IGFA (International Game Fishing Association) Rules Explained

Top-shots And Backing

To gain more line-capacity, to reduce stretch, and to reduce water-friction by using a much thinner diameter, anglers sometimes use gel-spun polyethylene (Spectra) braid or Dacron as backing on their reels beneath a ‘top-shot’ of nylon monofilament. This has brought up the question of IGFA compliance when using the application of multiple lines as a mainline on one reel.

QUESTION:

Top-shots and Backing

I want to use a 30lb monofilament top-shot over 30lb Spectra backing. I’ve had the monofilament pre-tested at IGFA and expect it to break well within the 30lb category. Is this acceptable for IGFA records?

 

ANSWER:

IGFA rules state that if backing is attached to the top-shot so that it is capable of leaving the spool, the catch will be considered under the heavier of the two lines. You indicated you want to use 30lb Spectra backing, which has a very high probability of breaking in the 50lb or greater category. If this were the case, your catch would not be placed in the 30lb category.

QUESTION:

What if my top-shot is sufficiently long that the backing never leaves the reel?

ANSWER:

As long as the two lines are joined so that it is possible for the backing to leave the reel, your catch will be placed under the heavier of the two lines.

QUESTION:

What can I do if I simply want to use backing as a spool-filler so that I don’t need to use an excessively-long length of light line to fill the spool?

ANSWER:

Tape over your backing and then tie your top-shot to it as you would if tying it directly to the spool. Your catch will now be considered under the breaking strength of your top-shot because there is no way that backing can physically leave the reel.

IGFA Rule Book: Rules Explained:

Top-shots And Backing

Answer supplied by: Jason Schratwieser
Position:
IGFA Rules

This question ran in ISSUE 78 of BlueWater magazine: APR / MAY 2010

For the complete feature, including all photos and information captions, you can purchase back-issues here

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