Review of tested bite indicators (from the right): 1 i 2 Windbeater Gardnera, 3 rebuilt "monkey" of Gardner, 4 Grease Monkey, 5 GloMonkey, 6 Teflon monkey, 7 fox monkey. (The course of the line is not in line with reality, it was used for setting).
Hardly any bite rate in ground fishing brings as many benefits as a "climbing monkey".
Carp anglers are absolutely in love with their bite rates, called "climbing monkey" („monkey climber”). This is not surprising, because the device is extremely practical: easy to use, not sensitive to the breeze, fondly, releases the line when jammed, not perishing after the maneuver, and above all, they do not cause the line to tangled during a rapid escape of the carp.
An important advantage is too, that it is possible for this device to cooperate with an electronic bite indicator.
This indicator consists of a plastic one, the dislodged part, which moves on a metal rod stuck vertically under the fishing rod. The line is placed between the plastic and metal grippers.
This device owes its somewhat strange name to the principle of its operation. Well, while taking, the aforementioned plastic indicator rises upwards along the metal rod, which makes it look like a monkey climbing on a palm tree. In Poland, anglers use a ping-pong ball that moves on a wire for this type of signaling device. During the catch, the handle of the reel remains open. So that our "monkey" does not cause the line to unwind from the spool with its weight, it is placed as close as possible to the reel.
Taking a carp is most often recognized by the monkey's sudden jump upwards, but it can also happen, that our monkey would go down, which means, that the carp, after taking the bait, flows towards us (to the shore). For this reason, it is best to place the "monkey" in the center of the rod.
Let us now discuss the commercially available models and their possible applications.
1 i 2 "Windbeater" Gardnera (in two sizes)
Small version (1) is the oldest model on the market. The center of gravity located on the outside causes this inexpensive "monkey" to rotate around its axis. This makes it difficult to free the line when it is jammed. Equipped with a closed container, allows additional load, for example pellets or traffic lights, and its light construction predisposes it to fishing not far from the shore. It is produced in yellow, orange and phosphorescent color and colorless. The larger version of this "monkey" shows a particular tendency to rotate around its axis, and, moreover, it bounces to the side very easily when jammed, which, especially with its transparent release, means a long search later. Both versions of this "monkey" are quite "lazy", because they only react to strong bites.
3 Gardner's rebuilt monkey
The principle of operation of the monkey fell so well to my heart, that I wanted to use it to catch other fish as well. The commercially available models are designed rather for heavy carp fishing and are therefore not suitable for light ground fishing.. Already mentioned above, cut off from the little "Windbeater", the container reduces the weight by more than half. Such a lightened bite indicator, very well suited for zander fishing, tench and carp.
4 "Grease Monkey" with Teflon rod (90/60 Cm)
It is the cheapest monkey on the market. Thanks to the Teflon coating of the rod surface, friction between the monkey and its guide has been greatly reduced. However, if the Teflon layer is scratched, sludge and grains of sand settle there, which leads to the monkey being blocked on the rod. The monkey itself is equipped with two weights as standard, therefore it is possible to adapt to all conditions. This model works best without load for short and medium distances. The weight of this monkey is even enough to fish for potatoes or cake. This bite rate can also be used for zander and pike fishing. After suspending the already mentioned additional load, long range carp fishing is possible with solid lead attached to the system. The line is easily released during the jam by tilting the side gripper. I like the version of this model the most without any additional load. It causes additional friction of the "monkey" on the guide, its falling down is difficult, which in turn reduces the sensitivity to indicate the flight of a fish towards the shore. Additional load may make it difficult to release the line. It is necessary for night fishing, sticking phosphorescent elements with insulating tape.
It has an improved design compared to the previously described model. The component body is quite heavy, therefore it is only suitable for use in still waters, for carp fishing with the self-cutting method. The transparent structure of the "monkey" is difficult to see during the day, a small hole (prepared for the English "Beta-lights") requires additional drilling in order to place a light for night fishing. The line is threaded through a metal sleeve. Make a vertical movement when jamming, otherwise, the line will not be released. A Teflon tube is fitted into the drilled hole, ensuring a collision-free slip of the "monkey" and enabling the recognition of bites, during which the monkey moves down – the fish is swimming towards the shore. Unfortunately, also this model has a tendency to fall off the guide when jamming. Moreover, the fixation of the Teflon tube is not satisfactory. It can happen when the fishing rod is jerked suddenly, that only the changed tube will remain on the guide.
In stores, this model is more expensive than previously described, but more convenient in practice.
6 Teflon "monkey" in three sizes
This "monkey family" resembles the previous model, the cylinder is made entirely of white Teflon with a tightly drilled hole. Under normal conditions, this "monkey" works for many years without failure, just be careful, that the hole is not clogged with sludge.
When fishing to 50 m I choose the smallest version. The biggest "monkey", or rather "gorilla", I reserve for extreme situations. It is functionally no different from GloMonkey. The opening for the lights must be enlarged.
Comparison of the two ways of guiding the rope. On the left stiff (6), on the right flexible (7).
7 Monkey od Fox-lnternational
It is a very functional model, but quite expensive. Available in various colors, it is clearly visible both during the day and at night. Unfortunately, the opening is a bit tight here as well. The two extra weights are too big, so that without them, using this "monkey" is easier. Thanks to a particularly sensitive Teflon guide, it is the best model for distance fishing. Thick rod, on which the "monkey" moves, gives the impression of a good purchase. The line guide deserves special attention: stiff, the metal sleeve is connected with a "monkey" with a flexible rubber tube. When jammed, the line bends to the side and releases the line without any problems. In the meantime, the above solutions were also taken over by other companies.
Basically speaking, minimum maintenance is sufficient to keep all models listed in operation. Let us consider our rod, which many anglers pay too little attention to, and on which there is friction with the "monkey", which in turn is of great importance for the sensitivity of this indicator. Personally, I recommend choosing thicker bars, which during their repeated driving in and out of the ground, they are not so prone to curvature. Curved bars may, in extreme cases, jam when jammed and be torn out of the substrate, and this may break the cord. After rainfall, you should wipe the rod from drops of water mixed with the soil and do not forget to clean the walls of the monkey holes. In winter, I recommend wiping the rod with machine oil.
This is how a monkey works. Most often it is placed near the handle of the rod. The reel head is open, the line by the fishing rod can be held with any clamp.