How Long Does Fishing Line Last


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?

  • Fishing line lasts about 1-2 yrs. (moderate use)
  • Monofilament: 1-2 yrs. (stored well)
  • Fluorocarbon: Lasts 3-5 yrs. (stored well)
  • Braided line: 5-10 yrs. (stored well)
  • Lifespan varies on usage/storage
  • Inspection helps detect signs of wear
  • Dispose of old line responsibly
  • Replace line yearly (best performance)

Spooled mono & fluoro lines become brittle over time & weaken when exposed to saltwater, heat, & UV rays. Store in a cool dark environment with low humidity & no direct sunlight. 

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.

Introduction:

Fishing line serves as a crucial link between anglers and fish, but its lifespan and performance can vary depending on several factors. Understanding the longevity of fishing line is essential for maintaining equipment and ensuring successful fishing outings. Let’s delve into the factors that influence how long fishing line lasts and how anglers can maximize its lifespan for optimal performance on the water.

How Long Does Fishing Line Last

The lifespan of a fishing line varies depending on several factors such as usage frequency, environmental conditions, and type of line. Generally, monofilament lines can last around one to two years if stored properly and used moderately.

Fluorocarbon lines tend to have a longer lifespan, typically up to three or more years. However, braided lines have the longest lifespan, often lasting five years or more with proper care. Inspect your fishing line regularly for signs of wear, such as fraying or discoloration, and replace it when necessary to ensure optimal performance and prevent breakage while fishing.

Mono and fluoro lines become brittle over time and weaken, especially when 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 lasts depends on how well you take care of it. Braided fishing line has the longest shelf life and should last many years. The Fluorocarbon lines and monofilament lines have good shelf life again how long it lasts depends on how well you take care of them.

  1. 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. Fluorocarbon lines are strong with many advantages, but there are some disadvantages that you need to be aware of. One particular issue you have heard about regarding any fishing line is how long it lasts.

So if you’re using fluorocarbon, you may be interested in knowing how long they last and how frequently should they be replaced. The shelf life of fluorocarbon fishing lines depends on a few factors. The first is the type of material the line is made from. Fluorocarbon lines are usually made from either polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Both of these materials are relatively stable, but PVDF is more prone to UV degradation than PTFE. The second factor that affects the shelf life of the fluorocarbon fishing line is how it’s stored. Fluorocarbon lines should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to avoid UV damage. If possible, store the lines in an airtight container that will protect them from dust and dirt.

  1. Braided fishing lines, several strands of synthetic fibers are woven together. The result is a thin line with less stretch and good abrasion resistance. It is the type that will outlast any of the other types of fishing lines. A braided can last a long period on your fishing reel. If you don’t have a lot of braids left on the reel. This is a good time to replace it with a new one. Braided Line could almost last a lifetime with a careful watch and some luck.
  2. Monofilament fishing line is very cheap and good for sensitivity. This line can be quite durable but does place the lowest for strength. Mono means one, and so monofilament fishing line is 1 continuous strand of line. It is a synthetic fiber, often made of nylon. Mono as we call it, will stretch before its breaking point. Monofilament lines won’t last as long as the other types mentioned, and they tend to have plenty of problems with UV light

If you see the fishing line start 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 recommend putting a new line on your reel:

  • The line is frayed
  • You don’t have enough lines left on your spool

Always before 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!

Mono-Fluorocarbon Line-Braided-Line on Fishing Reels Shelf Life

The shelf life of a fishing line, whether it’s monofilament, fluorocarbon, or braided, can vary based on storage conditions. Monofilament lines typically have a shelf life of about 3 to 5 years when stored properly, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.

Fluorocarbon lines generally have a longer shelf life, often lasting up to 5 to 7 years under the same conditions. Braided lines tend to be the most durable, with a shelf life of 5 to 10 years if stored correctly. However, it’s essential to regularly inspect the fishing line for any signs of damage or degradation, regardless of its type or shelf life, and replace it if necessary to ensure optimal performance while fishing.

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 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 provide 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.

Extreme heat may also cause the fishing lines 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! 

  1. Monofilament Line:
    • Shelf Life: Typically 3 to 5 years.
    • Storage: Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.
    • Inspection: Regularly check for signs of wear, such as abrasions or brittleness.
  2. Fluorocarbon Line:
    • Shelf Life: Generally 5 to 7 years.
    • Storage: Keep in a cool, dark place away from heat and humidity.
    • Inspection: Periodically inspect for any signs of damage, such as nicks or weakening.
  3. Braided Line:
    • Shelf Life: Often 5 to 10 years.
    • Storage: Store in a dry, cool area away from sunlight and moisture.
    • Inspection: Check for fraying or abrasions, especially if stored on a reel for an extended period.

Regardless of the type of fishing line, it’s crucial to replace it if there are any signs of deterioration or damage to ensure a successful fishing experience and avoid potential line breakage.

The life span of fluorocarbon is very similar to monofilament, just 3 – 4 times stronger. The same rules apply to care and maintenance. Even though it is stronger, there is a reason it is mostly used for the leader which is usually constantly changed out so longevity isn’t much of an issue. Fluorocarbon fishing line is also made up of one, continuous strand of line, but is composed of polyvinylidene fluoride, which makes it stronger than monofilament. However, fluorocarbon is very stiff and good for strength, but the added memory doesn’t allow it to wrap around reels properly.

Braided Fishing Line Shelf Life

The shelf life of braided fishing lines is generally longer compared to monofilament and fluorocarbon lines, often lasting 5 to 10 years if stored properly. Braided lines are more resistant to UV radiation, moisture, and temperature fluctuations, which contributes to their extended shelf life.

Proper storage is key to maintaining the integrity of the braided line over time. It’s recommended to store braided fishing lines in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture. Regular inspections for any signs of wear or damage, such as fraying or weakening, are essential to ensure the line’s reliability and effectiveness while fishing.

Made up of several strands of fiber woven together, the braided line is well known for its strength. The braided line is constructed out of a man-made fiber that feels very much like fabric. It can hold much more weight than mono or fluorocarbon fishing lines and does not stretch. It is also a much skinnier line, which allows for more length on your reel.

You’ll have a thinner but stronger line, meaning that you’ll be able to cast farther and increase the yard capacity on your spool. With braid you can use a smaller reel, making the tackle lighter and more comfortable.

A braided fishing line can last up to 10 years or much longer, depending on what type of abuse you put it through. If the Braided line is stored away properly then it has an indefinite shelf life. It’s more expensive than the mono and fluorocarbon line, but you’ll save money in the long run.

If you want to double your braided lines’ life span, you can simply flip it on the reel. Any tackle shop can do this for you or you can do it yourself. Transfer the line onto any object or a spare reel if you have one, then again onto another object or reel. Now when you spool it back onto your reel, your line will be ready to go.

The hotter and saltier the water, the quicker the Braid fishing line will break down, have issues, and go bad. This is due to the abrasive nature of the weather and water conditions. If a braid line is exposed to UV rays for an extended period, this will also degrade the line. My advice it will break, so change the fishing line in the time it will break.

Additionally, proper knot tying on the fishing line, avoiding over-casting, and regular washing and drying the fishing line are essential tips to help make a braid line last longer. Lastly, storing the line dry in properly sealed airtight bags or containers after use is also important for long-term performance and storage life.

 

How to Test if Fishing Line is Still Good

It’s easy to test fishing lines and 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 test your stored tackle for damage 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!

Testing if fishing line is still in good condition is essential for ensuring a successful and safe fishing experience. Here’s how you can test it:

  1. Visual Inspection: Examine the line visually for any signs of damage, such as fraying, nicks, or abrasions. Look for discoloration or any changes in texture, which could indicate UV damage or degradation.
  2. Feel Test: Run the line through your fingers to feel for any abnormalities. Check for rough spots, which could indicate wear or weak points in the line. The smooth, consistent texture is a sign of a healthy line.
  3. Stretch Test: Hold the line firmly between your hands and gently pull it to test its elasticity. A good line should have some stretch without easily breaking. However, if it feels brittle or excessively stretches without returning to its original shape, it may be compromised.
  4. Knot Test: Tie a simple knot with the line and carefully tighten it. Inspect the knot for any signs of slipping or weakness. If the line easily slips or the knot shows signs of damage, it may be time to replace the line.
  5. Water Test: Submerge a section of the line in water and observe if it absorbs water. Dry or cracked lines may absorb water, affecting their buoyancy and strength.
  6. Line Memory Test: Straighten out a section of the line and observe if it retains any coils or memory from being stored on a reel. A line with excessive memory may not cast smoothly or perform well in fishing situations.

By performing these tests regularly, anglers can ensure that their fishing line is in good condition, reducing the risk of line failures and improving their chances of success while fishing.

You can always change to a new fishing line and box off the Old fishing line to Berkley Recycling Center and purchase a new line to reline your fishing reels.

Nylon fishing lines become brittle with age due to drying out. Nylon fishing parts and fishing lines 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 to keep them from going bad.

If your line has not been damaged by ultraviolet rays or too much sunshine, you can rejuvenate the nylon mono line by putting it in boiling water right on the spool for a few minutes.

You can test 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 but use it on the monofilament line.

When in doubt, swap the old line for some new line every season, especially when ocean fishing, and store the new line in cool dark storage 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 that will break when you snap that big catch.

Weak knot strength, abrasions, and discoloration are all damage signs that your fishing has issues. The line may break and shouldn’t be used, and needs to be replaced before heading out fishing.

Conclusion:

Most fishermen keep fishing equipment in their garage or 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. When stored properly:

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

Spooled mono & fluoro lines become brittle over time & weaken when exposed to saltwater, heat, & UV rays. Store in a cool dark environment with low humidity & no direct sunlight.

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.

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 100’s faster than traditional monofilament & fluorocarbon fishing line creating much less of a threat to wildlife & environment .…………………………………………….. Read more

 JimGalloway Author/Editor

References:

Fish Tackly-How Long Does Each Type of Line Last In Storage?

FAQ’s

  1. How often should I replace my fishing line?  It’s recommended to replace your fishing line at least once a year, or more frequently if you fish frequently or notice signs of wear. Inspect your line regularly for any damage or weakening, and replace it if necessary to ensure optimal performance.
  2. What is the difference between monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braided fishing line?  Monofilament line is made from a single strand of nylon and is known for its stretch and buoyancy. The Fluorocarbon line is more dense and virtually invisible underwater, making it suitable for stealthy presentations. The braided line is composed of multiple strands woven together and offers high strength and sensitivity.
  3. How do I choose the right fishing line for my needs?  Consider factors such as the type of fish you’re targeting, fishing conditions, and personal preferences. Monofilament is versatile and suitable for various fishing techniques, fluorocarbon is ideal for clear water and finesse presentations, while braided line is great for heavy cover and strong hooksets.
  4. How do I store fishing lines to prolong their lifespan?  Store fishing line in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. Avoid storing it near chemicals or other substances that could degrade the line. Use line spools or storage containers to prevent tangles and damage.
  5. How can I prevent fishing line from tangling or forming knots?  Ensure that your fishing reel is properly spooled with line and that the line is loaded evenly. Avoid overfilling the spool, as this can cause line twists and tangles. Use quality knots and maintain proper tension while spooling the line onto the reel.
  6. What should I do with the old fishing line?  Dispose of old fishing lines properly to prevent harm to wildlife and the environment. Many fishing stores and recycling centers accept old fishing lines for recycling. Alternatively, cut the line into small pieces and place it in a sealed container before disposing of it in the trash.

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