Most fishermen keep fishing equipment in their garage or in the back of a pickup truck so that they’re handy and easily accessible just in case the weather breaks and the urge to get your line wet comes but the fishing line has a shelf life whether it’s on the reel or stored away and at today’s prices, can get quite expensive and shouldn’t be wasted. How long does fishing line last?
- Spooled mono & fluoro line become brittle over time & weaken when exposed to saltwater, heat, & UV rays.
- Pro anglers recommend changing it out every 6 mon-1yr.
- Braided Line can last 2x as long
- Stored & spooled lines should be checked for wear/fraying
- Properly stored Braided line can last up to 10 yrs.
When it comes to replacing your fishing line, the best practice is to change it out often. When you notice any type of visible wear or damage, it’s time to replace it. Typical signs include fraying, cracking, excessive twisting, discoloration, and line breaking.
How Long Does Fishing Line Last
Mono and fluoro lines become brittle over time and weaken especially when they’re exposed to saltwater and UV rays. Most people like myself recommend changing it out at least once every 6 months to 1 year.
How long does fishing line last depends on how well you take care of it. Braided fishing line has the longest shelf life and should last many years. Fluorocarbon line and monofilament line have good shelf life again how long it last depends on how well you take care of it.
- Fluorocarbon fishing line is a preferred fishing line for anglers as it doesn’t stretch and pull out of shape. The line is resistant to most abrasions, and it has low visibility.
- Braided fishing lines, several strands of synthetic fibers are woven together. The result is a thin line with less stretch and good abrasions resistance. It is the type that will outlast any of the other types.
- Monofilament fishing line is very cheap and good for sensitivity. This line can be quite durable but does place the lowest for strength. Monofilament line won’t last as long as the other types mentioned, and it tends to have plenty of problems with UV light
If you see the fishing line starts to coil, then go ahead and replace it. For a braided line, it will last longer there’s no reason to replace it within a year and as long as 2 years.
Since the braided line is so strong and durable, you usually won’t need to change it out more than every couple of years. However, there are two reasons why I definitely recommend putting a new line on your reel:
- The line is frayed
- You don’t have enough lines left on your spool
Always prior to spooling up with mono and fluorocarbon fishing lines simply leave your line submerged in a bucket of warm water. This will allow the water to soak into the line helping not only when you come to wind the line on but also allowing the line to bed down properly on your spool.
You may want to try doing this while spooling!
Monofilament Line and Fluorocarbon Line Shelf Life
Over time, exposure to moisture, sunlight, and seasonal temperature swings can degrade monofilament and fluorocarbon. Some anglers will recommend storing Monofilament or Fluorocarbon fishing lines in cold temperatures. If you have a high-quality braided line with a 10-year shelf life, for the best results, you should probably replace it after 7 to 8 years.
Storing for long periods of time in between seasons can also lead to the line becoming weakened and having to be replaced. To extend the life of a fishing line, it is best to store it in its original packaging until it needs to be used, and after each fishing trip, the line should be dried off, untangled, and spooled onto a line spool properly.
The cold, dark, humidity-free environment can add shelf life and provides a stable, dry climate that can keep a spool of line or fly tippet fresh indefinitely. New brands of fishing lines have UV inhibitors, which help the line resist damage from the sun’s rays, allowing it to remain usable for longer periods of time.
Extreme heat may also cause fishing line to degrade faster than they normally would. Therefore, not only should it be kept in a dry and dark place, but in a cool place as well. Some people even store their fishing lines inside freezers and refrigerators. Realistically, how long your fishing line lasts is going to depend on the type of fishing line as well as the quality. Sometimes it works to pay a little bit more!
How to Test if Fishing Line is Still Good
It’s easy to diagnose overexposure to sunlight, at least on monofilament lines. Even on thin clear variations of this line, you’ll be able to spot faded patches where UV rays have sunbleached the line. Take the time to review your equipment before going fishing for the first time this year, so you won’t spend the rest of the season regretting the one that got away!
Nylon fishing line becomes brittle with age due to drying out. In fact, nylon parts we used in a manufacturing process could be rejuvenated by placing them in boiling water or simply storing them in a plastic bag with a little water added to the bag.
If your line has not been damaged by ultraviolet rays or too much sunshine you can rejuvenate nylon monofilament by putting it in boiling water right on the spool for a few minutes.
You can verify this by pulling the old dry line to see how much it stretches before it breaks. After boiling you will find a certain amount of elasticity and a lot of strength has been gained. I don’t think this will work with the fluorocarbon line.
When in doubt swap the old line for some new line every season especially when ocean fishing and store new line in cool dark areas absent from UV light. Always check your line for strength before heading out, as you don’t want to be stuck with a weak fishing line right when you snap that big catch.
Weak knot strength, abrasions, and discoloration are all signs that your fishing line shouldn’t be used and needs to be replaced before heading out fishing.