OT Ice fishing flashers, which one

Discussion in 'Fishing Forum' started by lanthanide, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. lanthanide

    lanthanide Elite Refuge Member

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    I've ice fished all my life and never run a flasher. However, my son is now wanting to get into this and insists we need one of these units. Plus all the hard-core guys I know won't fish without them.

    I'm looking at the very basic units between two product lines. The Marcum VX-1 Pro and the the Vexilar FL-8.

    I've done my research and each have some pros and cons...anyone here provide me with any real reason to go with one over the other?

    Thanks
     
  2. h2ofwlr

    h2ofwlr Elite Refuge Member

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    Heck I am not even close to hard core and will not ice fish with out one. I guarantee after a few excursions of using it you'll be going - Why did I wait so long?

    I know nothing about Marcum's, I know some about Vexlars. I do know that transducers is a key part of clalrity/definition.

    I love the FL -18 because you can zoom to the bottom 6' or 12' range (my cousin has one).
    And I do not remember which model you have multiple Mhz zones to choose from to get rid of interference. Meaning if another guy in the fish house has a FL-8 and the same transducer, you'll get interference. This is especially important when deep water fishing as the signal goes out in all directions, it the receiver (cone) the limits the reception to the cone angle of say 9, 12 or 15 degrees.

    Another thing some of the models have it so you have 2 (9 & 15 degrees) transducer degree to choose from.

    And do you want it to do double duty and be able to use it in the summer time too? That should weigh in also then. The FL22 has bottom lock and reportedly by others it is better to get through algae and air bubbles that you may encounter in the summer months.

    I'd suggest going to a good fishing shop and pick their brains on the differences, and of the brands before you choose a brand and model.

    Here is what I would do as I sense you are on a budget ($300). Buy a newer USED model of say the FL18 or the FL20. Check Graig's List near where you live. INSIST that you go out on a lake and test it before you buy a used one and that all the features work. Ask for the manual too.

    BTW, the FL20 has the flat screen, and some say it has more definition. (I have not used one though).

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
  3. eel river

    eel river Elite Refuge Member

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    Recently on some Indiana ice fishing sites/threads, the Vexilar 8SE has gotten some very positive comments and seems to be "the thing". I've never owned a flasher, just to old school I guess.
     
  4. Banded1

    Banded1 Elite Refuge Member

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    If you're set on going with one of those units, I'd just buy a used one off Craigslist, I would think you could find a decent one for $100. I think you'll realize how much of a difference they make and be looking to upgrade. I have a Humminbird Ice-55 and love it. I also have a Marcum LX5 that I won and don't like it at all. If you really want a new one, I'd wait a month for when they go on sale.

    If you are in need of an auger, I'd highly recommend a 5 or 6" Strikemaster Lazer hand auger with a cordless drill attachment.
     
  5. Ron Gilmore

    Ron Gilmore Elite Refuge Member

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    Okay so here is what I have learned with these units with the aid of a camera to see what the flasher is showing.

    The Marcum models 3 and above are the best units for separation of what you are seeing on the bottom. For example on the Vex units we had 4 small perch hovering around the bait and it looked like a big fish on the flasher. Where as the Marcum lx3 showed the perch separately on the screen. I have gathered from fishing with people that to get this type of separation the LX3 model is the minimum level.

    I currently run a VEX FL18 and love the zoom feature dual cone but if I where doing it over the money would have went to a Marcum LX series 3 or above.

    The lakes we fish can be from 30+ feet deep to as shallow as 4 ft so we have a variety of use. That said if it is a price point purchase then buy which ever one fits because there is not a lot of difference between the entry level units of both products.

    I have been fishing with a flasher of some type for 30 years first one was an old green box Lowrance the I went to a digital but was unhappy with it and bought one of the first FL-8 that hit the market. Ran that a few years and bought another one because of the tranducer change and change in the screen. Then upgraded to the FL 18 for the zoom. Wish I had paid attention and bought the Marcum product.


    Hope this helps, and I will say this once you learn to use a flasher regardless of brand you will enjoy having it even the entry level. You are going to hear possibly a lot of chest thumping on both brands, but ignore it. Both build good products and stand behind them.

    Good advice on looking at used units, because people like myself will upgrade and sell our used units. Downside is warranty if needed because both companies honor only original buyer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
  6. eel river

    eel river Elite Refuge Member

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    Will the drill attachment work on an 8 inch auger very well?
     
  7. blinddog

    blinddog Elite Refuge Member

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    Admittedly ignorant to icefishing, but I fish a lot.

    Why are old school flashers used and not typical bottom machines?
     
  8. Banded1

    Banded1 Elite Refuge Member

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    No. It'll burn the drill out fast (burn as in destroy). You need a min of 18v drill for up to 6". I typically use a 5" drill and can get about 25 holes in 12" of ice on one battery charge. 6" drill I get more than 15 holes in 12".
     
  9. Banded1

    Banded1 Elite Refuge Member

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    A graph screen would show objects as a straight line and not an instant blip like a flasher.
     
  10. Ron Gilmore

    Ron Gilmore Elite Refuge Member

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    Really it is about separation and speed, All of them run models where you can have a display or flasher screen, but separation is really the issue, in what you are seeing! As I pointed out in my other post, but speed of what you are seeing is a large part especially with crappie which will swim up and take the bait not ever moving the bobber. A lot of times when the mark overtakes your bait you can set the hook and catch the crappie. With a scrolling display the delay is long enough that the fish most times will have spit the hook and bait out.

    Again this comes from experience of what I have seen with the aid of cameras as well. So in waters where cameras will not work because of snow cover or water clarity a flasher will ice more fish day in and out than a scrolling display unit will.
     

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