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Do You Need a Swivel for Fishing? If so, When and Why?

Swivels used for fishing in white background.

You should only use swivels when the risk of line twists is high enough to warrant their use. Anglers should be aware of the dangers of line twists, which can weaken the line and cause the line to become knotted while throwing (for instance, the annoying wind knots).

I urge you to ignore all the advice that says otherwise and only listen or read what the pros have to say. If you’re fishing in rougher waters or stronger currents where the lines are prone to twisting and ultimately breaking, that’s usually when the experts suggest that you use swivels.

What is a Swivel?

I just want to help new anglers a bit here. It is a fishing device with multiple purposes, but the main one is for using a swivel. A fisherman can make better use of their time on the water for less money than other types of terminal equipment.

You can make or break a fishing day with this simple piece of gear. When fishing, anglers must know when to use swivels and why. There are several sorts of swivels used in fishing, and each has a specific place, timing, and function.

Types of Swivels

There are several types of fish swivels, including:

Barrel Swivel

Goture Rolling Ball Bearing Fishing Swivel Stainless Steel High Strength for Bass Trout in Saltwater and Freshwater #1/0 (Pack of 200)

It is the most frequent sort of barrel swivel you will come across. In addition to being reasonably priced, they come in a wide range of sizes.

Since they are so small, they are unable to handle large fish. The swivel may become worthless if you’re casting hefty bait or lures. For optimum operation, you need to utilize the correct swivel size.

Crane Swivel

50PCS 3 Way Swivels Fishing,Heavy Duty Crane Swivel Fishing Slid 3-Way T Turn Swivel for Typing Double Drop Rigs for Fresh and Saltwater (1/0x1#-Length/Rated:0.94"/94LB)

Using crane swivels for drop shooting or multiple bait hooks is an excellent alternative.

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If you want to use a weight or a baited hook, you can run a leader off the bottom connection and connect it to your mainline, then connect a second hook to the middle. With live bait and larger fish like catfish, crane swivels are a great choice.

Finesse Swivel

Gamakatsu 352210 G Finesse Swivel Drop Shot Fishing Hook with Nano Smooth Coat (1 Pack), Size 1, Black

For drop-shooting, Finesse swivels are the best option. The hook is already attached, so all you have to do is connect the worm as well as the weight, then you’re good to go.

Make sure to acquire a range of sizes because there are plenty to select from. The more alternatives you possess, the better off you’ll be. These are fantastic for bass fishing, as well as pan fishing.

Ball-bearing Swivel

Petzl Swivel - Small

The ball-bearing swivel is more pricey than the barrel swivel due to its more complicated construction. The swivel is equipped with ball bearings for added mobility and strength.

Using these swivels, you can target larger fish and cast larger lures since they can take considerably heavier loads. Primarily for saltwater, however, they’re great for catching large freshwater animals like sturgeon when conditions are right!.

When Is a Swivel Necessary?

Line and a hook for carp fishing.

What you need is a swivel classified according to the type of fishing you’re doing. In many situations, the twisting occurred because you were fishing in water with a high current. Swivels are a must in these kinds of scenarios.

Yes, inshore fishing may be done with swivels. To answer this question, it all depends on the kind of fishing as well as the type of lure or bait you’re using when fishing, and swivels are no exception. The finest results I’ve had while fishing (both inshore and offshore) have come from not using swivels at all.

These are the situations in which I employ swivels:

  • Casting lures that twist throughout the retrieval should be used with caution (ex: weedless spoon)
  • For use when fishing with live or dead baits that are prone to twisting (including offshore fishing while hunting for ballyhoo)
  • When immersing live or dead bait in water that is currently flowing,
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The line to line knots can also be used while using lures/baits which have a minimal likelihood of experiencing line twists (which is often the case for many inshore anglers).

What’s the Best Location for the Swivel?

My advice is to use a swivel only in the most extreme cases of inshore fishing.

  • On top of the leader, away from the lure or hook is where you should insert a rotating swivel if you intend to use one.

In this way, the swivel may be placed directly in front of the bait, absorbing line twists from the bait without becoming an ugly bulk that may scare away more fish.

Best Swivel Knots

A blue fishing reel with swivel and hook.

For many years, I relied solely on knots that people around me, whether friends or family members, taught me how to make.

That’s what I grew up seeing, so I felt that it was the right way until I started different types of fishing and speaking to experts.

However, after witnessing first-hand the significance of a knot’s breaking point in comparison to a knot that did not slip, I no longer hold that opinion (sometimes one is significantly better than another).

As a result, I usually advise people to take the time to experiment with different knots and lengths of line to ensure that they are getting the most out of their line.

Using Soft Plastic to Make Swivel

Soft plastics don’t require a swivel, so tie your leader straight to the jighead before attaching the soft plastic. To make sure it’s a good swimmer, always put it in the water first. A swivel up the line may be necessary (or not) depending on where you’re fishing.

When is it Acceptable to Utilize a Swivel?

It is important to utilize swivels in circumstances when twisting of the line is a concern, such as when fishing. Note: Anglers should be aware of the dangers of line twists, which can weaken the line and cause the line to become knotted while throwing (ex: those pesky wind knots).

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When is Swivel Necessary for Fishing?

At the top of the leader, away from your lure or hook, is where you should place a swivel (in the event you use one). In this way, the swivel may be placed directly in front of the bait, absorbing line twists from the bait without becoming an ugly bulk that may scare away more fish.

When to Use a Snap swivel

For those who aren’t going to be swapping out their lures or rigs frequently, and whose line isn’t prone to spin when returned, snap swivels are unnecessary and just add to the possibility of issues and/or frightening fish.

Snaps swivels allow you to rapidly switch out your lures while also improving the motion of your catch. It’s possible to harm your odds of getting fish by using the wrong attachment. Using shoddy terminal tackle is also a no-no.

Are Fish Scared of Snap Swivels?

Fishing Barrel Swivel with Nice Snap-100pcs Fishing Connector Snap Swivels Solid Rings Fishing High Strength Fishing Accessories Fishing Tackle(Black)

Even though they save time, snap swivels do not appear natural in the water and are more likely to scare away the fish. Even if you manage to hook a few naive, aggressive young with it, you should avoid doing so if you want to improve your odds of catching fish.

Is a Swivel Necessary While Fishing With Lures?

What you need is a swivel-based on the type of fishing you’re doing. In your case, the twisting occurred because you were fishing in strong currents. A swivel has two rings on it, one for your fishing line and the other for your lure, sinker, or hook.

Using a Swivel With a Spinner

A man holding his catch carp in the river.

Snap swivels are favored by many spinner fishers. The only benefit of this is that they can swiftly switch out lures. We do not advocate using a swivel to attach a spinner. Using a swivel that is too large can mess with the movement of the lure, which is common practice among anglers.

Unlike other spinnerbaits, spinnerbaits do not spin completely around (just the blades.) A swivel or snap of any kind is unnecessary. Direct your line to the bend and tie it off.