In case you’ve been living under a rock and missed it, this is the single biggest advancement in nymphomania since chilled beers.
Yep, the little stick on foam indicators have done well by me for a long long time, but this is much more versatile and flat-out brilliant.
The tool itself is a simple modified sewing needle with a large red bead over the pointy end to make it easier to hold and see if dropped and a tie on loop that can be attached to a zinger or the like. Several cut sections of tube will stay on the needle until they’re needed.
To make an indicator you simply attach a loop of line on the hook of the needle, slide off a pre-cut length of tube over the line, remove the needle, inset a pinch of wool into the loop and then you just pull the leader up tight, forcing the wool into the tubing and trim as required. Bingo! The perfect indicator.
Initially, I was sceptical about wool as a material for indicators, but this rough Kiwi stuff, though quite often offside, floats brilliantly and needs nothing other than the odd false cast to keep it on top. It can be dressed with floatant as well of course, but I haven’t seen the need yet.
The wool comes in four colours: black, white, orange and fluorescent green. Generally on faster water I use green or a combination of white and green, and on slower water I just use white.
I would assume the black is for twilight, though I’ve yet to try it.
The main thing that stands out with this system is the ability to make very small indicators for light rods and tiny streams. I like to make a fairly thick indicator with the white wool, but trim it fairly short, like 5- or 6-mm to keep things streamlined. That’s enough to keep floating with a size 16 Tungsten nymph and still be easily cast on a 2-weight.
Once made, the indicator is very easily repositioned along the leader for changing water depths.
This is a real time saver on small streams where you only get the odd bit of deeper water and still want to hit the bottom.
It’s also worth pointing out that the indicators land softly on the water and don’t seem to spook fish as quickly as foam.
With the new bigger tube now available, Tongariro-sized indicators are an option for heavier fishing.
The basic kit, which includes the tool, a lump of green and white wool and a length of tubing, is probably everything you would need for many seasons. However, you can also get a combo pack with the basic kit, a pack of wool in four colours and spare tubing.