Biodegradable Fishing Line - Everything You Need To Know
Updated: Apr 5, 2020
Lets start with the basics, there are three main types of fishing line.
Monofilament: This is a very popular and old form of fishing line that is known for its stretch and ease of use. The material is a mixture of Nylon-based polymers. Fluorocarbon: Known for its ability to refract light and become nearly invisible underwater this line is a popular choice. It is composed of a polymer commonly known as PVDF. Braid: If you are looking for a strength then braided line or it’s hybrid form, fused line, is the top choice. This low stretch line gets its strength from a braided core of thermoplastic called polyethylene.
Notice any similarities? Every single type of line is made from a polymer, which is a fancy term for plastic. So what happens when a risky cast or a low hanging tree branch claims a tangle of line that gets left behind? That plastic based line hangs around for quite some time. Depending on the type of plastic and the conditions it is left in that line could be hanging around for tens to hundreds of years!
With today's constant conversation of plastic pollution I am sure you can imagine that the fishing line discussed doesn't do any good whether it is left tangled up in nature or in a landfill. This is where a newer type of fishing line is casted in to change the game. Biodegradable fishing line. Imagine knowing that snip of lead line or that 8 feet of line tangled in weeds would not be there when you return to that spot later. No reminders of bad casts and no risks for wildlife to get tangled up by accident. There are currently two companies that have attempted to make this green approach to fishing a reality.
Bioline By Eagle Claw
Eagle Claw is a company known mostly for their hooks, swivels, weights, etc. not for their fishing line. When they first put their Bioline on the market it showed promise. People were curious and elated by the idea of a fishing line that would help keep their favorite fishing holes clean. Being human, anglers were skeptical about the very piece of gear that connects them to their catch being built to break down. Eagle Claw's response to this was to make Bioline affordable and give it a 10 month guarantee. This made it low risk to try and it did reel people in, but it didn't always do the same with fish. Complaints of the line breaking with light use began to circle the product. Older or undermaintained line was often the culprit. To keep the line in good condition it must be kept in cool, dark, and dry places when not in use, and even then it was to be replaced every 10 to 12 months. Shipment services, sellers, and buyers alike can unintentionally expose the line to excessive heat, light, or moisture making it more likely to be defective compared to other forms of non-biodegradable line. Currently Bioline is out of production. We can only hope that reviews on the flaws of Bioline fuel the production of a sustainable biodegradable fishing line for the future.
FieldMate Fishing Line By Toray
Toray provided another biodegradable alternative to classic fishing line which they named FieldMate. FieldMate fishing line follows similar care taking practices with Bioline as it is best kept cool and dry when not in use. Toray is known for producing quality fishing line and has even made a biodegradable lure, but being a smaller company based in Japan means their products are not as readily available in other parts of the world. With similar concerns of durability and line maintenance Field Mate went the same way as Bioline and is no longer in production despite meeting fishing line standards with a remarkable 4 month bio-degradation time. Knowing that these two environmentally friendly fishing lines made it to the market with comparable quality to classic fishing lines may speak more of the customers than the product. Could it simply be that anglers were not ready to embrace the risk of trying something new for fear of losing a good catch, or were biodegradable plastics too new to the market when these fishing lines were first produced? Whatever the answer was then it would likely be different now as each year the repercussions of pollution become more impact full and people realize the importance of following environmentally friendly stewardship practices. Maybe today people would be more accepting of biodegradable fishing line, and maybe the next one to hit the market will be of superior quality to the ones that have passed. We will only know once it happens and then we will be one step closer to fishing a greener future.