How To Know Exactly How Much Mono Backing You Need For Your Reel


We recently published this tip about why you should use mono backing, but we didn’t address one thing…

How much mono backing should you use?

That’s a great question, since if you don’t put enough, you could run out of braid and be left with a half-empty spool, or you could put too much and end up with not enough room for your braid.

In this video, I’m going to show you a simple way to figure out exactly how much mono backing you should use for your particular reel.

You don’t need to go to the beach and measure out 100 yards of braid, and you don’t need to estimate how much mono is enough.

You can do this tip from your home without any crazy tools.

See how to do it in the video below.

How Much Monofilament Backing You Need [VIDEO]

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You want your spinning reel to be full of line to maximize your casting distance, so it’s important to put plenty of mono backing on it.

However, if you put too much mono on it, you might be left with only enough room for, say, 50-75 yards of braid and you’d probably need to put new braid on sooner than you might like to.

So, to get the perfect amount of braid and mono on your reel, follow the steps below.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Rod
  • 2 identical reels
  • Monofilament
  • Braided line

Alright, here are the steps:

Step 1: Put 100-150 yards of braid on your spinning reel.

This won’t be the spool you use on the water, so it doesn’t matter what kind of knot you use to tie the braid to the arbor (I just taped it on).

Also, you usually don’t need more than 100-150 yards of braid on your reel at a time if you’re fishing inshore (unless you frequently run into tarpon).

Step 2: Tie the backing to your braid and fill the rest of the spool up with the backing.

This will ensure you have the perfect amount of line on your reel without having too much braid or mono.

Step 3: Transfer the line onto your other reel.

This will put the braid on top now, so you’ll have just the right amount of mono and braid.


spinning reel

To get the perfect ratio of braid to mono, while filling up your reel completely, put 100-150 yards of braid on first, then fill the reel with mono, then flip the line onto your final spool to have the braid on top.

Have any questions about how much mono backing to use?

Let me know in the comments below!

And if you know someone who needs to put new line on their reel, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Howard Thomes
3 months ago

I am enjoying your videos and am learning much. I have a Pflueger model 6920. This reel and parts are discontinued . I checked e-bay for a 2nd reel, as I am going to re reel with #4 Braided line, it takes 180 yds. The question is how much # 6 or 8 backing to use. I have contacted Pflueger regarding how many yards to use. Can u give me another idea? Thank you

Fay Walker
7 months ago

Hi Tony
What knot did you use to join the back fill to the braid? Thanks!

1 year ago

If you don’t have a spare reel and you’re using braid that comes on a flat plastic spool (or have one handy), you can use the empty spool as a reel to make the transfer. On the Power Pro spool, I used a fat sharpie as the axle and put a ball-point pen into the small hole on the face of it as the handle. You can use your fingers to put tension on the line as you reel it up and use the pencil-in-a-box method to unspool it back onto your reel. By the way, I don’t use the manufacturer’s capacity rating to calculate since they seem to be all over the place and unreliable.

1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

That’s a good idea, using the drill. It’s more high-tech than using my caveman reel – maybe I’ll do that next time. I came up with the makeshift reel idea when I was thinking up a small emergency fishing kit and then applied it to the transfer application. Regardless, either approach is better than wrapping it by hand, which would give me carpal-tunnel symptoms for a week!

Raul Fernandez
1 year ago

Thank you for the great tip. Some spools are braid ready, with the groves that grab the braid securely. What is you thought on this, backing yes/no?

Allen Tomas
1 year ago

What if you only have 1 reel?

Frank Sorce
1 year ago

when attaching the backing mono to the braid, should you use the FG knot or can another knot be used?

Nick Noonan
2 years ago

Thank you for the video, Tony! Since I did not have two identical reels, I used the math method. Lesson learned is to do your own inches per turn (IPT) measurements for a full and empty spool. I found them both to be different than the reel manufacturer’s number. I used the average and came out very close to my goal.

2 years ago

Thanks so much!!!

2 years ago

Do you suggest reversing the line on a spool occasionally?

Rex Russo
2 years ago

I’ve been using the math method. If you know your reels inches per turn (IPT) and the total amount of mono and braid the spool is rated, then it just takes some math. First off, to brag about total line capacity some manufacturers go with a full spool and ignore the 1/16th inch rule. I found that Penn marks their total at the third ring line on the spool leaving the 1/16th” gap. I compensate by lowering the total for those that don’t mark the 1/16th mark on the spool by adjusting the total capacity down 8%. Just convert the yards to inches and divide by your inches per turn. Example: your new 2000 reel is rated 26 IPT. It’s rated for 100 yards of 10# mono or 260 yards of 10# braid. You have a 150 yard 10# spool of braid. There are no line rings and the instructions don’t mention the 1/16” rule, so adjust the 260 down 8% = 239 yards. 150 /239 = 63% of total spool capacity, leaving 37% for mono backing. 37% of the 100 yard mono capacity is 37 yards. 37 yards x 36 inches per yard = 1332”/26 IPT = 50 turns of the crank. OK — Tony’s method is easier to understand, and fail proof, but takes longer.

Rex Russo
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

I just came across this site that does most of the math for you: Advanced fishing reel line capacity estimator – Pattaya Fishing
You first enter the amount of your braid line based on width and length in metric measures (ex. 0.23mm x 135 meters). BTW 150yards is about 135 meters. You then put in the width of your mono backing. Example: 0.30mm (which is average width of mono 10#). The calculator will tell you how many meters of backing. To convert meters to yards just Google the converter, or know that 1 meter equals about 1.1 yards. Then convert yards to inches. Then divide the inches by the inches per crank turn (IPT) and you’ll know how many crank turns of backing to add first. Odd how they seem to always give the IPT (an imperial measurement) but often the length in meters.


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