The End All Discussion On Ice Fishing Sonar / Flashers

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espringers's picture
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i've got my fishing crap w/ today.  think i will plop down below the office today and try to make a little video of the antiquated 68 icemachine doing its thing and post it. 

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

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Whoa. If graphs have dead zones they completely are worthless to me. This is for all graphs?


 

 

Kirsch's Outdoor Products | Fargo, ND | 701-261-9017 Garmin GPS Hunting Maps
Liebel's Guide Service | Williston, ND | 701-770-6746 liebelsguideservice.com
Jig-em-Up Guide Service | Grand Forks, ND | 701-739-9198 jig-em-up-guide-service.com

 

 
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And I don't have shocks built into my ice house. Big difference when traveling over hard sharp drifts and ice pack versus waves and down a bumpy road.


 

 

Kirsch's Outdoor Products | Fargo, ND | 701-261-9017 Garmin GPS Hunting Maps
Liebel's Guide Service | Williston, ND | 701-770-6746 liebelsguideservice.com
Jig-em-Up Guide Service | Grand Forks, ND | 701-739-9198 jig-em-up-guide-service.com

 

 
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Tim Sandstrom Said:
Whoa. If graphs have dead zones they completely are worthless to me. This is for all graphs?

Lucky for you, you'll research this to about 2020 by which time global warming will have negated ice fishing anyway.

This moment is a paradox, it's the oldest you've ever been as well as the youngest you'll ever be.



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Thanks espringers. I understand what I am looking at now.

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well tim your flasher will have them too.  just depends on your cone angle, depth and contour changes that occur w/in said cone angle.  i'm pretty sure you understand how this works cause i thought i remembered you being one of the first ones to comment on this scenario while fishing sak bout 5 or 6 years ago.  the only thing that makes this more of an issue w/ graphs is that most don't have adjustable cone angles (at least the older ones don't) and you are stuck w/ a 20 deg cone which increases the possibility for dead zones in deep water w/ big contour changes. 

as far as damage from riding... i towed my around in a portable behind my buddies 4 wheeler for a couple of years and never had a problem.  and i can't imagine that the shock from some bumps behind a four wheeler or snow mobile are any worse than the abdomen crunching crash that comes after cresting 3 footers in your boat.  if there is a concern, i'd just set the thing in a bucket w/ some foam or cut something out of foam to set it in in the bottom of your house when you tow it around.  long story short... i've never heard of anyone who had their graph go to crap from the abuse it took ice fshing. 

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

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FL-20 tribeam ultra-pak

On sale now at Thorne Bros for $480.

I have two vexilars, one that I drowned, dried out and still worked and the other an FL-20 with a crack in the screen for years now but no sign of slowing down. These units are hard to beat for durability.

When it gets cold...and I mean cold...liquid crystal can be slow until it warms up. I have never seen a graph that hasnt had a lag time. They have to process the image. Maybe they have gotten a bit faster now. The sidebar was always what seemed to be in realtime but that is a relatively small sight picture.

As for the contours, having an independant handheld has much more advantage than the combo ice unit. I dont want to take an HDS into the badlands hunting...unless multiple electronics and the price that comes with them aren't an issue.

I couldnt imagine it would be much fun dismantling the HDS off the handlebars and putting into a icepak everytime you decided to move, especially when its colder than the arctic circle outside.

Best bang for the buck...A vexi FL-20and a handheld GPS. The tribeam allows you to fish the flats and switch to a narrow beam for real sharp cuts without creating that dead zone. Nothing worse than that area!

Dont get the FL-22 because you wont get the depth you need for Sakakawea.


This is my BOOMSTICK!!!

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Tim here is the URL for the vexilar factory outlet store.  These are "refurbished" units.  I called vexilar and they said that most are brand new units that were sent back by the retailer for various reasons.  most haven't even been worked on.  Tell your brother to call vexilar and ask what they have available for "refurbished" units.  Vexilar also backs these units the same as new ones.  Another option is to wait until Dakota Tackle in Bismarck lowers their prices way down to get rid of icefishing inventory.  I have seen prices even lower at Dakota Tackle then at the vexilar outlet store. 

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Horsager Said:
 

Tim Sandstrom Said:
Whoa. If graphs have dead zones they completely are worthless to me. This is for all graphs?

Lucky for you, you'll research this to about 2020 by which time global warming will have negated ice fishing anyway.

Funny.


 

 

Kirsch's Outdoor Products | Fargo, ND | 701-261-9017 Garmin GPS Hunting Maps
Liebel's Guide Service | Williston, ND | 701-770-6746 liebelsguideservice.com
Jig-em-Up Guide Service | Grand Forks, ND | 701-739-9198 jig-em-up-guide-service.com

 

 
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espringers,

I bought a standalone 9 degree a long time ago.  I get dead zones but oh man oh man I really gotta be on a very sharp cut or a big old sandstone rock.  Sometimes now with how the shoreline was eroded and then flooded you get the ledge affect but that isn't too much of an issue.

So no, 98% of the time I do not have a dead zone.  And if I do, it isn't a four or five foot dead zone so is more managable even when I do have one.

I never knew the tri beam existed.  The 8 degree is very intriguing as other angles.  I think I have a winner for myself!  I have a fl-12 I bought for my bow in the boat.  I use for ice fishing now.  Think I'll have that as a loner and one for Dani to use.  Buy a buddy's used fl-18 and get the tri beam.

My brother can make up his own mind.


 

 

Kirsch's Outdoor Products | Fargo, ND | 701-261-9017 Garmin GPS Hunting Maps
Liebel's Guide Service | Williston, ND | 701-770-6746 liebelsguideservice.com
Jig-em-Up Guide Service | Grand Forks, ND | 701-739-9198 jig-em-up-guide-service.com

 

 
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check out reeds sports. i just bought and fl 18 blue box for 339.  heading to LOW this weekend. First time ever. pretty pumped.

Bad decisions make great stories!

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Enslow Said:
Tim here is the URL for the vexilar factory outlet store.  These are "refurbished" units.  I called vexilar and they said that most are brand new units that were sent back by the retailer for various reasons.  most haven't even been worked on.  Tell your brother to call vexilar and ask what they have available for "refurbished" units.  Vexilar also backs these units the same as new ones.  Another option is to wait until Dakota Tackle in Bismarck lowers their prices way down to get rid of icefishing inventory.  I have seen prices even lower at Dakota Tackle then at the vexilar outlet store. 

Ya been to the refurb before.  Vexilar has taken good care of me with customer service on other areas as well.  I feel like I'm cheating on them for even asking opinions but it is always fun to have discussions.


 

 

Kirsch's Outdoor Products | Fargo, ND | 701-261-9017 Garmin GPS Hunting Maps
Liebel's Guide Service | Williston, ND | 701-770-6746 liebelsguideservice.com
Jig-em-Up Guide Service | Grand Forks, ND | 701-739-9198 jig-em-up-guide-service.com

 

 
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Tim Sandstrom Said:

Horsager Said:
 

Tim Sandstrom Said:
Whoa. If graphs have dead zones they completely are worthless to me. This is for all graphs?

Lucky for you, you'll research this to about 2020 by which time global warming will have negated ice fishing anyway.

Funny.

Haha!

I would like to fish with someone that has a graph.  I guess I just don't see what the big advantage is.  IMO, once you use a vex long enough, it gets pretty easy to tell what is going on down there.  Plus, as someone who worked with ultrasonics with much more advanced technology in the industrial industry, there is something to be said about simple flasher type units and the margin of error they don't have.  It's pretty simple, what you see is what you got. 

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I would say HDS.

One issue would be battery life, but if you go to an 10-12 amp hour battery you could be good for a couple days(depending on backlight level).  I used mine for the entire skunk tourney(20 hours) and my battery gauge said 30-50% and the volt meter was at 11.0 at the end. 

As for taking a beating I'm not really sure, but i can fit mine in a 5 gal bucket and put the screen protector on and I'm pretty confident it will be just fine.

It does take a little getting used to(it needs to be set up correctly) but i like being able to see my jig cadence, and then have the gps readily available too.  

Another minor issue is I wish they had a narrow beam transducer, right now all lowrance makes is a 20, but that has worked for me out to 70 feet.  

I have seen some Intereference with other units, my brothers fl18 caused a few problems with mine, but you can set the noise rejection to eliminate that, but then you have to adjust the sensitivity to get the jig back.  My brother has never commented on his vexilar being affected by my hds.  We did have interference when we both had vexilars.  

Lastly I can take it and use it in the boat as well and eliminate the how deep are we question!


Liebel's Guide Service 

Fishing on North Dakota's Beautiful Lake Sakakawea!

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I just recently made the jump to a new machine and did a ton of research before doing so.  I had previously owned the ice-67 that was flasher/graph.  It worked but was far from great.  I did try the graph a few times but liked the flasher better.  After many hours of research I bough the LX-5.  I had my mind set on the hummingbird but quickly changed my mind after looking at some reviews and playing with one in the store.  I also looked at the vex's which have been around for a long time but to me they are like Mathews bows,  too many people shoot em for the name!  I got the lx-5 with adjustable zoom, more power, screen cover, softcase, dual cone angle, and battery for $420 at fleet and a $50 mail in rebate.  So for $370 I got everything the high end vex has for a lot less money only thing it doesn't have is the flat screen but since it runs 3 led's instead of combing 2 it is more crisp than the vex.  Just my 2 cents but after using it for about 1.5 months I would never look the other way.

Hunt today like there may be no tomorrow!

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sometimes i wonder why i even participate in these flasher vs. graph debates.  i don't have a dog in this fight and couldn't give 2 sh7ts what other people fish with.  but, i guess there are still some old misconceptions that apply to graphs vs. flashers that i might as well try to clear up.  the first one... lag time... absolutely none... not "a little"... not "some"... none.  what you have is a sonar that is pinged down just like a sonar signal is sent down w/ a flasher.  in a flasher the response is displayed via mechanical means w/ the little rotating motor that reads the response and displays its depth and signal strength in varying colors.  w/ a graph, that signal is processed electronically in the unit and displayed on your lcd screen.  of course their is a few microseconds of processing time before you see the results on your screen.  but, we are talking time that is imperceptible to the human eye... when you are playing a video game and hit the button or move your joystick, there is certainly a lag time.  but, none that is discernable to humans.  and definitely no more so than the lag time involved in your flasher before it makes one revolution and you see the results processed and displayed in color. 

as far as lcd screens in the cold... not anymore.  i understand this was a problem years back.  but, i have never had to wait for my screen to "warm" up at all.  i can't imagine the technology is any different than your cell phone screens.  take that or your handheld gps out in the cold and start hitting buttons and i am pretty sure you won't notice any lag time on them either.  i am guessing whatever the issue was in the past  has been solved w/ modern electornics, lcd technology and processors.

as far as having handhelds gps units and flashers, i can see that argument.  if you already have a handheld gps, you don't need the one that would come w/ your graph.  but, a guy can find a ton of old lowrances on ebay and the like for the same or less than used vexilars because everyone is updating to hd units these days.  if i can get a used lowrance 332, 522, etc... for $150-250 that comes w/ an internal gps antennae and can take a lakemaster chip, why would i buy a used or new flasher where i would still have to carry my handheld?  why carry both when one unit does both?  keep your handheld for your hunting trips. 

and the kicker here is that a lot of guys already have a graph on their boat.  those guys just need to buy an ice ducer and mount the thing on something.  they sell soft packs made specifically for them.  but, there is nothing preventing you from mounting them on your typical vexilar box.  someone above posted the issue w/ taking it off of a ram mount on your atv, etc... i am confused.  this is no more or less of an issue than w/ a vex.  mount it on your atv if that is how you fish.  if you don't fish exclusively from your atv, put the darn thing in a soft or hard pack, stick it in a bucket or crate on your atv and then set it on the ice when you are fishing just like you would have to do w/ your vexilar. 

fisherman... i've got no idea what you speak of in regards to "margin of error".  please explain. 

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

espringers's picture
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bontop... if you had a 67 and were using the flasher mode, you defeated the purpose of having a 67.  imho, if you liked the flasher mode better, its cause someone never taught you how to get your sonar settings locked in right.

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

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espringers Said:
bontop... if you had a 67 and were using the flasher mode, you defeated the purpose of having a 67.  imho, if you liked the flasher mode better, its cause someone never taught you how to get your sonar settings locked in right.

Good point!  Where in the heck do yo find anyone who will explain them to you?  I've bought the videos, went online and looked....nothing that really breaks it down. 

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espringers Said:
bontop... if you had a 67 and were using the flasher mode, you defeated the purpose of having a 67.  imho, if you liked the flasher mode better, its cause someone never taught you how to get your sonar settings locked in right.

I bought it used and it was cheap!  I did use the graph and it does work but maybe just me but liked the flasher better.

Hunt today like there may be no tomorrow!

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trial and error... i might try make a video tonight.  but, it is going to be hard to hold my rod and my phone at the same time and press buttons on my screen. 

generally... first, you've got ping speed and scroll speed.  i have them both maxed at 100% all of the time. 

next you've got depth.  you can have it on "auto depth", or set it on increments of 10, 20, 30, 40, etc.. or set upper and lower limits like 20 ft for the upper limit and 30 feet for the lower limit.  then if you are fishing in 29 feet of water you will see the last 10 feet of the water column.  zoom in 2X and you get the a screen covering 5 ft.... 4X and the screen only shows the bottom 2.5 feet.  in water 25-30 feet or less, i just leave it set at 30 feet.  once i get deeper, i will set an upper and lower limit unless i was dealing w/ suspended fish. 

sensitivity... just like gains... needs to be adjusted each time you change depth and when you use a bigger or smaller jig.  you can use the auto sensitivity setting.  but, i like to get mine dialed in a little better than that.  deeper water and smaller jigs require a higher sensitivity setting to pick up you jig and the fish.

colorline is the setting that decides how the colors will correspond to signal strength.  i generally set the colorline so that the bottom has a litle bit of red in it and my jig is hopefully just a little black line. 

view mode... i just think mine is standard... maybe ice view. can't remember.  but, it looks just like the one jim posted above. 

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

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I run a Hummingbird Ice-45 and absolutely love it.  I ran a FL-8 for fifteen years prior and loved that also. The only reason I went with the bird is because of the zoom feature I fish crappies a lot and I like the fact I can zoom in on them no matter where they are in the water column.  I have also been looking at a Marcum lx-7 for in the house.  I have noticed no difference in battery life in fact other than the zoom the only difference is the bird is a little better about tuning out interference.  Also the bird has taken many a beating and powers up every time.


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flocknocker58701 Said:
I run a Hummingbird Ice-45 and absolutely love it.  I ran a FL-8 for fifteen years prior and loved that also. The only reason I went with the bird is because of the zoom feature I fish crappies a lot and I like the fact I can zoom in on them no matter where they are in the water column.  I have also been looking at a Marcum lx-7 for in the house.  I have noticed no difference in battery life in fact other than the zoom the only difference is the bird is a little better about tuning out interference.  Also the bird has taken many a beating and powers up every time.

My buddy has the LX-7 and that thing is awsome!  I also like the fact on my LX-5 that I can control the zoom anywhere I want it.

Hunt today like there may be no tomorrow!

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I think I am going to have to pick one up.  I just got there 825 camera and that is the coolest thing i have ever had out ice fishing.  I ran a older marcum black and white and thought I would never have any use for a color camera.  Now i don't see why I didn't buy one earlier.

bontop2 Said:

flocknocker58701 Said:
I run a Hummingbird Ice-45 and absolutely love it.  I ran a FL-8 for fifteen years prior and loved that also. The only reason I went with the bird is because of the zoom feature I fish crappies a lot and I like the fact I can zoom in on them no matter where they are in the water column.  I have also been looking at a Marcum lx-7 for in the house.  I have noticed no difference in battery life in fact other than the zoom the only difference is the bird is a little better about tuning out interference.  Also the bird has taken many a beating and powers up every time.

My buddy has the LX-7 and that thing is awsome!  I also like the fact on my LX-5 that I can control the zoom anywhere I want it.


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What should I do......

Going to Lake Winnipeg in a few weeks, going after some sumo greenbacks.. Last few weekends my vex (old refrb'd 8) has been act'n up. When I put the ducer in the hole it takes a awhile to give me a reading.. no bottom, no lure. It takes a little bit and then it starts running fine, all day.  Any ideas? Stoped at gander in fargo on monday to get a few things and a worker there (should've got his name, he knew fishing) told me it was prolly my ducer. Told me to hold it to my ear and listen for the crack'n noise.. went home and mine makes the crack'n noise so now I dont know.  Just dont want to get up there and my vex quits working....Buddy said he'd let me take his 8 as back up but i'd like to know if im in the market for a new vex or fix'n my old one?

 

       

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KillJoy Said:

What should I do......

Going to Lake Winnipeg in a few weeks, going after some sumo greenbacks.. Last few weekends my vex (old refrb'd 8) has been act'n up. When I put the ducer in the hole it takes a awhile to give me a reading.. no bottom, no lure. It takes a little bit and then it starts running fine, all day.  Any ideas? Stoped at gander in fargo on monday to get a few things and a worker there (should've got his name, he knew fishing) told me it was prolly my ducer. Told me to hold it to my ear and listen for the crack'n noise.. went home and mine makes the crack'n noise so now I dont know.  Just dont want to get up there and my vex quits working....Buddy said he'd let me take his 8 as back up but i'd like to know if im in the market for a new vex or fix'n my old one?

 

I know the shelves are getting pretty bare here in Fargo but what is there is marked way down so if you are in the market the gettin is good now!

Hunt today like there may be no tomorrow!

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bontop2 Said:

KillJoy Said:

What should I do......

Going to Lake Winnipeg in a few weeks, going after some sumo greenbacks.. Last few weekends my vex (old refrb'd 8) has been act'n up. When I put the ducer in the hole it takes a awhile to give me a reading.. no bottom, no lure. It takes a little bit and then it starts running fine, all day.  Any ideas? Stoped at gander in fargo on monday to get a few things and a worker there (should've got his name, he knew fishing) told me it was prolly my ducer. Told me to hold it to my ear and listen for the crack'n noise.. went home and mine makes the crack'n noise so now I dont know.  Just dont want to get up there and my vex quits working....Buddy said he'd let me take his 8 as back up but i'd like to know if im in the market for a new vex or fix'n my old one?

 

I know the shelves are getting pretty bare here in Fargo but what is there is marked way down so if you are in the market the gettin is good now!

yea.. Its just hard to part with the old girl.. We've been through alot together. This vex was barried in my uncles garage for years and didnt work. He said "take it".. I sent it in and got all new parts for it. Came back brand new and I've been using it for about 10 years now, crazy. It's prolly time. Its hard to type the words "MarCum" but ive been looking at these as well. I dont know. I hate spending money, I snuck in a new thermal X2 this year. the wife wasnt pleased...dont know if i'd survive a new Fl22 or lx-7 purchase.

       

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 I think theres something to be said for just hitting a button or turning a knob and your good to fish. I for one will pay to not have to change a bunch of settings. I saw a thread on here awhile ago on setting up a HDS and it was like 3 or 4 paragraphs of change this setting, turn this off, turn this on....... no thanks ill fish while you change settings. Do they atleast save your settings after turning it off, i suppose if they do it wouldnt be so bad. Just my opinion they all catch fish, its all personal preference

 

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

 

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KillJoy Said:

bontop2 Said:

KillJoy Said:

What should I do......

Going to Lake Winnipeg in a few weeks, going after some sumo greenbacks.. Last few weekends my vex (old refrb'd 8) has been act'n up. When I put the ducer in the hole it takes a awhile to give me a reading.. no bottom, no lure. It takes a little bit and then it starts running fine, all day.  Any ideas? Stoped at gander in fargo on monday to get a few things and a worker there (should've got his name, he knew fishing) told me it was prolly my ducer. Told me to hold it to my ear and listen for the crack'n noise.. went home and mine makes the crack'n noise so now I dont know.  Just dont want to get up there and my vex quits working....Buddy said he'd let me take his 8 as back up but i'd like to know if im in the market for a new vex or fix'n my old one?

 

I know the shelves are getting pretty bare here in Fargo but what is there is marked way down so if you are in the market the gettin is good now!

yea.. Its just hard to part with the old girl.. We've been through alot together. This vex was barried in my uncles garage for years and didnt work. He said "take it".. I sent it in and got all new parts for it. Came back brand new and I've been using it for about 10 years now, crazy. It's prolly time. Its hard to type the words "MarCum" but ive been looking at these as well. I dont know. I hate spending money, I snuck in a new thermal X2 this year. the wife wasnt pleased...dont know if i'd survive a new Fl22 or lx-7 purchase.

I got the LX-5 and they are cheap right now.  At least then you have two cone angles and zoom that can be adjusted.  The 7 is nice but I don't know that it is $700 nice.  I purchased the Jason Mitchell X2 this year also and it is awsome!  Do you like yours?

Hunt today like there may be no tomorrow!

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bontop2 Said:

KillJoy Said:

bontop2 Said:

KillJoy Said:

What should I do......

Going to Lake Winnipeg in a few weeks, going after some sumo greenbacks.. Last few weekends my vex (old refrb'd 8) has been act'n up. When I put the ducer in the hole it takes a awhile to give me a reading.. no bottom, no lure. It takes a little bit and then it starts running fine, all day.  Any ideas? Stoped at gander in fargo on monday to get a few things and a worker there (should've got his name, he knew fishing) told me it was prolly my ducer. Told me to hold it to my ear and listen for the crack'n noise.. went home and mine makes the crack'n noise so now I dont know.  Just dont want to get up there and my vex quits working....Buddy said he'd let me take his 8 as back up but i'd like to know if im in the market for a new vex or fix'n my old one?

 

I know the shelves are getting pretty bare here in Fargo but what is there is marked way down so if you are in the market the gettin is good now!

yea.. Its just hard to part with the old girl.. We've been through alot together. This vex was barried in my uncles garage for years and didnt work. He said "take it".. I sent it in and got all new parts for it. Came back brand new and I've been using it for about 10 years now, crazy. It's prolly time. Its hard to type the words "MarCum" but ive been looking at these as well. I dont know. I hate spending money, I snuck in a new thermal X2 this year. the wife wasnt pleased...dont know if i'd survive a new Fl22 or lx-7 purchase.

I got the LX-5 and they are cheap right now.  At least then you have two cone angles and zoom that can be adjusted.  The 7 is nice but I don't know that it is $700 nice.  I purchased the Jason Mitchell X2 this year also and it is awsome!  Do you like yours?

I wish marcum did what vex does with the ability to get different ducers. I would love the dual beam on my lx3. I think marcum should be taking notes

 

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

 

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Wags86 Said:
 

bontop2 Said:

KillJoy Said:

bontop2 Said:

KillJoy Said:

What should I do......

Going to Lake Winnipeg in a few weeks, going after some sumo greenbacks.. Last few weekends my vex (old refrb'd 8) has been act'n up. When I put the ducer in the hole it takes a awhile to give me a reading.. no bottom, no lure. It takes a little bit and then it starts running fine, all day.  Any ideas? Stoped at gander in fargo on monday to get a few things and a worker there (should've got his name, he knew fishing) told me it was prolly my ducer. Told me to hold it to my ear and listen for the crack'n noise.. went home and mine makes the crack'n noise so now I dont know.  Just dont want to get up there and my vex quits working....Buddy said he'd let me take his 8 as back up but i'd like to know if im in the market for a new vex or fix'n my old one?

 

I know the shelves are getting pretty bare here in Fargo but what is there is marked way down so if you are in the market the gettin is good now!

yea.. Its just hard to part with the old girl.. We've been through alot together. This vex was barried in my uncles garage for years and didnt work. He said "take it".. I sent it in and got all new parts for it. Came back brand new and I've been using it for about 10 years now, crazy. It's prolly time. Its hard to type the words "MarCum" but ive been looking at these as well. I dont know. I hate spending money, I snuck in a new thermal X2 this year. the wife wasnt pleased...dont know if i'd survive a new Fl22 or lx-7 purchase.

I got the LX-5 and they are cheap right now.  At least then you have two cone angles and zoom that can be adjusted.  The 7 is nice but I don't know that it is $700 nice.  I purchased the Jason Mitchell X2 this year also and it is awsome!  Do you like yours?

I wish marcum did what vex does with the ability to get different ducers. I would love the dual beam on my lx3. I think marcum should be taking notes

I guess I have never looked to see if they are interchangable.  All I know is I have fished with a few vex's and my personal opinion is the vex doesn''t compare to the marcum.  I'm sure this will start a fire!

Hunt today like there may be no tomorrow!

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