Author Topic: Upgrade Helix 5 or FL-18???  (Read 407 times)

Offline TeamTwoSticks

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Upgrade Helix 5 or FL-18???
« on: Jul 26, 2019, 08:36 AM »
This summer I bought a boat and installed a Helix 5 Chirp DI GPS G2. My question is, do I sell my Fl-18, with a tri-beam ducer on an ultra pack and then buy the ice fishing kit for the Helix? Or do I just keep and use the Vex on hard water and only use the Helix on soft water?

I am torn because I don't want to run the risk of damaging the Helix while ice fishing. I know how tough and robust the Vexilar is, it hasn't failed and I believe it will be running strong for a long time. But I do like the ice fishing features the Helix 5 has to offer as well has having the gps feature on one unit. My first sonar was a Lowrance x67c and I still have that as well. I think that it is easier for beginners to "follow the action" on a graph. But I have come to love using the vex.

Thanks for your input, I just can't convince myself either way.

Offline Reinert

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Re: Upgrade Helix 5 or FL-18???
« Reply #1 on: Jul 26, 2019, 09:43 AM »
Keep your vex

Online hays47

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Re: Upgrade Helix 5 or FL-18???
« Reply #2 on: Jul 26, 2019, 10:19 AM »
As a life long user of Vexilar. It was hard for me to venture out without one. A few years back a guy using a 788CI Humminbird set up for ice convinced me. I held on to my FL 20 for a couple years. But finally broke down and sold it.

After using the Humminbird I went with Garmin to take advantage of Panoptix. I have not looked back.

Not badmouthing Vexilar at all. What they are designed are they perform in an excellent and reliable manner. The fact is though the Garmin or Humminbird will do everything the Vex does. Plus all the other things they were designed for.
Echomap 94  Chirp with panoptix ps-22.

Offline vanhln

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Re: Upgrade Helix 5 or FL-18???
« Reply #3 on: Jul 26, 2019, 11:06 AM »
I've used both a Helix 5 and Helix 7 and both are very durable on the ice.  I have not used a Vex, but the GPS features of the Helix combined with it being a dual season device make it a favorite of mine....

The Helix models give you:
- several ways to see the fish- flasher mode, side view, etc
- navigation abilities- tracks, navigate back to a spot
- abilities to mark and label spots where you fish
- ability to have maps of lakes and show the ridges/depths
- abilities to set depth top and bottom...
- ability to chart unmapped lakes

Offline lostbrit

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Re: Upgrade Helix 5 or FL-18???
« Reply #4 on: Jul 26, 2019, 01:42 PM »
As I don't have a boat I will stick with my Vex, but if I had a boat I would switch in a heart beat

Offline matzilla

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Re: Upgrade Helix 5 or FL-18???
« Reply #5 on: Jul 29, 2019, 09:54 AM »
no need to buy a conversion kit.....just get a chirp ice ducer

get an extra power cord

Mount the helix to the ultra pack, reuse the battery.

Sell the Vex head unit, power cord, and transducer

Catchin' Fish

Offline Agronomist_at_IA

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Re: Upgrade Helix 5 or FL-18???
« Reply #6 on: Jul 29, 2019, 09:58 PM »
For me using the vexilar on the ice is kinda like Mac and cheese, pork and beans, crown and coke. Something about fishing with the vex on hard water makes it feel like hard water.....graph stays in the boat.

Offline Spider1

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Re: Upgrade Helix 5 or FL-18???
« Reply #7 on: Aug 01, 2019, 05:32 AM »
I'm sort of in the same boat. I have an Ice-45 that works fine, it tends to hum a lot on the ice if it isn't sitting just right but otherwise it works fine. But I have a Lowrance elite 4x with a flasher that works great too. And it's quiet and has downscan and seems pretty tough... well it handles all that I put it through on the kayak. Your Helix has even more to offer for ice fishing. With my little 4x it's a tough call, but if it was your finder, I think I would go for it. JMHO


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