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Capt Bob LeMay

reel capacity

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Recently my wife bought me a new fly outfit in 10wt....  Nice setup - but the reel's backing capacity was pretty much barely adequate for a nine weight line.. Of course I didn't realize that until after I'd tried to load it with my usual 30lb Cortland Micron... Back to the bench, stripped off the nice new backing  -loading it on a spare line spool for use as a backup for occasions where some big fish not only took a fly line - but a hundred yards of backing with it.  Almost all of my spinning and conventional reels are filled with super braid (Sufix if anyone's asking...) so it was a simple matter to fill that reel with enough backing once I made the switch to to 30lb braid... This will be the first fly reel that I've loaded braid for backing onto - we'll see how it performs and I'll come back to this thread and report.  I routinely use a 10wt for tarpon up to nearly 60lbs (as long as we're on the coast or up in big interior bays....) so this reel will get a workout sooner or later.  Tarpon up in small rivers are a different matter entirely - for them it will still be a 12 wt since you really need to get on top of fish that can cost you a nice new fly line if they get around a corner or downed tree before you can get there (another of those "ask me how I know" deals...).  My standard backing load on any reel used in the salt is at least 200 yards (and for 12wts 300 if at all possible...).  I long ago retreated from bluewater - but if I did get out offshore where a 10wt is the lightest rod... I'd want 4 or 500 yards of backing - and it wouldn't be 30lb - it would be 65lb braid... all day long on a 12 or bigger sized reel...


I've also promised not to hand this setup to any of my anglers - but we'll see about that since circumstances can just get away from you at times... 


"Be a hero... take a kid fishing"

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