Re: Tippet material longevity?
I think another consideration is what size and how fast the angler uses tippet up. If the angler rarely uses any think thicker than 4X, then why replace the the leader material that is 3X and thicker every year? The weakest part of the leader is the tippet; and even if you use 3X that is several years old to rebuild a leader, it will not be as weak as the fresh 4X and 5X that you are tying to it.
I never will understand telling newbies to always buy new tippet material every year. There is a lot of good 3X and 2X stuff being thrown away.
As an example, I use 4X and 5X tippet for 99% of my fishing. Rio Powerflex leader/tippet material in 5x is 5 lb test, 4x is 6.4 lb test, 3x is 8.2 lb test, and 2x is 10 lb test. It will take several years to weaken a 3x 8.2 lb test leader material to the 5.0 lb of the 5x material it is likely tied to. In the 30 plus years I have been fishing, I can't remember when a fish broke the older section of leader material below the tippet. The tippet always breaks.
Most of the time I use tippet fast enough that I do not purposely buy new tippet every year. Consider that the spool I was using at the end of the season was bought late in the season. Why should I throw it away for "new" tippet that may be at best 6 months "fresher".
I will use the same spool of nylon tippet I was using at the end of the last season; and during this season, it will run out and I will buy a fresh spool. Consider that I am still buying at least a new spool every year. Who cares if the swap is in during the season or at the beginning of the season? As long as you use at least one spool of the tippet material that you commonly use every year it makes no difference when that changeover is made.
"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy