As fly fisherman we know the importance of backing as we hook into a big fish and with salmon and steelhead you sure find that importance in a hurry. The problem that we always had was how do we get enough backing on there to let these big fish run? One handed or two handed the problem was still the same. Hours were spent putting line on and taking line off trying to maximize the capacity that we could get on our reels when we found the solution. Braided line. Now sure you can spend a bunch of money and get an ultra small diameter backing that will work just fine. But if you are like us it doesn’t make a ton of sense to spend a bunch on backing when you could be spending that on more gear. Bang for your buck lets say.
How to save some money on your backing.
We start off by putting 50 yards of your normal 30 lb. Dacron backing in a florescent color on our reel. This is there for a couple reasons. It provides a good base for layering on your braided line so that it will lay flat rather than having to build up the base with a bunch of braid. This also serves as the “oh crap section” because if you make it to here you better be moving! You should never get here unless you flat run out of space to move.
Next we attach the Dacron backing to the braided line of choice with a Double Uni Knot.
We prefer to use Spectra (more color options) or Power Pro Braided lines as they aren’t to bad of priced and we haven’t had any issues with them for uses like this. There are cheaper options but you are always better off trusting more name branded when it comes to lines you are unfamiliar with. Usually we run 150- 200 yards of 40- 60 lb line depending on the fish we are using it on and the size of reel. Smaller reels = lighter poundage (smaller diameter).
At that point it is just a matter of attaching your fly line or shooting head and so on depending on one or two handed rods and getting after it!