How Long Does Fishing Line Last?

Braided fishing line that last longer than other types of fishing lines.

The lifespan of any fishing line is not set in stone. Instead, it depends on several factors, such as the durability of the line in the first place, how you take care of it, and several other variables.

For instance, rinsing your fishing line after every use and keeping it away from direct sunlight and heat will help maintain its peak quality for longer. Also, avoid storing fishing lines for too long and try to use new ones as soon as possible.

Doing these and more will help your fishing lines last as long as possible.

That said, let us examine some educated estimates of how long specific fishing lines should last if you take care of them properly.

How Long Will Monofilament Fishing Lines Last?

First, you should know that monofilament fishing lines have the shortest shelflife due to their higher vulnerability to heat and UV light. As a result, explore to heat and UV rays will cause them to loosen faster.

However, on the shelf, monofilament fishing lines can last up to three years without losing their structural integrity.

But, if you use them frequently, you should expect to replace your fishing lines at least three or four times per year. Average anglers may only need to change their monofilament fishing line twice a year, while you can go an entire year without changing your lines if you don’t fish often.

How Long Will Fluorocarbon Fishing Lines Last?

Fluorocarbon fishing lines can withstand UV sunlight and heat better than monofilament lines. So, they generally last longer, all things being equal.

On the shelf, fluorocarbon fishing lines can last up to six years. Sometimes more.

However, during use, expert anglers may find they have to replace their fluorocarbon fishing twice a year, while average anglers can get by with one replacement per year. On the other, if you don’t fish often, you can go at least two years before your fluorocarbon fishing line needs a replacement.

How Long Will Braided Fishing Lines Last?

Braided fishing lines are the most durable of all fishing lines today. In addition, they have the most impressive resistance to heat, UV sunlight, and other extreme conditions. 

Also, braided fishing lines can last between 8 and 10 years on the shelf.

However, if you fish heavily, it is usually best to replace your line yearly. An average angler may only need one braided fishing line replacement every two years, while less frequent anglers can go several years with the same fishing line.

How Do You Know & When to Replace The Bad Fishing Line?

By now, you already know that fishing lines can become bad with frequent use. But, how do you know when to replace your fishing line?

Several signs can alert you that your fishing line needs changing. Here are some of these signs:

  • If your fishing line starts breaking easily, you need to change it.
  • If your fishing line breaks when you try to cast it, you must consider getting a replacement line.
  • Fishing lines that coil or kink quickly (when they are wet) may be nearing the end of their lifespan.
  • Another sign that you need to change your fishing line is when it becomes frayed.
  • Finally, if your fish line gets damaged one way or the other, you’ll need to get a new one.

How Does the Fishing Line Degradation Work?

Regular wear and tear that comes with continuous usage are one of the most common reasons for fishing line degradation. However, heat and UV rays from the sun will also break down fishing lines and cause them to go bad over time.

Also, if you frequently fish in saltwater, the salt from the water will cause your lines to corrode fast.

Pro tip? Coating your fishing line with clear nail polish can protect it from the destructive effects of UV sunlight and even saltwater.

Can the Unused Fishing Lines Go Bad?

The answer is yes. Even if you don’t use your fishing lines, they will eventually go bad (or expire). 

This is because line memory (when fishing lines take on the shape of their packaging) usually affects fishing lines quickly. When this happens, you end up with extreme coils in your lines and a higher chance of getting backlash and wind knots in your fishing line.

However, the rate at which this happens depends on the type of fishing line you own.

Monofilament fishing lines typically last around 2 to 3 years, while fluorocarbon and braided fishing lines can last at least six years, with braided lines going as far as ten years.

But, these estimated durations may also reduce in certain conditions.

Here are some of the factors that can decrease the shelf life of your fishing lines:

  • Exposure to extreme heat
  • Prolonged exposure to sunlight
  • Too much time in their original packs

How to Prolong the Lifespan of a Fishing Line?

Every angler wants to know how to make their fishing lines last as long as possible.

Well, the oldest trick in the book is to buy a fishing line that is very durable and heavy-duty in the first place. Once you’ve done this, it boils down to how often you use your fishing line and how well you take care of it afterward. Then, of course, reducing how much wear and tear you put your lines through is usually best.

Here are some tips to help you make your fishing line last longer:

  • First, try spooling your fishing line more tightly onto your reel each time you use it.
  • Ensure you use the proper fishing line for the type of fishing you engage in. For instance, a saltwater-rated fishing line is usually best if you’re fishing in saltwater.
  • Try not to overstress your line while you fish.
  • Avoid playing fish too close to your boat or the shore.
  • Wipe down your fishing line after every use.

How Often Should You Change a Fishing Line?

There’s no absolute answer here. This is because the frequency of your fishing line replacement depends on several factors, such as:

  • The type of fishing line
  • How often your fish
  • The size of fish you target
  • The kind of care you give your line

Final Take

One size does not fit all when it comes to how long fishing lines last. While the material of your fish line plays a significant role in determining how long your fishing line lasts, your fishing habits and several other factors also impact your line durability.

However, as a rule of thumb, braided fishing lines typically last the longest, with many anglers using one line for up to a year or more. Fluorocarbon fishing lines may need replacement twice a year, while you’ll typically need to change monofilament lines multiple times in the same year.

We hope this article has helped you find the answers you need regarding how long fishing lines last.

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