When fishing off a pier or bridge at night, you have to constantly monitor your rod tip. Sure, a bell can alert you to a bite, but you must remove the bell to reel in the fish or cast. Here's a simple and very inexpensive way to stay on top of the action: Tape a 2-inch glow stick to the rod tip. Make sure the line remains free by taping the stick so it lies beneath the rod, out of the way. The stick won't affect reeling or general casting as long as you don't need to cast to a very specific spot.
Using plastic tubing to tie the stick on the rod works, too, but it blocks some of the glow. Purchase glow sticks at hobby or toy stores. In my area, you can get six for $1. When fish hit, the glow stick creates a fan of light against the dark sky; you can't miss it.
Vancouver, British Columbia