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Old 03-02-2012, 11:39 AM
wjc wjc is offline
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Default Tip for spooling backing

I'm spooling backing today. So I thought I'd throw out my method for guys new to the sport. Loading backing can be a real chore, especially on large capacity reels with gell spun since it's got to be wound on real tight.

I run the backing so it comes out of the reel on the wrong side of the "stripping guide" bar on the way to the spool that has the backing on it. Then I run the biggest screwdriver that will fit though the backing spool hole, and then through a large piece of thick, smooth cardboard.

So the backing spool is jammed between the screwdriver handle on one side and the cardboard on the other. Then I put the screwdriver blade behind my knee and the screwdriver handle against my thigh just above the other knee.

By squeezing my knees together, I get very consistent tension easily without much heat buildup through the cardboad and without much effort at all by my legs.

The reel is on the butt section of the rod only and is held at a comfortable height above my knees with the rod section along one side of my neck. I can watch the line going onto the reel spool, and there is no need to touch the line.

Cheers,
Jim
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:50 AM
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Default Re: Tip for spooling backing

I had some gel-spun backing put on my 9/10 reel, and I'm rather worried that it's not on there tight enough. What's the best indicator that it is or is not tight enough?
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:57 AM
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Default Re: Tip for spooling backing

I must say it is cool to be involved with a forum where there is a tread about how to tension your backing while filling new reels. I buy backing in bulk spools and place the spool behind the padded arm of an upholstered couch. Placing a 3 - 5 pound dumbell on the spool compresses it against the padding to provide the correct tension for even tight backing. I have a particular lamp that has an armiture on it just right for holding a rotating plastic fly line spool when I am ready for that phase. Come early spring, the living room takes on the look of a home-spun tackle shop between knots and splices, rigging and line mounting, adhesives setting, leader building and what not. I love it!
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:13 PM
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Default Re: Tip for spooling backing

Gator,

The best way is to insure you put it on tight enough while you're doing it. After the fact, you can squeeze the backing after it's on the spool, and it should feel rock hard and not depress when you squeeze on it.

Gel spuns have very little stretch or contraction even with cold weather so can be wound as tight as you want without warping the spools like with monofilament.

On a big reel, I wind it on with about 5 pounds of dead lift pressure and it is very hard work. Smaller reels don't need so much.

To get an idea of drag forces and dead lift weights, put a reel on the bottom section of a rod, tie it to a 5 lb dumbell, point the rod section down so the line isn't rubbing the "line guard" bar and wind it up.

If you estimate that pressure with your winding hand while winding on the backing, you will get the backing much tighter than 5 lbs at the start than at the end. So you can make it a little easier on yourself and get a more consistant packing by concentrating on feeling the pressure in your rod hand and not your winding hand when reeling up the weight.

I think everyone should try doing that, just to get an idea of what 5 pounds or 3 lbs feels like. Most who haven't done it will be shocked at how much weight 5 lbs is.

Sweet and salt,
The good thing about fly fishing is that it is so varied that there is no way to become even proficient at everything - especially with continually changing materials and tools of the trade. We have only recently begun to catch up with conventional gear men in splicing techniques, knots, teasing techniques for certain fish and the like, when it comes to saltwater fly fishing.

Cheers,
Jim
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Last edited by wjc; 03-02-2012 at 01:41 PM.
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