Ice fishing flashers are an important electronic that is just a portable sonar unit. Utilizing a three color system to gauge depth and movement, the flasher allows the fisherman to estimate what’s going on underneath the ice.
Picking the best ice fishing flasher can be a tricky task, as there’s quite few units out there on the market. Do you go Marcum, Humminbird, Vexilar, or another brand?
The following buyers guide and three reviews will supply you with what you need to know to add to your ice fishing gear.
As with many other ice fishing accessories, choosing a unit that is lightweight and portable is key to an enjoyable fishing experience.
You don’t want to lug what feels like a cement block through the snow and ice along with your ice auger and other equipment.
Picking a lightweight unit, with a small but powerful battery will help solve this problem.
Finding a unit that has a depth range for the locale you’ll be fishing is important, as well as an interference rejection option to reduce interference from other flasher units.
A zoom option allows you to focus on a specific section so you get a better detailed image of what the jig and fish are doing.
Ease of use and how easily read the display is are musts for the best flasher.
Finally, cost will determine a lot, as many flashers are in the $200 and plus range.
So, researching about each flasher and if it will suit your ice fishing needs is crucial.
Interference rejection, depth length, dimensions, weight, gain controls sonar signal.
1. Humminbird ICE-55 Six Color Flasher with LCD
The Humminbird ICE-55 has a 200 foot depth capability, a unique 6-color fiber optic display with LCD center, and a 14.6 pound weight.
The unit has dimensions of 13.5 x 12.3 x 8.1 inches, so it’s fairly large compared to other models.
One Amazon reviewer mentions how big the display is compared to other flasher units, and how easier it made fishing.
A carrying case is supplied with the model, and it’s made of nylon with brackets for the head unit and battery.
Many Amazon reviewers remark how useful the backlight is in low light conditions.
A zoom option is available, as well as a dual frequency capability. Gain is adjustable from 0-50, so this model offers a lot of variation for the transducer’s signal.
Several Amazon reviewers note the ICE-55 has a very long battery life as well.
2. Marcum VX-1i Sonar Flasher System, Red/Black
The MarCum VX-1 Pro features 1,000 watts of power, a 12-volt 7 amp rechargeable battery, and a sleek, soft and protective carry pack.
Compared to the Hummingbirds weight, the MarCum is almost a third lighter.
Dimensions of the MarCum are smaller as well, being 9.2 x 10.2 x 8.5 inches, making this unit very lightweight and easily portable.
The manufacturer notes a patented 10-level interference rejection to keep your signal clean and clear, and an impressive 2 inch target separation.
Like the Hummingbird, the MarCum VX-1 Pro offers a vital zoom feature when you’ve found your ideal location.
This product only has a 20-degree transducer, unlike the Hummingbirds dual transducer option.
Many Amazon reviewers remark how easy this unit is to use, and how the battery life performs as advertised.
Some Amazon reviewers do note that the extra cable is a bit unwieldy and cumbersome to use, so keep that in mind.
3.Vexilar Fl-8se Genz Pack Ice Flasher
With a blue casing, and black function board, and a weather-proof case make the Vexilar FL-8SE ready for the ice.
The manufacturer notes the base as being able to fit on a five gallon bucket for easy set up, and an easily accessed semi-enclosed battery compartment.
Boasting a 1 inch target separation, this is a step up over both the Marcum and the Hummingbird that only offer a 2 inch target separation.
The Vexilar has a typical three-color LED display, and offers six depth ranges: 20, 30, 40, 60, 80, and 120 feet.
This unit has a lower depth range than Hummingbird.
Vexilar doesn’t note the product’s weight in their description, but the dimensions are 11 x 9.5 x 8.5 inches.
This is just a tad smaller than the Marcum unit, and much smaller than the Humminbird unit.
One Amazon reviewer noted they had some interference issues if more than one unit is nearby.
Some say deciding on a fish finder can be a matter of brand name preference over functionality, but comparing the Humminbird ICE-55, Marcum VX-1 Pro, and Vexilar FL-8se shows that they are quite different in functionality and design.