MarCum Showdown 5.6 Digital Fish Finder
MarCum Showdown 5.6 Digital Fish Finder reviews:
MarCum Showdown 5.6 Digital Fish Finder details:
MarCum Showdown Digital Fish finder provides an incredibly discerning _-inch target separation, along with a potent interference rejection system. Features include higher contrast display, 20Á transducer with 6′ of cable, 8,000 watts peak-to-peak power, Movable Zoom (infinitely adjustable, anywhere in the water column), 10 levels of Interference Rejection, discrete surface clutter elimination, 25 sensitivity settings, 240′ range with Automatic Depth Scale, Auto Bottom Lock Zoom (adjusts to the bottom 25% of the water column), and daylight-viewable display. Ice-Mode activates Internal Heater in extreme conditions. No moving parts maximizes run time. Soft pack, rechargeable 12V 9-amp battery, and battery charger included. Made in USA.
Manufacturer model #: SHWD56.
– Higher contrast display
– 20 deegres transducer with 6′ of cable
– 8,000 watts peak-to-peak power
– Moveable Zoom
– 10 levels of Interference Rejection
– Discrete surface clutter elimination
– 25 sensitivity settings
– 240′ range with Automatic Depth Scale
– Auto Bottom Lock Zoom
– Daylight-view-able display
– Ice-Mode activates Internal Heater in extreme conditions
– Includes soft pack, rechargeable 12V 9-amp battery, and battery charger
MarCum Showdown 5.6 Digital Fish Finder Reviews:
very useful for locating fish
Marcum Showdown 5.6 Digital Fish Finder Dual Beam
After using this fish finder on an ice fishing trip with some friends last winter in Minnesota, I was certain I had to own one. Nearly everyone I had asked spoke highly of this fish finder and I was in the market for one. There are a number of different features possessed by the Marcum 5.6 fish finder that really made the decision a no-brainer for me. Whether you you are fishing competitively or just a weekend warrior, the Marcum Showdown has something to offer
Dual Beam Transducer
One of the key differentiators between the Marcum Showdown and other fish finders is the dual beam transducer. The dual beam transducer allows the user to switch between two different modes while fishing. The first beam gives a 20 degree view of the water and structure below, with the second beam giving an 8 degree view. The 20 degree beam is designed to cover a larger area of water and is very useful for locating fish. The 8 degree beam allows you to down size the coverage area of the finder and help pin-point fish and structure directly below. Previous models of Marcum fish finder’s, along with the majority of other brands, don’t offer this dual beam technology. I have found this feature to be almost invaluable to me while on the ice. Once I have located fish using the 20 degree beam, I find it much more effective to switch to the 8 degree beam and focus on what is right below me. When I first started using this finder I was a little skeptical about using the 8 degree beam. I thought that I would miss out on a lot of fish just outside of the 8 degree range, but have seen my catch rate drastically increase by focusing on what is directly below. It is also very easy to switch between the two different settings with just the press of a button.
Ease of Use
When I first started using this finder I was a little bit intimidated by the front of the finder with only six buttons. I was aware of all the features the finder had to offer, but thought it may be a little hard to navigate without clear cut buttons for everything. After taking 10 minutes to go through the owner’s manual I was at ease with just how simple it was to use the finder and reach different sensitivity, range, and noise settings. I just took my younger cousin out fishing with me the other day and within minutes he knew as much about the finder as I did and was using it like a pro.
Unlike the very popular Vexillar brand fish finders which feature a circular display, the Marcum Showdown has a vertical display column. I have used designs of fish finders with success, but I have found that I am more comfortable using the vertical display. In my opinion the vertical display gives me a more realistic read on what is going on because it displays the water column just as it is. The finder itself is contained in a simple fabric carrying case that allows for an easy setup and pack up on the ice. My only complaint is that the carrying case seems a little lightweight at times and allows water and condensation in pretty easily. Although not a huge problem, something like a hard case would make me feel more comfortable that the finder is protected and moisture is not getting into where it shouldn’t be.
When I was looking into different fish finders and trying to narrow my search, price was a very important factor for me. As a college student I don’t have a whole lot of money to throw around and I want as much bang for my buck as possible. The price of fish finders varies drastically and although I wasn’t looking to break the bank, I wanted to make sure I got a high quality finder. The Marcum Showdown 5.6 retails for right around $390 and is the best value I found amongst other finders in that price range. After doing some research I had it narrowed down to the Marcum Showdown 5.6 and the Vexillar FLX-28. The Vexillar FLX-28 retails for $530 and is one of the more popular finders on the market. After trying both out on the ice I was more impressed with the Marcum. Even if I could have gotten the Vexillar FLX-28 for the same price as the Marcum, I would have still opted for the Marcum Showdown.
After looking at almost everything on the market, I have given the Marcum Showdown a 5 Star review. It exceeds all of my expectations and I am sure it would do the same for you!
Showdown ice fish finder
I have had the single beam version of this product for almost two years and absolutely love it. I can see my #14 jig, the snap swivel I use to tie to the leader and even the red plastic bead I use for my float, if I’m not using the float. It is all laid out vertically so it is just like you are looking at the water column rather than a circular ring with flashing lights. It is easy to see a fish come into the beam as it shows a light grey line moving upwards towards the jig. With the 1/2 inch separation definition you can tell when the fish has mouthed the jig because the two lines thicken into one when the fish is taking the jig into its mouth. If the line representing the fish moves away from the line representing my jig, I change the jigging action immediately to try and entice a bite.
The user manual is easy to understand and very concise. The black and white display is so much simpler to read than the color flashers some of my buddies use, it reminds me of an old college engineering professor I used to fish with who always used the term KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid). This unit is simple, intuitive, and gives me just the information I need to find and catch crappies, sunnies, and walleye on my favorite local Minnesota lakes. If I don’t see any echoes on this unit, I know there aren’t any fish down there and it’s time to move.
When using the unit out on the open ice in extreme cold, it is easy to turn on the display heater to keep the LCD display warm and responsive. It doesn’t seem to shorten the battery life and I have never come close to discharging the battery in an entire day of fishing on the ice. The battery charger is also simple and has a red and green LED light to signal if the battery is charging or is fully charged.
I did have a problem with breaking of the plastic swing arm that holds the transducer cable out over the hole in the ice (that’s why the 4 stars rather than 5 stars). Customer service was excellent and I recieved a replacement part within a day (I’m in the same state as the manufacturer.) The customer service people at Marcum are extremely easy to deal with and very responsive.
Because of the great customer care I received and the great technical quality of the electronics, I am planning on getting a Marcum fish camera, too. These guys seem to know their technology quite well and must be fishermen, too.
The second one is nice
The first one only lasted 6 times. The screen had a line that wasn’t supposed to be there and the depth finder part wouldn’t work. I’m not sure what went wrong with it but then Marcum wouldn’t honor their warranty. Luckily Amazon sent me a replacement one. I have only used it once because the fishing season was over. Hopefully it works out.
Easy to Use!!!!
Very Easy to Use
I really like the vertical display and the zoom feature
In the zoom it does a great job of marking fish with the 1/2″ seperation even in 3-4 foot of water
Very Quite Operation
Battery Charger new out of the box did not work
It’s only in Gray scale
Battery only lasted 8hrs with the back display lite on..
I really like the Marcum Showdown Great unit for the price….
Messed my weekend up.
I had an old showdown that I gave my brother because I’d bought the new one. I went out in a remote location and immediately caught a 10 pound Lake Trout. It worked great. 15 minutes later it died with low battery. The way I fish for Lake Trout you have to have a fish finder. My day was ruined. Went back and charged it and the next day it lasted 40 minutes. I’m very disappointed. I called MarCum service and they said it was probably a bad charger that they have had some problems with them. They never offered to send me another one.It cost me the best 2 days of ice fishing we have had this year.
This is my second review of this product. I at first had problems with unit not turning on. I had to return it twice to be repaired and now I have to wait until next Winter to see how repair will hold up. When I did get the unit to work last Winter it did a great job finding fish. I did have good customer service with repairing the unit.
No more flashing lights!
have had the earlier version showdown I purchased from a local bait and tackle store. I had it for three years and have had nothing but good luck with this product. The new 5.6 is quite an improvement and looking forward to many years of service on the ice also good for vertical jigging on soft water.
A great concept that needs a little tweaking
The Showdown is the best concept on the market today. The vertical graph is easy to understand. Once you get a feel for the sonar capabilities, the unit works great. The company needs to do a better job with quality control. The units I used had shorts in the wires, loose connections, and broke charging cables. Amazon exceeded my expectations in resolving my issues. When I contacted the Marcum rep he was swamped but still had me up an running in a short time. I think a third of these units leaving the manufacturer are in need of minor adjustments, the other two thirds are fine, but the consumer needs time to understand the units capabilities.
To improve the product, the manufacture needs better quality control and extend warranty out for two years.
Oustanding fish finder/flasher
After researching other flashers I found this one to be one of the easiest ones to use. Very simple to adjust the features to fine tune what area of the water column you want to focus in on. Even though it is in shades of gray rather than the color feature of other flashers, I see no difference in the ability to mark fish. The digital readout of the bottom is an extra (and wonderful) feature that is lacking in many other companies (and Marcums) flashers. Only problem I have with it is trying to find the switch that sends out the signal “here fishy fishy”. Would highly recommend the Showdown 5.6 Dual Beam to anyone who is looking to improve their catch rate.
Still love it!
Had this Showdown for a while now, and one for several seasons before this one. I won’t ice fish without it. That simple. I’d like a lithium shuttle LX-7 or a LX-9 but they are out of my price range.
With the Showdown you can find hot spots in terrain with the help of Navionics app on your phone. You can learn how to read the display to identify bottom conditions. Sand, rock, weeds etc. You can swing the transducer in the hole to see if there are fish around you. That saves drilling millions of holes.
It’s been a solid product for many years for me. Customer service was great when I couldn’t locate another fuse. Top notch in my opinion.
Best thing on ice
These Showdown Fish finders are the best things on the ice. I fish all winter for all kinds of fish, and my other Showdown has performed perfectly. I can fish for an entire weekend on one battery! The sensitivity is amazing, I can tell if my jig has bait on it or not–even in 30 feet of water. I just got the new Dual Beam, and the deep schools of crappies on my lake are in big trouble. The silent operation really lets me enjoy the peace and quiet of the north woods. Flashers are fine, but once I used one of these, my flasher just collects dust.
This is my second Showdown! My first was the 3.2 that was upgraded to the 5.6 and it works great! The new dual beam is just as good. I have used it 3 times at an average of 6 hours of continuous use within the last week and didn’t need to put it on the charger in between!. I feel the showdown is better and gives more detail than the other brands including the new models. Our group of 8 fished anywhere from 5 to 42 feet of water and the Showdown shined. It marked walleyes that were literally belly on the bottom as they only moved up that 1/2 inch off to lightly nibble. The other units still marked the bottom only. I am often setting the hook while they are watching their flashers. Find a buddy that has one and watch it in action.
Just returned mine a few days ago. Thanks for a no hassle return. While standing in line for a refund, another customer behind me had the same product (Showdown 5.6 dual beam). I asked him what was wrong with his. He summed it up nicely by stating, “It’s garbage!” My list of complaints for the Marcum Showdown is a little more detailed. First problem, I could not see my jig past 5 feet even with the sensitivity turned up to the maximum. Second problem, I was constantly getting false readings, near the surface 3 feet down and false bottom readings almost twice the actually depth. Third problem, intermittent power downs. Without even touching anything the unit turned off several times. I gave the unit a fair chance trying it on three different occasions. All problems kept reoccurring, which then led to the next problem with the swing arm not being sturdy enough. It’s the same arm for the single beam transducer, however the dual beam being much bigger and heavier snapped the arm off on day three right at the weakly constructed pivot point just by the weight of the transducer hanging in the water. Took three days to weaken it enough to a breaking point I guess. I liked the concept of a LCD screen and a long battery life, but I need a locator that shows my bait as well as the fish at the correct depth. After returning the unit I went back to the flasher displays and saw the Showdown floor model had the same broken swing arm mine suffered. Then I tested the sensitivity of other transducers from different brand name flashers including the Showdown display model to see if it would give a return of my hand a few feet below the transducer. All the other models did give a signal marking my hand, but the Showdown did not. I can’t say how many units might function properly but I was recently around three that didn’t. I’m going to do a little more research then go with something proven.
So far not good
I’ve had the Showdown Dual Beam out on three different occasions. So far it fails miserably, The first time out it blew a fuse, I have no idea why. I also get a signal at the top of the screen that I assume is either the top or bottom of the ice, not so much a problem but it is annoying. The lit screen would dim on the top half of the display and then get bright again off and on the entire time I used it. The transducer bracket cracked when I reached down to rotate it back into the neoprene case. My wife said it would not last when I took it out of the box, she was right. The biggest problem it has is I cannot maintain a visual of the lure on the display. It goes from a wide band to a narrow to completely disappearing. I tried to zoom in and turn down the sensitivity and it goes from a 1/2″ wide band to nonexistent. I was able to see my lure more consistently if I constantly jigged or kept it moving but even then it would at times disappear. I didn’t think a color display would matter but after trying to figure out where my lures is at, with it disappearing and constantly changing band width, the different shades of gray are very hard to see and determine whats going on in the water column. I am probably going to return this unit to the store I purchased it from while I still can.
I have the ShowDown 3.2 and I am getting ready to send it in for the up grade. I think that is pretty cool all by itself that you can do that. I also like the idea that it is made right here in MN. I have had mine for 3 years and have had zero problems with it. I use it every weekend and the battery life is unreal, it truly gives me half inch separation and so easy to use that my 4 1/2 yr old son can read the display. I strongly encourage you to buy this if you are looking for a good fish finder.
Different- In an OK way
Fished this all of 2010/11 and like some things, dislike others, just like all the flashers.
The detail is great, definitely picks up fine detail, have picked 4 inch perch off bottom in 12 ft water. Battery life is great. Vertical display I really like. Size is nice- very compact when packing sled. Was worried about durability, but that’s been great too. Ez to use. Very quiet- no humming vibrate.
Consistency is not so good. 95% of the time it works great, but occasionally have problems with finding bottom and my jig. Deadsticking it loses even big lures. They show up right away when jigging, but somehow it loses them when sitting still. That’s ok, then u know its a fish moving in if it marks something, but can be frustrating. Esp inconsistent with the 20 cone. In some water, it doesn’t seem to work…couldn’t see my jig unless i watched it drop, then it would get lost again. pretty much resort to 9 cone, which is frustrating in less than 20 ft water. Don’t like the zoom. It has variable zoom (up/down the column) but no split screen so that’s all u see is zoomed portion. Not a big deal for me, as it shows great detail without zoom, just leave on full column and works good. Case is cheezy. I put mine in a padded lunch cooler, works well, but don’t like the original case.
If you like the vertical screen and very fine detail, dont mind drawbacks, this thing is pretty cool, even tho a bit finicky.
I have owned the showdown for 3 years now and have not experienced any major issues. You may have to adjust the sensitivity based upon the size of bait used, but when adjusted correctly, you can easily see your bait and any fish. This machine has awesome target separation; can pick up tight lying bottom dwelling eyes. I love the zoom feature, battery life is awesome, controls are simple to use, quiet operation, and the vertical display is awesome too! I have had no issues with the carrying case after 3 years. It seems to be well made, is compact, and has held up to the elements. A few minor issues: At times, my display becomes very cluttered (not interference). However, other buddies using flashers had the same thing occur. I think this may be due to a major waterbug hatching. It really doesn’t matter what you are using when/if this occurs. I blew 3 or 4 fuses and eventually traced the problem to a faulty charger. I contacted Marcum and they sent me a new one at no charge and they decided to throw in a new carrying case along with a few other accessories-great customer service. No other issues blowing fuses; however, I would recommend carrying a few extra just in case. The showdown makes fishing easy and fun. It is extremely accurate and I could not go anywhere without it.
I bought the showdown this winter and am very very happy with it! I have no complaints about it! i love vertical screen! But i know other guys that have the showdown, they like it but cant get used to the vertical screen, when they have been fishing over the lx 5 or one of the other models for years.
I bought this one last season. I did a lot of research and felt this was the unit. After using it the first time it was amazing. It would track my small jig and I could mark the fish and see then come to my bait. The screen was easy to adjust and very clear. The screen heater keep the screen frost free all the time. I could drill holes and drop it into the hole and instantly check for fish and depth. So it was great for run and gun type fishing. The battery lasted for 6 to 7 hrs and gave me no problems. The only problems I had with this unit way fighting with my wife over who used it 🙂