Make your own Strike Indicators for Ice Fishing. Some folks call these “Spring Bobbers”. The One Thing is that you need, to see even the most sensitive bites, when ice fishing.
Start by using Spring Wire, in the gauge you prefer. This is available at local hardware stores. You will need a pair of wire cutting pliers or needle nose pliers. Thinner wire is more sensitive.
Use colorful Styrofoam strike indicators, like what fly fishermen use. Brite orange or green are good choices. Cut the wire in the length you desire. Usually 10 inches for an ice rod tip. Now make a ring, eye at the end of the wire. I wrap the wire around a ½ inch wooden dial, locked in a vise. Larger ring size is less likely to freeze up. Make a few wire wraps and clip off the excess. File any sharp edges.
Now slide the strike indicator ball down the wire all the way to the eye ring you have made. Make a 90-degree bend above the ball and you are done. If you want, you can make a short, sharp bend at the end of the wire. This will help keep the wire from slipping out from under the shrink tube tape. File any sharp edges.
To attach the wire to your rod tip, you will need a lighter, shrink tape tubes, and some rod tip adhesive. Use a pair of forceps, or the needle nose pliers to hold the rod tip. Heat the base of the tip and slide the rod tip top off. Place a ½ inch to ¾ inch section of shrink tube over the rod tip. Align the Strike indicator and heat it with the lighter. A little heat goes a long way so do not burn the rod blank or catch anything on fire.
You can also wrap thread around the indicator as you would attach a rod guide to the blank.
Now to reattach the tip top guide, heat some of the rod tip adhesive and apply I to the rod blank tip. Now slide the guide into place and align. If the adhesive hardens up too fast, apply a little more heat from the lighter.
This tip really works!
For more Montana Grant, find him at www.montanagrantfishing.com.