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sodajerk

Flasher Advice - Vexilar? Marcum? What's the best model/value for the money?

14 posts in this topic

I'm looking at getting a Vexilar hopefully sometime soon, but with laying out cash for Christmas ya never know. Gander in Roch has Vex models ranging from $280 (FL-8SE) to $460 for the FL-20.

On the Vexilar website, I saw a "Genz model" FL18 for about $380, the FL12 for a bit less, etc. I don't know much about Marcums, but I see from some brief research that their prices are in the same ball park.

I'm wondering what you guys think about the high end vs low end models. Are the cheaper ones good enough, or will I wish I had sprung a few more bucks and got the higher end model?

I don't know much about them, other than that they have some knobs and some pretty-colored flashy lights. wink.gif I'm thinking about things like ease of charging, hours of use on a charge, durability, warranty, features...

I'll use it mostly for ice fishing, as I'm pretty much a trout/fly fisherman in the summer (unless someone wants to give me a ride in their boat some summer Saturday...hint...hint.) tongue.gif

Any advice is much appreciated!

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Look at the Lowrance X67c Ice Machine and plan on using it in a graph mode. It is awesome and is now even cheaper than anything you listed. You can find'em for $249 or maybe even less at times.

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I have an FL-8 which is pretty much the basic Vexilar unit. It has served me quite well in the past years. What you get by going to the more expensive units is usually a little bit more target definition, and ofcourse the zoom feature. If you aren't set on buying one this year, I am considering selling mine after this season and upgrading for next year.

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I've got an Vexilar FL-18 and a Marcum LX-5. Both these models have the zoom feature. This is a very nice deal when fish are tight to the bottom in deeper water.

Personally I think my marcum is easier to charge than my vex. It has a digital readout with the % charged. The vexilars you have to unhook the battery and hookup alligator clips to charge the unit. This might be changed in the FL-12/20 models thou.

Both units are durable and both can be used for a surprisingly long time. If forget how long, but something like 20+ hours (basically an entire weekend of fishing)

Your probably going to want to do more research than this forum can provide. One of our Pro Staffers has spent alot of time on an article that should really help with some of your questions.

http://mattjohnsonoutdoors.com/ChoosingtheRightFlasherUnit.html

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Anyone know why people are selling their LX5? I know both Rick and Surfacetention sold theirs.

Well, I was a die hard fan of Vexilar for many years, but if I got a deal on LX3, I would strike fast. I have only heard good things about these units. But, if I get a good deal on a FL-8, I would not pass it either.

I have been using an Eagle flasher for some time. I had it tuned up at local fish elec. store in Anoka and the thing works great. Basically as good as an FL-8, with out color (all amber lines). Also have been using a Humming bird Matrix 10 graph that has worked well on the ice. When set correct, I can see jig and minnow come up and down. Also I can see fish follow jig and minnow up from bottom.

All in all, this year I am sold on the Marcum line. A lot of good guys on this site swear by them and that’s good enough for me.

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Soda - I started with an FL-8 and went to an LX-2 ( which I don't think Marcum makes anymore). I haven't fished the higher end Marcum's yet.I have to say that my FL-8 was just as good as the marcum. They each have their own advantages. I do believe that the marcum seems to run a little longer on one charge and the gain is more sensitive.I would also say to go with a used unit for your first one. I bought both my units used and have had no troubles.Both units are pretty tough stuff. You can save a bunch of cash buying here on the classifieds or some of the other sites. There are always a few around. It is a good way to see what you like, and an FL-8 that you buy this year for $150 can be sold next year for $150, if you decide to upgrade. Net cost to you = $0. Buy a new FL-8 or Marcum for $300 and sell for $250 or less next year.See where I'm going here? I have also had very positive experiences with each customer service department.One down side for Marcum is they don't have near the presence in retail stores as Vexilar does. If you're like me and need to have your hands on something in order to fork over the cash, you will not be satisfied with the amount of Marcum products you find on the shelf at your local store.That aspect of Marcum actually seems to be getting worse as time goes on.There is my humble, honest opinion. Good luck and don't forget the spud.

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My first and only flasher I have ever owned is th Marcum LX-3 and I would reccommend it to anyone. After one trip to LOTW with my wife I might have to go buy another one because she used it most of the time, they are that easy to use and read. One feature the Marcum offers that Vexilars do not is you can use your zoom anywhere in the water table. However some people like vexilars because the can fit in a 5 gal. bucket unlike the Marcums.

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Marcum also came out with a new model this year the Marcum VX1, which seems to be more of an entry level flasher with a price point of $250. Not sure what the features are on it and how it compares to the higher models. I'm not much of an ice fisherman and mostly have to rely on luck to get fish out of the hole. Maybe someday that will change for me.

Andy

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Last year I bought a Marcum and don't have any complaints about it. Can't believe I fished so many years with out one, money well spent. The one reason I picked the Marcum over the Vexilar is the Marcum's generally have more watts which is suppose to translate to better detection (at least that's what the sales person sold me on). Though with the higher wattage I think you tend to use more battery power. I never had a problem with the battery draining on me. After a long day of fishing I would automatically charge it when I got home as a precaution.

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Thanks for all the advice guys! I've been doing a lot of reading about flashers for the past several days. There's a thread on the ice fishing forum on this site on this topic and some discussions (wars? smile.gif) about it on other sites as well.

I think I'm going with the MarCum LX-5, and the main reasons I'm going for that one over the FL-20 are 1) the LX-5's adjustable zoom, allowing you to focus on any part of the water column, and 2)the MarCums seem to have Vexilar beat in the interference rejection department. I also like the MarCum soft case included and the big wattage output.

I've done some wheeling and dealing, some shuckin' and jivin', and I think I'll have one before next weekend. Can't wait to try one out on the water. I see Gander has a bunch in stock, so no paying for shipping, and no waiting for UPS to show up. (I never buy anything used, except cars and houses.) wink.gif

Thanks again for the help, everyone.

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Good luck out there with it, I know you won't regret it!! And you are right about the interference thing, I can be fishing just feet away from an lx-5 with my fl-8 and I have all kinds of problems, and the guy using the marcum doesn't have any to speak of, just a couple of quick adjustments and he is off and fishing while I am still trying to get mine set.

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I've got an FL-18 and the LX-5. I like'em both very much. Both are great units and both are effective.

Personally for me, if I'm going to be fishing shallow water (5' or less), or the fish are just under the ice, I prefer my FL-18 as it seems to do a better job of reading fish in the top 4' of the water column.

My LX-5 goes with me about 95% of the time except as noted above. The unit is awesome and does a much better job of allowing you to put the bait right on the nose of the fish. The adjustable zoom and target separation are awesome! I also use the narrow beam alot when fishing deeper water, so I don't mark other lines/baits in the shack.

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The narrow beam is another reason I chose the LX-5. It's nice to have that capability if needed. Kinda strange that MarCum only offers that on one model, where Vexilar has it on several of them.

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You can't go wrong with either. I have been running Marcums for the last few years and there is no turning back. I feel they give you the best bang for you buck and have some advantages such as the adjustable zoom to top it off. I never hit the ice without my LX-5!

mw

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