What is the New Zealand Strike Indicator Tool?
The New Zealand Strike Indicator Tool is a very simple gadget that lets you attach a wool-based strike indicator to your leader so you can spot takes better when fishing nymphs or buzzers on stillwaters or rivers.
What's included in the kit?
Inside the packet you get a strike indicator tool - basically a sewing needle with a bead on one end and a notch cut in the top; some sections of clear plastic tubing and a selection of chunks of New Zealand sheep wool.
How do you attach the indicators?
Attaching the indicators is quite quick and easy and only a fraction more fiddly than attaching some other forms of strike indicator.
Take your leader and make a loop at the point at which you want to attach the strike indicator. Slide the notch in the end of the strike indicator tool over the leader and slide one of the clear plastic sleeves down the doubled over loop.
Then take a small section of wool and place it in the loop and pull the leader at each end. If you've not overdone the wool, the sleeve will slide up and lock the wool in place and form a little tuft that serves as the indicator. If the wool looks untidy, you can trim the top flat with some scissors before you fish.
What are the benefits of using these strike indicators?
The New Zealand Strike Indicator tool has several benefits over other types of strike indicator. They're light and easy to cast, they're completely reusable, they support flies well, they barely make a splash and they can be repositioned without damaging your leader.
What are they like to cast?
These strike indicators are extremely lightweight so you can cast them easily on most rods, even very soft, bendy ones with a low line weight. I've used them on my 8'6" 4# Orvis Superfine Touch, which has a very soft action, and they've been easier to cast than most other strike indicators and haven't impeded casting too much at all.
On more powerful rods you barely notice they're there and you won't need to adjust your casting stroke or loop as you can with heavier, bulkier strike indicators.
How well do these strike indicators float?
They float well when fresh from the packet and are capable of suspending relatively weighty flies - a team of three epoxy buzzers is no problem, for example.
After you've caught a fish you may find the submerged indicator wool no longer floats as well, but you can squeeze the water out and apply a spot of Gink to make it float again. Or you can simply slide the sleeve down and replace it with some fresh, dry wool.
They work better at small sizes I think, so if you're fishing heavier flies you might want to use a different style of indicator or get some thicker tubing.
How much are they?
For what they are, they're pretty pricey little things. The kit costs about £13.99 in the UK and includes the New Zealand Strike Indicator tool, lots of sections of the clear plastic tubing you use to attach the indicators and enough wool to keep you going for quite a while.
Since these fall off far less frequently than other types of strike indicator the kit should last you a fair while, so is probably better value for money overall, but given the simplicity of the components it still feels a bit overpriced to me.
For pure ease of casting and delicate presentation though they're better than most other strike indicators on the market. Plus, once you have the tool, the wool and plastic tubing are cheap to replace if you run out. Replacement wool costs £6.99 a pack, so do the replacement rubber sleeves.
Not bad, if you can live with the hassle of needing to Gink-up your indicator to keep it afloat.