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Rick

What Is Your Favorite Ice Fishing Fishfinder?

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I'd like to get a handle on styles of ice fishing. If you could tell us a bit about the depthfinder you use and why I would appreciate it.

 

The why could include your style of fishing; run n gun vs staying put and everything in between. What type of fish and bottom structure you like to target. Size of lake(s) you fish and the general location in Minnesota you like to fish.

 

Have fun with this one and teach us a thing or two, please. 

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We haven't had a good old "Flasher War" in years! 😆

That being said: The good old dependable, rugged, compact, good on battery life, Zoom, FL18. For panfish, Walleye & Lakers! 😉

Edited by leech~~

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I have an FL18 that works good. But last year I bought the Hummingbird Helix 5 GPS G2 and so far love it. Vex makes a good unit and I don't have anything bad to say about them, but here are the reasons I like the Helix more, in no particular order:

 

1) It instantly tells you what depth you're at. No more having to switch dials for every 10 foot increment until you find the bottom.

2) It comes with GPS, and if you add a map chip you can pick a spot and drive or walk right to it. It seems hard to imagine ice fishing now without using a lake map.

3) You can also save spots, so you can return right to it the next time.

4) You can make adjustments if you're getting interference from another flasher.

 

The humm of a Vex never really bothered me, but the Helix is dead quiet. I will say the Helix seems more like a computer than the Vex, so it feels a little more fragile.

 

Speaking off, anyone in the market for a barely used FL18?😁

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Have and use the Marcum ShowDown for years still use it. Small compact runs on AA batt. in hub or 12v in WH. Also like wireless using the Lowrance Fishhunter pro and sight fishing with camera. View Fishhunter & camera in same package.

20180124_085158.thumb.jpg.ca16c1bbb9d1975194d2edd8318e1c10.jpg

 

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I started using a humminbird piranha max last year and love it. Also use in the yak to. I still have the good ol Fl 18 that’s about 15 years old now. Still works like new with a new battery and ultra pack case. Needs a phew ducer but keep putting it off the one I use now is still ok. Want to upgrade to a nicer humminbird helix ice or similar or a marcum lx 6 or 7 but the funds haven’t been available.

741859CF-003E-4A64-A0A5-550BA77B6ECA.jpeg

Edited by AlwaysFishing23

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I use a Marcum LX5 mostly because it was too good of a deal to pass on. I like it because it's simple, easy to use and dial in, yet still has some extra features. The biggest positive- not having interference in a house because everyone else runs Vexilar 😎

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Have a marcum LX9 also use a couple Lowrance units. After using them side by side there are features I like on both but just comparing sonar units I'd have to say that my lowrance units squeak out a win for me over the Marcum. Both are very close to the same performance. The Marcum is much easier to just plop and fish where the lowrance units you have to dial in for each situation. I've never been a traditional flasher guy and never see the need to after using a graph.

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1 hour ago, Hawg said:

Might as well get augers in on this too! :)

 

Rick was going to start that topic right after this one slowed down! 😅

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On 10/12/2018 at 10:19 AM, jgrimmz said:

I use a Marcum LX5 mostly because it was too good of a deal to pass on. I like it because it's simple, easy to use and dial in, yet still has some extra features. The biggest positive- not having interference in a house because everyone else runs Vexilar 😎

 

That's one of the main reason I run a Vexilar. I don't want to be the jerk that interferes with everyone else......

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I have owned 2 brands over the years and I still really like my fl18. Mainly hole hopping for gills or crappies. Every time I get back home I put it on the charger and the battery lasts an lasts. If I do need one they are pretty cheap. Love watching the lines come up on the flasher. I use the small eye bolt on the side instead of the foam float. I hate dragging a lot of cable at thick ice so its very rare I have more than 2 feet of cable out. I prefer to stay a ways above the bottom of the ice. 

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I used lowrance for many years but switched to a hummingbird helix 7 last year and it's much better than the lowrance. 

 

Both are far superior to those noisy, epilepsy inducing round dial flashy thingies. 

And Eskimo augers rule the ice. 

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3 hours ago, Big Dave2 said:

 

That's one of the main reason I run a Vexilar. I don't want to be the jerk that interferes with everyone else......

My bird places nice with vexilars and doesn't get it too bad when there is a marcum in the next hole.

 

Keep my FL18 as a backup/loaner, it's been bulletproof.  But I haven't looked backed since I got an ice55 bird.

 

 

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1 minute ago, bobbymalone said:

My bird places nice with vexilars and doesn't get it too bad when there is a marcum in the next hole.

 

Keep my FL18 as a backup/loaner, it's been bulletproof.  But I haven't looked backed since I got an ice55 bird.

 

 

 

I have no doubt that by now there is something on the market that is better than my FL-20 and my FL-8 but I already own them and they work for me and I am long over the days where I have to have the latest and greatest fishing equipment. 

 

Most of these gadgets, gizmos and lures are better at catching fishermen than fish.

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I have a couple LX5s and have been very happy with them.  I had to get a second one for the wheelhouse since after I set it up for the wife, I usually go out hole hopping my original one.  Then come back with fish only cuz I was using the “cheat mobile”. 

 

With the second one I was able to let her stare at it long enough to figure it out cuz apparently my teaching skills are sub par.  She normally wanted to have the camera down all the time but come dark, it’s kinda hard to see anything.  

 

Who knew a wheelhouse and flasher would change her from a winter hibernator to an ice fishing addict.  She wants to go EVERY weekend now.  

 

Anyone wanna buy a wheelhouse? 😉😂

 

Just kidding.... but I wish she’d wanna try for lakers every once in a while.

Edited by Wanderer

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 I'd like to see how the Helix handles interference.   Interference was the reason I went from my Interphase Video to a flasher. Currently using HBird Ice 45 and MarCum LX5.

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On 10/12/2018 at 8:46 AM, Getanet said:

But last year I bought the Hummingbird Helix 5 GPS G2 and so far love it. Vex makes a good unit and I don't have anything bad to say about them, but here are the reasons I like the Helix more, in no particular order:

 

1) It instantly tells you what depth you're at. No more having to switch dials for every 10 foot increment until you find the bottom.

2) It comes with GPS, and if you add a map chip you can pick a spot and drive or walk right to it. It seems hard to imagine ice fishing now without using a lake map.

3) You can also save spots, so you can return right to it the next time.

4) You can make adjustments if you're getting interference from another flasher.

 

The humm of a Vex never really bothered me, but the Helix is dead quiet. I will say the Helix seems more like a computer than the Vex, so it feels a little more fragile.

 

Speaking off, anyone in the market for a barely used FL18?😁

 

I love my Helix unit also, and GPS has been a game changer for me. No more fumbling with my phone in the cold with apps eating my battery and trying to keep it out of the elements. 

 

I miss the simplicity of my Marcum VX-1 but after getting my Helix dialed in I have no complaints.

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who uses flashers now days haha; I'm a helix convert now too, i was hesitant at first as the Lowrance had a LCD screen a few years ago for ice fishing but the lag was unusable, but hbird figured it out. Mapping, flasher screen if wanted, and sonar all in one, its like a smartphone; everything in one.

 

also, I have not had any interference issues with others using the helix, especially with all of hte chirp setttings

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6 hours ago, Jmnhunter said:

who uses flashers now days haha;

 

Graphs are nice for fishing in a boat for sure.  They show you the nice big history picture of what has already gone by and gives you a good view of what the changing bottom depths look like as you float around. 

Really though, when your fishing in a little hole over the same bottom for an hour or all day. What’s the point?  The important part of a graph for ice fishing is that ¼” or so of edge on the far right and what is happening on it real time.  Which then, is just like a Flasher only giving you real time info and why I went back to one from my graph.   Worley Worley!  😉  

HUM410270-1-2T.jpg

51JKEJ76ZLL-400x280.jpg

Edited by leech~~

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Since there isn't a lot of covering ground I just don't need the last 30 seconds on a graph or a GPS map to know I've been sitting in the same spot for the last hour.  My phone is always on me when I need to move and I run navionics.  Half the year I'm in my truck when I'm on the move anyway.  If I'm on a dogsled in the bwca I have a handheld.

 

I'll stick to the flasher.

 

I upgraded to a bigger screen with the bird, but I just dont need a ton of features that really only make sense on a moving boat.

 

Just my two cents.

Edited by bobbymalone

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5 hours ago, leech~~ said:

 

Graphs are nice for fishing in a boat for sure.  They show you the nice big history picture of what has already gone by and gives you a good view of what the changing bottom depths look like as you float around. 

Really though, when your fishing in a little hole over the same bottom for an hour or all day. What’s the point?  The important part of a graph for ice fishing is that ¼” or so of edge on the far right and what is happening on it real time.  Which then, is just like a Flasher only giving you real time info and why I went back to one from my graph.   Worley Worley!  😉  

HUM410270-1-2T.jpg

51JKEJ76ZLL-400x280.jpg

Does that come with ear plugs to drown out all the noise?

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I still run my fl8 that I bought in 1996. I don’t need zoom and I have watched many friends with the new fancy locators not see fish under the ice. Not me I catch em. No stinking updates for my fl 8 and my fl 8 has fallen down the stairs more times then me. It still runs I had new brushes put in after I fell on it and smashed the casing. O yeah i fished all day with the smashed casing let’s see the new units do that. It’s fixedand runs perfect. Never notice the noise you guys are talking about as I am to busy catching fish!

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