Friday, October 11, 2013

Putting Backing and Line onto a Fly Rod



So I have a new fly rod and reel combo. I ended up returning my Wind River Combo because it started making a scraping/screeching sound every time I reeled in. I returned it to Cabelas and for the first time I experienced Cabelas legendary return policy. There were no questions asked whatsoever, they just took it back. 

Anyway, I was a bit sad when I had to pack it away and send it back. It was a sweet little set up and I really loved it but I was forced to move on. Well, since I had already returned it, I figured I may as well purchase a new one and since Cabelas already had my money, I figured why not chip in a few extra bucks and get something of a little better quality. 

So I went to Cabelas.com and found a rod and a separate reel that were on sale. I had no choice; I had to jump on these deals! Get ready to “ooh and ahh” folks. I purchased a 4 piece, 6 wt Redington CT Classic trout rod and a Sage 1850 6 wt fly reel! (okay, now you can ooh and ah!) The reel came in a nice little neoprene case and the  rod had its own burgundy rod tube so I’m already better off than I was with the Wind River Combo. 

So anyway, I wanted to try it out this week but I also wanted a pro to set everything up for me. Since I was going fishing on Wednesday  and I received my line in the mail on Monday, I didn’t have time on my side. Since I was heading up towards Yuba city, I decided to call Johnson’s bait and tackle but apparently their fly fishing expert wouldn’t be in until Thursday! So what did I do? I decided to do it myself!!
I know what you’re thinking, “You just started Fly fishing, man!” And although this is true, I know I have to learn to do this type of thing myself. With that said my knots might totally suck and I might lose a fish because of them, but honestly I did check them well and I think they are good! Here’s what I did!





  • 1.       Use an Arbor knot to tie the backing to the reel. – This knot was pretty simple to tie. This was one of the easier steps. It only got harder from here. 
  • 2.       Distribute the backing on the reel. – Or should I say I tried my best to evenly distribute the backing along the reel. The backing was sitting on a round plastic holder with a hole in it so I put a pair of scissors through the hole, handed it to my wife (who gave me a funny look when I handed it to her but still held it, bless her) and started reeling, holding it so that the backing was as tight as possible. After the backing was in I moved to the next knot.
  • 3.       Use an Albright knot to tie the line to the backing. -  This was without a doubt the harder part since the backing is so much thinner than the actual line. I had to repeat this step a few times because the knot wasn’t working. As it turns out, I was making the initial loop way too big since it was made with the line itself which is pretty thick. Finally, after the making the loop just big enough to put the second piece of backing through, I was finally able to get it done. 
  • 4.       Distribute the line onto the reel. – I have done this before when I clean my line so it wasn’t that big of a deal. 
  • 5.       Tie a surgeons loop at the end of the line – My fly fishing mentor Mark told me to do this (not specifically this knot, but to put a loop at the end). It definitely makes putting a leader on it a lot easier.

 
One thing that I did notice was even though all of the backing fit onto the reel, it seemed to be a bit too much as my line was rubbing on the top of the reel when I reeled all of it in. I might have to go back in and remove some of the backing. Thoughts??

Anyway, I pulled on all the knots to make sure they were ready to go but I guess I will put them to the test when I get into some big fish. Either way, it was a fun and fulfilling experience to do this myself but I am still willing to take the experts word on it. So if you are a seasoned angler, let me know if I should change anything, do anything to it or if you noticed I did anything wrong. I appreciate the advice!

8 comments:

  1. I am thinking that you did a nice job considering it was your first attempt at this common duty of all fly fishers. I think you also have noted a potential problem. Sounds like you put too much backing on. This is common for someone who is doing it for the first time. I would back some of it off and redo your line back on if it were me. Your fly line should be free of any rubbing on anything as this would cause resistance and some difficulty getting a good cast out. Try to have the line end up around an 1/8 of an inch from the end of your spool. Tight lines. my friend!

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    1. Hey Mel, thanks for the tip. I figured it had too much backing but the description said it could fit that exact amount of backing. I guess it CAN fit that amount but it doesn't mean you want that much! lol.

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  2. J
    You got one of the finest fly rods made in the classic trout. I own four of those rods in weights ranging from a 3 to a 5. It is the lightness fly rod you will use and it has the backbone to handle super size fish. I landed a 3 lb. spot using my 5 wt. this past spring and it handle the fish to perfection. This fly rod at one time was costing 200.00 with tax. This was back 6 years ago, when I bought my first Redington, since then I have purchased 3 more. I broke the tip off one of my 3 weights and sent it back to the company and they promptly sent me a new one. It you really want to get light purchase their 7 ½ ft. 3 wt. with the Redington 2/3 wt reel. The whole combo weights in at less than 4.5 oz. I use this combo to fish small dries, its delivery of a dry is flawless. I am glad you got this fly rod and I will be looking for some future post as to its performance. Thanks for sharing

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    1. Hey Bill, I'm glad to hear you highly recommend this rod! I look forward to catching some largemouths and large trout on this rod! haha I will definitely keep you posted on its performance!

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  3. Fly fishing is a learn as you go experience. Good information from both Mel and Bill.

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    1. It sure is Mark! I am grateful for you, Mel Bill and everybody else that shares their fly fishing wisdom with me!

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  4. Thanks River Walker, I appreciate it. I have already tried it out a couple of times and it is smooth! I need to actually hit up some trout before all the small streams close. Thanks for reading!

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