The best ice fishing flasher for the money reviews has always been a heavily debated topic amongst the fishing community. The art of fishing is a game of patience and strategy. However, you don’t have to wait for the perfect weather to start casting with the right fishing flasher.
For example, when a fish is moving towards your jig, the line that would be a thin, green line would turn yellow or red and get thicker (refer to this link to find out more about the colors, size of the lines, and what they mean). To get even more into depth about how to read a fish flasher, check out this video to help you understand more. Take a look at the article as well, as he clearly explains what’s the best ice fishing fish finder and flasher in detail.
What is a Fish Flasher?
A fish flasher is basically a portable sonar unit that fishermen use to scout for where the fish are. This is very convenient for people who are trying to fish during bad weather, which makes a fish flasher perfect for ice fishing. Generally, this is your best way to see what is under the water.
You get to see everything you need to know about your jig using a fish flasher. You will be able to observe the location of your jig in the water and where the fish is. The color on the device will also change.
How Does a Fish Flasher and Fish Finder Work?
A fish flasher and a fish finder do their job by using sonar impulses. When you place it in the water, it will emit the sonar impulses into the water and whatever it hits, such as fish, will be reflected back to the item. This nifty device will then calculate the distance of the object by judging it on how long the sonar impulses took to reflect back to the device itself.
The range of the sonar beams would generally be in a cone shape. Most fish flashers and fish finders estimate the depth by about what a third of the actual depth is. So, if you were to be in around 21 feet of water, your cone would be about 7 feet in diameter more or less.
What’s the Difference Between an Ice Fishing Fish Finder vs a Fish Flasher?
A fish flasher is basically a type of fish finder. The main difference between a fish finder and a fish flasher would be that the fish flasher shows you the information differently than a fish finder. Additionally, a fish flasher allows you to know where your jig is positioned, unlike the fish finder.
Generally, if you are about to go ice fishing, a fish finder would work just fine. However, a fish flasher would allow you to have more success because you can see where your jig and the fish are. They are also designed to suit harsher temperatures, making them the more ideal choice for ice fishing.
Which fish finder is for ice fishing and open water?
Most fish finders and flashers will allow you to use them for both ice fishing and for open water, however, some may work better than others. For example, some people enjoyed using the Lowrance X67C, as it has both graph and flasher modes. That way, you can switch modes easily from ice to open water.
What is the best ice fishing fish finder or flasher?
The best ice fishing fish finder or flasher would completely depend on your preference and needs. You might want something portable and doesn’t consume that much battery power. However, you might also want one that is affordable yet still effective. For example, the Humminbird ICE-55 Six Color Flasher with LCD is on the pricier side, however, some people enjoy the accuracy and detail of this product.
The HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder with HD Color Virtuview Display is a good option for those on a budget. You get a nice screen that shows you where the fish are located and it’s small enough to fit in your hand. There’s even an ice-mode to help you get more accurate readings, however, the biggest con that comes with this item is its short battery life.
Choosing the Right Fish Flasher and Finder
Choosing the perfect fish finder and flasher for ice fishing may feel like a trial and error process for most anglers. Thankfully, you don’t have to go through that process. Here’s a list of the top 5 best ice fishing flasher 2018.
1. Marcum LX-7 Ice Fishing Sonar System/Fishfinder – LX-7
The Marcum LX 7 is worth the price is given that you know how to use it properly because it can help you catch a lot of fish if done right. It can be manually set to reach depths of up to 300 feet. It allows you to find fish in the area quite easily and you can go to your favorite fishing areas by checking out your previous data. The Marcum LX 7 boasts an 8 inch LCD display and you can even choose from four color palettes.
The Marcum LX 7 is one of the great choices you can make because of the depths that it can range for sneaky fish that are hiding while you are ice fishing. It offers quick response time and detects movement with no issues. However, you cannot put a lake link card inside of it because those cards are meant for ice fishing GPS units, so the fish finder will have no use for it.
- Night Screen Option and High Brightness Setting
- Large 8 Inch LCD Display
- Good Battery Life
- Silent Operation
- Water may get inside the screen
- Possible Freezing of Screen
- Wires may be loose
Lowrance Elite-5 Combo Ice Machine w/PPP-18I Kit
The Lowrance Elite-5 Combo Ice Machine has made it to the top 5 fish flashers and fish finders for very good reasons. At a good price, you can get great sonar coverage that can reach depths as deep as 1000 feet, which you the upper hand for ice fishing to find more fish. It allows the user to use a split screen flasher mode as well to make the most out of this item.
This item is a great choice for battery life, however, there’s also a downside to this. The Lowrance Elite-5 Combo Ice Machine can hold two of the 12 VDC 7A sealed batteries, which are very large and heavy which can make it difficult to move around. However, if you can get past that you will be able to get the benefits of the long battery life.
- Super Bright, 5 Inch Display
- Strong 200 kHz operation
- Sonar Coverage of up to 1000 feet
- Long Battery Life
- Requires Large, Heavy Batteries
Vexilar GP1812 FL-18 Genz Pack 12 Degree Ice-Ducer
The Vexilar GP1812 FL-18 Genz Pack 12 Degree Ice-Ducer is one of the most loved fish flasher and finders on the market. One of the most interesting features that this product has to offer is its “lock feature” called the bottom lock feature which is where you can lock the device when it is at the bottom. That way, the movement of the waves won’t get in the way.
It’s a very sturdy device that is specifically made to fit on the top of five-gallon buckets, making this extremely portable. It is also very user friendly, making it great for both newbies and seasoned anglers. It also has a good battery life and the battery is compact as well.
- Bright and Solid Display
- Bottom Lock Feature
- Slightly Pricey
Garmin 010-01552-10 Striker 5 Ice Fishing Bundle, 5 inches
The Garmin 010-01552-10 STRIKER is a good unit for those who want something that is more affordable and does the job. It’s a great choice, especially if you want to see how you like ice fishing for the first time making it one of the best entry level ice fishing flashers. It’s very easy to set up, install, and to move around. It also has a decent battery life which can range from about 10-12 hours depending on your settings and usage.
The unit accurately tells you where the fish are, however it may have a one second delay or lag occasionally. You cannot place a microSD card in or see charts. However, if you want the best of the basics at an affordable price, this is pretty hard to beat.
- High-Sensitivity GPS
- Easy to Install
- Decent Battery life
- Occasional Screen Lag
- No MicroSD Card Reader
- No Charts
Humminbird 410430-1 ICE Helix 5 Chirp Sonar GPS G2 Fishfinder
If you want a fish finder that can switch between ice fishing and summer fishing easily, then you might want to opt for the Humminbird ICE Helix 5 CHIRP GPS G2. Not one of your regular best ice fishing fish finders, it also functions as a chart plotter. It can also reach depths of up to 1500 ft with the transducer.
A good, mid-range price unit, the Humminbird ICE Helix 5 CHIRP GPS G2 is pretty easy to install and set-up. It’s also a good investment since it has the upgradeable software.
- Built-in Charts
- Bottom Lock Feature
- Real Time Sonar
- Precision GPS
- No Cover for the Unit
Fish Finder Comparison
|Marcum LX-7||Lowrance Elite-5 Combo Ice Machine||Vexilar FL-18||Garmin Striker 5||
Humminbird ICE Helix 5 CHIRP GPS G2
|1000 ft.||300 ft. in the custom deep model||1,900 ft.||
11 x 11 x 11.5 in
|16 x 12 x 9 in||8.8 x 11 x 9.5 in||5.9 x 1.6 x 3.6 in||
7.55 x 3.3 x 4.64 in
Screen Display Size
|8 inches||5 inches||N/A||5 inches||
|4.5 out of 5||5 out of 5||5 out of 5||4 out of 5||
4.5 out of 5
All in all, all of these products boast great qualities that will give you great advantages while you are out ice fishing. However, if you want to see how you like ice fishing and want the basics for a cheap ice fishing flasher, the Garmin Striker 5 will suit you well. If you want the best of the best, the Vexilar FL-18 is a sight for sore eyes for any angler. It provides the best characteristics of an ice sonar fish finder at the best price.