How to Store a Monofilament Fishing Line

Most fishers know that monofilament line degrades in quality. After a long time on a spinning reel, monofilament develops a permanent twist that interferes with casting. The difference in strength between a new line and one that stayed on the reel over the winter is often the difference between landing a fish and watching the line snap. Proper storage does make a difference in line quality and the correct storage method is simple.

Storing Monofilament

Buy new line. Avoid bargain bins and end-of-season specials which may have spent the summer on brightly lit store shelves. Exposure to light degrades the quality of monofilament fishing line by breaking up the long chains of molecules that give the line strength. UV light destroys line strength the fastest but even indirect light from an open window gradually weakens this type of fishing line. If storing line for use next year, start with new line.

Place the line in a cardboard box and seal the box tightly with opaque packaging tape. Keeping all light out of the box. Check for any gaps or pinholes and seal them with opaque tape.

Store the box in your house, not the garage or storage shed. Though monofilament strength isn't affected by severe cold, in summer heat or if stored near a heat source the line could approach its melting point and be permanently damaged. The moderate conditions of a cool, dark closet in a heated building provide the best storage environment.

Inspect the monofilament for signs of age before winding it on a fishing reel. Kept in darkness and at moderate temperatures, line should keep its strength for several years. White powder coating the surface signals old and weak line. Line that is milky white instead of translucent is past its prime and breaks easily. Tie a strand to something solid and give it a hard pull for additional proof.


  • Don't discard old line either in garbage destined for a landfill, or on the shore of a lake or stream, since discarded line can kill birds and other wildlife. Recycle old monofilament at a designated bin at your local fishing tackle store.


  • Some manufacturers of fishing line, such a Cortland, recommend changing fishing line each spring if you fish only in spring and summer and twice yearly if you fish year round. Store fishing poles with loaded reels in a cool, dark place. Damp conditions won't damage the line but could be bad for the reels over the long term.


About the Author

James Young began writing in 1969 as a military journalist combat correspondent in Vietnam. Young's articles have been published in "Tai Chi Magazine," "Seattle Post-Intelligencer," Sonar 4 ezine, "Stars & Stripes" and "Fine Woodworking." He has worked as a foundryman, woodturner, electronics technician, herb farmer and woodcarver. Young graduated from North Seattle Community College with an associate degree in applied science and electronic technology.