Tackle

Building a Better Swivel

One day I was fishing on the bank of the river for pink salmon.  It had been a pretty good morning, landing a couple fish.

Then one cast I hooked into something big that was definitely not a pink.  It started running downstream, pulling out line like crazy.  I started chasing after it.

Then all of the sudden the line went slack.  I reeled as fast as I could saying “No, no, no, no, no!”

The fish – and my jig – were gone.  The culprit – the snap swivel.

Snap Swivel

Even though the standard snap swivel is rated with a fight breaking strength, it can pull open if enough pressure is applied at the right location and angle.  And of course fish can magically sense what that location and angle are.

After a couple other similar experiences I stopped using the standard snap swivel, at least for anything inline between me and the fish.

Instead I know build my own snap swivels using a duo lock snap and a swivel.  That style of snap does not pull out, even with a lot of pressure.  And it’s rounded shape even helps the lure action when connected directly to dodgers and certain lures.

By building them myself I have greater control over the size and colors of the snap swivel.  And here is how I do it.

I start off by buying a pack of swivels and pack of duo lock snaps in the size/color I want.

Rigging Duo Lock Swivel - Step 1

Then take the snap and unhook the 2 places where it hooks onto itself.

Rigging Duo Lock Swivel - Step 2

Next slide the swivel on, and move it to the smaller loop of the snap.

Rigging Duo Lock Swivel - Step 3

Then close the smaller loop by reattaching that part of the snap.  Sometimes I like to crimp that little hook down with a pair of pliers.

Rigging Duo Lock Swivel - Step 4

And there you go!  A nice snap swivel that will not pull free like the typical kind.  I also find this style of snap a little bit easier to work when my fingers are cold when fishing those winter days.

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