June 27, 2017

How Long Does Fishing Line Last – Know Your Line Durability

How Long Does Fishing Line Last

Imagine this, you wake up one day and decide that this is the day you are going to bring in your trophy fish. You are now out in the water, and as soon as you cast the line, you get your firsts strike. The fish offers some resistance to you reeling it in; you can feel that this is the big one that you have been waiting for, a long time now.

So, you hold on tight; you feel the fish has stopped resisting and as you give it your final shot to haul it in, snap, your line breaks. Well, this is not a feeling that any angler would want to have unless they were practicing catch and release.


But at least, you have to see what you had found, and freeze the moment in a photo. However, this begs the question, how long does fishing line last? Before we get into that, I will give a brief description of the types of fishing line that are there:

Monofilament Line: It is a continuous strand of a fishing line made out of synthetic fiber, usually nylon. If you are a novice to fishing, you may have probably heard other anglers describe their lines as a particular type line of a particular test.

The test is a description of the amount of force it would take for a particular line to break. If your line has been rated as 12lbs, this implies that, if you apply 12 lbs of force on the line, then it will break.

A mono fishing line usually stretches before it reaches its breaking point. It is also the line which has the shortest shelf life as compared to the other lines, especially when exposed to UV rays, salty and muddy water. If you are fishing long days, then it will most definitely take a toll on the line.

Fluorocarbon Line: This is also a single strand of line. However, it is different from the monofilament line because:​

  • It is made of polyvinylidene fluoride and is thus more rigid than a monofilament line.​
  • ​It is less visible underwater as compared to mono line. This property makes it an ideal leader.
  • Its rigidity makes it have more memory than the other lines. In that, when you twist and bend it, it will keep the shape of those curls​.

It is also not affected by UV rays, unlike monofilament line and therefore, lasts longer than it. Many anglers prefer it over the monofilament line due to its transparent qualities and durability.​

Braided Line: A braided line is made up of more than one strand of fiber, usually human-made fiber, which is woven together into a single line. How is it different from the other lines?​

  • It is not affected by sunlight like mono line.
  • It does not stretch.
  • It can hold more weight than the other two lines.​

This line is usually thin and allows you to spool more length of line on your reel. With those attractive properties of braided line, it is no wonder that it is more durable than the other two lines.

It is often used as a backing for the other two lines, this way, you won’t have to change the whole spool once your fishing line goes “bad.”​

How Long Can You Use Your Line Without Changing?

How Long Can You Use Your Line Without Changing

Now that you are well-versed with the different types of fishing line and their durability, how long should you change your line? First, you need always to check your fishing line if it is fit before heading out fishing. If you fish every day, then keep checking every day, every time.

The way you use your line and how often you use it will affect how long your line will last. If you often fish, and in rough conditions, then you will also need to change your fishing line often, also. Remember, that the type of fishing line that you are using will also determine how long you can stay without changing your fishing line.

What To Check For Before Going Out Fishing?

Before using that line that you used yesterday, check for the following on the line:

  • Check for nicks on the fishing line or even scars.
  • Are there creases on your fishing line?
  • Has the line begun to fade?

Always look out for any imperfection on the line, if you don’t want to lose any fish. The creases on your fishing line may be due to backlashing or even tying your knots in a hurry. It may lead to your line breaking when you land a big fish.

You can choose to either cut off the affected part or change the whole line. If your fishing line comes into contact with anything other than your rod and reel, say, snagging, catching a fish, etc., then, you need to inspect it.

If you are not confident with the usefulness of your fishing line, you can always test it out for strength. Pick an object that can withstand the force applied on the line. Let a few feet of the line, out, tie it to a still object and pull.

Always have protective gear on as snapping of the line can be dangerous, some people tie the line on a door knob and pull at it. There are many other ways that you can test your line.

Proper Maintenance And Care For Your Fishing Line

Proper Maintenance And Care For Your Fishing Line

You can adopt the following measures to ensure that your fishing line will serve you longer:

  • Always store your line in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, when not in use. On a light note, this is a standard storage recommendation for many items on sale. Exposing your line to heat and sunlight can have adverse effects on the line.
  • Regular inspection of the condition of your line will reduce the chances of losing big fish that you may land on your lucky day. You will know when to change the spool and when to keep using the same old fishing line.
  • Tie your knots properly and with care. When you tie a new lure to your line or retying and old one, remember to wet the line and cinch it slowly. Avoid any overlaps or twisting in the knot.
  • Spool it if you aren’t using it. If you are changing from one type of line to another and the line is still good, don’t just toss it. Put it on a spool and store for later use.


If you are not planning to lose fish when you go out fishing, then you need to know the durability of your fishing line. Different types of the line have a different shelf life, with monofilament having the shortest life and braided line the longest.

You should always test the strength of your line before heading out to fish. There are several tests that you can carry out, from tying the line to a knob or a still object and pulling. Remember to wear protective clothing as the snapping of the line can be dangerous.

For proper care for your fishing line, store the line away from heat and sunlight, especially if it’s a monofilament line, check for any imperfections regularly and tie your knots correctly.


I'm Brenda. I have a great love with fishing and the wonderful fish species. I created the website - Fall For Fishing - as an outlet for my love of Fishing and I hope that you may find some enjoyment learning from my Fishing articles.

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Chris - August 16, 2017 Reply

One thing to remember about breaking strength. The rated strength is with a straight pull, with no kinks, frays, or knots in the line. Since you have to use knots to tie hooks, etc, you’re automatically going to get a pound or two less than the rated strength. Adjust your drag accordingly.

Easiest way to check your line is to pinch it between your index finger and thumb, and slide your hand up and down the line and feel for kinks and frays. Also, line that used t be transparent but now looks white and chalky needs to be replaced.

A blood knot is handy if the line further in your spool is still good, but it’s not an ideal solution as I’ve had line snag on the knot while casting. Just a thought.

    Brenda - August 17, 2017 Reply

    Thank you for your comment. I also use the pinching technique to check for kinks or frays along my fishing line.

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