Raspberryfisher's Blog

notes on fishing & travel

Fly Reel Backing – Notes

leave a comment »

Suggestions and believes:

  • Backing is only an issue when targeting large fish on rivers that can support a run back to the ocean-lake or saltwater. Otherwise it is a filler.  20m of backing will suffice for trout, bass and pike.
  • For single hand rods of 8wt or less, 20# is sufficient.
  • For double hand rods of 400gr or less, 20# should suffice.
  • Above this, limit, I migrate to 30#.
  • Use Dacron.
  • Avoid gel-spun, as you do not want to handle this when the line and fish is out.  Yes, I do use it, when I find the stated backing capacity of a reel is less than what is stated, and I need extra capacity, but I use a 20m section of 30# Dacron between the fly line and gel-spun.
  • Never use mono, as it will stress the reel.
  • To help you identify what strength you have on, colour code your backing.  For me:
    • 20# is Yellow or Green
    • 30# is Orange or Blue
  • Good connection from backing to line is the Albright knot.
  • If using shooting heads or looking to change lines, 20# Dacron usually does not create good loops that form around a line loop.  So if you are using shooting heads and using a loop to loop connection at the backing, add 20-30m of 30# to the end to form a loop.
  • So as illustrated, I am using in the following setup.
    • Reel to 20-30m of 30#Orange as a sighter (oh no, I am almost out of line!)
    • Double Duncan Loop knot to join 20# Green backing.
    • Shooting Line End –  20-30m of 30# Orange – Double Duncan Loop knot.
    • Perfection Loop large enough to pass a flyline (as illustrated) OR Albright knot to a running line.
    • I have had no issues with the Duncan Loop Knot, but make sure your knots are strong.  As I am using these on rods where I am expecting the fish to be under 12lbs and the tippet more so, the knot is not be a critical issue.
      The only issue can be, when you are being “spooled” and you have past the last 20-30 transition, you have a weak link close to you. I rather have the warning that I am almost out and I accept this comprise knowing that the fly-line itself is stronger than the 20# or 30#, so if you need to break-off, hope for the tipper-leader to break otherwise the flyline is gone, irrespective of the knot.



  • For 30# it is backing from reel to line.  By the same token, you can include an 30# orange sighter on the last 20-20m.

Written by raspberryfisher

2017/05/27 at 19:35

Posted in Fly-Fishing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: