Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

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Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

Postby Dewey » Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:15 pm

I have been away from ice fishing for about 5 years and kinda lost touch with some of the new gear so I'm gonna try to get back out again this year in between deer scouting trips. I already have all the gear needed as I have ice fished for the previous 30+ years. Looking to purchase one of the new flashers to add to my gear.

My question what are the best ones out there right now? I have my eyes on the Humminbird Ice 55 and also the new Helix series which has GPS and allows Lakemaster Chips.

http://anglingbuzz.com/new-ice-fishing- ... nics-2017/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gK2NUrJl2cU

I rigged up my boat with Humminbird electronics and love them so I'm very familiar with them and already have Lakemaster chips. Having said that I'm still open to other suggestions knowing that Vexilar and Marcum also make good units. Thinking maybe GPS and lake chips are overkill but have found how valuable they are on open water so really have my attention.

Let's hear your thoughts on this. What do you have and how do you like it?


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Re: Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

Postby Lockdown » Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:32 pm

Not sure if gps on the unit itself is super important when u can just use an app on your phone, but that's personal preference I guess.

I have a marcum lx-3 and love it. Comes with a carrying case and more functions than the equivalent vexilar. Bought several yrs ago so the newer models may have changed.

I especially like the adjustable zoom function. You can set it to view either 5 ft or 10 ft of the water table and adjust it vertically. Your flasher screen will split so the left half is your zoom and other half is surface to bottom. Awesome feature. Can adjust it for suspended crappies and such.

My old roommate suggested Marcum. He's a VERY serious fisherman and has won walleye tournaments before. I love mine and would buy another in a heart beat.

The other thing I like about Marcums over Vex is the lines on the flasher are thinner and more defined. Nothing major but makes it easier to read IMO.
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Re: Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

Postby Dewey » Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:41 pm

Been doing some research. This article is very helpful.

http://www.onthewater.com/ice-fishing-electronics/
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Re: Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

Postby BigHunt » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:52 pm

i have 3 Marcum's ...lx 5, LX 7, and a Marcum underwater camera...hands down the best units out there. Marcum also came out with a new set up this year. my buddy has it and it is awesome!

ive fished with a few different vexliars before ...doesn't even compare to Marcum IMO
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Re: Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

Postby Jonny » Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:18 am

All depends on where you want to fish and what you are fishing for. I have never really found a need for anything more than a flasher. All that being said, I like my marcum lx 3 flasher, its vexilar equivalent in terms of specs was about $75 more when I got mine 5-7 years ago. My only gripe with my marcum was I blew the motor out the second year. Marcum fixed it and all I was charged for was shipping to minnesota. It was a common problem on the year model I got.

Buying a locator is a lot like buying a bow. Lots get the job done and in the end it all depends on the person using it. Using a marcum for years, using a vexilar sucks. My dad has a vexilar and hates using my marcum. You just get used to what you stare at all day.

That being said, I think the only bad humminbird flasher I know of is the 35. Couple guys I know had some issues with them. The 45 and 55 from my understanding were very good. I personally never used humminbird but if you are used to it, then that's what I would suggest sticking to.

I use navionics phone app and it works well. I don't like the gps on it personally, it works but I just like my handheld better. If you get the phone app, buy an external battery charger from amazon for like $20-25 and carry it with you. The cold weather plus that app will drain your battery like no other. The battery charger works great out hunting as well, I just covered mine in stealth strips cause it was white as snow.

I also only use my locator when fishing walleyes or I am deeper than 10 feet and the bite is slower. For panfish less than 10 feet or I am on a good bite the locator costs me fish.
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Re: Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

Postby Edcyclopedia » Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:44 am

Are these the ozonics or trail cameras of fishing?

Hmmm? :think:
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Re: Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

Postby matt1336 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:16 am

I have a fl12 from vex. It does everything i need it to do. It work with perch/panfish in 25' of water and the Winnebago system in 8-9' for walleye/whitebass/crappie...whatever. There are really no bells and whistles on this unit, but I don't need them for what I do. Dewey- it looks like you're looking more high end. If I had to choose any unit out there- I'd take a hard look at the new marcum- lx-9. GPS,camera and sonar in vertical and circular display. All digital. I think they design it to work in open water too. That thing looks awesome. But for $1200 it better be.
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Re: Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

Postby DEERSLAYER » Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:25 pm

I think you already have what you need for a unit Dewey. I would just get an ice ducer for about $70 and build your own case to house everything. Then take the money you save on buying an additional unit and get the Autochart Pro software to make your own custom hydrographic maps during the summer. Having a good lake map would be great. It's amazing how inaccurate the maps you can buy are sometimes despite many claims and I would think that in most cases the added precision of your own custom created maps would make a significant difference. I think you would come out ahead in the long run. Just something to think about.

If I was going to get a flasher I would probably get the Ice 55 just because I'm familiar with Humminbird, a freind has one (not sure if it's the 55 though) and says it's awesome. Otherwise I would look into Marcum.

BTW, how do you like your new Helix 9?
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Re: Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

Postby Dewey » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:40 pm

DEERSLAYER wrote:I think you already have what you need for a unit Dewey. I would just get an ice ducer for about $70 and build your own case to house everything. Then take the money you save on buying an additional unit and get the Autochart Pro software to make your own custom hydrographic maps during the summer. Having a good lake map would be great. It's amazing how inaccurate the maps you can buy are sometimes despite many claims and I would think that in most cases the added precision of your own custom created maps would make a significant difference. I think you would come out ahead in the long run. Just something to think about.

If I was going to get a flasher I would probably get the Ice 55 just because I'm familiar with Humminbird, a freind has one (not sure if it's the 55 though) and says it's awesome. Otherwise I would look into Marcum.

BTW, how do you like your new Helix 9?

Love my Helix 9 in my boat with the Lakemaster chip and combined with Autopilot Link on my Minn Kota is awesome. The way they work together is amazing.

I have been thinking about replacing my bow mount unit with a Helix 7 so that is why I was looking at the new Humminbird I mentioned above. Thought it could work double duty in my boat on open water and on the ice in the winter so your thoughts on putting together the kit has already run thru my mind. If I did buy the Helix 7 kit above I could just pull out the unit and plug in my boat for open water.

A dedicated flasher obviously would be less hassle and probably all I likely need for ice fishing. Not sure what I'm going to do yet but willing to listen to all options.
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Re: Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

Postby Dewey » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:27 am

Edcyclopedia wrote:Are these the ozonics or trail cameras of fishing?

Hmmm? :think:

Unlike Ozonics these units actually work. ;)

Us fishermen are already cheating by using bait. :lol:
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Re: Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

Postby DEERSLAYER » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:27 pm

Do you have AutoChart or AutoChart Live so you can make your own maps?

BTW, sometimes it takes a while before the site will let me reply.
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Re: Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

Postby Hodag Hunter » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:28 am

Use the graph off the front of your boat....buy the helix 7 if you don't have it. (If I understand correctly)

The huge advantage is having your way points marked in open water now on the ice. The flasher mode on the helix is OK for jigging, you can dial a vexlar in better. If you get serious buy a dedicated ice flasher unit down the road.

I run helix 10s all around my boat so that's a little large to take on the ice, so I can't say I've run helixs on the ice. I have an older 788i that is on my smaller boat that I take on the ice. Bought an ice ducer and placed in a small soft sided cooler with a mount for a vexlar battery and small underwater camera. Also have a mount hot wired on the wheeler if I want it mounted when driving to drill holes.

Don't get hung up on map chips. They are OK for general feel but you need to be dead accurate with ice holes. Even with your way points you may be 10' off and have to drill a couple holes to hit the spot on the spot.

Just like deer hunting, scouting during open water season is invaluable for ice fishing. Without it, you'll just be following the masses. We know that's not how you are hunting, why do that fishing?

Good luck.
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Re: Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

Postby Hodag Hunter » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:48 am

Trying to post a picture of a piece of structure I mapped running autochart vs the map chip but photo bucket is on the fritz. Will try later today or tomorrow.
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Re: Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

Postby Dewey » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:36 am

DEERSLAYER wrote:Do you have AutoChart or AutoChart Live so you can make your own maps?

BTW, sometimes it takes a while before the site will let me reply.

I do have Auto Chart Live on my Helix 9 but haven't utilized that option yet.
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Re: Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

Postby Dewey » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:07 am

Hodag Hunter wrote:Use the graph off the front of your boat....buy the helix 7 if you don't have it. (If I understand correctly)

The huge advantage is having your way points marked in open water now on the ice. The flasher mode on the helix is OK for jigging, you can dial a vexlar in better. If you get serious buy a dedicated ice flasher unit down the road.

I run helix 10s all around my boat so that's a little large to take on the ice, so I can't say I've run helixs on the ice. I have an older 788i that is on my smaller boat that I take on the ice. Bought an ice ducer and placed in a small soft sided cooler with a mount for a vexlar battery and small underwater camera. Also have a mount hot wired on the wheeler if I want it mounted when driving to drill holes.

Don't get hung up on map chips. They are OK for general feel but you need to be dead accurate with ice holes. Even with your way points you may be 10' off and have to drill a couple holes to hit the spot on the spot.

Just like deer hunting, scouting during open water season is invaluable for ice fishing. Without it, you'll just be following the masses. We know that's not how you are hunting, why do that fishing?

Good luck.

All very good points.

I guess that was a concern I had was how good is the flasher mode on the Helix? Sounds like dedicated flasher units are better but if the difference is minimal going with the Helix 7 sonar/GPS is a no-brainer.

I contacted Humminbird to ask if the Ice Helix 7 unit is easy enough remove from the ice box and if that unit has the same exact functionality of the open water unit. From what I understand the LCD screen has internal heating elements to prevent freeze up in extreme cold weather. Haven't heard back from them yet but if anybody has info on this let me know. I also understand the Ice Helix 5 and 7 are brand new so nobody probably owns one yet or if they do haven't used it much so far this year. If they are the same as the open water version I have experience with my Helix 9 for the past year already so completely understand the function of it.

I'm not against buying a seperate flasher for ice fishing and the Helix 7 unit for the front of my boat. Like I said earlier the GPS and sonar in addition to the flasher option in one unit really caught my eye so thought I could kill 2 birds with one stone if possible.

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