Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
robert1965

what is the pros and cons of marcum and vex

32 posts in this topic

I don't have anything bad to say about Vexilar, but I will say for my convienience I preferred the fine line value I got with my Marcum. I often....(no wise cracks here guys) got confused when I would take my focus off of a vexilar, and then look back. So many color lines in so many places, where with my Marcum the fine line was less confusing for my focus of my jig placement and bottom or fish. So basically that feature has me using Marcum. I have both an LX5 and LX3tc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both are good products, and get the job done.

But, personally for me, Vexilar gets the nod.

First and foremost, for me, its Vexilar's dependability and reliability from out of the package to the years of use and abuse they can take, while never seeming to break. Second, would be the options you get from Vexilar, to configure your flasher into whatever you want it to be, would be next (choices of packs, transducers, add ons, etc). From there, the list can go on and on. But...

As, I said before, Marcum, does make a great stand in the ice sonar market. Same to be said about the new Hummingbirds. A lot of great features. But, to me on the aspects of reliability and overall options, I truly believe Vexilar gives the total package to a consumer in the realm of ice electronics.

Just my own opinion though. And get what makes you comfortable on the ice and what type of flasher meets your needs. Check em out at various stores, have a buddy show you what they run, etc. Lots can be learned from that and what you want in a ice sonar system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You just opened a can of worms with that question! I have also owned both and I would never give up my LX5.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've owned both. Performance from both flashers is great, it'd be hard to find complaints with either. A few personal preference things I like about the Marcums are that they are small compact units, and I like the adjustable zoom feature.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last year i did a survey on 3 forums and received 60 reply's. 40 were marcum users and 20 were vex users. Only one vex user was a previous marcum user (switched due to faulty unit). 30 of the marcum users were prior vex users and would not go back. Interesting how that played out. They all stated that the marcum was easier to read and easier to use.

Just a previous observation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me it is night and day,literally. When nightfall hits Upper Red Lake we get alot of clutter in the water from micro organisms to zooplanktons etc etc along with fish that hug the bottom like race cars sticking to a track, low and fast.

I feel the Marcum does a much better job with its zoom and super fine features then then the other when it comes to target seperation and a cleaner picture in my dirty water.

Plus I like how the Marcums pack up, fast, easy, sqaure and ready to move, even for the bucket guys. Just flip the lid down and go.

Everybody on the Waskish Minnow Station/Outdoors with Jonny P team uses Marcum and we would hard pressed to change after so many years of great service. Don't get me wrong I have other makes of flashers sitting in my war room and that is what they do, sit there because I just like my Marcum better.

I am really looking forward to the " Marcum High Power Challenge" that will be held this winter compairing all the units in a real world setting. I believe we are having one on Upper Red Lake out of Westwinds resort Jan 10th.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally perfer vexilar. It had the features and reliability that was important to me. Rather than comment on any of the cons for either - I'll focus on the pros on why I went with an FL-20:

- Night viewing mode is a must if you have ever used a flasher in lower light condition for longer periods of time. Reduces the brightness by about half. Significantly reduces eye strain.

- Flat screen does not collect water/snow on it.

- Flat screen allows for a much wider viewing angle - Very helpful if you are trying to teach a partner on how to use a flasher.

- Does all the basic features most higher end flasher have very well.

Regardless of which way you go, my guess is that you will be very happy. There is no doubt that either will get you more fish up the hole.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vex here.

A lot of the "pros" these guys are talking about is whats actually causing the unit to break down. The marcums are blasting soo much power through their transducers that the crystal inside the transducer is breaking down. That's whats making people have to get new ducers. Also, the toughness factor seems to be better on a Vex.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There’s no right or wrong answer here. If you buy the top end of any companies flasher, you will be happy with it. No doubt about it.

Take a minute to look at how you will fishing. What species and what depth.

Is an adjustable zoom important to you? Is a dual beam transducer important to you. How about a superfine line for maximum separation? How about interference, do you plan on fishing around a bunch of people at times?

Do you prefer a compact folding arm type transducer cable bracket or a foam float?

Do you like a flat face design?

Do you like the response and display of a flasher, or maybe an LCD screen fits you better.

How about the case it will be carried in, do you prefer one over the other?

Using the term “best” is a gray area. You really need to decide what features will suit your needs.

All the units out there will show you the depth, your bait, and the fish. First and foremost that is the most important thing.

After that, what is important to me is being able to zoom throughout the water column and also being able to separate individual fish amongst other fish and or schooling baitfish. Lastly I also want to be able to reject any interference from other units nearby.

The LX5 fits my needs wink

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As many have said.. all the top units are great.. I am a depth finder junkie... I own an FL-18, LX-3, LX-5, and Showdown. Not to mention that I have 2 Hummingbird SI units on my summer boat.

For me, hands down.. The Lx-5 is the best unit on the market. Moveable zoom and best interfierance reduction is what sells it the best in my eye. The dual cone angle for fishing steep drops or in weeds doesnt hurt one bit either. My opinion.. Get the LX-5. As far as I am concerned, the LX-5 has no Cons at this point. I have put countless hours through both my 5 and my 3.. and both tranceducers are doing great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

K-Dawg

In regards to your post about power and the ice ducer, all of your information is totally untrue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

it is hard to go againt something that is proven as for the adjustable zoom and the higher power most of the time these features are worthless in most situations there might be times where it might be needed but for the type of fishing i do not very offen. marcum uses these points all the time for me vexlar is the workhouse of the 2 and will always get my vote I have a unit that is over 20 years old used in boat and ice yes it finally failed me the brushes went out i could of had it repaired for $100 but with no noise reduction on that unit so i replaced it with another Vexlar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last year i did a survey on 3 forums and received 60 reply's. 40 were marcum users and 20 were vex users. Only one vex user was a previous marcum user (switched due to faulty unit). 30 of the marcum users were prior vex users and would not go back. Interesting how that played out. They all stated that the marcum was easier to read and easier to use.

Just a previous observation.

This survey, while unofficial, is also as unbiased and representative of the general ice fishing population as any I’ve seen. There’s some interesting insights here that reflect my own personal experiences as well as the general evolution of flasher technology.

My first ice fishing flasher was a Humminbird super sixty with a “T” shaped wooden ice arm to which the ducer was taped to. I quickly moved up in the world to a Lowrance 2330, then a venerable Vex FL-8, followed by an FL-18. 5 years ago now, I purchased a Marcum LX-3, then an LX-5, and haven’t looked back since. Not that my purchases are “buyer’s guides,” but I do think they reflect an evolution in technology from those very first single color flashers. I’m of the opinion that Vexilar’s 20+ year old technology is but a stepping stone in the overall process, comparable to a host of technical advancements that we see in any product. Not that this is bad, or that they won’t help you catch more fish, but in any market, technology comes a long way in that amount of time.

Using the Vex for as many years as I did, I’m in the more than ¾ majority that have used both and would never go back. At first, I didn’t know why they outperformed the Vex’s, I only knew that they were more sensitive, the signals were crisper, and the adjustable zoom was wonderful. Over the years, after learning more about the engineering of the unit and the multitude of revolutionary advancements built basically from scratch, I’m more of a fan than ever.

Power isn’t a gimmick. It’s a staple of any successful sonar operation. With more than 30 years combined military and defense industry sonar expertise, the Marcum engineers have designed powerful sonar systems before. These guys are so intense, that Marcum now produces their own transducers in-house to avoid manufacturing defects and to ensure quality. While it’s true they had a ducer problem early on, this was a manufacturing defect with their old transducer manufacturer. Since Marcum has taken back this part of the manufacturing process, failure rates have been nearly zero.

However, all the power in the world won’t do much good if the sensitivity of the receiver isn’t matched to all this horsepower. It’s why the Marcum’s lines are sharp and bright, not thick and distorted. It’s why the interference rejection is superior. Effectively, it’s a finely balanced unit that utilizes the power it has to the best of its ability.

All of these details mean nothing to you, me, or anybody else until you can see how this performance translates into more and bigger fish. That’s the idea of the Marcum Challenge. It’s not a brag-session; rather, it’s an educational opportunity with no smoke/mirrors to see in an actual fishing situation, how all mfrs. units compare to one another. Marcum has nothing to hide and is proud of its technological advancements, which is why these won’t be mocked-up product demonstrations or infomercials. Instead, it’ll be experienced anglers helping to show you how to get the most information from your flasher.

If you can zoom into the middle of a school of crappies and pick off the bigger fish at the bottom of the pack, you’re utilizing a feature that only Marcum offers. If you can separate a bottom hugging walleye from the rockpile you’re fishing, you can adjust your jigging rhythm to target him. You’re also using more than just a bottom zoom, but likely SuperFineLine which sharpens the target returns and creates better target separation. At the end of the day, more information means more fish. More and better features that are easier to use and understand mean more fish. More power and sensitivity, simply means, more fish.

Joel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You really want to learn how flashers work, stare down the hole and have a flasher going at the same time. Guys get all hornied up about power and zoom, and glow in the dark miracle hoohah, when even the simplest flasher will show every fish. I cant tell you how many times my 10 yr old vex has shown a green line and it takes me forever to spot this tiny fry swimming around. Makes you wonder what they are thinking when this little thing is simming around your minnow. Flashers show fish that arent within sight in water 15' deep. The things are 8' from you bait when they show up on screen. We use flashers in concert with sight fishing, because it really saves the neck. It also told me the whole truth about flashers. Good Luck and dont waste any more money then you have to, gas might go back up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These days you need to have a Marcum or Vex, old school and lower end sonars don't have interference filters and turn into nothing but a light show when either of the above are around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

don't forget to take a good look at the new Hummingbird

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The features on the LX-5 have already been mentioned quite clearly but, for me, a regular weekend fisherman, I'm very satisfied with the LX-5's technology, features and quality. I think I got way more for my dollar since it comes standard with more features than other brands.

The controls are simple to use and built right into the unit; no extra switch box or anything added on.

keypad19gx.jpg

While fishing close to other flashers, or on the edge of steep structure, the dual beam feature (NBT)is a benefit to me and gets used more than one thinks. The detail of the display is what I enjoy.

lx5colors7ah.jpg

lx5colors20pz.jpg

The compact physical design helps when loading up the ATV cargo box, too, since I can stack the units. And, the flasher is well protected when hauling around. I usally have two boys with me and they each have their own LX-5 so, that's trhee units I have to haul.

The Digital Charging System is an upgrade for most brands, too, and it's standard with a Marcum. The DCS has maintained the battery and that's a savings for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They are both great units and have used them both, but personally I would have to go with Marcum. To have the ability to zoom in on a school of suspended crappies with the adjustable zoom or zooming in on walleyes that are tight to the bottom this feature is amazing. Not to mention when fishing deep water and having the ability to change your beam size. Also having the 12 mode interference rejection is crucial when fishing around other fisherman. In my opinion, having the most options available will always help you put more fish on the ice. If you have any additional questions you can always give me a call or stop by the Marcum High Power Challenge on Dec 20th on White Bear Lake and we can hit the ice and go over all the features. Either way you go, both units are great, but having more options and precise fine lines with the Marcum it will definitely put more fish on the ice for you this winter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pros of the Vex and Marcum- Both are good units

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've used LX-1, LX-5, fl-8 and fl-18 and they all get the job done fine, but if I had to chose one it would be the fl-18, no questions asked. The best unit for its price.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More people should get a vexilar. That way there will be more fish left in the lake for me. Follow what I'm saying? LX-5 for me!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have used both and hands down Marcum does circles around Vex when it comes to technology. I own the LX-3TC and will never go back to Vex.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • Those sure are pretty snowflakes..........
    • Misguided by love as pure as the driven snow.  
    •   Yep, am with ya......and most of us thank you. Should not be a difficult concept to understand.....except for a select Jv few.
    • So was I.  When I say "my equipment" won't be freezing up when I am hole hopping with the aid of my toasty warm Otter cottage, part of my equipment that won't be freezing up would be the ez ducer...   
    • Reinhardt was sincere, and I don't believe he was trying to sell anything,  He had a lot of knowledge about meat, and simply wanted to share it.   I didn't fault him for his politics, either.  He was simply misguided on that....        
    • I took Mickey in 2008. Bubbles 4 years later. Not too worried about winning as some on here .....as winning in  those years wasn't really winning, and so far, neither is picking the winner in 16, other than saying you picked the winner and "get it".
    • Had an opportunity to tag along with LeeKen to Bluestem Nature Conservancy and sit in a blind Saturday morning.  Thought it was unusual to see a deer with antlers late March.
    •     I was thinking more like Goofy=Pres. Trump
    • Murphy’s Law   I went out this afternoon trout fishing.  I questioned the wisdom of fishing on a robin’s egg blue sky day.  Trout shun sunlight.  I went outside to check the weather. The warmth of the afternoon coaxed me out of the house.     I fished a stretch I have done well on in the past.  I knew because of the bright sun I would more than likely not do well on big trout this outing.  Trout do not have eye lids and shun bright sun. When I got to the stream the outdoor temperature was 58 degrees.  I took the water temperature and it was almost 50 degrees.  That is well within a good temperature range to score some trout.     I hit the water at 2:45pm.  The sun was high in the sky and not a single cloud was in the sky.  I knew from experience that days like these I typically fished the shaded side of the stream.  There was no shaded side of the stream.      The fishing was tough.  I had lots of follows and flashes at my lure.  None seemed to want to commit.   I decided to look for cover for the trout.  I decided anything to throw a little shade on the trout would make them feel comfortable.     The trout had lock jaw.  I decided to target broken water so the trout would feel secure and come out in the bright light.  They still were bashful.  I decided another trick was in order. I was going to throw in the biggest snarly messes and let the lure drop to the bottom and give it a tweak to start the blade going.  Bang bang and I was in business.  This only worked in deep runs and i lost a few lures throwing into the mess.     I ended the outing with 24 brown trout to hand. The biggest was about 16 inches.  It was 5:30pm.  I usually get out at a bridge and today was nothing different.  I stood on the bridge looking upstream.  There was a sweet log jam just upstream of the bridge and it was in shadows.     I decided i was going to go just upstream in the shadows and cast a few more times. I was still on the bridge looking upstream. I looked at my reel and there was a loop on the spool.  This loop needed to be cast out if I was going to continue fishing.  I decided the bridge afforded the best angle and no trees in the way to cast out the loop in my spool.     I cast off the bridge.  The loop caught and dropped my cast about 15 yards upstream.  It nearly didn't land in the water.  It hit tight to the bank and I had a big snarl in my reel.  I looked down and saw my panther martin was barely in the water.  I decided to pull off some line and get this snarl out.  I made even a bigger mess.     I sat down on the bridge rail and started to mess with my giant snarl.  I again looked at my lure and it was barely in the water.  I was worried about losing the lure because of the snarl.  It was safe and barely dangling in the water.     I  really made a mess with the reel.  I was cussing it and trying to untangle it.  I lost focus on my lure in the water. I was peering over my glasses and really putting all my attention on this mess and I heard a splash sound.  I looked upstream and saw nothing.  I looked back at the reel.  I heard a louder splash and looked over the bridge at my lure suspended in the water.     My mouth dropped open wide and I stared in disbelief.  Me messing with the line caused the lure to jig up and down in the water.  This attracted a predator.  Not 2 inches from my lure was a giant trout suspended and staring at the size 9 gold panther martin deluxe waiting for it to move again.     My reel was still messed up so there was no battling this huge female trout on my reel if it decided to quit dancing with my panther martin and eat it. The bridge was at least 15 feet off the water and the idea of battling a monster trout from above was not appealing.  I worked frantically on the snarl.  It got even more messed up.     My fighting with this reel and keeping one eye on the giant female was nerve racking.  She still was very interested in my lure.  She circled it like a shark.  It was more than I could stand.  I decided if I hooked up with her with this less than optimal circumstances I would lose her and maybe kill her because of the bridge nonsense.     I decided to try to catch her another day.  The reel was non functional and i grabbed the line and lifted the lure out of the water.  What happened next is going to be relived in my dreams for the rest of my life.  The monstrous female brown bum rushed the lure as I lifted it out of the water.  It launched itself out of the water snapping at the spinner.  It was a swing and a miss. I got my wits back together and thought about cutting out the snarl and trying for her. I decided a return trip was on the agenda.  As I write this recollection I smile and cuss my circumstances.
  • Our Sponsors