Initially formed in 1960 under the name Vexilar Engineering by John Uldrich and Robert Knutson, Vexilar’s first product was a visual range finder. The company’s interesting name is a reference to the vexillum, a kind of battle flag used by the ancient Roman army.
The company’s first fishing product was the model 104 Deptherm. The device was a small clear tube lowered under the water’s surface to return the depth and temperature at that depth. Vexilar still makes it to this day.
By the 1990s, Vexilar has really made a name for itself among ice fisherman, who form the core of its customer base lining up for the company’s suite of of flashers, including the FL-8, FL-12, FL-18, and FL-22.
By the early 2000s, the company also began pioneered the concept of effective “packs” that include the fish finder flasher, battery, and transducer in a carrying case. These recognized the ice fisherman’s needs and have been a mainstay of the company’s offer’s since.
In 2010, the company introduced a line of underwater cameras, the Fish Scout line.
More recently, the company has offered a line of smartphone app-centric products. Their FishPhone is a WiFi-based underwater camera system, relying not on a repeater system but its own hotspot that multiple anglers can join once they download the free app.
Vexilar’s app-based SonarPhone series took the smartphone leveraging concept a step further. The SP100 is a castable or kayak-towable unit, with the SP200 (12-volt tie-in) and SP300 (self-powered) intended for mounting on a boat. All three units use the free SonarPhone app.