Imagine this. You have patiently waited for many days to go for a day of angling. That day has finally arrived. You are on a boat patiently waiting for hours, when finally you feel a strong tugging at your rod.
It feels heavy and big as you prepare to do battle. As you begin to reel it in, it pulls strongly, indicating that this will indeed be one of those picture-worthy catches. Suddenly the pulling abruptly stops, and your rod becomes weightless.
That dreaded feeling begins to sink in as you realize something absurd just happened. Even as you stay briefly in a moment of denial, you realize that the fishing line has failed! Now is the worst time to ask yourself; does fishing line go bad?
How Long Does Fishing Line Last?
This is a question any sensible angler should be asking, and the answer is – It depends. Material is one of the most important factors that determine a fishing line’s integrity. There are several currently available. (Read How to Tie Fishing Line)
This type of fishing line is made of one continuous filament of nylon. Hence the name monofilament. There are varieties of nylon used that determine the fishing line’s resistance to abrasion, stretch limits, and strength.
This is a rather inexpensive option, but that does not necessarily mean it is not durable or of inferior quality. This fishing line stretches first before reaching the breaking point—many fishing enthusiasts like it can take abrupt jerks and can last a whole season.
The cons of monofilament are that it can fail when wet. Exposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun can also weaken it.
A fluorocarbon line is also a single continuous strand. Still, it differs in material as it is made of polyvinylidene fluoride. The advantage of this material is it hard to see in the water. This invisible property has endeared it to anglers.
Fluorocarbon lines can take exposure to ultraviolet rays, and they are more resistant to abrasion than a monofilament line.
A major con is that this line has a tendency to retain the bends and curls, which is not desirable in a fishing line.
As the name says, a braided line is comprised of several strands of synthetic fiber woven together. This provides superior strength and weight compared to the monofilament and fluorocarbon lines. Braided, this line is skinny and has no tendency to retain bends and curls.
The main con of braided lines is they have no give or stretch and have inferior abrasion-resistance. Due to this, it can fray if it rubs excessively against an object. Since it is very rigid, these lines can easily snap. (Read What Is Fly Fishing)
A Fishing Line Takeaway
As the three different types of lines have their strengths and weaknesses, one thing is apparent. They will all go bad under certain conditions. Stretching (or the absence of it), abrasion, and just general wear and tear, as well as age, are all factors.
Strings of all kinds will go eventually be unreliable. They will start to deteriorate, lose elasticity, turn brittle, and be prone to snapping when not in use.
A superior quality braided fishing line can survive for many years. Monofilament and fluorocarbon lines, however, usually go bad after a couple seasons of use. Even stored fishing line can deteriorate after a few years if put away incorrectly.
Fishing Line Storage
Keeping your fishing strings or lines properly will definitely help preserve their properties. To get mileage from them, here are a few storage tips. When keeping your fishing gear, some simple steps can get you an extra season or two from your line’s lifespan.
Ideally, you keep your fishing lines in the house regardless of material. The indoor conditions and temperatures are likely to extend their durability. An area where humidity and temperature are constant throughout the year is most advantageous.
Storage in a dark place also has its benefits. Exposure to light damages monofilament lines, so placing new spools in a dark container or drawer helps.
Do not place lines near a window that has direct sunlight. Braided and fluorocarbon lines are not as sensitive to UV damage. Still, I likewise to keep them away from light exposure just to be sure. (Read 5 Kayak Fishing Tips)
Fishing lines can last long provided you get to know their strengths and weaknesses. Follow simple steps, and you can be sure your investment will last.