Patrick9915

What makes a 9wt reel a 9wt reel?

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Typically backing capacity along with line capacity make a the requirements for a reel. Balance comes into play as well. Take your 9wt line and without taking any backing off of your 7wt reel and you'll find out that the diameter of fly lines vary in regard to weight. You'll run out of room on that smaller reel. Sure you can put less backing on the smaller reel and get that line on there but it most likely wouldn't feel "right" and if you were fishing for Albie's with that 9 wt with less backing....well you can guess the rest

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27 mins ago, Patrick9915 said:

Forgive the novice question but what makes a 9wt reel a 9wt reel? 

 

Like, what would happen if you put 9wt line on a 7wt reel and stuck it on a 9wt rod? 

The marketing department.

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1 hour ago, Cpalms said:

The marketing department.

Yes and no. Most top of the line reels are made for the serious fish so while you may need 8 pounds of drag and 150 yards of backing on your 5 wt trout outfit, there are some fish that will give you a test. Fish for tarpon, taimen, or offshore and you won't want to be under gunned.

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Also, a 9 weight reel will be heavier than a 7 weight reel. The extra weight of the reel, in addition to the aforementioned backing increase, will help balance the heavier rod and make for a more pleasurable casting experience. 

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The big auction site has tons of imported "9 weight feels" that hold 50 yards of backing. A 9 weight reel should hold a 9 floating line and at least 150 yards of backing IMO. I usually reach for the 9 because I'm hoping for a fish that can pull off some line, probab!y not 150 yards but enough that having 50 would make me nervous.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I can agree with all of what's been said. The reel makers label the reels, and based on what the reel should have for that line weight and backing as they see fit, as has been said. However, they're not all the same. You have to look at the dimensions of the spool, particularly diameter & width when comparing reels and note what type of reel, such as mid arbor or large arbor, or the older "classic" types that had a smaller arbor. One reel makers 9 wt may not match up with another reel makers. 

 

These features will have some bearing on whether it will be a good match for the type of fishing you intend to do with it, particularly backing capacity as was mentioned.  For the type of arbor, the tighter the coils of line are wrapped, the more issues you may have with memory and coiling of the line. Arbor types can also affect how much line you can retrieve per turn of the spool when you have to retrieve line with the reel. 

 

The actual total static weight too can be of concern, as was said for balancing a rod, but also for fatigue if you plan on casting for long periods. a 10th or two in weight may not matter much, but some reels designated as a 9 wt for example may weigh several ounces different.

 

Drags on these larger reels are not all the same either. So, it's not as simple as saying it's a 9 wt reel and that it will be a good match for any 9 wt rod it's put on. And this can all apply to most any reel as far as how it's sized. 

Edited by Jim H

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A 7 wt line is not going to properly load a 9 wt rod and it will make casting a challenge.  You can put a 7 wt line on a 9 wt reel - I have several reels that are oversized to permit more backing capacity ( the real reason for the size of reels)

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Many years ago, we were all told large arbor reels brought in line faster than the small arbor reels did, it was lots of fun watching them try to prove it, soon the crickets started chirping and the feet started shuffling.

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Patrick9915,

  The short answer is that unless you need the extra backing capacity there is nothing wrong with putting a 9wt line on a 7wt reel.  It's done all the time.  Any of us that use two handed rods and do sustained anchor type casting have get creative with lines and reels as well.  If you do need lots of backing you can switch to gelspun or 20lb dacron to gain capacity.

I really think too many fly fisherman over think all of this stuff.  I just spent the last hour playing around in the yard figuring out what was the best line to quickly and accurately deliver a a 9" fly made with a "dragon tail".  9wt fast action rod.  My favorite line for now is a 400gr switch line with a short head.  Way over lining the rod.  For normal size flies I use a 9 or 10wt line for the same rod.

Experiment and decide for yourself.  If you happen to be in Massachusetts you are welcome to borrow any of my 12+ reels and tons a lines and figure out what is best for you.

The weight designation for rods and reels is simply a suggested starting point.

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