How Do You Make a Strike Indicator for Fly Fishing?

Strike indicators are an important tool for fly fishermen. They help alert anglers when a fish has taken their fly, making it easier to set the hook and land the fish.

There are a variety of strike indicators available commercially, but some anglers prefer to make their own. Making your own strike indicator is a great way to save money, customize your equipment for specific conditions, and have fun experimenting with new ideas. Here’s how you can make your own strike indicator for fly fishing:

Gather Materials:

Making a strike indicator doesn’t require complex materials and can be easily obtained from household items or a hardware store. All you need is foam, thread, scissors, and a lighter or matches. The foam should have enough density to float on water without sinking, but also light enough to not weigh down your fishing line.

Cut Foam:

Once you have all of the necessary materials, begin by cutting the foam into small cubes or circles. The size of the cubes or circles will depend on what kind of fishing you will be doing and how deep you plan on fishing. Smaller cubes tend to be more sensitive while larger ones are better for deeper water.

Tie On Thread:

Next, take one piece of thread and tie it tightly around one end of each cube or circle. Make sure that the thread is tied securely so that it won’t come undone when you cast your line out.

Heat Foam:

Once you’ve tied on the thread to each cube or circle, heat up the foam with either a lighter or matches. This will cause the foam to curl around itself creating an air pocket in its center which will help keep it afloat on top of the water.

Attach To Line:

Last but not least, attach your newly created strike indicators to your fishing line using a loop knot. Once they are securely attached they should be ready to use!


Making your own strike indicator is an easy and cost-effective way to customize your equipment for specific conditions. With just a few supplies and some basic instructions anyone can make their own strike indicator for fly fishing in no time at all!

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Emma Gibson