Tuesday Tip: How to Set Up a Trout Reel


Written by: Phil Monahan


Editor’s Note: Here’s a great video lesson that we posted 15 months ago (1/27/11). Since so many folks have joined OrvisNews.com since then, I wanted to call attention to this useful information. Of course, most good fly lines now come with a loop on the front end, but it’s still useful to learn a proper nail knot.

My good friend Zach Matthews, editor of The itinerant Angler website and host of the podcast of the same name, got a new video camera from his wife for Christmas, and he’s putting it to good use. Here’s a great lesson on setting up a fly reel, from start to finish—getting the backing on the reel, attaching the fly line to the backing, attaching a butt section to the fly line, and then attaching a leader. In the process, you’ll learn the double surgeon’s loop, a new arbor knot, the nail knot, the perfection loop, and the loop-to-loop connection.

If you’re doing this for the first time, you’ll need the following items:

1. your trout reel,
2. a spool of “backing” (for trout, 20 lb. test is typically plenty),
3. a fly line,
4. some 20 lb. monofilament, and
5. a tapered leader.  

How to Set Up a Fly Reel

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