If you’re like me, you might catch yourself reminiscing on the fishing season that was while preparing your fluorocarbon fishing line for storage for the off-season. But don’t drift off in the memories too much because if you want to reuse your fishing line for next season, how well you prepare your line for storage might play a larger role than what you might think.
You can store fluorocarbon fishing lines in a container with a tight-sealing lid and keep the container in a place where the temperature is cool and dark. Heat and humidity are major factors that can degrade fluorocarbon lines, reducing the useful lifespan.
How to properly keep your fluoro fishing lines in storage might seem like a small detail to be concerned with. For some, this might be true. But for others, learning how to store your fluoro lines properly might mean the difference between squeezing another year or two out of your lines, maybe even longer.
Fluorocarbon fishing lines aren’t cheap, and they should be properly cared for to make them last as long as possible!
Different Factors That Can Lower Your Fluorocarbon Lifespan In Storage
Fluorocarbon lines are tough, but the material it’s made of makes them susceptible to various environmental conditions that will weaken the line over time.
- UV Rays
- Temperature Swings
Depending on where you live, some of these factors might be more of an issue than others. It would be best if you took some time to evaluate which of these factors would be more of an issue given your location and what storage options you have available to you.
That being said, I would not leave you hanging without giving you a few ideas on how you can store your fluorocarbon fishing lines.
Ideas On How To Store Fluorocarbon Fishing Line
As the old saying goes,
How you go about storing your fluorocarbon fishing line is no different. Your way to store your fishing line might be completely different from the next angler, which is ok if it gets the job done.
Over the years, I’ve heard several different ways that anglers go about storing their fluoro lines. I’ve listed them out below and hope it may spark some ideas on what you can do for fishing line storage.
Idea #1: Store Fluorocarbon Line In A Container With a Well Sealing Snap On Lid
Hands down the most common way to store your fluorocarbon fishing line among the anglers I know.
- Pick a container size that allows you to organize your spools neatly and compactly. You don’t want your spools to be tossed around in the container every time you move it. If this happens, the movement could damage your lines.
Avoid clear and fully transparent containers whenever possible to avoid UV exposure. Select an oblique container if you can. If not, look for a dark tinted colour container that will reduce UV exposure, but it won’t completely stop it.
- Place the container in a cool and dark location in your home, like a closet, basement, cellar, or storage room.
If you only have a tinted or transparent container on hand, you can line the inside of the container with cellophane or styrofoam to block out the light.
I use an old blanket or towel to line the inside of the container and place the spools inside neatly. Then fold over the blanket or towel on the top to block out the light.
- If you don’t have a location that can remain cool and has low humidity, you might need to consider using a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier will keep the room cool and remove as much moisture in the air as possible
I’ve heard of anglers doing this setup in a garage where it’s seldomly used and can remain dark most of the time. If you have a window, then consider blocking it out for added protection.
Frankly, this seems like a bit much for me. But I know some professional anglers do this. Perhaps they know something that I don’t.
Idea #2: Store Fluorocarbon Line In The Fridge Or Freezer
You read that right! I’ve heard of some anglers storing their fluorocarbon fishing lines in their fridge or freezer. If you think about it – why not? A Fridge or freeze will block out the light and control the temperature and humidity.
- Place your spools in a container that will fit in your fridge or freezer. A typical food container will do just fine for this, especially if you don’t have a lot of spools to store.
If you have a large chest freezer, you use a large container like what I mentioned in the first idea and place it there.
However, this might raise some concerns with your partner, but that is a separate issue.
Idea #3: Store Fluorocarbon Line In Your Socks – Sock It To Me
I came across this idea while researching other creative ideas to share with you to store your fluorocarbon line. So without any further ado:
Found this to be a super creative idea worth sharing. Plus, it’s a great way to repurpose old socks, which you might have just considered tossing in the trash.
Cool Hack: Fishing Line Storage Box Organization Tip
Just a cool hack that I found to help you organize your fishing line in a large container if you have a lot of different spools.
How Long Does Fluorocarbon Fishing Line Last For?
I got some good and bad news for you – Nothing lasts forever, and fluoro lines are no different. The good news is that with the proper care, they can last for a very long time.
If you took the utmost care of your fluorocarbon lines, you could squeeze 8 – 10 years of life out of them. In most cases, fluorocarbon fishing lines will last about 1 – 4 years, depending on how often you fish and how much abrasion the line typically sees.
There are a lot of different things to consider when trying to estimate the useful lifespan of fluoro. I find these estimates are usually a bit conservative and do not always match with what I have experienced in the past. How you store your fishing line plays a big part in how long your fishing line will last, and the fishing conditions the line is exposed to plays a large role.
If you’re curious to learn about how long other fishing lines will last, check out this post.
Does Unused Fluorocarbon Fishing Line Expire?
Whether you use your fluorocarbon fishing line or not, it will expire at some point. You can leave the fishing in its packaging and never touch it, and it will eventually expire.
If you store your unused fishing line properly to minimize degradation, you get 8 – 10 years out of it. If you just left the line out on a shelf in any old way, you might get 6 – 7 years of life out of it.
How Often Should You Change Out Your Fluorocarbon Fishing Line?
The timeframes I provided are only my estimates based on my experience. But even I don’t follow these timelines to a tee. Depending on the amount of fishing I do, and if I fish near rocks or heavy cover, I won’t inspect my lines until the 2nd year of use.
I always inspect my fishing line before I decide to change out my fishing line. Why waste the money on buying a new line if it turns out that your fluorocarbon line is still in good condition.
How To Inspect Your Fluorocarbon Line Before The Start Of A New Season?
Your fishing line can be exposed to some harsh conditions when fishing – rocks, heavy cover, teeth, UV rays, heat, and the list goes on. Then you got a wide range of factors you need to consider when storing the line during the off-season. So it’s no surprise that fishing line eventually goes bad, which is why it’s always good to inspect your fishing line before the start of every season.
If the line fails your inspection, then that is when you should change out your fluoro line.
Inspect The Line’s Overall Condition:
You want to check if the fluorocarbon line has any nicks along the line. Nicks or localized rough spots are a sign of wear and tear on the line. Usually from rubbing against underwater structures or can be a sign of brittleness due to UV exposure.
- Gentle pinch the line with your fingers and run them up and down along the line.
If you line feels smooth then your fishing line is in good condition and it has not been banged up much. If you do feel some roughness then you need to decide if you can cut off the section of line that is rough or if doing that will shorten your avaiable line to much. Then you might need to consider replacing the line all together.
- To check your fishing line against UV exposure and brittleness, pick a random spot along the line that initially felt smooth. Pinch the line on itself like if you were making loops, like if you were making loops to tie your shoe. Rub the outer side of the loop.
If it feels smooth, then the line is not becoming brittle, but you might want to consider replacing it if it does feel rough.
Inspect The Line For Memory:
Fluorocarbon is notorious for line memory, and line memory is not something you want to deal with when fishing.
- Observe how the line is coming off the spool or reel. If you see the line wanting to curly or twist on itself then its a sign of line memory. Fluorocarbon is known to have bad line memory so you need to compare it to what it was originally.
If you want to learn more about line memory, then check out these posts:
– What is Line Memory and How To Reduce It?
– Can you use line conditioners to reduce line memory?
– How to “untwist” line twist caused by line memory?
Check the Knot and Line Strength
I don’t typically do this test on my lines unless they are getting up there in age.
- Tie your fishing line to a weight and slowly pick up the weight to see if the line will hold it.
Start at half of the line’s rating and go up from there.
- When the line breaks, you need to inspect the break to see where the break occurred.
In most cases, the line should break at the knot since the knot is considered the weakest part of the line. If the line breaks elsewhere other than a knot, there are other defects that you did not detect, which have weakened the line. This is where I would replace the line.
There is a right and wrong way to dispose of old fluorocarbon fishing lines, and it’s not in the garbage. If you want to learn how to dispose of your fluorocarbon line to protect the environment properly, then check out this post.
Don’t let all this information prevent you from buying a fluorocarbon line. If you try any of these ideas one way or another, you are doing more to protect your lines than the average angler.
By minimizing heat, humidity, UV exposure and large temperature swings, you are taking the necessary steps required to extend your fluorocarbons line’s life while in storage.
Feel free to experiment with different ways to store your fishing line based on your local environmental conditions.
Check out my post if you’re curious about learning how to store your monofilament fishing line.
Happy Fishing & Tight Lines