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Buying a flasher--Vexilar/Marcum/Lowrance?--which is best


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I'm going to buy a flasher but I didn't seem to get much detail on the differences at Gander M ountain. I looking at Vexilar, Marcum, and Lowrance. Any comments would be appreciated

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Brettf- Welcome to FISHING MINNESOTA

There was a great article with some good information through the thread here Choosing the Right Flasher

I think any questions you might have in regards to which locator to go with will be found within these pages.

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In the past week i have....

sold my fl8se

bought a lowrance x67c---returned it (interference problems)

bought a lx-3-----returned it due to finding a lx-3tc

bought a lx-3tc----like it so far, very nice and put together well...

if i could go back in time i probally wouldnt have sold my vexilar, they are real good flashers and the fl8 genz pack is a solid value. If i were you i would try to find a lx3 for a good price and have it upgraded. but the vexilars are good too....but i would steer clear of the lowrance unless you fish by yourself all the time because if you fish around vexilars or marcums the interference will drive you nutz...i love the lowrance though it is a SWEET unit, i will be the first one to get one when they develop interference regection that works the same as the marcum and vex...it is probally my favorite one but the interference drives me crazy. Some people have had luck making it go away but i just need something i can just take out fishing and dont want to dial it in all the time.

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There are 3 different LX-3 configurations out there on the ice. Don't be confused:

Off-the-shelf LX-3: yellow-orange-red. The orange is created by blending the yellow and red. 6 levels of interference rejection. Red panel lights indicate zoom and/or interference rejection option(s) chosen. Dial that says "LX-3." Grey case that says "LX-3." (Current value: ~$275-300.)

LX-3 upgraded to True Color (tc): yellow-green-red. All three colors created with separate LED's. Incredibly bright, sharp signal return lines. 6 levels of interference rejection. Red panel lights indicate zoom and/or interference rejection option(s) chosen. Dial that says "LX-3." Grey case that says "LX-3." (Current value: price of the above + $49.)

Off-the-shelf LX-3tc: yellow-green-red. All three colors created with seperate LED's. Incredibly bright, sharp signal return lines. 12 levels of interference rejection. Dial that says "LX-3tc." Grey case that says "LX-3." (Current value: worth more than the upgraded version above only if you value 6 more levels of signal interference rejection, or if the red ZM and/or IR indicator lights bother you.)

All other functions -- output power, depth ranges, transmit frequency, current draw, operating voltage, transducer cone angle, target separation, zoom options, panel button and knob operations -- are identical on all three -3's.

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Dude stick with the Vexilar dont think of anything else. I work at Gander Mountain in Maple Grove and i see alot of of marcum and lowrance returns. Marcum returns just becuase there junk. lowrance is a liquid crystal like the one on your boat when it get to cold or you set you unit outside while tearing down camp the crystal breaks. Stick with vexilar youll be happy. Trust Me.

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My opinion, not worth much, is that it depends on how much time on the ice you actually spend. If you are only out a hadful of times a year, an FL-8 would most likely be a great option. If you are a big time serious ice fisherman or someone that just likes to be able to show your friends that you keep up on the latest technology then the new Lowrance models or and FL-18 might be more your speed. I cant believe that the new Lowarance flasher would help me catch more walleyes or panfish than the FL-8 would, but maybe I am wrong on this issue. I have an older Zercom that works just fine. I can see my jigs and see the fish without any problem. Even the older clearwater classics work well. The biggest factor would be the interference reduction. There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to use it around your buddies because theirs, (fill in word here), your signal up. I have a friend with the FL-18 and one with the new Lowrance equipment and they dont catch any more fish than they used to with thier FL-8's. There is always someone with a new product that can take you from 1/2" separation to 1/4" or provide you a virtual rainbow of colors that you have to decipher. To me that is a bunch of hype in most instances.

Or, just make the decision easy and ask how much money the wife is willing to let you spend. cool.gif

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Brett,

This question gets asked a million times on this site over the winter and it usually comes down to the Ford vs. Chevy vs. Dodge type arguments.

I personally have an Fl-8 Genz pack and have been very happy with it although it does pull more interference than the Marcums. I got this as a X-Mas gift last year and I was new to ice fishing as well and had no idea what the other options were and it was about the cheapest way for my wife to get me a flasher.

After all of the FM get togethers last year and fishing with guys that had LX-3's I know that my next unit will be a Marcum. I know I want a couple of their features in my next unit. By the time I reach that point, possibily Vexilar will have caught up and my decision may be tougher.

I've also seen the Ice Machine in action and I probably won't end up there but I know of a couple of diehard fans that would never change from it.

Lucky for me----my son likes to grab my flasher and move it to his holes so I've been pushing the boss at home about my son using my current one and I'll buy a new upgraded one (at this point probably the LX-3tc). I'm holding my breath!

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Thanks to all for the advice. After the advice I got here and on other internet searches I decided to go with the Marcum LX-3tc. Overall I felt it was the best deal when comparing the features/cost. I did find that every place I searched about 70-80% recomended the Marcum LX-3. I can't wait until Sunday to try it out!! smile.gif

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The Marcum probably is being talked about more because it is being advertised more. In all of the years that I have been ice fishing, I have never had a regret with the fl-8. Many of my friends fish with the fl-18 and it really is awsome also. If I had to choose only one to fish with for the next ten years, I would pick the fl-18. One of my friends that just got into ice fishing just bought the fl-18 and he loves it. Although you may be hearing about Marcum products more, be aware that this is the time of year when ice fishing companies are advertising like crazy. I think you would be better off taking advise from real people who have had real ice fishing experiences with these different products. FL-18 is by far my first choice and if you try it out, you won't be disappointed. But then again it's your money. Hope this help and I wish the best to you with your new toy. See ya

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In all my years of fishin' I have only seen one depth finder catch a fish. It was about 20 years ago I was icefishing and doing pretty good on panfish, when another fisher asked me if it was alright to fish in the other hole next to me. I said go ahead. He clipped on a huge clip on weight to find the bottom and set his bobber, it was painted blaze orange. He drops it down, sets his bobber and then starts pulling it up, for some reason it is getting heavier, then up out of his hole pops a 3 pound largemouth bass! He lost the depth finder in the ordeal, but seemed happy enough!

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About 7 years ago I was on my first LOW trip with my wifes uncle, father in law and a bunch of other guys. I was the only one that owned a depth finder and the other guys in the group took that opportunity to make fun of me and tell me how I had wasted my money. Funny, I was the only one tagging walleyes in the 5lb and bigger range that whole trip. It seems that the walleyes up there will suspend 10 feet or more off the bottom in the 33 foot depths. A guy is not going to spend his time jigging at this depth but the fish do come through and they will bite. No depth finder, no idea that these fish are there. The next year every one of those guys "wasted" money and had a unit. Technically the locater didn't catch me more fish but I can guarantee that there are large amounts of fish every year that end up hooked only because the fella above could see them on the flasher.

To me it is important that I have a unit that is built tough and will take some bouncing around. I am the odd engineer that is leary about new technologies and products until someone can prove that they work for a year or two. I want to see the new Lowrance units get bounced around in trucks, behind sleds and wheelers for a few years and have people talk about how they stood up to the abuse before I go and drop that kind of change on a new locater for the ice.

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Just get the FL-18 and be done with it....it has been provend on the market for many many years and you can fish them side by side. Just Look around the lake next time and see why the Vexilar is the first choice amoung fisherman....proven history that no one can touch.

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The thing to do is go out and fish with someone that has one, have them show you how it works in deep and shallow conditions, don't be satisfied checking just one brand out! check them all out and then make your own!! decision. I have the FL-18 and I love it, but I'm sure the other products will get the job done as well. Then simply buy the one you like best.

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I have the FL-18 and really like it. I tried the Lowrance lst year adn returned it, an absolute piece of junk in my opinion unless you use it in the summer also. The bottom line is this and I bet 80-90% of ice fisherman agree that the vexilar and newer marcum units are the best hands down for the money, easy of use, and versatility.

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Just buy the vexlar fl-18. saying its a ford vs chevy is completley wrong. Its more like the vexlar is the toyota/honda and everything else is ford/chevy/gm/.

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Toyota

To Often Yankees Overprice These Autos

FORD

First On Race Day

Fast On Race Day

Fried On Race Day

Fix Or Repair Daily

Found On Road Dead

MOPAR

My Old Pig Aint Runnin' !

wink.gif

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I started with the old Micronar Fl-8 in the 80's & have been using the Vexilars for years. I love my FL-18! Plus they are a local company (Bloomington) with a good customer service record. But I'm sure you'll be happy with either the Vex or Marcum. By the way Cyber, I almost caught a muskie on my FL-18 transducer. I dropped my transducer in a new hole to check the depth & a muskie grabbed it instantly! I battled him for about 10 seconds before he let go. I could see him thrashing under the ice - at least 15 lbs. After that, I thought about attaching a quick-strike rig to my Vex for those transducer eating muskies!

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I remember reading your post about that earlier, it was on lake Harriet, right? Was it micronar the first to have the three color flasher? I remember reading about them in an early 80s infisherman, at that time they were made by Sitex.

I know after reading that article I wanted one, but I resisted til 95 when I got my Vexilar.

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I'll put my plug in for a vexilar also. I have fished with a fl-18 for 4yrs now and never had a problem. All my buddies have a fl-8 or the 18 also and they all love them.

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I was out on Calhoun. My Micronar is from 88' or 89' & it still works great. Not sure if they made the first 3-color flasher, but I bet you're right. First there was Si-Tex then Hondex & Micronar. I think Vexilar took over around 1990.

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Has anyone tried the MarCum models that Cabelas (Model: VXR) and Gander Mtn are selling with thier respective packaging for $299? They seem comparable to the Vexilar FL-8, but that also have a bottom zoom feature that is not on available on the FL-8s. Also, wondering about the interference factor with these, as I fish with my father-in-law who uses an FL-8. Thanks.

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Just my thought on this. I have the Fl-18 and love it. This thing is a tank as I have done just about every bad thing to it you can think of in the past two years (drop,kick,fall off of,spilled on,you name it)I use it year round and it has never failed. Never any interference problems.

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My FL 8 fell down a long ways down concrete stairs one without a scratch. Im not saying other brands wouldnt survive that... but I wouldn't recomend trying it! wink.gif

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You know, I like both the Fl-18, and the Marcum-5, but I couldn't see myself spending $300-$500 on a depth finder to catch fish. If you are just looking for some lines to see your jig move, and lines to see fish, I would reccommend a do-it-yourself type thing. I took a little eagle graph, mounted it to a Colman lantern case, with a solar fence battery (just like a vexlar/aqua view battery). All for less than $100. I have used this little thing for a couple of years now. Once playing with it, setting the sensitivity up near 95%, chart speed max, Zoom features, etc. I used it yesterday morning when the temp was 4-, liquid crystals were fine. I am sure than if I went more than 20X a year, I would spend the $, but for the 10-12X a year I get out, I think it does a fine job.

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