I‘m a liberal leaning outdoorsman attempting to open the minds of right wingers to the idea that libs fish too. Anglers come from all walks of life, left, right, and center. Not everyone who fishes for bass is a redneck fond of Nascar, country music, and religiosity. Expect posts about largemouth bass fishing, techniques, reviews of lures and other products, but not any condemnable conservative rants. I hope to inspire the online angler community to dial down rhetoric which will do more harm than good to our sport.

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Monday, October 8, 2007

• Swivel of Shame

Yes, I'll admit it. I use snap swivels. Not just for certain lures either. I use them most of the time, if not all of the time. Now you can take me out back and beat me up.

Don't get me wrong. Knots are great. Knowing how to tie knots is a necessary skill in fishing. I've learned how to tie a lot of different knots, but I just don't feel the need to use them unless I absolutely have to.

A lot of fishermen see it as one more weak spot in the chain that could break. I can understand that viewpoint. I've had swivels break quite a few times. For me, it's a trade off I'm willing to make because swivels rarely fail on me. I prefer to be able to do quick lure changes and face the consequences when a swivel fails. I used the shiny brass type for years. Those brass ones would bend, break, and open up too often. Now I use the black ones with rounded ends and haven't looked back. They can still come open when the fish is thrashing around too much. I lost a catfish that way a few months ago as I was bringing it into the boat. The 7.5lb bass in the photo at the right broke the swivel and floundered around on the bank with the rattle trap still in its mouth. That was an old swivel though and I shouldn't have been using it anyway. I'm lucky it didn't get away from me, but I still don't have any regrets.

The other concern has to do with the action of the lure. Do swivels really change the action all that much? Do fish get spooked when they see a swivel in front of the lure? I can't answer that question with 100 percent certainty. I don't get any line twist. Crankbaits seem to have a better wobble. What am I most concerned with? Plastics. Having that swivel there definitely changes things. Whether that has resulted in fewer bites is still anyone's guess. They also tend to slip on a spinnerbait and keep it from running true.

I don't use a palomar knot to tie onto the swivel. I've found that the break occurs at the knot and not at the swivel. Could be my tying technique. I use a very simple knot that has held up for me as long as I've been fishing. Gotta thank my grandfather for passing it on. It's a relatively simple loop knot with an additional overhand knot at the free end to prevent it from slipping open. It holds. I can change out swivels without retying or swap it out for a weight to drop shot. You just make the loop big enough to slide over whatever it is you are using. I still change swivels if I notice any signs of weakness.


Darren Mahaffy said...

I'm a fan of swivels; however, I have been "turned on" to quick-snap style from Bass Pro:


I use the black, size 1. Have caught some decent pickerel, LMBass, crappie, etc. w/o problem. Also use them on my baitcaster (with 40lb braid) and have pulled up snagged lures on heavy branches 15 feet underwater. These are pretty strong. I have seen one or two pull out from a snag, though.

Then there are these (which I haven't tried):


Anyhow, I prefer snaps w/o swivels. No scientific proof, but it seems that the lure action is better. For some lures I will cut them off and directly tie the line...

FWIW... Nice blog, btw.