So the last 34 years, I have gone without electronics (of my own anyway) for ice fishing. This year, I dropped a group of cash on a Vexilar FL-18. Kind of an impulse buy, but long overdue none the less. It isn't here yet, but my question is, how reliable are these things shooting THROUGH the ice? I recall seeing people with transducers sitting on top of the ice (snow cleared obviously) and turned on. I know they make the through hull transducers, so I'm thinking a through the ice shot isn't impossible, and would make "scouting" loads easier.
Additionally, once I have this thing and there is hardwater to be fished, are they pretty self explanatory for use? Nothing like buying something you have no idea how to use, but reading some of these posts over the last couple of years, I felt compelled to purchase one (while the wife was out of town of course!).
Thanks for any help!