How to Tie a Fly Line to Backing

How to Tie a Fly Line to Backing
Before you wade knee deep into a stream and begin casting for wild trout you need to make sure your fly fishing equipment is properly set up. The rod and reel should be correctly assembled and aligned and the leader, main line and backing must be securely connected. Specialized knots, such as the Albright knot, have been perfected through time that offer strength and a low profile for moving through the often small line guides on the rod. One of the first connections to be made is between the backing and the main line.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fly line backing
  • Fly line
  • Snips
Step 1
Begin forming the Albright knot (see Resources). The Albright is used to join lines of different diameter as in the case of fly line backing and the main fly line. Make a loop in the tag, or free end, of the main line. Form the loop about 2 to 3 inches from the end of the line. When tying the Albright knot, the larger piece of line or material is used to form the loop.
Step 2
Pass the tag end of the backing line through the loop formed with the main line. Pass at least 3 to 4 inches of backing through the loop.
Step 3
Wrap the backing around the doubled main line and the backing itself. Make sure the loops are as concentric as possible to help prevent unraveling.
Step 4
Pass the end of the backing line back through the loop. Follow the path of the backing line as it was originally passed through the loop.
Step 5
Moisten the knot and pull the knot down securely. Use snips to trim any excess line from the knot.

Tips & Warnings

Practice tying the Albright knot with larger line or cord and then move down to the fly line backing and main line.

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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