Tippet shelf life

2rjs

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How long will most of you folks keep tippet? I usually run through 1-1/2 to 2 guide spools of Rio 4x every year and about 1 regular spool of 5x. However I have 3x, 6x and 7x spools that are several years old. I know some will say they replace every year and some say it is not necessary. Just curious on how long most of you keep tippet?

Btw, I always store my tippet in my house after trips never in my car or any other hot place. My spools are also stored in my vest while fishing so not to be exposed to UV.
 

ia_trouter

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Haven't been at the fly game long but I have bought some year old tippet on clearance. Seems I have about a year to use it up. I don't have unlimited gear budget so for routine use I don't throw things in the trash just because. It's pretty easy to do a load test and have a real good idea if line is getting old. If it breaks off more than once in use it isn't going to heal itself so I dump it. When I am on trophy water, fresh tippet, no question, not worth the risk.
 

silver creek

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How long will most of you folks keep tippet? I usually run through 1-1/2 to 2 guide spools of Rio 4x every year and about 1 regular spool of 5x. However I have 3x, 6x and 7x spools that are several years old. I know some will say they replace every year and some say it is not necessary. Just curious on how long most of you keep tippet?

Btw, I always store my tippet in my house after trips never in my car or any other hot place. My spools are also stored in my vest while fishing so not to be exposed to UV.
Heat and light and ozone are what degrades nylon tippet so If you don't keep your tackle in the car during summers and keep the tippet material out of the light, I think you can hold tippet over for a year. I'd replace the 6X and 7X every other year although some say replace every year. I would replace every year if the 6X and 7X were being used to catch larger fish and I needed every ounce of breaking strength.



For the tippet 3X and thicker, it really depends on if you are using this tippet on the end of the leader so it is the weakest material in the leader or whether it is used to rebuild a leader. If it is used to replace material on a 3X leader, replace every other year.

But if it being used to rebuilding a thinner tipper leader, the 3X only has to be stronger than the thinner tippet. If the 3X is using to rebuild a 4X, 5X or 6X leaders, even if it has lost some of it's strength it will still be stronger than the thinner tippet material so keep using it.

Consider if you have an unopened 5X commercial leader that 3/4 years old, you can just replace the 5X tippet material and the rest of the leader material will still be stronger than the new 5X you tied on. So when rebuilding a 5X leader, using 3/4 year old 2X or 3X material will still be stronger than the 5X leader.

BTW, A "wind" or overhand knot will weaken even brand new tippet material according to Orvis. "Typically, an overhand knot, the most destructive knot you can tie in tippet material because it has the most extreme bend, weakens nylon by about 50% of its rated strength..."

Note the fracture in the fresh nylon mono just next to the overhand knot on the photo to the left.



Research shows the superior nature of Mirage fluorocarbon tippet material
 

fishmandoug

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On some of the larger stuff (0-3x) that I rarely use, I have done 2 seasons old (getting rid of at the end of the 2nd season, not starting a 3rd with it).

Im not much for spending the big bucks on tippet, but will certainly recycle anything older than that.

Storing inside you pack/vest/pouch when not on the water seems to help prolong the life. When the stuff goes bad, you will know. It will break very easily when you test your knots (or get hung up in the trees like me).
 
J

james w 3 3

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Advantage fluorocarbon.
Unaffected by uv, ozone, water absorption.
Costs more, but if you're never throwing a spool away because it's old that closes the gap some. ;)
 

nevadanstig

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I just use regular mono, not actual tippet, but I'm still working on a 500yd spool that I bought last year, and its fine. I just refill the regular tippet spools with the mono. The main mono spool is stored in my house. The tippet spool filled with mono stays in my vest in the garage, but the garage is climate controlled. I keep an extra tippet spool filled with the mono in the center consol of my car, and yes in the heat and cold, and its always been fine. I probably burn through the stuff so fast it doesn't matter. Ive either lost a spool on the water, ran out, etc enough times that I've learned to just keep a spool in the car. When I use the one in the car, the empty one gets refilled and takes its place.
 

enolaeagle

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I never even considered this. A few years ago when I got back into fly fishing, I had a roll of maxima chameleon that was at least 8 years old. Worked fine. It was inside a tackle box in my basement though so maybe that helped :confused:
 

rsagebrush

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I have and do use some relatively old mono tippet that works fine, I never leave it in a hot or sunny environment and the spares are kept in a sealed box in my closet. When a spool goes bad you will know it immediately, so I almost always carry a spare.

I have some rather ancient Maxima that is still supple and seems to be strong.
I write the dates on the spools and some of it is from 2010 and who knows how old it was when I purchased it.

Now Flouro, that seems to last forever and if you get it on sale it is just as cheap as Mono. If you want it to float, grease it. So on second thought I generally just use Flouro anymore which is why my mono is getting so old.
 

fishgolf

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I'm still using some spools that are easily 5+ years old. I use a waist pack and my spools are not exposed to sunlight/UV for the most part. No problems at all with my older spools - at least none that I've noticed.
 

jdwy

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I'm still using some spools that are easily 5+ years old. I use a waist pack and my spools are not exposed to sunlight/UV for the most part. No problems at all with my older spools - at least none that I've noticed.
Me too, my latest spools are 3 summers old and still appear fine.
BTW, A "wind" or overhand knot will weaken even brand new tippet material according to Orvis. "Typically, an overhand knot, the most destructive knot you can tie in tippet material because it has the most extreme bend, weakens nylon by about 50% of its rated strength..."
That's good to know just how much and the reason why makes sense too.
 

trev

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I fall into the group that never considered shelf life, some of my larger leader material was bought as far back as the '90s (maybe?) and still works fine. In smaller sizes and more expensive brands I figure the stuff is good for three to six months and the shelf life has probably been exceeded before I get it, rule is if it breaks easy thrash it even if it is BrandName that I bought this year (twice that I recall). I can usually fish 30-100 hours with the same tippet so a big spool lasts a while.
 

clsmith131

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I always test my knot before I fish. If I break two knots in a row, I get pretty suspicious of the line. It's pretty obvious if you have a bad spool, it breaks easily.
 

JoJer

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Haven't been at the fly game long but I have bought some year old tippet on clearance. Seems I have about a year to use it up. I don't have unlimited gear budget so for routine use I don't throw things in the trash just because. It's pretty easy to do a load test and have a real good idea if line is getting old. If it breaks off more than once in use it isn't going to heal itself so I dump it. When I am on trophy water, fresh tippet, no question, not worth the risk.
ia_trouter is from the same school as I. I have lots of old tippet spools of the ancients, mostly in the heavier end of the spectrum. I can always toss it, but I can't always replace it. Most of these only leave the house in a zippered case.
I looked at some spools of the same brand that were in the sale bin at my local fly shop at some discount. But the basket they were in was sitting in was right next to a window with full daylight on them-pass.
 
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