Micron vs. Dacron

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by crazysalmon, Mar 19, 2006.

  1. crazysalmon New Member

    Posts: 31
    Bellingham, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Hi, everyone I am outfitting a 6 wt. tioga magnum LA for coastal cutthroat and an occasional silver. The reel box states that I can load 125 yards of 20# backing with my 6 wt line (Rio Outbound.) Is that dacron? If so is micron a smaller diameter? In which I could load another 25 yards on. Just want to load my reel right. Thanks for the time. Go Bulldogs, and Dawgs.:thumb:
  2. Preston Active Member

    Posts: 2,478
    .
    Ratings: +465 / 0
    Micron is just Cortland's proprietary brand of dacron. While their advertising claims a smaller diameter than some other varieties, I doubt if there's very much difference.
  3. crazysalmon New Member

    Posts: 31
    Bellingham, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Thanks Preston for helping out a newbie. So its like Pepsi or Coke.:beer1: I think 125 yards will be fine. The only thing that almost spooled my 8 wt. last year was an eight pound silver that turned into a 400 lb seal.
  4. Drag-Free Drift Member

    Posts: 144
    Lakewood, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Wow! I can see how a seal would strip lots of backing in a hurry, but I think you are right when you say 125 yards will be fine on a 6 wt. I've fished the west coast rivers--and the salt in Alaska--for many years and have never had a fish take me into my backing more than fifty or seventy-five yards. I personally like the heavier stuff because it's easier to grab hold of if you have to, with less fear of slicing your finger or something. Good fishing!
  5. Porter Active Member

    Posts: 6,466
    Kenmore, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +524 / 0
    Go with white or yellow...that orange stuff seems to leech out on everything....the last 30 feet of your line can become discolored....doesn't hurt anything.
  6. Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

    Posts: 4,021
    Olympic Peninsula
    Ratings: +686 / 0
    I have switched to the Rio GSP,(Gel-Spun), which lays very flat in the spool coils, has tremendous strength, for a lesser diameter at the same weight rating, than Traditional Braided Dacron. So this way you can have more GSP backing on the spool, with greater break strength. Loading the spool with maximum allowable material will provide for a greater circumference of spooled material, which provides greater spooling efficiency when cranking a fish in.
  7. crazysalmon New Member

    Posts: 31
    Bellingham, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Bob, how much more gel-spun backing can you put on compared to dacron? Is there a percentage? I want to fill the reel all the way up. If I go with dacron, white will be the color. The yellow matches the fly line to close. Thanks Porter for the heads-up on the orange. That would have been my other choice.

    Drag free, thanks for re-enforcing my thoughts. Most of my fishing is done from a boat. So I can chase a big one if I ever have too. Thats the reason I caught up to the seal. I was in about eight feet of water on a large tide flat, so he couldn't go deep. Ran right to him and he just lay-ed on the bottom. After a quick game of tug-o-war I popped the leader, and left him to his dinner.
  8. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    gelspun will get you somewhere in the vicinity of 40% more backing. i am using 'tuff-line' from the local big box sporting goods store. 300yds of 30# is twentybucks, yellow or green. you can choose to spend way more for some designer brand, but it's all the same mfg process. this stuff will not dig in or bind up under pressure. now what to do with the zillion yds of dacron/micron i have peeled off.......
  9. Denny Active Member

    Posts: 4,048
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +45 / 0
    If you don't have much capacity on your reel, then GSP is a good way to go. However, after using both for several years, if the reel has good capacity, I believe the Dacron (or Micron) is easier handling than the GSP. GSP is almost too limp, sometimes.

    Also, there is a difference in diameters in dacron backing (i.e. not all 20# backing is the same diameter) between brands. From experience and reputation, the SA white 20# backing is considered by many to be the smallest diamater backing (Abel used to, in its backing capacity charts in its catalog, specify that SA backing was used).

    The colored backing is larger, for comparable breaking strength products, than the white. The dye seems to 'fluff' the dacron. I can't remember which color fluffs the most.

    Also, not all GSP is the same. Some products are round, some are flat, some have a smooth texture, some are rough. I have reels with the Tuff Line XP on them, and I wish I had used something else. The stuff has a somewhat rough finish, and is very uncomfortable to the hand/fingers when the backing is going out the guides when being pulled by a hot fish! I have also used Power Pro, and that works pretty well. There is a pink GSP product out, marketed by a guy named Harro from 'Down Under' called Bionic Braid that a lot of serious fly fishers swear by. It ain't cheap, but a good product when extra backing capacity is needed.

    Summarizing: for me, I've come full circle back to white dacron. I like the way it handles and feels, and the price is a lot less than GSP. When loading up 300 yards of white dacron on my Abel 4.5N, that's a lot less money than 400-450 yards of GSP.


    My $0.02.
  10. wolverine Member

    Posts: 576
    Everett, WA
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    GSP can be really tough on the fingers. At the Hoodsport zoo, when the chum are in, the wet hands really take a beating. I end up putting bandaids on nearly every finger as a preventive measure. The flatter braids, like regular Tuff line, are a lot "flatter" and are easier to level load. I like Power Pro, but its "round" and I have to be careful winding it on so it doesn't pile up on one side and dig into itself. The GSP "Dyneema" process makes an easier handling braid than the "Spectra" process. I lived on the east coast for a few years and we'd fish the surf for stripers using short heavy shooting heads and mono stuffed Power Pro as a running line. Stuffing 100' of mono into 50# Power pro is a pain in the A** but it made for a really thin running line that flew thru the guides.
  11. Surf_Candy Member

    Posts: 804
    Bainbridge Island, WA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    a note on dacron rot: last fall before heading out after silvers and chum I decided to check the 5-6 year old dacron backing on all my reels and found it would no longer hold a surgeons knot and I could easily break it between my hands...and it smelled a little like and old book (mildew/mold). I do rinse and soak reels after each trip, and store them in a well ventilated area, but I never take the time or effort to unspool the backing to dry out (and never will due to hassle factor)

    replaced with GSP, will check more frequently from now on.

    Surf
  12. Banzai FFing and VWs...Bugs & Bugs

    Posts: 786
    Bremerton, WA
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    gt, I'll take your "old" dacron. :)

    explanation: I just received a shipment of new spools; 8, for my old Hurricane "Canadian" fly reel. Sold also by Sears years ago, same spool as a Pfleuger 1495 I think. A 1498 and NIB spool; plus 2 spare spools for the 1495 1/2. It's gonna take a lot of backing to fill them up. Even in bulk the stuff is getting expensive.
  13. Anil Active Member

    Posts: 1,061
    Tacoma, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +210 / 6
    After spooling thousands of yards of the stuff on over the years I have to agree with most of what has been said so far. In Dacron Backing, Scientific Anglers 20# white is the thinnest of the commonly available brands. Rio is slightly thicker and then Cortland ‘Micron’ is probably the thickest. Realistically for most applications, diameter is not very important particularly when you consider that many trout reels will hold well over 100yds of backing and fly line. Colored backing often does ‘bleed’ but lets face it, the color of the last 20’ or 30’ of your fly line is unimportant. Also, sometimes it looks really great on a reel and it can be useful to see how far away and where your fly line is.
    Polyethylene backing can be extremely useful when capacity does become an issue. If you use it, consider 50# or larger. I use the Rio 50# G.S.P. (S.A. and others are very similar). It has a diameter that is very similar to the finest 20# Dacron, yet lays flatter. This allows you to use about 10%-20% more 50# G.S.P. than 20# Dacron. If you use G.S.P. that is thinner, the risk of cutting yourself is increased, but increased capacity can be nice…
    Like almost everything else, no single backing is perfect for all applications.
  14. crazysalmon New Member

    Posts: 31
    Bellingham, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Thanks for all the replies. Great information. After surfing through the replies, I will do the SA dacron(white.) I'm not worried about rot, and I don't think I will need anymore than 125 yards. When It does rot it will probably be time for new line anyway. The gelspun sounds cool, but expensive. Baby needs a new pair of shoe's.

    Thanks, Anil, Surf Candy, Wolverine, qt, Richard, and the previous posters!:thumb:

    Good fishing and Go Zags!!!
  15. Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

    Posts: 4,021
    Olympic Peninsula
    Ratings: +686 / 0
    I will support Anil's comments here, that Gspun has a tendency to slice fingers like cheese. The heavier Gspun is less likely to cut into you on a hot running fish. And it still stacks up nicely on the spool.