5wt line on 3 or 4wt reel?

indiglofish61

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Hello, i am just getting into learning about fly fishing. Ive gotten into a discussion about if i can put 5wt line on a 3 or 4wt reel? It would be nice to finally get a answer from someone who knows. Thank you.
 

r reese

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Ok. I do it all the time. I don’t like large reels. I tend to like smaller traditional reels. What I do is put backing on to where I like. I cut 20 feet off of a 90 ft line. I can’t cast 70 ft of line on my rods. Never have run out of line or backing. I make it fit. Works out great.
 

r reese

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Be sure and cut off of the back end of line. Don’t cut taper off front. I use 4wt on 1 2 3 size reels.
 

trev

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That will depend on what reel and on what line. Some lines are fatter than others and some lines are longer than others; longer and fatter both take up more space on the reel.
Of course the line can be cut off or you can buy a shorty line, WF takes less reel space than a DT.
 

mtboiler

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Ok, depending on the arbor, large or small it is possible. Larger arbor reels typically hold more line. That being said, a 5wt does not need much backing at all. further, if you are like most people you will probably never spool the reel, (cast all the line) So a second option is to cut 10 or 15 feet of the back of the line which will give you some extra space. When I use lines that are 100 ft or more I typically cut off 15 feet or so on anything 6wt and below. I don't think I will ever cast it all anyway.
 

indiglofish61

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Ok i was thinking about my question, so how about fly rods can i use a 4wt line on a 3 or 4 wt rod say a 9 or10 footer?
 

trev

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To see how the line fits on the reel (regardless of size of either) tie or tape the leader end of the fly line to the arbor temporarily and wind the line on backwards, if it fits and has more than ~3/16" between line and spool rim, you can tie backing to the line and wind it until the spool is almost full; then pull all off and turn so that the backing goes on first and the leader end last.
When trying to use an extra small reel, tape the leader end of the fly line to the arbor and wind it on until the spool is as full as desired (I like ~3/16 below the spool rim) then cut the running line at that point, take it off, turn the fly line and install permanently. If cutting the running line on a WF I would not use any backing.
 

AzTrouter

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I like heavier weight fly lines on shortish rods for some small water. iMO there’s no need for a boat winch size reel and 200 yards of backing.
 

indiglofish61

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I was asking cause i was wondering if its ok to put a 5wt line on a 3-4wt reel and 4 wt rod? As u see I'm very new at this. Thanks.
 

silver creek

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Hello, i am just getting into learning about fly fishing. Ive gotten into a discussion about if i can put 5wt line on a 3 or 4wt reel? It would be nice to finally get a answer from someone who knows. Thank you.
You can do it BUT here are some "issues" that will develop.

1. Less backing or especially on the 3 wt reel.

2. Because the % "effective" diameter change of the reel is greater as line is taken off a smaller reel, the effective drag increases more rapidly increasing the probability of breaking the tippet as line is taken out OR you have to adjust the drag more often as you fight a large fish that takes out line.

3. The main issue for me though is that the smaller reel diameter means that each revolution of the reel retrieves less line. Again this is a problem when fighting a fish that takes out line. Even if you buy a "large" arbor 3 or 4 wt, the large arbor will be smaller than the equivalent large arbor 5 wt reel.

4. The smaller spool makes palming the reel for drag more difficult.

5. Because the % "effective" diameter change of the reel is greater as line is taken off a smaller reel, the effective drag increases more rapidly increasing the probability of breaking the tippet as line is taken out OR you have to adjust the drag more often as you fight a large fish that takes out line.

6. Another effect is fly line coiling because of the smaller arbor especially in cold weather. Similarly you will find more coiling in the leader as well.

What is reason you want to use a smaller reel? Is it because you already have the smaller reel? Is it because it is cheaper to buy spare spool for a 3 or 4 wt reel you have?
 

indiglofish61

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I guess i could go for the 4-5 wt reel or even the 5-6 reel. Right now I'm just getting some insight. But thanks for info any info will help.
 

Bent Undergrowth

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For the reasons stated above, namely line retrieval and coiling, I typically prefer the largest reel I can reasonably use. For example, I will opt for a 5/6 size reel over a 4/5 on a 5wt . Sometimes it’s necessary to go even larger e.g. nymphing rods that require more weight to balance properly. Larger reels are also just easier to handle and manipulate if you have large hands. There are some pretty lightweight large arbor options out there too if that’s an issue for you.

The only reasons I will opt for a smaller reel are 1) reducing packing volume for traveling and backpacking and 2) to ensure that proportionality with the rod is appropriate - specifically, I do not like the reel to extend past the butt of the rod.
 

Bent Undergrowth

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That is why my rods have uplocking reel seats and NOT down locking. It keeps the reel off of the ground when you lead the rod against a tree branch or car mirror.




All of my rods are currently up-locking as well.

The only situation in which I'd prefer down-locking is for a long, specialized nymphing rod where balance is advantageous. Moving the mass back a few inches allows for a slightly lighter reel in this case.

I recently acquired an up-locking T&T Contact 10'8". I'm going to have to add some lead core to the spool of my 5oz reel (or get a heavier reel) to get a comfortable balance for all-day drifts.

These rods have a fighting butt though, which was probably added to resolve the issue of keeping the reel off the ground. T&T is making all of their Gen 2 Contacts with down-locking seats.

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
 
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