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For a 8wt to 10wt wt rod for Atlantic Salmon, what strength of backing are you wanting to use?

  • ~30# Dacron,

    Votes: 30 73.2%
  • ~30# Gel-Spun (30-40),

    Votes: 2 4.9%
  • 50# Gel-Spun,

    Votes: 4 9.8%
  • Hatch,

    Votes: 4 9.8%
  • 80# Gel-Spun

    Votes: 1 2.4%
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
First, I will declare, I have rarely fish for Atlantic Salmon and on my reels, I have 30# Dacron.

For SH Rods, I am using 20# for 8wt or less, and 30# for 9wt and more.
For DH Rods, I am using 20# for my Trout Roads, and 30# for Steelhead Rods.

Part of my logic ....

1. It is hard to break a "good" tippet that is 18#, which is my maximum in salt or fresh. So 20# for my lighter rods and 30# for the larger species - Pike (with a small bite tippet (also for Barracuda)), Steelhead, Permit. I have not really chased Tarpon, and would consider other.

2. If you have a lot of line out, you have additional drag and stress on the lie to backing, so the 30# for additional safety. The exception to this would be I use 20# on Bonefish, maybe I have 100m of backing out, but the tippet is equal to or below 12#. I could see, with future spools, I would change to 30#

3. I am not an advocate of the 200m of line for what I chase. I usually have other issues after 100m, coral heads to river log jams/bends.. I am not interested in Bluewater.

Originally, I spooled 20# in Yellow, and 30# in Orange. When these spools ran out, I went with 3M Optic Green for 20# and Pink for 30#.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
O - in this Covid isolation year, though my river and little brookie spots is better suited for my Trout Rods, I want to spend time practicing with my older 15' GLX 9wt and relining the spool. I had last year planned to take time off and goto Northern Sweden. (My close friend 's family farm is north of Boden. He does not fish, but we do like hikes, fish (mussels) with Baska Droppar)
 

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#30 Gel Spun for everything NUFF SAID!!!!!!!
 

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Yeah, I'd run 30lb gelspun for everything if I could find it in a nice color at a reasonable price on a 2000 yard spool, but mono is way cheaper and hasn't let me down yet.

Curious why we care so much for 20 / 30 / 50 lbs on backing: storage capacity sure, but over long lengths out the rod tip, doesn't the entirety of the line in play provide quite a bit of overall stretch and shock absorption?

Bluewater species aside, won't 20lb suffice for any anadromous fish fighting? As long as it's more than your leader and tippett, wouldn't that suffice?
 

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Bluewater species aside, won't 20lb suffice for any anadromous fish fighting? As long as it's more than your leader and tippett, wouldn't that suffice?
30lb gives some margin for reduction in strength due to knots or general age/condition of the backing. Also a bit nicer on the hands if you need to grab it for some reason.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Curious why we care so much for 20 / 30 / 50 lbs on backing: storage capacity sure, but over long lengths out the rod tip, doesn't the entirety of the line in play provide quite a bit of overall stretch and shock absorption?
In my case, it is the baggage of history, starting with trout in small streams more than 40 years ago. No experience and you pick up myths, et cetera such ta the fly shop spooling 20# on my reel, documents saying you need 200+m of line in case you get that monster, et cetera. But 40+ years later, large arbour reels and still evolving, I relook at my past assumptions and making my own decision. Personally, I am looking if anybody thinks 30# is not enough.

One reason I wonder about this, in another thread I started, there are several recommendations for RIO's Gripshooter and wonder why there is 44# and 50# variant. Maybe the 50# variant is to improve handling on the thin end, but maybe some thinks strength is an issue.
 

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Makes sense, I keep the test strength high on my mono backing specifically for knot strength, which is the only reason. By the time a fish is into the backing on my integrated mid-spey lines, I'm purely playing from the reel at that point and would never touch the line.
Any line can burn you on a hot fish.
 

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For reels used for larger species (steelhead and salmon) I like to start at the tippet and use progressively higher strength line through the head, shooting line and the backing. My typical set up is something like this: 12-20 lb leader/ tippet, 25-40 lb core head, 35-65 lb shooting line all attached to the Hatch backing. My theory has more to do with breaking off a snag than fighting a fish. I want to get as much back as possible when it becomes necessary to break off.
 

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Actually, I run the 44lb red Rio Gripshooter on any reel setup for shooting heads.
I still have an aqua sealed burly double nail knot from that to the mono backing.

I have no idea why Rio made a small incremental step from 44 to 50lb, when all the other steps are wider in gap.

The flat mono of the gripshooter is the most likely part to get stepped on, kinked, knicked or wrapped around twigs.
Although I've replaced a couple grip 44's because of knicks like that, they haven't let me down yet. Yet being a key point there, and the reason why I check every reel/line setup before the spring trip and replace anything dodgy.

This spring trip is in search of a big breeder, so leaving nothing to chance, new knots, new leaders check everything before stepping in.
 

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Its not burning fingers that deters me from gelspun but the prospect of a loss of a digit if it loops wild on a hot fish and the wear on guides over time with all the monsters I hook.

Mono as backing? Never heard of it much less tried it. Except for leaders haven't touched the stuff since I quit spinning gear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Bill, this is exactly what I am thinking, but I am concern I am over-engineering the answer ... so if we follow the your logic, I should be looking to exactly what you did with Hatch (and why it is in the poll) or in the end, the week point is the tippet to hook knot, and thus 20# is enough (which is not in poll).

For reels used for larger species (steelhead and salmon) I like to start at the tippet and use progressively higher strength line through the head, shooting line and the backing. My typical set up is something like this: 12-20 lb leader/ tippet, 25-40 lb core head, 35-65 lb shooting line all attached to the Hatch backing. My theory has more to do with breaking off a snag than fighting a fish. I want to get as much back as possible when it becomes necessary to break off.
And my experience of hanging up in coral or in a logjam, if you have a fly line in it, pulling it out is not good for the flyline, which gets back to ... is 20-30# good enough. The cool thing about "forums" with good people, you can have a good dialogue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I am not wanting to use mono as backing. With the manual recovery of backing, the tension and uniformity of putting it back on the spool is inconsistent, and I foresee it jamming on a subsequent run. I think the risk of this is much lower with 15m (~47') of shooting line.

I appreciate all who you are participating.
 

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My thoughts are much like Bill S, but my backing is 30# Dacron. I run 50m of 40# mono and have only seen my backing once, but if it’s out and trouble arises I hope to get my shooting head back.
 

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I use 30lb normal width dacron, to be able to do blind splices. With anything thinner it's much more difficult to do these. I also had some occasions where the backing has bedded in and jammed, and I had to strip of a lot of the backing off (> 100m) to work out the knots. With gelspun that would have been a nightmare, needing cutting off and would have probably been easier to bed in with the slippery material as well.
With integrated spey lines it's not an issue but with heavier shooting heads I think it's recommended using the heavier mono running lines (eg 50lb). I'm not sure what the rationale is behind this, but perhaps to avoid hinging due to the disparity in weight/diameter between the running line and the head. You may also be able to lift a heavier mono running line for mending more easily which is almost always required in proper swings. I've found for my situations, 50lb mono running lines are more prone to coils and memory, so have 35lb on all my reels.

Cheers

ps Congrats and good luck on visiting your Swedish friends. We visited friends a few years ago in Voss in Norway and I had the chance to go fish on the Gudvangen River nearby, which was a river returning to former glory after being shut down due to overfishing and disease for some 8 years. I didn't contact with anything but it was lovely water to fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Sevilla,

One of the things I have experience with going too small (20# dacron) or using gel-spin is the smaller material digging into loops, plastics, et cetera, when making a look to loop connection, and thus comprising the strength of the connection. IMHO: Like blood knots, if the difference is too great with the two materials, I found bigger can be better. But you identify there are other possible consideration - hinging, being able to clear the line on water/deck on the release, et cetera.

David

ps ... Nice! Iceland, Norway and the Faroe Islands remain on my wish list.
 

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If capacity not an issue, #30 Dacron gets the nod. But when it is, or I just want a lot of backing, the Hatch Premium gets the nod. I think the Hatch is the very best, but it is expensive.
100% agree.
 
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I like thirty pound Dacron for two handers, as I find it less likely to embed in itself than other things I've tried. I rigged my saltwater stuff for Gell spun for exactly one trip, receiving one of the most severe cuts I've ever had while playing a striper. Promptly took it off, never to be used again. On the only occasional times a steelhead has taken me into the backing, the Dacron has served me very well.

I use twenty post on sh for same reason.
 
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