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Saw557

MarcumLX-3 vs FL-18

16 posts in this topic

I am in the market for a locator and am wondering wich unit is the the "hot-tip" The Marcum LX-3 or the FL-18

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If you compare the ProPack on the FL-18 and The Marcum LX-3, which are about the same price. Without a doubt there is more bang for your buck with the MarCum. This is not just me saying it either, there are diehard vexilar users saying it as well. The charging system alone will blow you away and the nice padded and insulated pack is better than the bag you get with there pro pack., plus you have an adjustable zoom and you can very the size of your viewing window. It's more powerful than the vex and the zoom is uncanny. I don't have any experience with MarCum other than the email I receved from there customer service. It took a while to get a reply but they got back with me. Durability will be a key issue yet tested with the MarCum. It works well in shallow water under 18' with the Vexilars no problem. Honestly I have not tested anything over 18' yet... Vexilar has already had problems with the 18 so you wont have to worry about getting a upgrade to the software like the FL-18 users have been getting. I have Vexilar guys wishing they had seen the MarCum before they bought there 18's.. Two of my buddy's are ordering a MarCum, they can't wait... I have only used this unit twice thus far and it's incredible. I fish hard and durability will be tested... Right now I can honestly say Vexilar's met it's match!

[This message has been edited by CNY Tim (edited 12-08-2002).]

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sorry will have to disagree with CNY tested both FL-18 and marcum this weekend. The FL-18 by far outdone the marcum as we set them up right next to each other. I wouldn't worry so much as of the charing system as vexilars system does just as well. You just can't beat the all-around use of the vexilar and this marcum will go out just like its sister the zercom. Just my feeling after testing both.

Joneshat11

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joneshat11 - Interesting, could you elaborate more on this in the MarCum LX-3 Test Reports segment would like to know details of what you found... Likes, dislikes, problems. Did you fish deeper water, how close were the units while testing. I am trying to put some info together and could use your help.

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Well, I went ahead and bought the MarCum. I was down at Cabelas and with the club Visa points system and a coupon I had a total of $345 in points to spend. They were sold out of the vexilars and after looking at the Marcum for about 30 minutes I decided to be the guinea pig and buy one. It seems like a very high quality unit, great case, great charging system and battery level indicator. I am heading up to Mille Lacs on Wednesday for the first test run of the new unit. The variable zoom feature will be great, and there's evidently more power with this unit. Time will tell I guess.

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I bought a MarCum LX-3, and tried it this weekend on the south bay a Mille Lacs, where there were a lot of perch (that were not biting). My overall impression is not good. I am of the belief that Velixar has a great product, but that they are not working to update it. The ice fishing flasher can be improved and I had hoped that the MarCum would be that improvement. It only partially is.

First, what appears to be better:
- Fish and lure are smaller lines, and it appears you can see the action more clearly.
- The problem with too much power for shallow fishing is improved.
- The trickle charger is superior to a constant current one.

Bad:
- The zoom mode is unusable. Really, it cannot be used, it is that bad.
- The soft case points the face of the unit straight ahead. If you set it on the ice, you cannot see it.

When you switch to zoom mode, the right side of the display becomes small scrunched lines you cannot see, and the left side is big 1/2 inch blob lines. This is not 'zoom'. I want zoom to be like a binoculars, where you can see more than normal. This does not seem to happen.

Worse, in zoom mode, the blobs do not move up and down the display, they jerk, disappear and reappear. The LX-3 in zoom cannot follow your lure when you lift it up and down, it is too slow. I had no idea what the blobs meant.

I was so disappointed with the zoom mode (and the case, which otherwise is nice) that I was ready to immediately return the unit. I am on the fence now, hoping for more people's opinions. It does appear that the non-zoom mode is better that the Velixar's.

Question: Does the FL-18 zoom mode work, does is actually zoom the action?

Question: Is a 20 degree transducer a good thing? At 20 feet, the 20 degree tranducer covers 7 1/2 feet of bottom. Is this what we want in a flasher? The Velixar has 12 degree transducers.

I waiting to hear other people's experiences and opinions on this device. Maybe it is worth hanging on to, even with it's flaws.

[This message has been edited by PolarBond (edited 12-09-2002).]

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Sounds like we finally have a report about the Marcum.

PolarBond,
The zoom on the Vex sounds alot better than the Marcum. By the way you described it.
The zoom on the vex can show fish being big or small, it depends on how strong you have the gain set for. You can see multiple fish easier on the zoom compared to it w/out the zoom on. I would say it zooms in on the fish.
The 20 deg. ducer I don't really like. I got the 9/19 deg. on my Fl-18 and like it. If you are fishing a sharp break, you can have a huge dead zone were you cant see fish on the bottom, and thats were the 9 deg is nice. The 19 deg is nice for fishing flats b/c that covers such a big area with little or no dead zone.

Overall I am very impressed with my Vex and am glad I got one.

------------------
FISHSTUNNER

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cny,

After testing the marcum I had the impressions was the fact it was too slow of a response just like the other reply had said. Thats mainly why I was so impressed with the FL-18 as with my old FL-8 once the fish line covered my bait it took about a second before the fish bite. Now with the FL-18 it almost seems not to only be about 1/4 of second before I get the bite. With that factor it seemed my FL-8 was more reponsive than the marcum as it took about a second and a half. Non of these are actually times but just a comparison of what I thought after using both the marcum and the FL-18 this weekend. Also, I had a good weekend to test as I caught 32 walleyes using both. So, the type of fish could also make a difference in my mind.

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BTT.

Just for your info MattD, a couple of more reviews of the LX3 from other sources.

[This message has been edited by ScottO (edited 12-17-2002).]

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Well folks I think I have the solution to your marcum problem.I think you might have the gain to low.I have been fishing with the zoom all year and I have not had the problems you have talked about.I have been fishing side by side with an fl-18 most of the year and I like the zoom on the marcum better because it is more defined than the fl-18(in my view)and I can pick up almost exactly when the fish will bite.I have the gain set so I can actually tell if my wax worm is still on the hook(no kidding).If you set the gain so you read you lure so it just barely turns red with the wax worm on there It should work great.Just a little advise from a marcum user.GOOD FISHING ALL.Don

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><}}}("< ---I can do the same with the Vex, just turn the gain so you can barely see the jig and waxie, and when see my jig anymore I reel up, usually the waxie is gone. grin.gif

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Vexilar uses low output power and a high sensitive receiver. Marcum uses high output power but a lower sensitive receiver. The end result? Nothing, they are both the same. Except one company uses high power as a marketing tool to fool its customers.

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

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D-man, I believe power does matter. Because its pushing a larger degree transducer thus a wider cone angle with that power. My opinion, it's not a marketing plan, its a better built unit. Look at the two units side by side on the shelf. The LX-3 is much cleaner/crisper. Fl-18 Fuzzy, but better than the FL-8. I just hope that Marcum will be around long enough to come out with a 9 degree transducer for deeper water and steep breaks. My 2 cents.

[This message has been edited by Mykal (edited 01-16-2003).]

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