Glossary Of Terms

Welcome to our Glossary. This page serves as our guide and place were we can describe common terms and common questions you may come across fly fishing and in the outdoors.

Do you have a term or question you want defined? Email us what it is and we will add it.





Arbor - This describes the diameter of the fly reel. If the reel is considered to be large arbor it will take significantly less time to reel in the line because you are turning it less revolutions. A fly reel with small arbor will take more revolutions to reel in the line, but be physically smaller. There is no right or wrong type, but large arbor is genuinely preferred. Small arbors are great for lightweight rigs. 

Are waders necessary for fly fishing? No. They can definitely help, but are not necessary. Waders simply just allow you to access different parts of the river or water by walking into the water and moving off the shore. 


Backing - Backing is fishing line material that is attached to the fly reel, and then the fly line is attached to the end of the backing. Backing is a line that is made from either braided Dacron or Gel Spun. The purpose of backing is to extend the amount of line you have on the reel beyond the length of the fly line. If you hook a fish, and it runs (takes of swimming) away from you, then you may run out of fly line on your reel. The backing gives the fish extra length to run. Then once the fish stops or wears out, you can start to reel it in. Backing is usually made in 20 or 30 lb tensile (breaking) strength. However, GSP (gel spun backing) usually comes in 45 or 50 lb. The advantage of gel spun backing is that it is much thinner that Dacron backing and you can therefore get more line on your reel before you attach a fly line to it. For example, 50 lb gel spun is about the same diameter as 20 lb Dacron. So you can get the same amount of backing on the reel, but with a much higher breaking strength. Alternatively, 30 lb Dacron is thicker than 20 lb Dacron and so you can’t get as much of it on the fly reel and still leave room for the fly line.



Dry Fly - A fly that is meant to be fished on the surface of the water and imitate bug species that would be found in such locations. Typically these are bugs that have begun their hatch at the bottom of the river and have now reached their final (adult) stage. These flies are usually made of materials that are very buoyant.

DSLR - DSLR stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex. Basically, what this is telling you is that you have a 35mm digital camera that the lens can be removed and will reveal a mirror inside of the camera. Some cameras today remove this mirror and just have the sensor there. These cameras are called mirrorless cameras. 



Fly fishing: Which hand to retrieve? This is a very common question. Typically, most of the reels we spool are left hand retrieve, or left hand winding. You do have a choice though. There are people out there that just prefer to reel with their dominate hand. Which one is more comfortable to you? If you don't like it you can always change your retrieve and which hand you use.







Leader - A leader is a type of fishing line that attaches to the end of the fly line. Then you can either attach the fly to the end of the leader, or attach tippet to the end of the leader, and then the fly to the end of the tippet. Leaders are usually made of nylon or fluorocarbon and are tapered - meaning they are thicker on one end than the other. The thick end attaches to the fly line. Leaders come in different lengths - ie. 7 ½’, 9’, 12’, 15’. The also come in different sizes. The size is noted as an ‘X’ rating. For example, a 5X leader means that the size of the leader at its smallest end is 5X. 5X refers to the tensile, or breaking strength, of the line.



Mend (mending) - The act of correcting your line on the water to ensure a dead drift. 



Nymph - The immature stage of some insects. Also a term used to describe the fly used to imitate insects in their nymph stage of life cycle. In fly fishing, these are typically subsurface fly pattersn meant to be fished either on the bottom of the water column or close to it.







Tenkara - Tenkara fly fishing is a type of fly fishing that originated from Japan. What makes it appealing is the simplicity of it. The only things you need to use it are a Tenkara fly rod, fly line & a fly. No reel is necessary for this style of fishing. Another appeal is how small and compact the rods are. Typically they will compact down to 1 or 2 feet, perfect for taking it with you backpacking or even on your bike! Check out Tenkara fly fishing today and you will see why so many people are trying it. 

Tippet - Tippet is a type of fishing line that attaches to the end of a leader. The leader is attached to the fly line. The size of the tippet used depends on the size of the leader being attached to. For example, if you want to extend the length of a 5X leader, then you might use 6X tippet to tie to the end of the leader. That way you are still tapering the size down. Alternatively, if you have been using a 5X leader for a while and had to cut it down as you change out flies periodically, you may want to just get the leader back to its original length. In that case you would use 5X tippet. The larger the ‘X’ size means the smaller, or lighter, the tippet. Tippet sizes range from 0X - 8X, and then pound strength ratings such as 8 lb, 10 lb, 12 lb, etc . . . Those pound ratings refer to the tensile, or breaking, strength of the line. Tippet is made from either nylon or fluorocarbon.

360 Degree Images - We use a system for our images here that creates a full 360 degree photograph of an item. We use this technology to provide much more visual details on an item which will also give them a better experience. Currently we just have these images on some of our items, but we will be constantly adding more and more of these images in the future. 




Who owns Redington fly fishing? Redington is owned by Farbank Enterprises with currently also owns RIO and Sage fly fishing. 

Who owns Sage fly fishing? Sage is owned by Farbank Enterprises with currently also owns RIO and Redignton fly fishing. 

What does fly fishing mean? Fly fishing means to use a fly as your bait to catch fish as opposed to artificial bait or lures. Since the fly is most often very light or weightless, if fly fishing you have to use other methods to get your line out in the water. Those other methods include the weight of the fly line, strength or weight of the rod and casting techniques.