Top Shots Simplified

Here's an economical way to put braid on a reel.

TOPS FOR BOTTOMS: Braid with mono backing draws raves from bottom fishermen.
Photo: Joe Cermele

Many bottom-bumping anglers like to use superbraid lines to help them catch fish. Rather than spend up to $50 to spool a reel, top-shot with mono backing. Here’s how to calculate the amount of mono to use. The first information you will need is the reel’s line capacity.

For this example, I used the Penn 113H with 50-pound PowerPro and 30-pound Ande mono.


Penn lists the capacity of the 113H at 435 meters of .55-millimeter-diameter line. I like to convert all metric figures to English (see “Conversion Table”), so the reel holds 475 yards of 30-pound mono. You will also need to know the diameter of the lines. PowerPro’s 50-pound-test line is .014 inches in diameter. Finally, Ande 30-pound monofilament is .022 inches in diameter.

To find the total capacity factor of the reel, multiply how many yards the spool can hold (476) by the diameter of the line, in inches (.022). 476 5 .022 = 10.5 yard-inches.

Use the same formula above to find the braid capacity factor. Only in this instance multiply the number of yards of 50-pound PowerPro that you want (150) by its diameter in inches (.014). 150 5 .014 = 2.1 yard-inches.


The total capacity factor (10.5) minus the braid capacity factor (2.1) gives us the remaining capacity factor: 8.4. Now, to figure out how many yards of mono backing you’ll need to finish the job, divide the remaining capacity factor (8.4) by the diameter, in inches, of 30-pound Ande mono (.022-inch). 8.4/.022 = 382 yards—the amount of mono needed as backing.
— Adam Wilner

Conversion Table
1 mm = .0393701 inch
1 meter = 1.0936133 yard
1 yard = 3 feet
435 meters = 476 yards
.55 mm = .022 inch
50-pound PowerPro = .014-inch diameter
Ande Premium Monofilament 30-pound. = .022-inch diameter
Note: numbers are rounded