I know that having to retie new hooks constantly can get old quickly, which is why I love to use snap swivels. Snap swivels are a great way to connect and disconnect things quickly, and there are different ways how you can incorporate them into your setup. One of these ways is to attach your hook directly to a snap swivel, but there seems to be some debate on whether this is a good idea or not.
Attaching fishing hooks directly to a snap swivel won’t impact your fishing experience too much. However, there are a few factors you’ll need to consider like does the fish scare easily, will it change the bait’s presentation and action, and your ability to get a good hookset would contribute to your overall decision.
I don’t normally connect my fishing hooks to a snap swivel directly, but I have used a few different rigs doing this, and it just does not work for me. However, I was curious what other anglers do and if they had similar experiences as me. So I started asking around to different anglers to weigh in.
The responses I got back were fascinating and insightful. Many anglers had similar experiences as me, while many others had the complete opposite. About 60% of anglers preferred not to connect their hooks directly to a snap swivel in most cases.
I,n this post I will dive into the different factors why angler was against doing this and why the other anglers liked doing this.
Connecting Hooks To Swivels Directly Could Affect Your Hookset?
This is probably one of the biggest reasons why I don’t like connecting my hooks to a snap swivel and it was nice to know that I was not alone on this one.
When you put a hook on a snap swivel, the hook is free to move around in the water. This may help with bait presentation to some degree but what I’ve found was that it’ll negatively impact your ability to get a good hook set.
Try to imagine a hook connected to a snap swivel and can freely moving around underwater. Suddenly, you feel a bite and try to set the hook by quickly pulling up on the rod. Because of this sudden movement, the hook will bounce around in the fish’s mouth and may not hook the fish at all. If you did hook the fish, then it may not be a good hook set.
My Personal Experience!
Years ago, my Dad and I created many small handmade rigs to go fishing for shiners off a dock for live bait. We were making these rigs with whatever we had on hand at the time. So we ended up with a rig or two that had the hook connected to swivel.
After using both types of rigs, I noticed a clear difference in how I was able to get a good hook set. I lost way more fish from having a bad hook set using the rig with the hook connected to a swivel. It was safe to say that I was not a fan of it. When I used the rig with the hook tied to the fishing line, I had no problem catching shiners.
What Did Other Anglers Say About This!
When I asked other anglers this question, most of them experienced similar issues but in varying degrees. Anglers who usually fished for smaller or finicky fish have report similar issues about getting a good hook set.
Smaller and finicky fish don’t really attack the bait. They tend to “tug and nibble” the bait, making it harder to hook a fish, especially if the hook is moving around in all sorts of directions.
But it seems like you won’t have this issue when it comes to larger fish. Larger fish tend to be not as finicky and are more likely to attack the bait, which will help you with getting good hook sets.
Personally, I haven’t fished for larger fish like this, but from what I’ve gathered from other anglers who do, they don’t seem to have any major concerns fishing like this.
Will A Bait’s Action Change If A Hook Is Connected Directly To A Swivel?
When a hook is directly connected to a snap swivel, it’ll have slightly more freedom to move around than if the hook was tied to a fishing line.
This extra movement tends to help give your bait a more natural presentation as it sways softly in the water.
This setup works well if you were using lighter bait because lighter baits generally have a slower rate of “sinking” compared to heavier baits. This allows the lighter baits to flutter in the water rather than sinking like a rock.
Swivels Might Scare Off Fish
One major issue with using swivels is that they very visible underwater!
Anglers spend so much time talking about bait presentation, and the idea of connecting a hook directly to a snap swivel seems counterproductive. Based on my experience using swivels like this and what I gathered from asking around is:
Fish will notice your swivels, and this may deter fish from biting. This is more noticeable with smaller and more finicky fish. However, this seems to be less of an issue with larger and aggressive predator fish.
Let’s jump back to my personal experience for a moment that I mentioned earlier. Whenever I used the rig with the hook connected to a swivel, I could see the shiners fish approach the swivel with more interest than the bait itself. After examining the swivel, they would leave and not even look at the bait once.
To me, this is evidence that if a fish sees your swivel, it might deter them from biting, but that seems to be subjective with the type of fishing you’re targeting. Not all fish will be as cation as these shiners were, and it might not impact you at all.
Other Reasons Why Anglers Connect Hooks, Lures, Jigs Directly To Snap Swivels.
There are many other reasons why anglers like to have their bait directly connected to snap swivels, and it has nothing to do with catching more fish.
Convenient When Changing Your Bait
When I asked other anglers why they like to hook their bait directly to snap swivels, many responded that it was all about the convenience. These anglers enjoyed that they can quickly change baits without always having to make new knots.
When you’re fishing, and the fish are just not biting to change out the bait until you find something that the fish would like to eat, it’s quite common. But sometimes, this can be quite tedious, and for some anglers, just plain annoying.
So the idea that you can quickly change out bait without having to tie new knows constantly seems really appealing, so they use swivels.
Not Good At Making Fishing Knots
Directly connecting a hook to a swivel is a great way for new anglers to get started with fishing, even if they are still learning how to tie good fishing knots.
New anglers can easily get lost trying to remember the different knots. Using swivels is a great way for new anglers who are still trying to learn knots to go out fishing still, even if they forgot how to do their knots.
Great Way To Get Kids To Participate And Learn
It’s always fun to get your kids involved with fishing, whether that means seeing them reel in their first fish or having them learn how to be more independent by them trying to bait their own fishing line.
A fair bit of anglers mentioned that they don’t like connecting their hooks to swivels for themselves, but they let their kids do it because it gets them to feel more involved and independent.
I thought this was such a great idea that I had to mention it here.
Experiment And Test! It’s All About What Feels Good For You!
Unless you’re fishing for very finicky or small fish, I don’t think connecting a hook directly to a snap swivel will impact your fishing experience too much. At the end of the day, it comes down to your personal preference.
Personally, I won’t be changing how I like to fish, but if you’re unsure if you should be connecting your hooks directly to your swivel, I hope I could give you the information you need.
But when in doubt, give it a try and see if it’s a good fit for you.
Happy Fishing and Tight Lines!