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Author Topic: Flasher  (Read 861 times)

Offline titan666

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Flasher
« on: Jan 12, 2018, 04:05 PM »
What is the best new or used entry level flasher/fish finder that is available? Have been fishing a long time without electronics and I want to take the plunge without breaking the bank.

Offline mtcommonwalleyeguy

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Re: Flasher
« Reply #1 on: Jan 12, 2018, 04:21 PM »
I'd give you three options. One, a ball fish finder that connects to you phone. Very cheap and pretty accurate, but can be a handful to deal with sometimes with connection to your phone, etc. I have a fish Hunter pro, but I've heard good things about the deeper. Two, vexilars. The fl8 is a very, very good, easy to use, accurate device. If you want to spend a $100 more, the fl18 has an auto zoom feature for the bottom that is sweet. I've used all three, and for the prices, they're all good. I would say the most cost effective and reliable for the money would be the fl8. I wouldn't even look at the humminbirds or marcums unless they're on sale, because you're getting the same device for a higher price. Three, the Garmin striker 4 ice combo. Make sure youre getting it with the ice transducer, because most combos you see just have the boat transducer. I have this device on my boat and love it, but have never used it through the ice. It has a flasher mode, is fairly cost effective, and I've heard good stuff about it for ice fishing. If you're looking for a good dedicated flasher though, you can't go wrong with vexilars.

Offline Hooked up

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Re: Flasher
« Reply #2 on: Jan 12, 2018, 04:31 PM »
Several good flashers out there with different features. The one feature I wouldn't  be with out is an auto zoom were I can see the bottom 6 feet of the lake. Vexilar's FL18 is a very good flasher that has a split screen with auto zoom.

Offline pmmpete

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Re: Flasher
« Reply #3 on: Jan 12, 2018, 04:37 PM »
Here's some general advice:  There are two primary kinds of ice fishing fish finder.  One is the "Flasher" style with a circular display.  The disadvantage of this style is that they have a "real-time" display which only shows what is going on at that moment.  It is also a bit less intuitive to interpret because of the circular display.  The "Showdown" fish finders also have only a real-time display, but it's easier to interpret because the display is a vertical tower which shows the bottom of the lake at the bottom of the display, and the water surface at the top of the display.

I prefer "chart" style ice fishing fish finders, which are essentially identical to the fish finders used in boats except for the transducer.  Chart style fish finders show about 15 seconds of history.  The returns from the current instant appear on the right side of the screen, and then march left across the screen.  So if you look away from the screen for a while, you can look back and see "Hey, a fish came in and looked at my lure about 10 seconds ago."  You can see a worm-like track as a fish comes up off the bottom, looks at your lure, drops down a bit, and then heads back up to chomp the lure.  I recommend that you look at chart style fish finders.

Options you will have with chart style fish finders are black and white versus color screen, size of the screen, and whether the fish finder has GPS and mapping features.  I find color screens easier to read than black and white screens. You don't need a very big screen for an ice fishing fish finder, but be sure you can turn the screen up real bright so you can read it when you're out on the ice in the sun.  Look for a carrying arrangement which is easy to carry around, protects the fish finder from abuse when it's rattling around  in your sled, which will conveniently carry the transducer and its wire, and which will dry out fast at the end of the day. GPS and mapping features can be real useful, but if you may not be able to find those features in an inexpensive fish finder.

Once you start using a fish finder for ice fishing, you'll wonder how you ever caught anything before you had one.  They are a terrific tool.

Offline Fightinwildfire

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Re: Flasher
« Reply #4 on: Jan 12, 2018, 04:45 PM »
Here's some general advice:  There are two primary kinds of ice fishing fish finder.  One is the "Flasher" style with a circular display.  The disadvantage of this style is that they have a "real-time" display which only shows what is going on at that moment.  It is also a bit less intuitive to interpret because of the circular display.  The "Showdown" fish finders also have only a real-time display, but it's easier to interpret because the display is a vertical tower which shows the bottom of the lake at the bottom of the display, and the water surface at the top of the display.

I prefer "chart" style ice fishing fish finders, which are essentially identical to the fish finders used in boats except for the transducer.  Chart style fish finders show about 15 seconds of history.  The returns from the current instant appear on the right side of the screen, and then march left across the screen.  So if you look away from the screen for a while, you can look back and see "Hey, a fish came in and looked at my lure about 10 seconds ago."  You can see a worm-like track as a fish comes up off the bottom, looks at your lure, drops down a bit, and then heads back up to chomp the lure.  I recommend that you look at chart style fish finders.

Options you will have with chart style fish finders are black and white versus color screen, size of the screen, and whether the fish finder has GPS and mapping features.  I find color screens easier to read than black and white screens. You don't need a very big screen for an ice fishing fish finder, but be sure you can turn the screen up real bright so you can read it when you're out on the ice in the sun.  Look for a carrying arrangement which is easy to carry around, protects the fish finder from abuse when it's rattling around  in your sled, which will conveniently carry the transducer and its wire, and which will dry out fast at the end of the day. GPS and mapping features can be real useful, but if you may not be able to find those features in an inexpensive fish finder.

Once you start using a fish finder for ice fishing, you'll wonder how you ever caught anything before you had one.  They are a terrific tool.

Great post Pmmpete! I have the Lowrance 4x and love it. I don't fish without it anymore.
My biggest worry is that my wife (when I'm dead) will sell my fishing gear for what I said I paid for it.

Offline missoulafish

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Re: Flasher
« Reply #5 on: Jan 12, 2018, 04:47 PM »
What species will you be fishing for and how deep will you be fishing?

I've ran vexilars and marcums, several models of each.
I've been running a LX7 the past few years. Its versatile and highly manipulable...ie: lots of bells and whistles. It can show you a round flasher type display, a sonar type display a vertical display and some guages. And it can show you them all at ONE time if you choose.
I dont like the vertical displays and I dont care about fish that were at my hole but are no longer at my hole ( but it can be helpful if you look away like Pete said) so i run the round flasher display 100% of the time.

All thing being equal, one style will not help you catch more fish than another style. I couldve ran my Fl18 and many times my FL8 in all  of the same situations I run my LX7. I wouldve caught the same exact fish with each unit.

Go to a few stores and get hands on. Look at some videos and get what you  like and can afford.

Offline titan666

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Re: Flasher
« Reply #6 on: Jan 12, 2018, 05:53 PM »
Thanks for all the responses guys. Looks like a laundry list of things to check out before I make a decision. I keep perusing Craigslist hoping a used one comes up for a reasonable price but I haven't seen hardly any.

Missoulafish, there aren't many species I don't fish for, but the greatest depths will likely be aft 45-50' for ling and perch. Would be nice to be able to zoom in to the bottom for them, but that feature is probably out of my budget for the time being.

Offline missoulafish

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Re: Flasher
« Reply #7 on: Jan 12, 2018, 06:04 PM »
the bottom zoom is a nice feature to have but i wouldn't say its 100% necessary...
I started with an Fl-8, Vexilars entry level model.  It doesn't have a zoom but you can always tell if there is a fish down on the bottom. you just have to look a bit closer and pay a bit more attention. Many times the bottom is uneven and fish can "hide" even if you have a zoom option.

Offline spankmyfish

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Re: Flasher
« Reply #8 on: Jan 12, 2018, 06:15 PM »
I've tried to get use to the zoom feature. but rather not. I've caught more fish with a jig and stall method than seeing them inches from the lure and pulling the lure out of their mouths because i was setting the hook too fast.
FISH TO DREAM, DREAM TO FISH

Offline lundin-loading

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Re: Flasher
« Reply #9 on: Jan 12, 2018, 08:08 PM »
Lowrance hook 5 ice pack

Offline coldcreekchris

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Re: Flasher
« Reply #10 on: Jan 12, 2018, 08:21 PM »
I have a lowrance 4 x ice machine..its pretty reasonable..and with a little  gumption is pretty easy to figure out in sonar mode....just my 2 cents..but I never have put it in flasher mode....sonar does more seeing fish and understanding their movements than I will ever need..and you can always see the last 30 seconds..incase you missed something while blinking or dilly daddling round the shanty....and in for me..gives me all I need..at hundreds of dollars less than other machines...

Offline titan666

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Re: Flasher
« Reply #11 on: Jan 12, 2018, 10:05 PM »
I can't believe there aren't more used options on eBay or something similar. Seems like they all maintain value rather well...

Offline mtjohn

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Re: Flasher
« Reply #12 on: Jan 12, 2018, 10:30 PM »
I've been using a hummingbird ice 35 for the last few seasons, and I would highly recommend it. It's under $300, it has the zoom function, a nice large readout, and it's dual beam. It also seems to never have any interference when fishing near other flashers, but my friends with vexilars and Marcus get interference all the time. I think for the price, you can't go wrong.
MT

Offline vicster

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Re: Flasher
« Reply #13 on: Jan 12, 2018, 10:59 PM »
I've been using a hummingbird ice 35 for the last few seasons, and I would highly recommend it. It's under $300, it has the zoom function, a nice large readout, and it's dual beam. It also seems to never have any interference when fishing near other flashers, but my friends with vexilars and Marcus get interference all the time. I think for the price, you can't go wrong.
MT
X2, most features for the money you can find.  Try to find a dual beam with a zoom for under 500 from any other manufacturer.  A lot of people are a little shy on the hummingbirds because they are relatively new to ice flashers but they are legit.

Offline jign4koks

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Re: Flasher
« Reply #14 on: Jan 13, 2018, 06:26 AM »
X3 ....  at first I was hesitant to buy the ICE 35, but I have been very happy with it.  It has some good/usable features, but is still simple to use and has been very reliable.  For the money, it's hard to beat.  I also like the Humminbird carry case more than any others I've seen.  It has good storage for extra gear/jigs, but still fits into a bucket.  As others have said, any flasher/finder will help you catch more fish.  Just get the type that appeals to you, with the most usable features that your budget will allow and you can't go wrong. 

Offline titan666

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Re: Flasher
« Reply #15 on: Jan 13, 2018, 09:00 PM »
Well, I bit the bullet and bought a ICE 35 today. Got to play around with it a little bit, seems like a pretty functional piece of equipment. I didn't personally catch anything while actively using it, but I did watch someone else. Looking forward to using it on Holter next weekend.

Offline MNinMT

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Re: Flasher
« Reply #16 on: Jan 14, 2018, 07:58 AM »
I think youll like it titan. I run a Marcum lx7 and made some hard decisions this fall to upgrade hunting equipment, or ice equipment. I got new binocs instead of a new flasher. The humminbird flashers were on the short list with Marcum. If I hadnt gotten new glass I would have gotten the helix ice and sold my Marcum.

I hope you ice more fish!

Offline titan666

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Re: Flasher
« Reply #17 on: Jan 15, 2018, 10:10 AM »
I can actually say that I caught 3 ling because of the flasher. They're hard to pick up on the bottom, but I zoomed in and reduced the sensitivity so I couldn't even see my jig. Didn't see a need as I was bouncing it on the bottom. When that line got thicker all of a sudden I figured it was a fish, and I was ready! Awesome!

Offline hamachi51

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Re: Flasher
« Reply #18 on: Jan 17, 2018, 06:15 PM »
I started using a Marcum LX3-TCL last year and love it. I am an old analog guy and not too keen on the digital world. That being said, this unit is simple to use and actually a lot of fun. I can't imagine fishing without it. Hope this helps.

Offline Hard_Water_Warrior

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Re: Flasher
« Reply #19 on: Jan 22, 2018, 12:58 PM »
I have had a Vexilar FL-18 for almost 10 years now. Like most have said in the post above, once I figured out how to fish with it, I wonder how I ever fished in the past. Another neat tool you can use, if you have a smartphone, is Trimble's "Terrain Navigator Pro". If you use the topo map feature, some of the lakes will show the bottom features. I have used this to find old river channels and underwater shelfs to fish.
My fishing policy is "Don't ask, Don't Tell". As in don't ask where I fish, because I probably wont tell you.

Offline Gills-only

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Re: Flasher
« Reply #20 on: Jan 22, 2018, 01:00 PM »
Chevy!!

 



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