Line Volume

I have some friends who are interested in small reels. This fits well with my machining resources, as my lathe and mill are quite small (Sherline). So I am working on a new design that can be made in several sizes.
An initial step in the design is deciding spool size. For this, refer to an earlier post (19 Feb 2012) wherein I developed a formula for spool volume to be allowed for various sizes of “weight forward, floating” lines. The formula is
V = 0.28 * W + 1.42
where V is volume in cubic inches and W is the line weight (e.g., 5 for WF5F). Additional volume for backing is added separately at 1.1 cubic inches per 100 yards.
Now I am not claiming that this is an exact science; there are individual preferences about how full a spool should be, and some variation between line manufacturers and models. The formula is just my guide, and so far I am satisfied with it.

So here is my initial decision on spool sizes.
scan0001
Small amounts of backing are considered here. I am still waiting for the trout that takes me to the backing, but I do not like to tie the fly line directly to the spool.

I am wading (figuratively) into new territory in considering 0, 1, 2 weight lines and this makes me uncomfortable. To build confidence, I decided to measure the volume of a small line.
Here are two measurement spools; one is 1.70 cubic inches for a WF1F and the other is 2.54 cubic inches for WF4F (zero backing in both cases).
IMG_4045
I bought a new WF1F and borrowed the WF4F from one of the reels that I use. The WF1F is an Orvis “Wonderline Generation 3” and the WF4F is of obscure origin.

Here are the spools with line wound on.
IMG_4046
The WF1F took up 1.26 cubic inches and the WF4F took 1.61 cubic inches. The spool with 4 weight has the amount of fullness that I prefer. The 1 weight spool seems to me a little too full, but many people would not agree. I was surprised at how large the WF1F line is.

Rather than revise due to this new information, I am going the leave the design table as it is. If I ever want to fish a 1 weight line, I will make a “size 2” reel for it. One of my friends has a source for silk lines, and may want the “size 0” reel for a 1 weight silk line.

Update (same day): Finished with the post, then installed the WF4F and only 3 yards backing on the smaller of my “Fixed Spindle” reels, which has a spool volume of 2.46 cubic inches.
IMG_4050
Looks to me like a good fit. Others would use more backing. I originally promoted this as a reel for WF3F.

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