Leaders and Hats are Back in the Troutbitten Shop

by | Feb 10, 2023 | 17 comments

** NOTE ** Links to each leader for sale, along with full descriptions, are listed below.
And here’s a direct link to the leaders and hats categories in the Troutbitten Shop . . .
BUY: Troutbitten | Category | Leaders
BUY: Troutbitten | Category | Hats

**UPDATE 2/11/23** Troutbitten Friends– you sold out the leaders in ONE day. I am thankful for your support and enthusiasm. I am also sorry that the inventory is depleted. I will have more leaders ready for a smaller scale re-launch in March, before I start up my spring guide season. So be on the lookout for that in the near future.

Troutbitten leaders are back in the shop. All Troutbitten hats are also back in stock. This is the fourth round of leader sales, and I’d like to keep them in stock continuously, but they always seem to sell out quicker than I can build the inventory. With the previous round of leader sales, last summer, nine-hundred leaders sold in ten days. That’s a lot of blood knots.

Thanks to everyone who reached out over the past few months to ask about leaders and hats. Thank you for your patience.

There are some unique things about Troutbitten leaders. I sell these exactly how I fish them — rolled onto a plastic spool for quick changes, with a Backing Barrel on every sighter and a hair tie on the spool. Standard Mono Rigs come with a 1X sighter extension to attach when you need it, along with three foam wheels, making tippet-section changes a breeze. More on all that, along with descriptions and links to each leader appears below.

Thanks again for your support.

These are ready.

The Spools

All Troutbitten Leaders come on a three-inch rigid plastic spool. This makes leader changes far more efficient than wrapping leaders around your hand, storing them flat and unrolling them again. Anglers avoid things that aren’t easy, so we don’t change leaders if it takes too long — especially for long Mono Rigs. This spool system makes everything easy.

Foam spools are provided with the Standard Mono Rig and the full kit, because sighter and tippet changes are part of being versatile on the water. While the narrow foam spools are not a good choice for storing full leaders, they are perfect for wrapping up tippet sections with the flies pre-rigged. Three of these foams are included with the Standard Mono Rig.


Many anglers have never fished the Harvey design for a dry fly leader. And I’ve gotten great feedback about long, effortless drag free drifts full of s-curves. That’s what the leader is built for. Harvey leaders are truly a game changer.

Sighters and Barrels

The sighter included on the Standard Mono Rig is stiffer than most, built from Amnesia and Gold Stren. A piece of RIO Bi-Color is also included for extending the sighter if desired. But many anglers are now enjoying the benefits of a sighter built for power and turnover. (Individual sighters are also for sale.)

I’ve heard a lot of great feedback about the Backing Barrel. This once-inch tag of 20 lb Dacron backing is included on every Troutbitten sighter and Mono Rig. Anglers love the unmatched visibility and the third dimension of sensitivity.

It All Matters

In many ways and for many fly fishing systems, the leader is the most critical component to success. And since 2014, I’ve spilled a lot of words on Troutbitten over the intricacies of nylon and fluorocarbon tied together.

I’m a leader junkie. And I’m not the only one. Most fly anglers quickly learn that the leader — and how it’s modified — dictates all of our terms to the fly. It’s our connection. And a good leader, built with purpose and fished with a thorough understanding of its design is the foundation for fly fishing success.

READ: Troutbitten | Fly Fishing Leader Design

— — — — — —

The following leaders are available for purchase:

Troutbitten Harvey Dry Leader

Troutbitten Standard Mono Rig

Troutbitten Thin Mono Rig

Troutbitten Micro-Thin Mono Rig

All three Mono Rigs can be purchased together in the Full Mono Rig Kit

Troutbitten Standard Sighters are also available

Each leader comes wrapped on a three-inch plastic spool, which is the perfect method for storing long leaders. It makes the process of changing rigs much more efficient, so you can easily swap out leaders in a minute or two.

All Troutbitten Mono Rigs include a sighter with a Backing Barrel built in, adding amazing visibility and another dimension of sensitivity to each sighter. High quality, black 1.5 mm tippet rings are included on each Mono Rig.

Because the Standard Mono Rig is designed as a versatile tool for a hybrid system, it includes the following:

— Two feet of 1X Rio Bi-Color for extending the Standard Sighter.
— Three rigging foams for storing and swapping out tippet sections. (For example, you may store two nymphs, a pair of streamers, dry dropper, etc., tied up and ready to attach to the sighter.)

Here’s a lot more information about how these leaders are built and how to fish them . . .

READ: Troutbitten | The George Harvey Leader Design
READ: Troutbitten | Design and Function of the Troutbitten Standard Mono Rig
READ: Troutbitten | The Full Mono Rig System — All the variations, with formulas and adjustments
READ: Troutbitten | Thin and Micro-Thin Mono Rigs

Fish ‘Em

So, to all the new and long-time Troutbitten readers and supporters out there, thank you. These leaders make a great addition to the Troutbitten Shop.

Fish hard, friends.

** Subscribe to Troutbitten and Follow Along (It’s Free). **


Enjoy the day
Domenick Swentosky


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Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

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  1. Dom & Team,

    Thanks for the work to get these leaders back in stock! I ordered a bunch and a hat. Excited to fish them on my new 10’ 4wt Sage Sense. You are all making a difference.


  2. Re: The Harvey Leader: “This leader finishes with 5X nylon tippet.”

    Total length doesn’t appear on the product page?

    • Rick, all details for the Harvey leader are in the link contained on the product page. Just gotta click it.

      Also, total length is irrelevant. The Harvey leader is built to be adapted to situations. That info is also in the article linked on the product page.

  3. Any plans to offer a payment option other than PayPal?

    • Hi Paul. Honestly, no. Having one option allows me to keep things simple here. But I’m open to suggestions. What would you like to see?

      • Dom,
        I certainly understand and I wish I could suggest an alternative that would work as well for you. I’m concerned by their recent antics and am trying to avoid them where possible. I don’t want to create a distraction. No need to answer this reply. I’ll say no more.
        Fish Hard.

  4. Hi Dom, wondering if you had reconsidered your position on shipping to overseas customers?

    Cheers AJ

    • Hi AJ,

      I sincerely appreciate your interest..

      I’ll continue to keep the option open, but for now, no. I shipped overseas for a year. And the troubles with shipping rates and customs was just too much.

      Thanks again.

      • No worries Dom thank you for replying. Tying blood knots will keep my old hands working

        Tight lines !

        Cheers AJ

  5. Hi Dom. Sounds like you’re going through a business transition. This is a good thing. Be positive just like your fishing. Supply and demand. You’re good at what you do and you offer a product tha t is economical and works. It catches more fish… fact. Increase your labor force with a loyal talented work team. Pay them well and slowly increase and adjust your gross profit margin where it will satisfy the demand without negative results. You’re on your way to a rewarding career in something that you love doing. This ! Is the true American dream. I keep going back to your mono system regardless of all the other techniques out there. Fish on! And keep working hard.

  6. Dom, I’ve been reading and putting your knowledge into action. I’ve started fishing with my dad when I was 8. Spin and open bail. Fly fishing for only 7 years now. I’m fishing hard taking my lumps and bruises at the Savage River, Penns Creek and little J and cordorius . 60 years from when my dad got me out of bed at 4 AM I wish to fish with that departed 98 year old man. Your words and knowledge fill that gap. As soon as I saw your leaders came available I jumped on them. The Knowledge you share is priceless and I believe it come from your heart hence priceless. Looking forward to my order and your continued troutbitten post. Till then fish with a smile. Lewis

  7. Hi Dom
    First of all, thank you ! You do an amazing job with Troutbitten.com ….
    Could you tell me where you find empty plastic spools ?
    Thanks a lot !
    Fish hard !

    • Hi Daniel.

      They can only be bought from a company in Germany, Hafner Spools. But you have to buy a full pallet. Ha. No joke.

      Honestly, nothing else works as well, either. These spools are perfect. I’ve tried to find another solution, but it’s just not out there.

      Best bet is to simply buy Maxima spools, tie a few leaders and then save the empty spools. I think that’s what most of us do.


  8. thank you !


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Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

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