If you have spent any time around winter anglers, it is hard for them not to start talking about why they would never go fishing without theirVexilarflasher/fish finder. If youre an angler who has not been exposed to this amazing technology, you might simply say to yourself, Ive been doing all right for years without a Vexilar, so why would I need one now?
The answer to this classic comment comes from a lack of understanding in what a spinning wheel Vexilar flasher fish/finder can really do to help you be a better fisherman. At first glance, an angler might say this fish finder gadget just shows the depth of the water. This is true of course, but this is only the beginning of what you can expect to learn and see from using a Vexilar. Let me give you several examples of why theVexilarhas become such a vital part of the modern day anglers list of must have tools.
A three-color flasher display:This is not just a good looking marketing gimmick, it is a vital part of theVexilarsystem. Signals are sent and received by a transducer suspended in the water. These signals are then sent to a processor that decides if you should see this signal or not. This is called filtering, and you will soon learn that a highly filtered signal is not what a fishermen needs to have if they want real performance from their sonar systems. This filtering is especially common with systems using a Liquid Crystal Display. A Vexilar sonar system tries to avoid excessive filtering to show you almost every signal being bounced back to your transducer. Vexilars signal processors group, then display signals into one of three categories. Green signals represent weak signals. The color orange is for medium strength signals and red is reserved for only the strongest signals. By displaying all three of these colors at that same time, an angler can better understand what is going on below them. If all the signals were shown as one color, or the weaker signals were not shown at all, the information that might help you catch more fish will be missing. Of course if you are only expecting to know the depth of water you are in, then a high degree of filtering is fine. A good example of this technology is a sonar system with a digital readout. They will only give you a depth as a number. As you will soon learn, knowing the depth of the water only scratches the surface of what a Vexilar can do to help you to catch more fish.
Learning about bottom content:The signal of the Vexilar allows anglers to quickly know if the bottom is rock, sand or muck. Given a flat bottom condition, the longer the tail behind the bottom reading, the softer the bottom. A hard bottom will be shown as only a single thin bottom reading and it is often shown in a strong red signal line instead of a green or orange when a soft bottom is present. If the bottom is sloped, the width of the bottom signal will grow for both hard and soft bottoms. This is because the area of coverage is stretched to an oval, rather than a circular pattern.
Finding suspended fish:The super sensitive transducers used in a Vexilar can spot a small crappie minnow 30 feet below you. In many lakes, fish suspend. Being able to see suspended fish in real-time as with a Vexilar flasher is a big advantage. You see a normal summer-time LCD or Liquid Crystal Display shows you a history of what is going on under your feet. The problem is that suspended fish are shown only as a giant blob or cloud on the display. You have no way of knowing if the fish is directly under you or off to the side, or even if it is just two or three fish swimming at the same depth.
Target separation is one of the big advantages of the Vexilar system. You see the spinning wheel of the Vexilar has 525 lines of resolution; the very best liquid crystals have about 320 vertical pixels. If you want to actually see individual fish suspended in the water column, spot your lure in a cloud of baitfish, the extremely high resolution of the Vexilar will permit you to see much better. Heck, you can even see fish moving around INSIDE a brush pile! With target separation of less than inch, the VexilarFL-18is the best sonar in the world with target I.D. Many anglers find it amazing just to watch the display when you are over a school of fish.
Fishing in a school of fish is a great deal of fun with the Vexilar because with the three- color system, you can actually target an individual fish in a school and watch it respond to your bait even while you are surrounded by dozens of other fish. You see as the fish gets to a point directly below you, the signal will go from green, to orange and then to red. When a red signal approaches your lure, get ready for a strike! This little trick alone has made the Vexilar one of the most effective fish catching tools ever developed.
Entertainment value:No longer does the stereotype of Grumpy Old Men apply to fishing when you have a Vexilar along. The ability to actually see your lure and how fish may or may not react to the bait gives the angler an advantage never before possible. Now you never need to be in the dark about where youre fishing with your bait. If the fish are down there, youll know it. If they are coming near your lure, you will know it. And if the fish are rejecting your lures, you will know this too. This type of real-time fishing entertainment is not possible with any other type of fishing in the world, so maybe that is why so many non-winter anglers cannot understand just how effective a Vexilar can be for actually putting more fish in their bucket. As you watch the fish respond to your bait, you may need to make changes with your fishing style to get them to bite. Even young children love watching a Vexilar in action. Maybe the younger generation is more acceptable to this method of fishing since it does indeed have many similarities to a video game. Rather than staring at a bobber, you now experience an increased heartbeat, feel the frustration of a fish rejecting your bait and you definitely get a taste of buck fever as you see a large red target approach your lure.
Moods of the fish:Vexilar Flashers are unique in that they actually help anglers discover better ways to catch fish. High suspended fish for example tend to be more willing to bite, but you will also quickly know if something is not right. Even an aggressive fish may require some finesse in how you present the bait, or you might need to refine your hook size, line diameter or lure action to convince them to strike. One of the fun games to play is to see how far up you can get a fish to follow your bait. It is not uncommon for them to move upwards one or two feet to grab your bait and the more they are willing to chase, the better the chances are of you getting the fish to strike. On the other hand, fish that will not chase, but only sniff your lure, might require a change in tactics. One of the first things many anglers should do when they see fish sniffing the bait and not eating it is to put on fresh bait. It is not uncommon to see the very same fish that rejected your bait a few seconds ago, suddenly eat it as quickly as it gets down to them. This is only one of hundreds of lessons you will learn with a Vexilar Flasher. As many anglers already know, if you can understand the mood of the fish, you are on your way to being a far more consistent angler.
Seeing fish below the bottom?With a Vexilar, it is not only possible, but has become one of the trademark features of this great fishing tool. Let me explain just a little about how sonar works to give you a better understanding of why this feature in a Vexilar is so unique. Modern sonar systems have those darn internal filters that try to make it easier for the angler to know how deep the water is. On a good day, you might actually be able to see fish, but most systems are designed with filters that allow the display to only show the most obvious objects like bottom, a big log, ext. The engineers at Vexilar try to avoid using filters to screen out information that is helpful to anglers. Now with this in mind, lets talk about how the bottom is shown on most displays. With Filters, the bottom is averaged out to give you a very clean line or point that makes you think the bottom is exactly at say 10 feet for example. The bottom might actually be 10 feet 5 inches, but the filters dont want to confuse you, so it automatically averages the display to 10 feet. With the Vexilar Flasher system, you will see the bottom at 10 feet 5 inches, the point that is directly below your feet. The farther away a fish might be from the closest point directly below you, the farther way it will appear. For example; a fish holding tight on the bottom, but three feet from the point directly below you will appear as a signal below the ten foot mark and it will be shown at roughly 13 feet. You might not be able to see the fish target due to other bottom readings, but as the fish target moves to our bait, you will see a fish target of green, orange and then red seem to move inside the bottom signal, while the other non-moving bottom signals remain constant. Then the bottom itself will start to flicker or jump as the fish reaches a point directly below you and then it will appear as if it suddenly moved up off the bottom to strike you lure. Every other sonar on the market today uses a filtering process to give you a crisp, clean display of the bottom, but at what price to fishing performance? If youre a perch angler, and find that most of your fish are always within 6 of the bottom, you will become an expert at using a Vexilar to spot those fish targets coming to you bait long before they actually appear above the bottom and near your hook.
Confidence factor:You can start to see that without a Vexilar, ice fisherman are fishing blind. Ill never go fishing without my Vexilar is a common phrase with winter anglers who fully understand the advantages of using sonar for ice fishing. No other type of fishing requires so much out of the electronics and no other type of sonar has been able to deliver what the angler needs like a Vexilar flasher. Vexilar has become a must have in the world of ice fishing. Knowing depth is one thing, but being able to teach yourself how to become a better angler with every trip is something that no other sonar system in the world can do. Once you gain this confidence, the pure joy of going out and catching fish becomes something you almost expect, not hope for. Obviously, with this added level of confidence, the use of a flasher/fishfinder is one of the reasons ice fishing has become the fastest growing category in fishing today.
Performance in weeds:For the summer angler, the Vexilar flasher display allows anglers to know the exact bottom, even in the thickest of weeds. Because weaker signals like weeds are displayed in green or maybe orange, but bottom is shown in red. Anyone who has fished with a conventional LCD sonar knows that this type of display will show only the tops of the weeds. It is not uncommon on many lakes that have milfoil growing in them to get the feeling the bottom might be only two or three feet deep with a LCD display, but the true bottom might be 15 feet! Bass anglers for example can use the Vexilar flasher to find open pockets under a thick canopy of weeds to drop heavy jigs. Many tournaments have been won using this technique.
The truth about real-time sonar: When anglers talk about what real-time sonar is, they are ONLY talking about Vexilar flasher fish/finder technology. They process signals almost twice as fast as any other sonar system in the world! You see with some systems, the time it takes to receive and process that signal for you to see can take up to 1.5 seconds! Ask yourself what good is a sonar unit if it only shows you the history of what your boat has already driven over? Again, if you are only looking for a digital depth finder, then you are fine, but if you are expecting the display to do more than just give you a history lesson, the Vexilar flasher becomes a valuable tool for the angler looking to know exactly where he is holding his boat every second. An interesting test I conducted a while back to see just how slow a Real Time LCD sonar really was. I set the transducer to hang over the side of my desk to conduct an air demo. It shows the bottom at 8 feet (This is normal for an air demo). I then took a full can of Coke and slowly rolled it along the floor directly under the transducer. To my surprise the can of Coke had already rolled a full 18 inches before it showed up as a quick blip on the real time LCD display. The same test with the Vexilar easily showed the can coming to the spot directly under the transducer and then leaving. This was quite a startling example to me of what real time should be and what a filtered signal can do to distort what actually goes on below the transducer, but it clearly shows me how slow to respond the LCD technology is.
How Shallow is shallow?Ask yourself if you consider five feet shallow? It was hard for me to believe that when I called Ranger boats to tell them that my factory installed LCD does not work in less than five feet of water, their response was, nobody has a LCD that works in shallow water. I was totally shocked with the response. For me, bass fishing in one to three feet of water is the norm. Let me tell you now that with a Vexilar flasher, I know if I only have 6 inches of water below my transducer. This is wonderful, especially in dirty water lakes and rivers. Granted, for this fishing application the flasher fish/finder is used more as a depth finding tool than for actually spotting fish, but it saves on prop damage for sure.
Never before has the use of fishing electronics directly affected the success of the angler as it does with the Vexilar flasher. This technology is not just a fish finder; it has become a fish catching tool that has no rival. For anglers who have never been exposed to this very special tool, you have a great experience ahead of you. For those who have used them before, you know exactly what Im talking about.
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