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Author Topic: Flasher vs Portable Fish Finder  (Read 3429 times)

umoguy

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Flasher vs Portable Fish Finder
« on: Nov 30, 2011, 08:49 AM »
What's going to get you more fish a flasher or a portable fish finder? I've used both. It seems like you get a little more information from a fish finder, especially if you get a GPS unit with maps, but the little red light is like fisherman's crack. Curious what people think. At some point maybe I'll find some extra money in my pocket and pull the trigger on a decent one of these (I just use an old cheap fish finder now, gives me depth and fish alerts).

FishPaws

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Re: Flasher vs Portable Fish Finder
« Reply #1 on: Nov 30, 2011, 09:31 AM »
I bought the humminbird 385 ci this summer for the best of both worlds. Its a nice fishfinder, navionics compatable, and ALSO HAS A FLASHER! The screen is a little small which as I get older may be an issue. But for now that unit provides everything I need. I'm chomping to get it out on the ice.

http://store.humminbird.com/products/307016/385ci_Combo?alt=3

APJ

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Re: Flasher vs Portable Fish Finder
« Reply #2 on: Nov 30, 2011, 09:37 AM »
I bought the cheap Hummingbird Pirranha Max 160 portable last year worked great on the ice and summer use.  It does not like the below zero weather though..  I always use it in the portable shack..  For 129.00 bucks you cant go wrong.. :)
[img       Former-( Air Plane Jigger)

TheOutdoorsman

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Re: Flasher vs Portable Fish Finder
« Reply #3 on: Nov 30, 2011, 10:20 AM »
Neither option will "get you on more fish" than the other.  You have to do that yourself!   ;)

Flashers are built for fishing vertically (but are worthless for seeing fish when underway).  Fishfinders are built more for moving over the fish, but can also be used for fishing vertically.  Generally though, the flashers have more sensitivity to pick up tiny jigs, and accurate interpretations can be made slightly more quickly.  The zoom functions are also very nice on flashers.  Essentially, you will need to make your own decision, and everybody has their own opinion on which is better. 

With that said, most flashers are built for ice fishing.  Not only are they built to fish vertically, but they can handle the cold, are durable, and easily portable.  My old Zercom Colorpoint isn't as fancy as some of the new models, but has lasted 8-9 years and is still going strong (with a couple of battery replacements, of course!).  When I decide to upgrade to a new model, I will go for a flasher.
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MGK

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Re: Flasher vs Portable Fish Finder
« Reply #4 on: Nov 30, 2011, 11:34 AM »
Neither option will "get you on more fish" than the other.  You have to do that yourself!   ;)

Very well said! They only show you where the fish are, they don't put them on the hook  @)

bee

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Re: Flasher vs Portable Fish Finder
« Reply #5 on: Nov 30, 2011, 04:07 PM »
Neither option will "get you on more fish" than the other.  You have to do that yourself!   ;)

Flashers are built for fishing vertically (but are worthless for seeing fish when underway).  Fishfinders are built more for moving over the fish, but can also be used for fishing vertically.  Generally though, the flashers have more sensitivity to pick up tiny jigs, and accurate interpretations can be made slightly more quickly.  The zoom functions are also very nice on flashers.  Essentially, you will need to make your own decision, and everybody has their own opinion on which is better. 

With that said, most flashers are built for ice fishing.  Not only are they built to fish vertically, but they can handle the cold, are durable, and easily portable.  My old Zercom Colorpoint isn't as fancy as some of the new models, but has lasted 8-9 years and is still going strong (with a couple of battery replacements, of course!).  When I decide to upgrade to a new model, I will go for a flasher.
I guess all those fish i find on my flasher when moveing with my trolling motor don,t count. In MHO they work great when underway.
Thats Why They Call It Fishing.

TheOutdoorsman

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Re: Flasher vs Portable Fish Finder
« Reply #6 on: Nov 30, 2011, 04:20 PM »
I guess all those fish i find on my flasher when moveing with my trolling motor don,t count. In MHO they work great when underway.

Moving with a trolling motor could be slow enough, especially if there are a lot of fish in an area and you keep getting pings.  But the faster you go, the faster the blips come and go on the flasher.  What if fish are scattered?  If there is one fish suspended, and you go over it with a flasher, you will get a blip and then nothing.  Easy to miss unless you are staring at the flasher...while with a regular liquid crystal scrolling display, you have quite a bit of time to say, "there was a fish there", even if you weren't looking at the flasher at the exact moment you passed over a fish. 

I regularly mark fish using boats with a regular LCD fish-finder, even at 5-20+mph.  Sometimes cruising along on plane while watching the finder is necessary to locate scattered congregations of lake trout or stripers.  Lets see how your flasher does at those speeds!   ;)

Like I said, I prefer the flasher for ice fishing.  I also like them for deep vertical jigging during open water...they are made for vertical fishing.  With that said, the regular fish finders DO have advantages over flashers while moving along. 
"If firearms cause crimes and kill people, all of the ones I have must be defective."

kevinmaine3

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Re: Flasher vs Portable Fish Finder
« Reply #7 on: Nov 30, 2011, 05:09 PM »
The Outdoorsman got me hooked on a flasher a few years ago, and i use the hell out of it during the icefishing year, but I also like to plug fish or jig out of an anchored canoe and I use it alot there, the transducer goes through the bottom of my canoe and I can jig with it in 50-130fow.
some times they bite..... some times they swollow..

filetandrelease

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Re: Flasher vs Portable Fish Finder
« Reply #8 on: Nov 30, 2011, 05:33 PM »
yep flashers are great i own vexes and Lowrance i don't see the big difference LCD are on real time and if your used to the boat not hard to read ,its just what you prefer ,i like the graph mode much better and set up right they pick up the bottom huggers just as fast , and they have a little memory , i vertical jig on my boat an my 113 and my 28 are right on cue , it is all what your preference is , they are all locator's ,not catchers , want to be a better catcher , under stand your preys habits ,and hang outs ,just an ol buzzards .02
     

WhiteSquall

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Re: Flasher vs Portable Fish Finder
« Reply #9 on: Nov 30, 2011, 11:50 PM »
I bought the humminbird 385 ci this summer for the best of both worlds. Its a nice fishfinder, navionics compatable, and ALSO HAS A FLASHER! The screen is a little small which as I get older may be an issue. But for now that unit provides everything I need. I'm chomping to get it out on the ice.

I also upgraded to the 385ci because of the GPS, Navionics capabilities, and flasher. Instead of carrying 3 or 4 things out, you have 1.

That being said, I used fish finders for years. I had a Humminbird 200DX which was ok. But I also had a Humminbird 565 portable that was sensitive enough where I could see my jig in real time.

No electronics going to get you more fish, but most of them will help you find where they are in the water column. It's all up to you and and more importantly your wallet.

DaddyX2

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Re: Flasher vs Portable Fish Finder
« Reply #10 on: Nov 30, 2011, 11:53 PM »
I would go flasher personally. Gives ya somethin to look at while waiting for the rod to bend. Plus it can show u what your jig is doing and if fish are responding to it or not. Personally it'd be wicked nice if santa got me a Vexilar FL-8SE Genz.

Hardwater Apprentice

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Re: Flasher vs Portable Fish Finder
« Reply #11 on: Dec 01, 2011, 05:34 AM »
Ive got a Marcum LX3tc and love it!  I also got a Hummingbird 160 portable FF this summer for my small boat.  I guess Ill have to give them both a try this winter and see how it fairs next to the flasher.  But I agree with the rest, flasher is king for vertical fishing.

fishingsurveyor

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Re: Flasher vs Portable Fish Finder
« Reply #12 on: Dec 01, 2011, 12:16 PM »
Flasher  Fishfinder its another tool you will use in the lifelong journeyof catching the BIG ONE. but like most said its not gonna catch the fish for ya, but its gonna help ya find the fish. I have nicknamed mine American Express ...cause I dont leave homewithout it

LostOne

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Re: Flasher vs Portable Fish Finder
« Reply #13 on: Dec 02, 2011, 06:52 AM »
I guess all those fish i find on my flasher when moveing with my trolling motor don,t count. In MHO they work great when underway.

Hey Wayne, I'm pretty sure you posted it in the past, but I sure would love to see your Vex set-up for open water. I haven't given it a solid try yet, but if I had an idea of what works, I think it would be very helpful.  :)
I fish.                                                         

rdhammah

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Re: Flasher vs Portable Fish Finder
« Reply #14 on: Dec 02, 2011, 07:02 AM »
I bought the humminbird 385 ci this summer for the best of both worlds. Its a nice fishfinder, navionics compatable, and ALSO HAS A FLASHER! The screen is a little small which as I get older may be an issue. But for now that unit provides everything I need. I'm chomping to get it out on the ice.

http://store.humminbird.com/products/307016/385ci_Combo?alt=3
keep us posted as to how it works out. seems to be best o both worlds

ice dawg

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Re: Flasher vs Portable Fish Finder
« Reply #15 on: Dec 02, 2011, 07:11 AM »
I fished with flashers for years before the LCD units came out and we marked fish with them and could read the bottom while going 30 mph with no problem. The big difference between a flasher and an LCD unit not used in flasher mode is the LCD unit has a bit of memory as the reading moves across the screen. In my opinion the idea that flashers are useless while moving is 
QUIT YER WHINING!!!!!!!!

TheOutdoorsman

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Re: Flasher vs Portable Fish Finder
« Reply #16 on: Dec 02, 2011, 08:15 AM »
In my opinion the idea that flashers are useless while moving is 

I never said that they were completely useless while moving...just worthless for marking fish if you are moving with any real speed.  When I'm searching for fish during open water, I like to mark (and interpret) more than just the bottom while I'm at cruising speeds.  The new LCD displays can show me a lake trout on the bottom in 80+ feet of water, at 20mph AND allow me to have time to interpret that mark!  A flasher would show that fish just fine while sitting over that fish, but that fish would be a half-second blip while motoring at 20+mph and using a flasher.  With the scrolling screen, the mark is on the screen for a longer period of time, and you can pick out patterns (i.e. there was a good pocket of fish right back there, after a few miles of nothing!).

Both flashers and fishfinders have their own advantages to a certain style of fishing.  Otherwise, they would make only one type of fish location device, and life would be boring!
"If firearms cause crimes and kill people, all of the ones I have must be defective."

ice dawg

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Re: Flasher vs Portable Fish Finder
« Reply #17 on: Dec 02, 2011, 11:37 AM »
I never said that they were completely useless while moving...just worthless for marking fish if you are moving with any real speed.  When I'm searching for fish during open water, I like to mark (and interpret) more than just the bottom while I'm at cruising speeds.  The new LCD displays can show me a lake trout on the bottom in 80+ feet of water, at 20mph AND allow me to have time to interpret that mark!  A flasher would show that fish just fine while sitting over that fish, but that fish would be a half-second blip while motoring at 20+mph and using a flasher.  With the scrolling screen, the mark is on the screen for a longer period of time, and you can pick out patterns (i.e. there was a good pocket of fish right back there, after a few miles of nothing!).

Both flashers and fishfinders have their own advantages to a certain style of fishing.  Otherwise, they would make only one type of fish location device, and life would be boring!
Basically what I said in my post is that an LCD puts some history on the screen and if ya blink while using a flasher you will miss the blip. I also believe that if I'm going twenty miles per hour across the water a fish will be in the cone of the transducer for such a short period of time that a suspended fish on a scrolling screen will look like a thin vertical line as tall as the arch would have been when moving slowly. A fish moving slowly through the transducer cone while moving slow will show up as an arch as you know.  I don't pay much attention to the lake bottom at eighty feet down because the deepest natural lake around here is about forty feet deep max. Anyway that is the way my LCD units seem to work. I'm not arguing with ya, however I have been fishing for a few years also.  ;)
QUIT YER WHINING!!!!!!!!

ZeroGravity

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Re: Flasher vs Portable Fish Finder
« Reply #18 on: Dec 02, 2011, 07:51 PM »
I have been ice fishing for over 20 years.  I fish predominately Moosehead Lake.  I have never used any electronics, but I have been considering a new approach this year.  I have been seriously thinking about purchasing the Marcum XL-3.  One of the chain stores has 12 month no internet no payments.  $35 a month and it's paid for interest free.....  Other than the posts on this site, I have no clue what I am doing with a flasher...

How complex is it to learn how to use one of these tools?  Is there any maintenance involved with them?  How long does the battery last before it needs to be recharged?  Any other important items I should be aware of before I make a purchase?

Not sure if it matters, but I plan to but a combo GPS/Sonar in spring for my fishing boat.  Plan to get a Hummingbird 597 ci HD with di and Navionics Premium Hot Maps.  I say this becuase Hummingbird makes an ice fishing GPS/Sonar which is compatabile with the Navionics card.  It is also a lot more expensive too.  Not sur eif I should go with the Marcum or the Hummingbird sonar/GPS unit for ice fishing....

Thanks for your time.  Have an awesome day!

  - ZG -



TheOutdoorsman

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Re: Flasher vs Portable Fish Finder
« Reply #19 on: Dec 02, 2011, 09:05 PM »
How complex is it to learn how to use one of these tools?  Is there any maintenance involved with them?  How long does the battery last before it needs to be recharged?  Any other important items I should be aware of before I make a purchase?

Flashers take very little maintenance, and all of the maintenance is with the battery.  Battery life depends on the flasher and age of the battery, but you should have no trouble going all day on one battery.  My old Colorpoint will go a couple of trips before I put it the charger overnight, and I have yet to run it out of a charge.  And I use that thing pretty much all day when I'm out there, because I'm always searching and always jigging.  When I store it at the end of the season, I give it a good charge and put it on a shelf in a dry place.  I then charge it before I go fishing at the start of the ice fishing season.  That old finder didn't come with a charge indicator, but most of them do now.  When it was new, I used to take the battery out and check it on a different flasher, and I was always amazed at how little charge I had used during a day. 

I like having GPS with my open water finders...easier to put in points on the move and troll around depth contours.  But for ice fishing, I haven't found much of a need for a GPS except to mark a hot-spot, and I use my handheld for that.  Having a handheld that could show me some contours would be nice (Navionics maps have been very good quality in our Lowrance), although I don't think I would use that information quite as much as during open-water stuff.  I suppose it depends on your fishing style whether you think you need GPS for the ice, or if you have a handheld that you could use in its place. 

Personally, I would go with the Marcum.  But to each his own!
"If firearms cause crimes and kill people, all of the ones I have must be defective."

 

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