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Marcum or FL-18 survey

24 posts in this topic

I read through most of the thread started by Tim on this subject, just looking for a quick reply.

1. Which unit did or will you choose (FL-18, FL-8, or Marcum)?

2. why

I'm thinking of upgrading from my FL-8 to a Marcum. Thanks!

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lx-3,variable zoom,better definition,charging unit,carring case,etc.You can't go wrong with this unit! grin.gif

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good points on each... I really don't like the battery charging on my FL-8, it works fine but you need to make sure you take it off or you'll burn up the battery... Marcum seems to supply a better charger that you can keep connected with no worries.. Not sure I like the transducer arm on the lx-3. I've always thought the float from vexilar works great... How does that arm work on the lx-3?

I definitely like the color selection on the FL-18 over the lx-3, that is the biggest advantage I see in the Vex over the Marcum.

How is the LX-3 for viewing when it is on the ice below you? does it tilt up okay like the vexilar? or does the soft case get in the way for viewing above... I like that my FL-8 is easily adjustable and I can keep it on the ice below me and see it fine...

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Read the jittering post. I am having the same jittering problem with my lx3. I have had my fl8 for 3 years without a single problem. I purchased the lx3 3 weeks ago. I bought one because cabela's did not stock the fl18's any more and after looking at the display model. I thought the moveable zoom would be nice and decided to try one. I wish I would have got the fl18. I only use the zoom on the bottom 5foot. A lot of the water I fish is 20 to 30 foot and on the 40 foot setting with the zoom on, the non zoom side is worthless. The colors are dump. The green yellow red of the fl8 I have is way way better. I am not impressed and am taking it back!!!!!!!!!!!! Cabela's please wake up and get the fl18's back on your shelves!!!!

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Vexilar FL-18. I've been using the fl-8 since the Micronar days and bought an FL-18 this year. I like the bright display on the FL-18 and the zoom on the bottom. The transducer options are great too. It's a Minnesota company with good customer service just a few miles from my home. I have no complaints. Vern

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FL 18
superior colors, brightness, bottom lock for open water,reliability, good customer service, plus my boat is already rigged with a high speed vex ducer, from using a fl8 for seven years.

Happy Casts,

Cyb

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I also own both and i would say it all depends on what and how you fish.
The vex definatly has the edge on color choices.Red yellow green vs lx3 red oarange yellow.
The lx3 has a far better zoom as it has much better seperation.
The zoom and ir buttons on the lx3 are terrible for using with gloves on tho.
I realy like the ducer arm the lx3 has but do not like the 20 deg ducer.
I hate that soft case the lx3 has (cant use
it when i am standing up).
I like the charging systom the lx 3 has better than the vex.
The lx3 carrying case does not fit in a five gallon bucket.
I dont like the depth switch for any thing over 40 ft.The vex has a x3 setting and the lx3 goes from x2-x4.
I had trouble with the first lx3 with the jitter so i returned it .the second one works very good.
So i am satisfied with both,for different reasons.It is too bad a guy cant get the best of both in one unit.Hint hint.

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I agree with Grabs, that was my reason for going with the fl18 when I upgraded. My only complaint which was the same with the fl8 is that they are so **** noisy!!!!!!!

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Both units shine in different areas.

The following is my opinion based on observation of both units in actual fishing situations-

The MarCum LX-3 is best with these features:
*Better zoom feature.
*Slightly sharper display.
*Better IR.
*Better in water you are fishing under 30 ft deep, flats, & open water fishing (20 degree transducer=wider cone).
*Made in the USA

The Vex FL-18 is best with these features:
*Their green/orange/red display colors.
*Better control buttons.
*Slightly brighter colors.
*Better in water where you are fishing over 30 ft deep and over sharp breaks (12 degree transducer=tighter cone).

At this point it depends on the type of fishing you do that will determine which unit is better for you.

They are both good units, they've both had problems and have or are fixing them. They both have or are working on superior customer service.

As soon as Scott Steil is ready we will be giving you detailed reports between Scott Steil, Derek Johnston, and myself on the MarCum LX-3 vs the Vexilar FL-18.

They are both good units and each is better for certain applications over the other.

The competition between the two is good and should lead to rapid improvements in each of their respective depth/fish finders which benefit users of both.

In my opinion this will turn into a Ford vs Chevy debate.

Vex has the popularity edge right now, especially on this Forum, because of so many more loyal users who are used to it. This will change slowly as MarCum gains users who become familiar with how it works.

Both Vex and MarCum users should benefit from this competition.

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Both units have positives. I own one of each. User_Name spelled it out pretty clear I think. I have been trying both units side by side and I am not going to give opinion yet, as I don't have enough time in on the LX-3. Both units have advantages and disadvantages. You will have to decide what is more important for the way you wish.

This would be my suggestion, think of the way you like to fish. Then read the positives and negatives from people that own each unit, then make a decision. Both units work good and will work good in open water.

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FL-18

Better colors, zoom is only needed on bottom, best customers service, best history, more transducer options including open water options.

If you plan on fishing any water over 40 ft or so the LX3 transducer will make the unit pretty much useless.

ScottO

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Check out the staff views on marcum vs fl-18 at the top of this section.

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I have owned the Micronar, HOndex, and three FL 8's and now an FL 18. No...they didnt malfunction...I usually just like to update periodically and sell my used units to my friends.

For reliability and service if you ever need it...Vexilar is the one!

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I owned an FL8-slt and upgraded to the Marcum. Like Rick, I certainly agree that both units have their positives and negatives but after using the Marcum to fish suspended crappies I wouldn't go back. I absolutely love the variable zoom. However, I do miss the green color of the Vex. I guess a fish is going to be red on both so it's not that big of issue for me however. I also had the jitter that was mentioned on but havn't seen the problem after the first couple of uses. My vote is for the Marcum for crappies.

------------------
Rodbender

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I have seen both units in action and have no complaints with either unit. I like the vibrance of the colors on the fl-18 but as far as functionality they both perform outstanding and are a must in any ice fisherman's arsenal..

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I bought the Fl-18 last year when the lx-3 wasn't around. If I bought another flasher I would buy the fl-8. The zoom feature is overrated. I can see everything that I need to see on my 18 when I am not in zoom mode so in my opinion the zoom is just a marketing play to get an extra 100 bones out of the consumer. When you zoom the whole water column is reduced to one side of the flasher and I don't like that either.

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I just put in the order for the Marcum LX-3, so hopefully if it comes in time I'll have a report after this weekend.

I don't doubt that the FL-8 I currently have will do fine, but I am a tech nut and love to try the newest technology. My dad has an ancient flasher that he won't spend the money upgrading, but I know would like to, so I'm giving him my FL-8. I know he likes my FL-8, and I'd like to try something new so it works out well for both of us.

I don't have anything negative at all about vexilar, the FL-8 has been a perfect unit. I just think Marcum has the edge right now in technology and I'm going to give their product a shot. I'll post how I like the unit compared with my FL-8 once I get it on the water.

Thanks for the responses... Many loyal vexilar customers out there, that is for sure.

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Was going to buy a Marcum until the owner of a sporting goods store who sold both told me that a few of the Marcums had been returned by customers who were having problems. I guess that Marcum still has a few bugs to figure out. He also told me that no one had ever returned a Vexilar, that they were bullet-proof. I bought an FL-18 Pro Pack and am absolutely happy. I love the bottom zoom feature.

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Thordog,
Do not look for Cabela's to be carrying the vexilar's in the near future (this year at least) as there was a falling out between the two company's. If you want some particulars, Mitchell Bennis of Vexilar responded about it on another site and I can send you the link.
It was related to customer dissatisfaction with the Cabela's "packages".
Xplorer

PS:To cut to the chase, see the thread " does cabelas have something against Dave Genz" on the ice forum and backwater eddy has the scoop from vexilar on why cabelas doesnt carry vex right now.

[This message has been edited by Xplorer (edited 02-11-2003).]

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The MarCum is a good unit with some nifty features built into it, yet it has flaws, at least in my eyes. The screen colors blend too much for my eyes, and the buttons are tiny making it not very user friendly, at least for me. Target separation was very good on the structure I fished it on.

But...I am a dedicated Vexilar fan. I like the Vexilar units and how they perform. Vexilar has top service, and Vexilar is on the leading edge of new technology. I use a FL-8 and a FL-18 and like them both very much.

My FL-8 serves me very well all year long when I guide. It can read under conditions other units just cant handle. like in fast water on rivers full of bubbles and debris. I found the FL-8, with the addition of the S-cable, to be the real deal. Perfect for working dams with waters that makes reading a signal imposable for most electronics. I tried units with a bazillion watts of power to Punch through the clutter, just made it even worse, low power was the key.

Ford or Chevy, Taste great vrs Less Filling, we all have our preferences.

The big Truth is, the modern flasher unit will up your odds on the ice. Most are very capable of this, some fit our particular needs better then others. Just find one that works for you, and catch a piggy or two.

ed-logo.jpg

backwtr1@msn.com

[This message has been edited by Backwater Eddy (edited 02-12-2003).]

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