Fact: Backing doesn’t last forever..
We help hundreds of anglers each year rig up for hard fighting species at our lodges from bonefish, to steelhead, to king salmon, all of which have the potential to send your backing zipping out the rod guides.
However, despite paying top dollar for premium rods, reels, fly lines, and the like, it never ceases to amaze us how many folks hit the water with old, damaged, or even rotten backing, loaded up on hundreds of dollars worth of gear.
We get it.. For the majority of anglers targeting species like trout, bass, or other freshwater fishes in their home waters, seeing your backing is rare, making changing it regularly (or ever) not overly important. The problem? Most anglers don’t take the time to dry out their backing after every dunk of the reel (we don’t either), causing that tightly wound spool of essentially unused backing to rot, greatly reducing its breaking strength.
Don’t get us wrong, backing can last a long time, especially if taken care of. But here’s our point – backing is the most inexpensive component of any fly rod setup. Its also the last line of defense when hooked up to that special fish. Thus, its usually a good idea to invest in fresh backing if you notice any of the following.
- Signs of black mold/rot (an advantage of using white backing).
- Any nicks or abrasion.
- The backing is twisted beyond repair (likely to cause tangles).
- You can’t remember the last time you replaced your backing.
So, if you’re gearing up for that trip of a lifetime for some hard fighting fish this year, save the heartache, and replace your backing.