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Author Topic: Marcum LX-5 Review  (Read 96037 times)

LoneWolf

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Marcum LX-5 Review
« on: Mar 19, 2006, 08:17 PM »
Marcum  LX-5  Review


The reason Iím giving this review so late is to make it as honest as possible. Iíve seen so many reviews Ö personal or by other sites Ö. which seemed questionable simply because the units were only out for a short period of time and/or had limited use. 
Iíll start off by stating I had contacted Marcum directly about a rumor which I myself had heard many times Ö. Marcum is Zercom. The second rumor was that Marcum is a new company and see where theyíll be in a year or two.
I was told Marcum isnít affiliated with the old Zercom company period. Marcum has been around over twenty years and designed the Polar Vision in 1995 for StrileMaster. Marcum products are  designed, manufactured and tested in the USA.
I purchased my LX-5 in December and have now  been able to use it on approximately two dozen hard water trips averaging 8-12 hrs a trip ( it was a bad ice season). Iíve also been able to use it one time on open water prior to this write up. I also owned and used a Vexilar FL-18 for several years until I sold it after using the LX-5. (Iíve included some pics at the end).

Iím sure most of you know all the specifics about the LX-5 but I will go over them briefly.
The newest Marcum unit has three separate LED bulbs ( yellow, green and red ) to show an objects density. By utilizing separate bulbs the display is crisp and bright without color blending. There is less ďblending and blobbingĒ of colors.
The unit has an adjustable zoom that can be used anywhere in the water column. I found this invaluable when finding suspended schools or fishing on bottom. This feature brngs target separation down to ĺ of an inch.
The LX-5 offers twelve levels of  signal interference rejection. I experienced no interference that could not be eliminated.
The unit comes standard with a dual beam transducer and reads to a depth of 160'. For shallower applications the 20 degree is usually preferred and for deeper applications the 8 degree.
Another outstanding feature is the SuperFine Line. You can use the full screen mode to bring target separation within ĺ of an inch without the need for split screen zoom. I found using this feature invaluable when trying to differentiate if itís one fish or two or more tightly schooled.
Now for the power issue. The LX-5 has 2,000 watts of peak to peak power. In my opinion power doesnít mean a lot unless the power broadcaster and receiver are tuned or in time. I was delighted to see this unit was timed perfectly. There is no need for low power mode etc. in shallow, weedy areas. Also no need for extreme gain adjustments. Another thing I noticed in "deep water" was the FL-18 had a delay between jigging and display .. usually beyond 60'. I didn't notice any delay with the Marcum.
The charging system is a nice feature also. The Digital Charging System is a three stage charger. It starts with a bulk rate charge, goes to an absorbtion charge and then a trickle charge. The LCD display shows remaining charge in increments of ten percent. I found the display to be more accurate after several uses and charges. Also the display will give about a ten-twenty percent LESS reading while out on the ice which is normal due to the cold temps. Once it warmed up in the house it gave a ten-twenty percent higher reading. Battery draw on the LX-5 is between 350 and 400 mA which should give 16-20 hrs of use.
Another nice feature which might come in handy to a first time flasher user is the built in simulator. This will give you an idea of how the bottom, fish and jigging a lure should appear on the display.
Iíve heard people talk about transducer loudness and it spooking fish. I must say the transducer is louder then the competitors but I used the unit in 5-10 fow and caught perch, gills and lake trout. I noticed no problem.
Iíve also heard the Marcum unit itself is quieter and it is. Iíd say 30-40 % quieter then the competitions.
Overall Iíd say Marcum has the edge over the competition in features and modern technology. Their unit also comes with the better charging unit, a nice carrying case, etc. which are accessaries on other units. I liked the unit so much I sold my FL-18 and I think that says a lot.

Tight lines !






     
   
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wyojoe

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Re: Marcum LX-5 Review
« Reply #1 on: Mar 19, 2006, 08:28 PM »
Have you used it in deep water? How deep and how did it perform in deep water?

LoneWolf

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Re: Marcum LX-5 Review
« Reply #2 on: Mar 19, 2006, 09:50 PM »

The deepest water I've used it in thus far has been 100 feet on Schroon Lake, NY. It performed without a flaw. Seeing a tight school of smelt 38 feet down and being able to zoom in on the school to see if there are any lakers mixed in is great. On my last unit part of the school of smelt would blend together into a red "blob" giving the appearance of a larger fish. Also zooming in on the bottom in 100 fow and seeing bottom hugging lake trout is a blast. It's even better when you can coax one up to your lure !  ;)

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billditrite

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Re: Marcum LX-5 Review
« Reply #3 on: Mar 20, 2006, 05:36 AM »
great review lonewolf. ive been waiting to hear some feedback on this unit . i have the lx-3 and love it. got my eye on an lx-5 for next year and the boy can have the lx-3 to himself.

C.C.

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Re: Marcum LX-5 Review
« Reply #4 on: Mar 20, 2006, 06:40 AM »
Good review LW. I was waiting for them to go on sale this spring and pick one up but they don't seem to be marking them down. :'( I guess I'll wait till next winter and get one then.
      Jim

LoneWolf

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Re: Marcum LX-5 Review
« Reply #5 on: Mar 20, 2006, 12:12 PM »

I don't think you will see much of a sale on the LX-5 anytime soon. It's still a new unit and will probably hold its price for a while. When a newer unit is in the workings or available you'll usually see the price come down. These are just my observations and I may be wrong.  ;D

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JerryofWNY

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Re: Marcum LX-5 Review
« Reply #6 on: Mar 20, 2006, 02:14 PM »
Good review. I've had my FL-18 for several years now and it suits my needs just fine. Picked it up before the Marcum units came out. Good to see there is something that will give the Vexilar a run for the money. Competition like this only helps the consumer.
"Earth................. ...................... ... it's a dangerous place to live."      
        Chainsaw

LoneWolf

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Re: Marcum LX-5 Review
« Reply #7 on: Mar 21, 2006, 11:25 AM »

I was very happy with mine as well but the LX-5 is just remarkable.
You're right that competition is beneficial to us all !  I wouldn't be surprised if Vex introduces something new next season.  ;)

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Lobes

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Re: Marcum LX-5 Review
« Reply #8 on: Mar 21, 2006, 11:42 AM »
I was very happy with mine as well but the LX-5 is just remarkable.
You're right that competition is beneficial to us all !  I wouldn't be surprised if Vex introduces something new next season.  ;)



I would be surprised if Vexilar has anything new (Okay folks at Vexilar - Here's your challange!!). They seem to be happy with what they have. I know that helps keep costs down but their prices don't reflect them taking advantage of mass producing unchanged models. Marcum on the other hand, has ran with the wind in seeing the needs of the fishermen and keeps pushing ahead with improved features, and quality. I love my Vexilar FL8-SLT but they are about to be eaten up by the competition.
My hat's off to the folks at Marcum.

Great review LW!

 :tipup:

Mecosta County / Lakeview, Michigan

LoneWolf

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Re: Marcum LX-5 Review
« Reply #9 on: Mar 23, 2006, 08:54 AM »
I would be surprised if Vexilar has anything new (Okay folks at Vexilar - Here's your challange!!). They seem to be happy with what they have. I know that helps keep costs down but their prices don't reflect them taking advantage of mass producing unchanged models. Marcum on the other hand, has ran with the wind in seeing the needs of the fishermen and keeps pushing ahead with improved features, and quality. I love my Vexilar FL8-SLT but they are about to be eaten up by the competition.
My hat's off to the folks at Marcum.

Great review LW!

 :tipup:

I couldn't agree more. They welcome our input for designing equipment to meet our needs. I believe Marcum is innovative and offers fishermen what we need or want ... not what they are willing to offer.



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fishnfool

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Re: Marcum LX-5 Review
« Reply #10 on: Mar 24, 2006, 03:52 AM »
Rumors are that Vexilar will be releasing a new model this year called the FL-20. No info on the features yet but I would hope they try to keep up with the Marcum's.


Swede

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Re: Marcum LX-5 Review
« Reply #11 on: Mar 24, 2006, 11:19 AM »
Im reading up on all of them before I make a big purchase next season. Been lurking on threads like this to gather as much information as possible. This thread has steared me towards the Marcum. Have to wait and see what Vex comes up with. If I am going to spend a lot of money on one. It might as well be the best available.

Swede

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Re: Marcum LX-5 Review
« Reply #12 on: Mar 24, 2006, 12:04 PM »
Just consider depth when buying one of these units folks.  Don't make the mistake of buying one and then finding out you can't see bottom in 170fow when you're jigging lake trout which doesn't apply to a lot of people but it's a consideration for some.  I'm not sure of the MAX depth range with the Marcum but for the fishing we do here it won't work because it doesn't go deep enough where the FL-18 does the job from 200' to 2' and is a more versatile unit when combined with the dual beam tranducer that allows you to switch cone angles from 9 to 19 degree in one nice package.  Good review Lone Wolf and how deep does that LX-5 read?  I though maybe 120' ???

I'm getting pulled in different directions on deciding on which. But their is plenty of time for me to consider what. Thing is, I have to decide on pure research and reading and reviews like this one from LoneWolf. I cant hold them in my hands and look them over, sadly,  As their is none here in Sweden- that I know of. Till I get mine ;D  So, interference is not an issue really. I do want versatility and good cone angle. And the best of all the other stuff that I have yet to learn about them. I appreciate the reviews from actual experience with them. Thats what I am counting on.

LoneWolf

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Re: Marcum LX-5 Review
« Reply #13 on: Mar 24, 2006, 02:28 PM »
Good point slipbob ! The Marcum will read to 160'. I believe the Vex is good to 200' and a special order to read 300'  ... I believe they call it the deep water model.
The Marcum also comes standard with the 8 deg and 20 deg dual beam transducer ... an option with Vexilar.
They are both good units but I believe Marcum has the edge and Vexilar will now have to do some improvements.

Another thing I noticed in "deep water" was the FL-18 had a delay between jigging and display .. usually beyond 60'. I didn't notice any delay with the Marcum. ( I'll add this to my review)
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LoneWolf

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Re: Marcum LX-5 Review
« Reply #14 on: Mar 24, 2006, 04:03 PM »
No ... even in regular mode on the FL-18 I noticed the delay. I could mark a fish  80' down in 100 fow. When active jigging there was a delay on the display. Granted it was only 1/2 second or so but it was interesting. I noticed this two seasons ago and while fishing with Jig-a-Whopper ... he has the FL-18 as well  .... he had the same delay.
As you said in deep water zoom mode I noticed it as well.


On another note I was a Vex fan but not a fanatic. When something better comes along I go with it. It really gets me thinking when people will defend one brand over another ... is it because they own it or truly believe it's better ?
I would venture to say if Vex comes out with a new unit that is similar to Marcums you will here how great and innovative they are.  Hopefully they will if only to keep the innovations coming !
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piscesman

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Re: Marcum LX-5 Review
« Reply #15 on: Mar 25, 2006, 02:10 PM »
     LoneWolf,
What model number did you buy???????? I've been thinking of getting a portable to take with me in both waters. It would be better than lugging my old unit around all the time. Also , what's the price range and where would you buy one. Thanks.
      Kim  :tipup: :bow: :bow: :bow:
"To have and to hold till death do us part" really refers to a man and his ICE FISHING EQUIPMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LoneWolf

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Re: Marcum LX-5 Review
« Reply #16 on: Mar 25, 2006, 02:57 PM »
I purchased the LX-5 ... Marcums newest model and it goes for $479.00. I first checked with Fish307 but they didn't have it. I ended up ordering it from the Fishing Pro Store which offers free shipping. I also ordered the high speed transducer kit to get the free shipping at the same time.  ;)

http://www.fishingprostore.com/

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piscesman

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Re: Marcum LX-5 Review
« Reply #17 on: Mar 25, 2006, 06:18 PM »
Checked the site. Nice write-up for the units. I noticed they were out of stock for 2 of their models. Must be a HOT ticket right now. Thanks for the reply....
      Kim :tipup: :) :)
"To have and to hold till death do us part" really refers to a man and his ICE FISHING EQUIPMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

adipose

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Re: Marcum LX-5 Review
« Reply #18 on: Mar 25, 2006, 10:02 PM »
Oh lonewolf Im just wondering what kind of dollar you get for that ghost writting job.....JUST JOKING!
Nice to see someone doing a non biased write up after hearing VEX..VEX..VEX all of the time.At least up here in Canada.Actually where im from i see very little fishermen/women using any type of flasher.thanks

LoneWolf

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Re: Marcum LX-5 Review
« Reply #19 on: Mar 26, 2006, 07:36 AM »
Oh lonewolf Im just wondering what kind of dollar you get for that ghost writting job.....JUST JOKING!
Nice to see someone doing a non biased write up after hearing VEX..VEX..VEX all of the time.At least up here in Canada.Actually where im from i see very little fishermen/women using any type of flasher.thanks

You're welcome Kim !

I wish I was getting paid ... from anybody !!  ;D
I purchased my FL-18 several years ago, I purchased my LX-5 this past season and I purchased the wolfram jigs this past season. I think once someone has the chance to use a flasher they will see a big difference in how they fish and catch fish.
I've been using flashers for over twenty five years now. My first was the old Lowrance Fish-Lo-K-Tor aka the Green Box (circa late 70's). My second was an old Hondex .... predecessor to Vexilar. The third was the Zercom Clearwater Classic ... the first LCD flasher designed. My fourth was the Vex FL-18. And now as you've read I have the Marcum LX-5.
They've all contributed to how I fish, my understanding of subsurface activity as well as subsurface structure, fish reaction to my jigging and my catch rate. This not only goes for hardwater fishing but open water as well.
I was just fortunate enough to have both to do a comparison and possibly help others with their decision. ;)




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