Looking for some indicator advice

I recently started using Thingamabobber strike indicators for both trout and steelhead. I have heard many good things about them and they seem like they would be pretty darn effective. The problem I am running into is casting them. They seem to act like a sail (especially the bigger ones) and catch air and make it pretty difficult to cast. I have had many wind knots and messes in my line since I started this. Just wondering if anyone has some advice to cast these for some distance and not get it tangled.
I'd suggest using the 1/2 in size. They are small enough not to 'sail' but they hold up enough weight for most applications. Also may want to open up your loops to avoid wind knots & messes.
So goes my love/hate relationship. Ok with casting usually, love the drift, but hate how they dick up a leader and slip.
I've only used one a few times, but had the same "slip" problem.

After passing the line through the hole, give the loop a half twist before slipping it over the bobber. I never had it slip after that.

Just one word of advice... Don't forget about giving it that half twist, or you'll be trying to get that thing off for an hour! :eek:

David Dalan

69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E
I fish small water with an indicator most of the time (25' - 30' casts). On both of my "bobber rods" I use a 1/2" float, and a scandi short head. I use the same casts I use with my two hander (single spey/skagit, C-spey/snap-T, whatever the hell you wanna call 'em), essentially roll casts like underachiever said. If I have to double haul, I REALLY slow it down, but this is rare and I don't do it with more than one nymph/bead on it unless I am truly desperate. With roll casts, a longer rod (10'6" for my 6wt and 8wt singles), throwing a rig like this (on small waters) is a pleasure. No chuck and duck, because frankly I think that sucks.

I can roll cast a weighted fly, a bead and a bobber without much effort.

I can also yank the float, put on a heavy point fly and Euronymph with the longer rod.

I don't use an indicator on larger waters, mostly because...
1. I don't fish large water that often, and I like swinging/dredging and
2. I pretty much have to nymph my local waters, so when I travel I want to do something else most of the time.

That being said, if you're nymphing large waters, a longer nymphing line (Rio nymph line, etc.) could be more useful. If doing it with a two hander I hear (I have not done this) a full belly spey line or something like the Speydicator line would be useful. The back taper makes mending over long distances possible. With a Skagit/Scandi (short or not), you run out of easily mended line after 25'-35'.

Old Man

Just an Old Man
There is a thread on here about using yarn for indicators. It looks very helpful. Maybe you should give that a try.

I use the 3/4" size bobbers and fish small waters so all I need to do is give it a flip to get it out there with my 4wt. No problem. If I fish the Beaverhead, I use my 5 or 6wt rod. No problem getting out to the other side of the river with either rod.

Rick Todd

Active Member
There is video in the Steelhead section about steelhead nymphing set ups. He used two nail knots made from an old fly line to hold a thingamabobber in place. Seemed like it would work kind of like the frog hair set up. Check out the video! Rick


Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
I'd love to see someone design a air filled indicator similar to a Thingambobber but with a hole down the middle.
It could then be fished inline and easily adjusted up or down your leader with a bobber stop on each end.
I just not a fan of the tab and hole design of the current Thingambobbers regardless of how you connect them to your leader.
Likes: PT


Active Member
Just my humble opinion, but fishing using a bobber (no matter what you call a thingamabobber, its a bobber) is NOT fly fishing. It is fishing with flies, but it is not fly fishing. You might as well get a hickory stick with a piece of sting, cork, and worm.

Latest posts