Backing breakage

backbonebackbone Posts: 58 Deckhand
I lost two fly lines to adult tarpon due to the backing breaking 50 or so yards from the fly line.
Both times I thought the hook pulled only to reel in half the backing and no fly line that was pulled off.
They were off the same spool of 30# Dacron, that was spooled on within the past year.
I'm going to do some testing on the breaking point of the remaining backing tonight.
What's your experience with backing and breakage?
Thanks in advance.
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Replies

  • Carl BlackledgeCarl Blackledge Posts: 674 Officer
    Backbone,

    I have played the Dacron backing game for years, then I switched to "white Power pro backing" 50 pound Power Pro is actually 72 pound test, this stuff (spectra) won't rot and is actually so slippery it's even hard to dye it It's almost like trying to dye a piece of glass. You will automatically get 50% more backing because of the smaller diameter. The best knot to use is the triple surgeons loop (6 times thru) when you make the loop, make sure you end up with a two foot loop single strand, then double that loop over on it's self and tie another surgeons loop 3 times through, when finished you will have a loop one foot long with double line. Lefty claims that knot is stronger then a Bimini with 50-70 twists. If you install new Power Pro, don't let a fly shop install a piece of tape or anything else on the reel arbor for the power pro to bite on, just tie the first few wraps on backwards for a good grip, once you take the plunge, you won't be breaking your backing again. Loop your backing to your fly line with a 50 pound braided loop installed to the back of the fly line.....you should be bullet proof.

    My 2 cents

    Carl Blackledge
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,175 Captain
    Carl is right on the money. I use 40-60lb hollow core, because it's spliceable and lays flat under pressure. Most fly lines have a core strength of 28lbs or more, and it's been a long time since I've met anyone who cared anything about being IGFA compliant. Just a word of caution, if you stack 400yds of hollow core on a cheap reel, it's probably going to damage your spool.
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,282 Officer
    Never had a problem with 30 lb. Micron. Some of my backing is pushing 40 years old and the last time I tested it (albeit now almost 10 years ago) it was still right up there. I just tie new knots every once in a while. That said, I never use a tippet over 15 lbs.

    Carl.....How would the diameter of that 50 lb. PP, compare to 30 lb. Micron? Would it still be smaller?
    .......Rick
  • Carl BlackledgeCarl Blackledge Posts: 674 Officer
    Rick,

    I am guessing, they are about the same diameter. I have no experience at all with Micron. Sorry

    I have had 30 pound Dacron that was brand new, that I could break by hand.

    I now will only use 30 # Dacron on my fresh water Abel reels....Just don't trust the stuff.

    My 2 cents

    Carl
  • backbonebackbone Posts: 58 Deckhand
    Carl is right on the money. I use 40-60lb hollow core, because it's spliceable and lays flat under pressure. Most fly lines have a core strength of 28lbs or more, and it's been a long time since I've met anyone who cared anything about being IGFA compliant. Just a word of caution, if you stack 400yds of hollow core on a cheap reel, it's probably going to damage your spool.

    Could you elaborate on the spool issues? I'm running Tibors...
  • backbonebackbone Posts: 58 Deckhand
    Thanks for all the input Gents.
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,175 Captain
    backbone wrote: »
    Could you elaborate on the spool issues? I'm running Tibors...


    Your tibors are safe. I put 30lb sa gel spun on a reddington delta reel once (per request), and the spool warped. I've seen the same issue with a few of the eBay knockoff reels when spooled with braid under heavy tension.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,696 Captain
    I still use just Micron in either 20lb (for reels 8wt and smaller) or 30lb for all my bigger reels. I too have lost fly lines after a break in the backing - but that's only happened twice when a big fish was able to run around a submerged tree in places where going in the water to clear a fouled line isn't a good idea at all (the Gulf coast and rivers of the 'Glades are no place to be in the water with a hooked tarpon since a hooked fish will draw every big shark in the neighborhood).

    I still use a standard bimini twist to double the end of my braid and from that loop, double again for my connection to the looped end of any fly line (if your final loop is large enough you can pass your reel through it - very handy for changing lines quickly without having to re-tie anything at all). I know I"m behind the times still using dacron backing - but I know it blindfolded so there's little incentive to change.
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • backbonebackbone Posts: 58 Deckhand
    I looked at some 50# PP yesterday and it seemed really stiff!

    ODC, what brand hollow core are you using?
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,175 Captain
    backbone wrote: »
    I looked at some 50# PP yesterday and it seemed really stiff!

    ODC, what brand hollow core are you using?

    I use power pro hollow ace. It's a 16 carrier braid with a very high pic count, it's the smoothest stuff I've found. I have Jerry Brown on my cvex, it's coarse in comparison. Cortland C-16 is also nice, it's a little softer than the ace. Brace yourself for a little sticker shock, 500yds of ace will cost you 100$, and it's not something you'll want to buy on eBay. 40lb hollow ace is roughly the same diameter as 20lb micron. Take it to your local shop and have them spool it up, you'll have a royal mess on your hands if it isn't spooled up under heavy tension.
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,282 Officer
    Agree...and not only that, but when you get down to diameters that small (even 20 lb. Micron is pretty thin!) then I think you might have potential abarasion problems. A really tight line wouldn't have to do much more than just touch a barnacle on a piling or mangrove root and the rest would be history.
    .......Rick
  • Carl BlackledgeCarl Blackledge Posts: 674 Officer
    Backbone,

    If you're not on a wholesale program, then Cabela's seems to be a cheap place to buy 500 yards of white 50-pound test Power Pro material. It's around $50 or find it on ebay. I have installed it by hand on my reels, then take it to the fly shop and have them rewind it on tighter.

    Cascade Crest has some nice braid, and it has the good knot strength, but I think it's also pricey.

    When you tie your knots in Power Pro, always soak the braid in cold water. PP won't soak up the water but it does make the braid more relaxed and tie stronger knots. If you want to archive the highest knot strength, then after you tie your knot, take some Zap-a-gap and put one drop on a piece of paper, then take a tooth pick and dip the end into that drop of Zap-a-gap and install that little bit on the knot. If executed correctly, your knot can reach 100%. With braid it's all about not letting the knot slip, Without the Glue treatment you can get your braid knots to test 55-57 pound breaking strength very easy. I have played around a lot with knots in PP braid, then I would send them off to be tested by very expensive testing machines that didn't have an attitude or didn't care who tied the knot....the results with the triple surgeons loop( 6 time thur) were constantly 55.5 -57 pound breaking strength....good luck

    Carl Blackledge
  • backbonebackbone Posts: 58 Deckhand
    Ok, so if I go with a super braid and I go get it spooled at a shop with a lot of resistance, what happens when I jump four or five fish and have to hand wind the backing back in?
    Sorry for the inexperienced questions with super lines here...
  • Carl BlackledgeCarl Blackledge Posts: 674 Officer
    Backbone,

    Good question. First off your going to be fine. I am sure your going to "wind in" that fish with at least a little bit of pressure and that's all your going to need after the line is installed correctly....even your fly line is going to be on tighter after a few fish

    Carl Blackledge
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,175 Captain
    backbone wrote: »
    Ok, so if I go with a super braid and I go get it spooled at a shop with a lot of resistance, what happens when I jump four or five fish and have to hand wind the backing back in?
    Sorry for the inexperienced questions with super lines here...




    Nothing as long as the backing underneath stays tight. Hollow core lays flat like dacron, it won't dig into itself unless you put some serious effort into spooling it up loose. It's why I don't use 4 carrier spectra.

    And Rick, it wouldn't matter what kind of backing you have if you allow a fish to drag you over barnacles. The results would be the same.
  • clampmanclampman Posts: 130 Officer
    Permit Rat wrote: »
    . A really tight line wouldn't have to do much more than just touch a barnacle on a piling or mangrove root and the rest would be history.

    Rick, these hollow core spectra's are nothing like the stiff, waxed old solid power pro stuff. Like any line under a lot of tension, they can snap - and the old power pro was really susceptable to that because spectra does not bend around sharp objects well. But the huge number of microfilamentn forming each "carrier" are really teeny now and 16 carrier hollow braids are less apt to break on sharp objects than the old solid braid.

    But you can always up-splice the backing without knots. So if you are fishing for big tarpon say (or snook or whatever) near mangroves, docks or bridge pilings, you can load a reel with say 60# and up-splice to whatever lb test you want in a couple of steps for the last 50-100 feet of line before the fly line loop. So you could have 300 lb test if you wanted it for whatever lenght you want in about the same spool volume that 50 feet of old dacron 52 # trolling braid would take, but still have the backing capacity of 60 lb spectra for the balance.

    Most of the abrasion problems occur close to, if not actually on, the fly line itself, including what abrasion occurs with backing running through the guides because of imbedded dirt, miniscule salt crystals or whatever.

    I've been using JB line one for quite a few years now, and since then, cortland and power pro have both come out with ones that are even better, from what I've heard from different sources. I've been getting mine from a charter captain in Lighthouse Point, FL named Tek who also sells a lot of gear - wind ons, Daho rigging needles, cast nets, Bob Lewis kites etc.

    He cuts it off big spools and will sell you ten feet if that's all you want - actually just threw in enough short lengths for me to upsplice when I placed a fairly good order. Real good guy. He sells JB and Power Pro Ace. I found him through the Daho "find a dealer" website. Can't remember the name of his company offhand - but he answers his phone sometime even when he has a charter.

    Cheers,
    Jim
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,282 Officer
    Jim, that sounded like a good thing (up-splicing). I dunno.....I've been using Micron for so many years (decades?) and without problems, I just automatically asked for it when I needed some more 20 lb. When I made the statement that some of you quoted, I was thinking more of overall diameter, which would apply to many applications. For example a mere nick in 20 lb. mono might not be very consequential, whereas it might go 1/4 the way through 8 lb. mono and weaken it significantly, on a percentage basis. Stands to reason the same would apply, even with these new super strong/ super thin braids; the smaller the diameter, the more damage done, again, on a percentage basis, in the event of contact with something sharp.

    This is just a matter of me getting old and not keeping up with the times. :banghead
    .......Rick
  • clampmanclampman Posts: 130 Officer
    I got you Rick and understand completely. I like to up-splice for two reasons; the wear close to the fly line, and to increase the backing diameter at the fly line end so I don't have to double a blind spliced loop at the fly line end of the backing. I fished for a lot of years with doubled backing loops without problems, but this way is just a little smoother and makes me happy.
  • tarpon41tarpon41 Posts: 183 Deckhand
    BB: I've been using spectra backing since it showed up. My POV is flats fishing not blue water flyfishing and my reel drag setting never exceeds 4-5 lbs... any more it's hand on spool rim. I use 50 on my 3N, and 65 and 80 on the bigger reels. As for brands the first was USA made power pro beware of recent Chinese cheapo knock offs but thereafter anything that's on sale or that which is a take offs from my conventional reels...never had a backing failure with "Braid"...I've noticed last few years if you are not particular about backing color nearly everyone makes that butt ugly dark green and it's the color that always goes on sale. BTW as for conventional casting braid I use FINS Windtamer
  • Captain HookCaptain Hook Posts: 107 Officer
    Carl is right on the money. I use 40-60lb hollow core, because it's spliceable and lays flat under pressure. Most fly lines have a core strength of 28lbs or more, and it's been a long time since I've met anyone who cared anything about being IGFA compliant. Just a word of caution, if you stack 400yds of hollow core on a cheap reel, it's probably going to damage your spool.

    Do you use 60lb in place of 30 dacron and 40lb in place of 20 dacron? Are the diameters similar? I can't seem to find the diameter of hollow ace listed anywhere. Trying to find a comparison so I know I'm not going to lose backing capacity by switching.
  • Captain HookCaptain Hook Posts: 107 Officer
    Also don't want to go too thin and end up with something that is going to cut my finger easily.
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,175 Captain
    Do you use 60lb in place of 30 dacron and 40lb in place of 20 dacron? Are the diameters similar? I can't seem to find the diameter of hollow ace listed anywhere. Trying to find a comparison so I know I'm not going to lose backing capacity by switching.


    You're not. 40lb hollow ace is smaller than 20lb micron, and it's smoother than micron or standard gel spun. As for getting cut by your backing, I've fished with anglers of all skill levels on 3 continents and I've never met anyone who thought it would be a good idea to grab their backing on a running fish. I'm not saying it can't happen, but you'd have to be a special kind of stupid to make it happen.
  • Captain HookCaptain Hook Posts: 107 Officer
    No intention of grabbing my backing on a running fish. That would take a special kind of stupid. Just trying to keep my setup from turning into a bandsaw.
    So 40 in place of 20 and 60 in place of 30? You mentioned using both.
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,175 Captain
    No intention of grabbing my backing on a running fish. That would take a special kind of stupid. Just trying to keep my setup from turning into a bandsaw.
    So 40 in place of 20 and 60 in place of 30? You mentioned using both.


    You can use whatever you feel is best suited. I use 40lb hollow on my 7/8/9/10wts, and 60lb on the big stuff. The 40lb is fine for the big stuff, but I didn't feel the need to put 130$ in backing on my beach reels.
  • Captain HookCaptain Hook Posts: 107 Officer
    Last question odc, thanks for the help. Are you doing a triple wrap arbor knot with the power pro directly to the spool, or a base layer of dacron. Wasn't sure if the hollow ace would slip on the spool if tied directly to the bare spool.
  • Captain HookCaptain Hook Posts: 107 Officer
    Last question odc, thanks for the help. Are you doing a triple wrap arbor knot with the power pro directly to the spool, or a base layer of dacron. Wasn't sure if the hollow ace would slip on the spool if tied directly to the bare spool.

    Ok so I lied, one additional question in addition to the connection to the reel mentioned above. With your 40 hollow ace how are you attaching that to the fly line?

    With the 60 I can probably splice a loop or splice to 80 and then a loop. Wondering if the 40 can be spliced or if the diameter will cut into the rear loop of the fly line. Thanks again for the help. Headed to the keys in a couple weeks just want to make sure I have good connections.
  • backbonebackbone Posts: 58 Deckhand
    I'm Pretty sure ODC likes to splice a loop.

    I tie a bimini twist and then double it over and tie a surgeon by the bimini. I make the loop big enough to fit the reel through so I can change lines easily.
  • Carl BlackledgeCarl Blackledge Posts: 674 Officer
    backbone wrote: »
    I'm Pretty sure ODC likes to splice a loop.

    I tie a bimini twist and then double it over and tie a triple surgeon by the bimini. I make the loop big enough to fit the reel through so I can change lines easily.

    The Bimini twist, regardless how many twists in the knot, isn't as strong as the triple surgeons knot (6 times through) in braid. Tie the braid directly to the reel arbor without a Dacron cushion, or any other type of line or tape, you don't want a place for the salt to hang out, If installed by a competent person, it will never slip.

    Carl
  • Captain HookCaptain Hook Posts: 107 Officer
    The Bimini twist, regardless how many twists in the knot, isn't as strong as the triple surgeons knot (6 times through) in braid. Tie the braid directly to the reel arbor without a Dacron cushion, or any other type of line or tape, you don't want a place for the salt to hang out, If installed by a competent person, it will never slip

    Carl

    Aside from the knot to the spool I'm trying to avoid any other knots and just use splicing to do the rest.

    The single strand braid I have used in the past never slipped on the arbor but not sure about the hollow stuff as it is smoother.
  • backbonebackbone Posts: 58 Deckhand
    The Bimini twist, regardless how many twists in the knot, isn't as strong as the triple surgeons knot (6 times through) in braid. Tie the braid directly to the reel arbor without a Dacron cushion, or any other type of line or tape, you don't want a place for the salt to hang out, If installed by a competent person, it will never slip.

    Carl

    I was referring to the backing to fly line connection.
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