Does Braided Fishing Line Go Bad? What You Need to Know


Braided fishing lines are one of the toughest of its kind, but do they go bad over time? Regardless of the type of fish, you can always rely on Braided fishing lines. They are versatile, although it may be limited in some applications. If you’re using this type of line, here are the things that you need to know when casting Braided fishing lines.

Braided fishing lines will eventually go bad after using for years, or even if you haven’t taken them out of their packaging. The length of years that you can use if for years depends on how well you treat them properly. The good news is that you can use Braided fishing lines in the water for years when used and maintained correctly.

Your fishing rod and reel may be in good condition, but what about your fishing line? Just like any other item, fishing lines also have what they call “shelf life.” Meaning, they also have an expiration date, whether you use them or not. So, we’ve included other essential things that you need to know about Braided fishing lines.

Does Unused Fishing Lines Go Bad?

Yes, fishing lines will indeed go bad over time, even if you have never taken them out of the package. Generally, Monofilament lasts for about 2 to 3 years. Then, braided and Fluorocarbon can endure for approximately 6 to 7 years when unused. Some factors will decrease the “shelf life” of fishing lines, which includes the following.

  • Extreme heat and prolonged exposure to sunlight will eventually lower the strength, durability, and overall quality of the fishing line.  
  • Line Memory can also ruin your unopened fishing lines the fastest. If they don’t leave their packaging, there’s a considerable chance that they will eventually take on the shape of its packaging. Finally, you will end up with a coiled mess, a higher chance of backlash, wind knots, and a bird’s nest.

How Long Can You Use Your Fishing Line?

The life of every fishing line depends on how good you are at taking care of it. For an unused or unopened fishing line, make sure to use them as soon as possible. Avoid storing them for too long. Otherwise, it would be hard for you to get a reasonable stretch when casting. After using your fishing line, rinsing it is your best shot to keep it at its peak quality. Then, prevent it from direct sunlight and extreme heat exposure. Here are other recommendations that you can follow for different types of fishing lines.

  • How Long Will Monofilament Fishing Lines Last? Compared to its counterparts, Monofilament has the shortest “shelf life.” It is because they are more vulnerable to UV light and heat, which causes them to get loose faster. For unused Monofilament Fishing Lines, they can last for 2 to 3 years.
    • If you’re not fishing often, you can replace your Monofilament Fishing Lines once every year or every six months.
    • If you’re an average angler, replace your fishing line two to three times a year.
    • If you’re into heavy fishing, it is ideal for replacing your fishing line three to four times every year.
  • How Long Will Fluorocarbon Fishing Lines Last? For Fluorocarbon Fishing Lines, they don’t easily get affected by the UV sunlight. Therefore, they tend to last longer, most of the time. Generally, their shelf time is approximately six years and more. 
    • If you’re not fishing often, you can replace your Fluorocarbon Fishing Lines once every year or every six months.
    • If you’re an average angler, replace your fishing line one to two times a year.
    • If you’re into heavy fishing, it is ideal for replacing your fishing line two to three times every year.
  • How Long Will Braided Fishing Lines Last? Of all types of fishing lines, this type will last the longest. They have the highest resistance against UV sunlight and other disturbing conditions. The typical shelf time of most Braided fishing lines is about 8 to 10 years.
    • If you’re not fishing often, you can replace your Braided Fishing Lines once every year.
    • If you’re an average angler, replace your fishing line one to two times a year.
    • If you’re into heavy fishing, it is ideal for replacing your fishing line one to times every year.

How Often Should You Replace Your Fishing Line?

If you want to be more accurate, you can replace your current fishing line every six months to a year. You don’t want your big fish to swim away due to harmful fishing line – there’s nothing more frustrating than it is for most anglers. It would also be a good idea to replace your fishing line if you have any big fishing trips coming. A few bucks of upgrading your fishing line is better than losing a big fish. Apart from these reasons, here are the other signs that you should replace your fishing line. 

  • You Have a Frayed Fishing Line. This event usually happens with both monofilament and braid fishing lines. It often occurs after having a massive fight with a fish or getting caught on some structure. After this case, you have to pay close attention to the condition of your fishing line. Make sure that they are no weak sections or frayed parts around the leader area. 
  • Your Fishing Line Shows Discoloration. Change in the color of the fishing line is often because of too much sun exposure. Eventually, it can be a cause of the weakening of the fishing line. Therefore, it’s always best to replace the fishing line if you notice any signs of discoloration.

How Can You Prolong the Life of Your Fishing Line?

You can do some ways to prolong the life of your fishing line. Remember, these are just some tips that you can do to prevent such an event. Some uncontrollable environmental conditions can still affect the quality and performance of your fishing line. 

  • Store Your Fishing Line Properly. It’s always best for fishing lines if you can store them in a dark and cold place or room. 
  • Rinse Your Fishing Line with Fresh Water Often. Make it a habit to wash off your fishing line with fresh water after every use or fishing trip. 
  • Avoid Direct Sunlight. Keep your fishing line out from direct sunlight exposure. It can deteriorate your fishing line faster, which makes it more brittle and more prone to break. 
  • Make Sure that You’re Doing Proper Fishing Pole Setup. It is a common mistake that most anglers do that causes missing guides and stringing the fishing line through a small gap between the guide and the fishing rod. This mistake can make your fishing line rub up against the sharp edges and get a damaged fishing line.
  • Try Respooling Your Fishing Line. Try re-spooling your fishing line onto another fishing reel. Cutting off your lure and tie it at the end of your new fishing reel. Then, spool your reel. 
  • Check Your Fishing Line Regularly. For every cast or after your every fishing trip, make sure to check your fishing line. Run through your fingers and look for any bumps, twists, and other related damages.

The Pros and Cons of Using Braided Fishing Lines

Using Braided Fishing Lines have different pros and cons. Braided Fishing Lines has many benefits, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t have drawbacks. Understanding its advantages and disadvantages will help you make your decision about buying such a fishing line. So, here are the pros and cons of using Braided Fishing Lines.

PROSCONS
Braided Fishing Lines have little to no stretch, which makes them ideal for deep water fishing and fishing topwater lures on long casts.Using Braided Fishing Lines can be tough when tying your knots. It is because they may become slippery. Therefore, you have to make sure to use the right and appropriate knot. 
Using Braided Fishing Lines, you will be able to get more fish bites in deep water. Braided Fishing Lines may tend to be more visible under the water.
Braided Fishing Lines have zero to smaller diameter stretch that makes it possible for you to plug your deep diving crankbaits deeper.The toughness of Braided Fishing Lines also has a disadvantage because they are the hardest to cut.  
Braided Fishing Lines have a high abrasion resistance, which makes it tougher even when exposed to UV light. Braided Fishing Lines may not give you a natural representation of your baits or fishing lures.
Braided Fishing Lines can also withstand fights with different species that has a set of teeth that can saw through the fishing line. Braided Fishing Lines produce sounds under the water, which is not suitable for any fish species. This drawback can cause the fish to swim away.
Braided Fishing Lines have excellent strength to size ratio, which is uncommon for a 15-pound test braid.Braided Fishing Lines can cut into rod guides, which can force you to invest in new fishing gear. 
Braided Fishing Lines won’t sink so that it can make your fishing job a lot easier.Braided Fishing Lines can bury itself on the fishing reel spool, so you have to set the hook set properly.
Braided Fishing Lines are so durable that their breaking strength didn’t reduce even when they got wet.Braided Fishing Lines can rip the hook off the mouth of the fish.
Braided Fishing Lines don’t absorb water for extra durability.
Braided Fishing Lines are suitable when fishing in dense vegetation. 

Fluorocarbon Vs. Monofilament Vs. Braided Fishing Lines: Which One Is the Best?

Between Fluorocarbon, Monofilament, and Braided Fishing Lines – which one is the best to use? The answer is it depends on your fishing technique, the fish that you want to catch, your bait, and your fishing environment. To give you a better idea, here’s an in-depth comparison of the top three types of fishing lines.

  • Braid Fishing Lines. They come in thinner diameter, which allows better casting and higher line-reel capacity. Braid offers little to no stretch and memory that makes them suitable for deep-water fishing. It is because it will enable large swimbaits and deep-diving crankbaits through the water. Then, it will deliver solid hooksets on your target fish. 
    • When to use Braided Fishing Lines? The non-stretch nature of braid means they are highly sensitive so that you can identify even the very subtle fish bites.
    • Why Should You Use Braided Fishing Lines? They may be the most expensive type, but Braided Fishing lines have high abrasion resistance. It can withstand a tough fight against the oppressive and big fish species. Just be careful in choosing the right one because not all Braided fishing lines have equal quality. Look at the number of weaves per inch for better performance. Tighter patterns usually mean better castability and durability. 
  • Fluorocarbon Fishing Lines. To all types of fishing lines, Fluorocarbon is the newest to the fishing industry. It looks almost similar to a monofilament fishing line and has close features with braided fishing lines. 
    • When to use Fluorocarbon Fishing Lines? Fluorocarbon is also ideal for fishing deep-diving baits. The fishing line will sink low so that you can keep your bait in place. Plus, they would also look transparent under any water. 
    • Why Should You Use Fluorocarbon Fishing Lines? Fluorocarbon fishing lines are ideal for many different settings and catching various fish species. It may not be cheap, but they do have a new set of features that you can try on your next fishing trip.
  • Monofilament Fishing Lines. It is the most common fishing line used by many anglers – both professionals and amateurs. Plus, they are the cheapest fishing line to buy, which makes them the top choice in the fishing market. 
    • When to use Monofilament Fishing Lines? Monofilament fishing lines have a wide range of use and can excel in different situations. Since it has high abrasion resistance, it can withstand areas with a denser cover of wood and rocks. However, you have to be mindful that Monofilament has a thicker diameter. It reduces the casting distance and can get affected by strong winds and water currents. 
    • Why Should You Use Monofilament Fishing Lines? Their stretch feature can act as a shock absorber under the water, which makes it less likely to break even when a fish bites it. Plus, it helps in preventing solid hooksets for bad trolling.

What is the Best Fishing Line For Casting?

According to the most experienced anglers, Braided fishing lines is the best path for casting. A reasonable premium and high quality Braided fishing line has very tight weaves that can withstand both long and short casting distances. Fluorocarbon and monofilament fishing lines can also cast far, too. However, Braided fishing lines cast the smoothest. Just don’t settle for cheap braided fishing lines. The primary indication that it is affordable if you can see through the first eyelet at the end of your rod when fighting a fish.

What is the Strongest Fishing Line?

Identifying the most robust fishing line can be hard because they can differ depending on different cases. It is because they have a rating on a pound-test scale. It means that a 10-pound test braid should be just as strong as a 10-pound test mono. However, when it comes to durability, braided fishing lines have an incredible abrasion-resistance compared to their counterparts. It means that braided fishing lines won’t easily get broken even if you rub it the wrong way on a rock or a tough fight with a big fish. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Does Fishing Lines Have an Expiration Date?

Fishing line manufacturers don’t put expiration dates on their fishing lines. However, fishing lines do expire in a way that their quality gets lost. Therefore, it would be impossible for you to get the best performance from a fishing line that’s overdue. 

Is Braided Line Good for Catfishing?

Overall, Braided Fishing Lines are also suitable for catfishing. It is because this fishing line has no stretch so that you can set your hooks right. Moreover, they have less diameter that makes them easy to glide through the water. High-quality fishing lines have maybe three to four times more expensive compared to their counterparts, but they are worth it for every cast.

Does Braided Line Color Matter?

There’s no study nor science behind the right color of Braided Fishing Line that will increase the bite of the fish. However, it is helpful to match the color of the water and the hue of your fishing line.

Final Words

Regardless of the type of fishing line, all of them will eventually go bad – and Braided Fishing Lines are no exemption. They will eventually go bad after using for years, or even if you haven’t taken them out of their packaging. The length of their shelf life depends on how well you treat them properly. Therefore, it is essential to use them right, and you should know how to take care of them very well.

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