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Bite Indicator

by sight or sound?


Bite indicator plays a supporting role in fishing by notifying us of bait is being taken. Although just a supporting role, its importance is better appreciated if we recall that crucial moment when our line goes out. Any lack of attention can mean a lost fish!

So what sort of bite indicators are we talking about? A screaming reel or a bending rod or a float bobbing about. While designs are many, they can simply be divided into sight and sound. Some may incorporate both features such as a wireless bite alarm but in here we will look at several simple designs.

By The Way Of Sight

The most common way to detect a bite is when a rod jolts repeatedly. However, there are circumstances when watching the rod will not work. Night fishing is one such. Or when leaving the bail arm open to counter wary fish. Here are few sight based solutions that will cost very little or nothing at all.

Straw for a horizontally mounted rod. Any nibble will send the straw twitching.
Can be used with bail arm open or closed.

Cut straw into this shape. To cast, slip line through it and loop straw over rod tip.
After mounting the rod, pull the straw away from rod tip and let it rest on the line. bi002

Effective when dealing with wary and subtle biting fish such as this common carp.

The humble float is also an effective but under-utilized bite indicator.

By The Way Of Sound

When fishing in poor visibility e.g total darkness or full glare of the sun, fishermen rely on sound for notification. If a fish swims away with the bait, reel clicker will be the first to go off as long as the drag is not fully tightened and any line release mechanism is disengaged (non-casting position). This will produce a sound all fishermen know as "a screaming reel". But if the drag is fully tightened and rod left unsecured, the poor chap will be notified with a sound similar to toilet activity... "ploop". And here are some sound oriented indicators at your disposal.

Reel clicker can give you a sweet wake-up call if the drag adjustment is sound and proper .
Be advised not all reel clicker is loud. Some can hardly be heard during a conversation.

Glow in the dark tubing can replace straw (top) for night fishing.
All we need is a little bit of creativity.

Pairing glow stick and float is highly reliable as long as the target fish is not bothered by it.

Bell is a good choice for night time provided the surrounding is relatively quiet.
Choose one that comes with two big bells. Big bell emits louder noise and vice versa.
Clip the bell onto a piece of paper wrapped around the rod to prevent any damage.