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#2114908 - 12/23/09 04:38 AM
Re: Fishing without a flasher [Re: Royal Dutchman]
curt quesnell Offline
HotSpotOutdoors Pro Staff

Registered: 03/07/01
Posts: 3362
Loc: Thief River Falls, Mn
I am lucky to have a spare for a buddy who comes without a flasher. I also have a an old green box that still works, flashers have come a long way

Curt Quesnell
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#2114913 - 12/23/09 04:55 AM
Re: Fishing without a flasher [Re: curt quesnell]
Maplebay Offline
IceLeaders.com Family

Registered: 01/03/07
Posts: 25
Loc: Mcintosh mn
I showed my two boys how to use mine and now when we go im lucky to get to use it. So if anyone has a used vex I will buy it just so i can get mine back.
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#2115266 - 12/23/09 09:54 AM
Re: Fishing without a flasher [Re: Maplebay]
fire-in-the-hole Offline
Jr HSOList.com Family

Registered: 01/09/08
Posts: 19
OK, having never used a flasher, you've really got me thinking and looking since we have a month before getting up to LOW. What is the best model for vexilar? Does the fl-20 give you a superior advantage over the fl-8? What should or shouldn't I look for when buying a used one as I watch them on e.b.a.y? Are there any other forums besides e.b.a.y that would be a good place to look? Since a used one wouldn't likely come with instructions, are they hard to figure out how to use and set up? I am originally from Minnesota and now live in Missouri where ice fishing pretty much doesn't exist, so can a vexilar be used for summer fishing as well? Just some rambling questions and any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
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#2115298 - 12/23/09 10:10 AM
Re: Fishing without a flasher [Re: fire-in-the-hole]
winniewalleye777 Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 12/03/05
Posts: 362
Loc: Redwood Falls, MN
Yes, can be used in the summer. I use it on my canoe all the time. Also use it if we are fishing on a calm day over the side of the boat. From my experience, the FL-20 doesn't give you that big of an advantage. It is a lot more detailed, which works great if you are fishing in some sort of structure (weeds especially). You will be able to see some fish in the weeds, where I cannot with my FL-8. I have not used a 20 very often, and others would know better than me, but I believe there is a zoom feature on the newer models that works really well.

All that said, I found the console and cords from an old FL-8 at a garage sale about 5 years ago and bought that for 10 bucks. I bought the case and battery for about $50. The guy at Gander set it up for me and plugged it in and it worked great. This model works just fine for my uses, which is mainly flat bottom lakes for perch and walleyes. I would strongly suggest you try one on your trip, and I guarantee you will never go back. Good luck!
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#2115304 - 12/23/09 10:12 AM
Re: Fishing without a flasher [Re: fire-in-the-hole]
sal Offline
HSOShow.com Family

Registered: 03/08/02
Posts: 162
Loc: Prior Lake, MN USA
I'd "try b4 you buy"... most of the resorts rent them these days... 10-15$/day. I'd call soon to reserve one though.
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#2115305 - 12/23/09 10:12 AM
Re: Fishing without a flasher [Re: winniewalleye777]
winniewalleye777 Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 12/03/05
Posts: 362
Loc: Redwood Falls, MN
Oh I forgot to mention that Lowrance makes depth finder units for boats that have a flasher setting on them. They can detach and be used in the winter. I have never tried it with ours, but I would assume they work fine
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#2115403 - 12/23/09 11:06 AM
Re: Fishing without a flasher [Re: fire-in-the-hole]
soldoncass Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 03/09/02
Posts: 1067
Loc: Sauk Rapids,Mn. U.S.
fire....
Go to the vexilar website. They have videos on how to set it up, and how to fish with them.....make sure you have plenty of time..........lots to look at. If you do look at used ones I'd recommend one with noise reduction. The plain FL8 doesn't have it , but FL8 SLT, FL8 SE, FL 12,18 and 20 all have it. I got a FL8 SLT on a garage sale for a hundred $, so it is possible, but not easy to find cheap. Good luck.
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#2115527 - 12/23/09 12:22 PM
Re: Fishing without a flasher [Re: soldoncass]
rcatcherman Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 10/09/06
Posts: 502
Loc: Rockford,Mn.
I have the FL-20 and you can now spend $20.00 for a short cable that plugs in to the older FL-8 units to eliminate the weeds in shallow water. I saw them at a bait shop so I know they are out there.
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#2117380 - 12/25/09 08:19 AM
Re: Fishing without a flasher [Re: DTro]
weedline troller Offline
Hello I'm New

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 8
Loc: Wyoming MN.
Well, here's my two cents worth. I have a vexilar fl 8 and use it a lot, but mostly for crappies and setting depth for suspended fish. my experiece has been when in a fish house with several flashers going the interference can get so bad that i just get to many false readings and end up turning it off, or using it ocassionaly when things slow down. last time we were up I turned mine off and would peek over at my sons from time to time just to see if the fish were moving off the bottom. we both tore them up that trip. in fact on the third day he pulled his out because the bite was so good he was getting sick of having his line getting tangled up in it. so i would say they are a great gadget to have and can be very useful at times but if you know what you are doing you should still catch a lot of fish if not just as many. sometimes i think once you fish with a flasher you forget that you once caught plenty of fish without them, because they can be very addicting, it feels like somethings missing when your not using it after fishing with one . Like staring at your bobber or pole tip instead of a screen watching that red dot moving towards your bait.
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#2117925 - 12/25/09 07:55 PM
Re: Fishing without a flasher [Re: weedline troller]
fishinglady Offline
HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 12/29/07
Posts: 97
Loc: Chisholm, MN. St. Louis
We use marcums and have not had any problum with interference. We use 3 at a time. The house is 7 X 16, I think if you are going to get one I would recomend a Marcum. Ours are 2 number 3 and one number 5. The threes have been upgraded to 5s'.
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#2117996 - 12/25/09 08:48 PM
Re: Fishing without a flasher [Re: fishinglady]
Northlander Offline

FishingMN Pro Staff

Registered: 02/17/02
Posts: 23939
Loc: Duluth Mn./Superior, Wi.
Your missing a LOT of fish if your not fishing with a flasher. Even if you get a cheaper entry level like a Marcum LX-1 its a huge advantage.

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#2118408 - 12/26/09 12:04 PM
Re: Fishing without a flasher [Re: Northlander]
fire-in-the-hole Offline
Jr HSOList.com Family

Registered: 01/09/08
Posts: 19
OK, I'm really thinking about taking the dive for a flasher. Having never used one, is there a HUGE difference between the vex fl-8 and 18? I don't want to talk myself into spending another $100 if I don't have to (but I can be persuaded). What I mean by huge difference is catching vs. not catching fish. I can obviously see the advantage with the split screen with the fl-18, but is it really worth the extra coin for a guy who has never used a flasher and only fishes on the ice three days a year? Thanks for any advice. At this point I'm leaning toward the fl-8. Is there anyone who has noticed a marked difference in their fishing production after having gone from one model to the other?
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#2118443 - 12/26/09 01:02 PM
Re: Fishing without a flasher [Re: fire-in-the-hole]
kstruck Offline
HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 01/21/09
Posts: 64
Loc: St. Peter, MN
It would be my simple opinion if money is tight and you will not use it that often that an fl-8 would do you perfect. It is what I started out with (and still often use). It gives you everything you need to know without all the bells and whistles that can raise the price. Basically the bells and whistles are just adding additional features that improve the readability. Basically you just want to know if there are fish there or not.

Think of it this way: fishing with a flasher is a night and day difference, fishing with a higher end flasher is adding some binoculars!
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#2118466 - 12/26/09 01:42 PM
Re: Fishing without a flasher [Re: kstruck]
Dan189 Offline
HSOList.com Family

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 202
Loc: Fargo, ND
The FL-8 is a dinosaur compared to the Marcum VX-1 (which has bottom zoom).

I previously used a Vexilar FL-18, sold it and now use a VX-1, which I think is very similar in performance, and the VX-1 is much nicer than the FL-8.

Both the Vexilar FL-8 SE Genz pack and Marcum VX-1 are listing at $299. I use to be skeptical of Marcum, but having used the VX-1, the zoom is well worth it, go with the Marcum!!
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#2118477 - 12/26/09 01:51 PM
Re: Fishing without a flasher [Re: Dan189]
walleye365 Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 01/28/08
Posts: 704
Loc: Crow Wing Co.
i had FL 18 for seven years worked great just sold it to a buddy and bought FL 20 great machines. the buddy had FL 8
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#2118484 - 12/26/09 02:02 PM
Re: Fishing without a flasher [Re: walleye365]
Dan189 Offline
HSOList.com Family

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 202
Loc: Fargo, ND
oh I agree the FL-18 is a great machine, and I'm sad i sold mine.

But given the option of a Marcum VX-1 and Vexilar FL-8 at the same price, its not much of a comparison. There is zero benefit to the Vexilar.
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#2118753 - 12/26/09 07:51 PM
Re: Fishing without a flasher [Re: Dan189]
DoubleLunger Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 861
Loc: Up a tree/On the water
I disagree, that battery life is considerably better on a Vex.
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#2118837 - 12/26/09 09:18 PM
Re: Fishing without a flasher [Re: DoubleLunger]
Dan189 Offline
HSOList.com Family

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 202
Loc: Fargo, ND
Originally Posted By: DoubleLunger
I disagree, that battery life is considerably better on a Vex.


You're correct. This years Marcum LX-1 puts out 1000 watts, while the Vexilar FL-8 puts out 400 watts.

However this is an advantage as the extra output helps the IR perform its job but also improves signal to noise ratio and helps minimize distortion.

Cleaner signal, and allows better levels of interference rejection.

As my LX-1 a few years old it puts out 600 watts, so the battery might only last 12 hrs and not 14 hrs (estimates)

If you are going on a longer trip, buy a outlet converter for your vehicle, (these are great) or buy an extra battery (good to have anyway regardless of what flasher you use).

So the minor battery difference may appear to be a positive for the Vex, but when it comes to performance I consider it a negative.

--I am not a MarCum loyalist, I love the FL-18, and FL-20, but for flasher for your value, no one competes with the Marcum VX-1.
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#2118891 - 12/26/09 10:16 PM
Re: Fishing without a flasher [Re: Dan189]
fire-in-the-hole Offline
Jr HSOList.com Family

Registered: 01/09/08
Posts: 19
I'm assuming that both the vexilar and marcum's come with a battery charger as well, right? Doesn't it simply work in a regular outlet? Why the need for an outlet converter? Don't you just recharge the battery overnight? Sorry to ask such newbie questions, your answers have been helpful. I'm now looking into the marcum's. The zoom feature does seem like it would be helpful.
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#2118895 - 12/26/09 10:19 PM
Re: Fishing without a flasher [Re: fire-in-the-hole]
Eric_Kruger Offline
HotSpotOutdoors Specialist

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1009
Loc: southcentral,mn
hands down if i wouldnt have gotten the deal i did on my vex i would have gone with the marcum!.
EK

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Rose Creek - Pro Staff
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#2119010 - 12/27/09 07:26 AM
Re: Fishing without a flasher [Re: fire-in-the-hole]
eurolarva Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 10/30/04
Posts: 1172
Loc: Brooklyn Park, MN
Originally Posted By: fire-in-the-hole
I'm assuming that both the vexilar and marcum's come with a battery charger as well, right? Doesn't it simply work in a regular outlet? Why the need for an outlet converter? Don't you just recharge the battery overnight? Sorry to ask such newbie questions, your answers have been helpful. I'm now looking into the marcum's. The zoom feature does seem like it would be helpful.

If you are in a sleeper for a few days you may not have access to an electrical outlet. I fished three days at LOTW and was still on my first battery (9amp hr). Fleet farm sells 7amp bats for like 15 bucks. Keeping a battery charging on a car battery up there would scare me. I know it is not a lot of power but my biggest fear up there is my vehicle starting when it is 25 below zero.
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#2119398 - 12/27/09 03:58 PM
Re: Fishing without a flasher [Re: eurolarva]
Dan189 Offline
HSOList.com Family

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 202
Loc: Fargo, ND
Originally Posted By: fire-in-the-hole
I'm assuming that both the vexilar and marcum's come with a battery charger as well, right? Doesn't it simply work in a regular outlet? Why the need for an outlet converter? Don't you just recharge the battery overnight? Sorry to ask such newbie questions, your answers have been helpful. I'm now looking into the marcum's. The zoom feature does seem like it would be helpful.


-What I meant with a converter is one of these:

http://www.laptopsforless.com/laptop-accessories/dc-ac-power-inverter/

since you may not have access to an outlet these come in very handy for both vex batteries, and cellphones. Yes, they do come with a battery charger, and if you buy a used one and it doesn't you get get them cheap at a Gander/Cabelas/Fleet Farm.

Originally Posted By: eurolarva
If you are in a sleeper for a few days you may not have access to an electrical outlet. I fished three days at LOTW and was still on my first battery (9amp hr). Fleet farm sells 7amp bats for like 15 bucks. Keeping a battery charging on a car battery up there would scare me. I know it is not a lot of power but my biggest fear up there is my vehicle starting when it is 25 below zero.


Yes, if your worried about killing your car battery I highly suggest buying a spare battery and charging it at home. However, unless your car/truck batter is old/weak, this shouldn't be an issue. I suppose if you plan on going to LOW, and fish off by yourself with no-jump start within a mile, yes, plan accordingly. For the majority of us weekend warriors, a standard charge the night before should last a full day on the ice.
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#2120143 - 12/28/09 09:58 AM
Re: Fishing without a flasher [Re: Dan189]
Pantherburn Offline
HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 12/16/03
Posts: 88
Loc: St. Louis Park, MN
There is one benefit to the FL8.....quality. I've had mine for 8 years with no issues. My VX1 on the other hand lasted a season and half before the transducer went kaput, at LOW to boot. Luckily I had my FL8 to fall back on. I really wanted bottom zoom and went the inexpensive route and got 'burned' for $150 (ice fishing show price). If someone is going to fork out $299 for this unit, they should be fore-warned.

My buddies have LX3's and LX5's and they are really nice units, I would just shy away from the VX1 that's all.

Me personally, I'm on my way to purchase an FL20. I love fantasy football!!
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#2127647 - 01/02/10 01:40 PM
Re: Fishing without a flasher [Re: Pantherburn]
fire-in-the-hole Offline
Jr HSOList.com Family

Registered: 01/09/08
Posts: 19
Does anyone know anything about Hummingbird flashers or any other brand that would be good besides Vexilar or Marcum? I'm still looking and being patient. Thanks.
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