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CNY Tim

MarCum LX-3 Test Report

257 posts in this topic

I caught 7 keeper crappies 10 - 13.5" and kept a dozen nice gills and 3 big perch. Caught alot of small perch today. 5" any where we walked on the lake with 4" of snow on top. We fished 8' to 16' best depth was 15'. Crappie were riding at about 10' along with the nicer gills. You had to keep it off the bottom on that lake or you'll get nailed with dink perch. Not a great trip as far as bluegill action but it was great to use my MarCum and we can fish close with Vexilars and no problems 1 I.R. off, 1 on I.R and one on I.R. plus one no problems. I had the zoom on 10' when I was fishin 15' and it was awesome. Funny seeing your jig and fish on both sides of the screen. Gotta train my eyes a little more to stay on the left side. What the zoom feature allowed me to do was keep the bait away from the smaller fish and the decent gills and crappies when they popped on the zoom I thought they were bass or pike, awesome machine. I am glad it's compatable with Vexilars that was a big issue.

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So did the zoom at 10 ft. pick up fish that you wouldn't have seen otherwise with a Vex or the other side of your LX-3? Were you able to see those pesky little perch that were hugging the bottom?

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Matt - Yep I just pushed the zoom twice the down arrow about 3 clicks. The pesky perch were all over the bottom 2'. You could see them all over the place and I did not want them on my zoom screen so I set it for 3' to 13', the crappies and gills are always suspended at 10 - 11' in this lake. The zoom disected the group of little gills and crappies from the big gills and crappie superbly. When the perch bite shut down and the bluegills were mixing with the crappie it was nice to see on the zoom the larger fish. On this lake they really work the outside edges of the weeds. I fished from 6:30 till 4 p.m. no problems with the battery, however the status indicator was on 0% charge the last hour of fishing, once warmed up in the house it came back to 20. You can hear the power of this unit when you take the transducer out of the water it really snaps. I will try the factory battery next time out. I used last years battery yesterday.

Matt - It would have been close on the FL-18 because the zooms not adjustable John did not use his at all today he said he did not need it. I had to work these fish up to 7' and 8' and John would not have seen him on his zoom. Having an adjustable zoom was vital today. I had more big gills than him and he did not catch one crappie, he said he lost one by the hole. John's only been doing this a couple years but he's getting better. I tell ya one thing I like the display on the FL-18 too. But it's still not as crisp as mine. Thin line technology. It was over cast for the most part all day so I did not get to see the 18 in the full sunlight. The zoom on my unit does not have to be adjusted when I hole hop either you can lock it in and it STAYS PUT. No wandering zoom either FL-18 users.. Durabality I think is going to be the only question here along with customer service. I will be out again on Sunday for Test #2. Sticking with another shallow weed lake.

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Hiya,
I had my LX-3 out for the first time the last couple days as well. So far I'm very impressed. I like the display a lot, and though I didn't do much more than play with the zoom feature (wasn't a necessity where I was fishing) it looks very versatile. Will get it out for a long weekend of fihsing next weekend and put it through its paces a little more thoroughly, but so far, I'm very pleased...

Cheers,
RK

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Sounds good so far. Good to hear there's some competition in the field. All of us will benefit in the long run. I debated long and hard on the options, and ended up picking up an FL-18 at 6:00 tonight. Tomorrow it gets the trial run on Devil's Lake perch & walleye. The guy renting from me will be taking his FL-8 and I'm curious to see the difference side-by-side. Marcum looks like they're on top of things. In fact, I bought one of their "Smart-Charge" units, because I liked it better than the Vexilar battery meter. Keep us posted on your results.

BEST FISHES, Matt

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Hiya,
Yeah, their charger units are slick. The meter is also a charging regulator so you can just plug it in and forget it. I got the pro pack LX-3 with the soft case and charger, so you don't have to disconnect anything either. I'm pretty famous for forgetting a battery is on the charger and cooking it, so I'm glad I finally got something that's fairly 'sailor proof.'

Cheers,
RK

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The fishing was rough today had to work hard and cut alot of holes scored 6 crappies nicest one was 13", 4 bull bluegills and 1 11" perch and was dinked to death all day with the 3- 5" perch, we pulled off the ice at 2. Mike caught 4 crappies and 4 bull bluegills. Bruce caught 2 crappies but I think he caught more bluegills then any of us. My son Tyler caught 2 pickerel a 13" and 15". Sideways snow and 30 mph winds for dinks. As soon as the snow let up we packed it in. Hopefully will have some more tight stuff soon. Drilled alot of holes and covered the lake with the 2 way radios just could not find any concentrations of gills. Well that's how it goes. It was nice fishing with Mike and Bruce again. We whacked up the venison in short order.
Has anyone tried the Northland Forage Minnow yet? That glow perch was sucked in quick by the first four crappies size 6 packed with 4 maggots. 15' - 16' was the best action. Caught the other two on glow finesse plastics. The MarCum was outstanding again today. Used the zoom all day and getting confident with that feature. No IR tests to day we were spread out pretty good.

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Test 3 will occur on a crappie/bluegill lake in less than 11' of water tomorrow a.m.. Can't wait to hit that zoom button.
I want to share some test information from MarCum with you from someone who is in the know.

Our web site is not sufficient and needs a complete overhaul. We are working on improving the e-mail response time. Our experience on ice is that the LX-3 out performs the Vexilar in a side by side comparison. It seperates targets to better than 1 inch in Zoom and 1.5 - 2.0 inches on the regular 20 ft. scale. The Zoom is flexible and can be adjusted anywhere between surface and the bottom. The system also comes with the digital charging system which charges a dead battery in 6-7 hours. The system performs as a three stage charger, bulk rate, taper, and maintenance. Won't overcharge, can plug it in and forget about it. The best part is that in shallow water it outperforms the competition. Even though it boasts 1,500 watts of output power it won't blow out in shallow water. It's a real solid performer. At this time we're swamped with calls and busy processing dealer orders.

Rick - Thank you for allowing me to post the MarCum stuff I also contacted them and told them about us here at Fishing Minnesota and what a great venue this would be to promote this unit. I will keep you in the loop. They need site help that's for sure.

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I really can't see using a zoom that shallow, especially for suspended fish. What's the advantage? When a fish is very close to my bait I'm feeling for the hit or watching the rod tip & line for any movement. I can see how zooming in on fish suspended over 40' or more would help, but not these shallow fish. Zooming the bottom makes a lot more sense. Getting some seperation & seeing those fish that are tight to the bottom makes you concentrate & work those fish harder now that you know they are there. Vern

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CNY Tim -

I have done very well on the perch with the forage minnow, especially in clear water. It has also caught a lot of 'eyes for me as well.

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Well I thought I anticipated some decent ice, But not enough on the lake I was fishing today but the spot I usually fish was a little too thin for my liking. I got within 30 yards of it and found water from 8' to 22' but I could not get to my crappie spot. I however caught one crappie 9" and a nice blue gill. But what really made my day was the big perch I caught. I started with a forage minnow glow perch size 6 and caught two perch 9-11" and I wanted more flash to draw em in so I switched to the Angel Eye Minnow orange yellow and on the first drop a nice 12" and few minutes later another 12" and about 10 min after that a 12 1/2" then after drilling a series of holes and jigging the fish just were no where to be found so I packed it in and finished up at one of my local lakes which had good ice but the fish were small there.
The angel eye minnow has made a believer out of me. When I left the first location there were 2 guys in the parking lot and they saw the perch and asked me what I was using. So I showed em the Angel Eye and gave them this web site to purchase there's.
Jeff Beckwith has a great product there.
I got some nice pictures to share with you guys when I get the rest of the roll done.
When we get some serious ice I will be dropping more of these down.. The Sumo perch love em!
The MarCum performed flawlessly again today. I am using the zoom more and more and can't be more satisfied with it. I like the separation that it offers, however I really did not get a chance to differentiate targets today because the fish just were not there.
Every time I venture on to the ice I make a point to learn someting new and today I learned one thing and that an Angel Eye Minnow packed with six maggots is deadly on aggressive sumo perch!!!

Test 4 will be Friday if we can maintain what little ice we have here.

Why do I need a zoom in 11' of water? Well I like to narrow my target separation so that I can see if it's one big fish or a bunch of little fishes and The MarCum has not lied to me yet.

Vern - It makes all the sense to me to define your targets and contrary to what you believe not all fish reside in the bottom 6'... The perch I caught today were in 14' of water and weeds ran up about a foot and a half. The perch came in from 10' to 8'. I set my zoom for a 10' window just to make sure that I could also see suspending crappies/bluegills as well. I see the difference in the left side of my screen it really jumps out at ya. Have you tried it with your FL-18 yet? It was nice having that 10' zoom window set from 4' to 14'. You can't appreciate it cause you don't have it. I can't wait to put this MarCum to the deep water tests and as these early test have dictated thus far it will perform just as remarkable.

Gissert - That Forage Minnow is awesome for crappies too. No bait either. I put a small finnese plastic glow tail on a size 6, so it would look like the forage minnow had a tail with a touch of Smelly Jelly Gamefish scent and that's all I needed. The Smelly Jelly has been great when the perch are lethargic some times I will put a dab on my spikes. It stinks but the fish don't seem to mind.

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Fishing up in the northern tier of NY tomorrow for test 5...

[This message has been edited by CNY Tim (edited 12-12-2002).]

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I took the Marcum out on Wednesday for my first trial run with it. It performed amazingly well. The adjustable zoom feature is great. I was in 26 feet of water, and I turned on the 5 ft zoom mode, adjusted the zoom down to 21'-26' and was able to see my 1/16 oz jig and a 1/32 oz split shot above it in 26' of water. I could also see it on the regular mode, but not nearly as well as it was in the zoom mode. This unit is the cat's meow in my opinion. You can keep an eye on the entire water column on the right half of the screen and be zoomed in on any 5 or 10' portion of the water column on the other side of the screen. Time will tell on the long term reliability and quality of this unit, but as of right now, I glad I chose this over the vex.

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Let me start off by saying that I am COMPLETELY satisfied with my fl18. However, after reading CNY Tim's posts and fishing yesterday with so many suspended crappie on the screen I would go with the Marcum if I had it to do over. I now see the value of being able to zoom where the fl18 can't. I would have loved to have been able to see the size difference to target the larger fish! I would have been the first guy to say, "what's the point of zooming suspended fish", I now see the value. Thanks for the reports!

I wonder if vex can make a software update that would allow a zoom change or would this be a hardware issue?

[This message has been edited by chiro (edited 12-13-2002).]

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I doubt a software update to FL-18's would be possible, but even if it were, I wouldn't expect to see it.

Rather, I'd count on seeing a new "FL-28" in the next year or two with a moveable zoom, and a few other features. They need to make money too, and some folks that upgraded from 8's to 18's this year will again be thinking about buying another one. I'll stick with the 18, 'cause I'm on a pretty limited budget!

------------------
Best FISHES,
Matt

[This message has been edited by Matt D (edited 12-15-2002).]

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Test 5 went well again today in the northern part of New York fished Lake of the Isles and Perch Lake. Excellent ice 6" at perch and up to 7" at Lake of the Isles. Both of these lakes are similar, featureless basins some flowage, a few humps, weedy bays but for the most part sporadic vegetation. I caught quite a few fish on perch lake mostly 5-8" perch and one sumo. Cranked some nice gills the last 30 min. before sunset. My biggest was 9 1/2" but had 3 other 9's and a dozen or so over 8". Also caught a 15" catfish. Was by myself today but will have more guys going up there again on Sunday.
The MarCum was outstanding again locked my zoom in for 10' and did not touch it all day long. Pretty impressive to see those little maggots wiggling on a 1/64 oz. jig.
There was an ice teamer with a FL-18 on the ice today. I could not believe the difference in the display of his FL-18 as compared to my MarCum, I though they removed the clumps with the 18, it looked like a brighter version of my FL-8, honestly. Maybe this guy had his gain to high I did not check it.
To the guys that have been following these reports I have heard a rumor that there maybe a problem with the MarCum technology. Vexilar's people are saying that MarCum copied there I.R. technology and split screen. I have sent MarCum an email about these allegations and am waiting for a response. I don't know what this means for the MarCum. I just want you to know I am trying to find out if this is the truth or rumour and I will post it here. If it's just a rumor spread by Vexilar to dissuade people from buying the MarCum I would be very dissapointed becuase
The MarCum LX-3 right now is the best 3 color flasher out there, No doubt!

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I use my flasher more in my boat than on ice. Is the lx3 easier to see in the sun than the fl8? would it be compatable with the vexilar ducer mounted on my boat?

Cyb ><>

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Cyberfish - The Zercom Colorpoint was much better than the FL-8 in full sun, no coffee cans needed. And I fish with sunglasses most of the time and never had to squint. The MarCum LX-3's display really jumps out and grabs you it has the thinnest, brightest, of any unit in the 3 color flasher category thus far, it's truly amazing. As far as compatability with the FL-8 for your open boat use I don't know, but I can check on that for you and post here. The MarCum LX-3 has bettered the Colorpoint in regards to my shallow water fishing. They really concentrated on minus 20 ft. of water with this thing where my Colorpoint truly lacked and my FL8SLT excelled. That's why when I used both last season I would have both the Colorpoint and the Fl8SLT with me depending on what water depth predominantly I would fish the FL8 was great and is great in shallow weedy areas 15' or less, but if I needed to see in deep water 20' or more the colorpoint display and target separation were unbelievable. The flasher gods have answered my prayers thus far with the MarCum. I can take it anywear under any fishing situation. I don't fish waters deeper than 40' normally so I can't comment on it's performance in waters over that depth.
Test 6 is tomorrow same location as test 5 maybe with a little snow cover over that black ice the fish will be more willing to move around.

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Thanks Tim, you got me interested, The thing I hate about my vex is I can't see it in the sun. Now I am really tempted to upgrade, but I must resist for a little while longer. I am a liitle shy about spending big $$ on a new product. I will keep reading your reports.

Cyb ><>

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CNY Tim

I have been fallowing your field test reports with some interest.

As a die-hard Vexilar fan I have to say your starting to get me very curious about this new unit, very curious.

I would certainly like to get one out for a test run this winter and see how she fairs.

Competition in the market is a good deal Eh. I am interested to see what Vex has up their sleeve in days ahead? wink.gif

------------------
Ed "Backwater Eddy" Carlson..><sUMo>

Backwater Guiding
"Ed on the RED"
(701)-281-2300

http://ed-carlson.fishingbuddy.com

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Cyber / The FL-18 is very bright and easily readable in direct sunlight. One thing to consider before making a purchase, are you going to maximize your locators use and use it in open water? If so, the FL-18 has a bottom lock feature. The bottom signal on the screen wont rock up and down with boat movement.
I upgraded to the FL-18 for two main reasons,the bright display and the bottom lock. I think the zoom on both units is over-rated. Both companies are targeting the angler with zoom and power. We are now talking about being able to see the size of the fish on the Marcum? Come on. Are you really going to go out and choose not to hook into fish because you think its too small on your zoom? The zoom on both units do work. Do we really need .5 target seperation? Hey, my unit seperates targets a half inch better than yours,your buddy says as hes sticking his tounge out at you. This is nonsense. The only advantage i see is the both units will show Perch bellied up to the bottom. Its all about power, my Chev 350 v.s your Ford 351. Sure you can see your maggots dangle on your hook, sure you can see a split shot at 40 feet. The main concern is can you make that fish bite?
Same concept on augers. Mine cuts a second faster than yours. Point is, get what you like and if fits your needs, than its money well spent. We are men and we like power for some reason.
Just my $02

------------------
MILLE LACS AREA GUIDE SERVICE
651-271-5459 http://fishingminnesota.com/millelacsguide/
click here

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I just have to say that I bought an LX-3 and am very impressed with it. That's about all I can say given the fact that this is the 1st flasher I've used.

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Hiya,
I had my LX-3 out all weekend, and got to mess around with a few more of the features than I had previously. I wasn't so sure how useful the zoom would be, but after using it for suspended crappies this weekend, I think I'm going to really like the feature.

Also had a chance to use it walleye fishing on a steep break on Gull tonight, and found out that even on a steep break in deeper water where the cone is crossing a pretty good swipe of the break, I was still able to see fish tight to the bottom by reading the flicker on the bottom signal even if they weren't high enough to get over the top of the top edge of the bottom signal. By watching the bottom signal change you could pretty easily spot fish coming through. (My unscientific criteria for saying this is true is: see something different on flasher, minnow goes nuts, then bobber goes down or jigging spoon gets whacked...).

I was also able to fish within 10 feet of an FL-18 with no trouble - hit the IR once and it was fine.

As far as comparisons between it and an FL-18 or other units, I can't speak to performance all that much (i.e., target separation, etc.) - I've had FL-8s, Clearwater Classics and LCF-40s and have only used an FL-18 for a short time, but I do like the display and the thin lines on the LX-3. To me it's easier on the eyes and easier to interpret. Overall, the more I use it the more I like it...
Cheers,
RK

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