How to Put the Fishing Line on a Crystal River Fly Rod Finalist Reel

How to Put the Fishing Line on a Crystal River Fly Rod Finalist Reel
Fly fishing is often viewed as a difficult and almost mystical sport. A variety of manufacturers produce equipment, including the Crystal River Finalist fly reel. Spooling a fly reel is one of the most important aspects of fly fishing and involves the proper use of knots to join the three main lines together. Proper knot usage is important to ensure the line spools smoothly on the Crystal River reel and does not snag on the line guides of the rod.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fly reel
  • Fly line backing material
  • Fly line
  • Fly leader
  • Snips
Step 1
Select a monofilament or Dacron backing for your fly reel. Attach the tag, or free end, to the reel. Loop the line around the arbor and use the free end to form an overhand knot around the main line. Tie another overhand knot toward the end of the line using only the tag line. Pull the knots down tightly around the arbor.
Step 2
Wind 80 to 100 yards of backing onto the reel evenly. The backing provides protection for the fly line while on the reel as well as extra line for allowing a fish to run while playing. Use snips to cut the backing and leave at least a foot of tag line extending from the reel.
Step 3
Connect the butt end of the fly line to the backing by tying either a nail knot or the Albright knot. Tie the Albright by forming a loop using 2 to 3 inches of the fly line. Insert the backing tag end through the loop and then over and around the doubled fly line. Begin making concentric wraps with the backing tag end around the fly line loop and main backing line. Make six to seven turns, working toward the loop and insert the backing tag end through the loop. Pull the knot tight and trim excess line.
Step 4
Wind the fly line onto the reel, making sure that the line is spooled evenly. Once again, leave about 1 foot of line extending from the reel so that the leader may be attached. Attach the leader to the fly line using a surgeon's knot.
Step 5
Form the surgeon's knot by overlapping 5 to 6 inches of the fly line and leader tag ends. Form a loop with both lines so that 2 to 3 inches of the tag end are on both sides. Wrap the main leader line and fly line tag end through the loop, making three turns. Hold both tag ends and pull down tightly. Use snips to trim excess line. Spool the leader onto the fly reel.

Tips & Warnings

The fly line is now ready for attaching a leader and fly on your favorite trout stream. Use another surgeon's knot to attach a tippet to the leader. Use a clinch knot to tie a fly to the tippet.
Use caution when handling monofilament lines. Tightly stretched lines can cut or scratch you.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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