Fly Line to Backing Knot: Albright Knot Steps

By Debbie Hanson

Jul 24, 2018

Learn to tie fly line to backing knot called the Albright Knot. Follow simple steps to attach your fly line to your backing, get on the water, start fly fishing

If you are looking for a strong fly line to backing knot, the Albright Knot is one of the best knots you can use when fly fishing. This fishing knot is ideal for joining two lines of different materials or diameters together.

Before you learn how to tie an Albright Knot to use as your fly line to backing knot, it may help to have an understanding of what fly line backing is. Backing is the first section of Dacron line that you will tie onto your fly reel using a fly line backing to reel knot. Once you have the backing affixed to your reel, you will use a backing line to fly line knot like the Albright Knot.

Steps to Tying an Albright Knot 

Developed by legendary Florida Keys tarpon guide Jimmy Albright, the Albright Knot has a number of uses in saltwater fly fishing. Perhaps the most common use of this knot; however, is to attach fly line to backing.

Follow these six easy steps to tie your fly line onto your backing using an Albright Knot.

  1. Unwind your fly line from the spool it came on. Start by forming a loop in the fly line with your left thumb and forefinger. From the right, insert about 10 inches of the backing through the fly line loop. Feed the tag end of the backing downward through the loop.
  2. Hold the loop together while bringing the tag end back over the loop.
  3. Make ten to twelve wraps from left to right, wrapping around all three strands and taking care to place the wraps neatly next to each other. Feed the tag end out of the loop in the same direction that it entered in.
  4. Slowly pull on the loop to tighten while sliding the wraps toward the loop's end. Tighten the loop further by pulling on both the standing line (your fly line) and tag end (your backing), making sure that the wraps do not go past the end of the loop.
  5. After moving the coils to the end, pull the small tag end to keep the coils in place. Pull on the small standing part, and then pull the small tag end again to fully tighten.
  6. (Optional) To further secure this knot, instead of trimming the tag end, you can form a three turn half-hitch and tighten it by pulling in the direction of the loop.
  7. Test your fly line to backing knot, and then trim the tag end.

Do you need to refresh your memory on how to attach fly line backing to the arbor of your reel? If so, you can watch a quick video on how to tie a fly line backing to reel knot, known as the Arbor Knot.

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.