|Vexilar FL-18 Pro Pack II|
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The Vexilar FL-18 Pro Pack II offers quite a few more features than the FL-18 “Blue Box” pack which we’ve already reviewed here. Basically, this pack includes the FL-18 unit with the 12-degree transducer and the Pro Pack II which is a larger carrying case and has the DD-100 depth sensor. For reference, this is the Vexilar part number PP1812D.
Technical Details & Specifications
- Display: 3-color LED readout, 525 segments
- Sonar: Single beam
- Transducer: TB0080, 12° Ice-Ducer
- Frequency & Coverage: 200 kHz / 12°
- Max. Depth: 300 ft. (91 m)
- Power Input: 12 VDC
- Power Draw: 200 mA
- Power Output: 400 Watts (PTP)
- GPS: No
- Charts: No
Sonar & transducer
This Vexilar ice fishing flasher includes the 12-degree Ice Ducer (part number TB0080). This is a one frequency transducer and operates at 200 kHz; it emits a conical sonar beam with a 12° coverage. It’s equipped with 7′ (2.1 m) of cable and has the typical foam floater which improves its stability when dropped into the water. In case you’re wondering, this transducer does not have a temperature sensor and the unit cannot display the water temperature.
With the included 12-degree ducer, the Vexilar FL-18 offers a maximum depth capability of 300 ft (91 m) which is more than enough for most lakes. Given the included Pro Pack II case, the system is meant to be used on a hard plane surface (such as ice), for an optimal stability and performance. But nonetheless, the system can also be used from a boat.
Control unit features
To begin with, the Vexilar FL-18 features a 3-color, 525-segment, LED-based flasher display. It should be read counterclockwise from the top, 0 position. The 0 signal is marked red, your jig is marked by a thin green line moving down from the top right quadrant when dropped, or vice-versa when recovered. The bottom and/or other hard returns are represented by thick red lines, while fish should show up as orange (larger) or green (smaller) segments depending on their size. The sonar detects and displays the activity in the transducer beam in real time. In other words, if a fish attacks the lure, you will see a green or orange segment moving towards the thin green segment which represents the lure.
This Vexilar ice fishing flasher offers three main functions. These are Gain Control, Mode Setting, and Power/Range Control. The Gain Control dial is at the top of the control panel. It regulates the intensity of the signal that you see on the display. Different fishing conditions may require different gain settings. For example, if fishing in deeper water, a high gain may be required, or if the bottom is weedy, a lower gain can help.
The middle knob is the Mode Control, which covers several functions. To begin with, it offers a Low Power Mode and a Normal Mode. If fishing in shallow waters (under 15′), you can use the Low Power mode to save battery. This control also covers the Auto Zoom and Bottom Lock functions. Auto Zoom splits the screen into 2 sections, left side showing 6 feet of depth from the bottom, and the right side showing the full water column. This feature can be very helpful in certain situations. For example, if you’re fishing at greater depths than 40-50 feet (12-15 m), so you can distinguish better the bottom fish activity. The Bottom Lock feature works basically the same as the Auto Zoom, but the bottom will change position with depth on the full view side, but will remain fixed at the zero mark on the zoom view.
Finally, there’s the Power & Range Control covered by the dial at the bottom. To turn the unit on and select the appropriate range, you must turn this knob to the right. The available ranges are x1, x2, x3, x4, x10.
Carrying case & accessories
As the title suggests, this Vexilar ice fishing flasher pack included the Pro Pack II carrying case. This not only that works as a mount for the unit itself, but it also provides a hard surface for it and has various compartments for different accessories. It has a rod holder and a small tackle box. It also has a compartment for the battery with all the wiring already in place.
The box includes a 12-volt, 7 Amp battery and the charger for it. This battery should last between at least 16 hours and 36 hours especially if using the Low Power mode. Also, if charged properly every time, it should last for many years of use.
The Pro Pack II also includes the DD-100 digital depth sensor which is already wired to the battery, so you don’t have to do this yourself. As the Vexilar ice fishing flasher doesn’t have a digital display for the depth as the Humminbird ICE 55, for example, the external device covers this function.
- Powerful 200 kHz sonar with a depth capability of 300 ft;
- 12-degree Ice-Ducer is included;
- 3-color display – 525 segments;
- Noise reduction function included;
- Gain function included;
- Auto Zoom function included;
- Four ranges available x1, x2, x3, x4, x10;
- Pro Pack II carrying case included;
- Battery and charger are included;
- DD-100 depth sensor included;
- Tackle box included;
- Rod holder built-in the carrying case;
- High portability.
- Only one beam available.
The Vexilar FL-18 Pro Pack II is an ice fishing flasher featuring a 3-color LED display with 525 segments. It includes the ice transducer, battery, charger, the Pro Pack II carrying case, and the DD-100 digital depth display. It’s an excellent unit for fishing at depths up to 300 ft. It’s not exactly the most affordable ice fish finder available, but definitely offers an excellent value for the price.