Super Sensitive Bite Indication – Matt Brown

Over the last couple of years I’ve been doing quite a bit of perch fishing, mainly using lobworms. One of the problems with perch and fishing with lobworms is that you can get dropped runs and run the risk of the fish swallowing the hook. The trick seems to be to minimize resistance while maintaining the most sensitive bite indication. 

Yes you could use a float (and I often do), but most of the time I prefer to use two rods, bite alarms and free running leger rigs. Feeding spells can be short meaning long periods of inactivity and trying to watch two floats simply gives me a headache! 

Looking for a hanger (bite indicator, bobbin – whatever you wish to call them) means delving into the world of carp fishing tackle. There’s a vast array of hangers available but many of them are unsuitable for resistance shy species such as the perch. Most are simply too heavy and the length of chain or cord isn’t going to give you enough of a drop. 

I’ve been dabbling with all sorts (and will no doubt continue to do so) but I’m pretty happy with the lightweight Gardner Micro Bug Indicator. It’s small and therefore lightweight but the main benefit is the line clip.  epending on how you set this up, you can have the line pivot through the ‘v’ in the clip in the traditional way or have the clip grip the line. It’s in this latter mode that the indicator really comes into its own. 

Because the indicator will move by the same amount that the fish takes line (see diagram) bit indication is at a maximum. If you’ve ever paid close attention to the way a normal style clip moves when a fish takes line, you’ll notice that the indicator grips a little, moves a little and slips back down over and over. I worry that this creates a juddering sensation and that the fish can feel it. By having a clip that grips the line, this is not an issue. 

I like a good drop of around 3ft to allow me plenty of time to hit a bite without the line tightening against the spool, as it would should the hanger reach the top of its travel. I’ve therefore had to remove the chain from the Micro Bugs and have created a lightweight cord. The cord itself is the fluorescent Fox Marker Braid, which is great as an extra visual indicator. At one end is a Korda tail rubber which slips on over the thread on the indicator head. At the other end is a length of John Roberts rig tube and some 2mm silicone tubing. This end fits nicely into a Solar Kit Off hockey stick creating a simple quick release system. At each end, the marker braid is stopped in place using a 4.5 ESP oval rig ring. It sounds more complex than it really is! 

With such a lightweight hanger system there can be problems with many roller wheel based alarm as the line can skip over the roller. That’s not an issue if you’re paying full attention but, if like me, you’re averse to watching wildlife and the world go by, then I can’t recommend the Delkim alarms enough. Their vibration sensing is superb.

If wind, flow or tow is causing the hanger to rise you can simply add shot until you have the balance right. 

Solar Tackle have just released a new gripping clip for their indicator systems and Muddy Waters already produce some superb, lightweight hangers so there’s more choice than we’ve had in the past. 

Now I’m sure the more forward thinking amongst you will have realized that such a system would be ideal for eels, zander and chub too. You’d not be wrong! Get out and give it a try. The bites can be heart stopping! 

Notes for Hanger Diagrams:

Fig 1.  Let’s just pretend that we have a vertical drop of 12” and that the line is set so that the hanger will only travel up or down. 

Fig 2. With a traditional hanger clip, when the fish takes 6” of line, the line will pivot through the clip meaning that line will be taken from each side of the clip.  Therefore the hanger will only move 3”. 

Fig 3. With a hanger clip that grips, the line between the bite alarm (or rod rest) will move the full 6” meaning that the hanger will move that far.  It’s twice as sensitive!  This make a huge difference in how easily you can read what is going on. 

Possible Photo Captions:

gardner-micro-bug-hanger-cl.jpg – The clip of the Gardner Micro Bug grips your line meaning greater sensitivity. 

Chain for general use

One thought on “Super Sensitive Bite Indication – Matt Brown

  1. Hi

    i have been using this method and have found it much better than the normal run of the mill indicator but recently i explored the idea of a roll-over (zandavian products) for EEls and Perch and found it superb. There is no resistance on the line obviously with an open bail arm. I wondered what you thought



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