I've had some that seemed to have bad line who's knot strength was poor when it was new. Conversely I have some that is well aged and functions fine. I keep it in a tackle bag away from sunlight and of course it isn't hot here so it lasts a while.
The most important thing is to test knots well regardless of the materials age. As I said it can be new & bad or old & strong. Check them good buddy,
Hi, James. Yes, mono does go bad. Some products have UV inhibitors, others, usually clear, don’t. Maxima Clear has no UV protection. If you keep mono in the dark and in the fridge (no, not kidding) it can last decades. I have an Orvis mono leader tying kit from the early ‘80s, stored in the fridge, still testing as if new. And my newest leader spool, 15 lb Maxima Ultragreen has turned out to be rotten – connected a length to 10 lb Orvis via perfection loops and pulled ‘til failure, the Maxima broke. I think the fluorescent lighting in the tackle shops has a deleterious effect on all mono. Like Ard said, test your stuff, even new stuff. Cheers, Buff.
I used to teach kids to fish, Pathways to Fishing. Berkely was one of the sponsors. The factory Tech Rep told me how to test mono (or fluro). If it is chalky, probably bad. If it stiff as a board, probably bad. Tie one overhand knot and give it a good tug. Once you do enough, you will get the feel of how much. Start with 4 pound. It should never break. He said I would throw out 95% of my mono. I did. He said 4 pould mono is impossible to break with your bare hands. Finding good mono is another question. I have gone through 30+ spools to find one good one at Bass Pro. It may be new to the store, but sat in the manufacturers warehouse. I landed a 15 pound chum on 6# while fishing for Dollies in Sheep Creek near Wasilla, AK. All of my line is unbreakable. But still gets checked brfore fishing. I had 15# I could break with no effort. Just tugging on it does not work, unless you do not tie a hook on. The knot is the key. I have unbreakable mono/fluro, but not easy to find. I go through lots of spools. Cost means nothing if it breaks easy. Grad student/guide I know at UNC did a study on leader material. Got 300 spools of leader from all the manufacturers. 75% was bad to start with. Back then Climax, Maxima, and Orvis came out on top.
I agree with DGC based on my experiences. Here's one from last week:
Last fish I caught was towards the end of the day. I noticed an overhand wind knot in my 10# tippet but said "aw, what the hell, I'm almost done" and didn't change it. Couple minutes later I'm hooked up to a brute of a buck who just exploded on my fly. I think the only reason he didn't break me off was the 15' rod's flex.
It was a really good battle getting him in. Fish went over 12# I'm sure. When I was cleaning the fish I was telling my granddaughter about the fight and the peril of the wind knot, and got out a piece of tippet from my bag. 12# tippet popped like thread! That sppol went straight into the garbage.
I fill my tippet wheels off bulk spools, and respool them several times a year which keeps sun, heat, ozone, UV etc from ruining them. The bulk spools are in a cool dark closet and have been for years. The tippet I popped for my granddaughter had been riding around in my bag all summer and in my truck, and got weak. The 10# I caught the fish on came from a freshly spooled wheel.
Never hurts to check backing as we'll. this summer I picked up a new spool of SA 20lb Dacron and broke 4 triple surgeons knots in a row when seating the knot. Didn't have to make my hands bleed to do it either. Any body have experience with Cortland tippet material?
I just watched an angler lose his fly line two days ago while playing a good-sized salmon. His backing knot failed. I had a look at it - broken, not unraveled. Looked like the remains of a figure 8 loop knot. Like Ard said, check your stuff.
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