When it comes to terminal tackle there are infinite choices on the market. Snaps and swivels are often used amongst anglers as they make it easier to switch baits quickly without having to re-tie the line. This sounds great, so why are we writing a post about them? Well, aside from adding hardware that fish can see (and finicky fish will be scared of) not all snaps and swivels are made equal. There are a number of designs on the market today that are prone to failure and simply will not hold up in the long run, when fighting larger fish, or while trying to wrestle fish away from cover.
There are really only two choices of snaps that we trust for our fishing applications (other than panfish) but often choose to tire direct whenever possible. If you struggle with tying knots or change lures too often this may not be the best choice for you but it is always an option.
Poor quality snap designs can easily break open under tension or simply from big fish bites. The snap designs below have all been used and failed on us at one point or another before we got smart. The lack of secondary protection on the opening and all the force being held by one small piece of bent wire is the reason that this happens. They also "pop" open quite easily and so they have opened on the cast, when a fish bites, or after banging off cover which can result in casting off your lure or loosing a fish if you don't catch that it is open.
Most snaps also have barrel swivels attached to them as will which prevent line twists. This is a must when using inline spinners! Aside from this there is one choice of snap that we will use. The Stay-Lok snap has an additional ring of protection that prevents the snap from popping open and helps to distribute the forces across bigger area while under tension. Another option to using a snap is to simply use a split ring. A pair of split ring pliers can allow you to quickly change out baits but completely eliminates the potential for anything to open up during a cast or while fighting fish.
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