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Agronomist_at_IA

Transducer question?

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Around here in NW Iowa most of the ponds, and lakes in the area that I fish are maybe 15 foot deep, with the exception of West Okaboji. I just have the standard transducer for My Sonar. Was wondering if it would be worth getting a different transducer to show a larger area of water since a lot of the fishing I do is in shallow water. Also, since I fish in shallower lakes and ponds, if I picked up another sonar would the VEX fl-8se or Marcum V-X1 be plenty? What would the advantage be to using a bigger model?

Whats the thought of everybody.

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A at Ia,I'm in the same boat.My old FL 8SLT can't be up graded and I'm needing to do something different.Been thinking of upgrading lately.Just starting to do the research on what to get.

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A at Ia,I'm in the same boat.My old FL 8SLT can't be up graded and I'm needing to do something different.Been thinking of upgrading lately.Just starting to do the research on what to get.

Don't really need to upgrade, just got a new sonar last year. Was just thinking about buying another sonar, and though a wider transducer might be handier for these shallower applications.

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For that depth, if your transucer is 12 degrees or higher, you should be good. Not a huge enought difference to make it worth buying a seperate ducer IMHO.

I typically punch a bunch of holes in an area and do a lot of hole hoping to find fish - this can make up for not having a real wide angle ducer.

As far as picking up another sonar ... it is nice to have a spare - especially if you go out with someone that does not have one. Buy the best you can for your budget. If you target walleyes, the bottom zoom can be very helpful (even in 15fow). Zoom of that depth is not as critical for panfish IMO.

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What you say about using a wider beam transducer in shallow water makes sense, but I'll toss this out for you to consider .... I frequently set my Lx-5 to the narrower beam, even in shallower water. I do that because I want to mark one line only, not my 2nd line or my buddy's lines, and it helps with interference rejection to not have overlapping cone angles.

This may not be an issue where you fish, but another reason I like a narrower beam is if I'm fishing on a break, there will be less of a "dead zone" where anything the flasher marks is displayed as being part of the bottom.

The Vex and Marcum flashers you mentioned are both good units and will function well in the water you fish. The Marcum puts out more power, which should give you better readings and better target seperations.

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The Vexilar S-Cable will help you to enhance shallow water performance on units not pre-equiped with this function.

The S-Cable adds the ability to use a wider range of gain +/- to eliminate bug clutter and see fish lurking in thick weeds. A good upgrade no matter what ducer you run.

A duel beam is a handy upgrade if your existing ducer should begin to fail you. The ability to switch from a tight narrow 9 deg beam to wide 19 degree is a handy function in thick weed cover and in search mode applications on open lake or pond basins.

If the ducer you have now is good, use it tell you feel the need to replace it, and than consider the duel beam as the replacement.

To test your ducer strength do this simple test, it is called the table top test and is what the tech's use.

Set your ducer 24" off a concrete floor clear of peripheral obstructions.

The reading should say 9' at a minimal gain setting and a still ducer (Not swinging about, and the 9' reading reflects the difference sound travels through air vrs water..the math is off...don't worry about this..it is normal).

The higher you need to turn up the gain to achieve a good bottom reading the weaker the ducer is. (Note: With a S-Cable installed, the new bottom reading will be at a higher gain setting...like at 2 +/-...this is ok and normal.)

If you get a good Red reading at 0 or just above 0...it is good.

If you need to turn the gain up significantly...it is not so good.

If you need to turn it way up...like past 3..it is junk and should be replaced.

Another tip is check the ducer connection at the unit. A thin dab of dielectric grease is wise on both the ducer connection and the power connection to get good signal and power transfer, and fight corrosion.

If you notice corrosion on the terminals clean them up with a q-tip and some alcohol before applying the dielectric grease. Note is pins are damaged, or misaligned. You can CAREFULLY spread them a tiny bit with a thin knife tip to get better contact...Carefully is key...don't break them off....that's bad.

The grease is handy stuff, available at auto and electrical stores and wise to use on most all electrical contacts in a boat or on the ice.

Hope this helps.

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Great tips Ed!

If you want to see the difference having the S-Cable/low power mode can have - go to the ice fishing today HSOforum and watch the Ice Fishing Bluegill segment. Explicitly covers the advantages of this when fishing in weeds. If fishing in weedy cover it is a must have option for Vexilars.

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