Do fly lines degrade?

davidms

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I have usable Cortland 444s that are 35 years old. I used to regularly plasticise them, mind, which could have helped.
 

ohanzee

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It seems that its more common with harder action rods and cleaning with a harsh cleaner (washing up liquid included).
Some lines are effected more than others.

Detergent on plastics formulated or impregnated with things is probably not a good idea, high concentrate detergents can leach just about anything, I once jet washed the side of a car with a concentrate detergent from a chemical company, bout 50 parts more than recommended concentration and it dissolved the lacquer, if you get that on your hands it leaves them dried out like a dead leaf.

The harder rod thing is a bit odd, I'd say the harder arm and the same bit of the line in the ring tip maybe.
 

ohanzee

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It made you happy but you can't actually add a plastizer to a plastic as it is incorporated during the manufacture

There used to be a line treatment that pertained to do just that, don't think its available now, it left a coating that may have absorbed into the line? but I'd agree, I have lines that are older than some members here, they look greyed but the perform as good if not better than new, they have been slicked a million times and never washed, this builds a surface like glass over time that zips through the rings, you can hear and feel the difference to a new line.
 

davidms

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Sorry Glueman, but the plasticiser sometimes worked too well, leaving the line incredibly limp if I left it on too long, which I did. I reckon that overdoing it back in the day was what allowed the lines to remain re-usable.
 

glueman

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they have to be mixed with the type of plastic as it is made be all end all what you were doing is just adding a surface lubricant. We used and the industry still does in sealants and adhesives vast quantities of different sorts of them
 

glueman

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Plasticizers are bulky organic molecules, generally 300–600 g/mole in molecular weight, and also somewhat polar so as to be compatible with the PVC matrix. Good plasticization involves interspersing plasticizer molecules between PVC chains, breaking the small amount of native PVC crystallinity, and internally lubricating the polymer blend. While there is no formal chemical bond between plasticizer and polymer, the polar attraction between them makes plasticized PVC more than a simple physical mixture. The two are not readily separable in normal use.
 

flathead

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There used to be a line treatment that pertained to do just that, don't think its available now, it left a coating that may have absorbed into the line?
It was called ‘Permaplas’....there was also a line floatant called ‘Permaflote’ made by the same company
 

davidms

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I'm really surprised. I will always defer to scientific knowledge. But i'm in no doubt that Permaplas left on certain fly lines for a week plus certainly softened them.
 

glueman

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I'm really surprised. I will always defer to scientific knowledge. But i'm in no doubt that Permaplas left on certain fly lines for a week plus certainly softened them.
Possibly softened them I do not know. I use dashboard silicone spray on mine,does not soften them but makes them more slippery this they go through the rings easier
 

ohanzee

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Possibly softened them I do not know. I use dashboard silicone spray on mine,does not soften them but makes them more slippery this they go through the rings easier

I think that is all you need to do, running it through a cloth as you do takes off any grit, why anyone can be bothered washing a fly line is beyond me and I think if you need to stretch a line it should be in the bin.
 

paul100

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I have usable Cortland 444s that are 35 years old. I used to regularly plasticise them, mind, which could have helped.

Hi mate

What do you mean by plasticise them ? Only asking as I have a couple of courtland lines and want to use them as long as I can as cannot afford to keep buying fly lines ?
 

Paul_B

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I think that is all you need to do, running it through a cloth as you do takes off any grit, why anyone can be bothered washing a fly line is beyond me and I think if you need to stretch a line it should be in the bin.
Running a cloth with particles of grit on it will also de-shine the leader so it must be a win win :unsure:
 

original cormorant

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Running a cloth with particles of grit on it will also de-shine the leader so it must be a win win :unsure:

Not sure just how ironic that comment is intended to be.
There was an article in FF&FT a couple of years ago which showed photos of flurocarbon underwater both untreated and de-shined. The untreated was "invisible" the mudded version was very visible. Do you want your line visible in the air or in the water?
 

Paul_B

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Not sure just how ironic that comment is intended to be.
There was an article in FF&FT a couple of years ago which showed photos of flurocarbon underwater both untreated and de-shined. The untreated was "invisible" the mudded version was very visible. Do you want your line visible in the air or in the water?
More to the point, a leader thats de-shined sinks easier than one thats not, and its receiving the same treatment as a fly line line thats been wiped with the same cloth....Just saying.
 

ohanzee

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More to the point, a leader thats de-shined sinks easier than one thats not, and its receiving the same treatment as a fly line line thats been wiped with the same cloth....Just saying.

Years ago now I used a microscopic camera to photograph a pair of Snowbee lines, one was fairly new but cast once or twice, the other pretty old, the pictures might still be archived somewhere, under magnification you can clearly see wear and tear, holes in the coating, and on the old line you could see the glass beads and other massive looking particles, it looked a bit like the surface of a concrete slab where years of wear through rings had worn it to a patination.

Anyway, I use Snowbee line slick only, no washing, applied with the same bit of old towel that lives in an airtight tub in my bag, you only need a spot to top it up each application, a bottle of line slick lasts months and I use it daily when fishing, over time my conclusion is that wiping grit off with the same bit of greasy cloth daily is better than running a line with microscopic dirt on through the rings daily.
 

roadrunner1000

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I'm really surprised. I will always defer to scientific knowledge. But i'm in no doubt that Permaplas left on certain fly lines for a week plus certainly softened them.
This happened to my Cortland 444 floaters back in the day (late 1980's) when using Permaplas
 

bobmiddlepoint

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Up me own ar5e!
Going back to the OP the lines will probably be fine but I'd change all the braided loops to be on the safe side. They are made from fairly fine nylon and this may have degraded.

I too an unsure about the example of a Rio line evaporating... was the old line weighed when it was new, it probably always has been under weight.
I do wonder if leaving rods on cars on very hot days does the lines any good. As well as the heat direct from the sun and reflected/radiating from the car's bodywork they are exposed to the full glare of the sunlight. Surely this must have some negative effect.

A well looked after fly line is good for decades. I have a DT5 Wet Cel II that was bought in 1992 and it's as good as new. OK it hasn't seen much action and spent most of it's life in a drawer but still on the reel but when I do give it a run out it's fine.

Line treatments come under the heading of tackle tartery in my book. Just clean the things with clean water.


Andy
 

three rivers

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It made you happy but you can't actually add a plastizer to a plastic as it is incorporated during the manufacture

The same mechanism that allows plasticizer to leach out of a line enables it to be added back, if a preparation containing more plasticizer than the line is applied.
 

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