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Cermele: Does Being a "Green" Angler Mean Sacrificing Fish?

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September 28, 2010

Cermele: Does Being a "Green" Angler Mean Sacrificing Fish?

By Joe Cermele

I owe you guys Part II of my YUM worm review, but before that I thought I'd discuss another new product I tested over the weekend. Bioline, which is owned by Eagle Claw, is the first 100% biodegradable fishing line on the market. According to the company, whether it's on land or in the water, Bioline degrades completely in five years, whereas regular monofilament can take up to 600 years. Fluorocarbon, they claim, takes even longer. On the surface, this is a long overdue idea. But it begs the question of how much its "green" qualities outweigh its fish-catching qualities. Here's what I found.

Pros: At $12 a spool, Bioline's price isn't bad. It's advertised as having "fluorocarbon clarity." Well, it does not, though its invisibility was acceptable. Obviously, you'd never have to feel quite as bad about breaking your line or accidentally dropping the clippings from a bird's nest. Bioline starts to degrade after 10 to 12 months, so you have to remember to replace it.

Cons: This stuff is pretty stiff. I used 12-pound-test Bioline on a spinning reel, and it didn't cast too gracefully. It also had bad memory. Little kinks formed at the hook eye after cinching a snell knot. I pulled it across river rocks all day, and by trip's end there was significant abrasion on the first 14 inches of line.

The bio-friendly qualities of this line fall in step with lead-free weights and jigheads. In my opinion, while using non-lead weights has merit, it can change the way you fish. I'm sorry, but a 00 tin split-shot does not sink like a 00 lead split-shot. Does it mean they're no good? No, but it means compensating in ways that could affect fishing. For example, adding more shot to a fly leader could change presentation, or stepping up to a larger jighead could alter lure action. As far as Bioline is concerned, I am not going to respool all my outfits with it, partially because I wouldn't trust it with a trophy, and partially because I pride myself on taking extra care not to leave line laying around in the first place.

Where do you stand? Are the environmental benefits of Bioline and non-toxic lead more significant than their fishability? - JC

 

Comments (17)

Top Rated
All Comments
from tkbone wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

I'm also pretty good about not leaving waste and scraps behind and trying to go lead free as much as possible but recognize the need to do better. I think it's ulimately worth sacrificing a few fish not just to use something that's biodegradable and non-toxic if you happen to lose it on the bottom or in a tree, but to give the industry some reason to make improvements to products like this that fishermen traditionally treat as disposable. I would think that if Bioline use becomes popular and gets support from fishermen, innovations would make it indistinguishable from the highest quality mono or fluorocarbon in the next 5-10 years.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from gman3186 wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

I was always taught leave the area better then when you got there which means pick up your own trash and trash that others have left behind

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from mutt wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

it's just a way for people to litter and not feel bad about it. it is also going to look just as bad for thous 6 years for it to go away

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WVOtter wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

I'm falling in line with the previous comments. It takes consumers to make the industry move forward with these sorts of inovations. If we buy/try it, new research will be done to make it better. I love any of these eco-friendly products, from biodegradable plastics to this. With regards to it being more prone to being left behind; that may not be an issue because the sort of person who isn't worried about littering (ie. the person who SHOULD have this) isn't going to have this on his reel to begin with. It'd be nice if shotshells could be worked on too.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

I don't see myself getting on this boat. If I'm fishing a spot known to be sensitive or already suffering some sort of damage, I will try the green stuff.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

I wouldn't mind trying the stuff if it was shown to perform as well as regular mono.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tkbone wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

Even if you're cleaning up after yourself (and others) and being a good steward of your favorite fishing area, you're eventually going to be leaving some lead and line behind if you're fishing below the surface.

I think it's unlikley that the fishermen who choose "green" products like this are going to be leaving it on the river bank just because it's (slowly) biodegradable.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

Nice try at selling line, but a bogus concept. Throw old line away, keep the place cleaned up. 5 yrs? How many critters could die with that stuff lasting 5 yrs? I use good mono, and fluoro, take care of the stuff, and leave very little in, or near the water I'm fishing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from weswes088 wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

At least it's a start, right? I don't know how long this has been around/tested already, but hopefully after further development, biodegradable line will be closely comparable to standard line.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Long Run Fishin... wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

Hmmnnn,has Obama reached into the fishing line market? Is there a New Green Fishing Line Czar? What if other fishermen do not have the line? Must we peel off half the spool and give it to others not as fortunate? Sounds like a conspiracy JC...just kidding. Now if this line breaks, I now have an out for why the Big One Got Away...gee, the small ones never seem to get away...
Tight "Green" Lines

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Greenhead wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

I am with Mutt on this one. I think it is great that they are making lines that are more friendly to the environment, but the worst problems with fishing line are not the things they are going to cause in a few hundred years, but the animals they harm shortly after someone throws them in the water. If some unfortunate critter gets caught up in this line 6 months after somebody throws it in the water, thinking it is "biodegradable", the critter is not going to care how green this product is.

I think this product is great, but please, manufacturers, advertising companies, and writers, don't tell the consumer that it is okay to throw this stuff in the water.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from scott powers wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

if fishermen whernt so dame lazy and picked up there line after them slefs we would not need that bio line. its stupied and use less. if we all pick up a some line every time we see some we will mot need this bio line. if people start buying this line they are going to be placeing it every where. the streems will be covered with useless line.the only way to stop doing this is to pick up your line after you are done or when you see some line on the ground pick it up and through it out.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

it won't be long before someone comes out with a better "green" fishing line. until that happens, i will use what i have been and keep cleaning up after myself and others.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

longrunfishin...Great post! Think of all the jobs Obama can create making GREEN line....subsidizing the jobs with tax payer money! And if the line deteriorates while playing the fish of a lifetime, you can be considered a conservationist by Obama.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from pandrews3 wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

I also agree that much of the worry over what we leave behind is just idle worry. I hardly ever lose weights of any size or type - I go after my hangups as much/often as possible. All cut off line except a 1/2" - 1" snip after tying a knot goes in my pocket (forgot a big spinning reel birds nest not long ago - you have not seen tangle of undies and socks until you let this stuff loose in your washer!!!) I can see using non toxic for waterfowl shot - one shotgun shell release hundreds of ingestible size lead. But fisihn leads? I sitll have some lead left tinthe first large multi pack of lead I bouth as a kid 4o yeras ago. I jsut don't lose the stuff like crazy. Most is lost on trotlines and set hooks, and that is big lead - no fowl ingestible. I do see evidecne that some are quite careless. I pick up discarded line wherever I fish, and often it is a long piece (sometimes with a lure left worth retrieving on one end!)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bowriverblog wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

Yeah I personally don't think this will take off. Like the other folks have already stated, clean up after yourself and others, keep fresh line on your reels as to not break off like or hooks in mouths. I LOVE Eagle Claw hooks but will never buy the line.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bass bomber wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I might buy this this line and one time I pick up a long piece of line and a big spinnerbait was on the end.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from gman3186 wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

I was always taught leave the area better then when you got there which means pick up your own trash and trash that others have left behind

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from weswes088 wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

At least it's a start, right? I don't know how long this has been around/tested already, but hopefully after further development, biodegradable line will be closely comparable to standard line.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from tkbone wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

I'm also pretty good about not leaving waste and scraps behind and trying to go lead free as much as possible but recognize the need to do better. I think it's ulimately worth sacrificing a few fish not just to use something that's biodegradable and non-toxic if you happen to lose it on the bottom or in a tree, but to give the industry some reason to make improvements to products like this that fishermen traditionally treat as disposable. I would think that if Bioline use becomes popular and gets support from fishermen, innovations would make it indistinguishable from the highest quality mono or fluorocarbon in the next 5-10 years.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from mutt wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

it's just a way for people to litter and not feel bad about it. it is also going to look just as bad for thous 6 years for it to go away

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WVOtter wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

I'm falling in line with the previous comments. It takes consumers to make the industry move forward with these sorts of inovations. If we buy/try it, new research will be done to make it better. I love any of these eco-friendly products, from biodegradable plastics to this. With regards to it being more prone to being left behind; that may not be an issue because the sort of person who isn't worried about littering (ie. the person who SHOULD have this) isn't going to have this on his reel to begin with. It'd be nice if shotshells could be worked on too.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from scott powers wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

if fishermen whernt so dame lazy and picked up there line after them slefs we would not need that bio line. its stupied and use less. if we all pick up a some line every time we see some we will mot need this bio line. if people start buying this line they are going to be placeing it every where. the streems will be covered with useless line.the only way to stop doing this is to pick up your line after you are done or when you see some line on the ground pick it up and through it out.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

it won't be long before someone comes out with a better "green" fishing line. until that happens, i will use what i have been and keep cleaning up after myself and others.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

I wouldn't mind trying the stuff if it was shown to perform as well as regular mono.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tkbone wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

Even if you're cleaning up after yourself (and others) and being a good steward of your favorite fishing area, you're eventually going to be leaving some lead and line behind if you're fishing below the surface.

I think it's unlikley that the fishermen who choose "green" products like this are going to be leaving it on the river bank just because it's (slowly) biodegradable.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

Nice try at selling line, but a bogus concept. Throw old line away, keep the place cleaned up. 5 yrs? How many critters could die with that stuff lasting 5 yrs? I use good mono, and fluoro, take care of the stuff, and leave very little in, or near the water I'm fishing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Long Run Fishin... wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

Hmmnnn,has Obama reached into the fishing line market? Is there a New Green Fishing Line Czar? What if other fishermen do not have the line? Must we peel off half the spool and give it to others not as fortunate? Sounds like a conspiracy JC...just kidding. Now if this line breaks, I now have an out for why the Big One Got Away...gee, the small ones never seem to get away...
Tight "Green" Lines

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Greenhead wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

I am with Mutt on this one. I think it is great that they are making lines that are more friendly to the environment, but the worst problems with fishing line are not the things they are going to cause in a few hundred years, but the animals they harm shortly after someone throws them in the water. If some unfortunate critter gets caught up in this line 6 months after somebody throws it in the water, thinking it is "biodegradable", the critter is not going to care how green this product is.

I think this product is great, but please, manufacturers, advertising companies, and writers, don't tell the consumer that it is okay to throw this stuff in the water.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

longrunfishin...Great post! Think of all the jobs Obama can create making GREEN line....subsidizing the jobs with tax payer money! And if the line deteriorates while playing the fish of a lifetime, you can be considered a conservationist by Obama.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from pandrews3 wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

I also agree that much of the worry over what we leave behind is just idle worry. I hardly ever lose weights of any size or type - I go after my hangups as much/often as possible. All cut off line except a 1/2" - 1" snip after tying a knot goes in my pocket (forgot a big spinning reel birds nest not long ago - you have not seen tangle of undies and socks until you let this stuff loose in your washer!!!) I can see using non toxic for waterfowl shot - one shotgun shell release hundreds of ingestible size lead. But fisihn leads? I sitll have some lead left tinthe first large multi pack of lead I bouth as a kid 4o yeras ago. I jsut don't lose the stuff like crazy. Most is lost on trotlines and set hooks, and that is big lead - no fowl ingestible. I do see evidecne that some are quite careless. I pick up discarded line wherever I fish, and often it is a long piece (sometimes with a lure left worth retrieving on one end!)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bowriverblog wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

Yeah I personally don't think this will take off. Like the other folks have already stated, clean up after yourself and others, keep fresh line on your reels as to not break off like or hooks in mouths. I LOVE Eagle Claw hooks but will never buy the line.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bass bomber wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I might buy this this line and one time I pick up a long piece of line and a big spinnerbait was on the end.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

I don't see myself getting on this boat. If I'm fishing a spot known to be sensitive or already suffering some sort of damage, I will try the green stuff.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment