fly line backing

Fly Line Backing: What Is It And How Much Should You Need?

Last updated on August 30th, 2022

If you are an angler, you know the importance of a fly line in fly fishing. Well, Fly fishing would never be successful without a fly line. With the fly line weight, it is possible to cast the fly. That’s simply the concept that makes fly fishing with a fly line easy.

All you need to know is how to use it and different techniques and equipment to add to the line to catch different types of fish. Talking of techniques and equipment in fly fishing, this is where fly line backing comes in. I must tell you that backing a fly reel is not as easy as it seems.

However, you need to know how the backing process goes. You might be an individual who wants to venture into fly fishing. The first step is buying a fly line and other equipment. You must be wondering what’s next from there. This is the point that you seek information about fly line backing.

What Is Fly Line Backing?

Fly line backing is a line by itself serving a great purpose, one a fly reel. Fly line backing will increase your fly reel’s line. It allows the reel to land quickly on different types of fish.

It is available in different lengths of backing lines in a range from 50-1000yards. You can choose the backing length depending on the length of the fly reel’s line.

Backing will allow you to catch fish even in quick flowing water bodies. With a backing line, you will have an extra line to catch the fish. You can use backing when conducting both saltwater and freshwater fly fishing.

What Makes Fly Line Backing?

There are two materials behind the production of fly line backing. One is the Dacron backing; most people refer it to as polyethylene terephthalate. Most clothes and plastic bottle manufacturers use this material.

This material prevents the baking line from decomposing. This can make it not that friendly to the environment. That’s why we recommend that you should pick the instead of dumping them anywhere.

Well, isn’t that environment-friendly enough? Most anglers use the Dacron backing. The dacron backing comes at affordable prices, making it likable.

It is an excellent option for anglers who don’t mind overloading the reel and fish. You can get a 20 or 30 pounds dacron backing in the market. Just select the one that suits you, and all will be fine.

The second material used in making fly line backing is Gel spun poly backing. This is simply the brand term for material polyethylene with an ultrahigh molecular weight.

The gel spun poly backing is made with the aspect of long molecular chains. The longer the molecules, the stronger the line. You can compare this backing with vehicle airbags and bulletproof jackets.

This backing might have a small diameter, but the strength is incredible. If you don’t want to overload your reel and fish, use this kind of backing. When you use backing, you will realize that it is worth the price.

How to Connect Backing to A Fly Line

There are two ways to attach the backing to a fly line. You can either use a nail knot or an Albright knot. The Albright knot is the standard technique and the easiest that most anglers use.

Before attaching the backing to the fly line, you need to know how to make the Albright knot properly. The knot has a great role to play in fly fishing.

 The fishing will not be successful if the knot is not well made. There are a lot of instructions on how to make the knot. Ensure that the knot is tight before using it to attach the backing to the fly line. Here is a simple procedure to use.

  • Double some inches of the fly line backward
  • With your forefinger and the left thumb, hold the loop
  • Insert 10 inches of the backing to the loop in a rightward direction
  • Pull the backing between the two fingers and wrap the end. The warp should begin at your fingers to the end of the loop. Make at least 10- 12 warps so that it ends to loop end.
  • On the opposite side, push the backing. This is the same place you inserted the backing. Remove the loop on your left hand by simply pulling the remaining length of the backing line
  • Using your left hand, pull all the needs of the backing line. The knot should be at the end of the loop. This means you should squeeze it to that point.
  • Use some drops of water to moisten the knot
  • Pull the line strands to tighten the backing properly
  • Cut the end of the backing and the tag
  • With, that you can start fishing

How Much Backing Should I Put On My Reel?

This depends on the type of fish you need to catch. However, if your reel can hold much, there is no limit to how much backing to put on your reel.

The fly line should not touch the reel frame. This will give you a clue on how much backing to add to your fly line. You need to do a few tests to know what exactly you need.

The fly line will be damaged if it touches the reel frame. Therefore, you need to avoid it, touching the frame as much as possible. However, you will need different backing for different types of fish.

For example, you need 250 yards of 30 pounds of gel spun poly backing for bonefish and large carp fishing. For salmon, you need 30 pounds, and 250 yards of Dacron backing.

Smaller trout fishing need 25-50 yards of 12 pounds backing while big trout fishing requires 150 yards and above of 20 pounds backing. The type of fish has a lot to add on how much backing to put on your reel.

Chris Myers


Fly fishing is all about fighting with the fish to get a good catch. That’s why you should ensure that your fly line is always in perfect condition. This includes using the perfect backing for the fly line. The fly line weight should also be perfect for making fly fishing easy. However, a fly fishing adventure is worthwhile. You should also try this amazing experience.

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