Strike Indicators

Accepting The Take

Nymph fishing with an indicator or dry-dropper is one of the most successful techniques to capture fish with subsurface flies.

Your indicator is not just a strike detector but also a drift detector, which may be much more significant. Having an indicator that is visible and riding high provides information about where and what your fly is doing. This is essential for establishing the crucial drag-free drift.

In a very little time, fly fishing technology has advanced significantly. Today’s indicators are well developed. It is prudent for a modern fisherman to take advantage of this technology and carry many types of indicators in his or her tackle box.

In this post, I will review some of the most common strike indicators on the market, describe their shape and function, and provide field application ideas.

The Most Effective Strike Indicators For Fly Fishing

1. Air-Lock Strike Indicators

Air-Lock Strike Indicators are another form of bubble indicator with an adjustable thumbscrew for securing the instrument to your line.

From a conservation aspect, it thrills my heart that they have shifted from plastic to this material, which is constructed of lighter biodegradable foam. Air-Lock gets credit for reducing the amount of plastic used.

However, these strike indicators do have certain disadvantages.

The thumbscrew that secures your line to the Air Lock has a propensity to twist your leader, particularly when using a smaller diameter.


  • Note: The images in the link provided depict plastic Air-Lock Indicators. However, they have shifted to biodegradable foam, and you will receive that.
  • The new foam design is 30% lighter
  • Visibility Enhancing Color Options
  • Softer landings on the water

The thumbscrew itself has a tendency to go misplaced when on the water. Anyone who has dropped a tiny fly while attempting to rig their leader will relate to the difficulty of locating small, dark things in the field.

If you can maintain track of the screw, the Air Lock is readily adjusted at various depths, and its lightweight build means less SPLAT on the water for a more stealthy approach.


  • Highly conspicuous and buoyant
  • Replaced plastic with biodegradable foam
  • Simple to add, delete, and modify depths


  • Larger sizes are heavier and more difficult to cast
  • Can “plop” on the surface of the water to startle fish.
  • challenging to attach to thinner leads

2. New Zealand Strike Indicators

For a good reason, Wool Strike indicators are rising in popularity. They can be trimmed for use in tiny streams when a light presentation is required or kept bushy for use in turbulent, deep water.

Using a special tool and bits of plastic tubing, this indicator system attaches a portion of New Zealand wool to your leader.

The quantity of wool applied to the leader will impact the effectiveness of the strike indicator.


  • Wool indicator
  • Cleverly Designed Attachment Device that Fits Your Lanyard
  • 100 percent Knotless
  • Wool can be trimmed to size

In calm, steady water, the wool may effortlessly float nymphs of lightweight. A small amount of fly floatant added to a more dense ball of wool will keep it above water and buoyant enough to float heavier nymphs when the water becomes deeper and quicker.

This New Zealand Wool bundle includes everything necessary to create several strike indicators, including wool in various colors for fishing in different types of water.

The wool is quite buoyant, but it is difficult to cast numerous heavier nymphs. Despite this, the New Zealand Wool indicator system is an efficient method to manage your nymph rig in a variety of water conditions, and I wholeheartedly endorse it.


  • Subtle Expression
  • Extremely Sensitive to Even Minor Strikes
  • Very noticeable
  • Portable and simple to cast
  • Figure out the size of your indicator


  • It is challenging to float with heavy flies.
  • The application is simple; however extra steps are required
  • Requires floatant

3. Thingamabobber

If you’ve ever utilized a strike indicator, you’ve likely used a Thingamabobber!

It is a basic design consisting of a hard plastic ball that is attached to the leader and used as an indicator.

It does not sink in stormy water and casts effectively. This new design improves upon the original by incorporating a pin and gasket for attaching the indicator to the leader.


  • Enhanced “Thingamabobber” design
  • 1/2″ size
  • Variable color choices
  • Five Indicators per unit

The original Thingamabobber was more difficult to tie to a leader and adjust for depth. With the redesigned pin and gasket, you can easily place the nymph holder higher or lower on your leader after a few initial throws to get the flies into the strike zone.

The earlier Thingamabobber would eventually kink your leader, but the new closing technique removes this time.

People have turned to this design when they require a solid strike indicator since this indicator has received positive reviews. They are an excellent indicator for the beginner’s first strike, and their reputation speaks for itself.


  • Highly conspicuous and buoyant
  • Simple to add, delete, and modify depths


  • Larger sizes are heavier and more difficult to cast
  • Can “plop” on the surface of the water to startle fish.

Strike indicators are disposable; therefore, please be a good steward of our sport and the environment by taking your rubbish with you and cleaning up litter wherever you see it.

4. Andux 12 Piece Foam Strike Indicators

I must admit that foam is not my favored strike indicator material.

As a result of a large number of recreational pan fishermen and some who will only chase catfish if they have a six-pack of beer, my local rivers are cluttered with a variety of debris, and foam floats are abundant in the spring.

Nonetheless, I cannot dispute that these indicators are effective, hover high above the water, and are inexpensive.


  • Currently inexpensive ($9.99 for 12)
  • Numerous Highly Visible Colors
  • Rubber O-Ring
  • Soaring Floating

The Andux strike indicators are comprised of many rectangular foam slits packed on a wide rubber O-ring, making it incredibly simple to attach, even with chilly fingers.

When your nymph becomes entangled or injured, the foam slits will rise vertically to signal your attention. This nearly makes me think of an ice fishing tip-up. At this pricing point, they’re definitely worth a look. Simply avoid losing them in the water!


  • Portable and simple to cast
  • Softly lands on the water
  • Rubber O-ring facilitates addition and removal


  • It is challenging to float with heavy flies.
  • Attaching thinner leads is challenging.

5. Sunshine Fishing Foam Oval | Slip Strike Indicators

Sunshine Fishing has produced another economical and practical float, and I spend just as much time collecting these sorts of floats from trees as I do other broken floats off the shore.

This design is utilized in different strike indicators and consists of a line-through tube that may be secured to a specific location on your leader by twisting it.

If like me, you move around a lot when fishing, you must be able to readily change where your indicator is attached to your leader, particularly when you uncover deeper holes. This slide strike indicator provides precisely that at an affordable price.


  • Construction using Dense EPS Foam
  • Straight-through design
  • Six Items Per Package

These strike indicators might twist your leader after several hours of hard use and casting. However, if you use a straight mono leader (or a thicker part of your tapered leader), they are sensitive, float high, and work all day long. This is one of the greatest slip strike indicators on the market if you are seeking a genuine slip strike indicator.


  • Easily Modifiable Regarding Depth
  • Highly reflective and buoyant


  • Able to manipulate leaders
  • Attaching thinner leads is challenging.

6. Loon Outdoors Biostrike Putty Indicator

This is a brand-new product from the always original Loon Outdoors. This substance is biodegradable putty.

Simply moisten your fingers and break off a piece of the putty to use it. Simply roll the clay into a ball and put it on your leader to form an oval.

When finished, take the putty from the leader and place it back in the container. These putty indicators are available in a number of vibrant hues to meet your demands.

This is ideal for anglers who fish a variety of flies and may need to alter the size of their indicator during the day.


  • Removable Putty
  • Biodegradable
  • Container features a split key ring for a simple vest or pack attachment
  • Comes in several vivid hues

The container of the Loon Biostrike features a split key ring that can be readily attached to a zinger, making it highly accessible when on the water.

The only disadvantage of the biostrike is that more putty is required to float successfully when utilizing larger flies or quicker currents. However, it is far lighter than plastic strike indicators and will not create as much splash when cast.


  • Biodegradable
  • simple application and removal
  • Reusable
  • Lightweight


  • It is challenging to fish bigger flies
  • Stronger currents necessitate more putty to fish.

7. CorQ Cork Strike Indicator

My inner environmentalist sings the praises of these CorQ strike indicators. I truly dislike plastic, and more than using it or buying it, I despise discovering it while I’m outside fishing.

I will at least test any non-plastic product, and these CorQ strike indicators are very appealing to me!

The small size of these items is not addressed in the accompanying link. The X-Small size is 38 of an inch and is intended for midges and nymphs in size range of 18 to 24.


  • Made from renewable resources
  • Available in incredibly small sizes for the most delicate presentations
  • Three Items Per Unit

This makes them ideal for the next Winter season. The tops of these circular floats are painted in a range of brilliant hues, allowing you to keep an eye out for little prey.

If you’re seeking a strike indicator for extra-small flies, you’ve come to the right place.


  • Eco-friendly material
  • lightweight but buoyant
  • It floats on the water


  • Attaching thinner leads is challenging.

8. ETRE Sports Yarn Strike Indicators

These yarn indicators from ETRE are sold in units of five with twenty tippet rings. They are quite similar to the New Zealand Wool indicator system discussed above.

They may be cut to fit the requirements of your specific body of water and float high in a variety of colors.

The inclusion of two alternative-sized packs of tippet rings (2mm and 2.5mm) allows the float to be rigged differently for different applications.


  • New Zealand Wool Simplified
  • Yarn Trimming Indicator
  • Tippet Rings Are Provided

With the tippet rings and a small amount of tippet, you may hook the float to the tag end of your main leader for extended drifts downstream without having to chew up your leader. The value of this package cannot be beaten.


  • Extremely Minimal Presentation
  • Can sense extremely minute impacts
  • Brilliantly colored hues


  • Attaching thinner leads is challenging.
  • Not effective with heavy nymphs
  • Requires floatant

9. Dongyue Stick-On Indicators

I must begin this product evaluation with a brief tale. So, it was blue-lining an unidentified mountain stream high in the Pennsylvania wilderness when I repeatedly saw these single-use strike indicators on rocks and near the bank.

I first had no idea what they were, and it wasn’t until much later that I realized I was fishing far behind someone and cleaning up their rubbish.

It’s unfortunate that I even have to say this, but please don’t litter.


  • Design with a Functional Pinch-On
  • Available in packs of 24
  • Variegated vivid hues

Strike indicators are useful but can contribute to the litter left behind by irresponsible fishers.

Nevertheless, these indicators are portable, extremely sensitive, and have a very low profile. As I was nymphing in a tiny, untamed area, I can imagine them being really fruitful. Please clean up your rubbish before leaving.


  • Simple to apply
  • Sensitive
  • Covert Presentation


  • Single-use
  • Difficult to employ when using heavier flies
  • Can deteriorate with time

Tightening Up

Due to my near proximity to the Susquehanna River, I began fishing with an indicator and flies. It is a large body of water, and several fishing opportunities exist.

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