Check this out.
I field-tested several of the currently popular strike indicators purchased in fly fishing shops and here is what I found.
Test methodology: I secured four fly rods in rod-holders, stripped out some line, and let a 4/0 Skykomish Sunrise hang in the current below the boat. I attached a different strike indicator on the eyelet of each rod and waited to see if the indicator would clearly signal a good bite. The four strike indicators tested included three traditional models and a newcomer: a little copper bell. An impartial observer stood in the bow of the drift boat and recorded the efficacy of each strike indicator as the day progressed.
Here’s what happened with the traditional, industry-standard strike indicators: absolutely nothing! The fly attached to each of the four rods received vicious strikes from trout, salmon, tuna, striped bass, and crocodiles, however, only the little copper bell gave any indication whatsoever that the fly on its rod had been banged. Fancy that!
Not being one to jump to conclusions, I plan on carefully researching this matter. Until then, however, I wanted to share the shocking results of this field test. A photo of the most effective strike indicator is shown here. Currently, these little bells are not sold in Fly Shops, so I plan on buying several thousand for three cents apiece, then selling them on the Internet for $9.99.
Should pay for my next fly rod, maybe.