Q: My boyfriend bought me a beautiful rod, reel and line. I went to a local fly shop to ask someone to install the line, and he said I needed about 250 yards of backing. Will my fish really run that far?”
A: I once asked several Keys guide friends what was the most line pulled from the reel on a big bonefish. The longest was not 100 yards, and most were considerably less. If you are not seeking large tarpon, and I assume as a novice you won’t, I would never recommend more than 150 yards of Dacron backing. Have them put on the reel for 30-pound test; it wears better than the smaller-diameter 20-pound test and will last for years.