With all the fancy new lines at our disposal as anglers, we sometimes forget a little about the beginnings of the most basic, yet arguably most important component of many a bassin’ outfit – monofilament line. Can you guess when one of the most popular brands of monofilament, Trilene, hit the market? This black and white ad should get you close to the answer.
Yes, back in 1967 when this ad appeared in the June issue of Fishing News, there was no XT, XL or Big Game. There was just one version of monofilament line from Berkley and it was called “Trilene”. Looking back at documents, first use in commerce of ‘Trilene’ was listed as Sept. 17, 1958. The name was filed for trademark a week later, and registration was issued on May 17, 1960. So when did Berkley split off the line into different versions?
According to those same documents, Trilene XL didn’t come about until 1971, about 4 years after the black and white ad above published. Trilene XT and it’s companion Trilene TS didn’t hit the market until 1977. You say you don’t remember Trilene TS? A look at another ad, this 1979 Trilene ad (right) pictures all three versions, part of their Trilene Strategy. The XL line was “extra limp”, while the XT “extra tough”. TS actually fell in the middle of the two, giving a combination of good castability with more toughness than XL. In the long run, Berkley must have decided that the two versions on the ends of the management spectrum were all that were needed, or perhaps were simply the two that sold best.
And just to complete the story, the other long running Berkley line product that has gained a strong following over all these years, “Big Game” monofilament, came about in 1985, nearly 28 years ago. Kind of scary to think about how long it’s been since I picked up my first spool of the stuff and loaded it onto my reels. I still have some bulk spools sitting in the garage that I use to this day in certain applications.