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Rigging Backing Solo

Posted on June 14 2017

Rigging fly reels by yourself.
Wrap it tight. Photos: Jason Whiting.

When rigging fly reels for hard fighting species like king salmon, bonefish, or any other fish capable of long blistering runs, we’re sticklers for winding on backing tight.. Really tight.

Backing wound on too loosely (like you might reel up your fly line), is bound to cut into itself, particularly on hard pulling fish, locking the line up in the process, inevitably resulting in a break off (need proof? click here). Therefore, wrapping it on tight is crucial.

However, without a fancy line-winding machine, or an extra set of hands, we’re well aware that winding on two to three hundred yards of backing with maximum pressure is easier said than done by yourself. That said, it can be done, and today we share with you a simple yet effective method for winding your backing on tightly yourself, courtesy of Alaska West guide, Jason Whiting.

Rigging fly reels by yourself.
Step 1: Stick a pen or pencil through the spool of your backing.
Rigging fly reels by yourself.
Step 2: Place the spool of backing on a bulky towel or carpet and hold the spool upright by placing your feet on either side of the pen or pencil.
Rigging fly reels by yourself.
Step 3: Attach backing to the arbor of your reel and wind on while adjusting the tension on the spool of backing by pushing downward with your feet. Simple!

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