S.A.F.E. Angling Products - Bioline

Bioline - Recycled FishOne common denominator in every angler’s tackle is fishing line. As we continue to explore S.A.F.E. options and tackle choices, fishing line is rarely thought of, and yet lost line poses a serious hazard to wildlife. Besides the embarrassing mess left behind and poor representation it gives others of anglers in general, it can also be a cause for death of waterfowl and animals that inhabit our lakes, streams and seas.

Lost fishing line is also a hazard to boaters when it engangles props. It can lead to damage of electric and gas motors.

Whether we are fishing for steelhead or stripers, barracuda or bass, we all use and lose fishing line in our waters. Until just recently, monofilament line has been our best option, because monofilament line has the ability to be recycled and re-used again for other things. But now a brand new product has become available to anglers everywhere through the insight and hard work of Patrick Ferguson and the team at Bioline. This is a new, unique, biodegradable fishing line. The possible positive impact to our fisheries through this invention is a monumental contribution to our environment overall.

With 24 years experience in bio-absorbable materials, Pat Ferguson has introduced Bioline, America’s first biodegradable fishing line. Bioline biofilament™ retains 100% of its tensile strength for 10 to 12 months on a reel and biodegrades to minimal carbon dioxide and water in a period of approximately five years with exposure to naturally occurring elements. Traditional nylon monofilaments remain in the environment for about 600 years and some lines last forever.

"Bioline’s development has followed a similar path to most groundbreaking technologies," explained Pat Ferguson, Bioline president, "what began as an expensive niche technology in the medical industry [bio-absorbable sutures] has decreased in cost with market expansion and growth in materials supply. Our patent pending technology has reached a point where we can offer a high performance product with the advantage of biodegradability, at a price competitive with other fishing lines currently available. "Most importantly, Bioline’s handling is so similar to nylon monofilament that the line does not require anglers to alter how they fish. Bioline’s environmentally friendly construction is offered to anglers without sacrifice."

The inherent advantages of Bioline’s chemistry are not limited to being biodegradable. Unlike nylon monofilament, Bioline does not absorb water. Its strength and stretch does not change. Bioline provides excellent knot strength and is highly UV and abrasion resistant. With low-memory and a silky smooth exterior, Bioline is an exceptional casting line on both spinning and casting reels alike. Clear in color, Bioline provides stealth in fresh and saltwater applications.

A cornerstone in Bioline’s biofilament development was providing a functional temporal window within which the angler can depend upon 100% strength. If kept sealed in its original package, Bioline has a five year shelf life. Once spooled on a reel Bioline will suffer no degradation in strength or performance for a period of 10 to 12 months. Tournament anglers, fly anglers and avid anglers who change lines regularly will see absolutely zero loss of performance. In fact, if casual anglers change line only at the beginning of each season, as is also recommended for conventional monofilaments, they’ll receive 100% performance from Bioline.

Anglers make up the single largest group of conservationists in the United States. The reason fisheries persist is the angling community’s commitment to sound management of fish populations and the habitats they depend upon. Virtually every piece of modern fishing line that has ever been lost is still out there. Beyond an eyesore and a nuisance, fishing lines have been documented to be deadly to marine mammals and birds. With a 99% reduction in the life span of the line in the environment, Bioline offers an alternative for those anglers who value stewardship as integral to their participation in fishing.

Recycled Fish got a chance to talk to Pat Ferguson, president of Bioline, to ask the questions most anglers have when considering trying a new line.

1. Does Bioline stretch like average monofilament line, or does it have more of a non-stretch quality common in braided line?
Bioline has a unique stretch like nothing on the market. It stretches the same as monofilament, around 25%. Unlike mono, Bioline will rebound to its original form with all its tensile strength intact. After fishing the line, people really like the stretch/rebound and have found no loss in sensitivity or ease of hook-setting.

2. How does the knot strength of Bioline compare to other types of line?

Bioline’s knot strength is 20-30% higher, pound per pound. A 12-LB line will break at the knot around 5-6LB’s. Bioline will break at the knot at 8-9LBs. The weakest point on your line is the knot, no matter what knot you tie. We are very open on our straight pull and knot pulls. Our 12LB test actually straight pulls at 12-13 LBs.

3. In terms of general characteristics, monofilament is known to float, while fluorocarbon tends to sink. How does Bioline compare? Does it float like mono or sink like fluoro?
Bioline does not float or sink. It tends to suspend in water.

4. Many anglers fish some rough underwater terrain - weeds, rock, wood, etc.. How is Bioline regarding abrasion-resistance?

Bioline is very abrasion resistant.

5. How does Bioline compare (or contrast) to other lines regarding visibility underwater? What is the general refractive index of the line?

Bioline’s refractive index is close to fluorocarbon. Its structure is vertical like fluorocarbon, and if it breaks can be peeled like a banana. This structure allows light to pass through the line, instead of reflect.

6. Is Bioline a more limp and "softer" line, or is it a "harder" line? What kind of memory does it have?

Bioline is very soft and smooth. It has medium memory, coming off the spool limp and straight.

7. Would it be OK to use line dressings on Bioline, or will this harm the line’s strength?

Dressings are great! It does not harm the line’s strength.

8. Many anglers in the Northern United States and Canada live in a landscape of ice and snow for considerable portions of the year. Has Bioline been used for ice fishing, and if so, how does it react in the extreme cold?

We have had very, very positive results from people testing it out ice fishing. I just got a bunch of pictures from a guide fishing Bioline in Kenora, Ontario and he couldn’t believe the size of fish he was catching with a 4LB test. The material actually reacts better in the cold, the opposite of nylon.

9. Can Bioline be used in saltwater? Will this hasten the life of the line? Is there any special advice you’d give saltwater anglers using Bioline?

Bioline has the same properties and benefits in saltwater. Unless you keep your reel submerged in dirt or water it will not hasten the life of the line. Manage the line as you would others.

10. Fly-fishermen are rather known as being conservation-minded anglers. Has Bioline been used for fly-fishing? How does it rate?
We have a new Bioline Tippet out and many fly fishermen are impressed with it. The stretch and quick rebound, we call "performance elasticity", give them more feel. Some have compared it to the old Stren.

11. Do you have any big game line for bigger fish such as northern pike, musky, catfish, etc.?
Based in the Northwest, we have had Salmon and Steelhead fisherman asking for larger LB test for a long time. We have a 20LB test out now that we are very excited about!

12. What gave you the idea to use a product used for medical sutures and stitching up patients for fishing line? What is the story behind its origins and development? Why did you go through the trouble of creating a fishing line that is biodegradable?

Absorbable suture technology has been around for a long time. The challenge was to take what costs $5 a yard in the medical industry and convert it into a commercial product, because no one would pay that. We have the full story under the "About Us" section or our Bioline website (www.biolinefishing.com ). We credit a friend, Tenny Mount of Eagle Claw, for pushing us year-in and year-out to get the product up to its current strength. It took over 4 years of testing and changing the formula.

13. Are there any new Bioline developments or products we should be looking forward to (that you can discuss!)?
Well…we are looking at everything. Currently we sell Bioline pony spools, Bioline Leaders, and Bioline Tippet material. We have prototypes of ghost nets and commercial nets, but a lot of further industry progress needs to be done before we can get into that market. We’re pushing. There are lots of possibilities with the Bioline material. Our spool is injection molded with Bioline, so anything plastic could be replaced with Bioline.

14. Any points you would like to discuss or expound on for our readers? Any success stories or interesting stories our anglers might be interested in?
As long as you change your line out every year, you will have no problem using Bioline. It takes 12 months on your reel before any biodegrading starts to happen. We fully guarantee our product, and if you don’t like it we will refund your money.

There were 60 Eagle Claw sales reps out on the water throughout a weekend in Colorado. We gave one of them Bioline to use, and he caught 120 fish in 2 days, far more than anyone else on the water. I had the same experience while fly-fishing on the Crooked River in Southern Oregon. I was using Bioline and I caught far more fish than anyone else that day. We think that fish like the line because it is biodegradable…or maybe that it is because it is very lo-vis under water. But we will never know.

Bioline is available in 210yard & 30 yard spools of 3-, 4-, 6-, 8-, 10-, 12-, and 20 pound tests with other sizes coming soon. MSRP: $14.95 for 210yards, 9.99 for our Leaders & Tippet material.

Do yourself (and our fisheries) a huge favor and check out the very thoughtful and impressive Bioline website at www.BiolineFishing.com to find out much more about Bioline’s break-through biodegradable fishing line, and how together we can better steward our environment for ourselves, for our children, their children, and future generations to come. They’ll know that what they have in their lives was by the decisions we are each making in our lives now….

809 NE 25th Ave
Portland, OR 97232
ph: 503-517-8001
fax: 503-517-8002