Swellpro Fisherman FPV Full Review by Damo Drone Fishing Addiction Australia (DFAA)
Welcome to my first review. As you all are aware, i received a small pro fisherman that were going to be reviewing. This is the new model from swappro um. When you get this drone out of the box uh. The look and feel on this drone it does feel like its a very, very solid, well built drone. The remote control does feel a bit cheaper but ill. Give you a bit of a rundown on the remote control and how some of the things work there and definitely um. The charger is very basic and ill also be going through that as well theres a recommendation. The first thing you buy with australia is probably going to be a proper balance. Charger id also like to thank tony from ultimate drone fishing for uh, allowing me to um lend a new unit for review its important. We, i think, moving forward, that we get some independent reviews based on the products that are out there, just to make sure that they do what they say they can do when theyre being advertised and also to give the community an understanding of um. How this drone performs, i dont, think anyones ever done a proper, proper, proper drone review on any of these sorts of products. Ive got pretty much access to any fishing drone currently on the market at this point in time, so were going to be doing lots of these – if you guys like this, but its going to be really detailed in depth, pretty much on all the features and ive Also found some other features on this drone that they really dont mention that they probably should be mentioning so lets get into it.
Ive got a whole heap of um notes that we need to get through so first and foremost um. I just want to really reiterate that two things when youre looking to purchase one of these products theyre not cheap, even though this is the cheaper end of it. I would um 100 recommend that, should you um looking to buy this, you buy this off an australian retailer australian wholesaler, because in the event that you have a warranty issue, it wont be an issue in the event that you needs parts. It shouldnt be an issue, and the second thing i really want to specify is, i know its not viable for everybody, but its really really important, in my opinion that you try before you buy, you, wouldnt go and buy a new car without taking it for a Test drive, i highly recommend that um, if youre into looking to spend, invest, i think this ones – 22. 2300 bucks, if youre looking to invest that sort of money, its really important that um, especially if youre a first time, um drone owner to try and find a retailer that will give you the ability to get take it out, or at least at minimum, show you How to calibrate it correctly, so you have a very clear understanding. I know theres lots of youtube content out there that can be hit and miss, and you can get some um misinterpretations based on some of some of the stuff that um the suppliers put out there.
So all in all, this drone out of the box feels great feels like its been built, really well feels really solid um. The remote controller feels a little bit on the cheaper side and the battery charger on. This is a really basic thing which ill cover off, because this is really important. So so, first and foremost, i just want to say a big hats off to small pro for producing a fishing drone. Ive always felt that the other types of drones, theyve built, have been more waterproof. Camera drones, as opposed to fishing drones, so their first attempt at this theyve incorporated some really good safety features that i think should be industry standard when building a um fishing drone is so, and i can confirm that um definitely work so the first and foremost the Most important one and a lot of drones have been lost due to this is um. Is the low battery release payload return to launch ive tested this multiple multiple, multiple times 100 can confirm that once the drone reaches 14.4 thats 14.5 volts, which is plenty of juice, to get it back from pretty far out depending on the wind? Is it works? It will automatically release the payload and return to launch. Second to that, a feature that i did find out because i was curious. Um i havent been able to find in the manual is when the drone loses connection to the remote control. It will automatically release the payload and return to launch as well so really good feature 100, confident tested that multiple times by turning the remote controller off um definitely works so really good feature really good safety feature that ones a really important one to have.
Because should your batteries go flat because you didnt check them the night before when you get down there or because the remotes not waterproof? If it falls in the water or something happens to the remote controller, then youre not going to have to worry about the drone flying itself back with the bait connected, so hats off two really cool features, um. So wrapped with that, so one thing i really do like about this drone uh is the the payloads quite good. So obviously you push the switch on here and the power opens up and closes um so operates really smooth and really clear. If youre going to start sending those larger two kilo baits out on this thing and thats, what you choose to do im going to recommend something on all of my drops, i use a a drop loop or you can use a cable tie. The reason i say that is only once its happened. I was using 80 pound, as my lift here, with a two kilo load, and i dont know if the mono got pinched in the hole where the servo comes in or in between. I dont know it just didnt release correctly, so i think, if youre going to be lifting bigger, payloads id recommend um putting in the uh having a drop tip in like this in here, which is going to make it a lot easier for it to release because Its not going to get rubbed, or i use that on all my drain drops.
Currently, this creates an easier release so um. How does it fly unloaded so, first and foremost, this drone im going to say, is a lot faster than my other drones um, without without pallets. So if youre going to buy this drone and its your first drone, even if its a new drone, you really really need to get this drone up at a park at a beach somewhere, where theres room, theres, no trees and theres. Nothing to hear it is really really really really quick off the deck youre going to need to be really really careful with your um, your sticks, especially when flying baits out because it gets up it goes and it moves ive put it up without payloading, some pretty Pretty aggressive winds, it seems to hold its own, it does get slapped around a bit, but all of these types of drones, once you start getting, you know into some higher wind situations. Um i im gon na get knocked around a bit. Ive had no scary moments in the air with this drone unloaded, so all in all just get it up at a park and get familiar with how she flies how sensitive it is on the sticks. I do think that um swellpro could have done a bit of refining. I do find that when im flying this drone that the throttle and everything it feels like theres a stop medium theres, not a lot of room between medium and stop.
If that makes sense, and between medium and full, so its really important, you get an understanding on how this train is going to operate, not just on picture perfect days but, more importantly, how its going to operate when its in some high wind situations. It does definitely hold its own from the testing ive done without loaded without it loaded so um i wouldnt go as far as saying its 70k wind resistant. I think that most i had it up in was around about 38 40 40 kilometer heater in our winds and um. I put it up, it was pumping, but she she wasnt scary or any scary moments with it falling out of the sky or anything like that. So its a fishing drone so its great that it flies without a load and its really good and it performs and its pretty stable without a load. However, the most important thing is because it is a fishing drone, its designed to send payloads out and baits offshore. How it performs with um weight, pretty confident saying that one kilo, based on the drone that i received, even though its got a two kilogram rating id say one kilo, is the max that i actually got it up and flew it around with. I did get it up with one and a half and two kilo loads in a stationary position. Hovering based on the unit that i received, and i dont know, if theres an issue with this unit, im more than happy to have a look at another.
One should swap her ask me to but um, based on the um this unit here ive found that it anything over one kilo, so im talking one and a half and two kilos. I get massive vibrations through the prop for the through the drone, so its very vibrations, very high vibrations, also um, i actually get bearing sounds so if you dont know drones that pretty much the total weight of everything when the drain is in the air is on The bearing i actually get bearing um its its squealing on on the drone when im, especially when im performing two kilo, leaves on this thing, which ive got some video which ill put up as well, but based on the one kilo load up up and about uh. Pretty happy with how it held its own ive, put it up. Ive done some extreme pendulum testing to see if i can get it to fall out of the sky, no issues there. So i just want to state, based on this drone that ive received in the testing ive done im, not confident in flying it, and i didnt do a full flight test based on one and a half and two kilo loads based off the fact that the vibrations Are pretty pretty full on throughout the drone? Ive tried calibrating it 50 000 times ive even gotten. I actually thought there was an issue with a vibration in the prop, so i got some brand new props um.
You can see new ones and old ones. Uh didnt make any difference so um unless im doing something wrong. Um is what it is so at this point in time. Unfortunately, i can only rate this guy safely for me: um to a one kilo, lifting drone, Music Applause, Music Applause, Music, the vibrations on the one kilo one and a half Music perfect. So we just put on new set of props to see if we can get rid of these vibrations under um the bigger loads and lets just um put it up in Applause, Music last shot, ive done a full calibration on it all again so im just going To uh arm it up and put it up, and this will definitely be the last time i put it up under a two kilo load test mode, not that good do its gon na arm it up with one and a half now see if its more stable. Obviously than the two killer and then well put a one on and then i think, im gon na pack, this thing away getting five. So one last crack one kilo load and i know im not going to get any vibrations. Um ive done this too many times. Music Music, so as far as calibration and difficulty of uh calibrating this drone, its really easy obviously want to have it on the ground. On a nice flat surface, so theres um, three calibrations. You are going to need to do when you get this out of the box.
The first one is the accelerometer, so its really simple by holding down the right control, obviously, when theyre, both on just left and right, itll come up initializing on the um screen of the controller and um. Just let the drain do its thing for a couple of seconds and then then make sure you turn it off turn the drone back on thats done. Imu calibration is up left and right, um same process, and then so you dont have to do these two calibrations. Every time you go out its more only if you think its playing up or youve crashed it or youve, you know its been around. You know, you know: youre heading up the coast and youve been in the boot of the car. Its been bouncing around things like that, its always recommended to do that. Small pro also state that the compass calibration as long as its um yeah same rules apply um, but if youre within 100k last place you flew it you shouldnt have to. I would recommend the strain every time youre going to take it to a new spot to compass, calibrate the drain, because if they do get knocked around and moves around in the car and sometimes in the trips, so pretty easy. Youve got your um up and down on your own flight modes. It will go into it and basically tell you what to do on the screen and when its done so, i think its three clockwise circles, with it um horizontal and then one with the nose pointing down so really easy to calibrate um this drone.
So yes, insane, the calibration is easy. It is easy um. I did actually get this drone out and uh tested to see if and how accurate it would be in landing in my um return to launch mode so um. Unfortunately, i did. I ended up calibrating this drone to the point where i was calibrating. The drone and seeker testing it because i just couldnt get it to land accurately was a bit of wind as well, i would admit, but um. I could not get the transfer land accurately back in the center of the um landing pad from where it took off. So that once again, dont know if i was doing something wrong, but i did calibrate it multiple times, multiple different ways and could not get it to do what it needed to do. But with any of these drones, you should really only be using the return to launch to get it back from where youve dropped your bait back to you, and you should always in most cases i would always recommend landing the craft manually because youll probably get a Um, obviously, better result and its a really important thing to learn. So i always manually land, my drones, unless im hooked up but um yeah its also going to be um. One thing i was fearful of when i first saw the drone and got the drone is um the legs. The legs are really solid, theyre not going to fall out.
I got no concerns about that, but i did have it pre getting the drone, its theyre. Still very low profile to your bait release and your camera. So definitely definitely look at investing in getting a good size, landing pad theyre, not that expensive, because i still not that i have done it, but im very confident that when putting this drone down on the sand, these legs are going to go into especially soft sand And youre gon na get stand up in places you dont want um as well um, so one thing um that really annoys me and i think its gon na catch out a lot of novice pilots and its really really important that you are be aware of this Is um so when the drone? Obviously you fly it out this way and its going to spin and then come back so when it gets above the home point. This drone comes down and lands now its really important, especially for a novice pilot to understand that the drone is facing the wrong way. So pushing forward is going to go back and then pushing back is going to go forward. So if anything, they should at least software update all of these drones to make sure that when it gets to the home point, it turns back around so the drones riding facing the right way and it lands so big one and its a big safety thing. For me, um, because the drone is symmetrical um, so its very hard to understand, especially for a novice pilot which way the drones facing so be very careful and make sure youre returning the drone or youre well aware of which way its facing before you go to Land it because you could collect a rod, you could hurt somebody so that one needs to be fixed immediately.
In my opinion, um. So one thing i think swapper really needs to really need to improve, is and ill just explain when you are landing this craft manually, um, you need to hold down on the your um left, stick when it hits the ground. You need to continue to hold this down until the motors disengaged. Now the time it takes from the drone to get to the deck and to disengage has caught me out three times where the drone has lifted and nearly hit the ground and taking out my prop. So you just want to make sure that you do not release the down on this drone until you have confirmed that the motors have been disengaged and stopped spinning so on the remote control. Youve basically got your battery level, which is interesting because when i first got this drone ive just got the cheap audi. Um. Sorry, the audi um aa is in there and i can tell you ive been flying this for quite a bit of time and i i thought it was going to bother me not having a rechargeable battery remote controller ill, be 100, honest with you, like doesnt, even Bother me anymore um, these batteries that you put in. Obviously you should be testing that tells you the voltage on the batteries, but i dont think youre going to have an issue because it feels like these are going to last a very long time. Obviously you have some backups ready to go and make sure youve got your decent voltage on your batteries before you head out on here.
It also tells you your voltage when its connected to the drone. It comes up here and then you get your satellite. So i dont know um if its um picking up more than 10, but the maximum ive had on any outing, and i always get it is 10 satellites. So i dont know if the drone is actually picking up more than 10 satellites, but not displaying here that the maximum of satellites that ive picked up based on the screen is 10 satellites, really easy to read. Um your telemetries on this remote as well, and its really good in bright daylight. So the one thing is um the gimbal covers, so it isnt a waterproof or dust proof or anything like that, so it doesnt matter where i go, how careful? Im being with my controllers, i dont it doesnt like im, always getting sand inside here right. So, even if you got this drone or another drone, im really going to recommend and i carry a brush all the time in my tackle bag – and i carry a spare one in my drone bag, its so much easier to get dust off motors. So it does sand off your motors sand off to control the gimbals with one of these. Every drone fisherman needs to have a paint brush without paint on it, obviously in their um in their tackle bag. Its going to save you a lot of time, a lot of cleanup time when you get home, so one thing i did notice and its 10 cents – and i know im being picky, is i dont know if it does or the one i didnt this this drone Didnt come with a linear, so i know it cost 10 cents for swell pro to put a lineard in the box or probably two cents um.
I think a two thousand dollar drone should come with the linear. It doesnt when i got all of my other ones. Do its really important, especially if youre, dropping bait solar, because this remote control is not waterproof, soundproof dustproof, blah blah blah blah blah right? So if you drop your bait and you want to get your lines set with your reel um, you dont want to be putting this down on the center youre, going to try not to be putting this down on sand or whatnot. So just getting a vineyard make sure you get it in so that at least you can have the remote control connected to you, while youre correcting the lines of all the drones on the way back. So just a small thing, but i think its an important one. So basically i got the package where it is the fpv version, so the fpv includes the screen, which is also clips into your fpv goggles and ultimately, youve got the camera on today. So this camera isnt on a gimbal or nothing so its a fixed position based on where you put it but important to know so um. I think that extra feature, depending on where youre looking at its going to be anywhere from four to six hundred dollars, um increase based off the standard um fishermen with payload release. Based on my experiences with this drone and the product that i received, i would say that the vision or the fpv is virtually useless.
The brightness on the screen, when youre using it in the sun, even at the highest brightness set, is not a very bright screen but, more importantly, the transmission from the drone. Back to this, i had it at 120 meters and, i would almost say, is unusable. Uh same as with the fpv youve got youre going to get a lot of break up youre going to be hard to make out anything. Youve got a super low res screen in the fpv. It doesnt give you all the telemetry, so all the telemetrys, the important ones, are obviously battery height and how far you are theyre not displayed on the fpv device. So the only way to root to know where youre at when youre in an fpv mode and youve got a spotter. Obviously for legal purposes, is on the remote control that you cant see because youve got goggles on, but further to that. The image quality that it sends and transmits back and im happy to be proven wrong, um its its pretty useless. So, if youre looking to get a drone that youre gon na know, youre gon na be looking to use for spotting based on vision this this isnt. I wouldnt even consider this if youre looking for a good drone, thats capable of, in my opinion, based on this train, that i received thats capable of um, you want to send up to one kilo baits out without vision. This could be for you.
So just one thing: if you do still decide to go for the vision model, just be really careful um, because the wires underneath, if you grab the drone from the side, you just want to be really careful. This wire, its really thin, and i dont think itll, take too much effort to pull out and snap the cable in the camera. So this could be money, so just be super careful with that. I cant reiterate this enough: if youre going to go and buy a fishing drone pretty much any drone this time, dji um, but especially in these fishing drone things i always talk about it on page – is the most important thing you can do with any of these Drones, above anything as far as maintenance, are these things. If you store them too low, you damage the battery. If you store them too high, they puff up, you destroy the battery. The most important part of a fishing drone is the battery, and, if youre not storing it, the correct voltage and while its not being used, you could suffer potential dramas down the down the track. With the drone falling out of the sky um, i cant explain the most important thing you need to do when you buy any of these products is battery maintenance, which leads me to their charger, so its well pro basically supplier and i understand to get things at A cost you need to do things on the cheap, but on this drone youve got a very basic charger.
Thats got your banana figure, eight plugged into the wall and then youve on here youve got um four lights: 25, 50, 75 and 100 percent so and youve got a balance charge in the front. So, basically, youve got no voltage to know that you need to so these batteries need to be stored at 15.2. Volts um youve got no indication on the charger that its at 15.2 volts or do you have a button on the charger that you can hit it into storage? So my recommendation, if youre going to buy this drone, the first thing you do when you buy this drone is get yourself one of these sorts of charges – theyre not that expensive, but at least youre going to get two benefits: youre going to have the ability to Accurately put the drones batteries into storage when theyre not being used, but more importantly, um from a storage voltage up to a full charge, using this charger, its going to take 1 hour and 40 minutes to go from 15.2 ish all the way up to 17.4. One hour 40 minutes this charger. I tested it, and i was only at 5.5 amps, which i can run it faster. I got an hour to get it from storage to charge this battery in this charger. Based on running your batteries, down to low voltage return to home 14.4 is probably going to take you somewhere in the vicinity of close to two and a half hours to charge.
A battery with this sort of device so really good for the lazy people um, but battery maintenance. I dont think youre going to be able to maintain your batteries um the way you need to maintain your batteries with this device that comes with it. So once again just get yourself a charge, opposite um. So one feature i really like on this um drone um is the uh h mode, so youve got gps and addi in the middle. You got h. So what this basically means is as long as the drone is on the other side of where you take it off, which 99.999 percent of the time its going to be anyways, because youre dropping bass with it. Is it doesnt matter which direction this drone is facing? It could be facing side on and it will always when you pull back on the sticks, come back to the home point or when you pull back itll come back to the home board if its facing this way, and it will still operate left right forward back As if its facing the correct way so really like that feature – and i think some other manufacturers should look at incorporating a similar mode into their drones so because the drone is um symmetrical, the only way of knowing which way is front is obviously the stripes on The front arms and the lights Music in daylight, once you get about 40 50 meters away and up at about 20 plus um, it becomes really hard to see the led lights um to understand which way the drone is facing, obviously, outside of the way that youre Pushing on the stick, so maybe for an improvement on the next version.
I think, having some brighter lights underneath the drone to be more visible during daytime would be a great help for swapper, so in closing um. What are my thoughts? My final thoughts on um, the fishermen um, based on the way ive used it and tested it. I would probably steer clear of the fpv version of this with the screen, its just, not usable, in my opinion, based on the testing ive done with it. Id also recommend, obviously getting a proper balance charger. It gives you a lot more control over how you store your batteries and will give you faster charge times than the standard one, and also give you the ability most of these come with the cigarette lighter adapter. So you can plug it in and you can charge in the car, so that would be a good investment and help you maintain your batteries better. I would definitely um recommend a big landing pad on windy days. It just makes it gives you a bit more extra space to get it down, as you want to land this drone as flat as possible on the ground, um, obviously a backpack, or something to store this in when its not being used on the beach. You want to get the you generally want to get your baits out. Pull your props off, obviously turn the drone off um and then get your bits and pieces um into your bag and away from the elements it should help it last a long time um and i definitely recommend you know getting a minimum.
A spare set of um props, just in case um, because its caught me out three times is um the drop the prop the drone, even though ive landed it on a flat surface and im pulling back on the stick. It has spun up again and pulled forward. Nearly hit the ground so ive, never ive, never broken a pair of props in my life or scratched a set of props so just think thats important because um you, you dont, want to be out and have your day ruled. If you snap a prop so um, i think thats, where it sits with me, just want to say, um im happy to test another one of these drones out. If the swell pro or um or the importer wants me to have a look at one just to retest those lift capacities but based on the one ive got the drone shouldnt vibrate, if its rated at two kilo leaf capacity. Nor should the bearings start making sounds so i dont know if theres an issue with the motor or an issue with this drone, its one and a half two weeks old. It hasnt been hit into anything so im more than happy to correct that in the event.