Author Topic: Need help deciding between sonars  (Read 2466 times)

Offline Hardwater2

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #30 on: Feb 10, 2019, 12:15 PM »
Iíve had the Vexilar FL-18 for years. Itís a solid unit from a solid company. Not one compaint. It does everything I need it for. Panifish, to walleye to Lake Trout. You canít go wrong!

Offline woodstock60

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #31 on: Feb 10, 2019, 12:26 PM »
Get the vex, I have that model and love it, also have a hook 7, great for the boat but doesn't compare on the ice.

Offline SLAYERFISH

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #32 on: Feb 10, 2019, 08:09 PM »
Get the vex, I have that model and love it, also have a hook 7, great for the boat but doesn't compare on the ice.

I agree- a buddy showed me his "AMAZING" HDS- something Lowrance on the ice and I tried using it for awhile jigging up perch. It totally sucked. I told him so. 

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Offline Nuangolasusquehanna

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #33 on: Feb 10, 2019, 08:11 PM »
I agree- a buddy showed me his "AMAZING" HDS- something Lowrance on the ice and I tried using it for awhile jigging up perch. It totally sucked. I told him so. 

Call me caveman but i LIKE WHAT WORKS- ;)

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Offline flyhaven

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #34 on: Feb 11, 2019, 12:06 PM »
I use my lowrance hook 7 off my boat and it seems to work well for what I have been doing,but I have not used a flasher yet.If I fished more on the ice I may have to invest in a flasher.The hook 7 has a flasher mode, but I do not think it has a crisp as a display as a good quality  flasher.A flasher seems easier and more convenient for making adjustments.

Offline Fonzie2

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #35 on: Feb 11, 2019, 12:34 PM »
I have a Lowrance Elite 4x Ice Machine. I don't know how it compares to the Lowrance mentioned in the OP.
Anyways, I love my graph for a lot of reasons. Most importantly,with a scrolling graph you have a record of what occurred near your jig. So if you glance away for a second, you'll still see the fish that came and left {until the screen scrolls away off the page}. With a flasher, if you look away for a few seconds, you can miss that blip that sniffed and swam off. A graph lets you see that...

Offline SLAYERFISH

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #36 on: Feb 11, 2019, 01:13 PM »
With a flasher, if you look away for a few seconds, you can miss that blip that sniffed and swam off.

Who looks away? ??? ???
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Offline Fonzie2

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #37 on: Feb 11, 2019, 03:51 PM »
Who looks away? ??? ???

I do regularly... :)

Offline SLAYERFISH

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #38 on: Feb 11, 2019, 04:47 PM »
Huh. Anyway if the fish is still nearby then you can jig it in. If it doesnt jig in then it doesnt matter anyway its already gone.  And then it didnt matter if you saw it or not. ;)
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Offline Ryan V

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #39 on: Feb 11, 2019, 05:28 PM »
I do regularly... :)

Especially when your checking for flags :tipup:

Offline SLAYERFISH

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #40 on: Feb 11, 2019, 09:09 PM »
Especially when your checking for flags :tipup:

Dont do flags. iN colorado only allowed 2 lines total. So a dead stick and a jigging rod.
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Offline tjk3rd

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #41 on: Feb 11, 2019, 11:16 PM »
I have used a lowrance elite 4 chirp for the last 3 years and itís worked well for me. Though I did upgrade to a garmin panoptix ice this year.
Hi Seamonkey84.  I too use an elite 4 chirp and get alot of interference from other lowrance units operating near me.  Any advice you might have or experiences would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.

Offline chilly-willy

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #42 on: Feb 12, 2019, 04:43 AM »
At ryan v

I was fishing in 4 fow and weeds it works fine..  on my elite 4x and x67c .. some adevise for you there is more postive reason to go with the lowrace over the vex just a heads up!

Like :
1) past info of how fish are responding to your lure presintation..  you know those old polygraph machines they use in movies for lie dectors?  they have a needle that detects your pulse and movements like a nervous twitching?  in your hands etc and transfers it to paper.. as they ask questions the needle jumps as the paper rolls out of machine..  the person giving the exam circles ware it jumped to go over more question about that topic they asked there.. the paper rolling off gives past history just like the lowrace screen .. the very right edge of my lowrance is current data..  like that of a vex flasher so if the fish comes off bottom as your jigging you see a line rising towards ware your jig is .. if you stop and the fish settles back to bottom or leaves  and you jig some more and it moves back in what does that tell ya??  the fish are attracted to movement can't pick this up on this stuff on a vex screen very easy.. all vex screen have is current data no past data.. to look at and think about ..

2)lowrance and man over board way point marking..  we use this to mark rock piles and structure wile in the boat or even a kayak fishing..  as you see it you pass over use the arrow curser to back up to it..  and then push mark to mark the ward abouts of the structure..  perfect for summer fishing ware you need to mark trenches ware salmon lay to cool off..  or even structure crappie get in to in winter..  but not summer high sun days..  and come back to it in  winter.. can't do that on a vex..


3) mapping software of bottom contours.. the gps soft ware of the Stryker 4 sucks truthfully your better of with lowrance then a Stryker 4..   the bottom contours can be show every 1 foot of drop..  to help aid in finding fish  this is a big thing.. you can even pull up on your lap tops a map to inspect for the lake planned to fish..  and look for ware you should try at home according to markings and bottom contours.. before you even fish..  the Stryker 4 don't offer thIs.. all the Stryker 4 has is a blank white screen last I heard and un up dateable.. basically a waste of money but does have a screen like lowrace on the fish finder mode..


Garmin has some really good features but like the vex is a little useless from the out of date technology my only complaint if I don't use in my shanty is the screen slows down on my lowrance in -12*f and similar weather cause its a lcd screen liquid crystal display.. but in a shanty heater on no problems at all..


Also the lowrance has on my x4 versus the x67c.. has a bottom zoom 200khz  versus 86kHz only  basically single mode versus split screen dual screen mode..  shows great detail of bottom  in 200kHz  but shows  mid and surface in 86khz.. same kind of zoom a vex has..


I use a Lowrance ice transducer there are ways you can use the regular boat ducer on ice choice is yours.. the only problem I have with boat ducer is the boat  cable is 15 to 20 foot long ware ice ducer is 5 foot max.. and cable management is much easier..

One of my buddies has a fl8 some times kicks him self for owning it. .  other times he dont.. cause it uses out dated technology..  your buying outdated tech.. for top dollar when he could have for same price got a lowrace.. he don't worry about the screen getting cold on his vex but that's all  he has going for it.. plus don't have the other features the lowrace offers. 


Of course my finder us 10 yrs old the newer lowrace are even better..


Offline RStock521

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #43 on: Feb 12, 2019, 07:49 AM »
Hi Seamonkey84.  I too use an elite 4 chirp and get alot of interference from other lowrance units operating near me.  Any advice you might have or experiences would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.
  Start with both units with No Surface Clarity and No Noise Rejection.  On ONE of the units, begin changing the Surface Clarity and Noise Rejection between low/med/high until you figure out the sweet spot.  I use two Elite 5 HDI's in the same shack all the time.  Also an Elite 5 HDI and a Marcum M1.  While there will still be a little bit of interference, it is perfectly usable.

Offline Ryan V

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #44 on: Feb 12, 2019, 08:05 AM »
At ryan v

I was fishing in 4 fow and weeds it works fine..  on my elite 4x and x67c .. some adevise for you there is more postive reason to go with the lowrace over the vex just a heads up!



Like :
1) past info of how fish are responding to your lure presintation..  you know those old polygraph machines they use in movies for lie dectors?  they have a needle that detects your pulse and movements like a nervous twitching?  in your hands etc and transfers it to paper.. as they ask questions the needle jumps as the paper rolls out of machine..  the person giving the exam circles ware it jumped to go over more question about that topic they asked there.. the paper rolling off gives past history just like the lowrace screen .. the very right edge of my lowrance is current data..  like that of a vex flasher so if the fish comes off bottom as your jigging you see a line rising towards ware your jig is .. if you stop and the fish settles back to bottom or leaves  and you jig some more and it moves back in what does that tell ya??  the fish are attracted to movement can't pick this up on this stuff on a vex screen very easy.. all vex screen have is current data no past data.. to look at and think about ..

2)lowrance and man over board way point marking..  we use this to mark rock piles and structure wile in the boat or even a kayak fishing..  as you see it you pass over use the arrow curser to back up to it..  and then push mark to mark the ward abouts of the structure..  perfect for summer fishing ware you need to mark trenches ware salmon lay to cool off..  or even structure crappie get in to in winter..  but not summer high sun days..  and come back to it in  winter.. can't do that on a vex..


3) mapping software of bottom contours.. the gps soft ware of the Stryker 4 sucks truthfully your better of with lowrance then a Stryker 4..   the bottom contours can be show every 1 foot of drop..  to help aid in finding fish  this is a big thing.. you can even pull up on your lap tops a map to inspect for the lake planned to fish..  and look for ware you should try at home according to markings and bottom contours.. before you even fish..  the Stryker 4 don't offer thIs.. all the Stryker 4 has is a blank white screen last I heard and un up dateable.. basically a waste of money but does have a screen like lowrace on the fish finder mode..


Garmin has some really good features but like the vex is a little useless from the out of date technology my only complaint if I don't use in my shanty is the screen slows down on my lowrance in -12*f and similar weather cause its a lcd screen liquid crystal display.. but in a shanty heater on no problems at all..


Also the lowrance has on my x4 versus the x67c.. has a bottom zoom 200khz  versus 86kHz only  basically single mode versus split screen dual screen mode..  shows great detail of bottom  in 200kHz  but shows  mid and surface in 86khz.. same kind of zoom a vex has..


I use a Lowrance ice transducer there are ways you can use the regular boat ducer on ice choice is yours.. the only problem I have with boat ducer is the boat  cable is 15 to 20 foot long ware ice ducer is 5 foot max.. and cable management is much easier..

One of my buddies has a fl8 some times kicks him self for owning it. .  other times he dont.. cause it uses out dated technology..  your buying outdated tech.. for top dollar when he could have for same price got a lowrace.. he don't worry about the screen getting cold on his vex but that's all  he has going for it.. plus don't have the other features the lowrace offers. 


Of course my finder us 10 yrs old the newer lowrace are even better..


Thanks for the detailed response

Offline tjk3rd

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #45 on: Feb 12, 2019, 08:09 AM »
  Start with both units with No Surface Clarity and No Noise Rejection.  On ONE of the units, begin changing the Surface Clarity and Noise Rejection between low/med/high until you figure out the sweet spot.  I use two Elite 5 HDI's in the same shack all the time.  Also an Elite 5 HDI and a Marcum M1.  While there will still be a little bit of interference, it is perfectly usable.
Thank you RStock521.   I will start as you say next time out.  My son uses a lowrance elite 4 and mine is an elite 4 chirp.  My machine gets far more interference than his.  Do you recommend I use high chirp?  Which do you use for best visibility of my jig and fish?  I appreciate your help.

Offline SLAYERFISH

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #46 on: Feb 12, 2019, 08:16 AM »
When I fire up my LX-5 everyone leaves the area cause their weaker units get all interfered with! ;D

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Offline Unclegillhunter

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #47 on: Feb 12, 2019, 12:57 PM »
So have you decided on a unit yet?
Keep it safe! JDL

Offline chilly-willy

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #48 on: Feb 12, 2019, 01:36 PM »
Don't jump to buying some times mistakes happen.. best advise I can give get what you want and fits what you want!  Heck my finder is so old it don't have gps I have a hand held gps that goes ware finder goes.  But any way check your pm box..  there was a sales flyer I got today I am sending to you ryan v. Just remember all have their pluses and minuses. 


Offline Ryan V

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #49 on: Feb 12, 2019, 01:48 PM »
So have you decided on a unit yet?
Keep it safe! JDL


I've got a friend who has a Lowrance he uses for ice fishing that I can see if I like after going out with him. I'm still torn between flashers and LCDs so that should help me decide. My budget is $300 and I'd really like the Lowrance hook2 5x over the hook2 4x for the mapping and split screen options but the hook2 5 is $400 vs the hook2 4x at around $250 without mapping (although it does have GPS) or the split screen options witch is what I really want. And for the flashers I'd like a FL 18 for the zoom and reliability of a vexilar but that's also over my budget. You can find a decent amount of used fl 18s but it's very hard to find any $300 or less. Another option for flashers with the zoom feature is a marcum M1 which I could pick up for about $300 new

Offline Ryan V

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #50 on: Feb 12, 2019, 01:51 PM »
Don't jump to buying some times mistakes happen.. best advise I can give get what you want and fits what you want!  Heck my finder is so old it don't have gps I have a hand held gps that goes ware finder goes.  But any way check your pm box..  there was a sales flyer I got today I am sending to you ryan v. Just remember all have their pluses and minuses.

Thanks for the pm  ;)

Offline chilly-willy

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #51 on: Feb 12, 2019, 01:52 PM »
No problem will keep a eye peeled for a lowrance 5 if I can find one in time..

Offline Ryan V

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #52 on: Feb 12, 2019, 02:05 PM »
No problem will keep a eye peeled for a lowrance 5 if I can find one in time..

I still don't know if I'll prefer a LCD over a flasher. I've used other people's flashers several times and I liked using them But I've never used a 2d graph style unit so I'm not sure if I'll like that style or not. But I should be going out at some point this week with the friend with the Lowrance so I'll be able to decide after that.

Offline chilly-willy

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #53 on: Feb 12, 2019, 02:10 PM »
I don't like the new advertising of the hook 2 models the only ones that come with the gps mapping is the 5 combo..  model with no x designation.. so  the 5x model has gps but no mapping capeibilty..  according to lowrance Web site..  the 4000 lakes map with split shot sonar is 299.99..  if you can find that model at cabelas??  I have $10 off a $40  on or more purchase.  I will  give thd coupon to  ya ryan v threw pm if you want it? I th8nk it good till some time around febuary 20th?? I am sure if you want it let me know? So I can pm you it.. but try it out first like you were saying earlier see if you like it and want it??

https://www.lowrance.com/lowrance/type/fishfinders-chartplotters/hook2-5-splitshot--us-inland


Offline Ryan V

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #54 on: Feb 12, 2019, 02:17 PM »
I don't like the new advertising of the hook 2 models the only ones that come with the gps mapping is the 5 combo..  model with no x designation.. so  the 5x model has gps but no mapping capeibilty..  according to lowrance Web site..  the 4000 lakes map with split shot sonar is 299.99..  if you can find that model at cabelas??  I have $10 off a $40  on or more purchase.  I will  give thd coupon to  ya ryan v threw pm if you want it? I th8nk it good till some time around febuary 20th?? I am sure if you want it let me know? So I can pm you it.. but try it out first like you were saying earlier see if you like it and want it??

https://www.lowrance.com/lowrance/type/fishfinders-chartplotters/hook2-5-splitshot--us-inland

Thanks for the offer I'll keep that in mind. What I was talking about for the prices for the Lowrance was for the all season pack that comes ready for ice fishing with a soft case, battery and both open water and ice transducers

Offline chilly-willy

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #55 on: Feb 12, 2019, 03:36 PM »
Do you have a kayak or boat etc??  I would get a ram mount my self and either mount it in a bucket or etc..  there are ways to make a boat transduecer work...  till you can buy the ice ducer and adaptor for ice ducer maybe next year pic up the ice ducer and adaptor..

  most people will set there flasher on a bucket any how that's why I mounted mine on the upper rim of a bucket.. now  I can sit in a chair and look at screen wile hole hopping around..  if needed. And if I fish my flip over i use a ram mount rail mount to mount it to a shanty pole. So in my one man I have room on ice for my feet.. I use a 11 sq ft one man so really small on space..

Tell ya the truth you get the 4x or 5x with the plain simple  gps is wasting your money! Reason I say this on their Web site it says you cant up grade the gps mapping..   from the one that have a standard gps.. like the 4x and 5x  to a mapping gps..  trust me those counter lines will save you a lot of time on walleye crappie perch pike etc.. fishing ..


you ever read the book ice fishing secrets ?? In that book it explain how to find the fish by the depth of lakes and contour features..  after a While after reading it fishing become so easy..  and your winter catch rates go up..

Offline Ryan V

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #56 on: Feb 12, 2019, 03:47 PM »
Do you have a kayak or boat etc??  I would get a ram mount my self and either mount it in a bucket or etc..  there are ways to make a boat transduecer work...  till you can buy the ice ducer and adaptor for ice ducer maybe next year pic up the ice ducer and adaptor..

  most people will set there flasher on a bucket any how that's why I mounted mine on the upper rim of a bucket.. now  I can sit in a chair and look at screen wile hole hopping around..  if needed. And if I fish my flip over i use a ram mount rail mount to mount it to a shanty pole. So in my one man I have room on ice for my feet.. I use a 11 sq ft one man so really small on space..

Tell ya the truth you get the 4x or 5x with the plain simple  gps is wasting your money! Reason I say this on their Web site it says you cant up grade the gps mapping..   from the one that have a standard gps.. like the 4x and 5x  to a mapping gps..  trust me those counter lines will save you a lot of time on walleye crappie perch pike etc.. fishing ..


you ever read the book ice fishing secrets ?? In that book it explain how to find the fish by the depth of lakes and contour features..  after a While after reading it fishing become so easy..  and your winter catch rates go up..


I do have a boat I could put it on and I already the Navionics app which gives me maps and GPS from my phone but you have to pay yearly to keep it so I'd definitely prefer to have that all in my sonar. If I do get a flasher I'll probably just keep using the app it's about $15 yearly so it'd be worth it. And I'll have to check out that book.

Offline hnd

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #57 on: Feb 12, 2019, 04:05 PM »
while you can dual purpose an lcd unit, having used a number of them, i prefer the ole trusty mechanical flasher on the ice.   just a more consistant experience for me. 
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Offline chilly-willy

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #58 on: Feb 12, 2019, 04:27 PM »
Play with your Buddis first before you decide on any thing..


I know every one has there phones but tell you the truth having the gps integrated in your finder is way easier then the phone..most of all when on boat and marking  points of intrest in the lake floor with the integrated gps.. like points no one knows about .. I am sure know this  you really don't even need gps you could do it the old way like before gps.. drill holes till you find depth and just fish.. but  it's like river fishing I use the paddle wheel speed/temp probe to tell me what speed I am going..  with the new fish finders it calulates from gps and water speed etc so trolling is a heck of a lot easier to dial in on them..  like in a river trolling when flow changes.. cause of spring thaw and rain etc.. can be a real pain

Now what if you don't have the gps and your drilling along the shore line in a stright line and the contour changes but the shore line is same..  but contour changes so you drill following the shore and loose the trail of the fish any how wasted time fishing.. a lot of modern fishing is aided from modern electronics.. knowing how to use and read them.. you could get by with out that's up to you.. if it were me I would not waste my  money on a unit that's not correct cause its missing part of what's needed.  Then you figure out how to use it and you want it then recouping money trying to sell old to get the latest and greatest version.. why not get the latest and greatest right off batt mainly in gps??


Reason I said get the latest and greatest is cause Maps are like computter software like what happened to  window's xp windows 94??  is that still around??  STuff gets obsolete ..  that's why it's better to buy the gps and it's components.   the soft ware part first..  if going after that if not why why worry??
You can  then piece together the ice  tranduecer and ram mount or ice box etc.. later..but not soft ware I can still find transduecer for my x67c and elite 4x.. but can't buy the lakes soft ware for my garmin venture hc..  I have the us lakes maps..  iam  glad I bought it ..I still want to buy the canada. Lakes maps soft ware..  but that all she wrOTE cause can't buy it now.. just a heads up!! I bouht that around 10 yr ago and all my way points etc are on it and I glad it still loads on my lAp top?? Ware all the way points and data are stored..

Offline Ihawkangler

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Re: Need help deciding between sonars
« Reply #59 on: Feb 13, 2019, 06:31 AM »
Hbird gives you the most features as far as screen size and bottom zoom but in my opinion Vexilar makes the best units hands down.  There is a reason they get a half inch target separation and the others have 2 inch target separation.  This is Ford vs. Chevy and I am not saying Hbirds are bad units.  I am stating my opinion that for the money, I think the Fl-18 is the best unit out there.   Yes the display is smaller but I fish with guys who have the Ice 35 and I don't think it is very bright.  I will also mark fish side by side they don't and I spent a day fishing next to a guy with a 35 who was looking at my Fl-18.   The Fl-18 also has bottom lock so you can use it in open water.  I have a two-man Sun Dolphin and I run the ducer down a rod holder and jig under it in open water like I do through the ice.  I have also called Vexilar customer service a number of times and they have always been helpful. 

 



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