Biodegradable Fishing Line

How many times have you tangled your feet on old fishing line left on the beach or off the edge of a lake or sadly pulled a birdnest in from the water after a deep cast that was cut or lost God only knows when because the fishing line doesn’t break down but now there is a solution to this pollution. What is a Biodegradable Fishing line?

Biodegradable fishing line is an alternative to the standard nylon-based line made from a completely biodegradable polymer engineered to look and work the same but degrades 100X faster than traditional monofilament & fluorocarbon fishing line creating much less of a threat to wildlife & environment.

Unwanted fishing lines can add up over the years, creating plastic pollution that can threaten birds, turtles, and fish. It’s hard to imagine that old fishing line can create a dangerous scenario but sport fishermen can and do care about the environment and much can be done to offset this problem in coming years.


Biodegradable Fishing Line


Although there are alternatives to partially recover and reuse monofilament fishing lines, the process is not widely used. As it accumulates in the environment, discarded fishing line entangles and traps our wildlife.

Monofilament Fishing lines are manufactured from a type of plastic that is a mixture of Nylon-based polymers.  but like with any plastic they tend to break down when exposed to heat and sunlight. Monofilament lines can also absorb H2O which is another factor to causes these lines to break down. These lines are able to absorb water then the rate at which these lines degrade is increased when they are used in saltwater.

Fluorocarbon Fishing-lines can take up to 4,000 years to biodegrade. Unbelievable! So, the next time you’re changing leaders, replacing a tippet, or snipping off a tag end, please be weary of where your scraps end up. Known for its ability to refract light and become nearly invisible underwater this line is a popular choice for anglers. It is composed of a polymer commonly known as PVDF

Most fishing lines won’t dissolve in water. It’s a fact that makes for strong lines but is a hazard to the environment. Chances are that they have a place for you to recycle it or they can recommend some biodegradable fishing line.

You can trade your fishing line for something that will degrade over time. Produced from thick fluorocarbon polymers. These materials are non-biodegradable and non-recyclable and they, therefore, cause water pollution.

Braid Fishing line-This is one of the oldest fishing lines. They were initially made from natural fibers such as cotton, silk, and linen. Known for its strength the braided line or its hybrid form, the fused line, is the top choice. This low-stretch line gets its strength from a braided core of thermoplastic called polyethylene.


What is Biodegradable Fishing Line and Gear Made Of



Bioline is a new biodegradable fishing line, that has been available to anglers in Australia now for 10 months, and reports from users have been all positive.  For the first time, recreational fishers in Australia can choose a fishing line that can reduce their environmental footprint without compromising on quality or performance.

A biodegradable fishing line is made from a material called polylactic acid. I have not used it yet but plan to. As far as being strong enough for use as fishing, I think the jury is out. But because it is biodegradable, and will break down quickly after being disposed of the positives could outweigh the negatives.

Biodegradable fishing line can break down in as little as 3 months. Nylon monofilaments remain for 600 years, fluorocarbon longer, and Spectra and Dyneema line even longer.

The material is a mixture of Nylon-based polymers. Fluorocarbon: Known for its ability to refract light and become nearly invisible underwater this line is a popular choice. It is composed of a polymer commonly known as PVDF.


What Fishing Lines are Biodegradable



Bioline Biofilament
Bioline Biofilament

Bioline is an ecologically friendly biofilament fishing line that’s designed out of 100% biodegradable polymers. Unlike standard monofilament lines, Bioline will break down significantly faster with the combination of carbon dioxide, water, and biomass.

The process of degradation begins at the surface of the line itself as microorganisms break down and digest Bioline with the aid of sunlight and moisture. Bioline breaks down whether it’s under the water’s surface or above.


When spooled onto a reel, it acts just like a normal fishing line, with its UV resistance meaning no loss of breaking strain on the reel during the normal nylon working life of 12 months.  Best of all, Bioline retails at a price competitive with traditional nylon monofilaments and is cheaper than braid and fluorocarbon lines.

Bioline biofilament fishing line biodegrades in the environment in five years. Used properly, this is the only characteristic you’ll never notice. What you will notice is superior casting distance and exceptional knot strength, along with outstanding UV and abrasion resistance.

Once spooled on a reel, the line will retain 100% of its strength for a period of 10 to 12 months, with no special handling. Bioline Biofilament Pony spool lo-vis clear biodegradable fishing line is available in 4lb, 6lb, 8lb, 10lb, 12lb, and 20lb test in 210-yard spools. Available here on Amazon 


Fishing Line Recycling for Sustainable Fishing


Even if you don’t have a biodegradable line, you can take steps to properly dispose of your traditional line to reduce your impact on the environment. For example, many bait shops, selling gear, fishing access points, piers, and other spots have designated collection bins for discarded monofilament and fluorocarbon fishing lines.

Look for green and white recycling receptacles on piers, ramps bridges, and marinas. Many bait and tackle shops participate and also have recycling receptacles available for mono-filament fishing lines.

There are companies like Berkley that are collecting old fishing lines and making spooled lines that can be purchased with fishing gear called tuf-line biodegradable fishing lines and eco-friendly fishing lures.

Berkley has a long history of eco-friendly fishing, biodegradable monofilament biodegradable fishing, promoting sustainable fishing, and facilitating fishing line recycling and is in the process of building a new program to lead this effort worldwide. They are expanding the program to involve more states and federal agencies in fishing line recycling.

Public response to Berkley’s biodegradable fishing lines, innovative product line, and spool recycling program has been remarkable. Since 1990, the Berkley Conservation Institute, with the help of anglers everywhere, has recycled more than 9 million miles worth of fishing lines. That’s enough biodegradable fishing line to fill two fishing reels for every angler in America.


How Long Does Fishing Line Last?

Monofilament line has an average life of 2-3 yrs
Fluorocarbon lines can last 5-7 yrs
Braided line can last up to 10 yrs +

Spooled mono & fluoro lines become brittle over time & weaken when exposed to saltwater, heat, & UV rays. Store in a cool ..………………………………… Read more



BoatUS Foundation’s Fishing Line Recycling Program

With grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the NOAA’s Marine Debris Program. Since then, BoatUS helped volunteers build more than 13,000 recycling bins for recreational fishing gear. These bins have enabled anglers across the country to safely dispose of more than 20,000 miles (and counting) of fishing line.

When the recycling bin is full, separate any trash and send the collected line to Berkley Conservation for processing at this address:
Berkley Recycling
1900 18th Street
Spirit Lake, Iowa 51360

Let’s Go!


Does Fishing Line Color Matter?

Yes-salt & freshwater absorb different wavelengths of light at certain depths. Longer waves like red are first to be absorbed, then orange & yellow. Fishing lines use those colors along with Clear, Green, or Blue to blend in the backdrop where fish live, giving fish less chance of seeing the line .……………………………………………. Read more


JimGalloway Author/Editor



Recent Posts

link to Fish Ladder

Fish Ladder

In the United States, more than 2 million dams and other barriers block fish from migrating upstream to spawn as a result, many fish populations have declined. For example, Atlantic salmon used to be...