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Backing, how much to use?


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#1 M. saxatilis

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Posted November 09 2007 - 8:42 PM

How do you determine how much backing to put on a fly reel before putting on the fly line??
In the past I have just "winged" it. Is there a better way?
Thanks ahead of time for your replies.
-K


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"Even a fish would keep out of trouble if it kept its mouth shut!"

#2 DucatiRdr

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Posted November 09 2007 - 9:29 PM

Backing capacity is normally listed as one of the qualities of the reel. My Tibor on the other hand, has a groove to show when you have topped off with so much braided dacron.
Once I know my backing capacity I prefer to have 50 yards of orange with 200 (or the balance) in either charteruse or white mated with a blind splice.


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#3 albacized

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Posted November 09 2007 - 9:47 PM

Although I wouldn't necessarily do it this way, I've heard of some guys who put on the fly line first, then the backing. Then once they have it measured correctly, they take it all off and put it back on in reverse fashion (backing first, then the fly line). But I suspect that would only be practical if you had a decent line winding machine. Personally, I just wing it


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#4 Gilbey

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Posted November 09 2007 - 9:52 PM

I've heard of some guys who put on the fly line first, then the backing. Then once they have it measured correctly, they take it all off and put it back on in reverse fashion (backing first, then the fly line).


There's your answer! I have two big Penn conventional reels that I use as my line winder for just this purpose. Wind it on one, then onto the other, then back onto the fly reel.

Good luck.
Alan


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#5 C. Regalis

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Posted November 09 2007 - 11:13 PM

Once I know my backing capacity I prefer to have 50 yards of orange with 200 (or the balance) in either charteruse or white mated with a blind splice.


I always wanted to do it that way- I take it the 50 of orange is the last 50 to show you when you're getting down to the bitter end.

Any issues with the blind splices holding? Do you do anything special to them once completed?


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#6 Whopper Bubba

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Posted November 10 2007 - 1:43 AM

I did it commercially at a Sportsman's Warehouse. The reel box will have the amount of backing listed but it is sometimes horribly wrong. Sci Anglers is usually right. Pfluegers is usually on. One good way on standard width reels is to fill with backing until you reach 1/2" from the rim, then apply the fly line. Usually works well. Wide spools require less than 1/2".


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#7 M. saxatilis

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Posted November 10 2007 - 6:58 AM

Wow,
Wicked cool input guys, thanks so much and keep the input flowing.
My neighbor dropped off his Cabela's SR reel for me to spool up with backing and sinking line. Having no idea how to do this and having done it only once or so with my own reel I will take all of your advice into consideration. Not to mention when I need to do it again for myself.
Bubba, it tickled me to read your account of the Sportsmans Wharehouse in Bordentown. I used to love spending time in there after a whole day of checking deer for the State out back in the shed. That father-son team they had in there always made me chuckle!! Hey, wait a sec...is that you?!?
Duca, I will def read the box...duh, why not right?!
Alba...I really like the idea of marking the backing ahead of time as a pucker-factor indicator! Nice kicker for the neighbor. He'll really think I know what's what after I tell him about that feature!!!
Thanks SOL!
PS
It's a Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) set-up.


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"Even a fish would keep out of trouble if it kept its mouth shut!"

#8 Lurejunky99

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Posted November 10 2007 - 10:17 AM

I've always just winged it. This year I'm thinking of buying a very cheap line counter reel that shows how much line you have on the reel. That way you can just put on as much backing as the reel is supposed to have on it. But I love the way my Tibors have the groove.


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#9 Mick2360

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Posted November 10 2007 - 11:52 AM

You can get away with winging it for a long time, THEN a fish will take you into your backing. Not a big problem, but I'm new enought o the sport where it is unfamiliar territory. So far my knots have held....


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#10 ferret

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Posted November 10 2007 - 12:09 PM

If you got doubts about having enough backing go with gelspun, you can almost double your backing capacity by switching from 30# micron to a 50# gelspun like PowerPro.


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#11 Mike Oliver

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Posted November 10 2007 - 2:36 PM

I would love to see my backing going out. LOL. Many reel makers are I feel optimistic with their backing capacities. Modern fly lines even in the same catagory can have such different diameters and therefore the amount of backing can vary a lot. Most I bet give the capacity with micron as apposed to 30lb std braid. The only sensible way to do it as is suggested above in my opinion. Put on fly line first then follow up with backing. Don't overfill as when playing a fish you tend not to reel on line so evenly and you want to avoid the line jamming against the frame as it builds up on one side when the fish may still be more than a few yards away. You don't need line winders just an old centre pin or old fly reel.


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#12 S--'E

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Posted November 10 2007 - 9:41 PM

So much depends on the flyline.
A big fat floater obviously needs a lot more room then a Type 7 full sink. A Riptide filled to the line is usually overfilled with a 10wt floater and under-filled with the Type 7.
With so much variation in backing, winging it is as good a guess as anything. Some backing is fat, some thin, others right where you expect them but all can be called 30#. One backing's 200 yards can take up a lot more room then another's. Whopper Bubba's "distance from the rim" advice is sound, start there and tweak as needed for the reel.
Going just by the manufacturer specs can definitely lead to having to take backing off or wishing you put more on.
One downside to spooling backwards first is that you have the soft flyline as a base. It collapses as you spool up. Or if you don't put any pressure on as you measure but then do when you spool up for real, you may end up wishing you put more on.
Bottomline is that I'm a big fan of winging it. You can get very good at making a guesstimate with some practice.


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Pete G.

#13 DucatiRdr

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Posted November 10 2007 - 11:35 PM

I always wanted to do it that way- I take it the 50 of orange is the last 50 to show you when you're getting down to the bitter end.

Any issues with the blind splices holding? Do you do anything special to them once completed?

Yes, the last shot of orange is a warning sign that I am getting low. My Tibors only hold 250 of backing and I want to know when I have to start putting pressure on fish.
I do my blind splices myself and knock wood, so far so good. No glue or other special prep, but I do make sure there is 4" or so on each side of the splice to make sure there is enough grab. These things are super strong although you would never guess by looking at the mechanics of them.


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