Gelspun Backing Requires Special Attention

Last year I put all gelspun backing on my fly reel. I hooked a tuna, and my drag didn't work. Was the line or the drag the problem? Can you tell me how to fix it?

Q: Last year I put all gelspun backing on my fly reel. I hooked a tuna, and my drag didn't work. Was the line or the drag the problem? Can you tell me how to fix it?

Jim Spencer,
Boston

A: Gelspun lines tend to slip if installed on the spool shaft in the conventional manner. What happens when reeling against a strong fish is that the backing slips on the spool shaft. To prevent this, make one or two wraps around the spool shaft with duct tape. Then, wrap the gelspun around the spool shaft at least four times before securing the line with a uni-knot or Duncan loop.