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i was wondering about why we all use swivels on our leaders. i can understand if you are using bucktails because they spin but that seems to me, to be the only time they would be needed. i have them on all the leaders and was just thinking why. i think that when using a jerkbait, since the swivel is heavy- sinks and can wrap around the hooks. i was just wondering what you guys think.

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Well I am not the expert but I believe that the swivel first porvides a easy connection point. Second keeps line from being twisted during those nasy tangles when both lures end up doing summersaults. On the jerkbait piano wire leaders are the preferred connection. I have found MTO online to be a good source for terminal tackle. http://www.muskytackleonline.com/acatalog/Leaders.html

Only a rookies advice, Hope it helps.

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Swivels not only keep you from getting line twist from lapped lines,weeded lures and rolling muskies,but catch weeds before they get to your lure. At very slow speeds crunching near bottom in cold water temps in the late fall the swivel actually drags along the bottom kicking silt up into your crankbait offering,almost giving that bottom feeding look!With my leaders being 3/4 the legnth of my rods when I see the swivel I know its time to get the net close to the water to scoop her up.I would think also powerbraid tied directly to a haywire twist on the end of a wire leader would be a weak point to break,even more weak if it starts twisting at the tie on area.

Capt. Larry D. Jones

www.mostlymuskies.com

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when i get tangled crossing lines the swivel doesn't do much. still tangles everywhere. i just don't see why a ring wouldn't do the same job as a connection point b/c swivels can be the weak connection. still could leave a tag end for weeds. back to back uni knots would also be an idea so you could reel all the way up past the leader if you want. if the swivel is dragging the bottom isn't there a chance of it getting hung also? herbie uses the uni-knot system going from braid to floro.

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Zach,I'm using Aussie Swivels that are 3/4 of an inch long and 1/4 inch around,I'm dredgeing bottom on purpose to get the silting effect to catch more fish.There was a craze once to not use snaps but use splitrings instead on the end of leaders.I found it very hard to put lures on and take them off on a regular basis,even harder in below freezing conditions.I guess using a splitring in place of a swivel would work.On some of your smaller crankbaits the lighter weight of the splitring is going to change the dive curve angle and action of the lure a little.Exterimenting with splitrings instead of swivels will be how you find out if depth changes or action changes.

Go for it and let us know how it works for you!

Capt. Larry

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I use a snap with a swivel and a split ring where it attaches to the braid. unless you're trying to accomplish something other than their intended purpose I think 1 somewhere along the line is enough and any more than that just adds more potential for 'equipment failure'. just my opinion...

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I am not saying the swivel helps with the tangle only to help from twisted line. I have switched to the stayloc snaps that dont have a swivel and a 300lb swivel on the other end. I also use the double uni for line to line connections but I dont think it would work that good with 80 or 100lb fluoro as the knot is best for lines of similar diameter. Also with the heavy fluoro its hard to get any knot tight! If you make it work please let us know how you did it and the advantages you find. Interesting subject.

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Hey Gus

I can't think of a situation where I would want my leader tied direct. As you pointed out, tying that is a real pain...now imagine trying to successfully retie on the boat. Gotta be able to swap em out quickly when one gets nicked or risk looking the next fish

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i can uni knot 80lb flouro and get it tight ( 4 turns flouro). to me the uni-knot is no problem to tie and i think for live bait this is what you would want for a more natural approach. the uni-knot is perfect for lines of differant diameter. a blood knot isn't, a surgeons knot isn't. i was just wondering about just using the welded split rings instead of a swivel at the connection point for my trolling leaders. i still would use the snap at the lure end. i just dont see the point to have the bearing swivel on the leader if it really isn't needed. i think a ring is 10% of the price and does what is needed to connect the leader to the line. cranks don't spin the line and that is whats i have on 90% of the time trolling. i have had a berkley ball bearing swivel break on me years ago during the cast and lure went 100 miles with no line attached to it. i think putting a ring on the lure side would be horrible changing lures and that isn't for me. snaps on that end, but the line to leader connect i think a ring may be superior. just a thought. and for changing them out while fishing. that may happen to me once every 3-4x time out that i have to change a leader on the water.

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Well you make good points Zach. I guess I am just comfortable with the heavy duty swivels I bought from MTO. If one ever fails.....I might change my mind. So please let us know how it works for you. :yes:

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not trying to change the system- i have always used a swivel on my leaders and its now that i am wondering about it.

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just wanted to repost on this subject after opening my muskyhunter last night- gregg thomas and herbie are talking about the ultimate leader system and they say to tie direct from braid to flouro and its advantages like being able to reel past the knot when needed, at night having this knot as a connection will let you know when to figure 8 as you reel it through the tip top instead of smashing that swivel in the tip top, light lures will also have better action. you can still leave a long tag on the flouro as a weed catcher as we all like to do. anyone else read this article. i think that other than bucktails this will be my system in this next year.

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I haven't seen the article yet but I started doing the same thing late last year on all but my trolling rods. gotta say that I really like it. just be extra careful to have the leader out past the rod tip when casting or you will get bad crimp in the leader or I imagine possibly a birdsnest if the knot is poorly tied.

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I don't understand why you use swivels on bucktails. I fish 1/4- 1/2 oz b-tails casting for trout at t-falls. I tie direct to the main line and have found not only does this work better for action but I don't ever have to worry about twist. Is it just the size that makes them twist?

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we don't tie anything direct in muskie fishing :lol: 100 flouro leader is almost impossible to tie correctly in the shop let alone on the water- and damn expensive to cut off and re-tie. I tend not to use more than 1 swivel on the whole set up tho. typically on the line itself away from the lure for the reason of action you mentioned.

bucktails: verrry large blades (and sometimes 2) a couple inches in diameter andor length can make the whole lure 'corkscrew' through the water. I think it has to do with the force of large blade against the clevise not allowing it to spin freely on the wire. the wire itself also has a larger diameter along with the larger (longer) clevise, which I imagine creates more area for friction resistance.

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When trolling at the high speeds we pull crankbaits through the water on Chautauqua or the fast current of the Niagara River and you get weeds on your bait and it starts twisting or wraping with another line out,what a twisted mess your going to have without a Swivel.Some jerkbaits like ReefHawg's,Lationo and Leo will roll over when worked fast,without a swivel you would be all twisted up.The Aussie Swivels I use have a larger surface area where the line goes through the eyes where tied and line is double looped through,so wear is over more area for the Fluorocarbon on one end and Powerbraid at the other end of the swivel.I would not want to trust Flurocarbon to Powerbraid at the working end of your leader over time,the Powerbraid may wear on the Fluorocarbon at the knot.I just think that it will be a weaker link without the swivel and open the door for uneeded line twist and tangles!

Capt. Larry

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good points! is there any way to do a brain transplant switch between larry and i? i would like all his knowedge but he wouldn't come away with much. i am sure with all of this technology now it could be done- anyone here a doctor?

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from my early season fishing, i by far enjoy casting with a leader that has no swivel on it but instead a uni-knot that joins the line and leader together. when casting i was able to feel the knot tip the tip top instead of banging into the swivel when you reel a tad too far up. as long as the bait doesn't spin i couldn't imagine going back when i am casting but think that changing leaders every time out makes sense. i am sure my tip tops will thank me in the long run. i also found when twitching the raps and small slammers that the action was better. i may be crazy but i think it makes a differance on the small lures. will still troll w/ a swivel on my leader just to help catch weeds.

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I think it just makes sense and adds a layer of insurance against losing your favorite muskie lures or next trophy muskie. A lot can happen between the fish hitting the bait, getting caught up on forage, and lure action. The swivel allows extra movement without stressing the line.

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