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craig 07-29-2003 06:39 PM

Gel-spun Backing?
Has anyone had any experience with gel-spun backing. I am not sure if I am even spelling it correctly. It is a very thin backing that is kind of braided. It allows you to put a lot more backing on your reel. I have M4 Bauer reels and I believe I will be able to put about 400 yards of gel-spun backing on one. I just bought a #14 Temple Forks rod and I am trying to use one of the Bauer reels I already own instead of buying another reel.

Got the Temple Forks in Worcester for 250 w/o case, any comments on the rod?

I put a 450 grain Rio Striper line on it that I already had and threw about 75' of line. I was wondering if I might have to buy a heavier line to load the rod, but the 450 should be ok for now. What are other people using for lines?

fredaevans 07-29-2003 11:37 PM

Gel spun type material can work fairly well ..
for adding a ton of backing on to a reel. Two factors to keep in mind (this is from folks who have used same for this purpose):

1. Make darned sure you're got gloves on if you try to grab this line while it's moving ... it will saw your finger(s) off due to its small size.

2. If you don''t get a good lie/lay going onto your spool it can 'over wrap' it self and make a hell of a mess PDQ with a hot running fish.


Smcdermott 07-30-2003 06:43 AM


I have an M4 myself and I would be supprised if you could put 400 yds on it. I have 200yds of 50lb Power Pro and have used it with a 375 sink tip that brought it to full. Also, I had the inner bearing burn up after about 5 albies in a 1/2 hour last year so if you are pursuing something that is going to run that distance I would be cautious. Bauer was very good about replacing it and the new bearing and drag did look like it had been updated.


craig 07-30-2003 08:53 AM


I am not sure how Power Pro 50lbs compares to gel spun 30lbs, but gel spun is a lot smaller in diameter than regular backing. It is kind of braded and will cut you very easily if you touch it while the fish is running. I plan on using gloves just to be safe.

Smcdermott 07-30-2003 11:04 AM

PowerPro=Gel Spun

My understanding is that PowerPro is just a name brand for Gel Spun. It was recommended to me that I go with the 50lb to prevent any cutting of the fingers and over wrap on the spool. I have never gone for the big game stuff so not sure what the ramifications would be with just 30lb. Abels website uses a conversion ratio of 60% when comparing to 20lb dacron and 100% if comparing to 30lb for the 50lb Spectra. Hope this was helpfull.


craig 07-30-2003 12:55 PM

Thanks for the imput Sean and Fred.

Eddie 07-30-2003 05:20 PM

Much has been written on this. Do a search "gsp" or "gel spun" .

2HandTheSalt 07-31-2003 08:25 AM

Just a couple of thoughts about doing this without spending a ton more $$:

I am surprised that the Bauer didn't hold up a bit better than that. Maybe it was just a bad bearing or something, but if it can't take an albie/bonito class fish, it is hard to believe it is going to take a real tuna. Still, if I were on a budget, I would give it a try.

The only, ' Budget,' reel that I would be comfortable with for tuna are the '80's vintage Fin Nors which are readily available on e-bay. # 3's in AR frequently trade in the range of $ 150-300 depending on condition. # 4, 4.5 + 5 are better choices for that application, but scarcer and harder to find. The trick is finding one of the later models which has a palming spool. These can be spotted easily because the spool is drilled with holes, the un-drilled ones do not have palming spools.

If you must use a smaller capacity reel, like your Bauer or the Fin Nor 3, you can fit more backing on it by getting a little creative. On my old 3, I put on a high-density sinking head, and cut an intermediate running line back to 50' long. With a leader, this gives you about 90' of working line and takes up very little space on the reel. With this setup, I was able to easily fit 300 yards of 65lb PowerPro on # 3.

As previously stated, PowerPro is just a brand name of gel-spun braid. For capacity purposes, 65 lb PP is the same diameter as 16lb test monofilament. 50 lb PP is the same as 12 lb. I like the 65 becuse it feels more like real backing in the had than any other braid I have tried, ( But there are plenty I haven't tried.)

For ultimate capacity, Rod Harrison's Bionic Braid is very highly regarded by everyone I know who has used it, but it is pricey.

Lastly I would say that anyone who says you need more than 300 yards of backing on a reel of four-inches or less in diameter, has never tried to retrieve that much line!

MarkS 08-05-2003 07:56 AM

Just a coupld comments on the GsP...

1. Use the 50lb....knot strength on GsP is pretty poor, so if you go with 30lb, you're running dangerously close to your tippet strength by the time youput a knot in it.

2. as a guide you can use a conversion factor of about 1.8 to go from 30lb Dacron to 50lb GsP....have to be a little less is you've got 20lb Dacron on the M4.

3. Agree with the idea of cutting off the back end of your running line for some more backing capacity, although this means you'll be fighting off the backing a bit more.

4. Haven't tried the TFO rod, but I would guess that 450grains might be a touch light, but if it works.....

Best of luck.

I'm a Bauer fan too.


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