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Hydrowave - Fact or Fiction? (continued)

Field Tests: Once installed and out on the water, operation of the unit is very straight forward. You press the power/menu button to turn the unit on, and then use this same button to scroll through a list of available sounds. Once you find the one you want to use, simply hit the play button, adjust the volume, and start fishing!

We tend to always settle on Spawning Bait.

The one spot of difficulty with the unit is deciding which sound might be appropriate for your situation. With choices like spawning bait, surface bait, schooling blitz, delayed schooling, bait blitz, power pattern, active pads, blue back frenzy, blue back finesse, crawfish on sand finesse, crawfish on gravel finesse, deep bait, feeding frenzy, and more, it's almost too much to process and decide when you're out on the water.

Then it's a matter of selecting continuous or delayed playback and start fishing!

Each sound plays in a continuous ninety (90) second loop unless you choose the "delay" feature. This feature introduces a pause of pre-determined length (you choose the interval from 15, 30, 45, 60, or 120 seconds) before repeating the loop once again.

Results are not instantaneous. In fact it's just another tool to hopefully tip the scales in your favor.

Effectiveness: So really the question on everyone's mind is does the unit work? The Hydrowave unit is not some magical device that makes fish jump into your boat. What it does is give you another tool to tip the scales in your favor. Assuming you find the right sound to suit your fishing situation, it can activate inactive fish but it won't necessarily make them take the bait at the end of your line. You still have to use an appropriate technique and bait.

With the handful of occasions we've had to use this unit, it does seem as if the fish are more cooperative.

Including my experience with Jeff Kriet during the Spro/Gamakatsu media event out on Lake Eufala, Alabama, I've now had a handful of occasions out on the water with the unit and it does seem as if the fish are more cooperative when the Hydrowave unit is on. One thing for sure is it certainly does not hurt the situation and the one clear benefit it has is to mask the sounds coming from your trolling motor and depth finders.

More importantly, the very first time we used it also happened to be our best day on the water in about five years. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not.



Hydrowave Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The unit and speaker are predominately plastic but put together well 7.5
Performance Once installed, turning the unit on and off and working through the menu options is very straight forward 9
Price At $400, it's really not that bad considering I've paid more for a swimbait and definitely more for a rod and reel. 7.5
Features 16 included sound patterns, 5 delay options, ability to update/add new sounds 8
Design (Ergonomics) Really simple to use and install 8
Application When the bite is tough, it's good to have an extra tool at your disposal 8

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ Another tool at the angler's disposal - Results are circumstantial at best
+ Can help mask the sound of your boat - The cable coming out of the speaker would be better if it came out the side of the speaker instead of the back allowing for better, crowded alignment with other devices on the trolling motor battery.
+ Activates inactive fish  


Conclusion: I wish I could say definitively, one way or the other, that this unit works, but in all honesty, the evidence is really circumstantial at best. Would the fish that we caught have bit if the unit was off? Did the fish turn on because the unit was on or was it just the right time of day? These questions persist because fishing will always be fishing, and as I mentioned earlier, you still have to use the right techniques and baits. There is no substitute for that. Not to mention, you also have to be in a spot where there are actually fish present. Hydrowave is not a miracle fish caller.


Another tool that's worked its way into our standard arsenal.


What I can relay is the very first time Zander and I were on my boat fishing with this unit running continuously for us all day long, also just happened to coincide with the best day we had on the water together in a good five years. We got a ton of work done that day. Was it the Hydrowave unit or did we simply time our trip right? Results of that day have not repeated itself, but our overall "luck" has seemed to have changed for the better. Maybe we're just being more patient in each spot since we don't move around as much so we can give the Hydrowave time to do its thing. Maybe it's both? I know one thing, I'm not in a rush to take the unit off my boat and let Zander install it on his anytime soon.











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