: Vexilar FL-18 vs. Marcum Flasher...Which Is Better???
12-07-2002, 10:22 PM
Fire Fighter needs some help...
Trying to decide which flasher is better. I know most of the technical facts, but haven't talked to anyone who has used them on the water/ice. A salesman said the Marcum's processor is pretty high tech and therefor doesn't need to have a switch to reduce the power for shallow water situations (the processor interprets the depth and all you have to do is change the gain), but the FL-18 needs a switch for these shallow fishing situations. Any other tidbits???
Please give me some info on these units. I want to buy one of them soon for this winter, since I will be on Waubay Lake and other NE South Dakota lakes hard and heavy...so, need to hear from you experts (real guys on the ice who use these systems).
Thanks a bunch and I love all your info on the message boards.
May God bless you and yours.
12-07-2002, 11:42 PM
I had my fl-8 for many years and have used the thing lots. The system used to base the 18 on is extremely solid... Now - the company has improved the unit. Look at it this way - there is a huge variety of accessories available for the vexilar so that YOU can tweak this unit until it is simply the top of the line at whatever ice fishing you will use it for. I have my 18 ordered and have sold my fl-8 because I can see the advantages it offers. That said it is also outstanding for use in the summer on the boat. You won't regret your purchase of the 18. I'm sure the MarCum will be a good unit too, I still firmly believe you cannot beat the base laid down by the years of building and advancing and building and advancing the fl-8. My 2 cents, Chuckles
Actually, Marcum Technologies origionally designed the Colorpoint flasher for Zercom. Zercom chose not to use all the features that were designed into the flasher so limited what the Colorpoint would do. When Zercom was obsorbed into Humminbird they decided to discontinue the Colorpoint and so Marcum bought the right to sell the technology. They improved the product and have released it as the LX-3. The company also makes the OVS underwater video systems that are very popular. The LX-3 is interesting because of many of the features it has. It has four modes, 20', 40', 80', and 160'. It has a target seperation of 2.5" which is the same as the Vexilar. It has a variable zoom that allows you to move the zoom from the bottom to the top of the water column allowing you to zoom in on suspending fish. In 20' and 40' modes it is a 5' or 10' zoom window. In the 80' mode it is a 10' to 20' zoom. In the 160' mode it is a 20' to 40' zoom. When using the zoom feature target seperation is decreased to 1". This fishfinder also has multilevel interference rejection allowing you to turn the rejection up or down. This is usefull when other fishfinders are nearby to reduce or elliminate interference while still allowing this to be turned down when no interference is nearby to allow better performance. All of this is available at their website at:
I am not saying this is better or worse than the Vexilars but it deffinately sounds interesting and I know the colorpoint was a good flasher.
12-08-2002, 09:31 AM
With the MarCum unit just out, there is very little info on it yet. There is some discussion starting on it though. Check this out http://fishingminnesota.com/cgi-bin/forums/forumdisplay.cgi?action=topics&forum=Equipment-Expert+Information&number=9&DaysPrune=60&LastLogin=
I just got a Marcum, and have had it out a few times. So far, I'm pretty impressed. I've had Zercom flashers since the Clearwater Classic came out so I was inclined to check them out, and I think I made a good choice. Was able to see a single maggot on a tiny ice fly at minimal power setting, and after getting used to how things look, had get a pretty good handle on what I was seeing on the screen. Could pretty easily judge fish size by the return on screen. The display is different than a Vex, and to me more readable since it's all thin lines. A sunfish or small perch coming in was a thin yellow line, but a crappie would have a hairline width of red in the middle of the orange band. Very cool. Also, no interference from FL-8s and 18s nearby. I got the soft pack with it, and it comes with a battery monitor and charging system, so to recharge it you just plug it in and forget about it. I'm pretty good at forgetting a battery's on the charger so good for morons like me with a history of cooking batteries...
All in all, I'm very pleased so far.
i have a vexilar fl-18. have only used it about a week now so not an expert by any means. you have to look preety hard to find people that really liked the old zercom color point. you can find millions that swear by their fl-8s. i would never plop down $400 bucks and bet the new unit was going to be any better when vexilars have been so fool proof. i can tell you this however, the fl-18 is not for beginners. this is one high tech unit. if your not experienced with flashers you can get a used fl-8 cheap now because everyone is switching. if you dont have an fl-8 then the extra $100 bucks is probably worth it but im not sure i would give away a fl-8 and spend the big bucks on the 18. another couple of weeks might give me a different opinion.
Sounds like you're having trouble reading the F-18. As a new F-18 owner who never owned an F-8 and has no basis for comparison, what problems should I be looking out for? I can tune it down to a green line for the lure and with the one fish I caught using it, when the line turned to orange and then red, I set the hook and up came a 12"perch, it seems to be working OK.
Anyway, I would appreciate your input.
12-09-2002, 02:40 PM
Have spent 4 solids days on LOW with my FL18 and man does it work good! The Fl-8 is great. The FL-18 is fantastic. I saw fish belly to the bottom in AZ Mode that I could never see before. The weirdest part was to think in inches instead of feet. It actually makes you take real close attention to how much action you put on your lure and how high you're really jigging. If I saw a fish come to my lure 9 times out of ten it was on it. Also, with the split screen, I picked up two eyes over 6# and lost two that were only 10 ft. down in 22 Ft. of water. Don't forget to watch both sides guys! See fish. Crank up jig. Catch fish.Had I only focused on that bottom 6 ft. I would have missed a couple real nice ones. Also, I thought I had a good gage on sizing em' up when they came on the screen before with my Fl-8. now I can litorally tell the difference between a 10'er and a 2#er (boxers)most of the time. Definately glad I made the switch..
12-10-2002, 12:37 PM
i have an fl 18 and an fl 8
i used a lx3 last weekend the only complaint i have is that with 1500 watts of power my buddies were complaining about interfearance it seams that the clearwater classic is no good within about 50' or so
i had to let my buddie use my 18 so he could fish
all in all i guess it depends on if you drive a ford or chevy i did like the moveable zoom but the auto zoom on the 18 is nice too
12-25-2002, 10:52 AM
Since I posted this message, I bought a Marcun LX-3 and I can't say enough great things about it. I love the movable zoom and its thin line technology. The salesman in Cabelas that I bought it from says he owned both the FL-8 and FL-18 and he sold both of them once he used his new Marcum LX-3 over one weekend. Enough said I believe. Looks like Vexilar has to move over and make way for the new ice flasher champ. Thanks for all your input.
12-25-2002, 04:56 PM
I have been watching this post with interest. Hopfully it works good for you. I hope it gives you as good service as my Vex has. Its going on it's 8th year and still works like the day I bought it.
12-25-2002, 07:51 PM
Hey perchjerker you apparently have the FL-8 do you use the unit on the ice and in a boat in the summer time? The reason I am asking is Ive been thinking about one my self but I would like to use it for open water and hard water. Have any suggestions? I see on vexilars web page you can by the reconditioned units with a 1 year warrenty for $199.00 not a bad price. I think you would have to by a transducer for ice fishing on top of that price but not sure. thanks for the advice in advance!!!!!!! Larry
12-26-2002, 06:09 AM
I use a X70-A on my bowmount. In my style of fishing I rarely fish from the bow. I have heard of people doing this and liking it, though. As far as the transducer on the unit on the vex site, it looks like you can choose any trasducer you want.
12-26-2002, 09:11 AM
ya know,..everyone talks about how they love their vex and how well its treated them, and I won't argue the point because I'm sure its a great unit but as a colorpoint user who also never had a problem also with the unit,.are we preaching to the converted? I guess I'm wondering why there always seems to be a lot of factory reconditioned Vexilars for sale? Not trying to start a fight between vexilar and Marcums but I don't see Zercoms( Marcums) recons for sale,..now, maybe they just don't recondition their units,..many electronic companies just can the bad ones,..but just a thought.
12-26-2002, 04:40 PM
I like reconditioned items. In fact, I search them out. My computer, my Minn Kota Autopilot, vaccum sealer, cd player are just a few that come to mind. I guess my view on them is if a manufacturer is willing to fix something up, sell it for a discount with a warranty its probably not that bad of a product to begin with.
As far as the Marcum vs Vexilar debate, Im sure Marcums are fine units, all I can comment on is my experience with Vexilar.
12-31-2002, 09:43 PM
Right now I have both. I recently received a Marcum Flasher as a demo. Here's what I've found:
1. The Marcum package includes a beautiful nylon case that holds all parts of the unit and is great for transportion. The Marcum seems to have a nicer charging system. On the other hand, mobility means a lot to me and I like the capability of putting the Vexilar in a bucket. The Marcum unit is a little big for that. The Marcum unit also uses an arm rather than a floating transducer system found on the Vexilar.
2. The Marcum allows the unit's zoom to be moved up in increments based on the depth. The Vexilar only allows the zoom on the bottom 6 feet. To the Vexilar's advantage is that at different depths you still zoom the bottom 6 feet. Whereas, the Marcum unit's zoom range increases with the depth. But, the Vexilar's zoom can't be moved up the depth range for fish that may suspend higher than 6 feet of the bottom.
3. Both units have IR for when multiple units are being used in an area. Living on a rather busy lake, this means everything to me. I can not stand to have a unit that shows constant interference. This is where the Vexilar unit has shined. In rocky areas with multiple units nearby, I have not been able to get the screen to clear up on the Marcum. The Vexilar has worked flawless in these circumstances.
So, as a perch and walleye fisherman, my opinion is that the Vexilar is still superior. The fish I fish are on or near the bottom. The variable zoom means little to me and I'd rather have a 6 foot bottom at all depths than one that increases higher as I go deeper. Being from ND, our perch tend to draw crowds. The IR to me is one of the most important features. The Marcum needs work in this area. I have to say the Marcum is by far superior to the old Colorpoint, but it still has a way to go before it can take on the Vexilar FL-18. Keep in mind, this is only one fisherman's opinion. You need to look at how you fish and what features are important to you...
10-26-2009, 06:22 PM
i have been ice fishing when the only way you could make a holoe in the ice was with a ice spud, then came the spoon ice auger, then the straight blade mora's, what a break through in technology that was, then came the new curved bladed augers, another major break through, and in between all this came the gas powered augers, the kind that send panfish scattering, also there was the electric augers, i had one of the firswt ones with the old straight mora blades, slow, but beat the hand drills we had at the time, i coulod not wear that thing out, i sold it and bought a new one, this one cuts twice as fast, it is powerful, but it also weighs twice as much, but i will deal with that for the extra power.
now we come to ice locators, i had one of the first flashers ever made, it was a heath kit, you built them yourself, it did not work very well, from there i had a couple of early liquid crystal graphs, they were ok, as long as you coulod keep them in your shack with heat on the graph. from there i bought a zercom flasher, it was not very powerfull, i fish perch mostly, and when you got into water over 20ft, you might as well shut the thing off, it would not register. then came a flasher, i cannot remeber the name of it, but it is now the vexilar, i bought the second generation of the first flasher, and at that time it was called a hondex fl8, i have had it for about 25 years, i have had no problems at all with it, it has hundreds maybe eve nthousands of hours on it, still works as good as the day i bought it, the one thing it has all over the newer flashers, it has a alarm on it, in case one doses off, if a fish goes by it lets you know. the hondex has a weak bulb, always did, hard to see in the sunlight, that is the main reason i bought the new fl8, much brighter bulb, i don't know if i could send the old one in for a bulb upgrade or not, i use it in my tent, eaiser to see then.. if you have any comments, you could email me email@example.com