THE BALANCED SYSTEM
You can easily select balanced components for your system because the fly tackle industry follows a common standard when labeling products. For example, most rod manufacturers label the proper line weight right on their rods, so that any 6-weight rod will balance with a 6-weight line. This is also true for most reels. No matter what quality rod, reel or line you buy, they won’t perform properly if they aren’t balanced. So check these components of your fly fishing system and make sure they are balanced before you assemble the rest of your system.
Before you start putting line on your reel, find out how much backing you’ll need by reading your reel instructions. Then collect the components and spread them out on a flat surface with good lighting. A pair of nail clippers is the only tool you’ll need to assemble them.
Even if you’ve done this before, you might want to spend a little extra time practicing the knots we recommend before you actually put the line on the reel. A leader, a piece of rope, or best of all, some old fly line make it easy to practice tying the knots you’ll need to securely join the components of your system.
One other thing, most new reels are set up for left-handed retrieve, so if you reel from the right, you’ll have to change the set up. This is usually a simple process and instructions should be found in the reel box.
The illustrations that follow show the easiest knots favored by experienced fly anglers.