Make your own bite indicator

{This article was written by Budgie a number of years ago and published elsewhere. It was part of his ‘Tackle Workshop’ series. Digital cameras have come a long way since then, so we hope to change some of the photographs in the future.

Budgie will be writing some new material of this variety for us soon. If you’ve got a question about making, fixing or servicing any item of fishing tackle, please email it to and we’ll see if we can answer it. We won’t be able to answer all questions and, obviously, it won’t be an instant service. If you need a ‘quick fix’, you will be better off posting to our forums, or getting us to do it for you by clicking here and filling in the form.

If you see a term underlined in this article, this means that it is linked. Click on it to be taken to examples of that product for sale -Ed}



Carp Hanger Tackle Workshop

A reader recently E-mailed the Tackle Workshop asking how to make a bobbin or Carp hanger type indicator. This is a very simple project, but as always, the way you approach it will depend on what materials you have available. Due to this, I will give you a couple of alternatives.

Monkey ClimberMethod 1
I wonder how many of you out there have got a set of expensive but now redundant “monkey climbers”? These, at one time, were extremely popular with the Carp fraternity. Many of the PTFE bodied ones were quite expensive. With the free spool type reel becoming the standard method, the main use of the indicator was to register drop back type runs. The bobbin, or hanger, hung on the line tight up against the rod, replacing the old monkey.

Method one gives you a great way to reuse your old monkey climber bodies and make some really professional looking hangers.

1. Take your old monkey body and with a set of pliers remove the wire frame. Purchase a Gardner Free Flow line clip and tie a length of heavy nylon or cord (my preference is for a length of Amnesia) to the eye on the bottom of the clip.

Carp Hanger


2.Thread the nylon/cord through the centre hole in the monkey body and pull it through. On most monkey bodies the stem of the line clip will fit snugly in place. If this is not the case, enlarge the hole or glue in place with Araldite.

3.  Trim the nylon/cord to the required length.

How To Make A Carp Hanger How To Make A Carp Hanger

How To Make A Carp Hanger How To Make A Carp Hanger


Method 2
If you have no old monkey climbers, don’t worry. You will need to purchase a length of white tubular conduit and some balsa wood of the same diameter as the inside of the conduit.

1. Conduit often has printing on the outside. Remove this by rubbing gently with a scouring pad or similar.

2. Cut the conduit to the required length.

3. Cut the balsa wood to the same length and insert in to the conduit you have cut.

4. You can now either drill a hole through the balsa and finish of as in Method 1 or, if on a budget, you can carry on as follows.

5. Insert two map pins as shown in to the top of the hanger to act as a line clip. (I like to put a small piece of rubber tube at the base of the pins).

6. Take a large hook and cut of the bend. Insert the resulting eye into the base of the body. This will supply the anchor point for your nylon/cord.

7. Attach suitable length of nylon/cord.

8. Paint the exposed balsa top and bottom with a white paint.

9. As added security, it is a good idea to apply a small amount of glue to the cut down hook before pushing it in to the  balsa wood.

With both methods, the following ways of attaching the hanger to the buzzer bar/rod rest can be used;

1. Attach a suitable sized Terry clip, which will fit on to your buzzer bar/rod rest to the end of the nylon/cord.

Terry Clip How To Make A Carp Hanger


2. From an electrical components shop, purchase a nylon bolt that will fit into a Solar tackle “hockey stick”. Drill a hole in the head and tie the cord/nylon to it.

3. Obtain a sheet of perspex and cut out a rectangle approx. 1”x 2”. Drill a suitable sized hole for your alarm’s screw thread to fit through at one end and a small hole to take the hanger cord at the other. Tie the cord to the small hole and mount the perspex bracket, “Fox style”, between alarm and rod rest/buzzer bar.

4. The simplest way of all – just tie an overhand loop knot in the end of the cord and attach as shown.

How To Make A Carp Hanger


Well, there you go. Nothing hard there, eh? The weight of both types of hanger can be adjusted by adding split shot to the retaining cord. The advantage of making your own is that you can make your hangers any size you want.

Remember, though, that the hanger must be heavy enough to show drop backs positively. The range you intend to fish will determine the weight.



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Budgie Burgess

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