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Old 06-24-2014, 02:20 PM
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Default Life expectancy of monofilament?

I have always been told that mono (tippet & spinning line) should be replaced annually as it begins to weaken/breakdown. Most of what I have read points to sunlight and ozone as the cause. If this is true does it apply to braided monofilament running/backing lines also?

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Old 06-24-2014, 02:35 PM
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Default Re: Life expectancy of monofilament?

I think generally any nylon based line can deteriorate over time, but have also read that heat & Sun light affects them the most. A similar question came up recently on a saltwater forum I frequent. It was said that the super braid type lines are not affected by heat or light, but I'm not sure anyone can prove that to be fact.

I have some mono/copolymer type lines that are 10 years old or older, and still seem to be fine. I do however keep line in a sealed box in my basement, which stays fairly cool most of the time and of course it's dark so very little light gets to the line until I go to use it.

If you keep lines in a hot vehicle for extended periods, then it likely would degrade any line that is affected by heat faster than if it's kept somewhere with far less heat. Same with Sun light, the more the line is exposed, the greater the affect. IMO, limited exposure might not be as bad, such as simply on fishing trips, but probably has some affect on the line in the long run.

I know I had some spools of Berkley tippet for several years that finally started to show signs of age. However, I kept it in my truck most of the year, so it got hot. Even then it lasted quite awhile.
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:49 PM
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Default Re: Life expectancy of monofilament?

I've done my own experiments (aka neglecting spinning equipment in the back of a car) and have found that sun is the biggest culprit. The sun will actually bleach the color out and make the line so weak that you can barely tie a knot. Peel off fifty yards and get down to line not exposed to direct sunlight and line strength is almost like new. It will last a really long time if not in direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time.
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:04 PM
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Default Re: Life expectancy of monofilament?

Thanks guys, that is what I was also thinking. My gear is stored in a closet in the house, so that should be safe.
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:24 PM
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Default Re: Life expectancy of monofilament?

Since mono type lines are relatively inexpensive, if there's doubt, then certainly replace it. I believe if you test it by tying some knots in it & see if it breaks easily, and it does break too easily, then it may not be any good. Of course it also depends on the breaking strength anyway, if you have 7X tippet or 4lb test mono or lighter, that could be tricky trying to "test" it!

Otherwise, I keep using line until it does start to be a problem.

Other lines, like running lines could get expensive if you replaced them every year!

One other thing, in the discussion on the other forum, someone said "throw it away"! I suggest recycling any old line. Simply tossing it in the trash could cause it to end up somewhere that it creates problems. It may not necessarily end up buried in a landfill! IMO, it's better to recycle it than to trash it!
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Old 06-24-2014, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: Life expectancy of monofilament?

Mechanical properties of nylon are negatively affected by acid, alkali, U.V., and O2 (time-temperature Arrhenius relationship). Of these factors, U.V. is probably the most commonly encountered variable which is why old monofilament encountered outdoors often has no strength.
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Old 06-24-2014, 10:58 PM
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Default Re: Life expectancy of monofilament?

Ok so I am a sucker for a bargain,

I know a guy who used to be a sales rep for fly fishing. I bought 8 dozen 6x mono leaders from him (major mfg) about 3 years ago. At $2.00 a pop I couldn't miss. I also bought 5 dozen 5x and a few dozen 4x. Along with dozen spools of flouro tippet as well. I leave it in my filing cabinet in my office...aka room temp no direct sunlight and I notice zero degradation. Now that I started using furled leaders more and tippet rings I estimate I have about a 15 year supply on hand.

Yes do the math I spent about $300 on a stockpile of leader and tippet ,


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