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When the experts talk about balancing a rod and reel, do they include the weight of the backing and the part of the Spey line that is normally left on the reel during normal casting plus the empty weight of the reel to calculate a balanced system.

What does 200 or 300 yards of Tuf Line Plus 30 lb backing weigh?

What does the 50 to 60 feet of your Mid Spey line that stays on your reel weigh?

Or what does 60 to 90 feet of Grand Spey line that stays on your reel weigh? :eyecrazy:
 

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A good question. Unfortunately, no easy answer! The reason is this - everyone likes the rod to balance a certain way - for example, I like the rod to balance just ahead of my right hand (I am right handed), while others like it forward or back. No one way is right - what feels best for you!
Next comes the weight of the reel, and the weight of the added backing and the line you choose. These are not fixed! Backing can be spun or braided, 20 or 30 lb. test, and all manufacturers are different.
By the way, don't believe reel manufacturers - they claim that the particular model holds so many yards of X pound test backing, and a "Y" line. I have yet to see one come close. I usually end up either adding backing or taking a lot off to get the fit right.
So, it's a matter of trial and error - I can usually make an educated guess by hefting the rod, but I guess that's mostly luck.
(Maybe over 60 years of using fly rods has something to do with it!)
BobK
 

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BobK

Thanks for your reply.

First of all your comment about to never believe what a manufacturer recommends re backing is right on target. I only have ten years of fly fishing, and I have yet to find a reel manufacturer have the correct data re the amount of backing. Gunnison is the one that comes close. It is obvious that many of these reel makers don't listen to their customers or their own testers if they have any.

I have an Orvis LA Battenkill 9/10 and after a lot of messing around with the recommended backing from Orvis (totally wrong), I finally got both the WC 678 and MS 67 to balance my Sage 7136. I like my balance to be with my right hand where it is recommended by Simon in his video.


That reel and lines are too light for my Sage 7141, and I'm in the process of trying to find a reel in that price range that will balance with the new MS 7/8 and my Sage 7141.

I have a Loop 4 which did take 300 yards of micron 30# as per their recommendation and the Accelerator 9/10 with tips. This combo balances my Sage 10151. After I try the Grand Spey, and if I like it. I will order the dry line Grand Spey and replace the Accelerator 9/10 with the Grand Spey. The Grand Spey is a very heavy line, and I hope that it will be balanced in my normal casting situation with the line out 60 to whatever feet.

So this is why I posted this question. An unbalanced rod/reel/line can tire you and probably gets you into bad casting habits.

Right now for my Sage 7141, I have narrowed the reels down to the bigger Orvis LA Battenkill or the Tioga 12 large arbor.

The Orvis LA Battenkill that I now own is a great reel and has saved my bacon more than once when a fish strikes close in a nymphing situation and you have a lot of line around you. It really picks up the loose line and gets on the fish very quickly.

My son is a Project Construction Manager and he likes the Tetons for their reliability and drag system. We just bought him a new one for Christmas for his striper fishing and trips to Mexico.
 

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Balancing tricks I have used -

A couple of tricks I have used in the past is to weight the butt of the rod, because usually the reel/line, etc. is too light. I normally hate to rely on it, but occasionally will wrap the back of the reel seat with solder wire, and tape it in place with black plastic tape. It works, and may not look pretty, but balances as a "last resort".

Another trick is to find a deep rubber crutch tip that fits nicely on the butt of the handle. Then, flatten out some solder or lead into discs, which can be slipped inside. The downside is, depending on the thickness of the discs, you can only get 2 or 3 inside. From an aesthetics viewpoint, it looks good, however. Sometimes you have to melt the lead and pour a little onto a flat piece of steel. Forms neat, circular "puddles" that quickly freeze. Let 'em cool well before touching. If you or a buddy casts bullets, it is very easy to do.

These simple tricks may help avoid having to buy a new heavier reel - but that can be fun in and of itself! (The quest for perfection never ends!)

BobK
 
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