your wrist and a transducer that ties to fishing line and casts out like a lure. The LCD’s readout gives both contour and numeric depth on a screen the size of a sports watch. Mode buttons allow you to change the sensitivity and depth range and to turn on a “fish alarm.”
The unit works fine in both fresh and salt water. I checked it out in the brackish depths of the Little Manatee River near Tampa and found it drawing the contours just as accurately as the big color machine on my boat. Be careful, however. The transducer has metal “wet switch” pins that activate it when it hits the water, and these will corrode after saltwater use if not rinsed in fresh water.
Another potential problem: That little green floating transducer looks an awful lot like a frog wobbling across the surface, so don’t be surprised if a lunker bass gulps it down. ($99.99; 334-687-0503; www.humminbird.com)–Frank Sargeant
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