PODCAST: Different Mono Rigs and Euro Rigs — What Works, When and Why? — S9, Ep6

by | Nov 26, 2023 | 14 comments

 The Troutbitten Podcast is available everywhere that you listen to your podcasts.

** Note **  The Podcast Player, along with links to your favorite players is below.

This episode is a conversation about tight line leader styles. We share what we like best, what works for each of us and what does not. This is Part Two for the podcast that we two weeks ago, titled, “Tight Line, High Stick, Euro Nymph, Mono Rig — What’s the Difference and How Did We Get Here?”

While that first episode laid out a history of tight line tactics, this conversation is focused on how we use these leaders. How do we fish the different leader builds for tight lining? What are the advantages and disadvantages of Standard, Thin and Micro-Thin Mono Rigs? What can we do with each of them?

My friends join me for a great discussion, full of deep experience and strong opinion.


READ: Troutbitten | Category | The Mono Rig
READ: Troutbitten | Beyond Euro Nymphing
PODCAST: Troutbitten | Fly Fishing the Mono Rig — Versatility and the Tight Line Advantage Taken Further
READ: Troutbitten | Design and Function of the Troutbitten Standard Mono Rig
VIDEO: Troutbitten | Mono Rigs and Euro Rigs — Micro Thin or Standard?
READ: Troutbitten | Thin and Micro-Thin Leaders for Euro Nymphing and the Mono Rig
READ: Troutbitten | The Full Mono Rig System — All the variations, with formulas and adjustments
READ: Troutbitten | What You’re Missing By Following FIPS Competition Rules

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Season Nine of the Troutbitten Podcast continues next week with episode seven. So look for it in your Troutbitten podcast feed.

Fish hard, friends.


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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. Except for that reference to some “Alex” guy, this is a great podcast, guys.

    I’d like to emphasize something that Dom got into toward the end: that the relative effectiveness of a micro vs. a standard leader is affected by the direction one is nymphing. A lot of comp guys fish up and across. As such, they’re fishing across multiple current seams, making a micro leader much less prone to drag. If one is fishing upstream, however, this advantage of a micro leader is largely mitigated. In fact, an upstream cast in which the sighter is floated initially, goes a long way to reduce both the effects of sag and drag.

    Here’s one more idea: lately, I’ve been using a very small (1/4″) Lightning Strike ball indicator as both an above-the-water sighter (much like a backing barrel) and as a sunken indicator. I find it particularly useful placed on the tippet, relatively close to my flies, and allowed to drift below the surface of the water, where it’s a lot more visible, to me at least, than a backing barrel.

    Finally, although probably mentioned in jest, I love the idea of Troutbitten comp pitting various leader styles against each other. Save me a front row seat.

  2. Interesting dive into leaders. “Everything works, sometimes.” Right on.

    Fwiw, my take(s):

    1. Micro leaders solve my presentation challenges in bright, low, flat water – I can fish single 2.0-2.3mm beads on 7x at distances of 25-30ft. The heavier rig sags more at distance, dragging the fly. If I try to get close enough in that flat water to use the heavier rig, I spook fish. (There is a lot of low, flat water here in north central Michigan.)

    2. I do cast better with micro leaders if I use a lighter rod weight. I’ve just learned that a 2 wt works well for me. I can manage with a 3 wt, but the casting is more automatic with the 2 wt.

    3. For other conditions I use the more standard mono rig. Also better for me to throw double rigs and bigger bugs. Less breakage and re-rigging on the water. (There is a lot of wood where I fish most.)


  3. Great podcast, I am with grobe on this one. I don’t see any situations on my water where the micro would help me. I will eventually spend a significant amount of time fishing the micro but right now the standard does everything I need.

    I fish water that 20lb browns have come out of recently. If I ever get lucky enough to hook up with one I don’t want to worry about my leader breaking.

    If you could add the promo codes to your show notes that would be extremely helpful. I bought a ton of gear over the last few days and would have loved that 10% discount. I couldn’t remember which site it was on. I currently have a bad case of gear acquisition syndrome.

    As always thanks for a great podcast and giving me something to think about between fishing trips.

  4. My biggest issue with micro leaders is they take away my option of casting a dry or dry dropper. However, I have no problem casting a small thingamabobber quite some distance, and get excellent drifts with them too. Most of the streamers I use hold a bit of water, so I can cast them pretty well on the micro as well.

    Micro leaders also don’t last as long as a standard before needing replacing – I’ll get 3-4 trips before I start getting annoyed at having to straighten the butt section regularly during a trip. That’s eating into fishing time, and also means I’ll be spending time at home replacing the butt section. I get a full season out of a standard with only the odd straightening required.

    As Wayne (from Letterkenny) says, if you can be anything you should be efficient. I like the standard leader best, because I can fish nymphs, dries, streamers and indicators with less intra- and inter-trip butt section maintenance. The presentation benefit of a micro in some circumstances is often just that – micro.

    • Major Points for Letterkenny !!! That is one of my top reason I don’t like micro stuff and that is the durability .. … Pitter patter, let’s get at ‘er.

      • John Matthews said he replaces his std leader every season. How many trips (or hours) of fishing can one get on a leader. For std leader, what signs to you look for the need to replace the leader?

        • Basically mine last into something catastrophic happens. Ha. Meaning it gets damaged in a tree snag, or I slice through the butt section by stepping on it. The tippet section is a different story. I replaced that most every trip.

          • My pet hate is the line twisting itself around the tip of the rod. When the butt section is new, it doesn’t do this much at all. Over time and use it develops a kink/memory around where the line comes off the rod tip.

            As is normal while nymphing, the line hanging out the rod tip twists from the point fly to the rod tip (and to a lesser extent from the rod tip to the reel). Any time there’s any slack in the line, the butt section twists up around the rod tip. If there’s a kink in the line as mentioned above, this exacerbates the tangling around the tip, resulting in needing to straighten at least that part of the butt section. However, it needs to be straightened more and more often as the twist and memory embed themselves in that part of the leader.

            At a certain point through the season, I’ll often just cut that section off (I use a 35-40ft butt section) – I guess you could dip it in hot (not boiling) water or something to remove memory, but cutting it off also removes the twisted section of leader.

            I don’t fish anywhere near as much as the TB guys, but I’d estimate I cut off the first 8-10ft of the butt section every 20-30 fishing trips, and replace the whole thing every 70-80 (about as many I can squeeze in per season). I need the long butt section for fishing streamers or drifting thingamabobbers as the conditions require in my local rivers.

          • Hi John. Good stuff. Sounds like you found your own solution. And that works.

            However, that kink you’re talking about comes out easily by simply stretching the line completely. I’m not sure where this fell out of favor for anglers. I always stretch every line and leader, every day. Fly line, mono rig. They all get stretched. And not just kinda stretched, but pulled on HARD, so they are fully laid out.

            I wrote a full article about this. But it’s a simple fix for your issue.


  5. @BillDell, ha! Letterkenny. I’ll have to put that in my watch list. Who would have thought I need to know a bunch of culture references to follow troutbitten.

    • Great fishin’ in Quee-bec.

      Like The Office (US), Letterkenny shows some early promise, but really hits its straps after the first season.

      Anyhoo, gotta stay hydrated.

  6. S9, Ep6
    Great podcast. You guys mention fly weight by hook size. Can you explain? I refer weight as bead size.


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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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