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GPS vs. Flasher


Farley

Question

For all you experts who have it all, what is a more effective tool, a GPS with the Lakemaster software or a flasher?

I like the flasher because it tells you if anything is down there at that moment.

I like the GPS because not only would a guy spend less time looking for dropoff, humps,etc.. but it can be used in the truck on the way to the lake for directions, finding resteraunts, addresses, and the like.
Also, we go to the BWCA and it would nice to mark some spots up there.

I think flashers are a little pricey, that's why I'm leaning towards the GPS (If I was to buy a flasher, I'd get the Marcum LX3), I just want to hear what some of you guys have to say from your experiences.

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GPS is only good to approximately 30 feet, although performance may vary. The software will also add a margin of error. A flasher gives absolute depth, and activity below the 'ducer. They both have their merits. Owning both, I can't say which I'd prefer to have first, but you'll get a lot more use year 'round out of a GPS. Plus, you can mark spots during the open water with a GPS and always make your way back.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

I don't think either can come close to replacing each other. They compliment each other when used together.
My GPS is loaded with routes and way points I've added. If I see structure I like on a map I'll load it and once there I'll use a locater to pinpoint that spot and enter it into my GPS.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

If you have to choose one or the other then go with your first choice and get the LX3. For fishing sonar is far more important then a GPS.

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Thanks guys for your responses. As much as I hate to go against the grain, I think I'm going with the GPS. Like I said before, I've never owned either, but I think the GPS is much more versitile and can be used for more than fishing. I'll just pick up one of those flashlight style depth finders (which actually might be a good thing to bring to the BWCA with the aid of a GPS), and a few more lead depth bombs to get me through the rest of the season.

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Last year I got a FL-18. This year I wanna get a GPS. But Santa brought me a shaver. So I'll have a clean smooth shave, but won't know where the hell I am. smile.gif

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I'd have to go with the flasher first. They both are very nice to have and the LakeMaster software is a nice addition on the gps. The flasher will put more fish on the ice for you in many different situations, the gps will only get you to the spot. I find myself using my gps units mainly on larger bodies of water, many lakes that I fish I know well enough that I don't need the gps.

If you fish a lot of bigger lakes, the gps may be a good choice (they are very handly on larger bodies of water and you don't have to worry about getting lost in a blizzard either). Picking up an LX-i (flashlight style depth finder) along with the gps sounds like a good plan. That LX-i is a handy little depth finder that will get you on structure quickly. Good luck with your decision!

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Why go for only one of the above items when you can have them both?
My opinion may be an unpopular one because everyone seems to only like buying NEW items, But there are some very good deals on slightly used equiptment right here in the for sale forums on FM.
I know you have your heart set on a marcum but there are a lot of very good used fl-8s out there for sale just because people are upgrading to the fl-18. These are very good units and I would rather have a used one than no flasher at all!
With the money you save on the vex you could buy a nice GPS, depending on what kind you want. I bought one on this sight for $40 and it does all I want it to do, mark waypoints.
Just my humble opinion.
Dave

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

You could go with the LX1 which is the same as the LX3 without the zoom. Then get a hand held GPS without mapping for under $100.

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Believe me if I could afford both, I would get both, but I'm on a strict budget and will buy one but not the other. I've fished for 15 years without either so whatever I do get, I'll be content with for a while.

One thing I'd really like to know is the accuracy factor for GPS. I think it's Garmin that says their units will get you to within 19 feet of your destination. Are they full of $#!%???????

[This message has been edited by Farley (edited 12-30-2003).]

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If you can only have one get the flasher. The flasher can help you locate structure and will tell you if there are fish below you, the GPS will only help you locate spots. If you fish in areas where there are typically other people fishing you won't need the GPS. Or cultivate some fishing buddies that have GPS. Also, GPS with a good signal are accurate to within 12'--the government desensitized the system a few years ago.

[This message has been edited by rms (edited 12-30-2003).]

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Great advise, but I'm pretty set now on getting the GPS. I can fish without a flasher for another year. I have a gift cert. for Cabelas that will get me one of those flashlight depth finders, so I just got to fork out the dough for the GPS. I'm thinkin either the Rino 120 or Magellen Sport Trak. I like the external antenna on the Rino.

I've kept my eye on the classifieds on this site, but I like buying new because I know what I'm getting. I've considered the FL-8 for a while, but I'm worried about the interferenc factor if everyone else has the Marcum. If anyone is gonna scramble all the flashers in the house, it better be me smile.gif

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You have to have both of them; just as important is you have to have a cell phone that works. I don’t know how I ever got along without this stuff before but I did.

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I would definitely suggest the Garmin Rhino 120. I just purchased one about a month and have had great success learning to use it and have been very impressed with the radio capabilities. I was up in duluth with some friends and they each had standard radios, I was able to communicate with them easily. As far as the GPS itself, is also great. I've gotten it acurate to within 15ft. The first Geo-cache I went on I found it no problem. I to use mine for fishing, hunting, and will use it in the boundary waters. The Rhino 120 also offers the built in memory and base map. Go with the GPS, you can use it year round and it will be more beneficial in more ways than one. By the way check out walmart's web page. They have it there for $212 versus $250 at stores. It is sometimes out of stock there but check, it will save you money, even with shipping included.

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I'm guessing you have never fished with a flasher before if you say you can wait another year to get one? Trust me once you get one youll be kicking yourself for not getting one sooner.I have both and the flasher is MUCH more important. and yea the new ones with all the bells and whistles are nice for the guy that has to have the "newest,best thing out" but the good ole FL-8 for $150 used and a reasonable used gps is all a guy really needs.(all for around $250 at most)I couldnt look my wife or kids in the eye and tell them daddy needs a $400+ fishing tool unless I made a living at it. just my 2 cents

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Iron Cowboy, I have no wife or kids to look in the eye so my purchase would be legit. Yes I have used a flasher many times and have used a GPS many times before but just am too cheap of a SOB to buy my own.

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Hey Farley, how about a pawn shop? I know there arent any in Cokato but you can find a Pawn America in St. Cloud or other area places. I picked up a Garmin etrex for $40 and it works almost as well as my LMS 350 and my global map 2000. It fits in my pocket so I can carry it with me at all times, and with a bit of experience it is almost as accurate as the above mentioned units that are many times more $. Then you will have $ left over for a flasher. Fishing without a flasher is like hunting pheasents without a dog...your just hoping.

------------------
I fish, therefore I am.

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"Fishing without a flasher is like pheasant hunting without a dog"

That's a great analogy. I looked at the FL-8 on Cabelas website and they are on backorder. I have a gift certificate to Cabelas so that's where I'd like to get whatever I decide to buy. That Garmin Rhino 120 still looks pretty sweet though.

Thanks for all the advise guys.

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