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gbanker 04-11-2013 07:04 PM

Backing Strength?
I was loading a saltwater fly reel today with 20# test backing preparatory to adding the flyline. Got to thinking about the owner of a local flyshop recommending 30# backing so I gave a length of the 20# backing a good pull and could not break it. Anyone know the actual breaking strength of 20# backing?

Ard 04-11-2013 08:04 PM

Re: Backing Strength?
I really don't know the break point on it; I use 36 pound Cortland saltwater Micron on my reels and never any leader connections over 25 pound, even the butt sections. If you go with #20 be sure to keep tippets at 15 or under least you lose a line...........


pete a 04-11-2013 08:56 PM

Re: Backing Strength?
Unless you have an older reel with very small capacity 30# would be a better choice. It will be stronger than your tippet. There are darn few fish that the difference in capacity could be an issue. Fish offshore around oil rigs and a fish can snag you with your fly line out. Be a bum scene if you loose your fly line,

You can go to gel spun/braid. Even here I'd suggest the 50# as its smaller than most 20 and knot tying is easier with larger dia.

We all wish fish ran so far that line capacity would be an issue but with today's reels it really isn't. I do suggest you put enough backing that with fly line on it is full full as this slightly increases your line intake for each revolution, hey why not fill it up since we are all optimists.

Pete a.

chuck s 04-11-2013 10:55 PM

Re: Backing Strength?
Each brand of 20 lb Dacron backing will have a different and usually higher break strength. Same as Monofilament. To prevent losing a fly line use a light leader if you use 20 lb test on a salt water line as the line's core strength may be higher than your backing's strength. I'd go with the 50 lb GSP braid as was suggested or if length of backing isn't a concern, use the 30 lb test Dacron:).

caseywise 04-11-2013 11:48 PM

Re: Backing Strength?
just make sure that your backing is the strongest line on your reel:)


Rip Tide 04-12-2013 07:49 AM

Re: Backing Strength?
As long as you're using a good backing/line knot, the backing only needs to be stronger than the heaviest tippet that you will ever use.

I watched my fishing partner lose a full line once, but that was because he had a bad knot.
It was fun later that day describing the scene in full to the guy at the fly shop when we went in to get my buddy a new line :D

ditz 04-12-2013 08:57 AM

Re: Backing Strength?
I prefer 30# dacron backing. If you are going where big fish will take loooong runs then go to GSP. Be extra careful with that GSP because it can give you some nasty cuts. On 5wt rods and below 20# backing will suffice. It is best to fill all your reels with line and backing. It all just works better.

runningfish 04-12-2013 12:22 PM

Re: Backing Strength?
I think each manufacturers will have different breaking strength in their 20# and 30# Dacron. Something that I won't worry about since I can't actually control it.

I use 30# dacron 180-200 yds on my large arbor reels for 7wt line (20# test) and 8wt (30# test) just to be save and have more flexibility to increase my tippet size. With this setup I can use 7x or 20lbs tippet as well.

wjc 04-15-2013 09:41 AM

Re: Backing Strength?
It depends on what you are fishing for and where you are fishing.

For open water or sand beach with no piers, pilings, rocks etc., coral, lighter backing, more of it.

If channels through coral or rock, barnicle/muscle studded mangroves, oyster bars, hard-bottom flats etc., heavy backing and less of it, or high strength spectra.

20 and 30# backing will pop like cheap sewing thread way, way under it's breaking strength when sliding over obstacles.

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