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pjbeod

ice fishing sonar

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First of all, where is the ice, this is getting ridiculous!

second, I'm through with punching holes and playing the guessing game. who has a nice sonar they like and which sonar would you recommend? Or would you recommend a camera instead of sonar? I'm looking at vexilar and marcum sonars because that seems to be the most popular name out there.

what is the difference between a $250.00 finder and a $750.00 one.

Looking for someone to put these things into perspective for me, never used one and would like to make sure i make the right decision when i go buy one this year. thanks in advance for the help

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I have used a Vexilar fl 8 for about 15 years.It doesn't have bottom zoom like the more expensive Vexilars, but does everything I need.I can see smelt hit my jig at 100' works for me.I sent my old one back for service once. Customer service was great,fixed my unit very cheap quick turn around time.Very happy with my Vexilar.I have not used any of the others but have been more than happy with my fl 8.

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I have the fl18,does the job, marcums are very nice too, differences in price is, options, bottom zoom, transducer degrees, colors,overall, what the unit will do, and what you expect, you can go to both websites,

watch some video I believe. If I buy a new one, I would sway towards Marcum myself , good luck,

everyone has there preferences, they all do a good job.. you are on the right track.

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I'm a Sonar fan for ice fishing, they can do everything a flash can, and much much more.

Consider seriously looking at a Lowrance unit with a built-in GPS module. Then, add a Navionics chip for the areas you fish, and you have an incredible 'system' for ice fishing.

You can see your jig in realtime and can zoom to whatever column of the water you want, not just the bottom 10 feet or whatever the flasher settings are. There is also a short history as the action scrolls by on the screen, fun to share with buddies the chase game you just had with a fish...

Your jig moves vertically on the Sonar screen, not circular around a dial like with a flasher. This makes interpretation simple, a nice plus for newbies or guests should they want to use the sonar with you.

Sonars operate silently, there is no clicking/whirring sound of the spinning discs in a flasher.

Sonars display the depth in an instant, easy to read digital number format, flashers require some interpretation (ok once around the dial is 60 feet, then another quarter rotation, how deep are we!?) (Excluding Humminbird flasher which have an lcd depth readout)

Check out the Whitefish video I just posted, there is a short clip of the Lowrance HDS unit in action to give you an idea of what I'm talking about.

There really is no benefit of a flasher, unless you are fishing in extreme cold temperatures (-30 or colder ) out in the open. In that case, the LCD screen can appear sluggish and battery life is greatly reduced.

Hope this helps.

Tony

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I have a vexilar fl-8 and as stated above i am very happy with mine. The fl-8 maximum depth is 120ft. if you want to fish deeper your gonna need one of their other units. I have never fished over 40 ft on the ice but id like to get out after some lakers and test out the unit at 100 ft. Some other features the other vex/marcum models offer are bottom zoom with is nice when fishing the bottom which i normally do but is not neccesary just a nice feature. you can change the vexilar transducer to a tri beam transducer if you want. I would get a case to protect it in transport and keep snow and water off it. I have herd good things about vex and marcum. never used a marcum but i wouldnt shy away from one. I have heard alot of good things about the lowrance x67 ice machine. It has a flasher and also bottom zoom and are about 250 dollars. Having a sonar is a huge benefit you will never fish without one again once you use one

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I have a Vexilar FL8SE and love it. Vexilar, Marcum, Lowrance, Hummingbird, they are all quality. It is all personal preference. Do some research and figure out which units gives you the most bang for your buck. As an example, the Vexilar FL8 fewer options than the Marcum Vx-1 for the same money.

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Def give the Lowrance x67 a look you will really be impressed it not only gives realtime like you have on a baot but if you prefer you can turn it to the sonar which is jsut like a Vex, plus you have the bonus of hooking it up to a boat in the summer they run 220-300.

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Vex make a great unit I like them better than the Marcum. If you go with Vex I say go Fl-18 or Fl-20, the zoom feature is really great regardless of depth, really helps you key in on your bait and fish alot better, Fl-18 and up units also have bottom lock so if your winter or early spring jigging from the boat it really helps and would make it almost impossible without that option.

I myself actually run a Lowrance m68, I got a good deal on used one and I don't think I would go back to a flasher, it's unbelievable for bottom hugging fish and I think you can get a better idea of how the fish are reacting to your jigging due to the fact that you can see a history on the LCD screen versus a flasher. I also like the fact that I can adjust the depth range extremely well, it's super bright with alot of screen adjustments when it comes to brightness, sensitivity, split screen zoom, and it's silent. Some guys say LCD's aren't instant, I call BS you move your bait and the bait moves on the screen with it. I also think the screen is less confusing when you have a couple fish going and you can tell what's what especially when you have a couple hot fish and two guys working them, on a flasher the lights just go crazy and the separation and color gets all mixed up when they are about to hit and you end up losing some bites because of it. I just got my 68 last year and only used it for on Erie but I smacked the perch and caught some walleye with it, it's retarded sensitive when set on 4x zoom on the bottom I could tell when the perch stole my bait off my buckshot and I was only using half a minnow and they were belly in the mud in deep water.

They ALL work and well, I suggest fishing both LCD and Flasher with a friend before you make up your mind but one thing for sure is if you go flasher don't buy the cheapest you will end up upgrading eventually just as you would most every other piece of fishing equipment, the bottom line units get your feet wet but you get what you pay for when it comes to features and functionality.

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This was very helpful, thanks for all the insight into these units :yes: and i didn't even consider lowrance units, but will look at them before i make the purchase. having a gps mark out on the big lake would be really nice. I'm pretty new to ice fishing so having gps built in is a nice feature. Thanks again guys, good luck and lets hope for a freeze this year

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