Tuesday, September 18, 2012

To Snap or not to Snap: Snap swivels when Lure Fishing

I regularly use snap swivels when lure fishing. Retying every time I change a lure is too much work for me. This is specially true when I am still trying to figure out what lure is getting hit. I have to try different lures after a few casts --  wtd, poppers, spinners, suspending jerkbaits, floating jerkbaits, cranks, and so on until I get that perfect lure that fishes are after. Cutting and retying means you lose time and also leaders.

This is where a snap swivel comes in handy. Just tie on a snap and switching lures is easy. I have tried a few lure snaps and the latest was this 56lb test Ten Mouth Snap swivel. A Japanese snap, as I was told. It was ok for a while. I have been using it on fresh water, saltwater, and there were no major issues as far as I can remember.

But lately, when I started using heavier main line -- 35lbs and then lately, 50lbs, it started to fail.

Last week, I fished for snakeheads up North using a slightly heavy rod. I loaded the reel with 35lbs and for a while it was ok.

Later in the day, I got bit by a biggie. Probably 1.5 kg. When I was trying to muscle the fish to the bank, it rolled and was able to escape. The frog  separated from the main line. Luckily, the frog floats and I was able to retrieve it. Upon inspection, the snap twisted and opened up.

Then just last weekend, it happened again. I went to a nearby pond to test my heavy saltwater combo. 50lb braid on a 7'6" 17-30lb Flippin Stick. At first, the snap held up ok after a decent sized fish. Then I tied on a bigger sized frog to see how far the combo can cast. Casted really far with the frog. Twitched it a bit and then something bit. I set the hook and it was a solid contact. I knew instantly that it was a Toman (Giant Snakehead). A short run then my line flew back to my face. Lost my new frog because the snap snapped.

So, with these failures, I decided to stop using snaps when lure fishing. Back to Rapala knot, improved clinch, or uni knot. Not only will I save my lures, I will also save some cash. These snaps are not cheap.