You may be wondering what is fly fishing backing if you are quite new to the sport of fly fishing. Its nothing complicated dont worry but it is something important to have.

Basically the fly fishing backing is the first set of line that goes onto your fishing reel which then connects onto the fly line.

fly fishing backing 1 - Fly Fishing
Picture credit Scientificanglers

As the name sounds it backs up to the fly line and literally is a back up if you have a big fish that decides to run and take the full length of fly line!

Once your fly line is all the way out, you will still have a backing line connected to the reel.

Most fishermen and Fisherwomen know the importance of having a good fly fishing shirt and backing line.

It can literally be the factor between whether you keep the fish you just hooked into or losing it!

What is fly fishing backing made from?

Fly fishing backing is usually made from a material known as dacron and the backing line is usually bought from the supplier in 10-lb to 40-lb breaking strength depending of your own preference.

fly fishing backing 2 - Fly Fishing

It also depends on the type of fish you intend on targeting.

Backing spools come in lengths from 50 yards to 1000 yards.

Do you need backing for fly fishing?

I think every fly fishing enthusiast you would ask this question would tell you yes and i agree. As i’ve covered above, it can make or break in some cases whether you get to keep or lose the fish you hooked into.

Ive had plenty of milkfish when saltwater fly fishing literally take a run or two which has resulted in a few hundred yards of line being stripped from the reel in one run.

If i didnt have the fly fishing backing and zinger, id have easily lost those fish as id have run out of fly line!


I hop you have now been able to grasp the importance of having a good fly fishing backing line and you now know what is fly fishing backing.

You may also like this article: How to tie a leader to a tippet or Parts of a Fly Reel