As fly fisherman we know the importance of backing as we hook into a big fish, particularly salmon and steelhead. 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. Our solution: Use braided line for backing.
We were putting line on, and taking line off tying to come up with a better idea. Our goal was to maximize our reel capacity without breaking the bank. Now sure, you can spend a bunch of money and get an ultra small diameter backing that will work just fine. But it didn’t make sense to spend a bunch on backing instead of new fishing gear. Finally we figured out that using braided line for backing is just a better bang for your buck.
How to Use Braided Line for Backing
- Start off by putting 50 yards of normal, fluorescent, 30 lb. Dacron backing on your reel. This 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 fluorescent backing also serves as an “alarm.” Because if you make it to that bright line, 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. That’s because they cost a little less than some of the other options, and we haven’t had any issues with them for uses like this. 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!