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Saltwater Fly Fishing Bonefish, Tarpon, Redfish, Permit, False Albacore, Striped Bass, etc...

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Old 03-11-2011, 07:57 AM
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Default Backing for Tarpon

Good Morning-

I've got a new 12 wt combo that I will primarily use for tarpon. I had intended on loading it up with gel spun backing but was told by the owner of a south florida fly shop that the gel spun can present problems binding upon itself when fighting big fish like tarpon or spinner sharks. I've really never had a problem with gel spun on bonefish or permit so I was a bit surprised to hear this.

Anyone with info please advise. I don't want to have an issue if I can avoid it but as I've never owned a rod this heavy I just don't know.

Thanks and have a good weekend-

Steve
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Old 03-11-2011, 09:11 AM
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Default Re: Backing for Tarpon

Ultra thin diameter GSP can be wound within the the grooves between itself with the high speed line winders. Because the GSP can get buried between multiple layers, it will create some friction when coming off the reel.

If you decide to stick with GSP, try to keep the diameter equivalent to that of 12 pound test line. In most brands of braids using GSP, that will be around 50 to 55 pound test.

Another option is to use another super braided line like Daiwa Samurai Braid in 55 pound test. It uses Dyneema instead of GSP, so it will be less abrasive. Also it lays down flat comared to GSP lines. The 55 pound test braid has the same thickness of 12 pound test line.

MP
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Old 03-11-2011, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: Backing for Tarpon

I have a Gulfstream loaded with gelspun of about 60 lb test as I recall, and have never had a problem. A good buddy of mine, a guide, has his loaded with 80 lb gel spun. Neither of us have had any problems with the line digging in on multiple tarpon and sailfish. Both of us do pay attention to how it's laying on the spool however, even when winding furiously. Both of us also started out with conventional gear without level winds as kids too though, so it is second nature.

I will actually be changing mine out for 80 lb Gerry Brown hollow spectra as soon as I get caught up on some bills. I like the connections that can be made with it, and it flattens out when you wind it on.

Cheers,
Jim
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Old 03-16-2011, 06:02 AM
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Default Re: Backing for Tarpon

MP & Jim:

Thank you both for the response and options- both of which are interesting and educational. Looks like I now have several choices. My local tackle shop has the Diawa Braid available in bulk so that would be the easiest and perhaps lest expensive option. I've got time and the cost difference is minimal so what's the verdict?
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:46 AM
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Default Re: Backing for Tarpon

I don't see an issue with the braid if you do the following things:
1. Use at least 50ish pound test. That way the diameter isn't too skinny.
2. Make sure to have a baselayer of 30 pound Dacron spooled on first. Braid will be tied to the Dacron. That way the braid wont spin on the arbor if you ever get down that far.

I have been happy with the Daiwa braids. I have them on some of my saltwater reels. I have not had issues of it digging down within the grooves between layers. It's pretty strong stuff, too.

MP
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