How do you store fishing line long term?

Properly storing fishing line is important for maintaining its strength, durability, and performance over time. Fishing line can degrade when stored improperly, leading to line failure and lost fish. Follow these tips to keep your line in optimal condition during storage.

Quick Tips for Storing Fishing Line

  • Keep line out of direct sunlight – UV rays damage line
  • Store at room temperature away from heat sources
  • Keep away from chemicals/solvents that can weaken line
  • Use original packaging or re-spool onto a line winder
  • Wash line with warm water and mild soap before long term storage
  • Inspect for damage before re-spooling line for future use

The Best Storage Containers

The ideal fishing line storage containers protect against elements that degrade line over time. Key features to look for include:

  • UV Protection – Blocks ultraviolet rays from sun/lights that weaken line
  • Moisture Control – Prevents line from drying out or becoming mildewed
  • Chemical Resistant – Stops chemicals like gasoline, DEET, etc from damaging line
  • Tangle Prevention – Stops line from twisting/tangling during storage

Popular storage containers that meet these criteria include:

Line Winder Spools

Line winders are specially designed spools that hold fishing line neatly in place to prevent tangling and damage. Most feature sealed plastic or aluminum construction to protect against UV, moisture, and chemicals. Winder spools make it easy to quickly respool line for future use.

Zippered Storage Bags

Resealable plastic bags with zipper closures seal out moisture and UV light. Look for thick, durable plastic resistant to chemicals. The zipper allows easy access to the line while keeping it secure and untangled. Storage bags take up little space.

Plastic Storage Containers

Sealable plastic containers are affordable and widely available. Clear plastic allows easy viewing of contents while blocking UV rays. Airtight lids prevent moisture issues. Look for chemical resistant HDPE or Polypropylene plastic. Containers take up more space but offer rugged protection.

Proper Line Winding Technique

Properly winding line onto a spool or winder prevents tangles, knots, and memory that ruin line performance. Follow these steps for the ideal wind:

  1. Inspect line for damage and wash with mild soap/water solution
  2. Secure one end of line so spool can turn freely
  3. Keep tension on line and wind evenly onto spool, side-to-side
  4. Overlap previous windings slightly as you turn the spool
  5. Stop before overfilling spool to avoid line popping off

Wear gloves during winding to prevent line damage from skin oils and friction. If reusing a spool, clean thoroughly to prevent old line fragments from contaminating new line.

Optimal Storage Conditions

In addition to the right container, optimal storage conditions preserve fishing line strength and performance.


Store fishing line at room temperature between 60-80°F. Temperature extremes can affect line memory and strength. Avoid direct sunlight which heats up containers. Don’t store fishing line in hot sheds, attics etc.

Moisture & Humidity

Too much moisture causes mildew and dry rot. Low humidity causes line to dry out and become brittle. Maintain humidity between 35-65% and keep containers sealed. Use desiccant packs or keep in climate controlled spaces.

Chemical Exposure

Gasoline, DEET insect repellent, sunscreen and other chemicals weaken fishing line over time. Keep line isolated from chemical sources during storage. Wash line before spooling if chemical exposure is suspected.


Twists and tangles during storage deform the line shape. Use winders or storage techniques preventing line overlaps that lead to snags. Untangle before spooling. Set spool on a freestanding holder so line doesn’t twist around the core.

Inspecting Stored Fishing Line

Inspect aged fishing line closely before every trip. Look for:

  • Brittleness/Cracking – Discard if line is dry or brittle
  • Discoloration – Sign of chemical contamination
  • Mildew/Mold – Discard line with mildew or mold
  • Visible Damage – Nicks, cuts, frays, cracks compromise strength
  • Stiffness/Memory – Tangles and lack of suppleness reduce performance

Cast the line to feel for stiffness, lack of flexibility, or weak spots. Replace line that shows any signs of damage or deterioration.

Maximizing Fishing Line Longevity

Proper maintenance optimizes fishing line lifespan and performance. Here are some key tips:

  • Rinse line after each use to remove dirt, saltwater, and debris that can embed in the line
  • Wash line periodically with mild soap and water solution
  • Inspect line for nicks, cuts and abrasions which lead to failures
  • Keep line away from jet fuel and other chemicals that cause degradation
  • Re-spool onto new spool each season to avoid damage where line piles up
  • Avoid excessive heat while in use. Sunlight and hot deck surfaces accelerate damage

Replace line as soon as any cracks, brittleness or inconsistencies are found. The frequent stresses of use combined with environmental factors limit shelf life. Fresh quality line improves performance and prevents losing the big one!

Fishing Line Storage Tips By Type

Specific types of fishing line have unique storage considerations:

Monofilament Line

  • Susceptible to weakening from moisture and UV light
  • Develops “memory” if stored improperly which causes coils and tangles
  • Winder spools work best for retention of shape and suppleness

Fluorocarbon Line

  • Degrades faster than monofilament when exposed to light, heat and moisture
  • Can become brittle and cracked when stored improperly
  • Keep in cool, dark place sealed from UV rays and humidity

Braided Lines

  • Easy to tangle and difficult to untangle once kinked
  • Abrasions from other lines/debris quickly weaken braided line
  • Wind onto spool using tension device to prevent gaps

Wire Leader

  • Prone to kinking and tangling during storage
  • Moisture causes corrosion and rust over time
  • Coil carefully and store in an airtight, waterproof container

Cold Weather Storage Considerations

Frigid winter temperatures require some special preparations:

  • Store line at room temperature – don’t leave in freezing vehicle or shed
  • Line becomes stiff and brittle below freezing
  • Warm line to room temperature before unspooling or using
  • Cold temperatures accelerate UV damage from the sun
  • Wash and dry line thoroughly before winter storage

Keeping line from repeated freezing and thawing reduces ice crystal damage to the line fibers. Maintain stable room temperature storage during cold weather months if possible.

Hot Weather Storage Considerations

Excessive heat and humidity in summer requires the following precautions:

  • Never store fishing line in direct sunlight which magnifies heat
  • Attics, garages and sheds can reach very high temperatures
  • If no climate control is available, use cooler basement storage
  • Avoid moisture damage by sealing containers to block humidity
  • Inspect line frequently for mildew or dry rotting signs

Try to keep fishing line storage between 60-80°F despite hot outdoor temperatures. Don’t keep line on a hot boat deck during summer fishing.

Re-Spooling Stored Fishing Line

To return stored fishing line to use:

  1. Inspect line closely for damage as outlined previously
  2. Discard line showing any deterioration
  3. Wash line with mild soap/water and allow to dry fully
  4. Wind onto reel spool using proper technique
  5. Make sure line still has good suppleness and casts correctly
  6. Cut away any section that becomes stiff, brittle or misshapen

Don’t take chances using damaged or degraded line. Test the reconditioned line extensively before relying on it in real fishing situations.

Discarding Unusable Fishing Line

Dispose of bad fishing line properly to avoid harming wildlife:

  • Never discard in the water where animals can become entangled
  • Don’t throw in regular trash that ends up in landfills and waterways
  • Find a fishing line recycling program to reprocess the nylon or fluorocarbon
  • As a last resort, cut up unusable line into small pieces before trash disposal

Check local tackle shops, marinas, or parks to see if they accept old line for recycling. Let’s keep hazardous loose line out of the environment!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does fishing line last in storage?

With optimal storage conditions, monofilament and fluorocarbon lines typically last 1-2 years before degrading. Braided lines may last slightly longer 2-3 years before needing replacement.

Where is the best place to store fishing line?

A dry, room temperature location out of UV light and away from chemicals and moisture. Ideal conditions are 60-80°F and 35-65% relative humidity.

Can old fishing line be reused?

If stored properly and still in good condition, fishing line can be reused by respooling onto a clean reel. Inspect carefully for cracks, brittleness, or other damage first.

How do you get rid of old fishing line?

Responsibly discard old line by cutting into small pieces and placing in trash or finding a fishing line recycling program. Never dump whole spools into the environment.

Why does fishing line go bad in storage?

Exposure to sunlight, excessive heat, moisture, and chemicals degrades the nylon and fluorocarbon polymers that make up fishing line. This causes brittleness, cracks, loss of strength, and memory problems.

Can you fix or mend old fishing line?

There is no good way to repair cracked or dry deteriorated fishing line. Attempting fixes like gluing or taping weak points almost always fail. It’s best to discard and replace any damaged section of line.

Key Takeaways on Storing Fishing Line

– Use UV and moisture blocking containers like plastic boxes, bags or winder spools.

– Maintain cool room temperatures around 60-80°F.

– Keep away from direct sun, heat sources, and chemical exposure.

– Control humidity between 35-65% in storage area.

– Wind line neatly onto spool without overlaps and tangles.

– Inspect aged line closely for cracks, brittleness, discoloration before reusing.

– Discard deteriorated line properly to avoid wildlife hazards.

Following these fishing line storage guidelines maximizes performance lifespan and helps you hook and land more fish on every trip!

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