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Should I tie my leader to a swivel? : Should I tie my leader to a swivel?

Should I tie my leader to a swivel?

Key Takeaways

  • Tying a leader to a swivel prevents line twists and allows the leader line to rotate freely.
  • Attaching a leader to a swivel provides an easy and quick method for changing leaders and using different types of leaders for different fishing conditions.
  • Not using a swivel increases the risk of line tangling and line breakage at the connection point.

When it comes to fishing, there are various techniques and strategies that anglers employ to increase their chances of success. One such technique involves tying a leader to a swivel. The use of a swivel in conjunction with a leader line has both benefits and potential risks. In this article, we will examine the advantages and disadvantages of tying a leader to a swivel, based on the information provided.

The Benefits of Tying a Leader to a Swivel

According to the information gathered, there are several benefits to tying a leader to a swivel in fishing:

  1. Preventing Line Twists: Tying a leader to a swivel allows the leader line to rotate freely, which helps prevent line twists. Line twists can occur when the main line and leader become tangled, reducing the effectiveness of the fishing setup. By using a swivel, the leader line can rotate independently, minimizing the chances of line twists.
  2. Easy Attachment: Tying a leader to a swivel provides a quick and easy method of attaching the leader. This can be particularly advantageous when changing leaders frequently or when using different types of leaders for different fishing conditions. The swivel acts as a reliable connection point, allowing for efficient leader changes without the need to re-tie knots.

The Risks of Not Tying a Leader to a Swivel

On the other hand, not tying a leader to a swivel in fishing can have potential risks:

  1. Increased Line Tangling: Without a swivel, the main line and leader are more likely to tangle. This can lead to frustrating situations where valuable fishing time is wasted untangling lines. Using a swivel can help minimize line tangling and enable a smoother fishing experience.
  2. Potential for Line Breakage: Another risk of not using a swivel is the potential for the main line to break at the connection point. When a leader is directly tied to the main line, the constant movement and pressure exerted during fishing can weaken the line over time. By using a swivel, the connection point is strengthened, reducing the risk of line breakage.

Expert Opinions on Using Swivels with Leaders in Fishing

Experts in the field of fishing have different opinions on using swivels with leaders:

  • Fred Golofaro: Fred Golofaro prefers using a swivel to connect his leader to the line. He finds that it makes replacing frayed leaders easier and serves as a reliable handle for landing fish.
  • Nick Apostolides: Nick Apostolides also uses a swivel, specifically a size 2 Spro barrel swivel, to attach his leader to his line.
  • Vinny Saccia: Vinny Saccia uses a 150-pound barrel swivel in his setup, indicating that swivels can handle heavy-duty fishing situations.
  • Brandon Sausele: Brandon Sausele opts for a 220-pound Billfisher barrel swivel, further emphasizing the reliability and strength of using swivels in fishing.

Considerations When Not Using Swivels with Leaders

While some experts endorse the use of swivels with leaders, there are also considerations when it comes to not using swivels:

  • Casting and Retrieving Jigs and Soft Baits: According to the experts at, using swivels is not recommended when casting and retrieving jigs and soft baits. Swivels can add unnecessary weight to the mainline and increase the risk of abrasions when fishing in structures.


Based on the information provided, tying a leader to a swivel in fishing can offer several benefits, including preventing line twists and providing easy attachment of leaders. However, there are risks associated with not using swivels, such as increased line tangling and the potential for line breakage. Expert opinions vary, with some anglers endorsing the use of swivels for various reasons, while others caution against their use in specific fishing situations.

Ultimately, the decision to tie a leader to a swivel should be based on personal preference, fishing conditions, and the specific techniques being employed. It is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages outlined in this article and make an informed decision that aligns with your fishing goals and preferences.

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Q: What is the purpose of a fishing leader?

A fishing leader serves as a separate section of line that is attached between the mainline and the hook or lure. It provides benefits such as abrasion resistance, stealth, and helps prevent the fish from seeing the mainline, increasing the chances of a successful catch.

Q: What is the function of a swivel in fishing?

A swivel is a small rotating device that is used to prevent line twist. It allows the line to rotate freely, avoiding tangles and knots. Swivels also make it easier to change lures or bait without retying the entire leader, saving time and effort.

Q: What are the advantages of tying the leader to a swivel?

Tying the leader to a swivel offers convenience and quick leader changes. It allows anglers to easily switch leaders without retying knots. Additionally, using a swivel can reduce line twist, ensuring smoother and more effective lure presentation.

Q: Are there any disadvantages to tying the leader to a swivel?

One potential drawback is the added weight and bulkiness introduced by the swivel. It may affect the natural movement of lures or bait. In certain situations, directly tying the leader to the mainline without a swivel may be preferable. Anglers should consider their personal preferences, fishing techniques, and target species to make the best decision.

Q: When should I tie my leader to a swivel?

The decision to tie a leader to a swivel depends on personal preference and fishing style. It can be more beneficial in scenarios where quick leader changes are desired or when fishing techniques require reduced line twist. Experimenting with different setups and knots is recommended to determine what works best for each angler.

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