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

How to Put Fishing Line on a Crystal River Fly Rod Reel
Your new Crystal River fly reel finally arrived in the mail just in time for the big fishing trip. You have a reel and you have fly line backing, line and leader. The only thing standing between you and a great day of fishing is putting the lines on the reel. Have no fear, the trip is saved because with a few easily tied knots most people can set up their fly line so that they can get on the water and start catching trophy fish.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fly line backing
  • Leader
  • Snips
Step 1
Attach the fly line backing to the Crystal River reel with an arbor knot. Begin forming the arbor knot by passing the free, or tag, end of the line around the reel's arbor. Make sure that you leave 5 to 6 inches of line extending past the arbor to allow room for tying knots.
Step 2
Form an overhand knot with the tag end of the line so that the end loops around the main line. Tie another overhand knot below the first knot using only the tag end. Pull the knots tight against the arbor, and trim excess line from the knot with snips.
Step 3
Spool the backing onto the fly reel. Unless specified by the manufacturer, spool about 100 yards of backing evenly onto the reel.
Step 4
Attach the main fly line to the backing with an Albright knot. Begin forming the Albright knot by doubling the main line about 2 inches from the end to form a loop. Pass the tag end of the backing line through the loop formed in the main line.
Step 5
Wrap the backing line around the doubled main line and backing for 8 to 10 turns. Form the turns so that you are working toward the loop. Pass the tag end of the backing through the loop, following the same path out. Moisten the knot and pull down tightly. Trim excess from the knot with snips.
Step 6
Spool the entire length of fly line onto the reel. If the reel seems too full, remove the line and reduce the amount of backing. Reattach the main line and rewind it onto the reel. Do not cut the fly line to reduce the amount of material on the reel; most fly lines are tapered and need to be used at their full length for the best results.
Step 7
Attach a leader to the main line using a surgeon's knot. Overlap 6 to 7 inches of the main line and leader. Form a loop with the overlapped lines. Make sure the loop is large enough to pass the leader through the loop.
Step 8
Wrap the leader and main line tag-in and around the loop for three to four turns. Pull the tag ends to tighten the knot. Moisten the knot just before it pulls down tight. Trim excess line from the knot with snips.

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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