Whats the best kind of vexilar ???

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FishingFree's picture
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Whats the best kind of vexilar ???

Im currently going to invest in a vexilar I see videos were they all seem to be just as good as the other but is there really a differnce? I know if I invest in a vexilar it something thats going to last so im trying not to be to stindgy on the price. I personally like the FL-20 because of the 100-300 ft range it has ( as they say ) and that would be nice in the depts of the big waters of ND. So if any ideas on this I hope someone can help me answer this and maybe even sell me one.......................

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 I have been using the FL18 for 3 or 4 years now and absolutely love it.  I have not had a chance to try out the newer 20 or 22.  Cant go wrong with a Vex, in my opinion.

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Marcum LX-7, alot better than my fl-22hd by a long shot

 

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 I am in the market for an 18 or 20 as well. So if anyone wants to give one away...  I suppose milkdudde69 would have first dibs. Ha

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all depend on how deep ya fish. my fl-22hd only goes to 60ft as where the fl-20 goes to 300ft. the fl-18 goes to 200ft. what ever you get make sure to get the tri-beam transducer. i usually dont fish over 50ft thats why i got the 22. cant go wrong with any of them.
Dusty

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anything with bottom zoom.

 "I get what you're saying:  Like a sausage replica featuring a Polander holding a sacred illumination device." 

Pat'sPlace
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 The one your best buddy owns and let's you use...

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I have an FL-18 and the guy I fish with the most has an FL-20.  The FL-20 is a big improvement over the FL-18.  It's a lot easier to see the screen and the transducer work a lot better when we're fishing on a drop off.  I really like my 18, but I would get the 20 if I were buying a new vexilar. 

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for me; bottom separation is the biggest concern; 99% of my fishing is the bottom 3 feet; looking for walleyes scraping their bellies

as such i have a 22; but we consistantly fish with an 8 / 12 / 18 and 20 in the house as well as the occasional marcum.

i prefer the 22 over all the others i've fished with; but i think a major reason is that i'm very familar with how the vex operates and they feel comfortable to me

Baitcaster
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I know somone with a Lowrance M68C.  I think that is what it was?  Anyway I love the screen where you can watch your line on a bar graph.  That is really neat.  You can also switch it to Flasher mode.  Anyway my 2 cents, but I thought it was one of the most universal vexilar around.??

Baitcaster

Baitcaster
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Here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2cP70FJ8oA      It shows how it works... Also shows alot more, but not on this site.  I just thought it was a good one for ice myself.

Baitcaster

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Baitcaster Said:
Here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2cP70FJ8oA      It shows how it works... Also shows alot more, but not on this site.  I just thought it was a good one for ice myself.

i've got a similar one on my phone i still haven't figured out how to load up.  sitting on a few feet of perch when a 3-4 pound walleye comes in, chases the perch away and slams the lure.  good stuff.  can't wait to see how my hd-7 performs on the ice. 

Born to hunt and fish... Forced to work!

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I would have trouble taking a 600 dollar plus LCD out on the ice. The cold weather will take its toll and with hammering through snow drifts and pulling the sled around i just dont think they will take years of use . The graph will perform great im sure though.

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Enslow Said:
I would have trouble taking a 600 dollar plus LCD out on the ice. The cold weather will take its toll and with hammering through snow drifts and pulling the sled around i just dont think they will take years of use . The graph will perform great im sure though.

I also think a graph would work just fine.  I can't see myself toting around my hds 10 in a 5 gallon pail in my fish house sled.  That has disaster written all over it.  I might hook it up in the permanent for fun though(although I don't know if that is a good idea either).  I actually jig right below my 'ducer in the boat and use it like an ice rig when conditions are right.

"Diligence is the mother of good luck."

"The constitution only gives people the right to pursue hapiness.  You have to catch it yourself."

"Well done is better than well said."

"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

All by:  Benjamin Franklin.

"The solution to any problem - work, love, money, whatever - is to go fishing, and the bigger the problem, the longer the trip should be."

Author: John Gierach

Baitcaster
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Its actually very light weight and packs well, a little carrying case.  Pretty easy to set up so it isn't in the way.   But ya totally agree, flying over drifts would not be good!  Lol.  Have been waiting for them to come down in price, but that's been 5 years now.   So doesn't look good for me.  It's on my wish list I guess. 

Baitcaster

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to be perfectly honest... i'd rather have an older ice machine or an older 300 or 500 series to have on the ice.  i liked my ice machine.... but, absolutely loved my 522.  and i have to admit i am leery of dragging my $1000 hd-7 on the ice too.  but, to be even more honest, i never once had a problem with my 522 before.  they take quite a bit of abuse in a boat.  i can think of more than a few times where i was navigating waves that made my stomach muscles tighten so bad they hurt when i got off the lake.  and i have certainly never had any such experience on the ice.  so, i ain't so sure ice fishing is a whole lot tougher on them than open water.  you can buy "soft packs" for keeping them covered, etc... i suppose 30 mph behind a snowmobile on a sled might be similar to big waves on water.  mine finally got water in it from rain and that is what killed it.  it wasn't the abuse it took on the ice.  anyway, i've kind of beat this horse to death the last few years... sorry.

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Ok... here goes nothing... i think i finally got this video thing figured out.  A couple of things... it is hard to make my lure out amongs the dozen or so perch.  I leave it towards the top of the screen the entire time.  What you see initially is the perch reacting and coming off the bottom to check it out as it enters the screen from up above at about 24 ft or so.  You can't see the initial descent because I have the zoom set at 4X.  The walleye shows up at about 0:50 and at about 1:15 the perch scatter.  If you watch close, the first few just kind of disappear from the screen.  But, the last few literally dive to the bottom and then off the screen.  He/she hits it at about 1:30 and i lose it at first and hook it a short time later.  I apologize for the blank screen while i reel it in.  Its hard to reel and film from your phone at the same time... lol.  Also... the screeming drag is a result of me fishing for perch with my perch set up... so, i never bothered adjusting it since i was making progress.  Finally, excuse the language at the end... its rather minor... but, it comes off at the hole and i have to get out of the truck and stick my arm in the water to get it and at the same time find myself pleasantly surprised with the size of it.  Hope you enjoy!

Born to hunt and fish... Forced to work!

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jw6okx-D6Ao

here is the darn youtube link.  i ain't sure what i messed up.  i only see half the player and am unable to view in fullscreen.  sorry. 

edit... nevermind... just double click on it and fullscreen works.  didn't know that worked on this site.  can't tell you how many videos i've watched on this site and been frustrated cause i couldn't see the "fullscreen" button on the bottom right hand side. 

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Is that a dress shoe at the end?!



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lol.  no... i filmed that on my lunch break by where i work.  happen to have my suit, tie and dress shoes on.  the shoe is just to give an idea of the size of the fish.  i am wearing the same shoes today.  just put a ruler to them.  they are right at 13 inches.  i think i originally pegged that fish at about 20 inches.  which i think for devils lake is right in that 3 pound range.  maybe 3.5 depending on which chart you use.  now that i look again... it might be more like 19 inches.  doesn't matter really.  the purpose of the video was to show the fish on the graph.  i've got another where i actually pull up a dink perch.  i think i will try that one next. 

EDIT... i think you orignally had "dress show" and it now reads "dress shoe"... i should've known what you meant... so, yes that is a dress shoe. 

Born to hunt and fish... Forced to work!

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espringers Said:
lol.  no... i filmed that on my lunch break by where i work.  happen to have my suit, tie and dress shoes on.  the shoe is just to give an idea of the size of the fish.  i am wearing the same shoes today.  just put a ruler to them.  they are right at 13 inches.  i think i originally pegged that fish at about 20 inches.  which i think for devils lake is right in that 3 pound range.  maybe 3.5 depending on which chart you use.  now that i look again... it might be more like 19 inches.  doesn't matter really.  the purpose of the video was to show the fish on the graph.  i've got another where i actually pull up a dink perch.  i think i will try that one next. 

EDIT... i think you orignally had "dress show" and it now reads "dress shoe"... i should've known what you meant... so, yes that is a dress shoe. 

Cool video. Makes it even better you were in suit and tie haha

 "I get what you're saying:  Like a sausage replica featuring a Polander holding a sacred illumination device." 

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well... this should be the perch video... . 

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One that's left in the truck cuz my Marcum is more clear and gives too much interference


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I shopped all of em last year and other than spending the money on the LX-7 I chose the LX-5. I fished with all of em or next to em and in my opinion the 5 is better but like I said my opinion.

Hunt today like there may be no tomorrow!

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 I love it when this discussion comes up, it means that the hardwater is coming.  I made the mistake of buying mine in July and have been counting down ever since.  I choose to go with the FL-18 bc of the bottom zoom/tribeam transducer and it was $280 on ebay.  God bless ice fishing and be safe this winter

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fishsticks Said:
 I love it when this discussion comes up, it means that the hardwater is coming.  I made the mistake of buying mine in July and have been counting down ever since.  I choose to go with the FL-18 bc of the bottom zoom/tribeam transducer and it was $280 on ebay.  God bless ice fishing and be safe this winter

Amen, Amen.  280 is a great deal too!

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Whatever you do, don't buy an LX3 and come fishing with me.  Those things were born to interfere.

"Diligence is the mother of good luck."

"The constitution only gives people the right to pursue hapiness.  You have to catch it yourself."

"Well done is better than well said."

"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

All by:  Benjamin Franklin.

"The solution to any problem - work, love, money, whatever - is to go fishing, and the bigger the problem, the longer the trip should be."

Author: John Gierach

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I've fished in a portable for a whole 3 day weekend next to my buddy's LX3 with my FL-20 and didn't have much of an issue. There was a little interference here and there, but few and far between. Maybe just a fluke thing for my case.

Captain Ahab Said:
Whatever you do, don't buy an LX3 and come fishing with me.  Those things were born to interfere.



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Pickerel Tamer Said:
I've fished in a portable for a whole 3 day weekend next to my buddy's LX3 with my FL-20 and didn't have much of an issue. There was a little interference here and there, but few and far between. Maybe just a fluke thing for my case.
Captain Ahab Said:
Whatever you do, don't buy an LX3 and come fishing with me.  Those things were born to interfere.

I really do believe not every flasher is created equal. I have an lx5 and my buddy has fl18 we fish with no problems at all. His battery went in the pooper one day so he borrowed his dads 18, fishing for him was almost impossible for him with his dad's we both were monkeyin with IR and could not get it cleared up at all. Next weekend he got his 18 going again and we fished together just fine. Very weird i thought

 "I get what you're saying:  Like a sausage replica featuring a Polander holding a sacred illumination device." 

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Wags86 Said:

Pickerel Tamer Said:
I've fished in a portable for a whole 3 day weekend next to my buddy's LX3 with my FL-20 and didn't have much of an issue. There was a little interference here and there, but few and far between. Maybe just a fluke thing for my case.

Captain Ahab Said:
Whatever you do, don't buy an LX3 and come fishing with me.  Those things were born to interfere.

I really do believe not every flasher is created equal. I have an lx5 and my buddy has fl18 we fish with no problems at all. His battery went in the pooper one day so he borrowed his dads 18, fishing for him was almost impossible for him with his dad's we both were monkeyin with IR and could not get it cleared up at all. Next weekend he got his 18 going again and we fished together just fine. Very weird i thought

Could be.  All I know is when my buddy pulls that LX3 out of the bucket, I start to cringe.  My Fl-18 and his LX3 must not be compatible.  I should start calling them Donald and Rosie. 

"Diligence is the mother of good luck."

"The constitution only gives people the right to pursue hapiness.  You have to catch it yourself."

"Well done is better than well said."

"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

All by:  Benjamin Franklin.

"The solution to any problem - work, love, money, whatever - is to go fishing, and the bigger the problem, the longer the trip should be."

Author: John Gierach

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I've had issues with the LX-1 and LX-3's too, they are the worst for interference that I've seen.  But, you get a bunch of FL-8's around each other and you still get a little bit too, even with the IR setup properly.

They say the HB flashers don't pickup any interference, but I don't know how much they put out either.  I'd love to know which brand/unit is most compatible this way.

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” - Albert Einstein

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Well thanks everyone I think from what I have seen on the youtube videos and everyones comments on here im goign to invest in the vexilar fl-20 with tri beam im spinning in my head for the coast of it but they sound reliable and is something that should last for awhile. I don't think getting and lcd screen is practicle either I can hardly have a cell phone for more than a couple months and with the cold weather I dont think it wold be real safe to just leave in your vehicle over night its jsut asking for trouble. THANK YOU everyone and hopeing this ice freezes ive seen the river iced over once it did melt agian but hey It froze and im ready to get out there again !!!

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Meh... I wouldn't worry bout the screen. I've never heard of the cold hurting them. They don't call the lowrance 68 an "ice machine" because its meant to be used in the summer. And those Marcums are specifically made for ice fishing to. Sounds like its too late to convert u. So just take it fwiw.

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espringers Said:
Meh... I wouldn't worry bout the screen. I've never heard of the cold hurting them. They don't call the lowrance 68 an "ice machine" because its meant to be used in the summer. And those Marcums are specifically made for ice fishing to. Sounds like its too late to convert u. So just take it fwiw.

Your graph paints a clearer picture of what they are doing and how big they are. I've had an fl-8 and lx-5. My next will probably be a 68. Thanks for the vids!

 "I'll show you where the bear sh**s in the woods!" ~ Dad
(I still have no clue what it means.)

"You're not really even my son." ~ Dad
(I still don't believe him.)

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espringers Said:
Meh... I wouldn't worry bout the screen. I've never heard of the cold hurting them. They don't call the lowrance 68 an "ice machine" because its meant to be used in the summer. And those Marcums are specifically made for ice fishing to. Sounds like its too late to convert u. So just take it fwiw.

Do you have any interference issues ever? If so what does it look like on screen? How do you solve it? Your videos have intrigued me for sure

 "I get what you're saying:  Like a sausage replica featuring a Polander holding a sacred illumination device." 

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couple of things.... they do offer you a better view of exactly whats going on below you.  imagine the situation where you had as many fish as those brief videos show stacked up below a vex or flasher.  you would just have a bunch of different marks and you would be unable to discern exactly how many fish you had or how they were each reacting to the lure individually.  for the most part, with a graph, there are discernible lines that allow you to tell one fish from another and how each is reacting.  to give you an idea of how that would look on a flasher, just cover up the entire left hand side of the graph screen and look at only the "echo bar" (i made that up) on the right hand side of the screen.  it would be a darn mess.  in fact, i've got pictures of the graph in the same bay where those fish are stacked 15 feet... from the bottom at 30 feet to 15 feet where i was bouncing my lure.  there are probably 2 dozen fish below the lure.  without a graph, it would just be a clusterfudge of flashing lights. 

as far as interference... yes there is some... both ways.  but, i haven't notice it being consistent with any units.  kind of like the anecdotal stories told earlier in this thread.  one day, you will get a bunch or give off a bunch... the next, none.  if you've ever watched video on how the crystals in the transducers work and how no two are exactly the same, i think that might explain why there is such inconsistencies across the board regarding interference.  i will say that the older machines like the 68s and 67s seemed to be worse than the newer ones like the 522 i had. 

also... i spoke of this before.  but, i like the lowrances over the marcums because of the ability to set upper and lower depths.  it allows you the ability to customize your depth column and avoids wasted screen.  the marchums i've seen only had depth settings of like 20, 40, 60, etc... so if you were fishing in say 41 feet of water and weren't using the zoom function, you would have 19 feet of wasted screen space when viewing the entire water column.  to me, it seemed like an easy software fix.  but, the last one i saw in use was my uncles last spring... think it was an lx-7 and it still had that issue.  a good example would be fishing bottom feeding walleyes or perch on devils in say 36 feet of water... you can set your top depth at 27 feet and your bottom at 37 feet.  so, without even zooming in you have every bit of information you are interested in in just that 10 feet.  which allows for good screen definition and differentiation.  hit zoom 2X and you are viewing the bottom 5 feet.  hit it to 4X and you get a pretty big picture of just the bottom 2.5 feet.  its an option you shouldn't be without.

finally... regarding the comment bout the 68 above.  i kind of touched on this before.  but, with everyone updating their boat sonars to the elite series and the hd series, there should be a bunch of older 300 and 500 series color lowrances out there to be had for 100-200 bucks.  i would take a used 300 or 500 series lowrance with the bigger screen and possibly the internal gps over the 67 or 68's any day of the week.  the bigger screen is desirable in my opinion.  in fact, i am not even sure if they are still making and selling new 67 or 68 series ice machines.  additionally, those 300s or 500s would make an excellent 2nd sonar on your boat.  or if you already have one on your boat, just order a soft pack and an ice ducer and take it ice fishing.  i know i loved having my summer waypoints from my 522 along with me on the ice.  but, if you can't find a 300 or 500 series, the 67s or 68s are better than nothing... and in my opinion anyway (which i've made known plenty...lol) better than any flasher.  and i don't say this just cause i have em and use em... prior to 2004ish, i had used nothing but flashers my whole life.  but, once i made the switch and learned how to dial in my original 68, i literally chuckled at anyone who wanted to argue they were better than a graph. 

ok... now that i've made my pitch... here is the one downfall.  except for a few newer units, i think all lowrances have a 20 degree cone ice ducer.  over structure that has steep drop offs, you will inevitably have a "dead zone" in your cone.  the size of the dead zone depends on how deep you are and how steep the structure drop off is.  all units, including flashers, will have them.  but, with cones with less of an angle like a 12 deg or 9 deg, the dead zone won't be as big.  having said that... in my opinion, the larger cones are actually beneficial, in most other situations... especially picking perch and bottom hugging eyes off of mud flats on devils.

holy sh7t!  i just re-read this... sorry.... i always end up writing a book on this subject. 

Born to hunt and fish... Forced to work!

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 how are they on battery life?

 "I'll show you where the bear sh**s in the woods!" ~ Dad
(I still have no clue what it means.)

"You're not really even my son." ~ Dad
(I still don't believe him.)

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The day they make a dual cone of some sort with all the stuff you mentioned ill be strongly considering buying. 75% i dont need the 8 degree ducer the 20 works fine, but when i do its really nice to have.

 "I get what you're saying:  Like a sausage replica featuring a Polander holding a sacred illumination device." 

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Depends on the screen size and brightness setting. But one charge lasts all day on the bigger screens. Much longer on the smaller units.

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 If fish are stacked up 5 feet why do u care if you can tell a difference between them all? And if there are fish stacked up 5 feet they are most likely small anyways. I've never seen 13" perch stacked on top of each other and if they were they would smack ur buckshot before you got it to the bottom.