Maintenance for Saltwater Lines and Backing

What care is necessary for saltwater lines and backing? Should they be removed from the spool daily? How often should backing be replaced?

**Question:
**What care is necessary for saltwater lines and backing? Should they be removed from the spool daily? How often should backing be replaced?

Brian Bishop
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

**Answer:
**If the reel is designed for saltwater fishing, the backing needs little attention during a week's trip. Unless you feel the fly line is dirty and needs cleaning, you don't have to do anything to it either.

At the end of a weeklong trip or when you think you won't use the outfit for some time, you may want to clean the line and the backing that was immersed in salt water. The best method is simply to wash the line using a terry cloth towel, warm water and soap (don't use detergent; it can remove the line's lubricant). Be sure to rinse all the soap from the line. If you caught fish that took you into the backing, clean it in the same way, along with the inside of the spool.

If you use 30-pound Dacron backing and it doesn't get frayed or nicked, it should last for years. However, 20-pound Dacron wears much faster. If you're worried, I recommend you carefully check your backing with a magnifying glass.