Active Member
Normally I fish real small tribs. Nothing bigger than let's say the Kalama. So I never really ever get into my backing even with a hot summer run. I've always just put 100 ft. of 20 lb. test on for backing. My ? is I'm getting a commando head set up and going to be hitting some bigger waters and want to know what most people use and how much for your backing?


Active Member
One easy way to determine how much backing will fill your spool is to tape one end of your fly line to the empty spool, spool it up, add backing on top of the fly line until the spool is full, cut backing to length, then re-spool with backing first.

This kinda works with a Commando set up as well. Tape the Commando head onto the empty spool first and spool it on, then tape one end of the running line to the head and spool it on (the running line does not sit on top of the head very well, but you get an idea of how much space it takes up on the spool). Add backing on top of the running line until the spool is full, cut backing to length, then re-spool everything in the correct order.
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Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
I wrap a strip/strips of craft foam around the drum of my spool. I loosely wind-on the fly line on top of that. Then I put a temporary mark on the spool that indicates the top of the backing fill point, remove foam, install backing & fly line and it comes out perfect. I prefer to sacrifice a few yards of backing to leave a little room between the fly line and the outer edge of the reel spool; in the heat of battle, I don't have to worry about fly line wrapping in one area & jamming against the reel assembly.

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