Best Bite Alarms for Carp Fishing in 2020
If you don't know you've got a bite, you don't stand much chance of catching many carp so using bite indicators really is a must. The problem is there are so many different bite alarms available and it's tough to decide which ones to buy.
The fact there are so many companies selling alarms at varying price-points means the quality and features of your bite alarms can vary greatly.
For this very reason, and to make your decision much more simple, I've put together a list of what I believe to be the best bite alarms for carp fishing currently available. I've also included some added general info about bite alarms to help you choose the best alarms for you.
Best Bite Indicators - Ratings
Bite Indicator Features - What makes a good bite alarm?
To make sure you know what you are looking for when selecting your own bite alarms, I've put together a list of basic questions that you will need to consider.
Are the Bite Alarms Waterproof?
If an alarm is not specified as waterproof then it is not worth owning as any ingress of water into the alarm will render it useless in time.
Do the Alarms Boast Suitable Battery Life?
Look for an alarm that boasts a good battery life as there is nothing worse than one of your alarms failing mid way through a session.
How Well do The Alarms Indicate a Bite?
Look for alarms with good visual and audible indication so to eliminate as much as possible any chance of missing a bite.
What Features do the alarms Come With?
Alarms that come with more features can be a bit more pricey but those added extras such as adjustable sensitivity, and tone can make can make identifying bite a little easier.
Do the Alarms Come With Built-in Transmitters?
Alarms that come with built in transmitters can transmit a signal direct to a receiver box when line is taken by a fish, which is useful when you are inside a bivvy and sleeping. These are slightly superior than those without.
Although, it is possible to enable most alarms on the market without built in transmitters to be setup to connect to a receiver box. However, it is a little extra hassle to do so and more equipment you need to carry.
Bite Alarm Types - Vibration Sensor vs Roller Bite Alarms
There are 2 main type of alarms on the market: one that works from vibration and the other that works on a roller wheel.
The roller wheel alarm is and always has been an effective indicator but is prone to clogging up from dust and dirt from the bank.
Due to the moving parts, rollers also have a tendency to freeze up in subzero temperatures but, overall bite indication is good.
The vibration sensor alarm works by sensing the vibration of the moving line bite indication from these type of alarms is superior to the roller wheel.
But it is thought that they are so sensitive that a heavy downpour of rain can set the alarms off, which is the most commonly argued downside to vibration sensor alarms. With that being said, the higher quality vibration alarms come equipped with a more robust sensitivity adjustment feature to compensate for this.
Best Bite Alarms in 2020 - Product Reviews
Nash Siren R2 Review - Best Value Overall
Patented sensitivity control utilising microchip Intelligent Sensing
Market leading remote performance – independently verified
High impact casing with gasket seals to maximise waterproofing
Integrated removable rubberised snag ears
Ultra long battery life
Low life battery alert
Supplied with protective PVC case
This is a sturdy, well-made bite alarm that also performs very well.
The compression collar allows you to screw the alarm tightly onto buzz bars and allows you to line them up perfectly, which is always hard work. The whole unit has been sealed to provide the best waterproofing possible. Additionally, the rear battery compartment is fitted with baffles to prevent water ingress.
These Nash Siren alarms have rubberised removable snag ears to ensure maximum rod security while not looking overpowering to the general aesthetic of the rod. I also liked the bobbin port, which allows you to attach bespoke Nash bobbins to the alarm with the unique screw insert. You can also attach a fibre optic cable bobbin that illuminates when the alarm beeps.
The remote is impressive with its brilliant signal strength. I didn’t see it used anywhere near its maximum distance but all indication is referenced straight to the remote with ease. It is compact so doesn’t take up much room in the tackle bag.
Of course, these alarms come from the Nash stable so are designed with plenty of input from Kevin Nash, a highly experienced carp angler. You can't go wrong with these alarms at all.
Delkim EV Plus Review - Best Budget Alarm
Single dynamic sensitivity range
Twin clear, super bright, high visibility, flash and latch LEDs
Patented Attended Delkim Night Marking
2.5mm NITELITE Output and 3.5mm Audio Output
Speaker test - operates at switch on
Two years' guarantee
Delkim have probably been at the forefront of bite alarms for many years with their patented vibration indication system the EV plus is one of their budget-friendly indicators but still a great alarm, which is why it's in this list.
For a budget alarm, it has plenty of features but, unlike the higher end Delkim TXI plus, it does not have a built-in transmitter. If you want to use a receiver for night fishing sessions, you will need to purchase a Delkim TX Plus micro Transmitter.
The alarm looks sleek and stylish, it has 3 large rotary dials for volume tone and sensitivity. The volume can be set from 0 to 6 the upper range giving a max setting of 100 decibels, which should be more than loud enough.
The tone can be set from a low pitched buzz to a high pitched squeal. I think the tone setting is down to personal preference. Alternatively, you could set each of your alarms to a different tone to make it easier to distinguish which one is going off.
The sensitivity can be changed so, at its lowest setting, a good amount of line movement is required to activate the alarm. At its highest the most minute line twitch will set the alarm off.
This alarm comes with a night glow setting where the small LED’s can be set to continually glow low level at night enabling you to see your alarms while it is dark.
Finally, they feature a 2.5mm outlet socket for use with Delkim illuminated hangers.
All in all, this is a great alarm that I feel represents a perfect mix of value and feature, which is why I've chosen this over the Delkim TXI, which does have more features but they come at a premium.
Fox MR+ Review - Entry Level Alarm
Built-in I-Com Transmitter Technology
Weatherproof sealed case
Top quality digital circuitry
Unique D-Tec Sensing System
CNC Machined Tru-Run roller wheel
Low battery drain (Alarm 2 AAA batteries, Receiver 3 AAA)
Piezo speaker and adjustable volume control
Fox most definitely seem to know their stuff when it comes to bite alarms and they have produced a variety reliable alarms for many years. Fox were always my choice of alarm for a long while until recently I made the change over to Delkim, which should not put you off; I merely fancied a change of alarm.
The MR+ is a true entry level bite alarm and would be perfectly suited to beginner carp anglers. The alarm features a weatherproof sealed case along with top quality digital circuitry. It also features Foxs unique D-Tec Sensing System for improved bite recognition.
It has a CNC-machined Tru-Run roller wheel, which is the same wheel found on the company's top-end N-series alarms.
You will find a power out socket at the rear of the alarm, which allows illuminated swingers to be plugged in with a low level of battery drain, which is handy. A Piezo speaker and adjustable volume control are 2 further nice touches to these alarms.
Due to the built-in I-Com Transmitter Technology the Mr+ has its own dedicated receiver. That too features a weatherproof sealed case and top quality digital circuitry along with low battery drain . This Mr+ Receiver is very easy to sync with the alarm heads.
As I mentioned this is a more entry-level kind of alarm but it is still a great choice. The only downside I have come across is individuals saying the rollers can freeze up in sub zero conditions.
New Developement Bluetooth Review
Lighthouse(Illuminating SNAG BARS)
Ultra Long Range / Range Test
Dial Control For Volume & Sensitivity
Halo Effect For Night Light
These alarms have been manufactured by new direction with the aim of being packed with the features of higher-end alarms at an affordable price.
The alarms themselves come with standard snag ears as part of the unit but also included are extra long illuminated snag ears that are easily added to the unit.
The bluetooth feature of these alarms allows the user to have total control of the alarm by being able to adjust volume, tone and sensitivity from inside the bivvy without the need to touch the alarm itself.
Another neat and useful feature that ND have added is that an app can be downloaded from either the android or apple app stores, which will allow you to use your smartphone or tablet as a receiver.
The front of the alarm is equipped with a halo night light that can be switched on fully, set to a low glow or set to only illuminate once the natural light levels drop below a specific point. This makes the alarms easily visible at night.
Another unique little feature is that the alarm has the ability to tell you the direction and how far the line has traveled during a take. This makes it easier to spot cautious takes and "wind bleeps" during storms.
At first glance these alarms appeared a little flimsier than the others on this list but with the amount of features you'll be getting, they could be worth a shot at their current price-point.
Bite Alarm Accessories & Extras
Once you've chosen your ideal bite alarms, you may wish to add some accessories. Here are a few different extras I recommend you think about purchasing if your alarms don't already come with them.
Snag ears are a popular add-on for bite alarms; some alarms may even come with a set included. They sit either side of your rod to prevent it from being pulled out of the bite alarm during a powerful take.
Bobbins or Swingers
The main point of these two pieces of equipment is to add another visual indication that a fish has picked up your bait.
But the biggest job a hanger or bobbin can aid in is giving an indication of a drop back bit, which is what happens when a fish picks up your bait and swims towards you. It's crucial to recognise these kind of bites as not all takes will be screamers that rip off into the middle of the lake.
The two indicators do exactly the same job. The difference between them is bobbins use a chain or cord to connect to your alarm whereas the swingers is on a solid thin, usually metal, bar.
The bar of the swinger makes it much more stable and less likely to move around in wind and give false indications.
The chain or cord of the bobbin makes it less stable and is prone to move around in wind but, in good calm conditions, the bobbin is probably more sensitive and can give better indications.
The issue of bobbins moving around can be overcome by adding tailored weights to specific bobbins to eliminate unwanted movement.
Swingers can also be adjusted to alter their sensitivity. This is done by a weight being moved either forward or backwards along the metal bar of the swinger.
In a head to head comparison. there is not much to choose between the two and it is more down to personal preference and fishing conditions that could determine which would be best suited. So after all that, my advice is to simply purchase the type that suits your fishing requirements and the conditions you'll be fishing in.
It is a good idea is to invest in a decent protective case for your alarms. A set of alarms is never cheap so keeping them safe is crucial.
If you are thinking of leaving your alarms fixed to your buzz bars then a good padded buzz bar case is what you'll need instead.