Spooling an OPST Commando Head and Lazar Line


New Member

I plan to spool up a reel with a 375gr OPST Commando head and their 40 lb mono Lazar Line. I've only ever spooled single-hand, integrated lines in the past, and I have found that following the reel manufacturer's backing recommendations usually leaves me with a nicely filled spool.

Is this the case with mono running line, a thick Skagit head and tips? Would I typically want to use more, less or the recommended amount of backing for the reel's recommended single-hand line rating - maybe the median amount for a reel rated for 9/10/11 lines?

I apologize if this is a dumb question.,

Mark Mercer

Good luck, I just guess but it usually takes me about three tries before I get it right, easy with a DT or WF lines. A hassle but you can put the head on first, then running line and then backing to get a full spool, then take it off and reverse it, it works but is a bit of a pain..... probably quicker then guessing like I do ?


New Member
Gracias. My dad gave me that same advice almost 40 years ago, and I've never taken it. :)

I doubt I'll start now because I'm probably looking at somewhere around 250 yards or more of backing to fill the large reel spool. I did email OPST the same question, and they responded today. They said their mono running line and relatively short head take up less space than a typical WF line, and even an over-sized reel isn't necessary.

Well, I already have a pretty big reel to use for this set-up, and so it looks like I'll be buying backing in bulk....:( I will probably wind on a 250 yard spool of 30 lb backing and call it good whether it's full or not.

As a side note, LL Bean has their size #5 Silver Ghost reel on clearance for $85. Their original price is $299. I also had an additional 20% off email offer, so the $299 reel cost me $68. I don't know if it's a good reel, but it seems OK for the price I paid. This is my first foray into two-handed rods, so it should hopefully be a good starter reel until I'm certain this is something that I will stick with.
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Active Member
I live by the rule that if a fish takes 100 yards of backing you'll likely never see that fish and as such, 100 yards is enough. With most lines that would be 400 feet away from you at least and I can't say I've seen many fish that ran that far landed. The only exception is chinook in the salt where 200 yards in my opinion would suffice.


New Member
I agree. I have had very few fish that have ever taken me into my backing. The few that have were all Great Lakes "steelhead". Once that happens, I usually chase after the fish and try to fight it from a better vantage point. You're right. It's very unlikely that I would bring such a fish all the way back to me without chasing it down and recovering line as I go.

With that said, I prefer to have my reels filled to the correct capacity in order to not diminish the positive effect of having a larger arbor. Especially on my older, traditional smaller arbor reels. If the spool isn't properly filled, I pick up a lesser amount of line for each crank of the handle.

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