Best ice fishing flasher

Video best ice fishing flashers

Which ice fishing flasher is best?

When you’re fishing through solid ice, it can be nearly impossible to see what’s happening in the water. That’s why novice and experienced ice anglers alike use ice fishing flashers, which have a display screen that lets you detect fish and other underwater objects. The Humminbird Ice-55 Six Color Flasher is the top pick because it’s portable, easy to use and can automatically detect water depth.

What to know before you buy an ice fishing flasher

What an ice fishing flasher is

Ice fishing flashers, sometimes known as fish finders, aren’t required for ice fishing, but they can make it much easier and more productive. They use sonar to detect objects beneath the water’s surface. The sonar beam is also known as the “cone” because its shape widens as the water depth increases.

Ice fishing flashers vs. fish finders

Although the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, ice fishing flashers and fish finders are actually two distinct items. They both use sonar technology, but ice fishing flashers are designed to detect fish in a stationary, vertical column of water. Fish finders are often attached to boats, can detect fish at a much greater depth and typically provide more comprehensive information.

Using an ice fishing flasher

The part of the flasher that sends out the sonar beam is known as the transducer. The flasher also has a display screen that shows the presence of underwater objects using colorful bars of light. A green bar typically indicates small objects or vegetation, while a red or yellow bar indicates a nearby fish. If an object on the display starts green and becomes yellow or red, that means that a fish is coming closer to the center of the cone.

See also  .30-30 Winchester for Black Bear Hunting? Best Ammo (Round, Load, Cartridge) for a Successful Black Bear Hunt Hunting Calibers 04 Apr, 2020 Posted By: Foundry Outdoors Is the .30-30 Winchester a viable caliber/load/round/cartridge for black bear hunting? The accurate answer is “it depends”. However, the goal of this article is simply to address the question of whether the .30-30 Winchester is within the ideal range of suitable calibers to harvest black bear. As with anything, the devil is in the details. To answer the question completely, we would need to evaluate the downrange distance to the black bear, the bullet type, the grain weight of the bullet, the physical condition of the firearm, the size of the black bear in question, the shot placement, the local wind conditions, the expected accuracy of the shooter, the ethics of the ideal maximum number of shots – the list goes on. [Click Here to Shop .30-30 Winchester Ammo]What we can do is provide a framework to understand what average conditions might look like, and whether those are reasonably viable for a shot from the average shooter to harvest a black bear in the fewest number of shots possible, i.e., ethically. Let’s dive right in. In the question of “Is the .30-30 Winchester within the ideal range of suitable calibers for black bear hunting?” our answer is: No, the .30-30 Winchester is UNDERKILL for black bear hunting, under average conditions, from a mid-range distance, with a medium grain expanding bullet, and with correct shot placement.Let’s look at those assumptions a bit closer in the following table. Assumption Value Caliber .30-30 Winchester Animal Species Black Bear Muzzle Energy 1890 foot-pounds Animal Weight 340 lbs Shot Distance 150 yardsWhat is the average muzzle energy for a .30-30 Winchester? In this case, we have assumed the average muzzle energy for a .30-30 Winchester round is approximately 1890 foot-pounds. What is the average weight of an adult male black bear? Here we have leaned conservative by taking the average weight of a male individual of the species, since females generally weigh less and require less stopping power. In this case, the average weight of an adult male black bear is approximately 340 lbs. [Click Here to Shop .30-30 Winchester Ammo]What is the distance this species is typically hunted from? Distance, of course, plays an important role in the viability of a given caliber in black bear hunting. The kinetic energy of the projectile drops dramatically the further downrange it travels primarily due to energy lost in the form of heat generated by friction against the air itself. This phenonemon is known as drag or air resistance. Thus, a caliber that is effective from 50 yards may not have enough stopping power from 200 yards. With that said, we have assumed the average hunting distance for black bear to be approximately 150 yards. What about the other assumptions? We have three other primary assumptions being made here. First, the average bullet weight is encapsulated in the average muzzle energy for the .30-30 Winchester. The second important assumption is ‘slightly-suboptimal’ to ‘optimal’ shot placement. That is to say, we assume the black bear being harvested is shot directly or nearly directly in the vitals (heart and/or lungs). The third assumption is that a projectile with appropriate terminal ballistics is being used, which for hunting usually means an expanding bullet.Various calibersA common thread you may encounter in online forums is anecdote after anecdote of large animals being brought down by small caliber bullets, or small animals surviving large caliber bullets. Of course those stories exist, and they are not disputed here. A 22LR cartridge can fell a bull elephant under the right conditions, and a newborn squirrel can survive a 50 BMG round under other specific conditions. Again, the goal of this article is simply to address the question of whether .30-30 Winchester is within the ideal range of suitable calibers to harvest black bear - and to this question, the response again is no, the .30-30 Winchester is UNDERKILL for black bear hunting. [Click Here to Shop .30-30 Winchester Ammo]This article does not serve as the final say, but simply as a starting point for beginner hunters, as well as a venue for further discussion. Please feel free to agree, disagree, and share stories from your own experience in the comments section below. Disclaimer: the information above is purely for illustrative purposes and should not be taken as permission to use a particular caliber, a statement of the legality or safety of using certain calibers, or legal advice in any way. You must read and understand your own local laws before hunting black bear to know whether your caliber of choice is a legal option.Foundry Outdoors is your trusted home for buying archery, camping, fishing, hunting, shooting sports, and outdoor gear online.We offer cheap ammo and bulk ammo deals on the most popular ammo calibers. We have a variety of deals on Rifle Ammo, Handgun Ammo, Shotgun Ammo & Rimfire Ammo, as well as ammo for target practice, plinking, hunting, or shooting competitions. Our website lists special deals on 9mm Ammo, 10mm Ammo, 45-70 Ammo, 6.5 Creedmoor ammo, 300 Blackout Ammo, 10mm Ammo, 5.56 Ammo, Underwood Ammo, Buffalo Bore Ammo and more special deals on bulk ammo.We offer a 100% Authenticity Guarantee on all products sold on our website. Please email us if you have questions about any of our product listings. 8 Comments Jon - Aug 18, 2021Why is it that everyone thinks you need a 300 super double extra magnum that fires a 1000 grain bullet @ 5500fps to kill typical medium/thin skin game like deer and black bear? Have we as humans not killed everything that walks on land for the past how many thousands of years with sharp rocks attached to sticks that traveled at half the speed of smell? ! It matters not what you hit them with as much as where you hit them with it.P.S. tell the thousands of bears (black and brown, not to mention elk, moose and deer) that have fallen to the 30-30 that it was not enough to do the job right the first time. Give me a break. Matt - Dec 03, 20213030 has killed more black bears than any of us can count. Some of us believe it is a go to round for black bears, in the north east.Contrary to “popular” (keyboard only hunters) belief, you do not need a 50bmg for black bear.Black bears are harvested with 357mag handguns.. 3030 is way more powerful. Lynn Bear - Jun 09, 2022The ol 30-30 Winchester sure will kill a black bear!! Several years ago, here in Pennsylvania, a hunter killed a 800 plus pound black bear in the Pocono mountains with a 30-30. My son killed a medium size black bear in North Carolina with his 30-30 Winchester model 94 using a 170 grain bullet. Range was 20 yards and they were hunting bear with dogs. I seen the biggest wild boar that weighed 380 pounds drop like a light being turned off using the same bullet (170 grain Hornady Flat point). There have been all kinds of big game animals fall to the 30-30 Winchester. Don’t dare underestimate it, because you would be wrong doing so. I seen it do too wonderful a job bringing home the bacon and back straps. 😃👍 Brad - Dec 20, 2022This article says it’s not optimal, and discusses the assumptions, but never says why those assumptions lead to the conclusion. What are the optimal specs it alludes to but never states? MARK SENEY - Jan 02, 20233030 kills them dead all day, got 6 hanging on my wall to prove it , shot placement is key and develop your tracking skills, they can run a long way no matter what you shoot them with, very little blood traill for most. Jim - Jan 02, 2023 Read and read on what cal. For black bear over bait. Have a 06/ and 270 however after (2) shoulder surgery I went and bought a henery 30/30 sighted in in 50 yards for my bear hunt. The 4 th pm I had a bear come in not a monster but my first 145lbs so put the 30/30 few inch behind ft shoulder and pow. It ran around circle and droped. Granted my shot was only 12 yards was useing 170 gr. Going again this fall—- hopefully see a larger bear try let smalls pass Jim - Mar 04, 2023Shot my first bear last fall. Henry 30/30 it ran around big circle and game over. It was not a 400lb but 163 lb. Waiting for shoulder mount. And there are not many packages of bear meat left in the freezer. Like all game SHOT PLACEMENT Steve Chelewski - Aug 28, 2023Thank you to all who have supported my favorite, the legendary 30/30! Leave a commentComments have to be approved before showing up Your Name * Your Email * Your Comment * Post Comment

In most cases, you can also see your lure on the display in yellow or green. If the fish and the lure merge into a single thick bar, you may have a bite.

What to look for in a quality ice fishing flasher


Most ice fishing flashers use a LCD panel to show depth and display underwater objects. Look for a device with a large, bright screen so you can view readings in all weather and light conditions.

Cone angle

The cone angle determines the width of your flasher’s sonar beam. Although it may seem that a wide cone angle would be better for detecting more fish, there are situations where you’ll need the precision of a narrower beam. Look for a device that lets you switch between narrow and wide sonar beams.


Ice fishing flashers can be fairly clunky and heavy, so look for a model that comes with a protective carrying case. Since you never know how the weather might change while you’re on the ice, the case also should be waterproof or weather-resistant. On the other hand, many flashers are designed to fit perfectly inside a five-gallon bucket, an accessory used by most ice anglers.


If you’re unfamiliar with ice fishing flashers, all of the technical details might make your head spin. Look for a device that includes detailed instructions or even a video walkthrough to help you learn.

How much you can expect to spend on an ice fishing flasher

The cost usually depends on its durability, battery life and features such as adjustable depth and screen quality. Most anglers can expect to spend around $300-$600 for a dependable flasher.

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Ice fishing flasher FAQ

Are ice fishing flashers easy to use?

A. Once you get used to reading the display screen, they are quite simple to operate. That being said, always read the instructions before hitting the ice.

What’s the difference between cover and structure?

A. In ice fishing lingo, cover refers to underwater objects such as vegetation and fallen logs, while structure refers to the unchanging characteristics of the body of water itself. A rise or dip in the lake bed is an example of structure.

What’s the best ice fishing flasher to buy?

Top ice fishing flasher

Humminbird Ice-55 Six Color Flasher

Humminbird Ice-55 Six Color Flasher

What you need to know: This popular flasher comes with a large display screen, carrying case and loads of high-tech features.

What you’ll love: Made in the United States, it has dual beam sonar so you can switch between a wide and narrow beam, and you can adjust your depth range manually or set the flasher to adjust automatically.

What you should consider: Some anglers received a flasher with a defective charger.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top ice fishing flasher for the money

Vexilar FLX-12 Genz Pack with 12 Ice-Ducer

Vexilar FLX-12 Genz Pack With 12 Ice-Ducer

What you need to know: This affordable device is easy to use with versatile settings for all ice fishing situations.

What you’ll love: The battery-powered flasher comes with five depth range settings and a bright display screen for low-light conditions. The built-in handle makes it easy to carry, and there is a low-power mode for saving battery life.

What you should consider: It does not come with a protective carrying case.

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Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Garmin Striker Plus 4 Ice Fishing Finder Bundle

Garmin Striker Plus 4 Ice Fishing Finder Bundle

What you need to know: Technically not an ice fishing flasher, this fish finder is nevertheless great for detecting fish under the ice.

What you’ll love: In addition to sonar, this ice fishing fish finder uses GPS technology to detect underwater objects and records them so you can return to fishing spots in the future. The durable carrying case has ample room for accessories.

What you should consider: A few reviewers wished the display screen were easier to read.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>