Lines are often the most neglected aspects of a fisherman's tackle. They "seem" to frequently cost "relatively more" than the other equipment such as rods, reels etc because they have a much shorter shelf life than other items just mentioned. Some of us still own and fish with equipment that is 20/40 years old, in fact not as a matter of necessity, rather more due to the sense of pleasure and pride one gets from using old reliable unbeatable gear. Today the business motive is not focussed as it was in the 50/80's on quality at any cost. Today we live universally in the throw-away world where materials used in the mass market items are inferior to that used in earlier times. Consider the cheapest entry level reels from the 40's on, they are still quality devices.
Even starting from the more primitive attempts at fishing before rods and reels were de rigour, the hand spun natural materials of hunter-gatherer societies and the cat gut of our grandparents generation, did wear out and had to be cared for to make it last.
Some of my earliest ABU lines
In the last 50 years or so normal monofil lines however, irrespective of cost, either then or now, were meant to be replaced because they did wear out. Let us not even consider the cost of sophisticated braids and gel spun lines for the moment.
Lines are exposed to harsh environments such heat and cold, dust, salt, corrosive or less then perfect Ph waters, rough abrasive surfaces of sand and rock, twisted and stretched incredibly (we hope) and frequently stored in a tightened state in less than suitable circumstances. Fly lines once again due to their relative high costs are more likely to be treated with a little more care and concern and may even experience the privilege of being rewound and stored more gently. Much more care needs to be exercised with matching the fly line type and also choice and purchase of lines due to line weight specification needed for a particular rod as it is the line that takes the fly on its journey to the mouth of a hungry fish rather the heavier lure used with casting and spinning rods.
Knots are a subject of many books but general fishermen tend to have their favourite few such as the blood knot and fly fishermen their own again. With the invent of the new finer, stronger lines, we all had to adapt in order to take advantage of their attributes. Even manufacturers had to adapt the hardware with tougher coating to avoid wear from these tough new lines.
ABU fishing lines such as Abulon I have had very little to do with ; I guess primarily because it was not available or actively marketed where I lived in rural Australia. Anyone very knowledgeable on this subject and who wishes to contribute and document this aspect of ABU for the website, I would greatly appreciate.
Balance between line thickness and lure weight below is all important!
Modern 21st Century Lines
These can be braided, fused or co-polymer lines.
They each have advantages/disadvantages in regard to castability, knot strength, flexibility, abrasion resistance and experience will tell if the line suits your usage.
I like the new Berkley Fireline Exceed for ease of casting.
Another recent line! believed to be reliable, efficient and cost effective Fireline Stealth Camo Braid in 125yd spool of 20lb (9.1kg) strength. Review to follow after using it for a while!
Utility for Calculating Line Capacity courtesy of
Thanks to J.Norre , the original contributer of this most useful freeware