Thursday, 29 September 2011


It's all about the Quality. I have a reputation to maintain and as such will not compromise on the quality of my product and continually seek to improve what I offer. No gimmicks, no fancy nonsense just a rugged functional bite alarm that won't let you down. Designed and hand built in the UK by qualified engineers where every component has been selected to be functional and durable and has seen at least a seasons Piking before being offered to my customers.

Since their commercial release in 2006 Billy's Backbiters have set the standard for the way a Pikers bite alarm should be. These are the alarms I use and these are the alarms that I have developed over the years on the bank whilst Piking through all conditions.

No other Alarm offers these Key features;

Fully Waterproof Box

Fully Waterproof Key components
Solar PTFE line clip as standard
Duracell Battery as standard
Plastic coated bankstick clips
ATTX Compatibility
Hinged arms with sliding weight to adjust sensitivity

What you buy is a quality product backed up with a quality service. I can personalise your Backbiter to suit your own requirements and in the rare event that your Backbiter fails it will be repaired and returned the same week.

A recent PB Zander on 15lb40z caught using a Billys Backbiter

Saturday, 15 November 2008


Since going commercial in December 2007 Billy's Backbiters have quickly established themselves as the number one Bite Alarm for Pike Anglers throughout the UK and Europe. The combination of 23 years of engineering and 25 years of pike fishing have provided me with all the experience necessary to deliver what all Pike anglers want. A high quality and supremely reliable 'Backbiter' or 'Drop Back' style alarm that will provide season after season of continuous reliable service no matter what the worse of the winters weather has to throw at them. My promise is to give you an exceptional product with exceptional service.

Billy's Backbiters give you just that, Pukka Alarms For Pukka Pikers. Their neat, compact design using components of only the highest quality will guarantee that when that pike takes your bait the 95dB sounder will let you know about it.

(33lb 12oz - 'Lydia' The Queen of the Wye and a record for Billy's Backbiters)

So why Pikers need a Drop-Off type bite alarm

Most Pukka Pikers out there will use a Drop-Off style indicator of some sort. Even pikers using front alarms will incorporate a drop arm in their bite indication as the need to detect a slack line run is as important as using a wire trace when piking.

With Billy's Backbiters I have filled a void in the market for a quality alarm for Predator anglers. Many Pikers will have reverted to front alarms in this time and will have spent years putting up with the bleeping all day long when fishing in flow on a river, fishing in wind on a still water where the waves are rolling or when using big live baits. As a result you get complacent to the beeps and tend not to pay them any attention. When a Backbiter or Drop Off style alarm goes off it is for one reason only and that's because a predator has grabbed your bait. In my opinion and that of most serious Pikers the Backbiter or Drop Off style alarm is the only type of alarm that covers all round predator angling from fishing small lives on the local cut to banging out big dead baits on a Scottish Loch.

Billy’s Backbiters have raised the bar to new heights for Predator alarms and will give you a good visual and audible indication of 'clip out' and 'slack line' runs.

Models and Options
With 100'S sold since their launch in December 2007 Billy's Backbiters have set the standard in the predator angling world as the bite alarm of choice for the discerning piker. All products have the same functionality and principle of operation and it's just the look that differs between models.

The original and the Bite alarm that set the standard


The traditional model. As tough and reliable as they've ever been and built to the tried and tested design that goes back over 10 years of seasoned piking. Shown here in RED other colours available are YELLOW and GREEN.

By far and away the most popular model and for good reason. Yeah, it looks great but it's not a bite alarm aimed at the tackle tarts. The tough blue box has a practical application in that when you get a run the box lights as bright as you like. I cannot emphasise enough what a brilliant feature this is for when you're either giving it that hour into dark for the big girls or staring at rods through bleary eyes when you're going through the night for Zeds.

Billy's Bluenose Backbiter shining brightly in the dark during a Zander session on the Warwickshire Avon. No mistake as to which rod's got the run.....

Well established and now selling as many a the Bluenoses. The translucent red box and flashing 10mm LED make this alarm stand out like a like a beacon. They look great and perform even better.

New for the 2009/2010 season

Following a request for something a little more discrete I came up with the Black 'n' Blue. All the same functionality the other Backbiters just a little bit more understated. This was the top seller at the 2009 PAC convention.

So popular were they that I even managed to sell Eddie Turner a set. Thats right, Eddie Turner now uses Billy's Backbiters. If ever there was testement...!!!!

Billy and Barry - a perfect match

When fishing for shy biting fish such as Zander or Eels then resistance of a clip can lead to dropped runs. This led Barry McConell to develop his revolutionary Rollover indicator. After months of development to come up wil a perfect and simple solution Baz and I are now pleased to announce that by using a simple adapter the two products can now be combined.

Please visit Barry's website for more information, articles and demonstration videos and to purchase the Rollover indicator.

How to Use Your Backbiter with A Rollover Indicator


The following used to be sold as cost extras but as every order I was receiving included the extras I have decided to standardise all backbiters which enables me to reduce the overall cost and pass this on to my customers. This excludes the ATTX remote compatibility.

1: Volume Control
It took a while to find a suitable volume control as cheap potentiometers wouldn't last more than a few trips in bad weather. This encapsulated unit keeps your Backbiter nice and quiet so that the whole water doesn't know what your up to or what your catching whilst not compromising the quality of my Backbiters.

2: Weighted Drop Arm

The business end of the Backbiter and the Ultimate all round indicator. Slide the weight up the arm to keep pressure on the line and tight to the lead at range or when fishing in flow or slide all the way back for when fishing visible floats. I have now made this my standard arm as it gives you the best possible bite alarm.

The stainless steel ball line clip has adjustable tension and will register drop backs perfectly. The bobbin head will screw off so that an isotope or starlight can be added when night fishing. The Arm comes with a reflective orange sleeve that will go over the head for when fishing in daylight.


ATTX REMOTE SYSTEM compatibility
£10 extra for each Backbiter

Now an established product the ATTX compatibility of Billy's Backbiters is a popular option that allow the angler to have a more discrete alarm that can't be heard by every other angler on the lake. Also Ideal for spaced rods or a rod stuck round a bush in the next swim (withing the EA 10m limit between rod buts of course face ;-))

I was a bit dubious about offering this as an option for pike welfare reasons but having talked with loads of pikers who want this option the reasons are obvious. Wind swept days on remote Fens with that third rod tucked around a bush. Busy pits where the slightest sound of a buzzer sees heads popping out of the undergrowth to see 'whose catching what'. There are numerous reasons to have a remote system and having field tested it for nearly 12 month now I'm confident that the system is robust and compatible with the quality of what I already offer.

Looking at all the remote systems out there I was drawn to the ATTX system for its compact size, robustness and I haven't been disappointed. Their remote transmitters plugs into a 3.5mm jack socket on the base of my adapted Backbiters (as shown below) and in doing so this will disable the speaker on the backbiter but not the light inside the box. The modified Backbiter is compatible with both the ATTX V1 & V2 systems.

(NOTE: ATTX remote system needs to be purchased separately. 3.5mm Jack Plug required. Adapters available if you already have the 2.5mm system)


A number of customers have made modifications to their Backbiters to add additional enhancements or modify to suit their set ups. The following add ons are now availible to Billys Backbiter customers.

MARK HOUGHTONS legendry Line Gate clips

Mark explains the advantges of the linegate system.....

"With the linegates, the line is free to run unhindered across the gate, effectively showing even the slightest slackening of the line, while still retaining a resistance - free release when line is taken on a full-blown run. Excessively heavy indicator heads are now unneccessary for all but extreme long range fishing. Similarly, twitch type takes are registered with equal efficiency.

Due to the way the linegates work, when the indicator is set correctly below horizontal the angle of the line prevents the gate opening, without having to increase resistance to a taking fish. Upon a take, the indicator will rise smoothly and virtually resistance-free and the gate will open freely. For Pike on pressured waters or in circumstances where they are feeding more relucantly than usual, the resistance - free operation of the linegate system has proved a boon. Likewise for other predatory species such as Zander and Eels, which often won`t tolerate any resistance upon the take the linegate system is far superior to standard line clips."

Linegate arms will soon be availible in either Marks standard 'egg head' design......

or in the nylon headed 'hi-viz' style I have specified.

The cost of Billys Backbiter arms with Linegate heads will be £10 each and availible soon.

John Paynes ROD Pod Extensions

I will not be selling these but John Payne, a customer of mine has started to manufacture them on request. He needed them for a water where a Pod was a necessary and very neat they are too. These are available direct from John Payne who can be contacted on the following email address .

(aluminium Pod adapters available from John Payne)

Weighted Drop Arm for Rear Rest
£12 each

Currently not available due to supplier issues.

Since I started offering these arms as an option for my Back Biters I've been inundated with enquiries for them to be sold separately. If you still can't be convinced that backbiters are the way forward then you still need reliable slack line detection. Until now there hasn't been a quality Drop Arm on the market but that's changed.

These fit the bill perfectly and are easily detached from a dovetailed bank stick adapter for storage. The stainless clip registers drop backs perfectly.

Each arm comes with a choice of reflective sleeve of fluorescent tape to cover the bobbin head or alternatively the head can be unscrewed in order to fit an Isotope of starlight. I also include a packet of star lights with each order.

Available in RED, BLUE or YELLOW.

Monday, 14 January 2008

The History of Billy's Backbiters

The first Drop Off alarm I made was back in 1985 as a final year Technology project at school. I’d just got into piking and needed an alarm and it was either a couple of month’s worth of paper-round money or a trip down to Radio Shack for a bag of bits. This original drop-off had a mercury tilt switch in a kinda egg case with a hair grip as the clip, the little solid state buzzer could hardly be heard if you we’re more than a few feet away but it did the job and after proudly showing off my creation to the lads up the local lakes it wasn’t long before I was knocking a few out for a bit of extra cash in my student days.

As the years went buy I would always knock a few up when asked to by the local Pikers and PAC lads. It would normally be a couple of years between making a few and so I’d always go back to the drawing board each time in my selection of components to use. About 10 years ago I settled on a design that has changed little, this finished design has been based on pike fishing week in week out of a true variety of waters, the reason it hasn’t changed is that this design has stood the test of time and as I walk the banks of the local rivers and lakes I will always invariably bump into someone who has had a set of drop offs and is still using them, many have bought fancy new ones since and binned them after a couple of seasons and returned to using the old faithful’s. It made me laugh the other week when chatting to an old piking mate he commented “You know them Drop-Offs I had of you in 98, well they ain’t ‘arf quiet now”..... “When did you last change the batteries” was my reply, “don’t think I ever have” was his “DOH”.

At the start of this piking season (2007/8) I had a request for a few drop-offs from mates and PAC Region 20 members and so got the bits in to knock up 10 units. 5 we’re spoken for and I thought I’d have a fancy new set myself and punt the others out on the Forum. Well the response was overwhelming and I was inundated with enquiries, especially as there was a whole host of threads on the forums about how un-suitable and un-reliable some of the mass manufactured drop off alarms were.

After having all these enquiries I thought long and hard about the time commitment required in making so many drop offs but decided to give it a go for a limited time to see the response. It seems that pikers out there have been crying out for a decent reliable drop off alarm and so now I find myself in the workshop most nights making my alarms. A twist to the story came when one night whilst going through parts catalogues I came across a crystal blue case exactly the same dimensions as the ones I was already using… “oooohhh” I thought, If I stuck a bright LED in them the whole case would light up and it would be one less hole for water to get in and so the Billy’s Bluenose Backbiter was born. Bits were purchased and the prototype signalled its first run a few days later. I haven’t looked back since. So now I’ve decided that so long as folk want them I’ll make them and give my fellow pikers what they’re after; a tough and reliable drop-off alarm that will see them through many seasons.

Friday, 4 January 2008

Happy Customers

I pride myself with my customer service and make every attempt to provide my customers with everything they want. As a result the feedback I get is always positie and makes all the effort worth while. My list of customers is a 'who's who' of piking with the likes of John Watson, Dave Horton and Jason Davis are using my alarms for all their piking. I guess I must be doing something right as the buisness is building from strength to strength.

You've read my stuff now see what my customers have to say.

(Mathew Gleeson a baby piker and future angling star using Billy's Backbiters)

Sat in a torrential hail & rain storm using livos, the bb's havent uttered a souns until I had an enquiry from a pike, front alarms would have been going off every 5 mins, in the words of Tina Turner "simply the best, better than all the rest" regards Mick.

Mick Gleeson County Durham

My review, I've always used front alarms with rear drop offs, the last couple of years front alarms with fox ps mk2 drop offs, probably a bit overkill. After reading reviews (not one negative) about Billys back biters I bought some and upon the advice of the man himself I discarded the front alarms.

First trip out with them gave me a low double to a livey, second trip gave me 3 jacks and a couple of dropped runs. The arms can be set so they'll allow a small amount of movement from a "lively livey" without getting those irritating beeps from front alarms, a slight adjustment will have the line out of the clip or show a drop back at the first movement and indicate the pick up of a dead. Highly recommended.

Bob Watson
(Gordie bloke

Hi steve, Thanks for your time making the alarms they are superb and I can see these becoming the best alarms in decades, the workmanship and thought you have put into them is second to none. Steve I cannot praise you enough and just want to thank you again and many SLACK lines.

Trevor Jickells Linconshire

The txt from Sam in Northern Ireland made me especially proud...

"Morning Steve! Love the alarms, awesome job, been waiting for something like these 4 a long long time, i've been through a multitude of alarms the past few years and have to say yhtat yours are head and shoulders above everything, ur a legend, cheers Sam."

And this the other day from Colin Allchin

"Having spent the summer chasing tench (which meant I caught a lot of bream) and with Sepember being so warm I've only just got around to sorting out my kit for the off on Thursday. I brought 3 BBB's plus 3 separate drop arm indicators last season and great bits of kit they are as well. I wanted a few of the orange covers to slip over the indicator heads so dropped Steve an email. He responded to my mail and posted them out 1st class mail and FOC the same day.

Now that's the way to run a business, top man.

I should also say that the wireless option on the BBB's is great. I use the ATTX V2 system and can switch between using it on my Delkims and BBB's depending on circumstances (sometimes I use the BB rear indicators and Delkims and others the BBB's so it means I can use the same remote system to cover both alarm types). It goes without saying I never leave my rods but sometimes you don't want the whole world knowing what going on.Top kit."

Dave Horton notches up his 20th THIRTY - Well done Dave
A big hearty congratulations to Dave Horton who has notched up his incredible 20th 30pounder. A truly magnificent achievement from one of Pikings true gents.

Dave recentley passed this incredible milestone which has capped an incredible season for the 'Pink Piking Pixie' from Harlow. Dave has been using Billy's Backbiters throughout this season

Bloody, well done Dave. Top bloke, top piking.

Andy Williams talks about his Billy's Backbiters
Having owned quite alot of drop off alarms (backbiters) i decided i would treat myself to two of steves alarms with the attx system. On arrival a quick inspection showed the alarms to be very well made on turning them on i was surprised at how loud the alarms were the volume control being a very good add on.

On first using the alarms i couldn't find anything to pick fault with the standard arm being great for close to medium distance and the new weighted arm fantastic for long range legering i must admit though i do like the gardner clip that steve has modified.

Just a note on the ATTX if you like to fish in secluded places and like to keep everything quiet this system is great ive been using it since the beginning of december and would find it hard now to do without so if your after a brilliant backbiter with a full remote system you know where to get it i think steve must have got hold of some of lumbys pixie dust as since owning them ive had some great days fishing.

Andy Williams (Nottingham)

"Steve - Big cheers for the Backbiters,used them throughout the 07/08 winter season and they've proved to be a valuable asset to my pike fishing approach.Very efficient, innovative, super loud and i've found the construction to be positively bombproof !

The blue version has proven to be a real boon when fishing wind stricken swims during those twilight hours. Many thanks for the 'modifications' first rate workmanship. First class back biters from the upper top draw........

Tight lines all and keep working for the clampdown !"

Simon Blaydes (Lincs Fen Ferret)

Probably all been said before however, I got mine today and gave them a test, they worked so thats a good start. Was surprised by how robust they are and how simple also to set up. Very well thought out and piker friendly. Why cant the big companys do something right instead of ripping us off with absolute SH*TE time and time again.

Steve bown in making these and marketing them for the same or less than 99% of the garbage on the shelves has proved one man can better a multi million pound company and embarrass them into the bargain. well done that man, a superb product that must surely put all others in the shade.................
Alex Cairnie (taken from the P&P forum)

I have just recently recieved 3 of your blue backbiters and i would like to take this opportunity to compliment you on them, i am very impressed.
Brian (Coventrey Zed Head)

After a long search for the Utopia Bite Alarm here are comments made on the PAC forum;

"Billy's Backbiters fit the bill.

They meet all my original requirements apart from sounding at the movement of the indicator. I've had a play with them and you can set them so the bait only has to be moved a small amount to sound the alarm, not like a mecury tilt switch for example which needs a greater amount of movement.

He's even started offering volume controls as an added extra to meet my requirements. Top man!The degree of sensitivity you can get from the line clip is unrivalled when compared with anything else I've seen and it will be suitable for both my Piking with lives and deads and my zandering too."
Mark Ross.

"At last, somebody has used his years of experience to produce exactly what Pike Anglers have been asking for - a backbiter that does the job! It's robust, it's functional, it's loud and it's BLUE! Well done Steve!"

Mike Kelly

The BBBB's are spot on. Got mine just before xmas and had them on the sticks for a full week - didn't bring em in overnight - left them on the sticks overnight out in all weather - not even a bit of condensation in them. Loud as you like - can't miss it nor the light. Superb bit of kit - you won't go wrong with these.
Paul Sheridan

"Once again, many thanks for those Steve, I’m very pleased with them."
Jason Davis

"I've received the backbiter off you, and it looks a great bit of kit."
Dave Reilly

Hi Steve, I just received my 2 backbiters and am very pleased with them."

Ian Rimmer

"Hi steve,they really do look the dogs whatsits."
Paul Mart

"first 3 arrived today safe and sound, look great"
Mike Crimp

Monday, 31 December 2007

Billy's Gallery

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