Trapped Swivel

Recent decades have seen huge advances in the terminal tackle available to sea anglers. One of the most popular developments has seen anglers move away from making rigs with old fashioned dropper knots and instead using crimps and beads to trap a swivel in place and tie the hooklength to this.

Trapped Swivel

A swivel trapped between beads and crimps.

Using a trapped swivel for hooklengths offers a number of advantages:

  • The rig is stronger as fewer knots are used.
  • It is quicker and easier to create the rig.
  • The incorporation of the swivel means that the baited hook can roll around the seabed and twists will be eliminated before reaching the rig body.
  • It is much easier to accurately position the hooklengths so that they meet an impact shield or bait clip.
Dropper Knot

Dropper knot

Making trapped swivel rigs is easy enough. The crimps, beads and swivel are threaded onto the line in the correct order (see picture above). The components should not be bunched up too tight as the swivel needs to be able to spin around. Once the components are in place the crimps should be gently but firmly pressed in place with specialist crimping pliers. There is still a place for dropper knots in sea fishing – anglers fishing rock marks who are likely to lose a great deal of rigs still use old-style dropper knots to save money on rig components, but in the vast majority of angling situations the trapped swivel method is used due to the advantages this method provides.

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