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floatfisher

Flashers, which one to get...

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I am going to be getting a flasher for icefishing this year and was wondering what one everyone here uses and why. I am going to be fishing shallower ponds and some of the finger lakes. I was going to just go and get a vex but then I started reading more about it and the marcum and hummingbird flashers sound nice as well. Thanks for any help!!!

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I've got a Vexilar FL-18 that's worked well for me. I got the 'aluma ducer' for it and run it in the summer for jigging in my boat as well. You need to accept that you will have to spend some time learning how to 'read' whatever you get and it helps a lot if you can fish somewhere where the water under the ice is super clear (north end of Cayuga for example)so you can compare the flasher w/ what you see and get a sense of what the screen means.-Andy

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I have an old Vex FL8. When I was looking to replace it I talked to some of my buddies about their flashers (Vex and Marcum). Pretty much, they seemed equally made/reliable but I think the battery life differed between the two so keep that in mind. I don't think you can go wrong with any of the three brands though. I was leaning toward the Vex FL-18 but don't ice-fish enough to justify the purchase anymore.

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floatfisher

This is a great question and from many it is like asking ford or chevy. LOL As a non bias point i have used many and am exposed to all brands I will offer up some insight for your situation. You mention shallow water. I will assume this means 40 foot and less.. Teh most importand thing in choosing a unit is going for one of the new er ones that have zoom capabilities and shy away from an older model suchas a vex fl8 or older. The fl 18 has an ease of use that is excelent for beginners. A good solid unit that is entirely dependable. The next up was the fl20 which is basically he same as far as function just slightly differnent zoom capabilities, and the depth selections are different. A better avanvement from the fl20 is the fl22. This is geared to function below 60 feeet and is very easy for depth selection. Now the Price point is the vex units cost a bit more than the marcum but have a long company history. Now the marcum. this company has a very active development program and is investing alot into advancemnet and function. The LX3 and Lx5 are great units. The function with the lx 5 is its diversity. There is an adjustable zoom on it that gives you the ability to zoom in on any 5-10 foot section of the water column. This feature in itsself makes it very versatile for you switching form the finger lake bottom hugging perch and the suspended Crappie on a night bite. Bang for the buck, marcum. regardless of which you choose dedicate the time to learning its functions after you use it, buddy up with a fellow angler that uses one or attend an ice fishing event and meet with tournament anglers that are using them and catch some tips during a demo or seminar. I hope this has helped some....

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Thanks for the great info guys!!!

I kind of liked the zoom functions you talked about with the lx5, sounds like it would definately come in handy!!! I was leaning towards that one when I started this post, but wanted to hear if anyone has had any experience with the newer hummingbirds out there and how they ranked with the vex and marcum.

As for battery life, dose anyone know what one seems to last longer???

Thanks again guys!!!

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anytime..

Ray, you're like me at Ag seminars, always willing to be the irreverent jokester who steers people who take everything so seriously back into the reality that we all share! :yes:

Back to the main thread; My vex has never runout on me b4 I've run out on it! Another thought I'll throw out is I do think you are gonna be able to get an FL18 for a whole lot less $ than some of these newer generation machines and if you will not be doing major, major ice time, the $ might be better off in your pocket (unless they happen to be really deep). I've used my FL18 to successfully target every thing from crappies & gills in 10' ponds to lakers in 110 FOW, and I would have to say that the machine has considerably more unexplored capacity than I as a 'casual' weekend ice fisherman could ever use. Just my 2 cents.

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A friend of mine let me use his bird 35 last year and it works just fine , it has zoom, dual beam all the good stuff. the ice 45 is nice with the digital depth readout but its really not nessesary, the link below has a nice brakedown of all the flashers.

If the bird is in your budget i would not hesitate to get one ,

http://www.iceshanty.com/ice_fishing/in ... ic=38003.0

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If you want a great unit you can use on hard water and open get a Lowrance X67 ice machine. If you want to learn the flasher style you can switch the unit to that style or use the realtime tracking which is the best option. They are really accurate and easy to use with lots of settings. Seriously consider it before you buy.

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How about the VEXILAR FL-22 with the triducer 9-12-19 degree transducer???

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I like my Vexilar FL-18. I use it for open water and ice fishing. A few of my buddies have different brands. I think you will be happy with any Vexilar unit. Side by side I am of the opinion that they are hands down the best.

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IF you are fishing shallow ponds, I would go with a under water camera before a flasher. The only time I use my flasher now is when I Jig lakers on some of the Finger Lakes. The camera is more fun to watch and a better tool in some cases.

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Problem with cameras are they are hard to see in the daylight, att least all the ones I have seen are you need a dark tent to use them effectively

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Problem with cameras are they are hard to see in the daylight, att least all the ones I have seen are you need a dark tent to use them effectively

Some of the new ones are daytime viewable. Besides, who fishes without a tent these days? :P:lol:

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Here is a bit of insight into the time battered camera vs flasher. Cameras are fun. Nice to see the fish. But much stops there as an effective tool for searching for fish. Consider your camera cable as a boat anchor. every time you use it you are effectively dropping a metaphorical anchor that will hold you in that area for a bit and if no fish you then have to pull up and move on. Now they are great tools and i use them often. But the use a flashers vastly will make your time on the ice much more effective. Quickly searching a hole even those that are only 5 feet deep for fish. If no activity move on. Now in shallower water situation you will be stopping briefly to try the holes since the cone angle does not cover much area but it is still very easy to move. Remember you are only as efficient as your tools at hand and the ability to move on to productive water.

Using the anchor comparison. Consider that every time you were to make a cast from your boat you would drop anchor. The ice should be no different. Many on open water use their trolling motors to cover more water so why hold back on the ice with an anchor of a camera cable. Making this comparison makes it much easier to relate. Fishing is fishing and the game does not change much from open too frozen. so keep on moving and catching fish.

This is just my .02 but I hope it sheds light on the aged old issue... Sorry to write this off topic but it seems to fit with recent conversation.

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I've got to agree with Nathan. Sorry, Brian! You know I absolutely love my Marcum color camera, but it's a toy, while the Vex is a tool.

Any flasher is better than no flasher. You'll be more effective and catch more fish. Camera's are great fun, though, if you have the $$$.

As for models, I've fished a Vex for years with no complaints, but the Marcum LX3 and LX5 are awfully nice machines with great power and interference rejection. Get back to us on what you choose and how you like it.

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floatfisher

If you have not yet purchased a flasher a great place to look into them is at the Syracuse ice fishing show. There will be plenty of knowledgable people there to talk to and yes even deals to be had. Sunday is your best shot at the best deals as many reps will not want to be hauling stuff back with them.

Let us know what you get.

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apparently I got on Santas nice list, cause I got the ok to buy the Lawrence x67 at the Syracuse ice show,... just ran it by her last night, and she rolled here eyes and said Merry Christmas...... :yes:8):beer:

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Well I just placed the order, I ordered the Lowrance x67c ice machine. I liked the price tag and I heard good stuff about it. For how much I get out I just couldnt justify spending much more than that right now. Plus I liked the fact that you can switch from flasher mode to regular sonar.

Now I have seen ice on some ponds, I cant wait till there is safe ice on the bigger water. My kids are as excited as I am!!!

Thanks for all the info!!!

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As the season goes on, the snow piles up on the ice, the dissolved oxygen levels on the bottom of the lakes decline and the fish start suspending. Your flasher will point the suspended fish out for you and make your day. The guys without flashers do okay at first ice and when the thaws start but mid February, they are out of the picture.

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