The Best Carp Bite Indicators - (Swingers & Bobbins Reviewed)
As bite indication is key when hunting for large Carp, watching the tip of your rod all day is tiresome and can lead to missed chances. This is where bite indicators can help.
Bite Indicators, such as bobbins or swingers, can be used as a visual indicator in the absence of an alarm but can equally assist alongside the fishing alarm to optimise your Carp fishing setup.
Having tried many types of indicators in my many years Carp fishing, this articles explains the different types and ultimately the best Carp bite indicators for your fishing.
Strapped For Time?
Cutting to the chase, the best Carp bite indicators are swingers.
Swingers are sturdier than a bobbin type indicator and as such tend to experience less false bites from the wind etc.
Also if, like me, you suffer from (everything has to be straight and aligned) OCD then this is easier to achieve with a swinger.
We thoroughly recommend the Prologic SNZ Chubby Long Swing Indicator Set. These swingers come in a set of 3 and the unique stainless steel ball line clip makes these a class above other Carp bite indicators on the market.
Read on to see more information on Carp bite indicators and some alternatives we recommend.
Skip to our favourite carp bite indicator info here.
A bit about bite indicators
Firstly, just to clear things up, when we are referring to the best carp indicators, we are talking about Carp bite Indicators, such as bobbins, swingers, hangers, and monkey climbers. Basically those that are used in conjunction with bite alarms.
We review fishing bite alarms in another article so for know will be referring to just the above. There are other forms of bite indication such as floats and quiver tips that are again for other articles.
Why are Carp bite indicators useful
Apart from the obvious answer of "they tell you when you've got a bite", there are other reasons to consider the best Carp bite indicator for you. As the bite alarm detects a fish tugging at the line, the bite indicator will give the angler subtle clues as to what is happening under the surface of the water.
For example, if the indicator rises up then the fish is swimming away from you, and if your indicators drop to the ground, which is commonly known as a ‘drop-back’, this indicates that the fish is swimming directly towards you - some bite alarms are slow at detecting ‘drop-backs’, making bite indicators particularly useful in this instance.
Bite indicators also help the angler to see how their rig is being played. This kind of information is vital to know before you strike and start the battle to bring the fish to the bank. We have a separate guide on how to setup a bite alarm with a carp bite indicator if needed.
The 3 main types of Carp bite indicators
There is a selection of bite indicators to choose from, however, the main distinctions are:
A bobbin bite indicator is simply a weighted clip that is attached to the bottom of your bite alarm via a chain.
It is fixed directly to the line and gives anglers very accurate readings as the only time it moves will be when a fish is hooked.
A swinger bite indicator, sometimes referred to as a hanger, hangs below the line and is attached to the bottom of the bite alarm via a fixed bar.
Swingers are less prone to false readings due to the fixed bar that attaches to the bite alarm, compared to a bobbin’s chain which is susceptible to moving around in high winds.
3. Monkey Climbers
A Monkey Climber is basically a bobbin on separate, vertical bar that you dig into the ground and attach your line to once cast.
Monkey Climbers are also less prone to false alarms but also have the disadvantage of taking up more luggage room and having the need to stick in the ground which can be a challenge for some swims.
Bite indicators are a small, yet crucial part of your fishing gear. As Carp are getting smarter and wise to anglers’ ever-evolving tactics, it is important to stay ahead of the game with the latest equipment.
A quality bite indicator will give you clues that may help you outsmart the fish and achieve the catch of a lifetime. Take a look at our selection of the best Carp bite indicators currently on the market:
List of the best Carp bite indicators
Prologic SNZ Chubby Long Swing Indicator Set
The SNZ range of swingers and hangers are the best Carp bite indicators we have tested and are our first choice by far. These indicators are very popular anyway in the angling community and are well known to register even the smallest of line movements.
There have personally been times that a perceived line bite from a 'one bleeper' has turned into a strike and a fish. I put this down to the ultra sensitive nature of these indicators which in my instance saw movement of the line enough for me to 'have a go'.
I sincerely believe that if I was using other bobbins I wouldn't have even fluttered an eyelid let alone strike.
These indicators feature an innovative solution on the line clip that allows anglers to use a traditional stainless steel ball clip if they want the fishing line to slide freely.
This feature can be extremely useful if fishing very difficult waters where any form of resistance can lead to the Carp blowing out the bait.
The bobbins’ bodies are made using an ultra-bright high-vis transparent acrylic to aid visual bite indication in low light environments, making them perfect for anglers that fish through the night.
The indicator set comes in a set of 3 and is also supplied with spare bobbins and additional weights, which again adds great versatility to the swinger.
Overall, these swingers offer quality in terms of how they are made and how adaptable they are. Using these indicators can only have a positive affect on your fishing and as such, we can confidently say that the Prologic SNZs are the best Carp indicators on the market today.
Fox Black Slik Bobbin
The Fox Black Label Slik Bobbin can easily be classed as one of the best Carp bite indicators on the market. This bobbin gives Carp anglers the sensitivity they need, no matter the weather conditions.
Its ‘Slik Clip’ means it can be used in a variety of ways and its fully interchangeable parts allow anglers to create different types of indicator for every possible situation on the bank.
Available in a variety of colours, the Fox Black Silk Bobbin would certainly be at home in every carp anglers tackle box.
New Direction Tackle T10 Spring Bite Indicator
New Direction Tackle’s T10 bobbins are easily one of the best Carp bite indicators on the market; the reviews speak for themselves. The carbon bobbins are certainly different from the ‘normal’ bobbins, however, it is easy to see why they are the best-reviewed bite indicators on Amazon.
It features a unique spring system that gives constant tension on the line, enhances bite detection, and gives greatly enhanced drop-back bite indication when fishing with a tight line, while still showing small movements when slack-lining.
It also features a dual functional line clip; the line can either rest under the twin balls at the top, in the manner of a conventional swinger, or it can be slid down inside the head and clipped into place between the two soft ‘blades’ at the base.
Fox Black Label Dumpy Bobbins
Fox is synonymous with quality and perfection, and its Dumpy Bobbins are no exception. Featuring a prominent body and hockey stick connection, the Stealth Bobbins allow anglers to easily adjust the line tension to suit short or medium range fishing.
This gives anglers that added indication and bite sensitivity needed to bag that bite. The bobbins also come with an optional brass insert that can increase the total weight of the head from the initial 13g to 20g.
The Black Label Dumpy Bobbin’s high performance, durability, and style from an angling brand you can trust make them one of the best bite indicators for carp anglers.
Zer One LED Illuminated Bite Indicators
Priced at the higher end of the market, due to their quality and durability, it’s easy to see why Zer One’s 4 piece bobbin set are amongst some of the best Carp bite indicators.
The LED illuminated bobbins ensure carp anglers can get the most out of their session no matter what time of the day it is. Day or night, Zer One’s bobbins flexible design and wear-resistant materials will ensure that anglers will never miss a bite.
It also comes with its own storage box to keep the bite indicators safe from damage when carrying your gear to the bank.
JRC Radar DS Swing Indicator
The Radar DS Swing indicator is an innovative illuminated swinger from JRC. Perfect for short range and long distance fishing, the innovative swinger is definitely one of the best bite indicators on the market.
The latest micro-programming has made it possible to change the colours of the LEDs and adjust the brightness of the light, enabling anglers to personalise the indicator for specific situations.
With a clever aerodynamic profile and an adjustable weight system, the swinger is extra sensitive yet stable in all weather conditions, ensuring anglers don’t miss any bites.
BZS Carp Bobbins Bite Indicator
The BZS carp bobbins are one of the best Carp bite indicators currently on the market, in terms of affordability. Perfect for fishing on calm waters on sunny days, the Carp bobbins are super sensitive which means you won’t miss any bites.
The bobbins use black anodised chains with adjustable line clips, making them perfect for anglers that fish with different size diameter lines. With a high-quality matt black finish on the chain, tips and base, the bobbins are available in red, green, blue, and purple.
Such a small, overlooked part of your fishing arsenal can sometimes be the difference between landing a fish and not knowing you had a bite in the first place.
Hopefully this article has advised some of the questions that often arise with bobbins and swingers and ultimately clarified on what could be the best Carp indicators for your fishing.
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How to Setup a Fishing Bite Alarm
In this article I advise on how to setup a fishing bite alarm and touch on some of the equipment that you’ll need.