Should I Use a Swivel With a Spinner?

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The success of your fishing trip largely depends on having the right tackle at hand. I know. You can catch fish with your bare hands. But I can assure you. It will be much easier if you have the proper tools for the job. 

With that matter at hand, should you use a swivel with a spinner? Regularly no. But you can use it as long as you know how to rig it. However, stay away from it if you don’t. Otherwise, you will kill all the action of the spinner. 

Should I Use a Swivel With a Spinner

Make sure to stay with us a little longer, as we will discuss when to use them, how to use a spinner with a swivel, and other odds and ends. 

What is a Swivel?

A swivel is a tiny barrel-like metal gadget that anglers use to connect sections of fishing lines. You can either use them to connect two different lines, a line with a rig and a line with a leader. 

Some anglers also use swivels to swap lures quickly if needed. 

Why do Anglers Use Swivels?

A swivel allows two line sections to rotate freely and independently of each other. This way, each line can self-unwind, which keeps the line from tangling. Monofilament users will definitely love this, as this time of line has a lot of memory and is prone to produce coils and twists. 

Another advantage of swivels will stop any sinker above them. Naturally, this is not the primary reason people use swivels. It is more like an added perk. Sadly, there are far too many cons, as you will see in just a minute. 

Why Don’t Anglers Use Swivels?

Because swivels allow two sections of lines to rotate freely, it might temper with the action of the lure. For example, many anglers declare that swivels make spinnerbaits move erratically. This will affect your hook sets, and therefore, lower your chances of getting fish.  

On the other hand, hooks can also get tangled with the swivel if the leader is small enough. Plus, you have to make sure not to reel the swivels all the way in. Otherwise, they will get stuck in the line guides, reducing casting distances. In addition, it also makes bird nests more likely to occur. Plus, they can also break the line guide, provided you cast the swivel enough times. 

Lastly, some anglers declare that swivels just add weak points to your line. This is especially true if the knots are not tight enough.

Plus, adding a swivel to your line means adding two extra knots. Consequently, it makes your rig more likely to get snagged.  

As you can see, there are much more cons than pros. So, to the question at hand. 

Should I Use Swivels With a Spinner?

The key thing here is to keep the spinner as separate as possible from the swivel. If you do this, there are no problems with using both pieces of tackle. 

But not all is bad news with swivels. They increase the rig’s weight, which might help the lure to remain underneath the water. 

For example, I have used swivels before with a long leader when trolling or jigging. But I definitely avoid using swivels if I’m just casting and retrieving. 

However, as we discussed before, there are far too many cons to using swivels with a spinner. You are just begging for the line to snap or your lure to get tangled. 

When to Use a Swivel?

Trolling involved having a long stretch of line inside the water. As a result, the line will twist and move constantly. Here, swivels come in handy as they allow the two sections of line to move freely, preventing it from getting tangled. 

Make sure to use the smallest swivel possible. Otherwise, it will cause more harm than good. And remember, don’t attach the swivel directly to the spinner bait! 

What Swivel Works Best with a Spinner?

There are several different types of swivels out there. The best option available is a small ball-bearing model. These gadgets allow the line to move freely. 

Setting Up a Spinner Rig With a Swivel

Although this is not a rule written in stone, you should keep the swivel and spinner 18 inches apart, at least. This will give the spinner enough space. As a result, it won’t restrict the movement.  

On the other hand, these swivels are quite small. Consequently, they won’t cause as much disruption to the spinner movement. However, this comes at a price. Making a knot around a small swivel requires some skill. So, if you are new to fishing, take a peek at our knot guide.

Adding a split ring could help to reduce the disruption caused by the swivel on the spinner movement. Nevertheless, adding it will add another set of weak links. 


Spinner baits are all about movement. Therefore, doing anything that could temper that action is counterproductive. Sadly, swivels could do you just that! Keep the spinner from moving freely. 

However, if you are still knee-deep in using one, then you must follow this crucial tip. Never attach the swivel directly to the spinner. You should always allow some space between the lure and the main line. 

We also recommend using a small ball-bearing swivel. By doing this, you will be taking all the necessary precautions to avoid the swivel from tampering with the lure movement. 

But in the end, there is really no point in using a swivel with a spinner. There are just too many cons and just a few pros. 

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