Driftless Trout Anglers

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Life of Riley  
#1 Posted : Saturday, June 22, 2019 5:02:06 AM(UTC)
Life of Riley
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As best I can recall the two acceptable methods for attaching a spinner to line are direct tie and snap. I read somewhere that a snap-swivel will ruin the spinners action. My buddy was throwing a #9 PM on wed. and caught a giant 21.5" brown as well as lost another one a similar size and caught 5 other fish. Just curious as to why a snap swivel would be a negative?
#2 Posted : Sunday, June 23, 2019 1:42:01 AM(UTC)
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If the whole thing can spin the blade may not spin as fast.
thanks 1 user thanked Hoggies for this useful post.
Life of Riley on 6/23/2019(UTC)
#3 Posted : Thursday, June 27, 2019 4:39:04 AM(UTC)
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A snap swivel clipped onto a spinner has the effect of extending the length of the lure. If you have a 2 inch spinner, like a #2 Mepps, or a small Rooster Tail, adding a snap swivel adds a narrow but inch long clump of brassy body to the presentation. That's the main drawback of clipping the spinner to a swivel.

A direct tie has the drawback of twisted line. Most in-line spinners tend to twist the line with every foot the lure travels. If you don't give the rig time to untwist after each cast, you'll eventually build up enough twists in the line that the torque will cause the line to loop over itself or you reel, and you'll spend a while cutting off tangled line and re-rigging.

In my experience, the best solution is to tie in a swivel, ideally a barrel or better yet, ball bearing swivel, and then adding a few feet of leader, and then tying in the spinner. That puts a swivel into the line to prevent the line twisting, and gives the spinner full freedom of movement, but separates the swivel from the lure enough that the lure itself isn't distorted from the perspective of the fish. Ideally, use a leader one line strength less than the main line, so that if you snag the spinner and break off, you won't lose the swivel.

Personally I haven't thrown spinners for trout for quite a few years, since I tend to fly fish for trout, but I'm no snob about tactics - if you like spinners, fish with spinners. I did a lot of spinner fishing years ago, and had a lot of fun, and caught a lot of trout, doing that. That's especially true in streams with rainbow trout. And putting a few feet of leader between your swivel and spinner will definitely help.

But I'll also add - If you like spinning rods and want to target brown trout, try a Rapala. Classic, Countdown, or Husky Jerk, those little plugs trigger more strikes from brown trout than any spinner I've ever used. And with any of those, you don't need a swivel. You do need a knot with a loop, like the Rapala knot, though, so the lure can move freely.

However you fish trout, if you want to keep some, that's absolutely fine, but for the fish you intend to release, please get your hands wet before you touch them, and please keep them out of the water as briefly as possible. When I plan to release the trout I catch, that's a big reason I usually choose to fly fish - a single hook, usually hooked at the lip, makes it really easy to release the fish unharmed.

Tight lines,

thanks 1 user thanked PaulH for this useful post.
weiliwen on 6/27/2019(UTC)
Mark Dahlquist  
#4 Posted : Thursday, June 27, 2019 8:23:24 PM(UTC)
Mark Dahlquist
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I broke off what I believe to be a 25" brown years ago. My friend landed this fish in the same pool a week earlier. At the time I was going back and forth between spinner and worm and used a swivel. Well I either had my drag set too tight maybe and the swivel failed. I've never used a swivel since. Most of the time I can bend a hook getting out of a snag and only break line if wrapped around something.

Swivels have different ratings so be careful not to use a wimpy one if you are going after big browns.
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#5 Posted : Thursday, June 27, 2019 9:06:45 PM(UTC)
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I can’t even imagine the number of casts with a panther that I’ve had over the years and have never had an issue with line twist or whatever it’s called.

Used to use xl castable mono and now I use power pro.

I’d say if you haven’t had issues yet, wait until you do before worrying about it.

In terms of swivel strength, cast off two lures in Canada last week when my leaders broke at the swivel. One ended up on shore and the other sank.
“Harvest eaters... release trophies.” -Gurth
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#6 Posted : Thursday, June 27, 2019 9:44:44 PM(UTC)
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Oh yeah and a 12yo-ish kid was shore fishing when I came in one time last week and I told him where a reachable rock pile with bass on it was and lent him a popper to try.

He asked if he should use a leader in case of a northern and I said no but he could just attach it to a snap if he uses one.

He looks at me half horrified and half indignant and states that he doesn’t use snap swivels.

I said, “good man.” Laugh

That right there is the best argument against a kiddie snap.


The fish may not be able to see it but a fellow fisherman might.

Or some kid.



Edited by user Thursday, June 27, 2019 9:48:15 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

“Harvest eaters... release trophies.” -Gurth
Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
#7 Posted : Friday, June 28, 2019 5:10:17 AM(UTC)
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I would say do not use a ball bearing swivel, but do what you want. If you use power pro you'll never have line twist again with any type of attachment. Also if you are out a full day, check your line at the lure often and retie if it is worn or frayed. Ron
#8 Posted : Friday, June 28, 2019 3:13:15 PM(UTC)
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I hate snap swivels with a passion. Too many bad experiences with spunky Chinook and Smallmouth as a kid.

I now use them in select situations, because they do keep fish on that would otherwise twist off, but (Chris Farley voice) for the love of all that is holy, don’t buy cheap snaps, swivels, or especially snap swivels.

Attaching strong micro snap swivels to my split ring on spoons has helped my landing rate with Chinooks. They’re such powerful fish that they can easily twist against a split ring and rip hooks right out otherwise.
"I fish because I love to: Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness."
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