Captain Scott Owens talked fly fishing, fly lines, backing, and connections

Scott OwensCaptain's Journal

With today’s high tech gear comes stronger rods, reels that produce more drag, and using braid for backing instead of the traditional dacron or gel spun has become a must for big game fish on fly. Don’t make the mistake or using braided backing and welded loops without watching this video.

Below is a digital transcript of the video. I’m sure there are many errors in it so I apologize.

Hey, good morning, everybody Captain Scott Owens with Southeastern Angling. I want to talk today a little about fly fishing. You know, modern day stuff is obviously better. Drags are getting better, tackle is getting stronger and we’re pulling harder on fish.  I’m fishing as everybody knows the Siegler line of fly reels. They’re the only lever drag fly reel that is out there on the market. This particular reel will pull over 30 pounds of drag, which sounds excessive but, we need it sometimes, not necessarily the 30 pounds, but we need a smooth, strong drag. What we’re doing now is we’re fishing with braid for backing instead of Gelspun and Dacron. And the difference is you get 65 pound braid and it’s of course very, very thin. And,  the problem we’ve been having that I was talking to the folks over at Scientific Anglers a couple of years ago, I guess it’s been a year ago now at the fly fishing event in Atlanta. The fly fishing show is the connection between backing and fly line

This has got a Bimini into a big loop for our fly line. And one of the things I was having problems with is the fact the braid is so thin and so strong and all these new fly lines come with welded loops and you know, to avoid cutting this fly line, getting into the core of the fly line, which can get saturated, your fly line can become waterlogged.  We try to use these welded loops. Problem is, and I’m going to start pulling this one off, is if you’re pulling any kind of pressure, what happens is, let’s see if this one’s even got it. But yeah, it looks like it hadn’t even used as much. But what happens is, and I don’t know if you guys can see this, but it really starts to eat into the fly line and it will actually cut the welded loop end.

It’ll cut the coating clear off the fly line. Now this is, um, there you go. This is the Scientific Anglers Amplitude smooth. I think it’s one of the best fly lines on the market now. Uh, the coating is extremely durable on it. I’ve had them get hung up in the trolling motor. I’ve had, uh, you know, stuff rake up against the boat. I mean all kinds of different stuff. But you know, 65 pound braid on this fly line is, uh, definitely gonna do some damage to it over time. So what, uh, Josh over at Orvis has come up with so far, these are, uh, these are testers or prototypes is this little loop. And what this loop is going to do is it’s going to attach to the braid with a loop on this thin end and then to the fly line on this fat end. And you can see the difference, I mean in the diameter of this stuff. Um, you know, this will eliminate the cutting of the coding on the fly line and possibly a welded loop failure. Um, if you’re pulling excessive drag. So real quick, I’m going to pull this fly line. I’ve got it strong all the way out into the yard.

I know a lot of people ask me what kind of rods I use and everything else I’m using G Loomis rods. Um, I’ve got the older pro ones for all my intermediate stuff and my sinking lines. It’s just a little bit stiffer rod in my opinion than the NRX. And  it gives us a little bit more lifting power. I find clients can actually cast the, uh, the intermediate, the heavy intermediate and the, uh, the sinking lines. And I told you guys wrong. I think this is actually the ankle. She’s textured, he’s got the smooth on the other rod. Excellent. Either or is excellent. But what I’ve done here is I’ve pulled this all the way back. I’m gonna look and see which line this is here. S a amplitude. Yup. Yup. So this is the texture. This is 11 way, but I’ve pulled this all the way back, pulling the leader through. Now we’ve got to get this over all the leaders. Gonna talk about fly leaders down the road. I’ve had a lot of people ask me how I like to rig, uh, my fly leaders for, for the coast here. But so I’m going to take the welded loop. Okay. We’re going to attach it directly to fly line to start.

Oh yeah, this is going to be nice. Now one of the things we want to really make sure of, okay is that when we do this, when we loop this over, okay, we want to make sure that we don’t bring this across and it comes off the fly line and cinches on itself.

I was told specifically to make sure that didn’t happen. Now that’s, that’s proper way to actually, you know, put a line on a fly line. But they wanted me to really make sure that, um, this is going to be a 50 pound connection is what he’s tested these at. And what this will do is still go through the guides really well. I’m going to send this down just using a big hook and a popper or  just a big hook.

Cinch that down and that’s, that’s gonna make a really good connection. Now there is a little bit of a lump there or not, but that’s going to go through the guides. I’ll test that to make sure, but that should go through the guides. No problem. Now we’re going to go back and we’re going to use our Vemone with our braid and we’re actually gonna go back through. Okay, the loop and then we’re going to pull our fly line back through, which will take me a second. Probably should have stretches out in the yard, would have made it a little easier, but we’re going to pull that back through. And this is the first rod I put this on. He, uh, Josh sent me three of these to use and um, I haven’t been out doing a whole lot. You know, we’ve caught some big bull reds recently on fly, uh, out offshore and stuff, but I just didn’t have these switched out yet and they were on intermediate. But we’re going to do the same thing here. What we don’t want to happen, and it’s tough for everybody to see this. I know, but we don’t want the braid to come over and we get a connection like that. We want to make sure that the braid connects and it almost makes a figure eight if everybody can see that one, that it’d be a figure eight. We don’t want it to loop over like it’s doing right there. We want it to come across and do a figure eight on there. And then when we pull that down, we want it to cinch down like that.

And that’s going to be our connection now. So now we’re not going to have any issues with that cutting into the core of that fly line. So just a little tip, these aren’t available yet, but we’ll see how they work. I’m going to let you guys know, um, that should help us save these fall lines. But, uh, stay tuned. Don’t forget to like the post down below. If gang comments or questions, please ask and, uh, follow us on Instagram at, at Southeastern angling and our website, All right guys, tight lines.