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Line Review

Just how strong is Trilene Big Game 50lb? We put it to the test in our lab and against Albacore Tuna (continued)

There are really two ways to run for tuna, on a charter boat or on a quality personal watercraft. Many anglers opt to go on charter boats because of the smoother ride afforded by riding on the larger boats, going under the direction of an experienced captain, and for pure safety reasons. If you have the option of running on a small personal craft you will enjoy more freedom to fish using various methods, have the ability to run your own trolling spread, and hunt for fish wherever you choose. On the downside, running for tuna is a serious offshore endeavor and requires very careful monitoring of conditions and plenty of safety precautions. We partnered up with Captain Ivan, who runs beautifully maintained 23foot Boston Whaler Conquest for all our BG50 field tests.

The Sealine SLT30 is the perfect reel for mid sized Tuna and is run on the outside of our spread towing cedar plugs and tuna clones during the field test

On the troll: We ran the Big Game with both cedar plugs and various tuna clones at around seven knots during the troll. The rod was run on the very outside of the spread where we seemed to be drawing the most strikes. The same stretch we witnessed in our lab translated into superior shock resistance in the field. Tuna slammed the lures on the end of our line and each and every time the lines would stretch a certain amount as we lifted the Tuna up to the surface. The controlled stretch helped add to the overall fighting power of the line, and with 50lb test we easily boated 30lb+ Albacore with confidence that our line would not break, even when we intentionally muscled down on our 2-Speed Daiwa Sealine. As we mashed away on the reel's high gear we deliberately stressed the line, and while the muscles in our forearms got a severe workout keeping the rod tip up, the line never once failed.  


Controlled stretch in the line gave us confidence to muscle even 30lb fish

Knot Strength: Trolling at seven knots for Tuna puts a great deal of stress on your line and all knots. With the plugs and clones right below or popping on the surface holding power on the knots is important, but when the tuna hit it at that speed strong and durable knot strength is critical. When any Tuna hit the clones the take is unmistakable. Properly tuning the drag helps reduce the shock on the line but when it comes time to reel in the fish the Big Game was front and center. Not once during our tests did the knots break or come loose. While I would like to think that I know how to tie a secure "Trilene" knot each and every time, I have to give it up to the Big Game when it comes to plenty of holding power where and when it counts.


JIP lifts an Albacore over for Captain Ivan after an extended battle with the 29lbr


Applications: "Fighting Power for Trophy Fishing" is what it says on each and every spool of Trilene Big Game, and Berkley means it. Not only did our lines never fail fish after fish, but after we examined the line for overstretch or abrasion damage the line looked just as good as new. While we were not able to hook into any bluefin we are confident that this line has the strength and toughness to take on even gigantic Tuna. The 50lb test line we are testing is a great line for trolling. The line is quite abrasion resistant so that working deep heavy cover is possible, but I still prefer a line with a little less stretch when fishing vertically, and in most cases opt for braided superline. Heavy lines like this one are ideal for conventional reels but it is possible to max out with 50lb Big Game spooled on huge spinning reels.


Zander holds up a 30lb Tuna caught with Trilene Big Game 50#


Price: Here's where the good gets even better. While MSRP is $31.49 for a 1lb spool of 50lb Big Game, these immense spools can easily be procured for under 25 dollars at just about any e-tailer, including BassPro and Cabelas. This makes Big Game among the cheapest of all saltwater lines. When we compared this to the prices of Ande and Maxima at the same e-tailers Trilene was always the most affordable.


Trilene Big Game 50# Line (?/10)

Construction/Quality A quality constructed line that is designed to deliver superior strength and shock resistance when fighting big fish. Both our lab and field tests couldn't prove otherwise 9
Performance While we need to do some further testing on the effect of water absorption on long term tests, the first round of tensile tests paint an excellent picture for Big Game. The line easily surpasses Ande Premium in break strength, but it looks like Ande may be able to withstand the elements for a longer period. Overall, Big Game performed admirably in our tests and met all their claims 9
Price The large Trilene Big Game spools are extremely affordable and cheaper than both Ande and Maxima at the vast majority of retail stores and e-tailers 9
Features Not Applicable N/A
Design (Ergonomics) Trilene Big Game features a mix that delivers exceptional shock resistance but just a bit too much stretch which reduced sensitivity. Overall a quality line that is easy to manage and fish with 8
Application A good choice when you need superior tensile strength and outstanding knot strength. This is a fantastic trolling line 9

Total Score


Note: Ratings for lines may vary depending on the .lb test reviewed and particular application

Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Very strong!! L Too much stretch for some applications
J Excellent for trolling, good shock resistance L Absorbs water faster than some competing lines
J Durable and abrasion resistant  
J Excellent knot strength  
J Cheap!  

Conclusion: Trilene Big Game is among the most reliable lines for both freshwater and saltwater applications and after seeing what the 50# Big Game can do in our tensile tests it has become one of our favorites for trolling for Tuna. This line has some serious stretch before breaking which adds to the overall confidence and fighting capability of this line. While not the superlative choice when sensitivity is paramount, this line will not let you down when strength and long lasting durability are the significant determining factors of your application. Berkley's statement that "Trilene Big Game outperforms Ande in key tensile strength tests," proves to be true in our own combination of lab and field tests. Combine this excellent showing in raw tensile strength and the lowest price and you have a line worthy of serious consideration when it comes time to target fish that are potentially larger than we are.












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