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8 years with Aerokontiki April 2015 – June 2023

Being an avid Fisherman with boats and Kontiki’s my curiosity about exploring another type of fishing using Drones started early in 2015.

I contacted Kyle, and the Journey started. True to Kyle’s word, "his innovations to change, backup service, and accessibility" have been nothing short of first-class.

Back in 2015, we started with a basic Aerokontiki, a Shimano electric reel with an 80-lb Braid, 6 hooks, an 8-ounce sinker, and a basic range of 600m.

Having a holiday home at the sandy but shallow Waitarere Beach, known for the strong West Coast currents, the innovations and experiments started.

Typically, I was after distance and, more importantly, stabilization in strong currents. I distinctly remember discussing with Kyle "more sinker weight," in particular experimenting with 42oz to hold in currents. Typical reply from Kyle: Be careful!! Over time, more weight was added.

Over the years, progression took place, and I experimented with Stainless Steel main line (42 strands) vs. Braid to hold in currents (ah, not a great success and extremely expensive), Electric reels vs. homemade electric reels, winches for more distance, and many different variations, including setups of 25 hook sections, 2.5 kg sinkers for the currents, 200 lb sinking Braid with Kevlar, and a bigger battery for the AeroKontiki’s.

Clearly, using all of Kyle’s expertise and other Aerokontiki users input, we are almost at the ultimate Fishing Drone experience.

One of the most notable experiments and successes was ATM (auto tractor mode). I had the vision after a morning walk on the beach, and after a typical talk with Kyle, it resulted in a top-class feature. Typically: Arm, Aim, Fly. "And don’t touch the joysticks." Add the hook/bait dispenser, and fishing with the Aerokontiki is now a wonderful, easy experience.

My latest setup to date is the following:

  • Max Beast (4 arms, 8 motors), 16000 ah battery, 118m flight height, Kyle design

  • Winch with 2200m of 200-lb German Sinking Braid with Kevlar Blend

  • 300lb of 130m Hook section with spacing of hooks 5m apart (Dave V design)

  • Danford 1.5kg breakaway sinker to negate currents exceptional idea from Les V

  • Aluminium Hook dispenser easy for clipping on using ATM (25 hooks, shark clips)

Finally, without prejudice, a one-off flight experiment involving the current setup with a result of 2000 m. What a journey, and the sky’s the limit. Thank you, Kyle, for your expertise, patience, and understanding. You have been outstanding.

Where to next?


Message from Kyle:

Thank you, Max. This journey would not have been possible without your vision, motivation, and support. You and many others in the AK community have been a real pleasure to serve. We look forward to many more years of innovation and challenges.
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