What Is a Sighter in Fly Fishing?

A sighter is a type of leader used in fly fishing. It is a length of brightly colored monofilament that is tied to the end of the fly line.

The purpose of the sighter is to make it easier for the angler to detect strikes from fish and also to help keep track of where the fly is in relation to them.

Sighters are available in different lengths, colors and weights. They are usually made from monofilament, although there are also fluorocarbon and braid versions available.

Monofilament sighters are preferred because they have less stretch than other materials, which helps with detecting strikes more easily.

The length of the sighter will depend on several factors, including the type of water being fished and the size of flies being used. Generally speaking, a longer sighter will be needed for deeper water and larger flies, while a shorter one can be used in shallow water or with smaller flies. The color of the sighter should contrast with the background so that it stands out easily when viewed through polarized sunglasses.

When rigging up a sighter, it should be tied as close as possible to the end of the fly line without creating any knots or loops that could interfere with casting or presenting your flies properly. A loop-to-loop connection works best for this purpose. Once tied on, it’s important to adjust the length and tension so that it moves freely along with your cast.


In summary, a sighter is an essential piece of equipment for any fly fisherman. It helps detect strikes from fish more easily by providing a brightly colored leader that stands out against its surroundings.

Additionally, it also allows anglers to keep track of their flies when fishing deeper waters or larger flies. When rigging up a sighter, it’s important to make sure that its length and tension are adjusted properly so that it moves freely along with your cast.

Photo of author

Lindsay Collins