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Author Topic: Best flasher for the money???  (Read 961 times)

Offline Mtfishin

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Best flasher for the money???
« on: Feb 08, 2021, 10:59 AM »
Iíve ice fished for awhile now and think itís time to get a flasher. Curious to what users think is the best flasher for the money. Itís probably like anything else, you get what you pay for. More expensive the more options. Rather not break the bank though if possible. Thanks in advance! Tight lines!

Offline Griztrax

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Re: Best flasher for the money???
« Reply #1 on: Feb 08, 2021, 12:16 PM »
Our first fish finder was the Marcum Showdown vertical display fish finder.  It is about as easy as they come to learn how to operate and see what's going on below you.  We bought it mainly because it was one of the least expensive options out there.  We have since upgraded to other Marcum products but still use the Showdown when we need an extra set of eyes below the ice :-).  I would recommend it as a lower end unit.

Offline MTmarabou

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Re: Best flasher for the money???
« Reply #2 on: Feb 08, 2021, 01:15 PM »
I just got me my first flasher to I went with the vexilar FL-8se  I got it from fish USA it was under $300 and simply to use I can tell when a fish is biting my lure and I just love it it was worth  the purchase.

Offline Gone_fishing

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Re: Best flasher for the money???
« Reply #3 on: Feb 08, 2021, 01:16 PM »
I have a Marcum M3 and has been reliable for the past 3 seasons. Brother has HB Ice 45 and also been good so far. Both have zoom feature which is nice for walleye/perch fishing. I've seen M3s online for $299, believe you could into an M1 cheaper and is pretty similar to M3. No experience with Vexilars but I think they're all good and much better than not having one.

Offline Mtfishin

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Re: Best flasher for the money???
« Reply #4 on: Feb 08, 2021, 01:16 PM »
Thanks for the reply. Iíll take a look into it!

Offline lundin-loading

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Re: Best flasher for the money???
« Reply #5 on: Feb 08, 2021, 05:28 PM »
My vote would be for any of the lowrance ice machines, the hook2 4x is around $250 and is a solid unit. The Garmin striker 4 portable is a super solid unit for less than $200. I prefer traditional sonar graphs over flashers. The real time display and the history on the screen of a graph is very valuable when compared to a flasher only showing real time. They can also pull double duty on the boat when not on the ice.

Offline Brian A

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Re: Best flasher for the money???
« Reply #6 on: Feb 08, 2021, 05:32 PM »
My Vexilar FL8slt is at least 20 years old and has never let me down

And its so sensitive I can see when a fish steals my spike off the jig!

I highly recommend them

Offline Agronomist_at_IA

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Re: Best flasher for the money???
« Reply #7 on: Feb 08, 2021, 05:35 PM »
Huminbird ice 35 does everything a vexilar fl8se does....but it has a zoom & dual beam transducer. If you find a deal you can get a new one for $250.

Offline gf hardwater guy

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Re: Best flasher for the money???
« Reply #8 on: Feb 08, 2021, 05:42 PM »
Your pocket book is more than likely going to end up being the deciding factor. I'd suggest that you buy the most flasher that your wallet can afford. I have only used Vexilar so am not a good reference for the others on the market. I personally love my Vexilar fl-22 which is a very hard to find unit, but its replacement is close to $800.00, more if you get the package. Not that terribly more sophisticated than the fl-8 that someone referenced. Mine has just a few more bells and whistles. I can tell you this, fishing with a flasher allows me to consistently out fish my partner who is by the way a very good fisherman in his own rights, anywhere from 3 to 1 and sometimes as much as 5 or 6 to 1. 

If I were going out fishing and discovered that somehow i had left my flasher at home, I would either return home to get it and then continue on with my trip or I would just stay home and go another day. Another suggestion might be for you to go out on the hard water near where you live and walk around on the ice and ask if the folks you might encounter on the ice if you looked over their shoulder for a bit. Nothing like seeing one of these things in action to help with the decision making process. I've given multiple people lessons on reading the screen on mine.   

Good Luck. It is also my understanding that several models of the various ones are getting difficult to find. Not in the market currently so can't say one way or the other, but that could possibly end up factoring into your final decision.

Offline TreeKiller

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Re: Best flasher for the money???
« Reply #9 on: Feb 08, 2021, 05:48 PM »
If I had $1500 I'd buy a garmin panoptix ice bundle. If anyone has $1500, I will buy one and test it out and let you know how it works!  ;D ;D ;D

Offline MT204

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Re: Best flasher for the money???
« Reply #10 on: Feb 08, 2021, 06:03 PM »
If I had $1500 I'd buy a garmin panoptix ice bundle. If anyone has $1500, I will buy one and test it out and let you know how it works!  ;D ;D ;D

Ah last I priced a "complete" Garmin Panoptix livescope ice bundle(including GPS ETC.) is between $3500 and $4500.

Offline Snitch#8

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Re: Best flasher for the money???
« Reply #11 on: Feb 08, 2021, 06:07 PM »
2x for the Hummingbird Ice35.  I have a 55 and my son has a 45.  We both love them.  The 35 has everything the other two have except it doesn't have as many color bands.  But, like stated above, it has dual beam and zoom.  Very nice machine for the money.

Offline hardwater diehard

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Re: Best flasher for the money???
« Reply #12 on: Feb 08, 2021, 06:12 PM »
Right now it looks like any flasher you can find is worth it ...rarer then doo doo bird teeth..I suspect some post season sales from the "new anglers" that will abandon the sport ..will be plentiful.
Give a man a fish he eats for a day .Teach a man to ice fish he has an obsession for a lifetime

Offline Mtfishin

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Re: Best flasher for the money???
« Reply #13 on: Feb 08, 2021, 08:32 PM »
Boy I didnít think it would be that hard to find them. Are that many people buying them or why is every store out of stock?

Offline deadstick81

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Re: Best flasher for the money???
« Reply #14 on: Feb 08, 2021, 08:55 PM »
Keep an eye on bizman.com always flashers/finders. I picked up a vexilar 18 for 100 bucks as a backup and only had to buy a battery

Offline Agronomist_at_IA

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Re: Best flasher for the money???
« Reply #15 on: Feb 08, 2021, 09:25 PM »
Boy I didnít think it would be that hard to find them. Are that many people buying them or why is every store out of stock?

With covid, people unemployed, stimulus checks, and kids sporting events lessened to stopped....it's given about anyone interested in fishing the opertunity to do so. Lakes have been bizzy this year.

Offline meandcuznalfy

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Re: Best flasher for the money???
« Reply #16 on: Feb 08, 2021, 09:47 PM »
With covid, people unemployed, stimulus checks, and kids sporting events lessened to stopped....it's given about anyone interested in fishing the opertunity to do so. Lakes have been bizzy this year.
Very true, everything outdoors took a hard hit this year with the new interests in rekindling a old hobby or starting a new one, lots of people outdoors. Noticed that the sportsman's warehouse I went to today didn't have many guns, no ammo, little ice fishing gear and lots of soft water gear, that'll likely be mostly gone by the end of the month and then hard to find.

Offline Van Noord

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Re: Best flasher for the money???
« Reply #17 on: Feb 08, 2021, 09:59 PM »
MarCum M1 for sure! Bottom lock zoom, bright true color display, very quiet and 20į wide-angle transducer. Crazy specs for an entry level flasher!

Offline njoy

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Re: Best flasher for the money???
« Reply #18 on: Feb 08, 2021, 10:23 PM »
All entry level machines will do the job, just depends what is available now. Marcum has been good to me.

Offline Mpfishing27

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Re: Best flasher for the money???
« Reply #19 on: Feb 09, 2021, 02:31 PM »
I also got my first unit this year. I'm sure that any entry level flasher will work well. These aren't "flashers" but something to think about.

Garmin striker 4. Very inexpensive. My friend just got one and doesn't even use the ice package and is able to pick up fish and his jigs at 50 feet. I think he got his online for $104. There's a flasher mode and a graph mode that are nice for ice fishing. Just takes a little jerry rigging to get the transducer facing the right way. He seems to out fish me when we are fishing together lol.

I picked up a Humminbird Ice Helix 5 g2 with GPS. Got the Ice package for $499, a little spendy but I love it. Being able to have the flasher and graph split screen really helped me learn how to use the electronic. There are a bunch of different screens you can use with this unit. Comes with a battery which is super nice, stand and ice transducer. Battery will last all day in my experience. Also you can use this unit on a boat open water if that tickles your fancy (need a diff transducer). I'm a big fan of buy once cry once.

Offline wyogator

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Re: Best flasher for the money???
« Reply #20 on: Feb 10, 2021, 01:46 PM »
My vote would be for any of the lowrance ice machines, the hook2 4x is around $250 and is a solid unit. The Garmin striker 4 portable is a super solid unit for less than $200. I prefer traditional sonar graphs over flashers. The real time display and the history on the screen of a graph is very valuable when compared to a flasher only showing real time. They can also pull double duty on the boat when not on the ice.
I also prefer graphs over traditional flashers.  My friend who owns a Vexilar claims that my Lowrance is not as real time as his.  All I know is, when I move my jig, I see it move on the screen at the exact same time.  If his Vex is a nano-second faster, I'll never know, because my eyes can't tell the difference.

Offline Skalkaho

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Re: Best flasher for the money???
« Reply #21 on: Feb 10, 2021, 05:31 PM »
Striker 4...cant be beat,great price!  The flasher has really impressed me,can go to the regular graph or a split screen also.When its slow I can play with the screens. I mean it shows my jig AND the mini swivel! on all screens.It matches my Humminbird 597 Ice that ran $600.00 five years ago.I posted earlier putting it in a compact unit. Has GPS also

Offline GrizzFire

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Re: Best flasher for the money???
« Reply #22 on: Feb 10, 2021, 07:22 PM »
Ditto on Striker 4. Iím on year 3 with it, and love using it even more than my familyís Vexilars. I found mine on Amazon during the summer for $160, came with the case and everything

Offline DowneastPescador

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Re: Best flasher for the money???
« Reply #23 on: Feb 10, 2021, 07:51 PM »
I also have a striker 4. 3 seasons so far. Love it.

 



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