Backing Diameters [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Backing Diameters

12-02-2001, 07:43 AM
Something I found interesting or just finally took the time to read.

The new Abel catalogue references differences in diameters of backing increasing capacity of the spool:

"To determine the greater backing capacity with either 50-pound Spectra or SpiderWire, increase the capacity 60% when substituting for 20# Micron, 100% for 30# Micron. Remember the various colors of Micron have different diameters. White is the thinnest, followed by yellow and the thickest, chartreuse. S.A. white Dacron backing is 10-15% smaller diameter than white Micron."

If this is true, I could rig a few of my spools with either Spectra or SpiderWire and be able to use them for anything from stripers to bones to tarpon. My capacity would change from 250 yards to 500 yards !?!

Anyone have any experience with these alternatives for backing?



12-02-2001, 09:21 AM
I'm very interested in this. My Cabelas CLA reels have a rather low backing capacity, 120yds 20lb. I did not know the diameter varied from color to color. I do like the more colorful/visible backing, it's a bit easier for me to see. I guess the color doesn't so much matter as long as I never see the arbor knot. I was looking at Cortland's Micronite, it's supposed to be something like 1/2 the diameter of the micron.

12-02-2001, 12:23 PM
I have never used Spectra myself but a good customer of ours makes annual jaunts to Christmas Island in search of Giant Trevally.

He loads up pretty much all his reels with, I believe, #50 (about #15 mono) Spectra. He loves the suff.

Word of warning though, not all Spectra is created equal. The only Spectra I will fish is Power Pro. Its the thinnest diameter Spectra there is but is still soft. It is much stronger and has a higher abrasion resistence then most other Spectras on the market like Fireline, TUFF Line and Spiderwire (pure crap!!)

12-02-2001, 12:36 PM
Thanks Ryan.

So what is Spectra? A braid? A stronger mono?


12-02-2001, 12:55 PM
Spectra is best described as a super braid. It is very similar to Kevlar. It has no stretch and in diameter of 20# and less (Power Pro) it can cut through anything.

PowerPro (

12-02-2001, 01:37 PM
Originally posted by NrthFrk16
Spectra is best described as a super braid. It is very similar to Kevlar. It has no stretch and in diameter of 20# and less (Power Pro) it can cut through anything.

PowerPro (

Ryan -----You ar not kidding when you say "CAN CUT THROUGH ANYTHING" Dose a Hell of a job on Fingers


12-02-2001, 08:33 PM
When I was up in Sitka, the boat I was decking on used the 30# on the jigging rods. Your hands sure as Hell take a beating when the coho are thick and you are wrapping your hand around the line to gaff the fish. It is even worse when the fish then decides to take off.

Thank God we didnt jig much, when my freind decked, all they did was jig and his hand came back with about 100 cuts and tears and totally battered from that stuff.

12-04-2001, 11:11 PM

next time you're deckhanding or just hand landing lots of salmon, try wearing latex gloves (like the doctors wear). they can be found at most pharmacies. i know they work wonders for the cuts one can get from plain mono... but if they don't work with the spectra, try the orange filleting gloves when landing fish... i've used both landing loads of coho, and while both work, you can tie knots, cut baits, rig baits with the latex gloves but not the heavier gloves.

line cuts suck, especially with an infusion of saltwater.