Everyone is always trying to find that new piece of technology or some gadget that will give them a leg up over all the other anglers on the river. Even if you’re not trying to get an advantage over other fishermen, there a lot of products on the market designed to make life easier, to make the time we spend on the water more enjoyable and less work.
Strike indicators for nymphing are one such thing that has completely changed the game. First it was those stick on foam ones and the big fluffy bundles of wool. Those worked, and still do, but not very well. They would get waterlogged and sink or were just too wind resistant and bulky to cast well. When the Thingamabobbers came onto the scene they changed everything. Now it was possible to have a durable, long floating bobber that was very sensitive. But they weren’t perfect. They are prone to slip and put a nasty kink in your line when you take them off.
Enter the Air-Lock Strike Indicator.
The Air-Lock differs from the Thingamabobber in a very important way. Instead of looping your line through a little hole like with other products, you just unscrew the top, lay your leader through the notch and screw the top back on to tighten it up. This keeps everything in line, without a loop. Which means your leader remains relatively kink free at the end of the day.
With this design, it also means that the top of the indicator where your line is will always be at the bottom. I recently spent a day fishing these on the Madison and found that the more consistent float pattern was much better. I found it a little easier to detect subtle strikes.
Moving an Air-Lock is much easier too. Just loosen up the cap, move the indicator to the desired location, and screw it back on. Piece of cake. A whole lot easier than moving a Thingamabobber…. At the end of the day I did notice a slight kink in the line from the cap but it was much less noticeable than the one from a Thingamabobber.
The only thing that worries me about the Air-Lock design is the possibility of losing the screw on cap. If you lose that, then your indicator is pretty much useless unless you have a back up cap (which we will have in stock soon). That being said, if you’re careful with it then it won’t be an issue at all.
All in all, I think the Air-Lock Strike Indicators are a big improvement over existing designs. We have had people asking about them in the shop for a long time and finally got them in last week. We currently have the ¾” and 1” size, both selling for $2.50 each. Come buy one and try it for yourself.