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Frequently Asked Questions


Monofilament - or “mono” for short - is a single strand of material that is made of a strong, flexible plastic that is clear or tinted many colors. It is one of the most popular types of fishing line used today.

Flexible—It is easy to use and works well for many fishing situations. This flexibility makes the line more manageable and easier to cast than stiffer lines. 

Stretch—Mono stretches which gives it more forgiveness. If an angler’s line drags a stick or they set the hook too hard, mono compensates by stretching up to 25 percent or more. It also helps prevent the hook from tearing a hole in a fish’s mouth. 

Shock Strength—Stretch should not be confused with shock strength, which is a fishing line’s ability to absorb energy. Shock strength comes into play when line has to withstand the sudden impact of a hard hooks being set or a big fish thrashing violently at boatside. 

Sink Rate—Thanks to its near-neutral buoyancy, mono sinks slowly, making it a great choice for topwater lures and when anglers don’t want to accelerate the bait’s downward movement. 

Color Palette—Mono is easier for manufacturers to tint than other types of line, so it’s available in a wider range of colors. Anglers can choose from stealthy options such as green, blue or clear—or spool with high-visiblity shades. 

Knots—Mono is knot-friendly. Anglers can use a variety of strong, easy-to-tie knots without sacrificing the strength of the line. 

Inexpensive—Mono is the most affordable of all line choices. Considering the critical role line plays in fishing, it is one of the best investments an angler can use. 

Ease of Use—Thanks to a combination of manageability, stretch, easy knot tying and other fishing-friendly features, mono is the best fishing line for ease of use. This makes it a wonderful choice for everyone from first-time anglers to seasoned veterans.

Derelict fishing gear refers to nets, lines, crab/shrimp pots, and other recreational or commercial fishing equipment that has been lost, abandoned, or discarded in the marine environment. Modern gear is generally made of synthetic materials and metal, which means it can persist for a long time.

Marine debris is persistent solid material that is manufactured or processed or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, disposed of or abandoned into the marine environment. There is no body of water that does not deal with this problem. A majority of the trash or debris comes from storm drains and sewers, as well as from shoreline and recreational activities. Marine debris is a threat to our environment, navigational safety, the economy, and human health.

Line Recycling

The monofilament is collected from recycling bins and cleaned of hooks, leaders, weights, and trash by volunteers. It is then shipped to the Berkley Pure Fishing company in Iowa. Berkley melts the line down into raw plastic pellets that can be made into other plastic products including tackle boxes, spools for line, fish habitats, and toys. It is not made into more monofilament line.

You can mail it directly to Berkley, deposit it in special cardboard recycling boxes which can be found in some tackle shops, or deposit it in an outdoor monofilament recycling container.

If you live in Florida, don’t have a bin, and want to install one, contact us. If you would like an indoor cardboard recycling container, they are available at no cost from Pure Fishing by emailing Berkley customer service at

No, only fishing line that is a single filament, nylon product may be recycled (such as monofilament and fluorocarbon). Fishing line that is braided or contains wire cannot be recycled. Fishing line that has a lot of growth on it or plant material mixed up with it may not be recycled as well. Cut this fishing line up in small pieces (less than 12 inches) and place in a covered trash bin to make sure the line is disposed of properly.

Berkley Conservation Institute which is part of Pure Fishing recycles the fishing line. The Institute was developed to support conservation and angler recruitment efforts. They work and collaborate with a variety of organizations to enhance populations of sport fish and to introduce the next generation to angling.

Pure Fishing America (Berkley)  
1900 18th Street
Spirit Lake, IA 51360-1041

If you throw out fishing line you are still keeping it out of the environment, but make sure the trash receptacle has a lid and be sure to cut the line into short lengths (6 to 12 inches). Once line goes to a landfill, longer pieces may be scavenged by animals trying to eat it or build nests out of it. Animals may become entangled, entangle their young, or will bring the line right back out into the environment.

No. Fishing line is a high density plastic and requires a special recycling process. It cannot go into most regular household recycling bins. Instead, it should be brought to an outdoor recycling bin or to a participating tackle shop. If you spool line at home, save it up in a box or bag and bring it to a drop off location.

Effect of Monofilament

Most of the fishing line that ends up in the water is the result of a hook getting snagged on unintended objects such as rocks or tree limbs and line breaking when pulled. Sometimes the line can rub against a sharp object (like an oyster shell or barnacles) and break. Additionally large fish can sometimes break lines while they are being reeled in. 

Even fishing line that has been thrown in the garbage can end up in the environment -  either by blowing out of the garbage can, being taken out by birds for nest-building materials, or removed by other animals. Some people also just throw the line right into the water when they are done with it!

Monofilament is not biodegradable and can last hundreds of years depending on environmental conditions. Because it is thin and often clear, it is very difficult for birds and animals to see. They can easily become entangled resulting in injury, drowning, strangulation, or starvation. Many animals also mistakenly ingest fishing line. One dead sea turtle recovered during an international cleanup was found to have consumed 590 feet of fishing line. 

It is also difficult for people to see, and individuals can drive their boats over floating line. Then it can cause serious (and expensive) damage to any engines that become ensnared in line. Human divers and swimmers can also be affected because they can’t see line when they are in the water. Studies have shown that monofilament line influences benthic habitats and species as well – there is a relationship between line presence and dead or damaged coral colonies.

Many types of wildlife are harmed by discarded fishing line, including birds, turtles, manatees, fish, dolphins, and even humans. However, almost any type of animal can be entangled in line or will try to consume it.

Ghost fishing occurs when lost or discarded fishing gear that is no longer under a fisherman’s control continues to trap and kill fish, crustaceans, marine mammals, sea turtles, and sea birds. These nets and traps can continue to ghost fish for years once they are lost under the water’s surface. 

Ghost fishing can kill target and non-target organisms, included endangered and protecting species, cause damage to underwater habitats (such as coral reefs and benthic fauna), and contribute to marine pollution.

Stay calm and strictly observe for a couple of minutes to see if the animal is actually entangled. If you see a bird that is entangled or accidently hook one yourself while fishing, learn how to unhook a bird at To report an entanglement, call the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922 (FWCC) or dial *FWC on a cell phone. The person monitoring the hotline will help you figure out the next steps. This is especially important if the animal is a protected species, such as a manatee or a marine turtle. You can also connect with a local rehabilitator for further instructions for a variety of smaller species.

There are many things that you can do to help keep line out of the environment. Visit the Get Involved page for additional information.