Strike indicators provide a quick, easy solution to catching fish on nymphs. They
make it easier to detect strikes with submerged flies. They are in essence no
different than a float that bobbles or dives under the water when a fish takes the
nymph. Strike Indicators lets you present nymphs in a dead drift manner.
Often we head to our favorite stream anticipating a hatch and arrive to find nothing is
hatching. That's the time you have to decide if your going to be a stubborn dry fly
only angler, or your going to fish nymphs. If you choose to fish nymphs, unless
nymph fishing is something you have had a lot of experience with, you will probably
want to use a strike indicator.
Some anglers consider using an indicator unethical. Some anglers fish nothing but
dry flies and others wouldn't dare use a sinking line. Others will not add weight to
their flies. Different anglers have different ideas about what's right or wrong and
good or bad. This will probably never change. The difference most anglers make is
usually determined by answering this one question. Had you rather catch trout or just
A strike indicator is nothing more or less than something attached to the leader to let
you know when a fish has taken your submerged fly. This is all well and fine except
there are some things you should consider. Strike indicators can spook trout. The
question becomes, how many will you spook versus how many will you catch. If the
indicator increases your odds of success by letting you know what's happening to
your nymph, most anglers would have a difficult time rejecting their use.
This "spooking" problem can be controlled to some extent. The distance you place
your fly from the indicator is a factor. Of course, this depends on the depth of the
water and the current. In determining the distance, you have to allow for the speed of
the current and the amount of weight added to help keep the fly down. It also
depends to some extend on how far from the fly the weight (usually split-shot) is
placed. The rule of thumb for average stream conditions (if there is such a thing) is
to place the strike indicator one and a half times the depth of the water.
The next thing that's a factor is the type of indicator being used. There are many
types available. Bobber type strike indicators come in all shapes and sizes. There
are also yarn type strike indicators. You can even grease up the leader and tippet
and use it as a strike indicator.
Bobbers come in plastic, cork and foam. They come in all colors of the spectrum.
They come in all sizes. Large ones cast larger shadows and are easier for the trout
to see, yet they are easier for the angler to see. Small ones are difficult to see in
rough water. The larger ones may be more difficult to cast, especially in windy
conditions. There's plenty of trade-offs to consider.
A big consideration is how easy is the strike indicator to take off the leader and
replace or to use the leader for another type of fishing. Some are so difficult to
change out they require you to replace the leader. Others are easy to remove and
can be done quickly and without damage to the leader.
All of these things affect the efficiency and benefit of strike indicators. There are no
set hard, fast rules. The best thing available for any angler using a strike indicator is
Yes, we are biased. That's why we prefer and use our "KISS Strike Indicators". We
don't just prefer them because we sell them. We think we have very good reasons
for preferring them.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
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These indicators are very easy to
install on your leader or tippet. Just
slip the leader or tippet in the slit
behind the rubber insert. They will not
damage the leader or tippet and are
fast and easy to install and remove.