3 Reasons Air-Lock Indicators Are Better Than Thingamabobbers

For years, if I was trout fishing with multiple flies under a strike indicator, I used a Thingamabobber. Compared to other indicators they were more buoyant, visible, and sensitive. But they had their drawbacks. These important issues have been essentially all resolved with the advent of the Air-Lock Strike Indicators. Here are 3 ways they are an improvement...

1. They Wont Slide Around

When attached to any part of the leader the Air-Locks will not slide around. This was an issue with other indicators. If they were attached, especially to the thinner sections of the leader, they would move around quite often after casting. With the screw-on system the Air-Locks have, you can attach them to any part of the leader without worry of it sliding all over the place. No more needing to tie knots on either end of the indicator to prevent sliding and thus weakening the leader!

2. No More Kinks

If you were fishing nymphs for a while and you wanted to change to dry flies, your leader had a very noticeable kink where the Thingamabobber was. Not only would this prevent your leader from laying out straight, but if you were changing placements of the indicator, you had multiple kinks. This rendered your leader basically useless. With the screw-top Air-Locks, your leader is attached with a straight placement over the top. This prevents your leader from becoming a zig-zagging slinky after nymphing. 

Air-Lock vs Thingamabobber

3. The 90° Connection Option

One really cool additional feature is the ability to also setup your Air-Lock and leader to create a 90° connection. This allows the indicator to sit top-down on the water and facilitate a straight downward placement of the leader. This can help get your flies deep quicker and straighter.

Air-Lock vs Thingamabobber

Check out this great video with Tim Rajeff explaining the benefits of the Air-Locks!

Words + Photos By: Josh Thelin



Larry Tullis:

There is no perfect indicator for all conditions. I like the clear and semi-clear (glow in the dark) indicators Thingamabobber makes for stealthy presentations (less distraction for the fish). They are also lighter and have less splash down. For even more stealthy presentation for emergers etc., go to a micro New Zealand style yarn indicator.

Jan 11, 2022

Guildor Poitras:

any air lock indicator for sale and size 1/2” and 3/4” thanks

Apr 09, 2020

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