Fishing Gear photo

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more ›

So how about the new biodegradable fishing lines and flyfishing-tippet materials? A little-known company called [Bioline](


Wright-McGill has recently bought Bioline (or so I’ve been told) and is newly marketing the product as spools of flyfishing tippet. I guess they figure fly anglers will be most willing to pay a premium for an environmentally friendly fishing product. This is all so new that it doesn’t yet appear on Wright-McGill’s website. But when Bioline was selling 30-yard tippet spools, retail was about $10 each or roughly twice the cost of premium nylon.

So how does this stuff measure up? I obtained a size 4X sample tippet spool from some Wright-McGill reps at a recent trade show. The spool is labeled as .009-inch diameter and 6-pound test. On my own micrometer and line-testing machine, the 4X Bioline measured .011-inch and slightly more than 7-pound-test (dry).

A “normal” 4X nylon tippet will be .007-inch and approximately 6-pound-test. Flyfishing-tippet is ordinarily scaled and sold by diameter, not pound-test. That means all spools of 4X should measure .007-inch, regardless of brand or strength. Unfortunately, Wright-McGill is not following that industry-wide convention and appears to be scaling the Bioline tippet sizes by strength instead of diameter.

That quibble aside, the Bioline tippet does seem workable as a leader material. And unlike discarded or lost nylon–which is a substantial environmental hazard–it will biodegrade fairly quickly. (The makers say, by the way, that full strength is retained for 8 to 10 months.)

The fly in the ointment is price. Wright-McGill hasn’t posted prices that I’ve seen yet, but a 30-yard spool of Bioline tippet was retailing for about twice the price of nylon. So maybe the bottom-line question is this: How green is your wallet?