Operating fly fishing lodges in remote locations around the world means we spend a fair amount of time loading reels and rigging gear, lots of gear, in the middle of nowhere. There aren’t any fly shops with fancy line machine’s in the bush, so like many of you, most of the time we do it the old fashion way.. By hand!
Rigging backing, running line, or fly line without a buddy to hold the spool can be frustrating. Most of the time we end up with some sort of ball point pen through a spool held between our knees – That works fine when loading up a fly line, but 250 yards of backing, 100 feet of running line, and a skagit head.. No thanks.
That’s why we were enlightened (and a little embarrassed we hadn’t thought of it first) when we saw Alaska West guide, Whitney Gould, using the post of her tying vise to hold spools of line to be rigged up. It works great, especially if you tie on a vise with a c-clamp. You can even attach the c-clamp to the backrest of a chair (or any vertical object) and keep your backing, running line, or fly line spool in line with your reel as you reel away!