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Thread: Vexilar Flasher question

  1. #1
    Member arcticat500's Avatar
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    Default Vexilar Flasher question

    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!
    Although some can call it Catchin', I still have to call it fishin'.

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    I use my Marcum to shoot through the ice all the time.
    You need good clear ice (no air or slush pockets) and a bottle with water in it.
    Clear the snow off the ice put your transducer on the ice, turn on your machine and pour a couple of ounces of water around your transducer to make a good acoustical connection between the transducer and ice and adjust your sensitivity until you can read bottom.
    I routinely shoot through 5 feet of clear ice late in the season without problems.
    It saves a ton of work drilling and lets you know if an area is shallow so you don't drill into the bottom.
    I have even marked fish through the ice.

  3. #3
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Congrats on a great Purchase!

    Yeah what Dave said pour a little water on the ice to couple the transducer to the ice. And it has to be clear ice.
    One of the biggest mistakes people make is to turn their gain too high. Then they see every little bug,microorganism,or whatnot in the water.
    They are really pretty simple. Turn it on and turn the depth setting until you get a bottom reading.If it fails to show the bottom you need to use a deeper setting. You then read the colored circle that coresponds to your depth setting to know your depth and that of your lure. Then after dropping your lure set the gain so your lure is just a thin green line. You want the gain as low as possible and still be able to see your lure. If fishing a fairly large lure in shallower water(Pike fishing for instance) it may not be possible to set the gain low enough so your lure is a thin green line.It may be orange or red. That's ok it will still work fine.
    Fish will show up as wider colored lines. Green is a small fish/Fry or a fish on the edge of the transducers cone. orange is a bigger fish or one closer to the center of the cone. Red is a bigger fish or one in the center of the cone. The cone is the area projected by your transducer into the water.
    When you see a fish enter the screen see how it reacts to your jig/jigging motion. If it is at a different depth than you raise/lower your jig/bait to the level of the fish.
    If you get no response or bites raise it up as if it is trying to get away. often times they will chase it and hit it.
    If you bought your unit new It should have come with a good video that explains it all.
    My FL20 did and it was a big help.
    Any more questions just ask.
    last year I found out I knew tons more about them than the guy from Sportsmans Warehouse and I am sure others like Drifter probably do too. I must have spent 1/2 hour or more explaining to the guy in charge of icefishing dept what 1/2 his stuff was and the basics on how to use it. We just don't have as much Participation in icefishing in AK as they do in the midwest. With more and more people getting involved the techniques and technologies will follow.
    I grew up in MN and thats where I caught the icefishing bug.
    I think the sheer number of Iceanglers in the midwest and there gear and tactics would shock most Alaskans!
    I have yet to see an ice shanty in Alaska with a working satellite dish!
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

  4. #4
    Member arcticat500's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info fellas. I'm from the Michigan (U.P.) originally, and that is where I caught the hardwater habit! And your right, I haven't seen any shacks with satellite up here...yet! I did see one wired overhead from a nearby house, but that was also the only "permanent" shack I've seen up here. I've spent too much time lately drilling holes to find that it isn't the depth range I was looking for. Which led me to purchase the gas auger last year. This helped tremendously, but I'm thinking the flasher is really going to get me on the spots I'm looking for without all the labor! Now when you adjust to the bottom depth, I'm assuming there is going to be varied colors depicting weed bed/soft bottom/hard bottom? Like the green, orange, red respectively. I did buy it new, and chomping at the bit waiting for it to get here!
    Although some can call it Catchin', I still have to call it fishin'.

  5. #5
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    There is no color difference to determine bottom type. It will always be red.
    You can use the width of the bottom line and the presence of a second bottom line to help determine bottom type but this is a technique I have yet to master.
    weed beds will show up as colored lines as well and watching the video that Vexilar sends with their products will help you determine this kind of stuff.
    Once you watch the video and spend a little time on the ice with your unit it will become second nature to use and fine tune it.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

  6. #6
    Member gutleap's Avatar
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    I bought an FL-18 last year and I will never ice fish without electronics again. I absolutely love it. It allows you to see the fish at the different depths as well as the baitfish. I especially love it for ice fishing on harding lake. That is a tough lake to fish and I can not imagine trying without electronics. It would be like fishing blind. Anyway, you are going to love your new investment and will wonder why you would ever ice fish without one.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    I have yet to see an ice shanty in Alaska with a working satellite dish!
    Have you heard about the "Igoo" on Lake of the Woods? Restaurant and bar on the lake. Holes are drilled inside and you can rent them for $5 an hour. Watch a football game, eat a burger and jig up a 28" walleye. That's livin'.

  8. #8
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcman View Post
    Have you heard about the "Igoo" on Lake of the Woods? Restaurant and bar on the lake. Holes are drilled inside and you can rent them for $5 an hour. Watch a football game, eat a burger and jig up a 28" walleye. That's livin'.
    Sounds like fun But no I have not heard of that one.
    Saw an article in the newspaper when I lived in MN about one fisherman who had too much money. He bought a fullsize trailer house and took it to a custom shop and told them to make it all work. Needed pretty thick ice to set it up but Mille Lacs where he had it usually has several small towns on the ice anyway. I read that you could even catch a waleye via a hole in the floor while using the toilet.
    had satellite tv and working stove, microwave ,etc. I am guessing they had to install holding tanks for the freshwater and the wastewater.

    Mille Lacs and some other big lakes in the midwest have towns on the ice with street signs and stores. Heck you just walk down perch St. to walleye Ave. and stop at the bait shop when you run out of minnows and beer.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    There is no color difference to determine bottom type. It will always be red.
    You can use the width of the bottom line and the presence of a second bottom line to help determine bottom type but this is a technique I have yet to master.
    weed beds will show up as colored lines as well and watching the video that Vexilar sends with their products will help you determine this kind of stuff.
    Once you watch the video and spend a little time on the ice with your unit it will become second nature to use and fine tune it.
    "The bottom will appear as a wide mark of all colors. The width of the bottom and the color content depend upon what type of bottom you are over". (This according to Vexilar.) I can tell some about the bottom by messing with my gain but seems to me it was always red. Just thicker or thiner. Of course I've slept since then....so I could be wrong. Anyway, your going to love using your flasher!
    "If your not the lead dog.... the view never changes"

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