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Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone tell me of their experience using Gel Spun for backing? What weight of Gel Spun is suggested for larger Salmon and Steelhead in the PNW and BC. Also, What knots are best with this line?

Large arbor reels don't have very good backing capacity and this material seems like a great solution ...
 

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is much better to use 50lb Power Pro. you can buy it in yellow and also in big spool . I have bought 1km . it is enough for a few reels :)
 

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Backing comparisons

What types and break strain are these different backing examples?



extra points for the makers and product names

;)


Mike
 

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I use gel spun on every single one of my fly reels. Certainly overkill for my 4wt but since I buy it in bulk it less expensive and I already have it.

I have been using 65# power pro as its a little bigger diameter than the 50# and less likely to lead to cuts. But the next time I need to buy backing there is no doubt what I will buy. The new Hatch stuff is killer. Gives you the capacity of traditional gel spun but is softer to the touch. It is expensive but it lasts a looooonnngggg time.

I just tie it through one of the cutouts on my reel spool so I don't have to worry about that knot. Then you need to load it on TIGHT. That keeps it from slipping back under itself. Then at the connection to the fly line I make a loop in the backing big enough to slip over the reel so its easy to change lines. I make this loop with a triple surgeons loop (six times through). Absolutely no reason to use a bimini in gsp and in fact some guides will tell you the triple surgeons is a better knot in gsp than a bimini. And shoot even if you only get 60% knot strength its still over 30#. And in reality its probably a 85% knot.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks!

I was told Gel Spun and Spectra were slightly different ?

I have a roll of Scientific Anglers XTS Gel spun but it is only 30lb test and it is very thin. Maybe I will use it with my light reels to get some backing built up in case I run into a Summer Steelhead and get a heavier product for bigger reels.

Knots and Splicing...
The Hollow Gel Spun looks interesting. Several manufacturers out there. I just went to the Power Pro website and found Hollow Ace. Lots of possibilities :rolleyes:
 

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top - 50lb generic GSP
next down - 103lb Whiplash Pro 'Crystal' GSP
3rd down - 112lb Spider Wire (red) GSP
4th down - 30lb generic dacron (white)
5th down - 30lb generic dacron (blue)
6th down - 30lb generic dacron (orange)
bottom - 30lb Micron dacron (yellow)

I mostly use the Whiplash Pro, either in green, or more recently the 'crystal', either in 80lb or 100lb breakstrain.

The 100lb break strain Whiplash Pro GSP is still substantially smaller in diameter, as can be seen, that any of the 30lb dacron braids. From a practical viewpoint, at least twice as much of the 100lb bs Whiplash Pro can fit on any reel as any of the dacron braids.

For knots, I use a three-throw fisherman's sliding knot as a arbor knot onto the spool.

I make a large loop in the fly-line end of the GSP, using a triple surgeon's loop, the loop being large enough for the reel to pass right through.

GSP (aka gel-spun polyethylene) is often called just 'gelspun', and trade names for the generic stuff is often called 'Dyneema' or 'Spectra'.

I have never had any problems with Whiplash Pro (made by Berkley), but now prefer the 'crystal' (white) in either 80 or 100lb bs. I previously used, and still have on several reels, the green Whiplash Pro, but it does have a dye which comes out on your fingers as you spool it onto your reel.


Mike
 
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I use gel spun on every single one of my fly reels. Certainly overkill for my 4wt but since I buy it in bulk it less expensive and I already have it.

I have been using 65# power pro as its a little bigger diameter than the 50# and less likely to lead to cuts. But the next time I need to buy backing there is no doubt what I will buy. The new Hatch stuff is killer. Gives you the capacity of traditional gel spun but is softer to the touch. It is expensive but it lasts a looooonnngggg time.

I just tie it through one of the cutouts on my reel spool so I don't have to worry about that knot. Then you need to load it on TIGHT. That keeps it from slipping back under itself. Then at the connection to the fly line I make a loop in the backing big enough to slip over the reel so its easy to change lines. I make this loop with a triple surgeons loop (six times through). Absolutely no reason to use a bimini in gsp and in fact some guides will tell you the triple surgeons is a better knot in gsp than a bimini. And shoot even if you only get 60% knot strength its still over 30#. And in reality its probably a 85% knot.
The true triple surgeon's (six times through) is indeed stronger than almost any version of a bimini in Gel Spun. A good final step in your setup is to double over that large loop and carefully tie a three times through surgeons's loop to get a doubled loop. It's critical that both loops come out exactly the same length. Looping this upon the loop in your flyline means that you will go a lot longer before the backing loops bite through your flyline loop.

I'm one who has completely switched over to the Hatch Premium backing. As noted, it is softer, it knots way better, and it doesn't seem as abrasive on your fingers. And it's white so you don't have color bleed on your reel and flyline. Yes, I know that other gel spun comes in white, but it often isn't easy to find. Hatch comes only in white. It's superb stuff, and it ought to be at their prices.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Boggling variety

There is so much to choose from. :Eyecrazy: Great to get the advice from you all. No more Dacron braid for me. I have 4 new reels that I have to load and these materials are not cheap.
 

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Hatch Backing

If capacity is what you are looking for you might take a look at Hatch backing.

It is slightly smaller diameter than standard 20lb braided Dacron with a 68lb break strength.

No special knots required.

It is not cheap, but, I can load my reels as if I am saltwater fishing where extra backing is mandatory and still easily fit all of my running lines/spey heads on without having to tear everything down to the arbors and re-start when I get the chance to chase Roosters and Dorado. That in itself is worth it.

BB~
 

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Hatch 68lbs 'softer on the hands' PE backing (aka GSP) is 0.37mm diameter, and costs 0.238 to 0.25 cents/metre (only down to 0.238 c/metre when you buy the 3000m bulk spool)

http://www.hatchoutdoors.com/2012/10/hatch-premium-backing-now-available/ - but this webpage, whilst professing all the serious advantages of Hatch Premium backing over its competitors and referring to their comparison chart ... simply fails to show that comparison chart :(

Whiplash Pro 'crystal' 100lb is certainly not a 'soft' GSP, but is white, 0.28mm diameter, and currently costs (RRP) 0.2533 cents/metre (for the 1800m bulk spool), but is currently available 'on offer' in the UK for 0.152 cents/metre for the same 1800m bulk spool. This price has doubled over the last 3-4 years, as when I bought these same bulk spools, it was only £99.99 per bulk spool - or 0.08 cents/metre [glad I bought it when I did!!]:)

Anyway, what's the advantage of a 'soft' backing? especially when you consider that the ONLY time you should be touching the backing is when you are winding it onto your reel for the first time! The knots and strength thereof is NOT the issue with soft vs not so soft GSP backing.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Brand

This afternoon I checked out a new Fly shop in Bellingham WA that I was hoping to get to for a long time. They had 200 Yards of Rio Gel Spun in shop so I had them load it onto one of my new Reels. The owner of the shop used a Bimini twist Knot on both ends. I have 3 more reels to load so I ordered a 400M roll of the Hatch backing online when I got home this pm. Triple Surgeons knots will be used with this. I think I will try out the Whiplash Pro as well as I have a definite fishing gear buying problem at the moment. Maybe with the run of Red Chinooks that should be coming to my river in July I will be able to get into the backing of all this stuff. AND, I hope I can put my credit cards away for a while... ;)

Great to get everyone's opinion on this. What a great forum! Thanks again...
 

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???

I am not sure what the point of the last post was (read it a few times, maybe mad about the cost or that it does not come down significantly in price in bulk?) but it sounds like he does not like Hatch backing.

Dacron (PETE) Polyethylene Terephthalate. The traditional standard in 20lb or 30lb most commonly. 20lb is generally in the .018 diameter 30bl is generally in the .021.

Gel Spun (HMPE) High Modulus Polyethylene. 30lb @.014 50lb at .016...good option for extra capacity

Hatch (PE) Polyethylene multi Strand. 68lb .015 Hatch is large enough and I think with the round shape and multi strand filament does not tend to dive and bind during high speed runs with the drag closer to full tilt which happens often in saltwater. No special knots needed.

They are all formulated from synthetic/resins, I was simply giving an option? I think most fisherman realize they are not supposed to touch the line/backing, yet tons of cuts and slices occur with inadvertent contacts with backing. Maybe just the heat of the battle with a hot fish and excitement...who knows?

I had not previously heard of Whiplash Pro 'Crystal' goods heads up and giving people another option for extra capacity and strength over the old industry standard Dacron!

As to the knot strength and overall strength I would have to assume that 68lb Hatch backing is stronger and slightly smaller than 50 GSP in both line strength and knot strength given the same knot would be used on both backing to arbor or backing to fly-line?

Hatch is expensive...not too make you mad, just is what it is!
 

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Here is the method I use for my backing loops to ensure I never have an issue with cutting through my fly line loops. This isn't really a big deal except for fish that can really fight a long time. Its a trick some guys in a fly shop in MA showed me for rigging for tuna.

Take a piece of 100# Dacron about a foot long. Thread your gsp through the piece of hollow Dacron. Then tie the triple surgeons loop just keeping the Dacron piece free to slide around on the loop as you tie the knot. Then center the Dacron on the loop and pinch the two ends together and put a whip finish over the Dacron. This is just to keep the Dacron sleeve from sliding around and fraying and wearing off. It doesn't provide any structural strength nor does it weaken any thing. Its merely a chaffing protection so the gsp never cuts through the fly line.

I have been doing this for almost 10 years and have never had a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Cost

Anything that can save loosing gear (and fish) sounds like a cost saving in the long run. Not too many things we can buy where the best is the cheapest... From all the posts on this thread I have to say the Hatch product looks to be best as the knot problem is not an issue. I'll be sure to post my results when I get a big fish well into the backing.

No one seems to have tried the Rio Gel Spun. It looks to be very similar to the other brands out there. The two stand out products appear to be the Hatch and the Whiplash Pro 'Crystal'.


I like the hollow Dacron idea to protect from fray and cutting issues to cover the loop section. I have some 30 pound XTS Gel Spun from Scientific Angler that I was concerned about using due to it being extremely thin. I'll try it on my lighter reels with the Dacron sheath on the loop. I'm sure knots will be critical with this one.


I have to correct my post about the Fly shop using a Bimini on both ends of the Rio Gels Spun. He used a triple Surgeon on the loop to fly line end and the Bimini on the reel end only.

I am not sure what the point of the last post was (read it a few times, maybe mad about the cost or that it does not come down significantly in price in bulk?) but it sounds like he does not like Hatch backing.

Dacron (PETE) Polyethylene Terephthalate. The traditional standard in 20lb or 30lb most commonly. 20lb is generally in the .018 diameter 30bl is generally in the .021.

Gel Spun (HMPE) High Modulus Polyethylene. 30lb @.014 50lb at .016...good option for extra capacity

Hatch (PE) Polyethylene multi Strand. 68lb .015 Hatch is large enough and I think with the round shape and multi strand filament does not tend to dive and bind during high speed runs with the drag closer to full tilt which happens often in saltwater. No special knots needed.

They are all formulated from synthetic/resins, I was simply giving an option? I think most fisherman realize they are not supposed to touch the line/backing, yet tons of cuts and slices occur with inadvertent contacts with backing. Maybe just the heat of the battle with a hot fish and excitement...who knows?

I had not previously heard of Whiplash Pro 'Crystal' goods heads up and giving people another option for extra capacity and strength over the old industry standard Dacron!

As to the knot strength and overall strength I would have to assume that 68lb Hatch backing is stronger and slightly smaller than 50 GSP in both line strength and knot strength given the same knot would be used on both backing to arbor or backing to fly-line?

Hatch is expensive...not too make you mad, just is what it is!
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Hollow core Gel Spun

I'm also interested in the Hollow core Gel Spun. I see the Deep Sea Big Game fishermen use this to attach their leaders and make loops. Could be a great way to integrate lines and tips without a break. Probably over kill but for big fish it would be great.

Has anyone tried the hollow core Gel Spun for Spey fishing? Power Pro have one called Hollow Ace. Lots of specialty lines in heavier sizes for deep Sea fishing such as "Jerry Brown Industries Splice able Hollow Line One Spectra" #40 through #1000 .
Toro Tamer is another . There are some great video tutorials on Youtube. Spliced lines should go nicely through the guides. Also probably much less prone to cut or digin like Dacron. Pretty pricey.


Here is the method I use for my backing loops to ensure I never have an issue with cutting through my fly line loops. This isn't really a big deal except for fish that can really fight a long time. Its a trick some guys in a fly shop in MA showed me for rigging for tuna.

Take a piece of 100# Dacron about a foot long. Thread your gsp through the piece of hollow Dacron. Then tie the triple surgeons loop just keeping the Dacron piece free to slide around on the loop as you tie the knot. Then center the Dacron on the loop and pinch the two ends together and put a whip finish over the Dacron. This is just to keep the Dacron sleeve from sliding around and fraying and wearing off. It doesn't provide any structural strength nor does it weaken any thing. Its merely a chaffing protection so the gsp never cuts through the fly line.

I have been doing this for almost 10 years and have never had a problem.
 

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I am also interested in hearing what hollow core gelspun in available out there. My spey reels are all old school so 30lb dacron is what I have on them but some of my trout Lamsons could use a bit more backing... I only use loop to loop connections so I like the idea of hollow gel spun that I can splice.
 

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Use braid as backing on all my reels, when tying it on to the arbour of the reel, ensure several wraps are put down tight first then tie your preffered knot, I use a uni knot, the several wraps stops the braid slipping, then wind the rest down under good pressure.
It does pay to spend a bit more on a good braid vs cheap eBay braids, the later tend to be not as smooth as the dearer braids on the market.
Regarding the hollow braid, it doesnt tend to be quite as tough as the other braids, especially when rubbed over rocks etc, big fish taking you well into your backing might be a bad end.

Typically I tie a bimini twist (100% knot) to loop to loop with shooting line, if using mono shooting line then choose your own knot to connect, I use a knot folk use for Gt popping etc and deep water jigging, close enough to 100% that I never worry about how strong the knot is, I was taught it as the fisherman's knot, may be other names for it.

30lb good braid is more than strong enough, but use 50lb if your unsure, still plenty thin and will increase your backing capacity quite well.
 
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