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Matching Rods To Reels!

Guest Jocool

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I have been researching/ordering some new fly gear. And I would like the opinion of others. Not that I don't trust my current source of information, but another Raider has suggested I could be doing things wrong! :wacko:

I have a 9WT Strudwick rod on order at ABA. (see you soon Mick :thumbup: ) I have ordered a Gillies reel on the recommendation of a couple of fellow Raiders. They have used these reels and are happy with them! They aren't the best, but are GREAT value for money. Solid design, good drag and don't weigh a bomb. They are cheap...but not cheap and nasty. :biggrin2:

Here is my problem!

One person recommended going for the 10/11WT reel to me give me that extra backing. Another has recommended I stay with the smaller version, a 7/8/9WT so as to keep the outfit balanced. Now I'm confused! :wacko:

Both people make good sense in their arguments. Having the extra backing could do me good as I have no idea about fighting a fish on a fly rod. The extra backing could give me the help I need. On the other hand, is the few extra grammes, and the larger physical size going to pose a problem for my casting ability?

Apparently the weight difference is only about 10-20 grams.

Can any of the more experienced swoffa's shed any light or give me some pointers? :wacko:

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Guest bluecod


Like the line - bring it over when you get it and we'll fit reels of different sizes so you get an appreciation of balance with different reel sizes and styles.

As Bash said - most Sydney fish won't give you a problem except stripies .. and macks .. and a 'fin if you get real lucky ... and the occasional largish dollie.

Edited by bluecod
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Hi Joe,

Here's another consideration when choosing fly reel size and capacity to hold the necessary backing: you don't have to use all the fly line, you can shorten the running line.

Fly lines used for saltwater fly-fishing are almost always weight-forward in design. This means there's a forward taper, the belly of the line (length varies according to design), rear taper, and then a long length of level line -- referred to as the running line. Only the very best fly casters are able to cast the full line, including the running line; much of the time the rear of the running line never sees the light of day.

You can therefore use a smaller, lighter fly reel with lesser line capacity, if you cut several metres (say 2 to 5) from the end of the running line. As the running line is much thicker than dacron backing, you can then wind on the reel a far greater length of backing than the length of running line removed.

Another option to increase backing length would be to use braid, which has a finer diameter than dacron.

Here's a method I've found useful to gauge how much backing to use. Wind the fly line on to the reel forward taper first (temporarily secure the end using light mono), then attach the backing using the loop-to-loop method, and wind-on sufficient backing to fill the reel spool to the correct level. Then just reverse the line and backing. I employ a large side-case reel and a centre-pin reel to do this.

Loop-to-loop connections are the secret to angst-free saltwater fly-fishing. Just make loops at each end of your fly line, at the end of your backing, when constructing leaders, and also when attaching tippets. It's then possible to join and detach each of the components without tying or cutting-off knots. There are many fly fishing websites which show you how to make and use loop-to-loop connections.

Hope some of this helps.

Edited by kenmare
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Hey Jo

I can recomend the Gillies reals there great and they fit plenty of backing

If you want a combo to get started on the Gillies is the way to go.Depening on your tippet size if you think you going to get spooled on your last 30 meters of line just point the rod at the fish and hold on for dear line you would be surprised how much hurt you can put on a big fish after it has done a 200 meter run.

I hope this helps :thumbup:

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I reckon there are a couple ways to look at balance with a fly outfit myself.

The first is how it balances when you are casting it ie with 60 to 80 feet of line off the reel in a fishing situation :biggrin2:

Secondly with the whole flyline on the reel standing in a shop.

I go for the first method myself but I'm sure the resident self named "expert" will have something to say.

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My 2 bobs worth would be go for the larger reel

Youre not going to be casting all day and youre no exactly a weedy bloke so the little bit of extra wt wont hurt

The larger spool means you can retrieve line faster (when fighting fish)

I always find that a reel is better slightly heavier than lighter (within reason), it seems to stabilise the rod better when casting, I dont know if this is the right expression but "tip heavy" fly outfits always seem harder to cast for me

Large spool also means less hassle with coiling, which most intermediate lines love to do

Kens right though, cast with it if you can, the reel may feel slightly heavy with the line on it but when your fishing 40 to 60 feet of that line will be off the reel most of the time, ( more when you can cast further)

Ive got a 9wt struddie and I use an old solid spool billypate bonefish on it which is a heavy reel or a 9/10 redington large arbour, also not a light weight

regards pogo

Edited by pogo
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