The Right Backing Knot Connection

Making the Right Backing Connections

I have just purchased a new reel. What is the best way to attach the backing line to the reel and how should I fix the fly line to the backing?
Steve Helm

Hywel Morgan replies: If possible I would ask the tackle shop to do this for you as they will have done thousands and will do the job correctly. However, if you have to do it yourself then follow these steps:

1. Before doing anything with the backing and fly line, put the reel onto the butt section of the rod as this will enable you to load both onto the reel easily and evenly.

2. If the reel has holes in the spool put the backing down through one and up the other side. If it does not have holes then just put the backing all the way around the spool. Then tie a slip knot and a stopper knot which will prevent it slipping.

3. Load the fly reel with the backing spool facing the reel so that it rolls off one onto the other. Do not have the backing spool facing square onto the reel as this will put twists into the backing. The easy way is to put a pencil through the hole of the backing spool, which will let it come off easily. Take your time and load it under tension and evenly along the spool. Remember, you are only going to do this once.

4. To attach the backing to the fly line you can use a nail knot. The one I use is quick and easy and will not let you down. Take the backing and twist it around the end of the line five times, then twist it back on itself four times. Then take the end of the backing and feed it back through the loop that you have created when you twisted the backing back down and pull tight

5. Now load the line evenly onto the reel and attach a braided loop.

If you want to do the above absolutely correct and have the reel loaded with the correct amount of backing to fit the reel then the way to do this is:

Firstly take the line off the retainer spool and put it on the reel in reverse i.e. front part of the line first. Load all the line then attach the backing. Now reel as much backing so that it loads the reel completely. Then take the whole thing off and reverse the procedure. But I have to say that in the time it takes you to do this you could have already been on the water using the line and catching fish with it!

Reprinted with permission of Trout Fisherman magazine.