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rippin lips
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just got ahold of an 8wt set up that i plan on using for steelhead..when i took it for a test run today, i felt like there was an excessive amount of backing on my reel. If i were targeting steelhead, is it better to have a good amount of backing? Or would it be better to have a little less backing with a little more fly line? I just picked up fly fishing this past spring for trout up in pa, so I'm still pretty green..any help is greatly appreciated.
Thank you all,
-Brad
 

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rippin lips
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Hipwader, thanks for the response. That definitely helped. Like i said, I'm still pretty new at this, and there is a lot to take in! Lol. Thanks again and tight lines!
 

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I've got about 125 yds on mine and almost got spooled on one fish last year. When they take off it is very quick and only takes a second to get into your backing.
 

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rippin lips
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Discussion Starter #4
I've got about 125 yds on mine and almost got spooled on one fish last year. When they take off it is very quick and only takes a second to get into your backing.
Oh, really? Well, the full purpose of the backing was never really explained to me completely. What I've gathered from doing some research is that it's to help fight the fish when they do take you on a long run..is that correct?

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Here's the way it was explained to me. The fly line is for casting and fighting smaller fish. You typically aren't going to make really long casts or drifts so most are pretty short but because of the materials can also be pretty expensive. I just bought some sinking tip rios line for $79 for 90 ft. Backing on the other hand doesn't need to float or be cast so it's cheap. I got 250 yds. for $10. Big fish like salmon, steelhead and carp can get you into your backing very quick. Leaders and tippets can also be a huge factor but I'm just figuring them out myself.

The one steelhead I've caught was only a few feet from me when I hooked up. He made several runs in pretty wide open water and got into my backing twice. The first run I thought for sure he was going to spool me, the second big run wasn't as bad. I used the backing and drag not so much to fight him but more to tire him out. I tried to fight a couple more steelhead and some salmon on the same trip and that didn't last long, snapped a couple leaders, broke a hook shank and had a coho spit my fly way into a tree after having him on for several minutes. Can't wait to get back out this year.
 

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Backing has two purposes. The first one is for big/strong fish that run. A fly line is anywhere from 80-105'. A big fish can run that out fairly quick. Even a carp can take you into your backing quite easily. I actually counted once and it took roughly six seconds. When I went after Steelhead, I used 150-175 yds and wasn't too worried.

The second purpose of backing is to increase your retrieval speed. Basically, it acts as a filler so you can take up line more quickly. It's more noticeable on mid and smaller arbor reels.
 

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rippin lips
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Discussion Starter #7
Alright, I'm pickin up what y'all are puttin down. It all makes sense now. On my large arbor reel, it looks like there's quite a bit of backing..i think I'll be okay...thanks!

Sent from my XT555C using Ohub Campfire mobile app
 
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