Barrel Swivel and Split Ring

After your leader, you need to tie on your barrel swivel and split ring before attaching your lure. I know some anglers tie their lure directly to the leader to have a more natural look. My advice is to use a barrel swivel & split ring for the following reasons:

I emphasize all information shared in this blog is just my personal opinion & experience which some may beg to differ 🙂 If you have any thoughts or questions please leave them at the end of this post.

  • A lure will tumble or spin in the air (or in water) twisting the main line usually without the knowledge of the angler. As the number of twists accumulate, quality of line may deteriorates to verge of breaking point. A barrel swivel placed between leader & lure will minimize this twisting from happening.
  • To provide ease in changing a lure as compared to cutting the leader & retying a new knot. This cutting & retying will also shorten the leader gradually to a point when a new leader is needed.
  • If a fixed loop knot is used to tie on a lure to give it freedom to swim freely, then there is a chance the lure nose wire loop will cut into the leader especially for thinner ones. Using a barrel swivel & split ring will avoid this giving the lure the same freedom in moving freely.

Why Barrel Swivel…& not a Snap or Ball-bearing Swivel?

Prefer natural look of barrel swivel & split ring
Prefer natural look of barrel swivel & split ring
  • Heard too many stories of a snap swivel opening up during a tough fight ending up with an escaped fish. And I find the snap swivel bulky & not as natural looking in a presentation as compared to barrel swivel & split ring…just a personal view.
  • Though a ball bearing swivel is smooth & rotates very freely, it doesn’t give me a feeling of a strong & secure connection due to the many moving parts inside a small confined space. This is in comparison to the simple but strong design in a barrel swivel.

A Split Ring for each Lure

  • A common practice is to have a Single Same split ring attached to the barrel swivel & just having to replace the lure using back the same split ring.
  • My preference is to pair each lure with its own split ring so that they are matched in size ie. a small lure with a small split ring & a big one with proportional big ring. If a medium size split ring remains with the barrel swivel, then it may look out of place if you decided to change to a smaller lure. And changing split ring will take up precious time on the field.
  • In addition, I find replacing lure with split ring paired is much faster as compared to using the same single ring attached to the barrel swivel…again just my personal view. The only downside is you’ll end up with using more split rings.

Hint: This I find boils down to your personal preference in choosing the method you deem more convenient.

What Size of Barrel Swivel & Split Ring?

KG/LB breaking strain
KG/LB breaking strain
  • Most of the time KG/LB breaking strains of swivels & rings picked are above that of braided line & leader used. But on the other hand you don’t want your swivel & split ring pair to be overrated ie. too excessively big as compared to lure used…or vice versa, too small.
  • Some like tying swivel slightly bigger than rod tip on the spot to the leader just before fishing starts. This way swivel will always stay outside the guides & has to be cut off at session end when keeping tackles.
  • Some like to be prepared in advance at home by tying on swivel slightly smaller than rod tip onto leader & bind it onto spool with a spool belt. This way angler can set up his tackle quickly at fishing spot by threading swivel thru guides before attaching lure.

Hint: Again this is a personal choice whichever way is more convenient for your style of fishing. As I like to be prepared in advance, I’m adopting the 2nd method.

Safety Note…Swivel vs Rod Tip

  • Before I move on to what brands I’m using, I want to take this opportunity to reiterate the precaution needed to prevent damage to the rod tip by the swivel. This is hard metal of the swivel versus fragile ring of the rod tip…you should know who is the winner in this round!
  • When swivel is nearing your rod tip during retrieval, either stop retrieving so there is no or soft contact (if swivel is too big to pass thru tip) or slow down your retrieval speed if you want the swivel to pass thru your guides eg. at the end of a session. This is to prevent the hard metal of the swivel in knocking against the fragile ring breaking & causing very fine barely visible cracks. It’s these cracks that are randomly breaking your braided line when they come into contact. I learned the hard way & was very puzzled why it’s only happening in that particular rod.
  • If you prefer smaller swivel which can pass thru the guides, never let this happen when fighting a fish if your rig has enough line to let your swivel pass thru the first few guides. When a fish suddenly runs, the swivel will crash thru the few guides smashing them instantly.

What I’m Using/Recommended Brands

For barrel swivel, I’m using NT Power Swivel ( Amazon / eBay ) made in Japan

  • GT popping – size 1, 2 & 3
  • All other application – size 4 to 10
GT popping...size 1, 2 & 3
GT popping…size 1, 2 & 3

Other application...size 4-10
Other application…size 4-10
Short of size 9...out of stock
Short of size 9…out of stock

For split ring, I’m using several brands:

  • GT popping – size 7, 8 & 9 (Owner)
  • All other application – size 1 to 6
Other application...Owner & Decoy
Other application…Owner & Decoy
Other application...Komaisu
Other application…Komaisu

All the best,
Lawrence
gtfrenzy.com

PS: Please leave a comment if any information in this site is inaccurate or incorrect…I’m learning too 🙂

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