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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you get it right first time?

The impediments are legion. Factory capacity estimates are a giggle as spey lines, running lines, and even the backings we use vary nearly infinitely in the space they take. Loading it all properly in sequence the first time is a long shot at best.

This is the only way I know to avoid multiple tries that drive me to bourbon,

Spool the fly line first on the reel, then the running line, and then the backing until you have the ideal fit you want. Then, you have to unwind it all onto other spools in stages, backing first. Put the running line on a separate spool Then wind the fly line onto yet another spool that permits you to get the fly line' front section reversed into the lead position when finally loaded on the reel. Wind on the backing first; the running line next on the reel; and then wind the fly line onto the reel for a perfect fit.

No guess work, just lots of winding and unwinding. ( Don't forget to allow enough room for tips and leaders to clear the reel posts. And don't do this process with the woman you live with anywhere nearby -- they just do not appreciate the clicker song.)

I have a slight shortcut that saves one step.

Load the the fly line first on the reel and then the running line. Then measure with a ruler from the edge of those spooled components to the outer edge of the spool. This determines the exact amount of backing needed. Wind off the running line onto another spool and set it aside. Wind off the fly line and reverse it, as above, so the head will load last on the reel. Then load the backing on the reel to the point where it fills just to the bottom edge of the empty space measurement. Attach the running line and then the fly line.

Or, take it all to ORVIS and beg them to do it.
 

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Ha! This is a very timely post as I literally just returned from my friendly neighborhood Orvis store. I was going to put the backing on my new Hardy Taupo myself, but the store was quiet so the Orvis guy said he would do it.

45 minutes later we had 125 yds backing, running line and skagit head loaded on, with carefully tied arbor, Bimini and whip finished knots/loops throughout.

As he was putting the reel back together I asked him what I owed him, and the reply was “nothing just glad I could help!”

It was at that point I realized he wound everything on for RHW not LHW like I mentioned when asked at the start.

Sigh....I didn’t have the heart to tell him, so I’ll be employing my 12 year old to assist with holding the screwdriver and spare spool tonight as we unwind and rewind.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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loco alto!
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I fish a lot, so here’s what I do:
Buy a 5000 yard spool of 30 lb backing
Err to overfilling the reel slightly
Add fly line.
Is it perfect? Congrats! Rush out and buy a lottery ticket!
Is it too much? Remove excess and save for house projects requiring string
Is it too little? Bad monkey, I said err to overfill
Wondering what to do with the other 4800 yards?
Buy more reels, or be “that guy” among friends who rigs tackle
 

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I just wing it to be honest. If it's a reel for a purpose where there's a good chance I'm going to need the backing I buy the single-serving 300 yard spools of gel spun. I figure if a fish gets 500+ft away from me then it probably isn't coming back anyway.
 

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Meiser, T&T, and OPST two handers; Scott, Orvis, & Winston SH. Danielsson and Hardy Reels
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OP is right on with what it takes. I have two line winders than I acquired over many years and than makes the job a lot easier. However, if you buy the same reel over and over again, a good eyeball will usually work well. I buy backing in bulk and running line on 40 Meter spools.
 

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Admit I am amateur. Ordered from Gorge fly shop, I had them load my Hardy Marquis with enough 30# to handle a mid belly spey. I make a mess of 20 feet of leader, I would not mess with 200 yds of backing.
 

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Beulah Burkheimer Meiser
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OP is right on with what it takes. I have two line winders than I acquired over many years and than makes the job a lot easier. However, if you buy the same reel over and over again, a good eyeball will usually work well. I buy backing in bulk and running line on 40 Meter spools.

After a while you know what length heads and such that you will be fishing given a certain size reel. Too much backing? Spool out your head on the floor and cut back your backing.
 

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I think we all have been there, at least most of us. When adding backing, running line and head to a reel, most of us are holding our breath that we will finish with some room to spare. It is similar to filling a pail of water with three containers of water with unlisted volumes.

I have a method that starts with a text file (Choosing a Spey Reel.doc) that explains how to measure the volume of a reel and how to add the components of backing, running line and line volumes. There is an example of using the method in imperial units and another example in metric units. A second file (Spey Reel Data.xls) has a listing of many spey reels with their dimensions and spool volumes. Also included is a listing of backing, running line and either shooting heads or integrated line volumes. The first document will explain how to use the various volumes. The second document is a list of values that can be used for your unique situation. If you can not find your volumes, a method is described for you to experimentally determine the volume. This is covered in the first document for reels as well as lines.

I would be glad to send anyone an email with the two documents attached. If interested, please contact me at [email protected].

Doug
 

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Beulah switch rod, OPST micro spey w/ Marquis, Echo DH
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No guess work, just lots of winding and unwinding. ( Don't forget to allow enough room for tips and leaders to clear the reel posts. And don't do this process with the woman you live with anywhere nearby -- they just do not appreciate the clicker song.)
That is so funny and so true. My wife liked the look of my first clicker. She absolutely hates the sound of it, even if is rooms away. Banished to the garage...
 

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One more cast...
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That is so funny and so true. My wife liked the look of my first clicker. She absolutely hates the sound of it, even if is rooms away. Banished to the garage...
...and what does she do while she is in the garage? 😃
 

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Winston Trout Rods, Sage and Burkie Steelhead Rods, Abel, Orvis, Tibor and Islander reels.
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How do you get it right first time?

The impediments are legion. Factory capacity estimates are a giggle as spey lines, running lines, and even the backings we use vary nearly infinitely in the space they take. Loading it all properly in sequence the first time is a long shot at best.

This is the only way I know to avoid multiple tries that drive me to bourbon,

Spool the fly line first on the reel, then the running line, and then the backing until you have the ideal fit you want. Then, you have to unwind it all onto other spools in stages, backing first. Put the running line on a separate spool Then wind the fly line onto yet another spool that permits you to get the fly line' front section reversed into the lead position when finally loaded on the reel. Wind on the backing first; the running line next on the reel; and then wind the fly line onto the reel for a perfect fit.

No guess work, just lots of winding and unwinding. ( Don't forget to allow enough room for tips and leaders to clear the reel posts. And don't do this process with the woman you live with anywhere nearby -- they just do not appreciate the clicker song.)

I have a slight shortcut that saves one step.

Load the the fly line first on the reel and then the running line. Then measure with a ruler from the edge of those spooled components to the outer edge of the spool. This determines the exact amount of backing needed. Wind off the running line onto another spool and set it aside. Wind off the fly line and reverse it, as above, so the head will load last on the reel. Then load the backing on the reel to the point where it fills just to the bottom edge of the empty space measurement. Attach the running line and then the fly line.

Or, take it all to ORVIS and beg them to do it.
My local Orvis will put the backing on without a charge as a service to their customers.. I load it up and remove backing if/as needed to make room for the running line and heads. Shockingly it's been pretty simple so far doing it this way on my last 3 reels. .
 

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I've done the reverse load before and sure it works, but it takes a long time. Then I realized if I had a similarly sized (width) reel already loaded, I could just measure the distance between the rim of the spool to the backing. I think that last one I did was 1/4". Then I cut a piece of painters tape to 1/4" and stick it on the inside of the empty spool with one edge even with the rim. Next, I just wind the backing up to the bottom edge of the tape. It's worked perfectly every time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
JimboLG,

I just set up a new to me Hardy Golden Prince Salmon #1 with a scandi line, running line, and backing. Took me @ half an hour while my wife was crafting in another corner of the house. My Lab was not pleased with the noise.

The second reel option you describe works best if you are using the same or nearly the same fly line and running line combo on the new reel. It also works with spare spools all lined up. If both spools are the same and perforated and you often can see were the backing stops so you don't even have to measure.
 
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