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CNY Tim

MarCum vs. Vexilar

19 posts in this topic

I just wanted to touch on a couple of things about the battle between the LX-3 and FL-18 and the misconceptions that I have read on another site in regards to MarCum maybe like another Zercom in that they only might be around a couple of years.
No one company has been able to crack Vexilar's domination of the flasher market they have been the top dog for years and with good reason. My buddy has had Hondex, Si-Tex, FL-8's and a FL-18 and he is in love with Vexilar products. Heck my FL-8 is/was a great unit... I loved it. Vexilars service is exemplary, no doubt about it.
Why would I buy an FL-18 if I did not like Vexilar products? The FL-18 display colors are the best on the market bar none. There distinct and my favorite feature on the 18. I also like the zoom and I.R.(when it works)
Twice last season while fishing I lost 4' of zoom on my FL-18. The bottom 4' went completely red on my FL-18 and I was not the only one that experienced this problem so did my buddy's Dad the same day.
I had issues with my FL-18 that rendered the zoom useless "contrary to popular belief not all fish reside in the bottom 6'". Also I had interference problems around FL-8's and FL-18's that took forever to clear. The FL-18 is not perfect.
With the MarCum LX-3 I never had these problems.. I could attack fish in any situation with confidence and not monkey around with adjusting and readjusting when hole hopping. With an FL-18 for example each time you change holes you have to constantly tweak to stay in zoom. This is never an issue with the LX-3 you can run and gun and spend more time fishing. I ice fish to enjoy myself fishing not pushing buttons and readjusting on a 29' flat.
The thin line display on the MarCum LX-3 is truely awesome, technically it is a better unit and extremely user friendly, if you thoroughly tested these over a season you would come to the same conclusion. I love zoom and demand performance and the FL-18 is lacking in this regard plain and simple. Remember competition is a good thing I hope that these companies keep trying to out do each other for years to come. MarCum has a tall task to be there like Vexilar has for so many and for so many years. Eight of my buddies switched from there FL-8/FL-18 to the LX-3 without one regret.
I remember last season I heard vex fans shout that MarCum copied our splitscreen technology, I.R. patent infringements, hi-jacked technology. Unbelieveable how the Vex faithful attacked this little up start company. Was it fear that MarCum had a better unit??? You bet it was...And here we are a year later and I say to myself why would MarCum want to steal the FL-18 technology and put in it's LX-3? If they had copied the FL-18's technology MarCum would have collapsed after one season.
Doesn't make sense to me...
MarCum engineering have set the bar high with the LX-3 and in my opinion did right by it's customers by releasing the LX-3 into the marketplace after it was fully tested. Unlike the FL-18 whoops "You may need a Version 2 upgrade."
One fishing trip is not a good test you have to run em both all season under all sorts of conditions to make an intelligent assesment, that's what I did and the choice for my buds and I in water less than 40' is the MarCum!
MarCum/OVS has an entire line of quality products, underwater camera's, hand held depth finders, etc. Clearly a company that is showing signs of growth that are unparalled for a second year organization. The engineer's at MarCum are second to none. MarCum has a good thing here and in my opinion will be around a long time.

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CYN Tim.....

Since you have used and tested the Marcum I have a qustion.

Will two Marcums interfer with each other?

Thanks

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Icepro - Excellent question and the answer is no at least from my testing both deep say 40' and shallow under 10' it has never been an issue. That's the beauty of this unit you can fish together without even using the I.R. on one unit and the other you have to tap the I.R. once. Last season I never had to hit the I.R. on the MarCum more than once on the FL-18 it was multiple taps and on a few occasions I had to move outright.

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Tim...

My fishing partner (Wife) was reading over my shoulder and saw your response. She told me we to exchange our older units (Color Point) for TWO MARCUMS.

When we are in our permanent shack she gets frustrated because only one of us can use our Color Point. Looks I get to buy two Marcums, a his and her's smile.gif

Thanks for the information. It should be alot more enjoyable on the ice this winter with both of us using electronics.

A family that fishes together - stays together wink.gif

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That's great that you and your wife can share time together on ice... It's more common place in Minnesota that's for sure. I think last year in NY I saw one woman the entire ice fishing season that ice fished. No matter what I say or do I can't get my significant other out there. Your lucky that your wife is involved I think I would drop dead if my wife said why dont you look into an otter for the both of us. She thinks I'm nuts already but I love this sport. As far as the colorpoints I don't know if any dealer would take them in trade but if there solid units and in good shape you should be able to sell them on hsolist. My wife is an hsolist nut and she sells and buys stuff all the time through there. I fished my 2nd colorpoint for a 1.5 years and sold it for almost what I paid for it new. You and your wife will love the LX-3!

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Yep, that interference can sure be a pain in the you know what. One of my good fishing partners was looking for a flasher and we've experienced the old interference problem in the past and I explained to him about the MarCum and how the IR works, he knew that I will be using the LX-3 and sure enough, next thing I know he gives me a call telling me he picked up a LX-3. Nothing more frusterating when your flasher goes crazy causing you to take your mind off fishing trying to readjust it. I like to bring the two man flip over when I go out on the ice with a partner and fishing right next to each other when one person has interferrence can get a little annoying. I don't want anything in the way of catching fish, makes things easier with a strong IR.

Good Fishin,
Matt

------------------
MJ5fishing@hotmail.com
Catch-N Tackle and Bio Bait
MarCum

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MJ; If the FL18 and the LX3 both run on 200 KHZ and both units have the IR suppression feature and watts has nothing do to with interference, why does the LX3 give the FL18 so much interference?

thanks

[This message has been edited by Cropeye (edited 11-28-2003).]

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The reason that the Marcum interferes with the vex, is that tha Marcum is pushing out 1,500 peak to peak watts while the vex is only giving you 400 watts peak to peak.

Having more than 3 times the power output of a vex is what gives Marcum it's superior target separation.

------------------
>"////=<
GullGuide@fishingminnesota.com
N.P.A.A. # 841
www.marcum.com

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You get interference from different sounders when the echo profiles differ. A differing profile is information(noise) your sounder cant use correctly. So a return echo from one sounder looks like Chinese to another sounder.

When you get 2 vexilars together you'll notice you pick up extra lite LEDs. Thats because they have the same profile. Thus the IR feature.

Along with filtering noise from other echo profiles, you can remove unwanted noise from electric trolling motors.

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I have to agree with CNY Tim.
To make an educated decision you have to get out and use both on the water or at least see both used side by side.It did not take me long to decide I wanted a Marcum LX3 after seeing one sitting right next to my FL18.While I was messing around with my IR trying to get a clear dial,my buddy was sitting there catching fish and telling me that there was fish about to hit my lure!A lot of times I would just watch the Marcum.
BOth units will help you catch fish but I think Marcum has the upper hand until they "up the stakes" again.

------------------
Minnesota River Guided Fishing
www.mnriverguidedfishing.com
NPAA #863

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Hey guys if you want to upgrade your 12V 7 amp batteries on your MarCums or Vexilars to 12V 9 amp batteries. Batteries.com has them for $18.99. Too good a deal to pass up so I ordered two with shipping $41.77. There in Indianapolis, IN. Same size battery as your 7 amps with two more amps at a low price. One year free replacement warranty.

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Here are some of the advantages that the LX-3 has over the competition:

  • adjustable zoom (ability to zoom anywhere in the water column, not just the bottom 6')
  • improved target separation throughout the water column
  • automated battery charger (no need to unplug the unit after every charge - charger maintains the battery level once charged)
  • less interference (increased power output seems to drown out the Vex., where the Vex. seems to have major issues fishing next to a MarCum)
  • Price (if I were to fish a Vex. I'd definitely look into the 9/19 transducer option which puts you $40 over the MarCum unit in price)

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Not being a big panfisherman, I've never cared squat for any zoom feature, whether dedicated to the bottom stratum or flexible throughout the water column.

And the I.R. feature on my FL8-SLT knocks out all the interference I've found so far.

And my Vex charger automatically quits charging when the battery is charged, so that's no big deal.

But what I hear about the Marcum products that I like ALOT is the sharp display. My Vex puts out a fuzzy signal, and I would like more precision.

So, I'd need to test it a bit, but next time around I'll be leaning toward an LX-3. Of course, with that price tag, it'll be awhile, especially since the Vex works just fine.

------------------
"Worry less, fish more."
Steve Foss
stfcatfish@yahoo.com

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The sharp display also has to do with target separation. When your talking about .5" target separation, the sharp display is a requirement. Both the FL18 and LX-3 have a much sharper display than the FL8.

The adjustable zoom is a feature I use mainly for suspended crappies. This is something that takes some getting used to, but once you do, you will never want to be without it. If you fish panfish at all, you would likely benefit from this feature.

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I bought my FL-18 before I even heard/saw of Marcum. My buddy went out and got the FL-18, then read all of this on here about the LX-3 (this was last year around this time)He returned the FL-18 and picked up the LX-3. He loves it and I love my Vex. We can fish next to each other and cancel out the IR. But my other buddy has a FL-8 and when all three of us get together the IR is horrid for all units. But the LX-3 managed better.

When the times comes to get a new flasher I'll take a hard look at Marcum, but as of right now and for years to come I'm going to use my FL-18.

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The more amps you have the more sustained power you have. My LX-3 and FL-18 run fine off a 7 amp. battery but I put more of a load on both these units 90% of the time because I use a dome light on an HT Sonar light as well early in the a.m. and late after dark. I leave it on usually walking off the ice and while fishing, does a great job illuminating the entire tub area. Most times I will stay late and it's nice to have a light. A 9 amp battery is just a little added insurance and that is a pretty good price for a 12V 9 amp battery.

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CNY,
I don't know much about batteries so could you explain the differences between the 7 amp and the 9 amp and how one will better when using my Lx3? Will I have trouble with my 7 amp battery that comes with the unit? Is the 7 amp not enough battery for the Lx3?
Thanks for your help!

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I just got an email from Batteries.com when I asked the question, "Is the Helios 12V 9 amp battery a gell cell?" They confirmed it is...

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