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Mind Your Line Scraps

Posted on February 16 2016

Fly fishing tippet material.
There’s more where that came from, please dispose responsibly. Photo: Kyle Shea.

While sitting around the camp fire at Andros South, ice cold Kaliks in hand, we got into an interesting discussion.. How long does monofilament actually take to break down? Not just ‘weaken’ mind you, but actually biodegrade completely? Weeks, months, years?

Many of you have probably heard that fluorocarbon monofilament takes a lot longer to break down than plain ol’ nylon monofilament line does. But how long is that really?

We asked our highly intelligent team of researchers (insert sarcastic tone) to find out for us and we were shocked at what they found – Plain ol’ nylon monofilament fishing line (i.e. leaders, tippet, mono running line, and so on) can take upwards of 600 years to biodegrade completely! In other words, every piece of mono that has ever been dropped in the water is most likely still floating around in the environment, and will be for another 500 plus years. Whoa.

And what about fluorocarbon? Try 4,000 years to biodegrade. That’s a long darn time.

So, the next time you’re changing leaders, replacing tippet, or snipping off a tag end, please be weary of where your scraps end up. After all, they’ll be around long after we are.

Don’t get us wrong, we’re certainly not perfect, and we’d be lying if we said we hadn’t accidentally deposited our share of mono scraps into the waters we love. However, there are a few great products out there these days to help limit the amount of mono scraps that end up in our waters. We’ve listed three of our favorites below, and highly recommend giving them a try to help keep your favorite waters clean.

  1. The Monomaster. A pretty slick way of storing long and short mono scraps while on the water.
  2. Smith Creek Trash Fish. A simple, compact, cool looking, and effective way of wrapping up junk leader material.
  3. Fishpond Piopod Microtrash Container. Just what it says, a tiny little trash can, just large enough for line scraps. As with most great products, the beauty is in the simplicity.

Be weary of your line scraps, and please dispose responsibly.

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