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MarCums Flashers

harvey lee

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Ice leader's is proud to have MarCum onboard with their great line up of flashers.

Through years of studying, fishing, and testing by engineers rooted in the heart of the ice-belt, a new leader emerges on the forefront of the ice fishing electronics market. The result is the MarCum line of high-power sonar flashers that were designed from the ground-up, relying on modern principles of sonar and science. MarCum’s approach has always been the most performance for the money, period. It would follow then, that every single feature on any of the MarCum flashers and cameras results from years of continuous innovation and study. There's alot of terminology here, but in the end, it's all about features that translate into fishing success. Ultimately, all the features in the world mean nothing unless they allow you to accurately gather more critical information about what’s below you. Here’s a quick rundown of the many reasons that a MarCum will put more fish on the ice for you this winter.

LX-5_On-White_rs.jpgMore Power – MarCum flashers transmit the highest power in the industry, which directly effects the unit’s ability to effectively detect its own return signal

Most efficient - MarCum manufactures its own transducers to ensure quality, balance, and efficiency when paired with the flasher’s other components.

Increased sensitivity – Better transducers, paired with more power and efficiency translates into the best target separation in the business. The gain sensitivity on a MarCum flasher is nearly surgical, with the lowest signal/noise ratio in the industry. This translates into finer detail with less distortion.

Better Resolution – TrueColor razor thin display (not blended like competitors). MarCum never distorts any of its display segments by widening the signal, ultimately resulting in the best resolution, most crisp display, and finest detail in the industry.

“Total system performance” is what MarCum calls it. All the features in the world can’t help you if they’re independent of one another, not working in concert. A unit with more power, better efficiency, increased sensitivity, and better resolution is the complete package. The net result for the angler is a better understanding of what’s going on below them; something that can’t help but put more fish on the ice this winter.

In addition to those standard performance traits, below are features exclusive ONLY to MarCum, and why they’re engineered to be the best:

Adjustable, Optical Zoom – While many folks know that MarCum has the only zoom feature that’s adjustable anywhere in the water column, few are aware that the zoom on a MarCum is a true, optical zoom. Unlike competitors, whose resolution never increases and whose display is merely “blown-up”, the MarCum optical zoom feature actually increases your ability to discern distance and size between targets. Rather than a larger display of the same data, you’re getting better information through a true optical zoom. This is the same principal that applies to digital photography.

Patented Interference Rejection (IR) Technology – Due to the very positive signal/noise ratio put out by the MarCum units, the IR in-turn performs better allowing the receiver to better separate noise and clutter from true signal.

Super Fine Line – This patented feature reduces the width of target display to increase the target separation and give you more information, especially in weeds/cover or amongst schooling fish.

True-Color – Marcum makes the only flasher that utilizes 3 separate, distinct colors; Red, Green, and Yellow. True color offers the most crisp, distinct display, giving the user the best accuracy in distinguishing targets. No more fuzzy blending.

Ice – arm – Rather than a float which moves about the hole and bobs with increased pressure on the ice or currents under it, the ice-arm allows the transducer to be placed anywhere in the hole. This includes up against the edge, hiding most of the transducer under the ice to the far edge of the hole. This results in fewer tangles, and less confusion from a changing bottom depth.

3 Stage Digital “Smart” Charging System – An accurate, digital battery life display, along with a single plug 3 stage charging system maintains the electrical performance of the units. The single plug prevents reversing the polarity and burning up your battery, and promotes reduced corrosion on the battery charging posts themselves. Even if you only have an hour to charge your MarCum, the initial charging stage loads heavily at first, and backs down to top the battery off. No other charging system can claim this!

Standard Soft Pack – Rather than an add-on feature, a padded soft pack anchors and protects your investment in electronics.

MarCum%20VX-1_Pro_On-White_rs2.jpg This year is not without surprises. NEW for 2008, all MarCum flashers will get a boost in power, as described below. Furthermore, Nature Vision has announced the inception of Auto-Tune Technology for their full line of 2008 Marcum flashers. Since all transducers have a frequency tolerance of plus or minus 4% (192-208kz) there exist a small mismatch between power head and transducer. This variance, depending on how extreme it is from ‘ducer to ‘ducer, creates increased noise and essentially decreases the sensitivity and performance of the sonar unit. Marcum engineers have developed Auto-Tune Technology to automatically adjust the frequency of the transmitter/receiver to the frequency of the transducer, thus eliminating additional noise and sensitivity concerns. As if MarCum’s technological feats weren’t impressive enough, this innovation is essentially a “sonar technician in a can” and available in every new 2008 Marcum flasher.

Power Boosts

• LX-5 – 2000 watts peak-to-peak to 2500 watts peak-to-peak

• LX-3 – 1500 watts peak-to-peak to 2000 watts peak-to-peak

• VX-1 Pro – 600 watts peak-to-peak to 1000 watts peak-to-peak

That is why MarCum leads the industry in innovation and performance. It’s a fact that MarCum engineers can and are willing to test and prove. A full suite of mechanical and electrical sonar tests have been run on all flashers currently on the market, and MarCum’s technology exceeds the competition often by orders of magnitude.

Also, stay tuned for this winter’s MarCum On-Ice Challenges. MarCum openly invites all to come and take a look at their flashers, and compare the competition on the ice where it matters most. View for yourself the power, sensitivity, and display; along with the features exclusive only to MarCum, and compare them to the competition.

In the lab or on the ice – MarCum leads the way.

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NCLaker, fair question.

Marcum user here, have been since they hit the market with the LX3. At that time Vex had the FL8-SLT. Marcum being a new sounder many were skeptical,,, at first. I've now been using an LX5 since they came on to the market. I'm not getting paid by anyone, but wouldn't mind it. Wouldn't that be nice.

Have you tried any of the Marcum sounders?

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NCLaker, fair question.

Marcum user here, have been since they hit the market with the LX3. At that time Vex had the FL8-SLT. Marcum being a new sounder many were skeptical,,, at first. I've now been using an LX5 since they came on to the market. I'm not getting paid by anyone, but wouldn't mind it. Wouldn't that be nice.

Have you tried any of the Marcum sounders?

ST, I wish I were paid for using products too grin

Actually, I started out with an FL8, then upgraded to an FL18. After hearing all the Marcum comments, I figured I check it out. So I bought a LX-3tc. Ended up having issues with the sensitivity and interference - Marcum serviced it (replaced transducer & fixed something in the head unit). Based on this experience and after reading numerous other posts on LX-3 issues I decided to sell it and use the funds to purchase an Fl-20.

I don't recall reading any similar issues on the LX-5 so I assume they are more reliable. My friend has an LX-5 and I have used it a few times when I fish with my Bro's. They are novice Ice fisherman and find the Vex's easier to read.

I personally believe it is great that we have different manufacture options to suit the varying preferences that consumers desire. WE all benefit in the end with better competing products and pricing.

Even though I am a Vex guy, I would never dispute that Marcum makes a very good product. Vex just provides what I need for how I fish.

(1) I like the bigger FL-20 screen, I find it easier to read

(2) Marcum screen is very bright, after a few hours looking at it at night, I was getting a lot of eye strain. The Vex night viewing mode helps significantly with this problem.

(3) I only find a need to use the zoom for looking for those bottom huggers. I did not like that Marcum's zoom does not automatically lock on the bottom. I kept having to adjust the zoom to the bottom, especially when hole hopping - This was made much worse when there was a lot of clutter (like weeds) that made it difficult to precisely identify bottom.

(4) I mostly fish in 30+ FOW or less, so it really makes the need to have an adjustible zoom unnecessary when targeting suspended fish (IMO). I find it much easier to use the full display to look at the entire water column when chasing suspended fish. Gets to be too much of a pain constantly moving the zoom window to stay on your jig/fish.

(5) In the 4 years using my Vex's I have not had an issue with interferance from Marcums either in the same shack or shacks in the area. If Marcum's do infact cause issues for flashers around them that cannot be resolved with IR, then I would consider that a negative. Ice fishing is very much a community experience - this would be contrary to that philosophy IMO.

(6) I used the fine line - which I am sure is a helpful feature, but then I used it there were a lot of signals and with all the finelines, combined with the small screen made it very cluttered for me to read. I'm sure I would have gotton use to it, but i just preferred the vex diplay.

To be fair to Marcum, I do like that they are quieter, come bundled with the case, and like Vexilar have excellent customer service (used before Nature Vision purchased them).

Sorry for the long winded response. Bottom line, it is a big investment - so do your homework, try to get real experience with multiple vendor products if you can, and choose which best suits your needs, style of fishing, and preferences. Don't rely 100% on what other people tell you is best, cause it may not be the best for you. wink

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I am not paid in no way, shape or form by Marcum!

I bought mine at full price and love that thing enough to put it in my summer boat.

I will repost my other post! Hey man, I do not lye about fishing stuff and quality wink

Get a Marcum dude!

If you can, get a Marcum LX-5 wink

I will give you this~

Before getting my LX-5 last winter:


After getting my LX-5 last winter, but same lake:


Take a look at this! My 6 year old loves my Marcom wink

Dad, I see something, but wait!


Look dad what I got wink


If my 6 year old can find fish on a Marcum, anyone can!

Marcum means more and bigger fish, because you find them wink

Do yourself a favor and get the best wink! You will not regret it at all!

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NC Laker - I am Pro Staff for MarCum as is Joel Nelson on this board and neither one of us is paid. I can speak for myself as I laid the groundwork on the internet years ago when I did simple test comparison's between the FL-18 and the LX-3. Alot of work went into it but you have to understand it started a couple years before these units were released with my first ever flasher purchase a Zercom Colorpoint and my next was a Vexilar FL-8SLT, due to varying problems with the Colorpoint I fished with Vex FL8LT more but I missed the target seperation and the ability of the colorpoint to fish shallow weed applications. MarCum designed the Colorpoint for Zercom but in a rush by Zercom Marine to get it to the market much quality control was missed, however there were glimpses of some futuristic technology in that Colorpoint. Barring a few units that stood the test of time most Colorpoints never lasted more than a couple years with quality control problems. As an avid ice fisherman I was approached by vary prominant industry professionals to jump on the Vexilar wagon and from my experience new that the FL8SLT was a better overall unit than the point. When MarCum released it's LX-3 I was one of the first individuals to pick-up this unit and what I saw was detail my FL8SLT was missing and the reliability my Zercom Colorpoint was lacking. In fairness of comparison I purchased and FL-18 and did comparisons between both the MarCum LX-3 and FL-18 units, functionality, options, features, target seperation, zoom, battery charger you name it I broke down both with plusses and minusses for both. The MarCum LX-3 beat the FL-18 in every test I put it through.

Fishing Minnesota was the only site for my observations early on. Other web sites I would get on lambasted me literally for brining up MarCum. The vex loyalists were hard on me from the get go because most back then would never argue the facts but would just use personal attacks because they didn't want anyone competing with Vexilar. Basically it was squash the meesenger and make em o away versus confronting the facts. Vexilar never wanted competition from other flasher companies, they want that big slice of the pie and they felt how dare an American company (MarCum)compete with the Japanese imported Vexilars.

Yeah those were some ugly times back then and those wars did one thing for me more than anything and that was motivation. Since then other companies have taken a piece from the sonar pie such as Lowrance, Aqua View and now Humminbird. There's room for everbody to compete for our dollar. I prefer flashers so I stick with them. Back to the MarCum.. The first couple of years I was never contacted by staff to promote MarCum I was very happy being independent and getting the word out on this site and a few others that there was a serious option out there other than Vexilar.

Working with DOD engineers on my day job for 20 plus years I know a bit about testing, reliability and evaluation. I was all for letting fishers know that there was another sonar option to get the job done better and cheaper and it was made in the good ole U.S. of A.

Sonar wars back then were alot more vicious than they are today, maybe were all getting a little older and a bit more level headed.

In all honesty Vexilar fans should thank MarCum for some of the improvements there Japanese engineering has accomplished since then or we all would be still paying $279.99 for Vexilar FL8SLT's instead of having an option of a MarCum VX-1 with zoom for well under $249 with zoom.

Do I believe with out Pro Staff for MarCum that they are the most advanced sonar for ice fishing over the past 9 years, I do, staff or not it's the truth.

As far as your numbered comments on your experience between MarCum and Vex I would like to add my own if you don't mind.

1) Flat Screen - In competiton fishing or alone or in my Fishtrap with my daughter it's easier for me to teach her or my son when they have there own units, however I can understand the theory behind the flat screen when sharing a fish finder for broader viewing.

2) The only night vision whirl I ever had in my 13 years of ice fishing was from my FL8SLT when I close my eyes at night after putting in 12 hours on the ice the only thing I would see that Vex unit before I nodded off to sleep. I wish the vex night view ability was available back then but it wasn't because unlike the MarCum you need that night viewing to reduce "Blob" strain

3) The inability of the FL-18 to stay locked in zoom mode while hole hopping was one of the reasons I did not like the FL-18 it had to be completely reset at every hole unlike the MarCum which stayed locked in. When tournament or recreational fishing it was a handicap to the FL-18 and not the MarCum. As far as dialing down clutter and picking up bottom in heavy weed cover there is no unit manufactured today that does this feature better than MarCum, you can take that to the bank.

4) We fish about the same depths under 40'. Since the entire water column is on the right hand side of the MarCum and Vexilar zoom displays and because you feel zoom is unecessary is not a good reason. MarCum's zoom flexibilty supercedes Vexilar's bottom only contrary to the belief that all fish are with 6' or 12' of the bottom. Vexilar gave us the first zoom but MarCum made it much more versatile by being adjustable and flexible to any given fishing situation

5) Interference between these units can be eliminated with a little work you can get two vexes working with a MarCum or three MarCum's and a vex in close proximity with a little effort interfernce has never caused any of us to shut off our units or move. Smae situations when we ran all vexes you can do it. Fishing the NAIFC last year with all the guys out on the ice and in close proximity it was a non-issue.

6) MarCum's super fine line is of great use to me when fish are stacked and coming in all over the water column. naytime you can go from 2.15 to 3/4" target seperation is a plus in my book.

I agree a flasher is a big investment but I will also say that MarCum's sonar engineers are not just lab rats these guys ice fish and they know from on ice experience and in a industry that is very competitive it' imperative to stay "One Step Ahead"

MarCum's wins in National tournaments are proving there worth as a serious choice in competitive ice fishing.

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Hey Tim, thanks for the constructive feedback on the topic. I don't think your intent is to convince me to become a Marcum guy - cause I will remain content with my Vex's wink

I am "recreational" fisherman, probably like most that us this site. So I don't claim to be an expert on any topic that I provide feedback/input on. My views are just based on my own personal experiences with various products (not reiterating what someone else said). I like this site because people novice to pro's can share their views openly.

Funny thing is that in a year or two the Hummingbirds flashers will be in the heated debates (Ford/Chevy now Dodge) - may have to save these posts so we don't have to do so much typing when we repost our responses ... LOL grin

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1st off Im with Surface Tension. I wish I got paid to promote Marcum. cool

The reason why I use a Marcum and post about it is they are the best units I can find. I just got this years LX-5 and the super fine line is amazing as is the seperation I get. I was fishing in 15' of water the other day with a 32 oz. jighead and a few waxies. I could see seperation of the jig and bottom right to the point my line went limp. It also let me see fish sitting in pockets of weed. One thing that was great was I zoomed into the 3' off bottom area where all the crappies came in at. Seperation was even better.

I had a LX-3 and thought that was a awesome unit and it was at that cost level but this LX-5 is simply amazing. I cant wait to get out again and mess with the dual ducer.

Buy what you want but make sure you get the best product you can with the money you have to spend.

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I know Marcum and Vex will have booths for you to ask questions and try them out. Im assuming Humminbird will too. Check all 3 out and get what you think is the best unit for the money. Shop around all the vendors and get the best deal you can. Im assuming there will be some sort of promos going on for all 3 units at the show.

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Okay, if you want to talk about the big difference between FL-18 and LX-3tc it has to be the fine line separation. I did this. With my buddy's FL-18, I took a gem-n-eye and lip hooked a shiner. When I dropped it in 22 FOW I saw one line. I took the very same rig and dropped it in the hole with my Marcum. My buddy fell off his perch(no pun intended)when he saw 2 lines for one rig. THAT'S SEPARATION!

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Thanks for the all great info CNY Tim.

I took the very same rig and dropped it in the hole with my Marcum. My buddy fell off his perch(no pun intended)when he saw 2 lines for one rig. THAT'S SEPARATION!

That is exactly why I love my LX5. I can tell if I have lost the head of a minnow on a Angel Eye in 18' of water so I am not jigging with out any meat on the hook. The separation is that GOOD.

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Just for a non scientific study i did last year on a couple of forums..including this one, here are the results:


This post has been put on 3 differnt forums this week. It is interesting to see what the non scientific results of this post showed: (Approximates)

Over 60 people responded

30 were MarCum users

20 were Vex users

the rest were multiple responders

12 people have switched from Vex to MarCum

2 people switched from MarCum to Vex and it was for quality issues (it broke and that made them mad).

One of the biggest complaints of the MarCum was the increase power. I bet none of them new how that really affected the unit or if it did.

It appeared that the old timers were vex usuers for years and the new or pros were more focused on the marcums. People with multiple units liked both but the marcum was a better unit on the ice.

The bottom line: compare units side by side on the ice and choose for your self what works best. I bet you will be switching to a Marcum unless you are a die hard fan that cannot admit to change. Dont listen to the posts that tell why there unit is the best with out seeing for your self. I have compared side by side and i am happy with my purchase.

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I have and LX 5 and am getting ready to start my 4th season with this unit. Couldn't be happier with it performance. My one buddy has my old LX 3 and I think that is starting it 6th or 7th year only problem with that unit ever has been the transducer which Marcum quickly took care of. Very satisfied.

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Bullwinkled that's because Vexilar blends two colors to make one on the FL-18. MarCum's True color does not blend green and red to make orange on there LX-3 and LX-5's. MarCum colors are distintive for a reason yellow, green and red are much better delivered with three LED's versus two.

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As others have mentioned, the super fine line feature and the target seperation on the LX-5 are amazing. You can tell when you lose the minnow head off your jigging spoon, or when you lose the waxies/euros off your fatboy. You can tell when your minnow is trying to swim and when it's just hanging out on the hook. The detail is pretty amazing.

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The bottom line: compare units side by side on the ice and choose for your self what works best. I bet you will be switching to a Marcum unless you are a die hard fan that cannot admit to change. Dont listen to the posts that tell why there unit is the best with out seeing for your self. I have compared side by side and i am happy with my purchase.

Exactly what Marcum is doing with the Marcum High Power Challenge, bring your Vex, Hummingbird, Ice machine or what ever it may be and put it side by side with Marcum. I think this will be a great opportunity to see the performance difference first hand in a real world setting. Click the link below to see when a on ice challenge will be in a town near you.

Marcum High Power Challenge

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