Check your backing

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Nick Clayton, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. Nick Clayton Active Member

    Posts: 2,938
    Ratings: +1,215 / 4
    Just a reminder to you beach bums to make sure to check your backing once in a while. I took an intermediate line off a spool last night, and replaced it with the same line in a floater. When I took the first line off, I stripped off and removed a bunch of backing as well, as the spool was a little too full for my liking when reeling all the way in. Anyway, fast forward to today.... I was out a little bit ago putting the cover over our travel trailer for the winter. I needed some rope to secure the sides of the cover, but I couldn't find anything.... Then I remembered the backing I stripped off my reel last night. Well it was right on top of my fly tying trash, so I grabbed it and went out feeling quite proud of myself for repurposing this stuff! Long story short, the backing broke 3 separate times as I was pulling down to tighten it up to tie off the cover. This backing was brand new just a year ago. I've always sorta neglected my backing, but if it snapped that easily just with me pulling on it I would hate to see how it would do with an angry chum on the other end. Would sure suck to see a $100 shooting head disappear.
  2. porterHause Just call me Jon

    Posts: 340
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +177 / 0
    Funny you say this...while fishing the beach this year I hooked into a very large king. He took like a rolling Tarpon not 15 feet away, promptly peeled about 150 yards of backing off my reel, and snapped my 30lb backing. Bye bye $75 fly line. Sad thing is that the reel was recently spooled, and on inspection, the braid had wrapped up on itself similar to what you're describing in the centerpin thread with your baitcaster. This backing had never seem the light of day, so I guess I can blame the shop that spooled it?

    Still, even with losing the fly line, that was one of the greatest highlights of my beach season.

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  3. Nick Clayton Active Member

    Posts: 2,938
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    Cool! I've gotta admit, I'd sacrifice a fly line for the chance to tussle with a fat king on the fly. What did he take?



  4. porterHause Just call me Jon

    Posts: 340
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +177 / 0
    Chartreuse over cerise clouser, 10ft. Intermediate poly, and a royal wulff ambush. :)

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  5. Nick Clayton Active Member

    Posts: 2,938
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    Chartreuse and pink strikes again. Well done! So jealous.
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  6. Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

    Posts: 3,861
    Pipers Creek
    Ratings: +1,263 / 1
    Somewhere in the great river in salmon heaven a Satsop Chum has been swimming around since 1987 with my new at the time Cortland sinktip.
  7. dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

    Posts: 4,102
    Near the Fjord
    Ratings: +566 / 0

    "Popsicle Stick" and fancy variations….:)
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  8. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,488
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,469 / 9
    What is backing?
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  9. Irafly Active Member

    Posts: 3,671
    Everett, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +1,087 / 1
    First ever steel (I assume) on the green, muddler minnow, floating fly line, no honest thought of actually hooking a thing, young and poor, hooked fish, quick run, bad knot, my bad, fly line go by by!
  10. dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

    Posts: 4,102
    Near the Fjord
    Ratings: +566 / 0
    Thanks for the reminder Nick!!!
  11. porterHause Just call me Jon

    Posts: 340
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +177 / 0
    I'm pretty partial to the nested nail knot for everything but my 10wt. Super skinny and super strong.

    Anil describes it here...

    http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/forum/index.php?posts/228119


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  12. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Posts: 5,663
    Somewhere on the Coast
    Ratings: +544 / 0
    Yes, thanks for the hedzup, Nick! Its kind of easy to forget about the stuff, since I hardly ever see it any more. Of course, there's lots of stuff I hardly ever see anymore.
    I have a couple of reel spools that I should unwind and check.

    I'm going to give that "nested nail knot" a try. I have been using the Albright knot, but mine always seem to turn out a little bit bulky.
  13. MAD777 New Member

    Posts: 12
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    Well, I guess I'll spend sone time this weekend stripping the line off my reels and tugging on the backing! Thanks for the warning.


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  14. ten80 Active Member

    Posts: 516
    Anchorage, AK
    Ratings: +84 / 0
    Bimini is near 100% for braided and mono materials when properly tied with good quality line

    http://www.sportfishingmag.com/techniques/bimini-twist-break-anaylsis

    I use a the factory loop or double-whip a loop with 15-lb maxima and cover with UV cement, then connect to bimini twist in the backing. I double the line over for the bimini twist for my spey and 10wt rod so that there is less of a chance of the backing cutting the fly line coating if a big fish (>20lbs) takes me for a ride.
  15. Cuttbow82 Active Member

    Posts: 141
    Renton, WA.
    Ratings: +45 / 0
    Glad you caught that before hitting the beach, Nick! I've got a mental image of a 20lb chum bruiser towing your line, tangling up all the gear chuckers at Hoodsport or Chico! ;)
  16. mbowers Active Member

    Posts: 201
    Jupiter, FL / Victoria, BC
    Ratings: +81 / 0
    Backing that's 30lb braid shouldn't break until 40lb tension. So to break the backing on a fish that's not wrapped up on something solid I would guess either you were fishing 40lb tippet (unlikely) or there was a bad section in the braid (very likely). I've had bad experiences with Power Pro with a random weak section showing up. Fireline and Spiderwire have been dependable.

    If one is not careful when pulling line off the reel to string up the rod it's possible to get a wrap of line over the tag end which will work its way up the line as far as the line is used. That overwrap will remain on the spool forever unless that wrap is chased back out of the spool and over the tag end. Get a couple of those wraps over the tag end and that could cause the backing to bind up especially near the bottom of the spool.

    IMHO wouldn't blame the shop for how they spooled the backing unless it happens again and you're positive you didn't contribute any trapped wraps. I would call them up and let them know you think the 30lb backing they're using is flawed..
  17. Jack Devlin Active Member

    Posts: 1,214
    Western Washington, Puget Sound area
    Ratings: +983 / 1
    Another good reason to check backing is that it can hold moisture where it comes in contact with the insides of the spool. The backing will also hold moisture on the arbor. This is especially an issue if the reel is used in the salt. It only takes a few minutes a few times a season to unwind all the backing and inspect and wipe down the spool and arbor.
    Jack
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