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jrsue58

LX3 or FL18

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Ok ok I know this has been beat to death here but even after reading all the posts I still couldnt decide. So I bought both, and I plan on returning one of them, the store said ok as long as I keep the receips.
First I've never used a flasher for ice fishing before so I knew very little about either unit.
First I used the fl18 for 3 days on the lake. I was very impressed , I was catching fish I never would have before simply because I could see the fish a coax them into bitting , very cool, very effective, you can litterly see the fish come in and anticipate the bite. The colors are very bright and clear on the fl18 and easy to distinguish whats a fish and where its at, with very little practice I was operating it easily. The zoom is a must have feature, you can see much cleare whats hapening around your lure on the zoom scale than the normal scale. overall,a very easy unit to use ,I got the 12 deg ducer, I feel thats adequete for my use.

Today I gave the LX3 its first test drive. First of all the charging system ,plug in, and power remaing indicator is nicer and easier to use than the fl18, however ,after charging for a full 12hrs it still wasnt past 70% on the meter, it did easily last all day though. The soft case with the LX3 is very nice and provides the unit with good cushioning and protection, the fl18 fits in a 5gal bucket , the lx3 gets the nod here.
Now of to the ice, setting up lx3, with its swing out ducer arm is not as convenient as the floating ducer on the fl18, also setting up the zoom and depth readings is more fiddly on the lx3, but with a little practice I got the hang of it. After a short wait there wre the fish, no question the lx3 marks fish more clearly and distinctly than the fl18, especially when its a small fish or if its right against the bottom. You can see the same fish on the fl18 , but you cant miss it on the lx3.

I then put them side by side in two holes 12iches apart and fished out of a third hole. Both units were able to block out the other with no problem, and both funtioned the same wheather one was on or of, impressive. With the two sideby side again you could see single and multiple fish more clearly with the lx3. In one case I hooked a lite bitting small perch that wasnt nearly as obvious on the fl18 as the it was lx3.
All that said I still like like the ease of use , brighter colors, and bottom lock ,and floating ducer,of the fl18, I have 3 days to decide. But trust me both units are supperb and you will catch more fish with either.

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What a fantastic post! Great job.
That was the most objective opinion I have read about these units yet. PLEASE.... I mean NO offense to anyone with that comment.

The coolest thing about what you posted is that it backs up what people have said the whole time:
BOTH units have qualities that people like. Both have quirks that people dont like.

While they both have drawbacks, its virtually impossible to NOT catch more fish and make your overall fishing experience more enjoyable with either unit. Count the FL-8 and the lower end Macum unit in that as well.

Again, nice post! Great work. Glad I am not the one that has to decide which one to give up... I would just promise the wife about 100 honey-do items if only I could keep them both!

Be sure to let us know what you decided to keep!

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Thanks for the kind words,and sorry for the typos. Was in kinda a hurry.

I do have a question for anyone that may have experience with the lx3 on the water I.E in a boat. Will not haveing the bottom lock feature like the fl18 has, be an issue.
This in my mind is a big plus for the fl18, as I plan on using it in the summer as well.

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I couple things that I am going to add to this. Since you mentioned you liked the float on the Vex since I fished about 5 years with my FL 8 I disagree with you on that. I have found that I have had less fish tangle in my LX 3 than I use to have on the Vex. I like not have the float in the hole makes a little more room just me though. The colors are something that you adjust to as well at first I didn't like the Orange since it is so similar to the Red and Yellow but since I have been using it is something that I have gotten use to and now I clearly see them when I look at it. I have also been fish around my buddies Vexilars with my LX 3 and they say that my unit doesn't bother theirs one bit but once the turn theirs on I usually have to hit my IR 1 or 2 and it clears up no problem. The real test will come in a couple weeks when we put my Marcum in a house with 2 FL 8 could be interesting. I am planning to have Vex along just incase. I know it can be a real bear with 3 FL 8 but you can get it cleaned up with some work. I have heard guys say that the Bottom Lock is really nice and others say it isn't a big deal. I don't know because I have never used a flasher on my boat so I don't know what I am missing.

------------------
Grip it and Rip it

IFFWalleyes
I Fish For Walleyes
[email protected]

[This message has been edited by iffwalleyes (edited 01-21-2004).]

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great posts!! I am also going to purchase one or the other this weekend and it sounds like I can,t go wrong either way. Guess it will come down to the best price. I recall reading a post earlier about the charging on the LX3 that mentioned that they never show 100% and as long as it holds up all day it shouldn,t be a problem.

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I took the swing out arm off of my LX-3 and just hang the ducer in the side of the hole.
Works great that way and is easier to get out of the hole if you hook a big fish.
The LX-3 is a great unit!
Cliff

------------------
Cliff's Guide Service
CliffsGuideService-LakeVermilion.com
Lake Vermilion
Phone: (218) 753-2005

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Very good post. I was lucky enough to get to use the units side by side for the entire winter last year. My findings are similar to yours. With a couple additions.

I love the swing arm compared to the float. With the swing arm I rarely get tangled with my transducer if I can't get it out of the hole.

Second, the display on the LX-3 takes a couple days to get used to if you are used to seeing the bigger/blurred display on the FL-8 or 18. Once you get used to looking at the thin line crisp display of the LX-3 you will like it much better.

As for open water. I ran an LX-3 and Fl-18 on my Ranger last year. I used both very often but honestly I NEVER used the bottom lock feature. Both units worked fine without it and I never had a need for it. The nice thing about the LX-3 in open water was the fact that I could run it with my Lowrance electronics still on. I had problems with the Vexilar and interference with my Lowrance Graphs.

As you said, both units will help you catch more fish, not just on the ice but in your boat. After a lot testing I elected to go with the MarCum LX-3's for this year. I also like the fact that MarCum makes the best underwater camera's out there and I use my Camera in combination with my LX-3 a lot.

------------------
Mille Lacs Guide Service
(320)293-3287
www.millelacsguideservice.com

[This message has been edited by Scott Steil (edited 01-22-2004).]

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I have the FL-18 and love it!!!!!!!!!!

It's also on my jon boat in the summer. But I can say that I don't use the bottom lock or zoom in the summer. Then again I'm a bass guy so I just need to know how deep as I'm casting to the structure. Walleyes guys might chime in here with more info about summer use on the FL-18 with the bottom lock and zoom.

Either way you can't go wrong.

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Great post! Best info. yet and KUDOS for those that have chimmed in on the way.
I second what everyone else says.

It will be interesting to see how Vexilar handles the new competition because Marcum does HAVE a quality machine!

Tight lines.

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