Its safe to say that ‘thingamabobber style’ strike indicators have taken over today’s nymphing scene. Whether or not you choose to fish under an indicator, its hard to argue their effectiveness. They cast reasonably well, float virtually forever, and are a breeze to attach to any standard leader.
However, a downside to many modern strike indicators is the ugly kink created in the leader when removing or adjusting the indicator to different depths. At $4.95 per tapered leader, this can be a bit of a pain when switching back and forth between nymphs and dry flies, but for most of us, we’ve just learned to deal with it!
That is until the good folks at Rajeff Sports recently introduced us to the new Airlock Strike Indicators. We took them for a test drive this summer at Alaska West, and thought they were pretty slick. We’re not going to get overly ‘techie’ here as the idea is really quite simple.. A modern ‘bobber style’ indicator with a fully adjustable top. Unscrew the top, lay your leader in the groove, and screw down tight. Need to adjust? Loosen the top, slide the indicator to the desired point on the leader, and tighten back down. The indicator never moves and better yet, never kinks your line.. The brilliance is in it’s simplicity. Why didn’t we think of that?
Check out the video below for a demonstration!
The Airlock Indicators come in three sizes, four colors, and can be found at all fly shops in the know. Click here to find the dealer nearest to you!
NOTE: If you’re viewing this in a newsletter or a reader, click here to view the video on Vimeo.
Rick Heim says
I’ve been using the Air-Lock indicators for 6 or 8 months and have not looked back. They are so much more convenient than others out there and are gentle on your leader. While in Alaska I showed them to a number of guides all of whom ordered them right away.
I was pretty happy with the regular thingamabobber until this year . . . they seem to have changed the plastic because it’s now much stiffer than it used to be and regularly cuts through even thick leaders. Two years ago, my leader would eventually cut through the thingamabobber, which sucked, but never caused me to lose big fish. Thingamabobber had a good thing going . . .
Kyle Shea says
This is a great point which we failed to mention as a huge advantage of the Airlock Indicators. Because the leader is run straight through the indicator, never looped ‘in and around,’ there is no leader cutting or indicator loss! Thanks for the comment and best of luck out there!
Kyle Shea says
Glad to hear Rick! We were certainly blown away when we first saw them in Alaska as well. The ability to change depths and get back on the sticks is a guide’s dream! Thanks for stopping by!
Norm Brust says
They work great except with cold fingers or when you get too much in a rush and drop the little screw top or washer or both. It would be nice if they sold some of the screw tops separately!
I used these on a trip recently and found them to not stay in place, sliding down the line. And when I tried tightening it more, the washer broke and it was done from there. Am I missing something?
Kyle Shea says
Interesting Jonathan. We’ve seen them slide a little over of day of hook sets, but generally we haven’t found much of an issue. That said, I generally prefer set the indicator quite high on my rigs, thus it is set onto the thicker butt section of the leader. Where on your leader would you say you fish them most?
I was using it about 3 feet down a 5x leader (tapered of course) and it would slide down to about a foot from the end after 10-20 casts. It did seem to start moving quicker once it moved further, momentum and all. For now, I’m gonna stick with wool/NZ unless I’m in super swift water. Indicators in general all have their faults and it’s up to us to adjust until we get polarized optical implants. 😉