Dacron or Spectra backing...??????

Capt No SlackCapt No Slack Posts: 41 Greenhorn
What type and size of backing should I put on my new battenkill IV large arbor!

I realize that 90% of the time the fish I am going to be targeting with my new 8wt large arbor I will never see the backing. However for those rare times were I hook a big fast fish I want to be rigged up the best I can to give myself a chance to catch the fish!!!!!!

it already has the "Free" dacron backing that orvis gives when you purchase a reel from them. Since I was not the original purchaser, I do not know what size dacron it is????? If I had to guess it is either 20lb or 30lb dacron.

My background is in Offshore Sportfishing, years ago I spent 6 years of my life living on the OBX of NC working on offshore charter boats.

I do not trust anyone's knots/crimps/connections other than my own!!! I use to fish Marlin tournaments where you could have a million dollar fish on the line, so I have become really anal about my connections.

That being said I am probably am going to pull all the mystery dacron off and start all over.......(I may re-use it.....and just tie my own arbor knot etc)

I have lots of questions!

do yall saltwater fly flingers "wax" or "coat" the spool before spooling??? backing dacron or spectra tends to hold moisture/salt and lying tight to the spool I have seen some spool corrosin problems on Internationals and Tiagras. Because of that, I use to wax offshore reels spools & arbor always before spooling!

Wax fly reel spool yes or no????:shrug I assume so!

Should I use dacron or spectra backing.........if I do use spectra should I use solid or Hollow core! Right know I am thinking about using a Quality Hollow Core Specrta 30lb to 65lb as backing???

I have caught 1,000's of big strong powerfull fish in my lifetime, However I will admit the biggest fish I have ever caught on a fly rod is a 21" striped bass. I have NEVER SEEN the backing the few times I have fly fished. So I have ZERO experience how the battle unfolds!

For you guys that catch large fast strong fish on Fly Rods, fish that constantly take you into your backing I have a questionS!!! The fly reel spool is really narrow and you only have a 1:1 retreive ratio...... So you hook a 15lb black fin tuna and he takes you into your backing and you are fighting the fish on the reel, when you start to recover line What fingers do you use to "Level Wind" the line as you start to get it back on the spool. How Agressive are you criss/crossing the braid as you level wind. I would assume this is Very important so that the NEXT big fish you catch doesn't cause the line to dig/cut into the backing as it is pulling drag and lock/bind up causing pulled hook or line failure!

Also when doing this what backing material is easiest on the fingers. Obivioisly larger diameter of any material is going to be easier on the finger/hand but there is a balance because you Also need a decent amount of backing line capacity.

I know you guys have already got this stuff figured out

I will appreciate any help and advice

Thanks in advance

Replies

  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,280 Captain
    30lb micron is fine. You can splice a loop in it with a piece of #4 wire and you'll have a connection stronger than the line itself. If you feel you need to go with hollow core, than you should use hollow core, but unless you're targeting tuna/mako/marlin I don't see the need.

    Here's a photo of the spliced loop. It takes about 5 minutes.
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  • Chuck SChuck S Posts: 26 Greenhorn
    You asked:
    "Wax fly reel spool yes or no???? I assume so!

    Should I use dacron or spectra backing.........if I do use spectra should I use solid or Hollow core! Right know I am thinking about using a Quality Hollow Core Spectra 30lb to 65lb as backing???"

    I don't use wax but do start with a clean spool/reel and then spray it down with Boeshield T-9. Give it an hour and then buff it off. That leaves a coating that is hard to beat in the salt.

    http://midcurrent.com/gear/gel-spun-for-fly-reel-backing/ covers the pros and cons about as good as it gets.
  • dunflydunfly Posts: 54 Deckhand
    I use 20# dacron backing on my 8wts. I generally use a maximum of 12# tippets, so it should break before the backing. I use a large loop in the backing like OlDirtyCaster, but I use a bimini twist instead of the splice. You should be able to get about 200 yards of 30# or about 250 yards of 20# darcron. I would call Orvis and see what they typically spool it with, but either should be plenty for an 8wt. As far as waxing the reel, I have never done it and see no need to do it on a Battenkill. You can do it if it makes you feel better. When playing the fish and reeling in line, I use by index finger to guide the line back on the reel while holding the grip with the other three fingers and thumb (see 1 below).

    I don't use gel spun backing for several reasons. (1) It will cut a finger off if you get caught when you have a hot running fish. (2) It packs to tight on the reel and can dig into itself and jam (sure, you can spool it correctly when you initially wind it on, but keeping it that way when you are playing a hot running fish without cutting your finger off (see 1) is tough. (3) It has less stretch than dacron, so you are more succeptable to breakoffs due to shocks and spool warpage due to too much tension. (4) You already have the backing spooled, so it is a waste of money to respool it.
  • mastercastermastercaster Posts: 1,259 Officer
    Dacron is fine, unless you just need a ton of backing.

    ODC, do you have a link to your loop or instructions? I've never seen that before.
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,280 Captain
    Dacron is fine, unless you just need a ton of backing.

    ODC, do you have a link to your loop or instructions? I've never seen that before.




    I did, but the images I had on photobucket were broken. I'll do another one tonight for you guys. I timed myself the other day and I can do a spliced loop on 20lb micron in under 90 seconds, and I'm faster with 30lb.
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,280 Captain
    dunfly wrote: »
    I don't use gel spun backing for several reasons. (1) It will cut a finger off if you get caught when you have a hot running fish. (2) It packs to tight on the reel and can dig into itself and jam (sure, you can spool it correctly when you initially wind it on, but keeping it that way when you are playing a hot running fish without cutting your finger off (see 1) is tough. (3) It has less stretch than dacron, so you are more succeptable to breakoffs due to shocks and spool warpage due to too much tension. (4) You already have the backing spooled, so it is a waste of money to respool it.


    1) No worse than dacron, and in all my years I've never met anyone who has been foolish enough to make the mistake of grabbing fast moving backing. 2) If you have issues with gel spun digging into itself, than next time you'll know better than to put loose backing on a reel. If a fish burns off alot of backing, he's going to be heavy/strong enough to keep tension on it when you're reeling it in. 3) Completely untrue. 3% stretch vs. 8% isn't going to cost you any fish. 4) That would be operating under the assumption that an individual already has backing on their reel, people do buy new reels from time to time and they do have to put backing on them. If you've simply made up your mind that you don't like gel spun, than don't use it, but there isn't a shred of truth to any of the stuff you posted.

    Dacron is fine, unless you just need a ton of backing.

    ODC, do you have a link to your loop or instructions? I've never seen that before.


    Here you go. All you need is 2' of #4 wire and a pair of scissors.

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  • FS DanFS Dan Posts: 2,348 Moderator
    ODC, your loop is very similar to the method used to make wind-on leaders for offshore. a question that i have is that on the wind on leaders we use a waxed rigging thread to wrap the ends to help secure the connection point and also use a drop or two of superglue to keep things from pulling apart. Do you ever use these techniques with the backing or is the pull thru, chinese finger trap enough to hold it together?
    I was in town Saturday and stopped by the shop for a new fly line. Sorry i missed you as i wanted your opinion on the new lines available. I ended up with cortlands precision tropic plus wf 9 f/i ghost tip intermediate line. Any pro's or Cons with this line and are there any special instructions for care and maintenace of this line?

    Thanks
    CMD
    Formerly Catmandew
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,280 Captain
    Catmandew wrote: »
    Do you ever use these techniques with the backing or is the pull thru, chinese finger trap enough to hold it together?
    I was in town Saturday and stopped by the shop for a new fly line. Sorry i missed you as i wanted your opinion on the new lines available. I ended up with cortlands precision tropic plus wf 9 f/i ghost tip intermediate line. Any pro's or Cons with this line and are there any special instructions for care and maintenace of this line?

    Thanks
    CMD


    The chinese fingertrap method is enough to lock it down, so no glue, and no winding are required. The cortland ghost tip is as nice as any other clear tip line we carry, the clear tips all have this change in density halfway through the head so they take some getting used to. They like to begin higing at around 50' or so, but once you get use to them it's becomes an afterthought. After a full day of fishing with it you'll realize tracking your fly isn't as much of an issue as you thought it would be, just keep your eyes trained on a small spot leading the fish and 99% of the time that's where your fly is going to land. The line doesn't need any special care, to clean it just strip your line into a bucket of warm soapy water every few weeks and then rinse it off. Those little white scrubby pads that cortland makes work pretty good too. Sorry I missed you, I was actually in yesterday around lunch time to pick up a line.
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