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  1. Default Shelf life of fishing line?

    Not really fly fishing related, but don't know where else to ask.

    I found a box of fishing supplies in the garage. It had about 12 spools of line of various types. It has to be 25 years old or so.

    How long is that line good for? Some mono, some floro, one braid. Mostly 4 - 8 pound, but one was 30 pound test.

    TIA

  2. #2

    Default Re: Shelf life of fishing line?

    Sunlight is usually the biggest factor in line degradation, but even if stowed away, I wouldn't think 25 yr old line would be any good. Plus, line has come a long way in 25 yrs, I would toss the old stuff if I were you. If you're set on getting some use out of it, you could always pull some off the spool and give it a tug to see what you're dealing with. I would expect it to have a ton of memory and be somewhat brittle. But even if it appears to be good, I wouldn't want to have that fish of a lifetime on and have to worry in the back of my mind if there is a weak spot in my old line.

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  4. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Shelf life of fishing line?

    If the line has taken on a milky or white appearance-toss it.

    Denny

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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Shelf life of fishing line?

    In addition to sunlight, heat also degrades fishing line.

    Depending on where you are located and that most garage areas are not air conditioned, I doubt it is still "good".

    And as clsmith says, line has come a long way in 25 years.
    Mainline the blueline

  7. #5
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    Default Re: Shelf life of fishing line?

    With all that above, I regularly use mono that is from 2-30 years old to build my leaders and have never had a problem with anything but the smallest stuff- 6X-8X broke easily under pull tests- and it is possible that they were just made weaker in the old days.
    I'll ask- do any of you have line spools with dates on them? how do I know if the line on the shelf in the big name store was made this year or has been in the ware house for years?
    Storage and exposure could deteriorate line in days weeks or years, many lines 25 years ago were inferior to what is made now, fluorocarbon is said to never break down in the environment, nylon in the water that apparently was tossed there by an idiot many years ago seems to be stronger than new when you are tangled in it.

    Unroll a chunk of it and do your own stretch and break tests, if you like the results use it if it fails you have your answer.

  8. #6
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    Default Re: Shelf life of fishing line?

    Quote Originally Posted by trev View Post
    With all that above, I regularly use mono that is from 2-30 years old to build my leaders and have never had a problem with anything but the smallest stuff- 6X-8X broke easily under pull tests- and it is possible that they were just made weaker in the old days.
    I'll ask- do any of you have line spools with dates on them? how do I know if the line on the shelf in the big name store was made this year or has been in the ware house for years?
    Storage and exposure could deteriorate line in days weeks or years, many lines 25 years ago were inferior to what is made now, fluorocarbon is said to never break down in the environment, nylon in the water that apparently was tossed there by an idiot many years ago seems to be stronger than new when you are tangled in it.

    Unroll a chunk of it and do your own stretch and break tests, if you like the results use it if it fails you have your answer.
    Good idea. In addition to the break test, test the knots as well.
    Mainline the blueline

  9. #7

    Default Re: Shelf life of fishing line?

    I've done some research and there is no definite answer lol.

    All they have told was that it depends on how you use it plus the quality materials they use to create the line.

  10. Default Re: Shelf life of fishing line?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zebianna View Post
    I've done some research and there is no definite answer lol.

    All they have told was that it depends on how you use it plus the quality materials they use to create the line.
    Now you know why I had to ask here!

  11. #9
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    Default Re: Shelf life of fishing line?

    As someone who worked as a rep in the general tackle business. Pre-super braid lines have a shelf life of 4-5 years stored in a cool dry place with no exposure to UV rays. The Super braids with Spectra if wound on good braiders can go for 6-7 years.

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  13. #10
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    Default Re: Shelf life of fishing line?

    Quote Originally Posted by burk48237 View Post
    lines have a shelf life of 4-5 years stored in a cool dry place with no exposure to UV rays. .
    So, are these numbers for braided nylon and Dacron? Same for nylon and fluorocarbon mono-filaments?
    as a former rep are you allowed to tell us where the date code is on a spool of mono? is it generally in the same place on all brands and is it the manufacture date, the sell by date or the this is trash date?
    Do you think there is enough UV in the display areas of most stores to cause early failure?
    I know that I have good line that is aver 20 years old and that I have bought high priced big name leader material that was rotten from the start.

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