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chunkytrout

LX3 - First Spin around the block

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Well the jury has reached a verdict. What an awesome unit! I set my expectations pretty high for the Marcum, being a Vex owner. So the LX3 got it’s first “real” run this trout opener. I had some questions I wanted answers to.

?#1. Whats 1500 watts gonna do for ME? I fish primarily for lake trout. I’m usually fishing in 60-100+ FOW. I loved the FL8SE’s ability to handle deep water. Marcum however is superior in target separation and signal intensity. The detail I got was intense. I watched a smelt five feet above my spoon get hit by a laker off the bottom in 65 feet. (Unfortunately he didn’t visit my rig on the way up)

?#2. What’s with the colors? This is a tough one for me as I’m used to the old GYR set-up. I took a while to get used to. Then I noticed something. With the FL8, when you have a busy bottom it almost gets hard to concentrate on. A little too psychedelic if you know what I mean. Targets get pretty fuzzy if there’s a mess of bait fish milling about. This is NOT an issue with the LX3. Targets were easily recognized and solid. Also I understand that you can get chips to change the color scheme. Handy for folks that have problems seeing certain colors.

?#3. Will I have to take a night course to use this thing? When I finally got the opportunity to mess with the zoom, it was a no brainer. Turn the zoom on and you have a split screen. ROTD is top to bottom, LOTD is your zoom window. Up and down control is easy and the area of the zoom is bracketed by two yellows as you move the zone up and down. The field of view is also adjustable in the zoom mode.

?#4. What about the IR Wars? Well, it’s funny ya know. “ I heard Marcum made their unit to intentionally interfere with Vex’s receive!”. That little quote made me chuckle a bit. BULL! Ok, we’re dealing with sonar here. Radio waves bouncing around the lake and sending back a signal to a receive circuit. The stronger the emitter, the stronger the receive. The Vex is a very sensitive receiving unit. I chuck 1500 watts down the hole and receivers listen. I won’t go into the techs of rejection circuits but Marcum’s worked as well as Vex’s. A funny tech note is I couldn’t quite get rid of the noise from my partners Sitex FL5. I love that thing. He actually got accused of having an outboard on a motor restricted lake once because of that infernal tick/hum. Pretty funny!

?#5. Why only a 20 degree cone? This one bummed me out a little as other flashers are offering more choices and dual beam systems. But again it was a non issue. At 60 FOW my spread is roughly 20 feet wide. When you have the extra power to play with, this gives you a nice wide angle window. Lakers rush distances to whack their prey. Enough said.

All in all, pretty darn impressive. The Deluxe Ice System is the way to fly. Spendy yes but a well thought out package. Materials making up the soft case seems bullet proof. Battery compartment with a mounted digital charging system. The face flap folds up sweetly and is held in place with heavy velcro. Now I don’t want any Vex/Marcum war started from this thread so everybody play nice. The Vex will always have a place in my fishing arsenal but I have a new blade for the ice! Nice job Marcum.

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I am with you chunkytrout:) I bought the LX-3 two weeks ago and being giving it a good test this weekend..side by side with my FL-18. Both are very nice units. I also agree that Marcum should offer different transducers as the 20 degree leaves a big dead spot in some of the locations I fish. I love the adjustable zoom...very neat. I also wish the Marcum had about two or three more feet of transducer cord...I like to place mine up high on a bucket...but that would hardly leave the transducer in the water...still getting use to that. Great unit..and I got mine at scheels in Fargo for 379.00..and I saw Fleet had them for 369.00...pretty good deals.

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Well chunkytrout, I've had my Lx-3 for a couple weeks now. After being around a fl-18 for quite awhile, I have no complaints about the Marcum. I fish right next to a friends fl-18. They are both nice units, but the last time I went out, I had the advantage with the movable zoom window to go after the suspended crappies in 37' of water.

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Hey there Chunky..

Welcome to the wonderful world of the LX-3!! Ain't it great? When I first fired mine up, I couldn't believe it. I really COULD see what I was missing. Not to worry, night courses not required. Read the manual (again) and just get-r-out and play with it. Which means, of course, you must be on the ice. A small price to pay!!

If all goes right, my own LX-3 should be seeing those same smelt in a couple weeks on B-side.

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One note: I fished 30 feet away from Chunky on opener and had the gain on my FL-8SLT set at 3, because we were in fairly deep water.

I have the IR feature on the Vex, and none of the IR settings could eliminate the interference from his unit. I eventually shut mine off because it was so irritating. There was no one else fishing within a quarter mile of us, so I know it was the Marcum.

But I think Chunky is right about pooh-poohing the intentional interference claim.

I've fished that close to other Vex units and, when coordinating with the other user, could find a combination of IR that would kill each unit's interference for the other. Without that coordination it was hopeless. And the higher the gain, the harder to kill the interference.

Chunky and I didn't coordinate that day. It's almost certain that we could have come up with a winning combination. It also wouldn't have been an issue, I'm sure, If we were a little farther apart. But we were only on the ice for an hour before we got our limit of lakers, so there really wasn't time to futz with anything.

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I just got an LX3 this year and I love it. I had been using an old Zercom, so this is a dramatic upgrade. I love the adjustable zoom, and used it extensively on some suspended Medicine Lake crappies 2 weeks ago.

I fish it 3 feet from my buddy's FL8 SE and we have no major issues. He gets a few blips of interference from me, but a pretty clean display. I had no issues at all. A couple of minutes of changing settings until we found what worked best for both of us, and we were both able to clearly see UL jigs in 38ft of water with gains at about 3.

I love the unit, and wish I had more opportunities to get out and use it. I'm thinking of taking a day off to hit Med this week, or at least get out one evening.

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I got my hands on an LX-3 just in time for my annual 4 day trip to Lake of the Woods. I really like this machine and the zoom mode was incredible for those finicky fish!!

My 2 friends fished right next to my LX-3 in a sleeper house and we did not experience a lot of interference at all. My screen was almost perfect, and their FL-8's were not that cluttered as much as some people say. They could read their flashers quite well. We all had to tweak our IR's.

The LX-3 battery lasted at least 33 hours before it ran out of juice. My FL-8 battery on this trip in the past had about the same amount of time before going dead.

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Thanks for the update. I presently have the Colorpoint and have to upgrade to with the Fl18 or LX3 next year. Still on the ropes but your post really helped with some of my questions. I would like to see like a 12* Transducer as well. Or a dual, 10 & 20 or something like that. Posts like yours really help us others out.

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I will agree that Marcum's LX-3 is an excellent locator and is sold in a fine package. If we are to compare it with Vexilar's FL-18, it equals its performance in most ways. Color,target separation,sensitivity are very close to each other. Too close to compare to actually express favoritism of one over the other. One area that everyone seems to overlook, though is performance in SHALLOW water environments. With its Low-Power setting the FL-18 is clearly superior to ALL sonar devices in shallow water.As a river rat who needs to see bottom in as little as 1 foot of water this flasher is the best I have ever had. Travelling at speeds of 45 mph the advantage of a sonar device that can give you real-time readings of such shallow depths at this speed are priceless. The FL-18 is truly a year-round locator. We also find that the reduced power does not spook fish in the stained water, hard bottomed, shallow water river environment. High powered sonar does influence fish behavior, especially in shallow water. Vexilar has the "Edge" in this overlooked area!

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OK I have to chime in also. I have given mine the work over also and found it to be everything the vex is and with the ability to move your zoom, a couple of points more!! I wasn't sure about the color seperation with out green. But it turned out to be a non-factor!! I could tell the diference with no problem. I had heard guy's say they had to turn their gain way up, I ran mine at about 1 1/2. Put seven straight hours on one day and only burned 10% off the battery. I put mine on a bucket also, but had enough cord for that. Maybe two more ft of cord, but you don't want this wad of cord shoved into the case either.

Two thumbs up from me!!!

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Actions fishing I appreciate your comments and yes the 18 will work for guys 12 months a year but you need to make sure that you switch the 18 to low power before you get to the shallow water on plane or ice fishing... have the suppression cable in operation I think? The Marcum is engineered so it does not need a suppression cable or low power switch to work effectively in shallow water. So in an open water situation such as running a river at high speed the Marcum would require no additional parts, thought or expertise by the user..... it would just read the bottom effectively. Marcum's ability to harness power effectively allows the Marcum to really shine while ice fishing in shallow water. Both sonar's are good units but The Edge would be Marcum units in shallow water for total 12 month a year usability and ease of use. It's also common knowledge that the Marcum units are far superior in deep water. Sonar in general can have effect on the fish...what I've seen though is no difference in fish activity by using either unit on a particular day.

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Hey guys-

I think I'm having a gain problem with my LX-3. I was looking for the other thread that discussed this but can't find it for some reason.

The last time out on a fully charged battery, I had to have the gain up halfway (5 or 6) to pick up my Go-Devil in 30' of water on the Zoom side of the screen. My Zercom Colorpoint & my Dad's FL-18 have never had to go above a 2 to pick up a lure. It doesn't sound like this is normal.

I recharged the battery and tried it again on Upper Red last Saturday. 15' of water, I had to have the gain cranked halway up to see my jig & minnow in 14' of water.

I'm going to swap the battery this weekend to see if the unit responds differently to a new battery. Other than that, what would be causing this.

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hanson-Could be a couple of things... Could be that your tranceducer is scratched, or could be that your traceducer is not hanging straight(cable could have a kink)... those would be a couple of things I would check for sure.. also look at your entire tranceducer cable to make sure you dont have a nick in the line... If at all possible try it with a different tranceducer and see if you can narrow it down to unit or tranceducer..

If you will be at the Medicine event I will be there, We can check and swap tranceducers there, just to narrow down the problem.. I was using my lx-3 this last weekend.. and had my smallest jig I own(1/64 oz) and in 20 feet of water only needed to put in on 2 on the gain...

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I'll be at Medicine Deitz. Lets do that, sounds like a great idea to narrow the problem down.

The unit works great still, I just have to crank the gain way up.

I know the 'ducer was hanging straight and I'll double check for scratches.

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Northlander-

While I don't know if that is the problem, I just e-mailed Pete about that. I would like a longer cord also. I was on Red last weekend in my permanent on skids. The floor of the house is blocked up about a 1' off the ice. If the ice gets any thicker, I won't be able to get the transducer to the bottom of the hole at all.

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I am using an LX3 this season; never had a flasher before. I feel almost handicapped without it now. It's amazing how much water a person can cover before getting a line wet bypassing dead water and finding structure/humps/dropoffs. It probably seems like more work to a non-owner, hopping around looking for a spot or following fish, but after using one (either vex or marcum) I think most people won't go back! Good Luck! McGurk

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I presently own a FL-18 but have fished with the LX 3 and enjoyed using the LX 3.. One thing I love about the Marcum is the adjustable zoom feature... But in my all around fishing adventures, the FL-18 I own does what I need most, it will read to 300 FOW.. I know most users do not fish over 100 FOW, but I think it would be in Marcum's favor to add some more depth to their unit or have an upgrade certain users could buy with their unit...

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troutsix, I read your other post re: service and it's troubling and confusing. I haven't had problems but had some questions that were answered promptly. Beyond your gain problem (usually transducer issue) what other problems are not being addressed? Shoot me an email if you like.

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