Guests - If You want access to member only forums on FM. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on Fishing Minnesota.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • rundrave
      I know its not attached to you. But the issue is with it being attached to the dog and if its running full speed and it gets caught on something. The injuries can occur when its a sudden stop and the collar around the neck is pulled hard from the weight of the dog.   Sounds like to you need to get back to the basics with the check cord and get back to sit, stay and come. You can work her with the check cord in a hallway at home with the doors closed, then move to a larger  grassy area etc. Keep the sessions short and praise, praise and praise some more when she comes back when called.   You never want to give a command you cant enforce and that's where the check cord comes in handy. We have all been there before. But if your not confident with her in the water next to a road you need to go back and revisit those commands and how to enforce them until she is ready. its just not worth risking injury.   You have to make the retrieving fun and if she doesn't bring it back your done for that session, and then she doesn't get to retrieve. Let her see you put the dummy away and then start another session at a later time. Praise, praise and praise when she does it correctly.   Dogs will pick up on your body language frustrations etc.  Just takes lots of reps and keep them short and be positive and she will get there.
    • TNtoMN_HuntFish
      I actually don't have that long leash attatched to me. Its 100' I believe and the only reason I leave it on her is because Round Lake is right by a busy road so if she wants to bolt after a rabbit or something I can quickly grab that leash. Also sometimes she'll grab the dummy and want to swim around with it so I give a few tugs to let her know her job is to bring it to me, not swim in circles. It's just a safety measure because she isn't quite ready for fully off leash training just yet. I almost never actually need to grab it.    Thanks for the advice though, the last thing I'd ever want to do is hurt a dog, especially mine. I never throw the dummy past where it's safe to walk so if she did get it wrapped in cattails or something and got stuck I'd quickly get her. 
    • Buzzbait Brad Ohio
      Thanks for having me Minnesota. I wasn't able to float the Ottertail river but I did fish the lake every morning. Most fish the first 3 days came on top water whopper plopper. The last day, the water temperature heated up to almost 80 so I changed it up a little bit and fished deep water 10-20 feet and caught fish deep. Here's some of the better fish from this week. The fishing up here is great. Can't wait to make it back. 
    • ZachD
      Nice job I will be out on Sat in the boat
    • hitthebricks
      Sounds like my problem, Thanks  
    • JBMasterAngler
      Small minnow raps, #2 mepps spinners, small spoons. Don't need anything else.
    • curt quesnell
      What a great day jigging out in the mud. Little or no wind all day and it was pretty warm but fish were active, biting and large. A big change came yesterday on my close by spots that threw me for a loop but the fish a few miles away seem unphased. I will say it again a great day!
    • monstermoose78
      Thanks for the advice Dave  I dont let Finn fetch on check cord any more. I only used it when he was a pup
    • Cliff Wagenbach
      There are public beaches at both Hoodoo Point in Tower and McKinley Park in Soudan. Cliff
    • leech~~
      In the summer they seem to be about 20' feet down over 50'-80' feet of water. We trolled small raps with what ever would get it down there. I also had down riggers to use.  You could try some deep hook and slip bobbers with a worm in some of the deeper bays to see if they will take it?  Good luck.