How to make a tagging applicator tool

Each participant is required to provide their own tagging applicator tool. They are easy to make and below is a quick and easy way to make a applicator tool.

The official stainless steel dart tag applicator looks like the picture below, they are hard to find and expensive.

In Sharkathon's efforts to promote shark tagging we came up with our own version of a tag applicator due to the expense and difficulty in obtaining applicators like the one shown above. They are easy to make if you have a few tools available to you and below is how we make ours that we give out at Sharkathon.

You will need a medium sized standard flat head screwdriver with similar dimensions shown in the photo below. Smaller or larger may work but will have additional problems because of the size.


Using a dremel tool with cut off wheel or a skinny cut off blade on a grinder is the best way to cut the slot. It may be possible to use a hacksaw to cut the slot but we have not tried that. The cut is purposely cut off center to allow it to slot into the tag easier. Cut slot approx 3/16" deep and off to one side as seen in the picture below.


It is important to have a retention system on the tool to hold the tag in place, without something to hold the tag it could easily fall off the tagging tool and be lost in the water and sand. The best solution we have found is some silicon tubing cut to 1/4" to 3/8" as seen in the picture below. Rubber bands work but make sure you have extras because they wear out quick and break.