Do You Use A Swivel With A Spinner? (Rooster Tail, Panther Martin, Mepps)

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Fishing for trout using spinners is one of the more popular methods out there. A lot of people think that you need to use a swivel when you’re fishing with a swivel, and in this post, I’m going to be talking about whether or not that’s actually true.

In our experience, the only time you need to use a swivel is when you’re trolling or jigging with a Rooster Tail, Panther Martin, or Mepps spinner. The swivel will stop your line from spinning too much. If you’re just casting and retrieving you don’t need to use a swivel because it’ll prevent your spinner from spinning correctly. You can easily remove the line twist every 8-10 casts.

A lot of people do use a snap swivel to attach directly to their spinner. That can work and the good thing about it is that it’s easy to change between lures. The downside is that it’ll interfere with the lure and it won’t spin as well. I’m going to be getting more into when you should be using a swivel, which type works best, and how to set everything up.

How To Easily Remove Line Twist

If you’re not using a swivel, you’ll have to remove the twist every 8-10 casts. You can do it more often if you notice your line twisting up. The good thing about it is that it’s super simple. Here’s how to remove the twist in your line:

  1. Cast and reel in until your spinner is around 6-8 feet away from you.
  2. Lift your rod tip so your spinner is out of the water.
  3. Let it hang there for around 30 seconds and it will untwist.

When To Use A Swivel With A Spinner

The only two times I’ll use a swivel is when I’m trolling and when I’m jigging with a spinner. The reason is that there’s a good amount of line out and it’s going to be hard to get rid of the twist.

One of the main reasons I like using a swivel is that it lets me attach a weight. I can use a 3-way swivel with a clip-on weight or I can use the swivel to hold my sliding weight in place.

The one thing you’ll want to remember is that you shouldn’t attach your swivel directly to the spinner.

Swivel to spinner

I don’t like using a swivel if I don’t have to because it’ll prevent the spinner from spinning correctly. It’s not going to make the fish not bite, but the majority of the spinner companies recommend to not do it.

It’s also going to add more tackle, more knots, and more things that can break or get snagged. I like using as little as possible but that’s just me. Some people like convenience and in that case, you might want to always use a swivel so you can quickly change between lures.

What Swivel Works Best With A Spinner

If you’re trolling or jigging using a spinner, the best swivel is going to be a small ball bearing swivel. You’ll want to keep this as small as possible because the larger ones will interfere with the spinner.

There are a lot of swivels out there that don’t spin very well or are pretty weak. I’d recommend you pay a little bit extra for something that works really well. You’ll have it for a longer time and it should perform better.

Barrel swivel for spinner

My favorite swivels over the past little bit have been the Spro Ball Bearing Swivels. The quality of then is top-notch, they’re compact, and they’re strong. I like using as small of ones I can get away with and normally use the size 5 or 6. Check them out on Amazon.

How To Set Your Spinner Up With No Swivel

If you’re just casting and retrieving then I’d recommend you use no swivel. This is what I do 90% of the time and have never had any issues (as long as I remove the line twist on a regular basis).

I almost always use braid as my main fishing line. I like it because I can use heavier stuff, it seems to cast better, and it’s a lot more sensitive than mono/fluoro. For trout fishing, I’ll normally use a 10 lb braid for smaller trout.

I’ll then use a fluorocarbon leader and tie it directly to the braid (3-5 foot leader). I like fluoro because it sinks and it’s invisible in the water. For normal trout, I’ll normally use 6 lb fluoro. You can tie them with whatever knot you want but I normally use the Surgeon’s Knot.

Once you have your leader attached, the next thing you’ll want to do is tie your spinner directly to it. This is what most of the manufacturers say and that’s why I’m going with it. Again, you can use whatever knot you want but I like to use the Improved Clinch Knot. It’s easy and has always done the job.

How To Set Your Spinner Up With A Swivel

If you’re trolling or jigging with a spinner, you’ll want to use a small swivel to stop the line from twisting. I already talked about the one I like to use, but you can stick with what you already have if you want.

If you’re fishing pretty deep then you might want to add some weight to your line. You can use a sliding weight that goes above your swivel or you can use a 3-way swivel and attach a clip-on weight. It’s not really a big deal what type of weight you use but you won’t need a lot of weight to get it down.

Weight for spinner

Again, I almost always use braid as my main fishing line. It tends to last longer than mono and fluoro as well, so I’m a big fan of that. You can then attach your swivel to your main fishing line using whatever knot you like. I normally use the Improved Clinch or Palomar Knot.

After that, you’ll want to attach your leader material to the other end of the swivel. Give yourself 3-5 feet of leader to work with and then attach your spinner. That’s pretty much all there is to it.

Let me know your thoughts and any questions you have. Like this article? Feel free to give it a share!

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Jon Webber

I'm by no means an outdoors or fishing expert, but it's something I've been interested in for over 20 years. This site is where I test out different gear and techniques to see what actually works.

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