How Do You Line a Fly Fishing Reel?

Fly fishing is an art, and the tools used in this activity are no exception. Fly reels are the backbone of any fly-fishing setup, making them an important part of the process. Knowing how to properly line a fly fishing reel is essential for any angler looking to improve their craft and catch more fish.

Step 1: Choose a Line

The first step in lining a fly reel is choosing the right line for your specific fishing needs. Fly lines come in different weights, lengths, and colors so make sure you select one that’s appropriate for your type of fishing and local conditions. You should also consider how much line you’ll need as some reels have limited capacity.

Step 2: Attach Leader

Next, attach the leader to the end of your fly line using an improved clinch knot. This will provide a secure connection between the two components and ensure that the leader doesn’t slip off when you’re casting or retrieving. It’s important to use a knot that won’t slip or weaken under pressure so make sure you choose wisely.

Step 3: Thread The Line Through The Reel

Once your leader is attached it’s time to thread your line through the reel itself. Start by removing all spools from the reel and then feed the line through each guide starting from the spool side outwards.

When done correctly your line should run smoothly through each guide without getting stuck or tangled in any way. Repeat this process until all guides are threaded properly and securely fastened.

Step 4: Tie On Backing

Backing serves as an additional layer of protection for your fly line when it comes into contact with strong currents or large fish. To tie on backing, start by threading one end of backing through each guide starting from the spool side outward, then tie it off with an arbor knot just below the spool edge on both sides. Make sure you leave enough slack so that your fly line can move freely within its confines without becoming too tight or loose when casting or retrieving your lure/fly combination.


Lining a fly fishing reel requires patience and attention to detail but it doesn’t have to be complicated if done correctly following these steps outlined above! With proper care and maintenance, your reel will last for years to come providing you with endless days on the water filled with exciting catches!

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Daniel Bennet