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Red X Angler
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I'm not clear on the proper use of swivels for attaching lures, rigs, etc. to the line. I know it can effect the action of some baits and in some instances the less hardware for the fish to spot the better.
I also know that use can vary depending on the type of equipment, ex: Baitcaster,Spinning reel, Spincast (closed face) because of the frequency of line twist with all except baitcasters...
I think this is a good topic for education and review.... any info would be helpful to all..:)
 
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Drop I always wonder the same think about swivels use.

Below is something I copied from the internet

To Swivel Or Not To Swivel
by Gary Soucie
An excerpt from his book "Hook, Line, and Sinker"


The question of whether and when to use a swivel can be a vexatious one. It is also a question of considerable controversy among angling experts. Over the years I have been exposed to the whole gamut of opinion and I have tried it all, from swiveling everything to swiveling nothing. As you might guess, I have decided that the extremists of both camps are misguided and that the truth sprawls rather awkwardly across the gray places in the middle.
Whether to use a swivel in a particular rig is ultimately a personal decision, and I'm not sure there are a lot of objective truths that can be turned into guidelines. But how to swivel a rig is something else again, a matter of pure and applied physics, and specifically that branch called tribology, the study of friction.
Those who hold the extreme positions in the range of opinion on swivels can marshal a lot of logic but not much hard data in defense of their positions. If you even read fishing articles in the outdoor magazines, or books on fishing, you are probably familiar with the arguments. Even if you aren't, I don't intend to trot them out, line them up, and present the pros and cons. Instead, I'll give you my own biased, middle-ground position on the subject, and I'll try to marshal as much scientific support as I can.
Swivels are primarily for preventing or removing twist in the line or leader and secondarily for permitting or promoting baits, lures, spinners, or other parts of a terminal rig to revolve. Your mental picture of a swivel should be a motion picture. Swivels should not be used when other pieces of tackle or a simple knot will do. In the United States, for example, most anglers use swivels as stops when fishing with sliding-sinker rigs.
In Australia and New Zealand, small brass rings are used for this purpose. In Canada and Great Britain, split-shot sinkers are more common. All three pieces of hardware will do the job, but of the three, the swivel is the largest and most expensive and the most "overqualified." Why soak a swivel in corrosive water if you don't need its swiveling capacity?
The almost inherent unreliability of most swivels - they won't always turn when you want them to - coupled with the uncertain strength of some inexpensive ones, had me edging toward the no-swivel end of the spectrum, until I switched almost entirely to fixed-spool spinning tackle.
Spin fishermen and spin casters know that line twist is a serious and perennial problem, and it will get the best of you if you don't learn how best to select and rig swivels.
 

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Generally I don't use a swivel ..
I typically use crankbaits and as a general rule they do not contribute to line twist.
The swivel certainly effects the lures performance, and I can tie my favorite knot (Rapalla) in the same period of time it would take to open / close a snap swivel.

On the flip side .. if I were using a spinner of a C-Rig .. I would default to the use of a swivel/snap swivel as these lure/riggs tend to spin the line up on retrieve ..
 

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For the type of fishing that I do (inshore), I only use a snap swivel when throwing a spoon. It seems to be the only time that I get any sort of line twist. Even though a spoon should only wobble.
 

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I use a swivel when trolling Clark spoons and bird rigs. They have a tendency to put nasty twists in the line with out a swivel. In fact I use several swivels with the bird rig but keep them up near the bird and away from the lure. Swivels can cause bubble and those bubbles can cause strikes when near the bait - thus severing your mainline. I also use a swivel on my King rigs to attach the wire leader to the main line but I use the smallest size I can get away with and the SPRO swivels have a very low profile..

Never use snap swivels though, too much hardware for me.
 

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Snap Swivels - I never use a snap-swivel anymore. My dad introduced me to them as a kid for fishing inline spinners like the Mepps minnows, and we used to twist line like nobody's business. Haven't used one in years. I really don't fish with baits that twist very much at all anymore, and I find that braided line's ability to avoid twist (or at least shield me from the perils of twist) takes pretty good care of me for that occasional Rooster Tail.

Swivels - I use swivels all the time for Carolina rigging and in very rare cases with a weightless trick worm. In both cases you've got a leader and no tension behind the swivel. I've never been underwater with a swivel to count the number of times it reduces line twist but I've always been suspicious about how well they spin with tension in the water (at least the cheap ones I've always bought). I figure they have a better chance at making a revolution or two without tension/friction. For the C-rig its more for making a stop for the sinker/beads and a way to transition to a lighter test or clearer (fluorocarbon) leader. For the Trick worm, it gives a hair more weight, along with the same ability to go stealthy on the business end. Going lighter with the leader also allows you to break off behind the swivel in case you get the bait hung up - sometimes that can save $$. I have fished Carolina rigs with the Carolina Keepers - they don't swivel but they still seem to work just fine, as the article above suggests. They do not "stick" as well to braid as they do to mono.

Snaps - I use snaps all the time with crankbaits. I'm not fishing crystal clear water so I don't worry too much about the fish seeing the snap. I haven't ever broken one, but I have had one pop open and donated a lure to the lake floor (or did I forget to close it? can't recall). Unfortunately I was born with "sausage fingers", so I don't have Hisheirs' dexterity with knots - for me its much faster and easier to unsnap/snap than to retie. I also use braid almost exclusively, so my line doesn't warrant as much retying as with mono.

And thanks to Tadpole1, I can add "amateur tribologist" to my resume!!
 

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Jeff - you wanna become a believer in swivels reducing line twists - pull a Clark spoon at 7 knots without one.

For the Clark spoons & bird rigs I use a ball bearing type swivel - costs more but they work very well for eliminating line twists. For king rigs (& Carolina rigs - forget them first time) I use a barrel, low profile model. I agree the cheap barrel style do little to reduce line twist.
 

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Red X Angler
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm learning alot so far! Thanks gang!
 

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Jeff - you wanna become a believer in swivels reducing line twists - pull a Clark spoon at 7 knots without one.
Oh I believe it, and I believe that there's a big difference between the quality ball bearing swivels and the dollar-a-dozen jobs. They definitely have their place for things like big water trolling. Way up north where the Muskies and Northern Pike roam, we use the vinyl coated wire leaders with a swivel on one end and a snap swivel on the other. I guess I don't mind it so much up there when weighed against the threat of a big toothy critter gnawing on my line. (I use "we" loosely - its been dozens of trips around the sun since I've caught fish on the end of a wire leader in Wisconsin, but that's how we do it when I get up there:))

As I look back at my first post, I see that it didn't add a whole lot that answered Sundrop's original question about attaching things to them when you do use them.

One thing I do for Carolina rigs is try to tie a stronger knot on the rod-to-swivel side than on the swivel to bait side. Usually something with 2 loops of line through the swivel on the uphill side (palomar for braid or double loop trilene knot for mono) and a single strand knot on the downhill side of the swivel. This may be in addition to using a stronger line above the swivel than below. It will reduce my end-to-end line strength a few percentage points, but if I do hang up it gives me a better chance to get at least some of my terminal tackle back. I've lost a whole lot more tackle to snags than I have to fish. (It will be of no consolation the next time I lose the "fish of a lifetime", but my frugality in this matter is a burden that I have learned to live with).

Also, some of the snap swivels have a pointed end on the snap for the eye on the hook/lure to settle into. If you hook that kind of snap onto a crankbait, especially one without a split ring, you can really impair the action of the bait or even throw it off balance enough to get it swimming wrong - sideways, rolling over, etc...

One other thing to watch out for with the snap swivels is that often times the swivel portion is small enough that you can reel it through the tip eyelet on the rod, which has the possibility of putting nicks or grooves up there where the line is at its most stressful bending point. Not a favorable situation for most lines.
 

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I use a swivel to attach any bottom fishing rig. Black and as small as I feel I can get by with. If there is a pyramid sinker attached I try to use Sampo ball bearing swivels with a coastlock snap. If it is a carolina rig it gets a crane swivel with no snap. I generally use a spro or sampo swivel on any trolling leaders.( brand varies according to what I have available and my history with the type lure I'm using.) Sabiki rigs come with cheap nickel plated swivels . I usually try to attach them with a similarly cheap black snap swivel.
I generally use a small black snap swivel to attach speck rigs. Popping floats, Cajun Thunder/ Mansfield mauler floats usually get the small black snap swivel also. Spoons that are going to see a lot of time in the water get a small spro and a leader. freshwater/inshore boat fishing I like to keep a #75 0r 101 hopkins tied direct with a rapala knot at ready for distant breaking fish. (Works great on stripers. Nearshore a 1oz stingsilver with a 30lb flourocarbon leader and a small black spro and a bucktail (appropriate to the season) with a leader tied direct with an albright stay rigged and ready.
 

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My thoughts/use are, swivels when using leaders and trolling.

I'll attach a swivel to the main-line on the trolling rods (helps keep lures from twisting the lines and I'd like to believe helps the lures to run "true" better)

And, when using leaders, I can change from a 200 lb mono grouper rig to a thin single strand wire leader for ballyhoo'd baits or for king mac/wahoo trollin.

Those are the only times I will use a swivel. (I now use the Momoi hi-catch type - very quick change out of leaders, lures, ect..)

Freshwater, I just tie a lure onto the main line or rig a carolina rig to the main line.
 

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actually, Marty and I make bridle rigs for the teasers. We use 500 and 700 lb snap type swivels for those as the teasers really have some eratic action to them and will twist up 400 lb mono really quick.

We make a "cleat" bridle that terminates at a 500 or 700 lb swivel, then we have the leader (anywhere from 15-20 ft) of 400 lb mono attached to the teaser. For the fender teasers, we have to crimp the leader end to the nose of the teaser.

We then attached the two swivels together ( cleat bridle swivel to the leader tag end swivel) and just throw the teaser off the back of the boat. If one teaser isnt working (I.e. the play action mirror, Tormentor mahi, fender teaser) we can do a quick change right at the back of the boat at the bridle.

Here's a pic with the tormentor teaswer already hook'd to it's leader line and the bridle.... not the best picture to show.. but gives and idea:



I guess.... you could sorta say a teaser is a kind of a lure.... though they dont actaully catch fish, they do attract fish.. so they sorta are just like a big lure. But again, we only use them trolling.. and scaring the stripers up at Jordan lake! ha ha ha ha... ;)

Swivels I use:


and the Sampo Coastlock snap swivels


for visual purpose here an example especially for saltwater situation (in my case), could apply to lures for freshwater I guess...

Mono leader rig'd baits:


wire rig'd baits:


bottom rig:


I can use one rod/reel combo for any of the lures/rigs above and swap them out at the flick of a switch... Swivels, especially snap type or hi-catch allows for quick changes in different settings... so can go from trolling to bottom fishin or from top water trolling to sub surface trolling (by adding a trolling weight in-line between the swivel and the bait) in an instant.

For freshwater fishin, we use them 3 way swivel dealies for crappie. One loop to main line, one loop for the bottom weight and the other loop for the line to hook(s)

example:




 

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actually, Marty and I make bridle rigs for the teasers. We use 500 and 700 lb snap type swivels for those as the teasers really have some eratic action to them and will twist up 400 lb mono really quick.... But again, we only use them trolling.. and scaring the stripers up at Jordan lake! ha ha ha ha... ;)
700lb snap swivels... my whole "boat" only weighs 70lbs, maybe 80 loaded with typical gear. I could build quite a garage hoist with a couple 700lb test snap swivels and some 400lb mono. You guys come swinging past me flopping those garbage-can-sized teasers clipped onto with 700lb snap swivels and you can bet I'd be scared too!

Its a different world, but it does look like fun!
 

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ha ha ha ha ha.... yeah, many many uses for them snap swivels... bad thing is, when new out of the pack.. they're very hard to open. (kinda like them hand work out things ya squeeze the handles together with...)

Funny thing is... never had any of them "fall apart or break open"... ha ha ha ha... :D

Jeff, we could hook 3 of ya yakers up and pull ya around on them bridle rig's no problem! ;) :)

here's a link to the video when we were testing the fender teaser out at Jordan:
http://www.ncangler.com/photopost/data/500/slow_troll_chub.MOV

When I hit the throttle that thing went straight to the bottom about 10 somethin feet down... funniest thing.. we got up to about 26 mph at one point and nothing broke or gave way!!! ha ha ha.....

here's a pic of the cleat bridle/swivel:

 

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Here is a tip or two for reducing line twist on spinning reel and spincasting reels.
Always close your bail with your hand instead of reeling until it closes.
Never reel against an outgoing or stationary fish or snag.
Use good quality ball bearing swivels when trolling, fishing in strong currents, using pyramid sinkers or other heavy sinkers that attach to the end of your line and for spoons and inline spinners.
To remove twist from a line:
If you are in a boat let out 75-100 Yds of line with nothing attached to the bitter end while moving ahead at trolling speed. Let it troll for a minute or two and then reel it back in. I always try to pinch the line between my forefinger and thumb up near the first guide to force out any remaining twists and pack the line a little tighter on the spool.
From a pier or river: use the same method but let the current take your line out.
From shore: Here you have some options: one of the following will usually be available.
Change spools until you can do it somewhere else
Walk the bare line of the reel
Wait til you hang up on a snag and break your line,
Tie on a sacrificial sinker (that you know will hang up) with a weak knot such as an overhand knot. Cast it as far as you can with said weak connection. Let it sink with an open bail and then break it off on the first good snag. (Make sure you use something that a waterbird wouldn't swallow). (Make sure the knot you tie it on with will break at the knot so you don't leave a bunch of line in the water.)
 

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Swivel or not swivel? I use black Spro barrel swivels when I am plugging or jigging from the pier. Some people say that you get more cut offs (fish hitting the swivel instead of the lure) that way but so far I guess I have been lucky. I also remember watching Mark Sosin and his advise was that if you are going to use swivels be sure to go with smallest possible. It does no good to use a 100lb swivel if you are using light line. Also it has been said before quality, quality, quality. On sale is not cheap, cheap is cheap.
 

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Unfortunately I was born with "sausage fingers", so I don't have Hisheirs' dexterity with knots - for me its much faster and easier to unsnap/snap than

Jeff you say sausage fingers, I too, have the worlds worst time in both seeing, feeling and handling a line to tie on a hook, I feel like my fingers are cracked sticks when tying.
 
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