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Fishing Bite Indicators

fishing bite indicatorsFishing bite indicators come in many forms. The term can be applied to any apparatus that signals to the angler that a fish has been hooked. Bite indicators remove the need for an angler to focus constantly on his fishing rod or line, searching for signs of a bite. Some types of bite indicator that are available to anglers include Floats, Butts, Bobbins, and Tip Indicators.

Floats are of course some of the simplest and oldest forms of bite indicator. The basic principle behind them is that the float sits on the surface of the water, indicating the presence of the line. Once a bite occurs, the float dips visibly, alerting the angler to the bite. The basic float has undergone considerable development over the years. There is now a wide and often confusing selection of floats available. They come in many colours and in a variety of shapes and sizes, but are also designed to be suited to the various fishing environments negotiated by recreational and sport anglers.

A float is designed to be highly conspicuous and visible on the surface of the water, but extremely inconspicuous and almost invisible from beneath the water. You can now purchase floats that resemble twigs, weeds, reeds and other common aquatic objects. When choosing your float you should consider the type of water in which you will be fishing. If the float is to be used in smooth waters then it should have a very low centre of gravity in order to remain stable. If you are fishing in a river or a pond, the centre of gravity should be higher, so as to help hold the float in place against the current and against the wind.

Butt indicators are more complex devices, and are positioned at the base of the rod. The butt indicator is fixed to a movable arm and is held on to the arm, directly before the reel. Once the line is pulled, the head will move, indicating that a fish has bitten. The butt indicator has also undergone considerable development and there are now many technological additions to the basic concept. The most common addition to the butt indicator is an electronic alarm, which sounds once a fish has bitten the line.

Bobbins are bite indicators that hang freely from the line below the surface of the water. Before the fish has bitten the line will be slightly relaxed, but once the fish is hooked and it begins to swim away, the line will tighten causing the bobbin to rise. Bobbins are often homemade, but many sophisticated versions can also be purchased. These modern tools come equipped with alarms and flashing lights, to make them visible in the darkness.

Tip indicators come in two main forms, quiver-tips and swing-tips. They are essentially flexible add-ons that are affixed to the tip of the fishing rod. Quiver tips are thin flexible tips, which bend noticeably when a bite occurs. Quiver-tips come with different flexibilities, so it is important to choose the appropriate flexibility for the type of fish that you are searching for. If your quiver tip is too rigid for the weight of the fish, you will not be able to see it move when the bite occurs.

Swing-tips are also affixed to the tip of a fishing rod, but they are fashioned from two separate pieces, joined with a hinge. This hinge is very sensitive, and therefore swing tips are unsuitable for rough or unstable waters. In still waters however, the noticeable bend in the hinge will immediately betray the presence of a fish. In some cases small flags are attached to swing tips, which makes the bite indicator even more effective.

Fishing bite indicators range from simple constructs to highly-developed electronic devices, but all serve to alert the angler immediately once a fish is hooked.