Tin Boat

old fly line

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In the depths of my tackle room I found a used Cortland 444SL Big Game Taper Intermediate WF10I that seems to be in good condition. I don't know how old it is, but the price on the box is $45.00; so it must be ancient.

 

Does old age take away a fly line's characteristics that made it perform well when new? Line has been stored away from the light on original spool.

 

(I'd test it myself, but temps are freezing and the wind is howling.)

 

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Tin Boat

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Should be good.Probably lost some polymers due to evaporation so could be a little stiif,nothing that a line conditioner or armor-all can't take care of.

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I say no on  fly line expiration date. If the line was stored in a cool, dark environment, the line should still be as new out of the box condition.I am still opening and using 444sl's that were new 20 years ago. Outdated or not in technology it is still a perfect new line that is 20 years old.

 

Spend a little and save a lot. Are you gaining another 80 feet on your cast with the new $100+ line ?

 

Regards,

FT

 

 

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Properly stored all this plastic stuff lasts practically forever which is good or bad depending on your perspective.

JC

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I used to fish in FW Cortland lines. They were the dominant brand when I was a Nipper. Mostly we could not aspire to lines like the 444 or the SL version. They were the lines of the very  well off.

 

These are PVC lines.

 

In use over time the plasticiser gradually got lost and then the line started to crack.

 

Now did that happen because the line was flexed and saw sunlight.

 

If kept in a box out of heat and sunlight is there still a loss of plastizier.

 

PVC is politically a bit incorrect these days but these were the bench marks in their hayday. 444 lines are still held in some regard to this day. I would think most Fly Guys know about 444 even very young ones. Iconic.

 

I have an SL line myself stored on an old reel somewhere. Personally I never liked it. I thought it was too stiff and the claims made about it distance wise were BS. So nothing has changed today with fly line marketing. 

 

I am pragmatic so just go and use the line. It won’t take long to find out if it has stored well or not. As it’s PVC  hopefully will respond to a gentle stretching. I would pull the whole line off the reel and stretch it out like a washing line and leave for a couple of hours.

 

Mike

Edited by Mike Oliver

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3 hours ago, Mike Oliver said:

I used to fish in FW Cortland lines. They were the dominant brand when I was a Nipper. Mostly we could not aspire to lines like the 444 or the SL version. They were the lines of the very  well off.

 

These are PVC lines.

 

In use over time the plasticiser gradually got lost and then the line started to crack.

 

Now did that happen because the line was flexed and saw sunlight.

 

If kept in a box out of heat and sunlight is there still a loss of plastizier.

 

PVC is politically a bit incorrect these days but these were the bench marks in their hayday. 444 lines are still held in some regard to this day. I would think most Fly Guys know about 444 even very young ones. Iconic.

 

I have an SL line myself stored on an old reel somewhere. Personally I never liked it. I thought it was too stiff and the claims made about it distance wise were BS. So nothing has changed today with fly line marketing. 

 

I am pragmatic so just go and use the line. It won’t take long to find out if it has stored well or not. As it’s PVC  hopefully will respond to a gentle stretching. I would pull the whole line off the reel and stretch it out like a washing line and leave for a couple of hours.

 

Mike

 

+1 Mike.    I'm old and I know I benefit with a good stretching out on occasion as well :) 

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Thanks to all for interesting and valuable input. I also own a couple of old peach Cortland 444 floating "Rocket Taper" lines (priced at $30 for the WF9 and $32 for the WF11F). Based on your comments I'll rehabilitate them when weather permits.

 

One of the lines has some black mildew on it. Any suggestions about getting rid of it?

 

Back in much younger days when I worked for SWS, Cortland Line Company and its spokesman Dick Jennings were the industry leaders.

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I use that Big Game Intermediate regularly, I also found an old box of it. I had no issues with cracking, etc. I just keep it clean with Loon Sink Fast (it doesn't really make it sink fast)

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Wash your lines in shampoo or hand soap, do not blow dry.  You can spend $ 5.95 on a tiny bottle of big name fly lube or try a little bit of Simonize / Carnuba  old fashioned car wax that is buffed gently to remove the excess. Simonize repels water and Armoral type products wash off quickly.

 

FT

 

 

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