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Old 03-14-2012, 10:16 AM
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Default How Much Backing do you REALLY need?

For trout fishing; how many yds of backing do you feel safe with? I know this varies widely with your target trout size and water, but I'm considering using a reel on my 5wt that will allow me about 60 yds of backing. I'm not feeling uncomfortable with that because I've never seen backing while fighting a fish, and in my experience trout of all kinds typically go back and forth as they are going away, and hardly ever take off straight away like a freight train. I've caught plenty of 2-3lb trout but I fish places that have 5+ lb fish. I typically fight a fish in closer running the risk of pulling too hard because I've lost way too many fish when I let them run into far away cover and get hung up. What are your thoughts on this? Who has ever had 100yds of backing pulled off of their 5wt?
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:26 AM
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Default Re: How Much Backing do you REALLY need?

I agree with your thinking, 60 yards is plenty. Like you, I have hardly ever needed backing on a 5 wt for trout and don't like them to get too far below me as the chances of getting hung up go way up so I try to move down with them if possible. The only time I have had an issue with my backing was on stillwater fishing, a couple times I have had to pull up the anchor while fighting a big rainbow as I was afraid I was getting too low into the backing, but that has been very rare. Even on the Missouri last year hooking into those huge trout they would tend to run down river and then hook out into the main stream and then reverse directions, so the backing wasn't the issue it was all the drag caused by the fly line in the heavy current.
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:27 AM
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Default Re: How Much Backing do you REALLY need?

Trout on a 5 wt...I have seen my backing a few times, but never 60 yards. 60feet would be closer to the most I've seen. That was on the L Sacramento in heavy current and was a 24" bow. Unless you plan to catch some extraordinary trout in heavy water, 60 yards should do it IMO.

-Mike
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:23 AM
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Default Re: How Much Backing do you REALLY need?

And the backing acts to enlarge the diameter of the arbor hence the reel should be selected for balance with the rod and if you wind up with extra backing think of it as insurace for that trout of a life-time or when you hook that fresh roe shad instead of a trout, or...just to have it. Personally I like a 100 yards on my trout reel and hope never to see the metal of the arbor again.
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:35 PM
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Default Re: How Much Backing do you REALLY need?

Lots of backing is great but a light, smaller reel is greater when it comes to lightweight outfits. One nice thing that a lot of folks don't know is that the core strength of light lines are often very light also going as low as 15 lbs in some of Rio's three weight lines. With that one can use a 20 lb test backing with no problem and since you are not into huge fish ,most generally with these lightweight outfits, one can even go to the GSP braid thereby reducing the bulk of backing even more. For my five weight outfits, the backing ranges from just 50 ft one one small very light reel/outfit (panfish and brookies) to over 100 yds fo a bigger rod, larger reel that I sometimes use to target bigger fish especially in rivers where the current aids them in their struggle.
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:12 PM
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Default Re: How Much Backing do you REALLY need?

Every reel I own is full to capacity. The combined backing and fly line fill the reels to the point just shy of binding against the frames. Some may take issue with this practice but I've had a charmed life; I've had more fish try to take my whole rig than I can give an accurate count of. If a reel will hold 100 yards, why would you not install it....... 150 - 200 - an so on.

Fill er up Ausable,

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Old 03-14-2012, 01:31 PM
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Default Re: How Much Backing do you REALLY need?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
Every reel I own is full to capacity. The combined backing and fly line fill the reels to the point just shy of binding against the frames. Some may take issue with this practice but I've had a charmed life; I've had more fish try to take my whole rig than I can give an accurate count of. If a reel will hold 100 yards, why would you not install it....... 150 - 200 - an so on.

Fill er up Ausable,

Ard
I plan on filling it up, I always do that too. I was just shuffling some rods/reels around. It's a 3.125 large arbor reel, made for a 4wt with 95 yds and I'm probably going to use it on my 5wt. Me...not so charmed a life yet. Maybe I'll put 60 yds on there and dare them to take it for a ride! If I lose the whole thing to an Ausable Leviathon this summer I'd consider myself "Charmed" as I walked into Gates Lodge to tell the story and shell out $75 for line and backing.
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:45 PM
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Default Re: How Much Backing do you REALLY need?

Hi Jason,

Because I've had so many Hardy Light Weights and Marquis reels I've been able to know how much to fill an arbor when getting one set up. The same has been true for the Orvis CFO reels and Odyssey's, even the Cascapedia came out just right without any messing around but............ When I got this Orvis Vortex it was only my second LA reel, a truly large arbor, I have some Hardy Viscounts that they called LA reels but they are nothing like the Vortex so....... I did what I have read here many times and had heard over the years also. I put on the fly line and then wound backing over top until I had a full spool. Then (with considerable messing around) I wound the backing back onto the bulk spool - removed the fly line - reversed the order - and filled it just right. I have no idea of how much is on it but it seemed to be enough.

I've never measured the length on any of them but put on as much as I can. Last year I had a fish get so much of my Spey line out into the Kenai River that I lost sight of the line. This is not a good thing at all. The fish was foul hooked and I was trying to avoid breaking off one of those precious flies. I got the fish and the fly to shore and it was a happy ending but I was glad for every inch of back line.
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:10 PM
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Default Re: How Much Backing do you REALLY need?

i recently put 50 yds of 30 lb. backing on one of my 4 weight reels and it worked fine. 50 yds is way more than enough for any 4 weight rig and i just happened to have an old 50 yd. spool of 30 sitting in a drawer
on my heavier reels(7 and up), i like to fill em to the max.

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Old 03-14-2012, 03:03 PM
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Default Re: How Much Backing do you REALLY need?

Use enough backing to so there is 1/4" of head space when the fly line is completely on the reel. You may never see the backing but by filling up the reel, you can retrieve line faster and you get less coiling of the fly line.
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