Poppy's Spey Casting Forum
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Charlie Mastro

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I've seen something posted about this when I googled it but have not seen an actual answer that states how much larger a reel is needed say for a 13' #7. Should it be a 8 or 9 or bigger. I know it has to do with reel capacity for the amount of backing etc. but does anyone know of a somewhat standard rule? No luck on any reel manufactures web sites and it just seems no one mentions this but it does seem to be an issue I just became aware of.  
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Gene Larson

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Reply with quote  #2 
Weight of the reel needs to feel right to the caster on the rod he/she will be using.  The size of the reel has to be adequate to hold the needed amounts of backing, running line, and heads/lines.  But, the weight will be what determines how well it balances with the rod and thus feels right to you.  There is a suggestion on several forums to use a bag of coins to balance the rod. When the right balance is achieved, then weigh the bag and its contents.  Look for a reel that weighs (fully loaded with lines/backing) that has the capacity you need.  Not a formula, rather a process.

Brian Foster

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Reply with quote  #3 
Agree with Gene. For me balance is very important. Obviously capacity is critical, but a reel with a ton of capacity and super light weight is gonna prove to be a nightmare for me on a rod. As Gene said, grab a reel of any size and hang on your rod. Hang a sandwich bag to the reel handle and start adding weight until the rod "balances" for you...as in how you'd like it feel during the swing with the head out of the tip top. I prefer a bit too high personally, but you will find what is comfortable for you. Then weigh the reel and bag of weight and figure an ounce per 100 yards of 30# backing and another ounce or so for the running line that will remain on the reel. So...13 oz of reel and coins in a bag = 10 oz empty reel plus 200 yards of backing plus the running line for instance.
Charlie Mastro

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thanks guys, I understand about the weight thing but I was more concerned about reel size compared to single handed reel size. If the reel is too light you can make it heavier but if it's too heavy you can't make it lighter.
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Jim Williams

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Reply with quote  #5 
I think what you're looking for is that for years it was considered standard to look for a reel about two sizes heavier/larger.  In other words a nine weight single-handed reel for a seven weight spey rod.  However, these days with all the different lines and heads it's really not that simple any more, but it is a good starting point before attempting what Gene and Brian suggest.  Balance is far more important in double-handed gear and the longer the rod the more important it becomes.
Jim Ray

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Reply with quote  #6 
Just something else to consider with respect to balance. I like the rod to balance with the tip up, but others prefer the tip in the water. The line influences balance a lot. My preference is to have a heavier reel than most prefer, just to make sure I have room for the lines I might use, and to make sure the rod is tip up when held at a comfortable hand position on the cork.

Jim 

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Gene Larson

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Reply with quote  #7 
Not to beat this to death, but there is no "...standard" for reel sizes.  It is totally up to the manufacturer of the reel.  What Hardy calls a 4-5 weight reel may well be akin to what another maker calls a 2-3.  It all depends on an ever-varying mix of spool diameter/design, width, and type of arbor.  That is why it seems like a process to me, not a formula.
James Timmins

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Reply with quote  #8 
(Quote) If the reel is too light you can make it heavier but if it's too heavy you can't make it lighter. 

Yes, but it will undoubtedly affect the startup inertia as well.

Up and down locking reel seats also make a difference relative to balance per said reel.
Rick Jorgensen

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Reply with quote  #9 
I think rod balance is important on longer speys - say 14' and up but not as critical on the shorter rods. I only have one 15' rod and only one at 13+ feet - rest are sub 13' and most reels that I have do a fair job of balancing - don't really have an issue with the shorter rods if balance is not just right. A long fulcrum all day that is unbalanced is another matter.

Agree there is not any no good formula but the two reel size is a pretty good start - again depending on what line system you are using,

Examples - My original xlt's took up a lot of room - used the biggest Ross salt water reels and for the xlt 9 still used fine diameter backing!!! The short skagits not near as much.

I have old system reels - the 7 and 8 works ok for light short skagits in the sub 300 grain grain window. The 10 will take 500 grain range. A Ross CLA 6 barely takes a 575 skagit and it is full. My Bougle 3 3/4 takes a 350 grain skagit
Bob Greenberg

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Reply with quote  #10 
Another thing to remember about balance is that on the swing, there will be some additional pull from the line.  It might not be a large pull down for us hacks with shorter casts, but it might be a factor for the jedi among us. On reflection, the jedi have likely already observed this [smile].
Dennis Kulhanek

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Reply with quote  #11 

There is another important thing , when you balance the rod thred the line trough the guides and then you do the coin trick.


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Charlie Mastro

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Reply with quote  #12 
Thanks guys that was a lot of good information and it was just my first post.


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Bevin Baker

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Reply with quote  #13 
I agree with Dennis , this cam make a big difference to the balance in normal fishing mode,especially for a long day on the river , so get a good working lenght off the reel and out of the tip then fine tune the weight required.

Bevin
James D Jones

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Reply with quote  #14 
It also helps to have ample cork on the upper grip. With the price of cork being what it is today, some of the rod makers have shortened up their grips. When you run out of cork and the rod is still tip heavy, the only other choice you have is to add weight somewhere to balance it out. BTW: notice even though Poppy is holding at the top end of the corks, has the rod tucked under his forearm, taking the strain off the wrist on an otherwise tip heavy outfit.
christian roulleau

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Reply with quote  #15 
Hello everyone,

13'7 for the right weight should be about 300 grams; reel, backing, line including running so the reel only about 260/270 gr. The point of balance before
be at the place where you hold the rod on the top handle.

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