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Discussion Starter #1
20 years ago the only commercial spey lines available were DT's - and almost without exception 90' long. Life was simple.

With the multitude of different belly lengths, profiles, densities and line lengths now available I, and no doubt others, have had the irritating experience of buying a line and finding it won't fit the reel I had hoped to use it on. People have remarked here, for example, that the XLT's are bulky, but nobody has quantified this. And seeing the two threads currently running about reel capacities has prompted me to float an idea here that has occurred to me in the past.

Wouldn't it be useful for line manufacturers to give the total VOLUME of their lines? If the reel manufacturers did the same thing, it would be easy to see whether any particular line (with a sensible amount of backing) would fit comfortably onto their reels. At present, all we are told (in the UK catalogues, at least) is that a reel will hold, for example, a DT10F + 200 yds - not very informative at all!

If the manufacturers can't be persuaded to do it, can I suggest that this information might be added to the Spey Pages? It shouldn't be very hard to do - a basic displacment test (submerging the line in water) would give the answer for lines. And simple maths will give the capacity of a reel. Whenever a line or reel is reviewed this information could be added to the data. It might, I think, prove a useful resource for anyone looking to put together an outfit.
 

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Hooked on Salmon
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Dear Gardener,

You are onto one of my old favorite topics - a volume classification would be great.

To submerge the line in water to measure the volume is nothing short of ingenious!!

That table along with simple table of a backing's volume per 10 yds, or so, this easily could become at better than rough guideance. Right now it, as you say, very much is a guesswork.

Personally I have given up and always spool the flyline on first to then add whatever backing there is space for. Cheapest is to mount the flyline on at home, then to take the loaded reel to a store that sells backing per yard from bulk spools. They often have an automatic device that makes the turning over of the line possible without sending the wife out on a testing 300 yds walk among dogs and playing children...

Hope you get more positive resonse on this one!

Tight lines,

Per
 

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I agree that it would be easy to measure the volume of a fly line. You would need to account for the packing factor, ie the air traped in intersticies between adjacent coils of line. Because of this the line when wound on a reel will occupy ~ 1.5 X the line volume you measured.
 

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An alternative might be a table in the Spey Forum with members line/reel data - real world conditions. Maybe a member with a good spreadsheet program would volunteer to gather such data through the PM or email system and record and average the data, supplementing with any reel "review" data.

ws
 

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Mr. Mom
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Ummmmm... You guys realize you can do the math yourselves right? You know, based on the width and inner and outer diameter of spools? :p
 

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Hooked on Salmon
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Hey Philster,

This should be done for us by those in the business that keenly put our $$$$$ in their pockets.

If they could pull the AFTM sysem through in the -50's, a thing like this would be a piece of cake these days. Even my CAD softwares gets the volume in a flash second.
For the reelmakers that have all their designs in digits it is not much to ask for. Bet the line guys do their tapers the same way.

I think there is something in Gardeners idea, I really do.

Per
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Philster, I did acknowledge in my original post that simple maths would give the answer for reels. But there is the problem of measuring accurately, especially the width of the arbour. Fine if you have the necessary equipment, but I don't - just a tape measure! And do you want to be doing these calculations in a shop? How about if you're buying by mail order and don't have the reel in your hand? Would your tackle shop allow you to unspool a line and dunk it in water to measure the displacement before buying? Wouldn't it be so much easier just look up a table or refer to the manual?

John D, you make a good point about the packing factor. But if this is more or less universal it should be possible simply to apply a fixed percentage increase to the volume of the line to allow for it.

As Per says, the tackle manufacturers must have all this information - capacity is surely almost the first thing they decide on when designing a new reel. And line manufacturers must know how much material goes into making any given size and range of lines. It's just a matter of getting them to share it with us. Watersprite's suggestion of a Speypages DIY table would certainly be one way to go if we CANNOT get the details from the makers, but I don't see why this should be the case.

While writing this I did actually pick up the phone to Hardy's headquarters and ask if they had this information available. Customer services didn't (unsurprisingly) have it to hand, but said that if I wrote in they would try to find it out. I'm happy to do a bit of digging among UK manufacturers, if others are interested. As probably THE leading resource on the www for our particular niche of fishing I would hope that manufacturers would be supportive of a request in the name of Speypages. How about it?
 

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Yes indeed

Gardener, I totally agree with your comments. It's a bit annoying that on spending over £100 pounds for a fly line, I call up a leading tackle dealer in the UK, to be told that the best reel to suit this line will cost another £600. i.e. the guy didn't really know(like us) what reels would adequately suit the line, so he opted to try and sell me the biggest one he had, just to be sure. Not really a suitable solution.

If we had all the data to hand then we could make judgement ourselves. As an example, I don't need 250 yards of backing on a reel, but if I opt for 150yards and use gelspun how much spare capacity does that allow me to gain??????

Obviously we can't expect all permutations to be calculated, but having some base capacity figues for lines and reels would allow us to make better judgement.

I did email Rio regarding the Grandspey 10/11 and asked what reels would be ideally suited, but again the answer was "buy a BIG one", something rated for between 12-14. Hardly ideal.

All we need is one line/reel Mfg to set the standard and others will follow...I'm sure.
 

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Yeah, yeah....

See my response on the other thread on this subject. Too many "packing" variables - not only of the line (one set of problems), but the backing (another set of problems) and how much compression you apply (tightness).

BobK
 

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Discussion Starter #11
BobK, I take your point. However, I think that this is a classic case for applying the KISS rule.

As soon as you start to over-complicate, it will indeed fall down. I'm certainly not suggesting that anyone should attempt to produce a definitive list of matching reel, line and backing combinations - as you say, there are far too many variables. Also, different people like their reels filled to different levels, so there can never be an absolutely 'right' combination for everyone; it would only be for guidance. I envisaged a simple list of reel volumes and a list of line volumes (possibly including a standard multiplier to account for the bulking factor). To get into complicated debates about whether a combo allowed for, say, 150 or 200yds of backing would totally defeat the object.

To have these volume figures would allow one to see ROUGHLY which reels suit which lines, and with an indication of the surplus capacity for backing. All that is needed is to obtain the basic information for reels and lines; we can work out the rest ourselves.
 

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I agree with the volume concept, despite packing variables etc.

Reels for single-hand use routinely state capacity in terms of standard line and backing. The only additional variable for spey reels is greater variability in the lines. If we had the line volumes, and the reel manufacturers just stated the capacity with a certain line and backing combination, at least we could get in the ballpark.

I, too, and probably most people on this forum, use the reverse installation method to find out how much backing to put on. But we have to know what reel to purchase first, or conversely what our line limitations are when purchasing to fit an existing reel!

My first spey line was a TT spey, simply because I correctly thought it would take less room on the spool than any other line, and I didn't have a suitable reel at the time. Now, as I seek to expand my quiver, I'm back in the same situation of not knowing what will fit.

--Bill
 

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Islander Reels has been publishing volume specs for their reels for a number of years. There are some problems with variables related to different volumes required by different backing materials and flylines, including the 'packing' question. At one time I did a volume requirement for 20# and 30# backing based on 100 yds. Although not perfect, it did allow for some calculation of space left after the flyline is added. The flyline volume can be determined by measuring the space it takes on the spool that it comes on. Everyone will have to decide how full they want to fill their spool. I like to leave about 15% to allow for ineffecient placement of line when I'm reeling in during the heat of the battle. It doesn't get placed nearly as carefulling as when I'm able to watch each turn lay down against each other, and the belly of a spey line crossed over itself frequently really eats up space.
 
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