Ice is opaque, so it presents a challenge to see through it for targeting various species of fish. That's why you need the best ice fishing flashers as they take away the guesswork that's involved in locating various species under the ice.
Best Flasher for Ice Fishing
The best flasher for ice fishing makes use of sonar technology in mapping, detecting, and displaying the locations of fish in relation to lures.
To streamline the long process of deciding on the most suitable option for you, we’ve reviewed the most sought-after products on the market.
1. Garmin Striker Plus 4 Ice Fishing Bundle
The best ice fishing flasher for the money is the Garmin Striker Plus 4-inch Flasher. It has better sonar with Garmin’s cutting-edge CHIRP technology, and it has more waypoint coverage.
The highly sensitive internal GPS receiver is capable of holding up to 5,000 waypoints to allow you to check your current coordinates and determine the boat speed accurately. This fish flasher lets you mark waypoints as well for areas of interest.
As for its design, it sports a robust and rugged construction to withstand harsh fishing conditions while maintaining optimum performance. It has an 800×480-pixel resolution with a 4-inch WVGA display.
This means excellent readability to help you distinguish certain shapes, forms, and objects underwater. The kit comes complete with a rechargeable battery, carrying case, CHIRP transducer, and mounts.
If you want the no-nonsense option that’s easy on the wallet and has a smaller footprint, then look no further as it may just be perfect for you.
2. Vexilar PP1812D FL-18 Pro Pack
The Vexilar model is also regarded by some as the best flasher for ice fishing from its notable feature. First off, the flasher has the 12-degree ice ducer which is a single frequency (200 kHz) transducer.
A foam floater is included to provide enhanced stability on the water. Although the device doesn’t come with a temperature sensor, the 300 ft maximum depth capacity makes up for this lack.
The equipment also has a 3-color 525 segment LED display. Crucial information from this device’s transducer beam will be displayed via sonar in real-time.
The three main functions of this device are Range Control, Mode Setting, and Gain Control. Furthermore, the battery life can last up to 36 hours as it has a Lower Power Mode which helps save lots of power.
It also comes complete with a carrying case, which has various compartments for the storage of your tackle box and other fishing tools.
3. Humminbird ICE-45 Flasher
This ice fishing flasher for sale is regarded as one of the best as it allows an ice angler to enjoy a good chance of landing fish.
This is due to its many fantastic features, including a transducer that provides detailed information from the operation of two beam anglers and frequencies. Specifically, 9-degree and 19-degree beam anglers, and 455/240 kHz.
Additionally, it has a zoom feature to make it easy for you to see your target more clearly. The zoom dial provides several depth ranges from 1x to 10x. The maximum depth, however, is 200 ft. Still, the fish flasher has a 2.5″ target separation, which is important in detecting little prey.
To check the readings, it has a 3-color 526 segment fiber optic display. It doesn’t have a user interface on the screen, but it’s detailed to let anglers distinguish objects.
The display doesn’t get affected by harsh weather conditions, too, thanks to its modern LCD screen. You can expect it to remain clear, functional, and concise every single time.
4. Garmin Striker Plus 5
Another high-quality piece of equipment from Garmin’s Striker Plus series is this 5-inch fish finder. Although slightly more expensive than the 4-incher, it’s still within most anglers’ price range. You get a good amount of bang with this unit’s bigger screen. It’s backlit and bright, which means you can use it rain or shine.
A feature we’re thrilled to discover is the combination screens which are found on more expensive and massive units. Three panels can be displayed simultaneously, plus you can prioritize one over the others. This means the main view can be the traditional sonar chart while you have the contour map and ClearVÃ¼ as secondary views. This is actually very handy.
Despite the device’s relatively small size, you can quickly pick up the details you need at a glance. Vital information displayed includes depth and water temperature.
They are displayed constantly in an overlay. It also has a wonderful transducer and you can use it anywhere there’s fish. You’ll be happy to know that it has GM-20 if you’re looking for ice fishing flasher deals.
With the device, you get 77/200 kHz frequencies and military-grade technology, CHIRP. There are several more features to love e.g. adjustable depth line, Auto Gain for controlling noise and sensitivity, and split-zoom view, hence why it’s one of the best.
5. MarCum M5L Flasher System
To improve your chances of success in ice fishing, you need well-detailed information. You can trust MarCum M5L to deliver just that.
The features on this particular device have been thoughtfully selected to ensure anglers catch fish more efficiently and effectively. The device provides information on the dazzling bright screen, which is from the brand’s patented TrueColor MBC Brushless Lighting.
A feature that makes the product gain an edge over the competition is the 3/4″ target separation. This sonar clarity on ice will allow you to distinguish between underwater structures and fish quickly and easily.
Should you locate an entire school of fish, the device will help you land the biggest one in the group through this technology.
This flasher for ice fishing is equipped with a dual-beam transducer and the beam angle can be adjusted to focus on the fish that is near the lure by pushing a button. If you’re on the lookout for ice fishing flasher deals, this is worth considering.
6. Vexilar GPX2012
Next on our list of the best ice fishing flashers is from Vexilar. The Vexilar GPX2012 has a simple and user-friendly design, but it has a rugged exterior that is made to withstand abuse.
It’s popular among more seasoned ice anglers as it takes quite an investment. It comes pre-assembled, but it has an instructional video included in the package should novice anglers get confused about how to use the unit.
It features a 3-color sonar flasher to display the strong targets in green for weak; red for strong; and orange for medium. Ultra-bright LED technology is incorporated into the device to enable clear visibility in direct sunlight.
You’ll be able to use it both in summer and winter. It also has 6 depth range settings and interference rejection technology for versatility in fishing with equipment.
The adjustable switch enables the removal of any interference even when you use another portable fish finder simultaneously.
7. Lowrance Hook Reveal
If you have heard of the Lowrance brand or used any of their devices in the past, then you’re aware of their reputation for being innovative.
The Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 has made its way on our list from the features that the company is well-known for. This ice fishing flasher has auto-tuning CHIRP technology, fish reveal, and down scan. It is one of the most versatile sonar units available on the market.
Users can make use of the different GPS mapping options, such as the standard built-in GPS, C Map contour mapping package, and the 4,000 lakes map.
There are also different screen size offerings aside from 7 inches should you prefer a smaller or larger device. Regardless of the screen size, it provides a crystal-clear viewing display that is visible even with the sun shining brightly.
8. Deeper PRO+
Last on our list of the best ice fishing flashers is one that can be cast out into the water. This castable fish finder is great if you want the option that can be used throughout the year and isn’t solely for use when ice fishing.
The Deeper PRO+ is very powerful with its dual-beam sonar which sends out 15 scans every second. It can read up to a depth of 260 ft. To use the fish finder, all you need to do is tie the device to a spare jigging rod. Make sure it’s stiff.
Otherwise, you can use a piece of cord. When you’ve dropped it in a hole or on water, use your tablet or smartphone to get readings on the bottom. It’s as easy and simple as that!
How to Choose the Best Ice Fishing Flashers
There are many great choices to choose from, which is why it can be quite a challenge for an ice angler to determine the best one.
If you’re still undecided on which flasher fish finder you need, consider these key factors:
Type of Fishing
What type of fishing will you be doing? We don’t mean the type of fish you plan on catching as fish finders are capable of finding just about any fish, regardless of the size. They can even detect non-fish objects that are underwater.
What we actually mean is how and where you’ll be fishing. For ice fishing, you’ll need a distinct device from what folks use when they don’t need an ice auger prior to casting.
At the same time, if you only fish in a shallow part of a body of water, then a 200 kHz fish flasher capable of finding different species 600 ft deep won’t be a bonus for you.
A fish finder can come with various bells and whistles. There are, however, some that anglers don’t need, depending on the type of fishing that will be done.
A fish flasher that’s intended for use in deep ocean water will have a lot more power in comparison to one that’s designed for shallower depths and freshwater. It’s best to remember this when you’re considering a device.
This is important as anglers who fish competitively need a different set of equipment than those who fish casually. a tournament angler, for instance, tends to get more use from a chart plotter and fish finder combo.
A chart plotter is used to pre-fish a lake before the tournament and create comprehensive routes to different fishing spots.
There are fish finders that also come with more advanced features such as imaging technology. If you take fishing more seriously, you’ll find the extra features to be more valuable.
If you already have a GPS on a smartphone or tablet, you’ll find a chart plotter and fish finder combo to be less useful. This is especially if you won’t take advantage of waypoints and routes on a chart plotter.
You may also want the fish finder that is cross-compatible with map packs and other transducers that you already have. Or, you want the fish finder which can connect easily with your existing devices. Networking features and compatibility are important considerations.
This means you will often end up choosing the same manufacturer or brand for a given setup. It will ensure you have some degree of connectivity and cross-compatibility between several fish finders.
How much space can you allocate for your ice fishing sonar flasher? Generally, the bigger the fish finder, the better it is in terms of capability.
A larger unit has more space for the hardware, resulting in a better processor and more storage. This also means the unit has a larger screen. As you already know, a bigger screen is much easier to read and navigate.
The problem is not every boat will have enough room for a bigger fish finder or flasher. If you’re using a kayak, for instance, good luck mounting your 15-inch flasher on the thing.
If you already have other devices on your boat, you may also want a smaller finder as It’s the only thing your space can accommodate.
Fundamentally speaking, the best ice fishing flashers carry out identical tasks. However, there are more advanced models.
Aside from providing basic information that anglers need on underwater activities, more advanced models utilize smart technology in improving the catch ratio.
For instance, fish flashers have customizable displays that allow for the selection of readings that are projected on the screen.
Without the experience that’s needed in taking advantage of the feature, opt for a device that has default settings that are easily readable.
Quality of the Transducer
A quality transducer is very important and it can’t be stressed enough as it is the one that provides the most vital details.
A transducer sends out sonar waves which help in locating fish even at great depths. In addition, the transducer should also have a holder system as it allows you to use various transducers that differ in size in the future.
Split screen is one of the helpful features of a fish finder flasher, but it’s only often found in units with bigger screens.
The device that has split-screen shows 2 different modes simultaneously e.g. live underwater mode and sonar mode. It will give you a clear idea of the fish activity below and boost your catch ratio.
Ice fishing involves moving from one ice hole to another. As a result, the ice fishing tools you bring with you must be compact and lightweight.
There are manufacturers of fish finders that include carrying bags to make it more convenient to transport the devices. The carrying bags often fit inside 5-gallon buckets.
Lighting and Resolution
Regardless of the weather or lighting conditions, an ice fishing flasher must be easy to use and read.
The device must remain very easy for you to access and read whether it’s sunny or cloudy. You also need the screen to have a higher resolution for accurate readings.
You’ll be using ice fishing tools at sub-zero temperatures. This means your equipment must be capable of withstanding extremely cold temperatures.
Only use the best ice fishing flashers as they are the ones that are built specifically for the cold. They also tend to last a lot longer.
Just make sure that the device has a rugged construction so it can withstand bumps from debris as it makes its way down a water column. The device must also stay in perfectly good condition even when it falls on the ground accidentally.
There are models that are battery-operated and this raises a concern as a battery will drain faster when it is in cold temperatures. It is important that you choose a long-lasting, high-quality battery.
There are some that feature a charger and battery while others come with extra batteries should you need them. We suggest you get a lithium battery as it’s the best one available.
Target separation refers to a sonar device’s ability in distinguishing between different objects. If a flasher has a smaller target separation, it will be better at distinguishing between fish and lure and between different fish.
It goes without saying that a cheap ice fishing flasher won’t last you very long. If you can afford a higher quality fish finder, then you should opt for it as it will guarantee value for your money.
The ice fishing flashers we listed above are the ones that will last long so you won’t run out of seafood all winter!
With all these factors and considerations in mind, there are a few that will ultimately come down to your personal preference. There are those who clove imaging while others want the simplicity of old sonar graphs.
There are also anglers who don’t fish without an old-school flasher fish finder. You may also have a certain color palette that you like better.
Perhaps, you don’t like touchscreens especially when the environment is wet. All these preferences are best kept in mind as you shop for ice fish flashers.
The flasher fish finder that took the top spot on our list of the best ice fishing flashers is the Garmin Striker Plus 4.
Out of all the different devices we tested thoroughly, the smooth scaling graphics of the unit provided clear and uninterrupted imagery as we switched between the depth and range scales.
Its sonar history rewind also allows the user to scroll back on sonar images for marking waypoints that may have been missed. It also displays speed data and comes with all the necessary accessories for its operation.
Catch the best fish of a lifetime using a quality fish finder/flasher!