How To Drone Fishing with DJI Drones

How to Drone Fishing with DJI Drone

Table of Contents

How To Drone Fishing with DJI Drones

Well despite the fact that this post is explaining how to drone fishing with DJI drones, still, if you don’t have a DJI drone, you can still learn from this article how to drone fishing in general.

How simple is it to use drones for fishing using DJI Drones?

When people think about fishing and drones at the same time, there are not too many options available for them. Up to this day, DJI is the most popular drones company. And since people want to use their drones for fishing. That makes many people go fishing using DJI drones assisting them.

Since you are into Drone fishing, most probably, that if you didn’t see this video already, then, after viewing it, your motivation for drone fishing will rise to the sky. And, probably if you are reading this post, and you are into drone fishing, and you have a DJI drone, so all you have left to know is how to drone fishing with DJI drones.

However, hold your horses, it is very important to mention that these guys are not beginners in drones and not beginners in fishing as well. But, this video demonstrates perfectly how drones can help you with fishing.

How to Drone Fishing with DJI Drones
Drone Fishing using DJI Phantom

Does fishing with DJI drones is simple as it is seen?

First, Drone fishing, in general, is not that simple as is shown in the video – even if you will use DJI drones.

Let’s say, for example, that you will take your drone and point the camera to the water, it is not going to be that clear where the fish are. The video that almost everyone saw, basically shows the best footage you can ever ask from your drone while flying it over the sea.

Second, what you see in the video is the footage the people downloaded after landing the drone. However, when flying the drone, they have their tablet to view the streaming video, but it is not in the same quality. So while fishing, you won’t see that quality at all and it will be harder to determine where the fish really are.

Third, don’t expect to find tuna fish that schools near your shore that easy.

As said, these people know what they are doing… And think for a moment, this video is already a few years old, so if there is no better famous video for it, that proves you that it is not that easy as it seems.

But don’t get me wrong… there are many people that caught great fish (also big ones) using their drones.

How to Drone Fishing with DJI Drones
Drone Fishing DJI Phantom

So what I am only trying to tell you is, that is not that simple as it seems in the video.

Which DJI drone is the best for fishing

Well, there is no perfect answer to this question.

Why? Well, this is since we are about to use the drone as a fishing rod, for our casting purpose.

And since that, try to ask yourself, what is the best fishing rod for fishing?

Do you have an answer to this question? Well, there is no perfect answer to this question as well. Right?

This is since there is no such one since it all depends on what and where we intend to fish. So, the same goes for drones.

DJI does not offer many drones like we have fishing rods. And while there are some drones by DJI that can be suitable for fishing, some are not (at least according to me and many others as well).

Recommended DJI drones for fishing

Let’s start with 4 drones by DJI, that are best suitable for fishing in my opinion:

On the other hand, there are drones by DJI which, I don’t think, you should use for fishing due to its price, like the DJI Inspire 2.  And there are also drones that, in my opinion, you don’t want to use for fishing due to its strength and carrying capabilities, like the DJI Spark. Another drone that I don’t think you should use for fishing is the Mavic Air. Like the spark, it is a small drone that can’t lift too much of a weight. So, by adding a payload release device to it, you are already risking your drone. Not mentioning that a payload release device doesn’t worth much if a bait is not attached to it. In other words, not much is left out to carry. Just to understand, on a test made on Mavic Air, it could lift 50 grams with it, and the drone was heard as it is making a serious effort to accomplish that.

I must say that there are people out there, that are using all the mentioned drones for fishing. However, I personally do not recommend it since it is not worth risking. As said, the Inspire is too pricey and the Spark is too small and not strong enough.

For example, here is a video showing a DJI Inspire crashing into the water… My friend, if you have a weak heart, do your self a favor and skip watching this video. After all, it is a mistake that cost his owner 3,000$.

But, since I am not here to stop you from drone fishing with DJI drones, So if you still have the spark and you still want to use it for fishing, here is a link to a 3D printable object that you can use to hook a fishing line to the DJI Spark drone. And here is a link to the video of the person who designed it and shows how to use it. But remember, if you decide to use it, it is at your own risk.

From this point, I will continue explaining the method of how to drone dishing with DJI drones for only the first 4 mentioned drones on the list.

But before I will move on to the fishing part, there is one important thing I must share with you.

DJI Helps Reducing the Risks

DJI, one of the biggest manufactures for drones today, cares about the drone you buy from her. As such, DJI understands that not all the drone pilots are good enough for this mission, and with that said, DJI has developed their DJI Flight Simulator which will help you practice flying a drone, before having the drone yet.

DJI Flight simulator is accessible, intuitive and realistic, and you can practice lots of different training scenarios. It has 3 training modules that will allow you to develop the skills you will need to fly your drone safely for any task. You can practice, take off and maneuvering tasks. You can practice lots of hours behind the sticks.  It accurately has all the drone models and the way the drones perform in real life scenarios, including the effects of winds, sunrise, sunset and more. Learn more about DJI Flight Simulator in the following video.

what to consider when buying DJI drone for fishing?

First, it depends on what type of fishing are you after? For example, is it surf fishing or is it bass fishing?

Then, you will need to ask yourself, what do you need the drone to carry out for you? Does it need to carry a bait, or does it need to carry a lure?

How much weight does your bait have? Is it 10 grams or Is it 100 grams? or should it be 200 grams? Or even 1 kilogram?

When you will be able to answer these questions, you will know which drone you will need.

The reason for all these questions is very simple, each DJI drone can carry different weight and not only that. Each drone can hold still in different winds.

For example, DJI Phantom 4 can carry more than a DJI Mavic Pro.

Drone Fishing using SwellPro Splash Drone 3 Fishing Edition
Drone Fishing using SwellPro Splash Drone 3 Fishing Edition

DJI Drone Fishing made easy

Fishing with DJI drones shouldn’t be complicated at all.

You will need to do 4 things for this purpose.

  1. Get yourself a good payload release device for the drone. You can read more about payload release devices here.
  2. You will need to set the correct fishing rig for drones. Will be explained later in my next article.
  3. Proper fishing rod and reel. Since every simple thing can crash your drone, you will need to make sure you are using the right gear when using your DJI drone for fishing.
  4. Last, is your flying skills. Don’t use a drone for fishing if you are completely new to drones.

Of course, I could mention your fishing skills, but I don’t think it is important to discuss it in this article. However, if you are a fishing beginner read this article first.

But first things first.

Which Payload release to use for DJI drone?

Well, this section is the biggest and most important in the post. Basically, whatever makes a drone a fishing drone is mostly the payload release device that you will install to it.

And since each drone has its own solution, So, there is a special payload release section for each type of drone.

Payload Release for DJI Phantom 4 Series

For DJI Phantom 4 you have several options.

The first one which I mostly recommend you is the professional PGYTECH payload release device.


This payload release by PGYTECTH was specially designed for DJI Phantom 4, it is lightweight. It is working using a photocell and can be controlled using the C1 or C2 buttons on your remote control.

Its price is the most competitive in the market compared to other good payload release devices. While the PGYTECH costs around 150$ others cost between 200$ to 300$.

Another good working payload release which is dedicated to the Phantom 4 series is the FLiFli AirDrop device.

FLiFLi AirDrop Release Device for DJI Phantom 4
FLiFLi AirDrop Release Device for DJI Phantom 4

The FLiFli AirDrop release device works very well and it has great features compared to other dedicated devices in the market. Its’ remote control indicates the status of the payload release. If the color is green, that means that the device is closed. When it is red, it means that it is open – you dropped the bait. It is not mounted on the drone’s LED light, and it is working for a great distance of 1 mile.

Another payload release for DJI Phantom 4 is this payload release. This payload release is half the price of the PGYTECH one, which we just mentioned above. It is using a strong motor and servo and finally, it is mounting to the drone using a 3D printable plate to perfectly match the drone without disturbing its sensors. This payload release for DJI Phantom 4 is a bit heavier than the PGYTECH payload release.

Payload Release for DJI Phantom 3 and 2 Series

Like the one for the DJI Phantom 4, there is a specific payload release device for each edition of the Phantom 3 and Phantom 2.

payload release device for dji phantom 3
payload release device for dji phantom 3

The difference between each edition of the payload release for each drone is due to a specific printable mounted part which will fit the drone specifically.

This payload release device allows you to activate the dropping mechanism as simple as clicking on the C1 or C2 buttons on the remote control.

This payload release device even comes with 2 different colors, gray and white.

If you need a guide to explain how to install this payload release, read this installation guide about it.

Payload Release for DJI Mavic Series

This payload release device is compatible with the Mavic Pro and Mavic Platinum. It works the same as the ones before. However, it has few changes.

First, the payload release is mounted on the top of the drone, where for the Phantom series it is mounted at the bottom of the drone.

You can see this payload release here.

Like the previous ones, this payload release device also allows you to activate the dropping mechanism as simple as clicking on the C1 or C2 buttons on your remote control.

This payload release device embraces the DJI Mavic drone so it is securely attached to the drone.

payload release for dji mavic
payload release for dji mavic

DIY Payload Release Device

Of course, that you are not obligated to purchase any of the payload releases I have just shown you, and you can build one by yourself.

Building your own payload release can give you great advantages, for example, some of them won’t cost you a penny, or they can be operated easily by another remote control and won’t use one of the drone’s LED light. However, you must remember that if you won’t do it correctly, or if you won’t install it correctly, you are totally risking your drone. So building your homemade payload release is at your own risk.

Let’s start with the most common and simple payload release.

The Hanger

Yes, you heard it right. A metal hanger, as simple as it sounds. This is something that most probably you can find at your home closet. This homemade device won’t cost you a penny.  All you need to do is to take the hanger and twist it to shape that you can attach it to the drone body, and on its other side to hold the line (using a loop).

This is mostly used with DJI Phantom drones; However, I saw some people that used it for DJI Mavic as well. The only difference is the way you twist the hanger, so you will be able to mount it to the drone.

Homemade Payload Release Made of Hanger
Homemade Payload Release Made of Hanger

Here is an example of how to twist the hanger for DJI Phantom:

And here is an example of how to do it for DJI Mavic:

You can be more creative and twist the hanger in a more proper way that fits for you. Just make sure not to block the sensors of the drone.

Down-rigger release clip

This is another cheap solution which you can use for your drone. The idea of this clip is very simple. It holds your line in some strength – not too much. And when you want to release the bait, you close the bail of your fishing reel and let the drone keep flying forward. Since the clip is resisting too much, the line will be released from the clip and the bait (or lure) will drop.

Here is a video that demonstrates to you how to use a down-rigger release clip.

downrigger payload release
downrigger payload release

Other payload releases

There are more homemade solutions, but they are more complicated and some are even more expensive than the ones I showed you at the beginning of this post. However, as said they have more advantages than anyone else. I will write a specific post about it very soon. So, make sure you stay tuned.

This homemade payload release is going to be the best one you will be able to get for your DJI drones, or for any other drone except for SwellPro drones which did the best payload releases device.

Risks with homemade payload releases

Well, there is also a downside for the homemade payload release devices. The downside is the risk you bring to your drone. Failing to balance the device, or blocking the sensors can lead very easily to a crash. And for sure, the last thing in your fishing agenda is returning home without your drone.

You can read our post about drone fishing risks, so you will be able to prevent as much damage to your drone when you take it out fishing with you.

DJI Phantom
DJI Phantom

So, if you choose to go with a homemade solution, be very careful and test it several times before you take it with you to fish.

Fishing Rig for Drones

Okay, so after clearing the payload release section, we can step over to the next thing that we need in drone fishing, and this is the fishing rig.

Why there is a fishing rig for drones?

First of all, while reading this post, did you have a chance to think about how the drone will actually carry out your fishing line?

Even this simple task, of carrying out your fishing line, has several different ways, you will need to pick the best way that suits you and your drone and you are good to go.

How to set a fishing rig for drones?

Keep in mind that this explanation is not specifically intended for DJI drones only. This is relevant to everyone that wants to use a drone for fishing.

  • First, prepare your fishing line as usual, as you are not going to attach it to a drone.
  • Then, you will need to choose the point where the line will be attached to the drone – this is a very important step, since, deciding this point incorrectly can cause the drone to crash and I will explain that in a minute.
  • Third, at your desired point, tie a slip knot (you can also put a swivel but I prefer the slip knot).
  • Forth, take the main loop of the knot, and attach to the bottom center point of the drone.

Where is the best place to set the slip knot?

The reason we need to be careful where we tie the slip knot is very simple. Choosing the wrong place can cause your drone to crash during flight.

And I will explain, the drone is carrying your line with a sinker and a bait. This whole rig has some weight. So while flying the drone, the rig will cause a pendulum effect due to the movement.

So, as your rig will be longer from the slip knot, the pendulum effect will be stronger. And as much as the pendulum effect will be stronger, the drone will lose his stability and it will “fight” back to be balanced back again.

I already heard that a drone crashed when the fishing rig was 1.5-meter long. The pendulum effect will cause the drone to tilt, and at some point, while the drone will try to balance itself it will lose its stable position and will fall like a stone. Also, the drone has sensors which will be disturbed a lot while the pendulum effect will occur.

So, back to the point… the best place to set the slip knot will be around 50cm after the beginning of the rig. Now, don’t worry, if you fishing rig is longer than 50cm, which if you surf fishing it is probably the case, then you just make the slip knot in the middle of the rig. That means, for example, that you will have the slip knot between the bait and the sinker.

In case you are using a lure, and not a bait, for drone fishing, tie the slip knot 20cm-30cm after the lure and that’s it.

Where is the best place to attach the rig to the drone?

If you are not using a dedicated payload release for your drone and you are using a homemade device, it is super important that the point where the line will be attached to the drone will be the center of the drone. In order to set up this point, turn over your drone, take 2 strings or lines and make a cross using the lines between the landing gears of the drone. The point where the 2 lines meet, this is the place where your fishing line should be attached.

Not following this tip will cause an overload on one of the sides of the drone and can cause him problems during flight. Problems which, as I warned before, can lead to a crashed drone.

sank drone
a dead drone

When to attach the fishing rig to the drone?

For this, you have only two options, before taking off, or after taking off.

I, like most of the people, prefer to do it after I take the drone up in the air. However, I am being very careful while bringing the drone close to me and then attaching the fishing rig to the payload release. This way, I  make sure that the line won’t get tangled during the take-off. But, be careful not to hurt yourself from the props of the drone.


Well, after reading all of this, no doubt there are lots of details, but it was not complicated. Right? So, if I will ask you now, hey: “Do you know how to drone fishing with DJI drones?”, what will you say? Is it simple or not?

It is very important that you will keep in mind and remember the risks and dangers that drone fishing has. However, if you will follow these rules and practice, your drone should be fine.

Let me know what you think about this, also let me know how do you make your fishing rig for your drone… Let me hear that in the comments section below.

And till the next time, fly safe and tight lines.

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