A Really, Really Good Strike Indicator

The StrikeIndicator Tool

Far be it from me to get excited about strike indicator fishing… usually.

But I’ve had a chance to work with the StrikeIndicator Tool recently, and I think this New Zealand-born innovation might be the best new idea I’ve seen in a few years. Here’s what we ran in Angling Trade:

“If you like fishing indicators with nymph rigs, the importance of a reliable attachment that lets you fish different depths, and maintains that high floating visibility cannot be underestimated. The StrikeIndicator Tool costs $16.95 and is worth every penny. We’ve tested it on rivers in Colorado and are duly impressed. The system involves a hook-type tool that grabs the leader, and small tubing that slides into place (first over the leader, forming a loop), then fastens yarn in place (when you pull it taut). It’s easier to refer you to a visual demonstration, so check out www.strikeindicator.com to see how it works.”

Since we ran that, I’ve fished this indicator system even more, and I like it even more. It’s brilliant.

Check out the videos below for more info on the tool and how to use it.

Steps: Hook line on mono loop, slide sleeve over loop, insert wool, and finish the indicator.  Photos and video below by Tim Flagler, Tightline Studios.

It’s worth noting that the floating material is New Zealand wool. Why do we like wool socks? Because they wick moisture. Wool has proven to me to be more effective than most materials in terms of float power and sensitivity. A little goes a long way. And it reveals strikes better than clunky foams and plastics.

I have no doubt that I am hooking more fish with this sensitive and reliable system than I did before I started using it.

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  • Jon

    How does it work on thin tippet like 5 or 6x? Thiingamabobbers slide around on every cast. Will that little tube catch and hold on small tippet?

  • Kirk

    I have fished it on 5X (leader), and it was fine. I haven’t fished 6X.

  • ross slayton

    Nice! Think I’ll give it a try. wonder how it will work if a throw a few foam strips into the mix? As for thingamabobbers, get the ones with the pegs

  • Fred Rickson

    Seems like an oxymoron to me.

  • Mike Miller

    Looks easy until you use it.

  • bob

    looks like it would work well with spooky fish.

  • Marchbrown

    Definitely an OXYMORON, “Good and strike indicator” together. You can teach a monkey to fish with a strike indicator. Develope your skills without a cruch.

  • marchbrown

    Kirk, how could you sell out to the DARK SIDE :)

  • Bradkansas

    Too time consuming, too complicated, too expensive! Bradkansas

  • Deeter

    I know, I know, I know (marchbrown)… it almost killed me to say nice things about a strike indicator. But I have to acknowledge that reality is reality, strike indicators are involved in a huge percentage of western nymph fishing, and this system is better than anything else I’ve fished. It looks time-consuming, but it isn’t. It’s really simple. And wool floats, and reveals strikes, better than most other options. I hook fish with this that I wouldn’t catch otherwise. It’s as simple as that. The real “story within the story” is that I broke down and waxed poetic about any strike indicator at all. It took a lot of convincing to bring me there, but I was convinced. (Trust me, there are no strings attached, no financial incentives.)

  • Flyfisher

    Ok, here’s my take. First of all, it is a bit expensive for a needle, but you are paying for the idea, and I doubt, given the numbers of fly fishers, that the company is making money hand over fist. I did not mind paying. To my mind, thingamabobers, the most popular strike indicators, are worthless. I am a yarn and orthodontic rubber band guy. This needle-and-tube method seems like an improvement, but the indicator is kept in place by forcing the yarn down in the tube. Macrame yarn, of which I have lifetime supply, does not work, because it is too thick, and any piece of yarn beyond a certain diameter will not work. This method works for small indicators and and the wool they provide. An improvement would be to use a tubing that expands more–rubber instead of vinyl. I am going back to the rubber bands, but I still think this is a winner if they made a few changes. Good luck to them.

  • MTFisherman

    The best strike indicator is simply a floating fly such as an ant pattern or foam hopper pattern. Tie your nymph to the hook of the floating fly, decide on the length of leader to use for the dropper/nymph and fish!
    Why on earth would you throw something out into the middle of a trout stream that didn’t have a hook in it? The biggest worry you have is getting two fish on at once!